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Baron of Eure, Fortescue Cunning, hosted the most interesting and entertaining soirees. Miss Magnolia Quinn had attended at least three during the current season.
She paused near the dais and scanned the room, looking for — well, she knew not what. Beside her, the musicians tuned their instruments, filling the air with discordant sound. Magnolia caressed her ear sockets as she considered the attendees.
Officers just returned from the war filled the hall with their red coats. Young ladies twittered whalebone fans over their exposed décolletage and batted their lashes, winking invitations. Across the room, well out of earshot, Father huddled with his business partners amongst green, waxy-leaved plants. Other guests chatted amicably while lounging on plush velvet settees arranged squarely in the middle of the room.
So much for the interesting soiree she’d hoped for. Bored already, Magnolia rolled her eyes and searched for a fern to hide behind. There was little reason to cavort with those in attendance, because she had no intentions of marrying. At nineteen her life spread before her like a blank canvas. The colors waited on a palate to be mixed. The brush–
“What a scowl you wear. Thinking of your next world to conquer?”