Evie and Louis – The Story so Far (Daring Daughters #0) Read Online Emma V Leech

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Daring Daughters Series by Emma V Leech

Total pages in book: 111
Estimated words: 102986 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 515(@200wpm)___ 412(@250wpm)___ 343(@300wpm)

**** AUTHOR’S NOTE:****This is NOT a new book, but a compilation of ALL the Evie and Louis moments throughout the Daring Daughter Series.

Read along as the romance slowly unfurls between Louis César de Montluc, Comte de Villen and Miss Evie Knight with all the moments between the two characters compiled into one illuminating book.


Chapter 1

Dare to be Wild

8th May 1839, Lady Helena Knight’s ball, Grosvenor Square, London.

“Good evening, Elspeth,” Florence said. “Oh, what a beautiful gown. You do look lovely.”

“Thank you,” Elspeth replied, looking down at the pale grey satin gown. It was rather lovely, and she knew she looked well this evening, having gone to more trouble than usual—which did not signify in the least. “You both look beautiful, too.”

Evie snorted and then blushed as her sister glared at her.

“You do, Evie.” Florence insisted.

“I agree,” Elspeth said. “That green gown is a splendid shade on you, it brings out the colour in your eyes.”

Evie shrugged, clearly disbelieving, and looked about the ballroom. At sixteen, she was out rather earlier than Florence had been allowed, as her parents believed she needed more time to acclimatise herself to the world of balls and socialising. She was a plump girl, and whilst not plain, she was not remarkable and when she was constantly standing next to her beautiful older sister, she faded into the background. Elspeth had wondered if she resented being compared with Florence but could find no sign of it. The two girls seemed close.

Still the 8th of May 1839, Lady Helena Knight’s ball, Grosvenor Square, London.

Louis dared a glance over his shoulder and let out a sigh of relief when it revealed no sign of his pursuers. They would not be far behind, however. He hurried on, along the grand gallery, looking for somewhere to wait, out of sight, until they had passed him by.

A faint sound of humming reached him, and he looked into one of the alcoves he was passing and paused as he noted a young woman. She was very young, plump and rather sweet, and she turned the colour of a cooked lobster as he caught her in the act of lifting a pastry to her mouth. There was a plate beside her with a delectable selection of little treats.

“I beg your pardon,” he began, and then paused as the sound of footsteps echoed along the parquet. He looked about for a means of escape, but found none. “Dieu.”

“Monsieur le Comte?”

Louis looked around to see the girl had opened a secret door in the panelling. She gestured to it. “If you want to avoid them….”

“Mille mercies, mademoiselle,” he said with feeling, and hurried into the dark space. The girl closed the door on him, and Louis let out a breath. He stilled as the footsteps he’d heard grew closer.

“Oh, Evie, did you see the Comte de Villen come this way?”

Just as he’d suspected. Arabella Hunt, and the girl in the alcove was Evie? He had not seen her before. She looked rather too young to be out yet.

“Oh, no. Sorry, Bella. I’ve not seen him,” Evie replied cheerfully. “Were you looking for him?”

“I told you he went the other way,” said another voice impatiently.

Louis did not recognise that one, but it could have been any of half a dozen girls he’d been dodging all evening.

“It doesn’t matter,” Arabella said with a sigh. “I was hoping he might dance with me. He hardly ever asks anyone, but he danced with Elspeth tonight, of all people. She doesn’t even like dancing. It’s so unfair. He just refuses to notice me.”

“Perhaps you ought not chase him so?”

“Oh, I know that, but… but I’m sure he’s lonely and I… I just want…. Well, I hoped I might make him smile, that’s all.”

Louis frowned, feeling rather guilty and not a little discomforted by her words. Surely it wasn’t that obvious?

“He smiles, doesn’t he?” Evie said.

“It doesn’t reach his eyes. Have you never noticed?”

There was a short silence.

“Well, it’s not like you are short of offers,” Evie said brightly. “You look splendid tonight.”

“Thank you, Evie. You look very pretty too. That green suits you very well.”

“Oh, do come along, Arabella, we’ll never find him if you stand here gabbing all night.”

“All right, all right, I’m coming. See you later, Evie….”

The footsteps faded and a few moments later the door opened again.

“It’s safe to come out now,” the girl said, her eyes glinting with amusement. Louis’ eyes adjusted after his plunge into darkness, and he regarded his rescuer with interest. Arabella was right, the dress became her. Though she was rather a plain little thing, she had remarkable eyes, as emerald green as her gown. Ah, she must be one of Lady Helena’s daughters.

“I am in your debt, Miss…?”

“Miss Evie Knight,” the girl said, giving a quick curtsey. “And you are very welcome. I saw how you were pursued earlier in the evening and wondered how you bore it. I see now that you don’t.”