An excerpt from Margaret's book Determined Lady
Saira was convinced that Great-aunt Lizzie would never willingly have sold her beloved Honeysuckle Cottage. In her will Lizzie had bequeathed the cottage to Saira. So how dared Jarrett Brent claim ownership? He must be bluffing. Or, worse, he’d bullied Lizzie into selling before she died. Either way, Saira wasn’t going to stand for it. For once in his life, the great Jarrett Brent was going to be challenged by one very determined lady…
Below is the blurb from the book – published in 1994. A long time ago, I know, but all of my books are still very precious to me:"Saira turns up at a cottage she has inherited from her great aunt only to find her key does not fit. She is told by a neighbour that the squire had bought it off her. That he’d bought up most of the property in the area.
Convinced the woman was wrong Saira goes to see the squire, willing to fight him every inch of the way. There is a short conversation between them before she tells him the reason she is there."
“Is there something I can do for you, Miss Carlton?”
Saira drew herself up to her full height and was disappointed he still had the advantage; nevertheless her voice was firm. “Honeysuckle Cottage.”
A frown grooved his brow, drew thick brows together, and he began to shake his head, as if he did not know what she was talking about.
“Don’t tell me you’ve not heard of it?” Her tone was loaded with sarcasm. “It’s in the village, the first house round the corner from here. I’ve been told that you seem to think it belongs to you.”
His frown deepened. “Who told you that?” he asked, a sharp, critical edge to his tone.
Saira held his eyes coldly. “I hardly think it’s relevant.”
“I do not regard my business as the affairs of others,” he told her sharply.
“What are you saying? That you bought the cottage or not?”
He appeared to consider his answer; taking a couple of paces away from her and then turning again, several seconds elapsing before he said quietly, “I believe I did buy it.”
“You believe?” Saira snapped. “Then you believe wrong, Mr Brent. The house is mine.” Her green eyes were ablaze with anger and she found it difficult to keep a limb still. This man was making fun of her.
“If you are so sure it’s yours, what are you doing here?” His blue eyes were fierce also, fixed on her with unnerving accuracy.
The seemingly innocent question provoked her even more. “Because the key I have been given won’t fit. You’ve changed the locks, damn you. You had no right, it isn’t yours. It belonged to my aunt and now – ”
“Elizabeth Hardwood was your aunt?” he cut in, his brows drawing together, his body growing still at this surprise information.
“That’s right,” snapped Saira, “and she – ”
Again he interrupted her. “Elizabeth and I were very good friends.”
It was Saira’s turn to look astonished. “You don’t really expect me to believe that?”
He inclined his head, and now the smile was back in place. “It’s true, we had a fine relationship.”
“And you’re saying you bought Honeysuckle Cottage from her?”
“That’s right.” He looked supremely confident, the smile even wider now on his handsome face.
“I don’t believe you.” She looked at him challengingly for several long seconds, feeling an urge to wipe the smile away; there was nothing funny at all in the situation. “My aunt left me the cottage,” she blazed. “She wouldn’t have done that if she’d sold it to you.”
Thick brows rose. “There has to be some mistake.”
“No!” Saira shook her head wildly. “I have proof. I can show it to you.”
“I don’t want to see your proof; the cottage is mine,” he announced brusquely, and again he took a couple of paces, but this time towards her.