Read The Importance of Love Online
Authors: Barbara Cartland
THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE
Copyright Â© 2007 by Cartland Promotions
First published on the internet inÂ
The characters and situations in this book are entirely imaginary and bear no relation to any real person or actual happening.
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent.
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Cork brought the luncheon to the table and the Viscount started to discuss the gardens with her. He was far too nervous to broach the subject of marriage so early in the conversation.
Eventually, as the meal drew to a close, he knew he would have to take his courage in both hands and ask the question burning inside him.
Clearing his throat, he said,
“I was wondering if you have had the opportunity to consider my proposal.”Â
Luella put down her dessertspoon and could not meet his eyes.Â
He noticed that she seemed hesitant to speak and believed the worst.Â
“I have,” she responded at last in her clear musical voice. “But after what I am about to tell you, you may wish to consider whether or not to withdraw it.”
,” he cried, his brown eyes burning. “Why would I do such a thing?”
“Because,” mumbled Luella quietly. “I was once engaged â to another.”Â
The Viscount's heart was now beating so furiously it made his breathing difficult.Â
“Is that all?” he spluttered. “It is of no consequence â it does not present any impediment to our becoming engaged.”
“But, I â I am second-hand goods.”
“You mean â ?”
Barbara Cartland was the most prolific bestselling author in the history of the world. She was frequently in the Guinness Book of Records for writing more books in a year than any other living author. In fact her most amazing literary feat was when her publishers asked for more Barbara Cartland romances, she doubled her output from 10 books a year to over 20 books a year, when she was 77.
She went on writing continuously at this rate for 20 years and wrote her last book at the age of 97, thus completing 400 books between the ages of 77 and 97.
Her publishers finally could not keep up with this phenomenal output, so at her death she left 160 unpublished manuscripts, something again that no other author has ever achieved.
Now the exciting news is that these 160 original unpublished Barbara Cartland books are ready for publication and they will be published by Barbaracartland.com exclusively on the internet, as the web is the best possible way to reach so many Barbara Cartland readers around the world.
The 160 books will be published monthly and will be numbered in sequence.
The series is called the Pink Collection as a tribute to Barbara Cartland whose favourite colour was pink and it became very much her trademark over the years.
The Barbara Cartland Pink Collection is published only on the internet. Log on to
to find out how you can purchase the books monthly as they are published, and take out a subscription that will ensure that all subsequent editions are delivered to you by mail order to your home.
If you do not have access to a computer you can write for information about the Pink Collection to the following address :
Barbara Cartland.com Ltd.
240 High Road,
Telephone & fax: +44 (0)20 8863 2520
Barbara Cartland, who sadly died in May 2000 at the grand age of ninety eight, remains one of the world's most famous romantic novelists.Â With worldwide sales of over one billion, her outstanding 723 books have been translated into thirty six different languages, to be enjoyed by readers of romance globally.
Writing her first book âJigsaw' at the age of 21, Barbara became an immediate bestseller. Â Building upon this initial success, she wrote continuously throughout her life, producing bestsellers for an astonishing 76 years. Â In addition to Barbara Cartland's legion of fans in the UK and across Europe, her books have always been immensely popular in the USA.Â In 1976 she achieved the unprecedented feat of having books at numbers 1 & 2 in the prestigious B. Dalton Bookseller bestsellers list.
Although she is often referred to as the âQueen of Romance', Barbara Cartland also wrote several historical biographies, six autobiographies and numerous theatrical plays as well as books on life, love, health and cookery. Â Becoming one of Britain's most popular media personalities and dressed in her trademark pink, Barbara spoke on radio and television about social and political issues, as well as making many public appearances.
In 1991 she became a Dame of the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to literature and her work for humanitarian and charitable causes.
Known for her glamour, style, and vitality Barbara Cartland became a legend in her own lifetime. Â Best remembered for her wonderful romantic novels and loved by millions of readers worldwide, her books remain treasured for their heroic heroes, plucky heroines and traditional values.Â But above all, it was Barbara Cartland's overriding belief in the positive power of love to help, heal and improve the quality of life for everyone that made her truly unique.
“When I was asked at the age of twelve what was the most important thing in life, I answered immediately â LOVE. I am now ninety and I have never changed my view and will never do so!”
“Come, Aunt Edith,” whispered Luella Ridgeway, as she watched the bell boy struggling with a pile of suitcases as they entered the lift. “We must make haste.”
The bell boy grunted and shifted the case under his arm so that it was more comfortable. Why the English ladies were in such a hurry at this hour of the night was beyond him.
“Luella,” asked the Countess of Ridgeway, as she squeezed into the lift alongside her. “Did you remember to pack your nightclothes that were underneath your pillow? I do hope you did not leave that lovely silk nightdress behind.”
“It's in the brown case,” sighed Luella as the lift slowly descended.
The lift doors opened and they found themselves in a lobby that was eerily quiet. There was only a night porter on duty and one desk clerk.
The Countess strode purposefully towards the desk and, in clear French, asked for their bill.
“You are leaving us, Madame la Comtesse?” enquired the clerk.
“We are and I would be obliged to you if you would refrain from answering any enquiries as to our whereabouts or our destination. We wish to travel in secret.”
, Madame la Comtesse,” replied the Clerk, handing over their account.
The Countess stared at it through her lorgnette and then pulled out several high-denomination notes from her purse. Luella stood nervously behind her, looking around with eyes as uneasy as a frightened rabbit's.
“Aunt, I do hope that awful man is not about to come through those doors,” she said with a great deal of agitation in her voice.
“Do not concern yourself,” replied the Countess. “I heard him order a carriage to the casino just a few hours ago â he will be ages yet. He will play until his funds have run out.”
“I do hope so,” muttered Luella, brushing back a strand of fair hair that had escaped from her hat. Her pale-blue eyes were large and the pupils very dilated. Her bottom lip trembled in her sweet, heart-shaped face and she looked for the whole world like an ethereal waif, wafted to earth by the Gods themselves.
It was those unusual looks that had brought her trouble. Ever since she had encountered Frank Connolly in a hotel in Monte Carlo, he had proved to be a most difficult customer.
“It is always the same with these hard-up buccaneers,” her aunt had said, when he had made Luella cry with his persistent and unwanted attentions. “He looks at you and as well as desperately wanting to own your beauty, all he can see is a fortune that will rescue him from his ignominy. He must know that you stand to inherit a very large sum, not to mention all my Scottish estates when I am gone.”
“Oh, Aunt, do not even mention that! I don't care a fig for your money, although I must admit that I love your castle very much.”
“And it will be yours one day,” the Countess had replied.
And now, a month later, they had been forced to flee from hotel to hotel with Frank Connolly in hot pursuit.
Finally, after a terrible week in Paris where he had threatened to take his own life if Luella would not promise to marry him immediately, they had decided to head for England and return to their Scottish home in Perthshire.
Tucking her purse under her arm, Aunt Edith followed the bell boy out to the waiting carriage and the night porter ran to hold open the door for them.
, Madame Comtesse, Mademoiselle Ridgeway,” he said with a bow. “Will we see you again soon?”
“I should not have thought so,” said the Countess haughtily. Then turning to the driver she spoke urgently, “
La Gare Saint Lazare
s'il vous plait
With both women and their luggage safely on board, the carriage sprang forward and Luella heaved a sigh of relief.
She knew that her aunt was right. Frank Connolly would be at the gaming tables long into the small hours of the morning by which time they would be on the boat train for Dover.
As they tore through the streets of Paris, she sat back in her seat and thought of Scotland.
It had been a year since she had last set foot on British soil and she was looking forward to her return.
“We shall not linger in Dover,” said Aunt Edith, as they reached the station. “I know a discreet hotel in Hastings where we shall stay before we make our way to the West Country.”
“The West Country!” cried Luella. “Are we not travelling to London to catch the Inverness train? I had been looking forward to shopping and sight-seeing.”