Matilda Madison

  • Worth Waiting For by Matilda Madison

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    Penelope Powell, Countess of Canton has a secret. Banished for betraying her husband’s trust, Penelope has used contraceptive to keep herself from getting pregnant when they were first married. Exiled for her betrayal when her husband eventually found out, she hadn’t realized that she was pregnant at the time. For five years she kept the secret of a daughter from the man who sent her away. Try as she may, Penelope hasn’t gathered the courage to face her estranged husband, though she has tried to write him. Too ashamed about her actions, she always destroys the letters she wrote until one letter is accidently sent to London. Now, with rumors that the earl has taken on a lover, Penelope is forced to come clean about her secret and face the consequences of a man whose cruelty had caused their separation.

    Edward Powell, Earl of Canton is known throughout London as a stoic, private gentleman who’s estranged wife has lived the past five years somewhere in the Scottish Highlands. Though the nature of their separation has never been confirmed, it has been whispered throughout the ton that the earl was betrayed and when he discovers that he has a daughter, his anger towards his wife is intensified. Decided to feign a reconciliation, he brings his wife and newly discovered daughter to London, where he plots to exact his revenge. But when he stumbles in his plans to punish her for her crimes against him, he learns that perhaps the true villain is himself.

    While the couple learn to listen to each other for the first time, they learn that they were both at fault. Penelope, too terrified to become a mother knowing her own died in childbirth had tried to prevent herself from getting pregnant until she was ready. Of course, it didn’t work, but she was too proud and too broken hearted to face Edward once she gave birth to their daughter. Edward on the other hand realizes that he never truly listened to Penelope’s concerns and knows that he’s to blame for their separation since he was the one to banish her.

    As they make their triumphant (and feign) reconciliation in London at the end of the season, Penelope learns to readjust to life in society as well as reunite with her sisters-in-law. Elizabeth, Edward’s rich widowed sister is waiting on an American who is due to inherit her late husband’s barondom. Emily, the youngest sibling, is out for her second season and harboring secrets of her own. As they all learn to become a family, Edward and Penelope learn to forgive each other while learning some truths about the lives they have lived apart.

    After the last of the season parties commence, the Powells are off to their country home where Penelope is set to host her first country gathering for the twelfth of August hunting party. Edward doesn’t leave with them, intending to speak with his supposed mistress one last time, irking Penelope. But it’s soon revealed that Edward has only been helping a friend and that his affair is only a ruse.

    Once he explains the truth to Penelope, she is hopeful that she and Edward can truly become reconciled now. With the arrival of the missing baron and a rumor that Emily may be feeding secrets to the papers, Edward and Penelope relationship seems to be mending when a fire threatens their country home and their daughter life become endangered. Ultimately the two save their daughter’s life and agree that love isn’t easy, yet nothing worth having ever is and so decide to choose each other every day from then on and live happily ever after.