By Mary Balogh
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Additional info for A Matter of Class
It was best not to hope. But how could one not hope? What else was there to live for? More than half an hour went by before the key scraped in the lock of her door and the door swung inward to reveal her father on the threshold, frowning sternly as usual, and her mother behind his right shoulder, smiling encouragement at her, tears in her eyes, her face pale and wan. Annabelle stood and clasped her hands at her waist. She felt slightly sick to the stomach. Guilt was a horrible feeling, and she was staring it in the face when she glanced at her mother.
It was a little bit lopsided. His teeth were large and strong-looking, and the front two were ever so slightly crooked. ” he asked her. “I might,” she said as he bent and handed her her spencer. He kept hold of her bonnet until she was ready for it. “Just so that I know never to come here again,” he added. “Suit yourself,” she told him. But there was something like a smile in his eyes, and Annabelle laughed out loud. He laughed back at her. “We could be friends,” she said. He pulled a face. “We had better not let anyone know when we go to church,” he said.
It was not a fish, however, but a boy, who was climbing out of the water by the time she arrived on the scene, wearing only his drawers. He was white and skinny. He had lots of dark hair, which was plastered to his head and forehead, and eyes that looked black, though they were probably only dark brown. She recognized him. He was the boy she was strictly forbidden even to look at in church. He was vulgar. But this was not church. “Oh, dear,” she said, coming to an abrupt halt several feet from the bank and him.