Home of the Bluestocking Belles

Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Author: Susana Ellis (Page 1 of 2)

Felicia: her thoughts as she contemplates retrieving her lost daughter

In Chapter 15, Anthony, Lord Kendall, calls upon Felicia to inform her that he believes her long-lost daughter may be at the Foundling Hospital. She and her maid Maris, a loyal friend from their days at the Pleasure House, reflect on the possibility that the much-anticipated reunion may take place that very day!

The Foundling Restored to Its Mother

Felicia [eyes glowing]: Oh Maris, can this really be happening? I’ve dreamed of this moment for ever, but always in the end believing it to be impossible. [Swallowing] If she had found a suitable home, where she would be nurtured and loved, I should, of course, have been glad for her and refrained from interfering. But I had to know!

Maris [tugging a brush through Felicia’s thick, curly locks]: ‘Twas ol’ Beazley that stole ‘er from ya, may she rot in ‘ell. And tol’ ya she was dead, besides. Witch!

Felicia [nostrils flaring]: I can’t tell you how that troubled my thoughts, dear Maris, worrying over in what manner such a woman might dispose of my child, and all of them so very disheartening.

Maris: As bad as that was, ’twas better than thinkin’ ‘er dead. Gave ya somethin’ ta live fer.

Felicia [clasping Maris’s hands in hers]: It did indeed. I shall always be grateful to you for reminding me of that fact at a time when the world was black and I had no hope.

Maris [tearfully]: No need, miss. ‘Twas out of selfishness, not wantin’ ta lose the only friend I had.

Felicia [turning and giving Maris a quick kiss on the cheek]: We have been through a lot together, have we not? I could not have made it through all those months at the whorehouse without you reminding me of my responsibility to my child. I should never have met and loved Charles, God rest his generous soul, and never have obtained the means to support myself respectably.

Maris [with a secret smile]: Or met Mr. Jamison, er, Lord Kendall ‘e is now, who seemed that eager ta find yer daughter fer ya, miss.

Felicia [flushing]: Don’t tease, Maris. There can be nothing between us. He is very kind, that is all.

Maris [snorting]: Kind? Kind, you say? Ye’ve called ‘im a jackass more ‘n once, and so ‘e was too!

Felicia [tugging at her neckline]: Yes, well, perhaps he was rather disagreeable in the beginning, but it had to be a bit of a shock to discover that his uncle left half of his fortune to his mistress. I’m inclined to forgive him for all that, especially now that he has sought to reunite me with my daughter. [Rises from the chair.] Cynthia. Oh Maris, she is three years old already and her name is Cynthia! How will I ever explain how I lost her?

Maris: Jis’ like that. She was lost and ya found ‘er.

Felicia: Or Anthony did. How can I ever thank him? [Maris chuckles.] No, no, not that way. Never again that way! I shall ever after be a respectable lady, for myself first, and also for my daughter. Cynthia. She shall have everything I can give her, that I never had myself.

Maris: A father?

Felicia [turning pale]: No, but a doting mother will surely be enough. We shall be very happy, just the two of us. And you, of course, Maris. We shall find a house in the country, near a village, with children and cows and fresh air.

Maris: And Anthony?

Felicia [folding her arms across her chest]: What about him? Anthony will go on with his life, take his seat in Parliament, marry some noble young lady with whom he will have a passel of children, and become a bastion of London society. He and I will never cross paths again. And that is the way it should be.

Maris: If you say so, miss.

Felicia: I do say so. [Looks toward the window.] Is that a carriage, Maris? Where is my bonnet? Oh Maris, I’m going to be a mother! Do you think she’ll like me? What if…? If she’s been abominably treated, I shall never forgive myself. Has Mrs. Grey finished preparing the nursery, do you think?

Find out what happens when Felicia and Anthony visit the Foundling Hospital in an attempt to retrieve her daughter in the next installment of Susana’s Resilience, on wattpad.


Resilience: Moving House and an Unexpected Visitor

After a flurry of activity, Felicia, her daughter, and Maris arrived at Brook Street on the appointed day. As the house was to be sold soon, only a handful of servants remained to wait on them, the others having found positions elsewhere. Having assumed a new identity, Felicia could not offer them positions in her new home and risk someone letting slip a hint of her scandalous past. Maris, however, shared a long history with her mistress, and her loyalty to Felicia was unquestionable.


Being required to assist in conveying the luggage, neither John, the coachman, nor Richards, the armed footman,  remarked the presence of the small tattered boy huddled behind the street lamp, his discerning eyes focused with interest on the new arrivals. This development would be worth a coin or two when relayed to the folks at the Pleasure House. He remained in his position until long after the coachman had driven the rig around the back to the stable area, observing that although no other activity appeared to be taking place there, the heavyset footman with a bulge in his pocket that could have been a pistol maintained constant vigilance over the house’s entrance from the parlor window, relaxing his duties only for a few minutes while he accepted a cup of tea from another servant. As darkness came and the house appeared to be settled for the night, the boy left his post, visions of jingling coins occupying his thoughts.


The next few days were busy ones indeed, as Felicia and the few remaining servants were engrossed in packing up the contents of the house to be either sold or conveyed to Weldon Park. Felicia had her hands full with Cynthia, as well, since it had been decided to leave the nursemaid behind and there were no servants to spare for minding the child. It was actually a blessing, she thought, as she finished doing up the buttons on the pretty pink frock and took a brush to her daughter’s unruly reddish blonde curls. There was far too much to do to allow for painful thoughts, such as bidding a final farewell to Charles and their life together, and also, she realized in surprise, disappointment that Anthony had failed to call on them since their arrival.

Nor had he been present at her meeting with the solicitor, who had discussed the sale of the house and presented her with several documents to sign, remarking that Lord Kendall had overseen the entire process personally, and that all that was necessary was Felicia’s approval.

Personally? thought Felicia. Not hardly, since she hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him since their arrival. Well, why should he, she argued with herself? He was a Lord of the Realm who—if the Pendergast chits were correct—was much too occupied in courting a wife to be bothered with one such as her. In any case, once wed, his wife would see to it that any friendship between them was severed, so it was well and good to put some distance between them now. Or so she told herself.

“Ouch!” complained Cynthia. “Mama, you’re hurting me!”

Instantly contrite, Felicia hugged her daughter. “I’m sorry, poppet. I’m hopeless with hair. But Maris is occupied with the linens at present, so you’ll have to make do with me instead. I shall try to be a bit more gentle.”

She had noticed before that Cynthia’s hair, although with a tinge of strawberry, was as lush and curly blonde as her own. Felicia had always struggled to keep hers tamed, and it seemed her daughter would be fated to do so as well. She did wonder where the red had come from, as Cynthia’s natural father had been very fair. But she had never seen his parents, or, for that matter, her own natural parents. No doubt some ancestor up the line had been red-headed.

As she turned her daughter loose in the nursery to play with her dolls, Felicia started down the stairs and halted suddenly when she saw a stranger on the landing, a middle-aged lady dressed in finery from head to toe, wearing a dashing pelisse of peacock blue, in the process of removing a stylish bonnet of matching hue, to reveal a head of abundant strawberry blonde locks that appeared to be an exact match to Cynthia’s.

A maid rushed in and took the new arrival’s hat and pelisse, apologizing when she saw Felicia. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Hammond, but we’re so short-handed there weren’t nobody ter send fer ye ter say that Lady Middlemarch has come ter call.”

Lady Middlemarch looked up at Felicia with bright eyes that looked suspiciously like tears. “I’m sorry to have come at an inconvenient time, Mrs. Hammond. Perhaps I should come back at another time?”

“Oh no, of course not,” Felicia insisted. “Please come and sit in the parlor.” Turning to the maid, she asked, “Kate, do you think you could manage to bring us some tea?” At the maid’s curtsy of assent, she turned to her unexpected guest.

“I apologize that I am unable to offer you anything more, Lady Middlemarch, but as you see, we are in the process of packing up the house and we are in a state of upheaval at present.”

“Yes,” said the older woman, “I-I-I understand that you are removing to the country.” Her blatant stare unnerved Felicia.

As they sat facing one another, Felicia was struck by the woman’s resemblance to herself and her daughter: the thick, curly hair, the clear blue eyes, the pert nose, the pale skin. What could she think but that this elegant lady might be… no, of course not.

Breaking the silence, she began. “Lady Middlemarch…”

“Mrs. Hammond,” began the other woman at the same moment, wringing her hands nervously. “Mrs. Hammond, I think you must comprehend by our resemblance that I—” she paused, “—that I am your mother. Your natural mother, that is.” And then she broke down into uncontrollable weeping as an astonished Kate carried in the tea tray.

Resilience is the story of a prostitute and demimondaine who escapes to the peace and respectability of country life with her young daughter.

I wrote this story in 2010 during my “summer of practice retirement” where I wanted to prove to myself I could become a productive writer and not a coach potato. I got so into the story that I had dreams about it and got up at 4 a.m. (once school started) to write them down.

It’s been languishing in my pile of unfinished manuscripts, but I was just thinking the other day that it might be time to resurrect it. So that’s what I’m doing on Wattpad. You can read more here.

Interview with Charlotte Clark from Cherishing Charlotte

Cherishing Charlotte is Book 3

of The Hertfordshire Hoydens

by Susana Ellis

Charlotte Clark is the oldest child of John (Jack) and Marianne Clark, who operate a charity school for boys in Oxford. Her maternal grandfather, a wealthy landowner who disinherited his daughter for running off with the tutor, appears to have relented somewhat, having invited his granddaughter to visit his estate, Heatherwyck. But does he have an ulterior motive?

Charlotte agreed to have tea with me at Miss Clemens’s Oxford Street Book Palace and Tea Rooms on Mount Street in London.

female model posing in a historical regency period empire waist dress

Charlotte Clark from Cherishing Charlotte

Susana: Thank you so much for meeting me today, Miss Clark. I know it is a bit of a journey for you from Oxford.

Charlotte: Indeed. It is only the second time I have been to London in all of my nineteen years. If not for Mama needing my help with Papa, I would have remained home with the boys. My twin brothers Robert and Thomas. They are ten. They are looking after the pig and chickens in our absence. [grinning] And the neighbors are looking after them.

Susana: Is your father in poor health, then? Is that why you have come to London?

Charlotte [taking a deep breath]: Yes. Unfortunately, he is afflicted with consumption. The local doctor doesn’t give much hope, but Mama wanted to consult a London physician. We didn’t have the money, but one of Papa’s former pupils graciously offered to provide the fee and lodgings at his home. Papa wanted to refuse, but Mama would not hear of it.

Susana: Your father must have made quite an impression on his students, then.

Charlotte [nodding enthusiastically]: Oh yes! He is a first-rate teacher. Many of his students who have been to Oxford or Cambridge have said that Papa is superior to most of the dons. I’m sure he would have been one himself had he not married Mama instead.

Susana: So dons cannot be married, then?

Charlotte: That is correct. But after he met Mama, nothing else mattered. He’s such a romantic, you see.

Susana: And your mother?

Charlotte [smiling]: Oh, she loves him madly too, of course. But she’s the practical one. Which is really quite fortunate for us, because it was she who managed to keep us fed all these years. Papa is more of a dreamer, and as she is fond of saying, dreams don’t keep food on the table.

Susana: And yet, she agreed to elope with her tutor. More romantic than practical, wouldn’t you agree?

Charlotte [shaking her head]: She was young and silly and at loggerheads with her father. Her mother had just died, and I don’t think she really believed he would cut her off, since there was just the two of them. But hurt pride can be pernicious. Mama has it in full measure. I’m sure she is determined to show him she could make a success of things. [sighing] Although she couldn’t have known how difficult it would turn out to be.

Susana: Do you think she regrets the decision she made, then?

Charlotte:  No. Yes. Well, in a way I believe she resents having to struggle so hard to survive when her father has Heatherwyck all to himself.

Susana: Heatherwyck?

Charlotte: Yes. Heatherwyck is my grandfather’s family estate. The Chapmans have owned it for five generations. Mama says it is one of the largest estates in Hertfordshire.  [biting her lip] Only recently I discovered she has hopes of reclaiming it. My grandfather invited me to spend the summer with him, you see.

Susana: Just you? Not the rest of the family?

Charlotte [stiffening]: : Yes. Just me. And his nephew, Wyatt.

Susana: Ah. So you suspect matchmaking.

Charlotte [teacup rattling vehemently as she sets it down on the saucer]: I know it!

Susana [delicately]: I don’t suppose there’s any harm in going, at least. It’s not like you can be forced into marriage, after all.

Charlotte [nostrils flaring]: That’s just what Mama says! Perhaps I shall like him. Or Grandfather will take a fancy to me and effect a reconciliation regardless. And it would be so good for the boys, you see, if he would sponsor them to Eton.

Susana: Why Eton? It sounds as though they are getting an equally good education at your father’s school.

Charlotte: True, but Mama has high hopes for them. So many political and social connections are made there. And they really are bright boys. [closing her eyes briefly] I shall feel obligated to fall in line with Grandfather’s plans for them. And for Papa. And Mama. What shall we do when Papa can no longer teach? [swallowing and holding back tears]. Mama might be a good manager, but when-if Papa is gone, there won’t be anything to manage.

Susana: It is quite a dilemma. I understand that you feel it is on you to become the sacrificial lamb for your family. That is a very great burden to put on such a young girl.

Charlotte [chin quivering]: Perhaps I should be more grateful to have the opportunity to make a difference in the future of my parents and brothers, but in all honesty, I have no wish to be a martyr. I am no Maid of Orléans, Miss Ellis. Burning at the stake does not appeal to me, any more than a marriage of convenience does. Do you not think me a wretched person?

Susana [reaching forward to stroke her forearm]: Wretched? No. Human? Yes. And a bit dramatic, perhaps. [takes out a handkerchief] Now, stop crying and and take another biscuit. I always think things look better after I’ve consumed a good dose of sugar. I wonder if we can order some fruit scones here, with strawberry jam and clotted cream?


Cherishing Charlotte, Book 3 in The Hertfordshire Hoydens, is due for release in March 2017. Book 1, Treasuring Theresa, is available on Amazon. Book 2, Valuing Vanessa, is part of the Belles’ 2016 collection, Holly and Hopeful Hearts.

Theresa Cover Front 200x310 WEB



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Fathers and Daughters

12 January 1812

Park Street, Mayfair, London

“Number 14,” announced the hackney driver, pulling up outside a row of neat, brick townhouses, all trimmed in white, fronted in black wrought iron and darkly lit by a handful of lamp posts. George was accustomed to returning home in darkness, but he’d left the office more than an hour earlier than usual and it was already dark. London winters were always dark. There were days when the only light he saw was when he went to the windowed waiting area to greet a client.

Detailed view of a typical british red brick mansion

George tossed a coin to the driver and strode toward the door of his sister’s home, wondering what Eliza needed to discuss with him so urgently. It had to be something to do with Louise, he conjectured. Although he had the impression that his daughter was quite happily settled with her aunt’s family by now. He knew she had bonded with her much-younger cousins and Eliza declared her a delightful addition to the household. So what could have gone wrong?

“Good evening, Mr. Durand. Mrs. Childers is expecting you.”

The butler led him upstairs to Eliza’s sitting room, where he found her at her writing desk. She put down her pen when she saw him and rose to greet him with a fond embrace.

“George! How good of you to come so soon! I hope my scribbled note did not alarm you unnecessarily. Nothing dreadful has occurred, after all. It’s just that I have so many things to do now. My mind is scattered in so many directions since William told me the news.”

“News?” George’s eyebrows furrowed as he tried to imagine what sort of news would have sent his generally level-headed sister into such a tizzy.

Eliza twisted her wedding ring on her finger. “William has accepted a new post, George. Quite an honor, really. We are all very proud of him, of course. But to move the entire household to St. Petersburg—if only we had more time. I hardly know where to start!”

George blinked. “You are moving to St. Petersburg?”

“Yes. In a month’s time. Lord Cathcart chose William personally to serve with his staff. He is wanted straight away, but thankfully, William said he would not go on ahead and leave me to make the journey unaccompanied.” She brought a shaky hand to her forehead. “There is so much to do, George. Decisions to make about packing and servants and—”

“—Louise,” finished George. “You needn’t worry about my daughter, Eliza. I shall take her back to St. Albans with me tonight, and her belongings can be sent later.”

“Oh!” Eliza’s eyes widened. “I didn’t mean to imply that Louise is a burden, George. Not at all. The children love her—we all do—and we would be pleased to take her with us, as part of our family.”

George blinked. They wanted to take his daughter to Russia? Where he wouldn’t see her for years?

“You can’t be serious.”

Eliza took his arm. “But I am, George. We are. And Louise is eager to go. Aux anges, in fact. It will be so good for her, you know, to meet new people, experience other cultures. We will be on the invitation list for the most exclusive balls and receptions—just think how thrilling it will be for her to socialize with dukes and princes!”

George pulled away from his sister. “Have you lost your mind? She’s only fifteen, Eliza! She won’t come out for at least two more years, and besides, I don’t want her to be encouraged to see herself as part of the European aristocracy. Her grandfather’s title was lost at the guillotine, and if it were not for all the false hope instilled in her head by her mother and grandmother, she’d be content with her situation as the daughter of a solicitor.” He began pacing in front of the fireplace.

Eliza sighed. “I know that was a bone of contention between you and Genny for years before she died, but George, Louise is happy with us. We will love and protect her as though she were our own daughter. What will you—a man alone—do for her if she remains? Especially when you spend nearly all waking hours at your place of business?”

What indeed? He hadn’t been much of a father to her, even before the carriage accident that took her mother nearly two years ago. He’d left all that to Genny, and then, to Eliza. But he’d never meant it to be a permanent placement. It was simply a temporary solution that had continued primarily because of his own indecision.

Which ended now. He stopped pacing and straightened his spine. “No.”

He’d hire a governess. Perhaps find a gentlewoman who could be more of a companion of sorts, who would take over the tasks of the mother she no longer had. Louise did have a father, though, and he determined then and there that he would start behaving like a father from that point on.

Because Louise was all he had. Without her, he was alone, and he didn’t really want to be alone.

“She won’t be happy,” warned Eliza.

“Well, well,” said George, unmoved. “I daresay she’ll get over it.”

Does Louise indeed “get over it” as her father predicts? To find out, you’ll have to read Valuing Vanessa, Book 2 of The Hertfordshire Hoydens, which will appear in the Bluestocking Belles’ 2016 holiday anthology, Holly and Hopeful Hearts.

In the meantime, why not read Treasuring Theresa, Book 1 of the series?

About Treasuring Theresa

Theresa Cover Front 200x310 WEBLady Theresa despises London society. What’s worse is that she has to attend the betrothal ball of the young man she expected to marry. To deflect all the pitiful glances from the other guests, she makes a play for the most striking gentleman there—who happens to be her Cousin Damian, who is everything she despises.

Damian, Lord Clinton sees a desperate young lady with no social graces, and it solidifies his opinion that country folk are beneath him. But it so happens that he is the heir to that young lady’s father’s title and estate, and the time comes when he finds himself obliged to spend some time there.

Thrown together, both Damian and Theresa discover each other’s hidden depths. But are their differences too much to overcome to make a successful match?


About the Author

Susana has always had stories in her head waiting to come out, especially when she learned to read and her imagination began to soar. Voracious reading led to a passion for writing, and her fascination with romance and people of the past landed her firmly in the field of historical romance.

A teacher in her former life, Susana lives in Toledo, Ohio in the summer and central Florida in the winter. She is a member of the Central Florida Romance Writers and the Beau Monde chapters of RWA and Maumee Valley Romance Inc.

Vanessa’s Dilemma

April 1810, Piccadilly Street, London

“Vanessa! So this is where you’ve got to! Mama is beyond vexed with you for slipping away during my fitting!”


Hatchard’s Bookshop, Piccadilly Street

Vanessa’s head jerked back as she slammed the book shut with a definitive smack and gaped at her younger sister, whose pixie-like appearance was contradicted by the sharp tone of her voice.

“I’m so sorry. I only meant to find a new book. What time is it? Surely I haven’t been here more than ten minutes or so.”

Eugenia rolled her emerald green eyes, her arms crossed over her chest. “We’ve been searching for you more than half an hour. Mama had to reschedule your fitting since Madame LaFleur had another appointment.”

She dropped her arms and reached into her reticule for a handkerchief. “Really, Vanessa, I know it must be difficult for you to look forward to my wedding in view of the fact that you are my older sister, but can you not at least make the effort to avoid antagonizing our mother? You know how she gets when things don’t go her way. The entire house will be in an uproar and there will be no peace for anyone.”

She dabbed at her eyes with her handkerchief, and Vanessa, overcome with contrition for her behavior and compassion for her sister, rose to embrace her, the book carefully laid on the bench.

“I am so sorry, Genie. I don’t mean to be so ungenerous. Of course I am delighted at the news of your betrothal. You and Reese are perfect for each other, and you deserve a magnificent wedding. Please forgive me for being so thoughtless! It’s just that—you and Mama were busy with the modiste and I thought I could just slip out for a moment to see if Hatchard’s had any new novels.” She swallowed. “The time got away from me.”

Eugenia stroked her hair gently. “I know this can’t be easy for you, my dear. Not after what happened in the past. I almost feel guilty for finding my own happiness so quickly and unexpectedly when you have had to endure so much.” She stepped back and grasped Vanessa’s shoulders, looking at her directly. “Wedding aside, it’s time for you to move ahead with your life. Find some worthwhile occupation… a charity, perhaps. Something to get you out of the house before Mother’s constant carping makes you fit for Bedlam.”

Vanessa wanted to argue that she was doing well enough without her sister’s advice, but the lie just wouldn’t fall off her tongue. Slinking off to her bedchamber at every opportune moment to bury herself in books and write bad poetry was not really much of a life. Especially not with having to endure her mother’s constant nagging about her appearance, her unmarried state, and her bluestocking tendencies. Eugenia and their mother’s obsessive devotion to her had made life at Sedgely House bearable; once Eugenia was whisked off to Hertfordshire with her gentleman-farmer husband, Mrs. Sedgely’s attention would be focused entirely on remaking her disappointing older daughter.

She leaned in and kissed her sister on the cheek. “You constantly amaze me, little sister. Just seventeen and not only are you about to become a bride, but you have the maturity and wisdom to offer your spinster sister some excellent advice. If I involve myself in some worthwhile charity, perhaps Mama will give up pestering me to find a husband.”

Eugenia threw back her head and laughed. “I assure you she will never give up that particular pleasure. But at least you will have the opportunity to escape the house and her badgering, and at the same time do some good for the unfortunate.” She chuckled, her eyes twinkling with mischief. “No doubt you will meet a great deal of interesting ladies—and gentlemen—and who knows what will happen from there?”

Vanessa grinned, aiming a playful swat at Eugenia’s upper arm. “You mustn’t hold your breath. No doubt any gentlemen involved in such schemes are stout, white-haired solicitors old enough to be my father.”

“But they may have eligible sons,” her sister suggested with a smile. “In any case, you will make the acquaintance of many worthy individuals that you might never have encountered in the ballrooms of the ton. People who value more in life than simply wealth and titles.”

“Mother will hate that. You know she has always aspired to have lofty connections.”

“My Reese is a squire’s son, a gentleman farmer. No title. No more than moderately well-to-do. Besides, she can’t but recall the mess that occurred with your betrothal to a baron’s son.” Seeing Vanessa’s face whiten, she grasped a hand and squeezed it. “Now don’t keep berating yourself over it, Vanessa. It was years ago, and it wasn’t your fault he ran off to Scotland with a milkmaid. You didn’t love each other. You agreed to the betrothal only to please Mama.”

Vanessa drew a deep, calming breath and smiled shakily. “True. I’m so glad that you were able to find and fight for your true love, Genie. Your Reese is a fortunate man to have won so wise a wife.”

Eugenia flushed. “Just between you and me, I haven’t the faintest idea how to be a wife. I shouldn’t want Reese to become disappointed with me.”

Vanessa shook her head. “That man loves you, Genie. I’m sure he worships every part of you, right down to your toenails.”

“My toenails?” Eugenia’s giggles reverberated through the shop, and the slender gentleman behind the counter sent them a stern look.

“Along with the other parts of you he hasn’t seen yet,” Vanessa continued. “He hasn’t, has he?”

Eugenia tilted her head as she reflected on it. “No, I don’t think so. Not my toenails, at any rate.” She bit her lip. “But seriously, Vanessa, I do have some concerns. Not about Reese, but about a childhood friend of his, the earl’s daughter from a neighboring estate. When we went to call upon her the other day, I could see that the news of our engagement was a devastating blow to her.”

“Ah yes, Lady Theresa Granville. She had her presentation the year before mine. I heard about her, but she’s been absent from the social scene since.”

“That’s because she’s completely fixated on farming, maybe even more so than Reese is. They’re constantly together talking about agricultural nonsense, and the truth is, I’ve done nothing more than arrange cut flowers from the garden. I could study farming every day and never have as much knowledge as she has in her little finger.”

“Ah, but Reese chose you. He’s had years to propose to her and chose not to do so. I’m quite sure he doesn’t expect you to turn into Lady Theresa.”

Eugenia smiled shakily. “I hope you’re right. I know he loves me. I just hope I can persuade Lady Theresa to accept me as Reese’s wife. Her friendship is important to him—to both of them, really—and I should really dislike to be the reason it came to an end.”

Vanessa squeezed her sister’s hand. “She’ll learn to love you, my dear. Everyone does, when they get to know you.”

The shop door opened noisily, and a scowling gentleman peered in.

“Excuse me, ladies, but is that your carriage holding up traffic in the street? The lady inside has been waving her umbrella out the window for quite some time.”


Both girls stared at each other in horror before they raced to the door of the bookshop and shakily boarded the carriage, mumbling apologies that went unheard as Mrs. Sedgely railed at them relentlessly.

Vanessa leaned her head against the squabs and closed her eyes.

Genie is right. I need to take charge of my life. Now… how shall I go on from here?

About Treasuring Theresa

Theresa Cover Front 200x310 WEBLady Theresa despises London society. What’s worse is that she has to attend the betrothal ball of the young man she expected to marry. To deflect all the pitiful glances from the other guests, she makes a play for the most striking gentleman there—who happens to be her Cousin Damian, who is everything she despises.

Damian, Lord Clinton sees a desperate young lady with no social graces, and it solidifies his opinion that country folk are beneath him. But it so happens that he is the heir to that young lady’s father’s title and estate, and the time comes when he finds himself obliged to spend some time there.

Thrown together, both Damian and Theresa discover each other’s hidden depths. But are their differences too much to overcome to make a successful match?

Treasuring Theresa is Book 1 of The Hertfordshire Hoydens series. Originally published in the Blush Cotillion line at Ellora’s Cave, Treasuring Theresa has been re-released with a brand new cover by the fabulous Mari Christie. Book 2, Cherishing Charlotte, will be coming in the autumn, and Book 3, Valuing Vanessa, will appear in the Bluestocking Belles’ next holiday anthology.

Treasuring Theresa was a finalist in the 2013 EPIC Awards.

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About the Author

P9 copySusana has always had stories in her head waiting to come out, especially when she learned to read and her imagination began to soar. Voracious reading led to a passion for writing, and her fascination with romance and people of the past landed her firmly in the field of historical romance.

A teacher in her former life, Susana lives in Toledo, Ohio in the summer and central Florida in the winter. She is a member of the Central Florida Romance Writers and the Beau Monde chapters of RWA and Maumee Valley Romance Inc.


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