The Talk of the Ton

Dear Reader,

The first ball of this year’s Season has not disappointed.

Lady C’s ball this week, a veritable crush, offered a host of delicious on dits:

the return of the widowed hostess after many years of mysterious absence from society, the delayed debut to society of the Honorable Miss NL, and the arrival of a handsome new peer, one elevated from rather lowly branches of his family tree to an exalted level in the kingdom.

In homage to the caricature in the shop window where said new peer may have recently appeared, we shall call him SD.

As it happened, the newly raised SD had to be, well, newly raised from Lady C’s ballroom floor after imbibing an excess of the evening spirit and toppling the unfortunate Miss NL.

He has fled town; she has reportedly barricaded herself in her bedchamber while her very large family gathers for a council of war.

Beware, ye newly elevated peer. I have it on good authority that the young lady has vowed revenge!

Be assured that this faithful correspondent will keep you, dear Reader, apprised of the next delicious chapter of this drama.

A Wallflower’s Midsummer Night’s Caper

Book #15 in the multi-author Revenge of the Wallflowers Series

As Midsummer Night’s magic unfolds and passions rise, will a repentant duke be well and truly punished, or will a vengeful wallflower be caught in her own game?


A Midsummer Night’s masquerade at her family’s country home presents the Honorable Nancy Lovelace with the perfect opportunity for revenge against the man who ruined her first London season—a man she’s known since childhood, a man she’d once thought she loved. With the help of her crew of younger relatives, she’ll give him his comeuppance.

Thanks to his bad behavior, Simon Crayding is now known to society as the Swilling Duke. When an old school chum invites him for a Midsummer Night’s party, he jumps at the chance to lick his wounds among friends and apologize to his friend’s sister, Nancy, because apparently, he’s done something to hurt her, he just doesn’t remember what.

It soon becomes clear that Nancy will not easily forgive. Never one to resist a challenge—or a beautiful lady—Simon vows to persevere. As the night unfolds and passions rise, will Simon be well and truly punished, or will Nancy be caught in her own game?


Oh, for a familiar dance partner. Her brother, George, wouldn’t mind if she stepped on his toes; her brother, Fitz, would laugh if she made a wrong turn. The same was true for Rupert and Selwyn.

Or… what about Simon?

Thoughts of him sent emotions spiraling in her, longing twining with annoyance, and strands of hurt and embarrassment befuddling her, so that when she turned a corner, she stumbled against a large body with a startled squeak.

“Here now. What’s this?”

Powerful hands matched the deep masculine voice and set her back, steadying her. She looked up, astonished, and her heart swelled and threatened to burst. All the mixed emotions evaporated, and joy flooded her. Dark hair spilled over one blue-gray eye and the full lips pursed together in a frown.

He’d come for her. Simon Clayding—Duke of Something now, but he would always be Simon to her—Simon was here.

“It’s you,” she said. “I’m so s-sorry. I’m as clumsy as ever. B-but… you’re here?”

Perhaps he would dance with her. Perhaps she should ask him.

“’Course I’m here.” He blinked, as though trying to focus. “Question is, why are you here looking like a fresh young thing ready for your come-out?”


Simon?” He muttered a foul profanity she’d heard only on the rarest of occasions spilling from one of her brothers’ mouths. “Demmed Percy told you my Christian name, I suppose, and sent you along. One of his pranks. Well, madam, you’re a pretty thing, and I mean you no offense, but I’m not going to be sidetracked tonight. I’m not interested.”

A wave of misery stilled her tongue and drove the breath from her. She’d loved Simon Clayding since her brother George brought him home from school that first holiday fifteen years ago when she’d been not much more than a baby.

In the dim light of a wall sconce, his gaze darkened and held hers, despite his proclaimed lack of interest.

Perhaps… Simon hadn’t seen her in nine years. He didn’t recognize her. He had her confused with someone else.

Reasoning trickled back into her senses, bringing along the strong scent of brandy.

Of course. He was completely foxed.

She licked her lips, preparing to set him straight, but as she opened her mouth, a spark lit his eyes and turned up the corners of his mouth.

And then he tugged her, pressing his lips to hers, pressing his chest to her… to her…

Breath left her in a whoosh as he angled his mouth over hers, nibbling and then entering her with his tongue, inflaming desire, demanding surrender.

She gripped his broad shoulders but instead of steadying her, their solidness sent heat spinning through her.

Simon was kissing her. Simon. The first man to kiss her. At a public ball. He cared for her. He hadn’t forgotten. He meant to mar…

“There.” He set her back as suddenly as he’d swooped down on her.

A tendril of hair fell over her cheek, the same one that a maid had just pinned.

“That’s all you’ll get from me. Go back and tell Percy we’ve had our tumble, if you will, and demand payment from him. Get you gone before one of the servants sees you and throws you out on your arse.”

He turned her around and smacked her bottom. She staggered against the wall, righted herself, and turned back ready to give him a piece of her mind.

Pick up a digital copy from your favorite bookseller:

Love series romance? Find links to the entire multi-author series here.

About the author:

USA Today bestselling author and newest member of the Bluestocking Belles, Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature but prefers the happier world of romance fiction. Her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., but after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California where she shares a midcentury home with a golden-eyed terrier and a feisty chihuahua and only occasionally misses snow.


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