Home of the Bluestocking Belles

Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Author: Jude Knight Page 1 of 4

Imposter Attempts Theft of Title

Sam, you made a good call when you sent me to listen to the debate in the Lords. Whoever told you the Duke of Haverford was up to something, didn’t hint at the half of it! Here’s a transcript of what he said.

Your Graces, My Lords, it is with a heavy heart that I come before you today. Not long ago, it was our sad duty to recognise that our esteemed monarch was no longer able to meet his responsibilities and needed to be placed in the care of his loving wife.

Today, we face a like task, as one of the foremost peers in the land falls victim to the ravages of time and illness, so that his judgement is impaired and his decisions dangerous for his family, his estates, and the realm.

I refer, dear colleagues, to one of my oldest friends. With the greatest of regret, I must disclose to you that the Duke of Winshire has succumbed to the blandishments of a rogue and the yearnings of his own heart, and has recognised an imposter as his heir.

This man, claiming to be Winshire’s only surviving son, arrived on these shores only days ago. I have reason to believe he is not even English, but comes from the far reaches of Persia, or even further into those godless lands.

My lords, the Duke’s sons are all dead. I, myself, wept with him when the news came from the East of the death of the man this reprobate claims to be.

Moreover, the rogue brings with him six young people whom he claims to be his legitimate children. You and I, my lords, will know how to answer such a ridiculous attempt to lay hands on one of the treasures of England, the duchy of Winshire.

So there it is, Sam. I can’t wait to see what happens next! Fun times to be a reporter, that is for certain.

In 1812, high Society is rocked by the return of the Earl of Sutton, heir to the dying Duke of Winshire. James Winderfield, Earl of Sutton, Winshire’s third and only surviving son, has long been thought dead, but his reappearance is not nearly such a shock as those he brings with him, the children of his deceased Persian-born wife and fierce armed retainers.

This series begins with a prequel novella telling the love story of James senior and Mahzad, then leaps two decades to a series of six novels as the Winderfield offspring and their cousins search for acceptance and love.

To Wed a Proper Lady, the first novel, is on preorder and will be released on 15 April.

Everyone knows James needs a bride with impeccable blood lines. He needs Sophia’s love more.

James must marry to please his grandfather, the duke, and to win social acceptance for himself and his father’s other foreign-born children. But only Lady Sophia Belvoir makes his heart sing, and to win her, he must invite himself to spend Christmas at the home of his father’s greatest enemy.

Sophia keeps secret her tendre for James, Lord Elfingham. After all, the whole of Society knows he is pursuing the younger Belvoir sister, not the older one left on the shelf after two failed betrothals.

Find out more and buy the book.

Excerpt

The racing curricles had negotiated the bend without disaster and were now hurtling towards the village. Long habit had James studying the path, looking to make sure the villagers were safely out of the way, and an instant later, he put Seistan at the slope.

It was steep, but nothing to the mountains they had lived in all their lives, he and his horse, and Seistan was as sure-footed as any goat. Straight down by the shortest route they hurtled, for in the path of the thoughtless lackwits and their carriages was a child—a boy, by the trousers—who had just escaped through a gate from the village’s one large house, tripped as he crossed the road, and now lay still.

It would be close. As he cleared one stone fence and then another, he could see the child beginning to sit up, shaking his head. Just winded then, and easier to reach than lying flat, thank all the angels and saints.

Out of sight for a moment as he rounded a cottage, he could hear the carriages drawing closer. Had the child recovered enough to run? No. He was still sitting in the road, mouth open, white-faced, looking as his doom approached. What kind of selfish madmen raced breast to breast, wheel to wheel, into a village?

With hand, body and voice, James set Seistan at the child, and dropped off the saddle, trusting to the horse to sweep past in the right place for James to hoist the child out of harm’s way.

One mighty heave, and they were back in the saddle. James’ shoulders would feel the weight of the boy for days, but Seistan had continued across the road, and just in time. The racers hurtled by so close James could feel the wind of their passing.

They didn’t stop. Didn’t even slow. In moments, they were gone.

The boy shaking in his arms, James turned Seistan with his knees, and walked the horse back to the gates of the big house. A crowd of women waited for them, but only one came forward as he dismounted— a gentlewoman, if her aristocratic bearing and the quality of her fashionable gown were any indication.

“Forgive my temerity in speaking without an introduction, my lady,” he said, “but have you perchance mislaid this child?”

“How can we ever thank you enough, sir?” Her voice confirmed her class. She took the child from him, and handed him off to be scolded and hugged and wept over by a bevy of other females.

The woman lingered, and James too. He could hear his father and the others riding towards them, but he couldn’t take his gaze off her. He was drowning in a pair of brown-gray eyes, like a pond in the deep shelter of a nurturing forest. Did she feel it too? The Greeks said that true lovers had one soul, split at birth and placed in two bodies. He had thought it a nice conceit, until now.


A chance meeting on purpose

Aldridge looked around the unfamiliar room of a club patronised by the son and heir of the Duke of Sudbury. He soon spotted the distinctive white-blonde head of hair. Glenaire was dining alone at a table set apart from the others. Aldridge strolled over, catching up a chair on his way.

“Good evening, Glenaire. Would company go amiss?” It was a comedy they enacted for the audience. Glenaire had offered this as a meeting place when Aldridge asked for a private conversation.

Glenaire looked up from the pamphlet on which he focused to the neglect of his plate. “It would be my pleasure.” He hooked a finger at a passing footman. “A place setting for Lord Aldridge.”

As the footman hurried away, Glenaire went straight to the point. “Forgive if I’m assuming, Aldridge, but I gather this is about your family matter.”

Aldridge grimaced. “In a sense, Glenaire, though it touches on your particular interests. Let me be blunt. My ‘family matter’ as you call it is out of my hands and into those of men like your esteemed father. I shall need to trust they make the right decision, for what else can I do? Meanwhile, I am doing my best to contain the mischief my own progenitor can cause, as quietly as possible, for my mother’s sake and the sake of the duchy.”

Glenaire’s somber expression deepened. Unlike Aldridge, Glenaire had withdrawn from affairs of the Sudbury duchy and thrown himself into government, becoming highly influential in foreign affairs. His sharp disagreement with the duke his father made working together impossible and, unlike Haverford, the Duke of Sudbury remained very much in control. He understood, however, the frustration of watching his family heritage poorly managed while lacking power to intervene.

The footman arrived to serve a bowl of rich oyster soup. Aldridge thanked him with a smile, and took his first sip while waiting for the man to leave. “With your sister supporting this event my mother is sponsoring, I take it we shall be seeing you at the auction?”

“Of course,” Glenaire agreed. “Chadbourn and I have been working on similar issues for a few years. I will support the ladies’ efforts any way I can.”

“I was somewhat surprised to see your sister at Haverford House and joining in the committee’s activities. My impression has been she prefers to remain in Oxfordshire.”

Glenaire shook his head. “Georgiana is much too much a recluse. One worries. I urged her to come down for a few weeks while our parents are not in town.” A small movement at the corner of his lips hinted at amusement. “Your mother recruited her rather quickly. Now she has moved to Chadbourn House. She and the earl’s sister Lady Flora are partners in this cause.”

Aldridge grinned. “Chadbourn already has a special interest in the Society’s cause. The Chadbourn House servants are an interesting lot.”  (Chadbourn recruited many of his servants from among disabled veterans and war widows.)

The footman finished pouring the wine to go with the soup course, and left. Aldridge leant forward and lowered his voice. “Glenaire, I’ll get straight to the point. It has come to my attention that a certain crime lord in the London slums has smuggling interests, and that the implications may touch on the security of the King’s realm. If… and I pose the question hypothetically… if a prominent Devon landowner gave safe haven to such criminals, and someone presented the government with information about the places and times of meeting, could the landowner’s name be kept out of it? The family would, of course, guarantee to deal with the matter in their own way. Indeed, steps are already being taken.”

Glenaire nodded. “Ah, but the government would have a strong interest in assisting the family in this matter. Confidentially, Aldridge we both know there are smugglers one winks at (your boyhood shows that) and ones that mean us harm. I assume these are the latter and can ensure the full force of the border enforcement—riding officers and military aid if it came to that. Unless, of course, you prefer I keep them out of it.”

Aldridge frowned. “It’s a tricky matter, Glenaire. It needs to be handled by someone with a bit of discretion. Yes, running with the smugglers in Devon is almost a rite of passage for Haverford sons. My brother and I both did it when we were schoolboys, and I still know some of the men I met then. They wouldn’t touch these London thugs with an extremely long barge pole.”

He looked down at his soup spoon, but it was clear his mind was far away. “I can’t stand by and let a man’s second childhood, and his resentment of a romantic rivalry from before I was born, put England at risk. But I don’t want — can I be blunt? — I don’t want the fool attained for treason, either.”

“Are we back to a “family” matter?” Glenaire asked.

Aldridge nodded, cautiously. “Hypothetical, again? Imagine a man whose excesses have rotted his brain, and who has always thought he was one step up from God. If he needed to pay a villain for an assassination attempt, and the payment demanded was free use of smuggler sanctuaries, would his conscience bother him, do you think?”

Glenaire leaned forward. “I think it would not bother him one whit.” He bit his lip, choosing words cautiously. “Let’s assume, hypothetically, a prominent individual has so taken leave of his senses as to put his duchy, locale or indeed England at risk. Dear God! He must be stopped.”

“Agreed.” Aldridge spread his lips in a travesty of a grin, as if Glenaire had said something amusing. “At any cost, Glenaire. Any cost. But I’m selfish enough to wish to limit the cost to something I can afford to pay.”

 “Care for the impact of such a thing on a mother and her wards — not to mention the wellbeing of the duchy — is not selfish. No one gains by the scandal of a trial for treason. With the cooperation of close individuals — his heir for example — the man in question might be dealt with quietly. Some sort of confinement could be arranged. Do you anticipate difficulty from his peers? A duke for example, hypothetically?”

Another nod. This one more emphatic. “Indeed. A duke whose own heir might be very close to you.”

“Precisely. I have little influence with my father,” Glenaire acknowledged, “but this… no, I don’t suppose you want him to know about this.”

Aldridge inclined his head. “I am grateful for your understanding. He is not the only man on the panel for the Competence Hearing, so I do not despair of an appropriate outcome. If not — I have servants loyal to me. Something will be contrived.”

“A positive outcome there would make all this easier. You may be sure the Regent will agree with a finding in favour of the truth,” Glenaire assured his fellow heir, then his brows shot up. “One thing, Aldridge. You said, ‘an assassination attempt…’ but you don’t name the victim. Surely not the Regent! A high ranking official? We’ll need to organize protection.”

Aldridge responded with a wry quirk of the eyebrows. “The man in question has his own very efficient protection. You will have heard of the footpad attack more than a year back on the town carriage of a certain duke? Five of twelve scoundrels left dead in the streets? The next two attempts have been kept quiet, but have resulted in a similar body count.”

“Ah,” Glenaire said knowingly. “A man with a private army perhaps?”

A small smile. “No noble is permitted a private army, Glenaire. This personage has only the number of retainers permitted by law. That they are unusually skilled, men and women alike, is to their advantage in this case.  I am not concerned for their safety and wellbeing. Though for all their prowess, if this Devil’s Acre fellow is allowed to continue, he might get lucky.”

Aldridge opened his jacket and pulled a slim package from an inside pocket. “A report from David Wakefield, the investigator. Use it as you need to, Glenaire.”

Glenaire accepted it and put it away in his own jacket. “Thank you for the warning. I’ll send the support the hypothetical heir needs, alert certain influential individuals. Ah yes, and speak to you again at the ladies’ auction. Our sisters will insist on it.”

 Aldridge laughed. “I expect it to cost me a pretty penny, one way and another. My mother tells me it is my duty to purchase the baskets of any lady who may be left behind. I trust I can content myself with driving up the bids of others.”

Glenaire allowed himself a slightly broader smile. “I fear I lack your patience for the latter but I’ll try to do my duty by the first.”

“One must have patience to be a success with the ladies, Glenaire.” Aldridge smiled warmly at the footman who replaced his soup bowl with a plate of roasted beef and finely cooked vegetables. “Thank you. Will you see the doorman and fetch the bottle I left with him? Glenaire? May I treat you to a fine Italian red?”

***

The event the Duchess of Haverford is organising, and some of the other matters touched on in this discussion between Jude’s Marquis of Aldridge and Caroline’s Marquess of Glenaire, are featured in Fire & Frost, due for publication on 4 February. Click on the link to find out more about five wonderful stories, set in the winter of 1813-14, when the weather was so cold the Thames froze over, and all five stories converge at the Frost Fair.
And come back to check out the tour around the Belles’ blogs on release day your own personal guided tour of five Frost Fair booths, with a large helping of scandal and five micro stories written just for the blog tour. (The link will be added when the tour opens.)

Strange Goings on at Haverford

The countryside is abuzz with stories of the latest visitors to Haverford Castle. Everyone knows that, when she is in residence on Mondays, Her Grace welcomes a selected visitor for afternoon tea; sometimes more than one. Rumour suggests that some of these visitors come from far afield.

None of her previous guests have been as strange as those seen entering the castle grounds this week. Monsters, some say; growling monsters with glowing eyes. Others speak of carriages with no horses; still others of strange styles of clothing the most exotic of imaginations could not have created.

Your correspondent cannot claim to know the truth of where they came from or how, but can only report what passed in front of my eyes.

Five couples visited Her Grace. The first pair were on horseback; the second in a buggy, much like that used by country vicars. Their clothing was not at all in the common fashion — the women wore sweeping skirts with waists at the natural level, and the men had long coats and narrow neck ties rather than cravats. But they were nothing to those who followed.

The third couple likewise rode on horseback, but both wore tight pantaloons in a soft blue shade. Yes, gentle reader, the woman, as well as the man, wore pantaloons.

The fourth couple rode some kind of two-wheeled machine, with a light fixed to the front that glowed brighter than a hundred candles. Even more startling than the light, the machine roared like a cotton mill or some other infernal engine. Like the third couple, these two wore blue trousers and calf-high boots, to which they had added black leather jackets. They also covered their heads with shiny head-gear in the shape of a ball.

The fifth couple were perhaps the strangest of all, seated as they were in the vehicle that others called a horseless carriage. It was unlike any carriage I have ever seen, being a low wheeled machine in a shiny red, with a long snout and a short rear, the centre having doors that gave access to the seating where the couple sat.

What they wore, I cannot say, for the doors concealed it. Nor can I begin to suggest where they came from. Beyond a doubt, however, they were invited guests, as where the others, for all were greeted by the Haverford butler and invited inside.

Does Her Grace traffic with the fairies? Or is there a scientific explanation for these odd happenings? The Teatime Tattler hopes someone knows, for we are mystified and Haverford Castle is not answering our questions.

The five couples that so intrigue our Teatime Tattler correspondent are from my New Zealand stories, which you’ll find all together in my new collection, Hearts in the Land of Ferns. The book is coming out on 23 April, and will be a mere 99c in US dollars.

The historicals

Step into the 1860s in All That Glisters, set in Dunedin at the time of the first gold rushes. It was first published in Hand-Turned Tales.

Rose is unhappy in the household of her fanatical uncle. Thomas, a young merchant from Canada, offers a glimpse of another possible life. If she is brave enough to reach for it.

Forged in Fire is set in geothermal country just outside of Rotorua in 1886, and was first published in the Bluestocking Belles’ collection Never Too Late.

Forged in fire, their love will create them anew.

Burned in their youth, neither Tad nor Lottie expected to feel the fires of love. The years have soothed the pain, and each has built a comfortable, if not fully satisfying, life, on paths that intersect and then diverge again.

But then the inferno of a volcanic eruption sears away the lies of the past and frees them to forge a future together.

The contemporaries

These were all previously published in collections by Authors of Main Street.

A Family ChristmasShe’s hiding out. He’s coming home. And there’ll be storms for Christmas.

Kirilee is on the run, in disguise, out of touch, and eating for two. Rural New Zealand has taken this Boston girl some getting used to, but her husband’s family and her new community have accepted her into their hearts. Just as well, since she’s facing Christmas and the birth of her baby without the man who wed her and sent her into hiding. What will he think when he comes home and discovers he’s a father?

Trevor is heading home for Christmas, after three years undercover, investigating a global criminal organization. He hasn’t spoken to his sister and grandfather since the case began. He hasn’t spoken to Kirilee, his target’s sister, since the day nearly nine months ago he married her and helped her escape. Will she want to stay married? And if so, will he?

In the heart of a storm, two people from different worlds question what divides and what unites them.

Abbie’s WishAbbie’s Christmas wish draws three men to her mother. One of them is a monster.

After too many horrifying experiences, Claudia Westerson has given up on men. She’s done everything possible to exorcise the men in her life, short of changing her name and appearance. They’re unpredictable, controlling and, worst of all, dangerous. Besides, all her energies are devoted to therapy for her daughter, Abbie, who is recovering from a brain injury.

But after Abbie is photographed making a wish for Christmas, Claudia begins receiving anonymous threats, proving her quiet refuge is not nearly hidden enough.

Who can she trust? Three men hope to make her theirs:

  • Jack, the driver from her daughter’s accident
  • Ethan, her daughter’s biological father
  • Rhys, a local school teacher and widower.

They all sound sincere, but which one isn’t?

Beached: The truth will wash away her coastal paradise

Grieving for the grandparents who raised her and still bruised from betrayals in New York City, Nikki Watson returns to her childhood home in Valentine Bay.

Zee Henderson has built a new life in New Zealand: friends, a job he enjoys and respect he earned for himself, without the family name and money he left behind.

The attraction between Nikki and Zee flames into passion, until Zee’s past arrives on their doorstep and washes away their coastal paradise.

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Land-Ferns-Tales-Zealand-ebook/dp/B07NDT826B

Amazon Aus: https://www.amazon.com.au/Hearts-Land-Ferns-Tales-Zealand-ebook/dp/B07NDT826B/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hearts-Land-Ferns-Tales-Zealand-ebook/dp/B07NDT826B

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/hearts-in-the-land-of-ferns-love-tales-in-new-zealand/id1451855017?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/hearts-in-the-land-of-ferns-love-tales-in-new-zealand

Barnes & Noble Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130533818?ean=2940155970781

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/921843

A Surprise for a Sister

My Fishingham twins spying on their sister’s meetings with the Beast Next Door.

“Why did you stop me telling Charis about the Earl of Wayford?” Matilda demanded, as soon as Charis was out of earshot. “She clearly has no idea…”

Eugenie smirked. “Exactly. She has no idea. Just think what a delightful surprise it will be for her when the Earl actually turns up to claim his bride!”

Matilda frowned, puzzled. She could work absolute magic with a needle, but she sometimes had to have plots explained to her. It was not that she was stupid, it was just that she was straightforward and honest, so Eugenie had to be devious enough for them both. Eugenie didn’t mind; that was, after all, what a twin was for.

Eugenie didn’t exactly mind, either, that Charis, who was two years older than the twins, walked around with her head in one of her books, and ignored the family’s dire straits and the measures needed to save them. That was just Charis. She had always been that way, preferring her own company to playing with the twins, and regarding fashion, gossip, and the twins’ other interests with a kind of bewildered disdain.

She was extremely cross that Mother had accepted a proposal on her behalf.

“Are you not delighted that Charis is the one to find a rich husband to save the family?” Eugenie asked Matilda. “You and I will be much freer to choose. Someone comfortably placed, of course, but how lovely that Mama will be able to depend on Charis!”

Matilda nodded. “Of course I am pleased. But Eugenie, shouldn’t we tell Charis…”

“Definitely not. After what she has put us through this season? Besides, if she had told mother she was meeting someone when she wandered off next door, she might have learned the truth much earlier. Nothing good comes of lying to one’s mother!”

Matilda burst out laughing. “Eugenie Fishingham, you are a complete card. You and I have been lying to Mother ever since we followed Charis weeks ago, and saw whom she was meeting. Not to mention…”

“Let’s not mention,” Eugenie said, hastily. She would be far more prone to falsehoods if she did not fear that Matilda would blurt them out at the first opportunity. She reminded herself that really was lucky to have such an honest twin.

“I suppose we can always tell Charis tomorrow,” Matilda decided. “Shall we go up to our room, dearest? I, for one, do not wish to return to the parlour to hear Mother berating Charis for refusing this wonderful opportunity.

Charis is the heroine of The Beast Next Door, a novella in Valentines from Bath. See our project page for more about the book.

WAS THE LADY RESCUED OR RETRIEVED?

17 July, 1821

Dear Readers,

Ever committed to bringing you the most interesting tidbits of news, our correspondents have uncovered a tantalizing story of mesalliance in one of the most formidable families of the kingdom.

In a past edition we wrote about a certain Lord S, his mistakenly reported death, and the discovery of an illegitimate son.  The last twelvemonth has brought unexpected marriages for Lord S’s heir and youngest son, but the most shocking of all is the latest news!

Several days ago Lord S was reportedly absent from important meetings and preparations for His Majesty’s coronation. Our diligent correspondents at first speculated that illness had overtaken the usually hearty earl, London being hot and overcrowded at this festive season.

But lo, we were wrong! It seems that Lord S departed London quite suddenly for parts unknown, and his return reveals a quite shocking possibility.

Lord S returned in the company of his only daughter, Lady P (a most substantial heiress who has reportedly eschewed the offers of some of the ton’s most eligible gentlemen), and a Mr. F, in past years a portrait artist favored by some of the best families, but absent from town for the last several years.  Upon arrival, the young lady was bundled into the noble townhouse with her limping father, and a surgeon visited shortly thereafter. For what purpose, we were unable to determine.

Further inquiries revealed that Lord S was seen visiting Doctors’ Commons in the company of none other than Mr. F!  Lord S has reserved an hour a week hence at St. George’s Church, Hanover Square.

Dear Reader, is there a hasty wedding in Lady P’s future?

Far be it from this reporter to impugn the name of such a patrician family. Still, one must wonder…was the noble lady rescued or retrieved? And was Mr. F engaged for the wedding portrait—or is he the gentleman she is wedding?

Never fear, dear reader, we will report further on this.

The Counterfeit Lady

Freedom!

Vowing she’ll never submit to an arranged marriage, an earl’s daughter bolts for the remote seaside cottage that should be hers upon marriage.

But instead of a quiet respite from her controlling family, she finds her refuge occupied by the last man she ever wants to see again—an American artist, who’s also a thief.

And quite possibly one of her father’s spies.

This story includes a rebellious heroine, a determined spy, a meddling father, a vicious villain, a cast of free-thinking free-traders and possibly a ghost or two!

Excerpt

“Lady Perpetua.”

Her lungs froze. Fox had opened that door soundlessly.

Chestnut shuddered and shifted around, nostrils sucking in the air that Perry couldn’t seem to find.

She sensed him moving through the dark and mustered a breath. “Go away. I’ll not ride away in my nightclothes.”

His dark form appeared next to her, silent and hulking.

Chestnut looked him over, remembering. She flicked her tail and nosed his hand.

“Traitor,” Perry muttered.

Fox didn’t laugh. His hand, that large hand with its long fingers, slid over the horse, stroking and soothing, the action pulling the warmth through her own flesh, soothing the hair on her neck and the tension behind her eyes.

She straightened her shoulders. “You’ve no doubt come to tell me again how dangerous it is here. How I shouldn’t be out in the stables at night.”

“It is dangerous, my lady.”

His lady. The words stirred her tension into a hot knot of unshed tears. She swallowed them back and made herself snort. “Ah, yes. Dangerous country. Smugglers and such.”

“You shouldn’t make light of it.”

“I don’t. I’m not unprotected. I have my knives and my pistols.”

“Would you use them?”

“I’ve been tempted to use them on you several times this night.”

His hand stopped. “Lady Perpetua, your government is cracking down on smugglers. Desperate men do desperate things. There is but one of you and many of them.”

“There’s a riding officer in these parts. There’s a baronet justice of the peace down the road. I will look them up if there is trouble.”

“And if they’re part of the smuggling organization?”

Her mind froze around the idea.

But of course. She was not so naive that she shouldn’t have realized—smuggling corrupted all of the locals. Though in all fairness, the smuggling in these parts had not been on her mind at all when she came here.

Fox pulled both of her hands into his. She dropped her gaze to them. “They won’t bother me. I am the daughter of the powerful Earl of Shaldon.”

He tensed at that and when he spoke his words were a scold. “They could make you disappear and no one would know. You ran away, didn’t you? You left London without telling anyone where you were going.”

“I wasn’t in London. Charley married. I was at his home in Yorkshire.”

“He will be frantic.”

She almost laughed. “You don’t know Charley, do you? And even if he were the type to worry, he thinks I’m visiting a friend.”

“So, you see. No one would know.”

Anger rippled through her and tightened her chest. “You would know, Fox. You would know. Unless you’re also part of it.”

“What if they’d killed me?”

She pulled her hands away. “No. You’re not going to muddle me again. I’m not leaving.”

He moved closer, towering over her. “No matter whose daughter you are, it’s not safe here for a beautiful young woman—”

“Stop.” She slapped his hands away. Chestnut sidestepped, and Perry took a breath. “I am simply one woman. One spinster well on the shelf. Not young, and not beautiful.”

“You are beautiful.” He clipped out the words, harshly, but those strong, long fingers curled over her shoulders, working their artist’s magic, sending tendrils of bright-colored feeling streaming into her, as if he could flick his brush and make her handsomer than God had made her.

She tried to swallow against a sudden dryness. She knew the truth. “Long Meg.” She breathed deeply. “Horse Face. Bluestocking. Ape Lead—”

His lips pressed to hers and for a moment she couldn’t find air. He used that moment, pulled her closer, flattened all of her against hard muscles, wrapped her in his long arms. His hands cradled her, his fingers dancing and doing things to her neck and her back that sent her nerves spinning. She sobbed, caught a breath, opened her mouth against his, and surrendered.

Buy Links

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/Counterfeit-Lady-Regency-Romance-Sons-ebook/dp/B07BJ39CVV

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-counterfeit-lady-1

Nook:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-counterfeit-lady-alina-k-field/1128249478

iBook:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-counterfeit-lady/id1361801023

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Alina_K_Field_The_Counterfeit_Lady?id=yetTDwAAQBAJ

Author Bio and links:

Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but her true passion is the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband, her spunky, blonde, rescued terrier, and the blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.

She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!

Visit her at:

https://alinakfield.com/

https://www.facebook.com/alinakfield

https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173518.Alina_K_Field

https://www.pinterest.com/alinakf/

https://www.instagram.com/alinak.field/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alina-k-field

Newsletter signup:  https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z6q6e3

Page 1 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén