Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Author: Rue Allyn Page 1 of 16

Who’s waiting at the “Margins of Love?”

Ladies and Gentlemen, sharp your quills and lend me your ears, for the Teatime Tattler has acquired the most delectable morsel of scandal to grace our esteemed society in many a moon. Yours truly, the venerable Dowager Carol Bustle-Smith, shall waste no time in bestowing upon you the tantalizing tidings that have the tongues of the Ton a-wagging.

It has come to my attention, through reliable and discrete sources, that the elusive haute-couture jeweler and esteemed golden boy of the Ton, Mister Fave Pearler, has entangled his heart in the most enigmatic of betrothals. The object of his affections remains shrouded in mystery, an unfathomable shadow play to even the most discerning nobles among us.

But fear not, dear readers, for I have my ways to uncover the identity of this clandestine rose among thorns and reveal all in due time. For now, let us bask in the glow of the gossip and revel in the speculation that flutters like butterflies through our parlors.

Whispers pour forth from the corners of every ballroom—what secrets do the Pearlers harbor in those vaults as impenetrable as their famed gemstones? Mrs. Eve Pearler, Matriarch of the house, guards her lips with silence as cold and unforgiving as marble. Fear not, for your loyal Carol has devised a brilliant plan. I will host a magnificent house party and invite the Pearler clan to uncover the elusive bride-to-be from her hidden lair.

Will there be a slip of the tongue, a glance too tender, an intimate gesture caught betwixt the greenery? Will the Pearlers’ secret tumble forth like so many pearls scattered from a broken string? Such delicious anticipation sets my heart all aflutter!

Forthwith, I present to you the bountiful backdrop against which this drama shall unfold. In mere days, my opulent estate in Sommerset shall open its doors, thronged with dandies, duchesses, and dignitaries clamoring for a single, life-altering revelation! Speculation abounds that this unknown damsel may be neither a highborn lady nor a fixture of our beloved Almack’s. Could it be a love match that flouts the very conventions upon which our society is built?

The scandal! The sheer audacity of a union formed not from duty, nor advantageous connection! Our Fave Pearler, who could command the hand of any maiden in the land with but a smile, surrenders to heart’s capricious whimsy—a romantic gesture that flares brightly as a beacon of passion against the rigid mores of propriety.

I execute each stroke of this missive with a hand trembling from eager anticipation of the revelations to come. Prepare yourselves for an assembly such as never before witnessed; where the unveil may indeed prove to be the most scintillating, enlightening, and—dare I prognosticate—lucrative moment of our gilded age if the Pearlers open their accounts to reimburse me for my silence once I find out who Fave Pearler’s bride-to-be is?

Until we next convene, I remain the keeper of society’s conscience and the mistress of its most deliciously dark secrets,

The Dowager Carol Bustle-Smith

About The Margins of Love:

Lady Bustle-Smith is the villain in the first book of the Infiltrating the Ton series by Sara Adrien. In Margins of Love, we meet the Pearlers, a Jewish family of jewelers hiding in plain sight among the Ton. He’s indeed trapped to attend Lady Bustle-Smith’s houseparty and he won’t be able to keep his hands off the beautiful Rachel. But what about he girl he’s supposed to marry? How can he reconcile the duty to his family and the love in his heart? Find out how the Pearlers fare in the face of blackmail as they embark upon the Competition for the Crown Jewels that spans this trilogy and brace yourself for a happy ending like no other. Watch the book trailer and get 20% off the trilogy at

About Sara Adrien:

Bestselling author Sara Adrien writes hot and heart-melting regency romance with a Jewish twist. As a law professor-turned-author, she writes about clandestine identities, whims of fate, and sizzling seduction. If you like unique and intelligent characters, deliciously sexy scenes, and the nostalgia of afternoon tea, then you’ll adore Sara Adrien’s tender tear-jerkers. She is the author of the series Infiltrating the Ton, Diamond Dynasty, Check Mates, and Miracles on Harley Street.

Sign up for Sara Adrien’s VIP Newsletter and get a free book from the Infiltrating the Ton series at or visit this site to claim your free book now.

Instagram: @jewishregencyromance





Lady hatmakers have joined the shopkeepers in London!

Dear Readers,

It has come to this editor’s attention that the formerly vacant shop on the road off of New Bond Street has now become occupied by two lady milliners, a Mrs. Harcourt and a Miss Emmeline Harcourt.

They proudly share that as the proprietors of Harcourt’s Hats, they sell sashes, cravats, gloves, hatpins, and even umbrellas to curious passersby. In silks or satin, brocade or linen, the ladies offer bonnets, caps, and turbans for the stylish women of London.

However, the owner of the shop, Mr Bryant, may not take kindly to entrepreneurial women invading his street. But rumour has it he is spending his time with his new bride, the former actress, Lucinda Cross.

It is said that Mr Bryant’s former best friend, Mr Whittaker, has already crossed paths with the beautiful and taciturn Miss Emmeline Harcourt, who is known to speak her mind and show a willful independence, which may be off-putting to potential suitors.

Will the Bryants be open to the new shopkeepers in town? Will Miss Emmeline Harcourt meet her match at Harcourt’s Hats?

I leave to you, dear reader, to find out.

About A Lyon to Die for: Emmeline Harcourt fell in love with the wrong man and now is paying the price.

Crossed in love and sent to London for almost ruining her reputation, Emmeline is the only female proprietor in an exclusive row of London shops whose owners aren’t the most welcoming. But with a sharp tongue and fiery temper, Emmeline can deal with her unfriendly neighbors, even Mr Horatio Whittaker, an arrogant, reserved, opinionated young man with fixed opinions and cold manners.

Horatio Whittaker has given up on happiness. Abandoned at the altar for his scheming best friend, he never expected to find love again. He hardly notices women until he crosses paths with Miss Emmeline Harcourt.

Emmeline hopes to never encounter Mr Whittaker again, but when she accepts an invitation to the Lyon’s Den, they find themselves at the heart of a mystery, entangled with Horatio’s former fiancee and deceitful best friend.

From false accusations, rumored affairs, and even a deadly party game, Emmeline and Horatio must work together to prove their innocence and find the culprit. Pretending they are courting should make investigating easier, so long as they don’t fall in love.

All’s fair in love and war at the Lyon’s Den, and this is a Lyon to die for.

Preorder link:

About the author: E. L. Johnson writes historical mysteries for Dragonblade Publishing, the #1 ebook publisher of Historical Romance on Amazon. A Boston native, she gave up clam chowder and lobster rolls for tea and scones when she moved across the pond to London, where she studied medieval magic at UCL and medieval remedies at Birkbeck College. Now based in Hertfordshire, she is a member of the Hertford Writers’ Circle and the founder of the London Seasonal Book Club.

Social media links

Twitter: @ELJohnson888

Insta: eljohnson_writes

Facebook page: @theELJohnson

Tiktok: @alecto99



A marquess, an heiress, and a marriage most secretive!

Dear reader,

Is scandal brewing in the dark?

This author has it on good authority that an heiress has married a certain marquess in secret. Is something afoot? This author thinks so! Why? News has reached my wandering ear that not one, not two, but three special licenses were issued to the same lord (this author shall not name him to protect his wavering dignity). But you, dear Marquess, know who you are!

I shall leave it up to you, dear reader, to guess the pair.

Your faithful correspondent. 


About By No Means A Gentleman

If he intends to fight dirty, so will she . . .

Lady Harriet Hillstow never imagined even in her wildest dreams that she’d discover her father had arranged a marriage for her with the wicked and wily Marquess of Leeds on the very day he shows up with a special license! Never mind the man’s unnerving handsomeness, Harriet made a vow to her mother that she would never marry a man who would not fight for her. Can she allow such injustice to occur all because the men are worried about of a few silly wagers circling about town? Certainly not! Leeds is about to discover she is not so timid as the gossip rags claim.

William Fitzgerald Hamilton, the Marquess of Leeds, has never been an opportunist. Until the moment a chance to marry the woman of his dreams falls into his lap. There’s only one problem. For some reason, Harriet loathes him. William has no choice but to go all in to discover why and win her over, lest the spirited beauty slip through his fingers forever.

Will this proposed arrangement become the source of their greatest misery or the surest passion that might just set their marriage aflame?

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About Tanya Wilde

Award-Winning and International Bestselling author Tanya Wilde developed a passion for reading when she had nothing better to do than lurk in the library during her lunch breaks. Her love affair with pen and paper soon followed after she devoured all of their historical romance books! In 2020, she won the Romance Writers Organization of South Africa (ROSA) Imbali Award for Excellence in Romance Writing for Not Quite a Rogue.

When she’s not meddling in the lives of her characters or pondering names for her imaginary big, white greyhound, she’s off on adventures with her partner in crime.


Wilde lives in a town at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains, South Africa.

Might Scottish History Repeat Itself?

Gentle Readers,

The following tidbit of long ago doings in Scotland was recovered by an anonymous source. We read with interest the, ahem, musings of Lady Peigi about her sister. We are sure you will enjoy them too, especially given the antics of a certain Lord MacDonald at Almack’s last evening.

Yuletide. 1546. Lady Peigi Grant’s account of her sister’s marriage.

There’s something in James MacDonald’s eyes when he gazes at my wee sister, Aileana. He is one of our clan’s greatest enemies, the Devil, we call him. And his reputation is well-earned. He’s demanding my brother marry one of us to him to compensate for her stealing food from his hunting camp, and yet, he doesn’t want to marry me, Lady Peigi Grant. Nay… He wants Aileana. There’s vengeance in his eyes. I can see it brimming there. Unhealed anger betwixt his folk and mine, too. She defied him. And challenged him. She dared to steal from him when he’s stolen from us for years. And therefore, he has singled her out for his punishment.

“I’ll never make ye marry a man ye nay want,” my brother is whispering to us in the corridor, as we peer through the archway into our castle’s great hall to watch MacDonald twist his brimming goblet in slow, calculating revolutions, when we have barely any food or drink for ourselves as it is from MacDonald’s raids. “But Peigi is demure. Older. Well trained in a lady’s pursuits. She’d make a more suitable bride—”

“I’ll nay see Peigi punished for my actions,” Aileana argues, shielding me with her body as if my brother might pluck me right up from the floor pavers himself to deliver me to the Devil. My wee, fierce sister, always protective when I’m frozen with fear just looking at that terrifying warrior in our hall, blond like his Norse heritage, eyes so icy blue. Knuckles so battered from a life lived with a claymore in his fist. “I’ll—I’ll be the one to marry him.”

“Aileana,” I beg, grasping her. “Nay do this.”

“Sister…” Seamus is frowning, but our wee sister just darted away, and sakes, but I can nay stop her!

“I’ll do it,” she’s just announced to the Devil as we chase after her, even though she’s quaking in her boots.

“I accept,” the Devil rumbles in reply without giving any pause.

And there’s a twinkle in those icy blues I didna’ notice before, a promise as he assures my brother that Aileana will nay be mistreated, that any lady of his castle will be afforded all the comforts of her station. There’s something solemn in the way he’s wrapped their hands in a strip of his tartan wool to handfast them—to claim her as his—as if he’s taking this moment seriously.

I realize in awe… “He likes her,” I whisper.

Our people are enemies, but I see curiosity in MacDonald’s astute gaze. Most men overlook the things that make Aileana beautiful, for she is brash, bold, and never afeared of rolling up her sleeves to get work done. God knows we’ve endured enough raids over the years that there is always plenty of work to do. And mayhap, just mayhap…this handfast will be a Christmastide miracle that ends our clan’s bitter feud?

About Twelfth Night’s Bride: Lady Aileana Grant just wants to help her starving clan at Christmastide. So she pilfers some vegetables from the bastard Laird James MacDonald–the Devil, they call him. When the Devil shows up and demands marriage as recompense for the thievery, Aileana can’t believe it when her brother agrees. Even if she’s able to negotiate a severance on Twelfth Night, that’s still two weeks to put up with the laird in enemy territory. She’s counting down the days, even if James isn’t quite the disgusting cretin she’d imagined.

James needs to marry an enemy bride in order to inherit his fortune. Cursed restrictions. He’d been unable to look away from Aileana’s untamed beauty ever since she squared off with him. He might as well handfast with the infernal lass. He’d get his money and perhaps some peace among the clans. He has a fortnight to win the heart of the lady with the voice of an angel despite her sharp tongue.

Twelfth Night is merry and bright as Aileana and James realize a true connection between them. But when Aileana discovers the reason the Devil forced her into marriage, how can she ever believe he truly wants her?

Available Now:

News from the West of England

Gentle Readers, we quote here the greater part of an anonymous letter. We are fascinated, but you may make of it what you will.

Have you heard? The duke’s daughter’s been arrested. Now, do I believe it’s true? I’m afraid I do indeed and not only that, but they’ve thrown her maid in gaol. Her maid, you know, is a gypsy girl, and she’d be pretty if only she were English. I heard the guards talking about how she stole her eggs and she had lace about her person too. I’m certain this must have been pinched also because how else might that kind of beggar afford lace?

The guard walks out with my maid’s sister, you know, so I speak with authority. He says the maid was due to wed before she got herself arrested and I wonder at the wisdom of allowing such folk to purloin such Christian traditions as greedily as they do our legally gained produce.

The duke’s daughter is a lady Lydia and I’m not sure if you recall it, friends, but we came out together three Seasons ago, though she was never so fortunate as I. I married my Yorkshire lord and settled right to breeding, whereas the lady Lydia ran out on her earl. She might have been a countess by now, if she’d not caught herself up among such gyspy folk. What can one expect though, when one’s brother is already married and living among them?

It’s a terribly sad moment, you know, to see one’s former schoolfellows fallen in the world. Not just her, but all her family must now become barred. She’ll not be able to set foot in society again, I shouldn’t wonder, and who can survive without it? I, for one, cannot admit to ever having known her at all anymore. Not even to despise her at a summer ball.

This is what comes, you see, of losing your mama so young, for I’ve always had you to guide me away from such indecent connections. I am grateful, Mama, for your counsel, and your society which is a gratitude not all married matrons recollect to their mothers. Today’s events have put me in mind, however, of the warnings you were kind enough to proffer, regarding associations with such tribes and I wished to express my gratitude as soon as three sets of twins might allow me, which is to explain why these events occurred before Christmas, and I am only now passing on such vital outcomes.

About A Holiday Season at Clifton Hall:

Yorkshire, 1821:

The Romany have been barred from Lancashire for ten years under the old duke. The new duke, however, has new rules and encourages them to travel thither this Christmas. It’s a special season for the royal Romany House of Brishen. They have a new royal babe and a wedding to celebrate.

Or do they?

Stari Besnik is betrothed to Chal Brishen, the Romany King’s youngest brother. The marriage negotiations have taken so long, she doubts his commitment to her. Meanwhile, Chal is doing everything he can to meet her father’s demands for Stari’s bride price, as is the Romany men’s tradition. He determines to do this without his brother’s help. He wants no man aiding him to earn his bride!

Impatient to be with the man she loves, Stari seeks to gain what’s required at an old market. When she’s accused of theft and imprisoned, her life with Chal seems further away than ever.  The penalty for theft in a market town is death by hanging – and no Romany does well under English law.

Can Chal gain his bride by Christmas? And who’s the real thief with such a strong connection to Clifton Hall?

A Holiday Season at Clifton Hall is a Regency Christmas novella following on from Always a Princess and The King’s Mistress.

It includes the prologue to the final title in this series: An Impossible Duchess.

Available Now: Amazon

Excerpt:   “We’ve brought no trouble here,” Stari declared quietly. “However, the trade is fair.” She spoke through gritted teeth, extending her palm.

The fellow shrank away as though she’d the pox. “I’ll not take yer hand, gypsy. I’ve still business to make today.” His glance raked once more over her skirts, glaring disdain.

Despite his rudeness, Stari hoped Lydia wouldn’t seek another stall. They’d been among the English long enough. She longed to return to the woods outside this dark, dank, ill-scented town.

“Oi!” A shout behind made them all turn. The providore stood, red-faced with fury as he waved an empty basket in one huge, hammy fist. “Thieves!” he bellowed, his glare riveted on Stari. “You’ll pay for my eggs, girl! One way or another.” He advanced menacingly towards her as louder shouts came from the growing crowd behind him.

“No!” Stari cried out, aware the gallows awaited any thief in a market town – and a Romany woman had precious little with which to barter. “I’ve taken nothing.”

Lydia’s palm slid into hers, tensed and ready. “We’ve taken nothing.” Out of the corner of her eye, Stari  spied the Frenchwoman hurrying away, her little boy lifted up into her arms, clutching something close inside his coat. Eggs?

She raised her free arm to point out the true culprits, remembering, suddenly, the desperation in the woman’s face. The joyless stare from her young son. What if eggs are all they have for Christmas? Like all Romany, Besnik had endured lean times, but the Romany aided each other. If a Romany house had no meat for Christmas, another furnished it in a fair trade. A Frenchwoman struggling to feed her hungry child in England had no recourse at all.

Stari’s arm fell slack. She closed her lips, praying the French mother and her son stayed safe. Meanwhile, the crowd hemmed right round her, louder, larger, and more menacing as they called for the law.

“Fetch the Watchman! Hang the thieves!” Their cries grew uglier. The pushing and shoving sent her forwards, practically into the goosepen.

Stari’s gut lurched as she struggled to hold her stance, flushing as cruder suggestions were made about disposing of two women in the Oldyards. They’d be lucky if the watchmen arrived in time.

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