Prudence and Abigail Danvers glided down the stairs of the Book & Bell Inn and entered the dining area looking for a place to sit. The place was crowded for this evening but luckily, they were able to find an empty table. A young woman of perhaps four and twenty years with blonde hair and blue eyes, came to take their order for their dinner. Soon, a soothing pot of tea was placed before them. It was welcome after their travels.
“Whatever are we doing here of all places, sister? You know how I detest the country,” Prudence complained to her sibling and glanced about the room.
Abigail patted her hair, not that even a strand was out of place. “You know how much I love the Harvest Festival they have here every year. Besides, we just might find a new piece of juicy gossip to send Mr. Clemens.”
“Do you not grow tired of writing for the Teatime Tattler? Once of these days, we shall be the topic of gossip and then what will you think of that paper,” Prudence huffed looking around the room.
“Samuel Clemens pays well for the gossip we supply. We are hardly the only reporters who provide fodder for his rag.” Abigail took a sip of her tea until the door to the inn opened. Two handsome gentlemen entered along with a young boy. They went to one of the booths near the back of the room. “This place just became a little more interesting.”
Several minutes later, the door to the inn opened again. This time the man entering drew the attention of both sisters. Black hair in need of a trim and amber eyes that would cause any lady to swoon swept the room until they found his companions. His limp as he began making his way toward the table was unmistakable.
“Is that not―” Prudence began with wide eyes.
“Yes. I think it is. I wonder where he has been for all these years,” Abigail said with a wicked grin.
A man came from the kitchen and welcomed his newest guest, and it was clear Lord Brandon Worthington was known in these parts. But when the same lady who had recently served their table took hold of Lord Brandon’s ale and dumped it over his head, Abigail’s squeals of delight were muffled by the gasps that echoed in the room from the other diners.
Prudence reached over and took hold of her sister’s arm. “Abigail… no,” she warned.
Abigail’s eyes twinkled mischievously. “Oh, Prudence, do not be such a ninny! This is just what the Teatime Tattler needs in their next edition, and you know it.”
The sisters would write their note to Mr. Clemens once they had finished their dinner knowing a few coins would once again be lining their reticules. It was always amazing what sort of gossip you could find when you traveled!
This is an original piece by Bluestocking Belle Sherry Ewing. Lord Brandon Worthington and Miss Hannah Pownell are the current characters in A Love Beyond Time: A Family of Worth, Book Three. This novella is Sherry’s contribution to the Belles’ latest boxset Under the Harvest Moon. Abigail and Prudence Danvers are Sherry’s revolving characters that write and report gossip for the Teatime Tattler. Perhaps one day, they’ll get a story of their own. Read on for an excerpt from Sherry’s novella and to learn more about the boxset.
Hannah stared out across the pond and beyond to the field of dying flowers. She hugged her shawl around her shoulders for comfort. It had taken her four days to come to terms with Brandon Worthington’s return to the area. Four days of crying. Four days of suppressed anger from all the hurt that rose to the surface at one glimpse of him. Four days of listening to bits and pieces of gossip of his war service and subsequent injury when the locals came to dine at the inn. She hadn’t hung around long enough after she dumped his ale over his head to see him limping for herself, but someone always seemed to be talking about Captain Brandon Worthington’s return.
Hannah sighed. Four days… Such a small amount of time considering he had kept her waiting six long years for him to come back to her. She could hardly say he had actually come back to her! She closed her eyes remembering how she had cherished the letters he had sent the first two years after he left. She had read them so many times, that she had memorized each and every word. And then…nothing. No word. No more letters. Just silence. After six additional years of waiting, she had given up hope. After all, how long was she supposed to wait for a man’s return?
After she had dumped his drink over his head, she refused to apologize to the man despite her parent’s anger that she had treated a guest in such a manner. He deserved it and more! She supposed her sudden actions had been immature and childish but at the time her behavior had seemed appropriate. But even when Brandon sent a note asking for her to meet with him, she had refused to answer his message or give him the satisfaction of knowing she been pining away for him all these years.
So, what was she doing waiting for him to show up in their spot? He hadn’t sent another message for her to meet him here, after all. She just assumed the man would show up and maybe this was the crux of her problem. She had missed him terribly and no other man, including Randall or Gilbert, had held even an ounce of her affection since the day Brandon Worthington left Reabridge. Her love had been wasted on a man who hadn’t even given her any sort of an explanation as to his long absence. Yet here she was… waiting for him on the off chance he would know her well enough to realize she would be here… waiting… The anticipation was going to kill her!
Hannah was just about to forget this whole foolish idea when the sound of carriage wheels on the gravel road reached her ears. They came to a halt a few moments later and soon the sound of someone’s uneven gait walking across the small wooden bridge announced his arrival. Squaring her shoulders, she took a deep breath to calm her already frayed nerves before she turned.
A Love Beyond Time: A Family of Worth, Book Three
By Sherry Ewing
Can love at first sight be reborn after heartbreak, proving a second chance is all you need?
Miss Hannah Pownall fell for a young lord years ago, only to see him leave. After no word from him in eight years, he returns to their small town, wounded and broken. Now, Hannah must reconcile her old feelings with the heartbreak he caused, knowing he plans to stay.
Captain Brandon Worthington returns to the town of Reabridge to recover from the war. He never expected to find the girl he once loved still unwed. Now, he must prove to her that he never forgot her.
Hannah and Brandon’s journey is complicated by their respective pasts, but ultimately, they must decide whether second chances are worth taking a risk. Will they be able to navigate the obstacles thrown their way to find the happily ever after they both deserve?
Under the Harvest Moon:
A Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends
As the village of Reabridge in Cheshire prepares for the first Harvest Festival following Waterloo, families are overjoyed to welcome back their loved ones from the war.
But excitement quickly turns to mystery when mere weeks before the festival, an orphaned child turns up in the town—a toddler born near Toulouse to an English mother who left clues that tie her to Reabridge.
With two prominent families feuding for generations and the central event of the Harvest Moon festival looming, tensions rise, and secrets begin to surface.
Nine award winning and bestselling authors have combined their talents to create this engaging and enchanting collection of interrelated tales. Under the Harvest Moon promises an unforgettable read for fans of Regency romance.
Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/UnderHarvestMoon
About the Author:
Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. An award-winning and bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist. You can learn more about Sherry and her books on her website where a new adventure awaits you on every page at www.SherryEwing.com.
Social Media Links:
Website & Books: www.SherryEwing.com
Bluestocking Belles: http://bluestockingbelles.net/
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/33xwYhE
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