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Category: Regency (19th century Britain) Page 1 of 11

A Letter found, revealed and a scandal too!

Enclosed is a private correspondence found in the F. Carter family secretary in 1871. The letter, originally from Mrs. Mary Westmore (né Reynolds) addressed to Mrs. Lavinia Fitzroy (né Lawton) in Bath, England dated December 4th, 1839, has been faithfully copied below.

My Dearest Lavinia,

You may perhaps recall that my beloved niece, Ellen, is to be married in the new year? We are all beyond pleased that she has captured the heart of one of the Carter boys and will be moving here to Weymouth! There is a fly in the ointment of our happiness, however. My brother. 

Rafe has called upon me to assist Ellen with her wedding preparations, but during my recent visit to Cherrybrook, I was reminded forcefully that, for someone so ruled by schedules, he shows surprisingly little aptitude for managing his personal affairs. My niece quite runs the household (all but my brother’s dogs, who are wholly without manners), but she is so efficient and indulgent that I fear Rafe cannot see how bereft he will be without her! 

Ellen confided in me that she will not be easy unless her father remarries, so together we have hatched a plan. This is where you come in, dear friend. Several of our friends credit you with having made worthy matches under your watchful eye, and so I implore you… would you apply your matchmaking talents to Rafe’s situation?

I have enclosed a list of qualities he demands in a wife. Please make of it what you will. 

Do apprise me of your answer as soon as you are able, for I do not expect my brother’s agreeability to last long. His stubbornness grows by the day. I wonder if you will find him much altered from the boy you once knew?

Affectionately yours,

Mary

The book: Matchmaking Gone Wrong

The clock is ticking! Widowed Dr. Rafe Reynolds will soon be left alone when Ellen, his daughter and favourite backgammon opponent, weds.  

Shortly before the Christmas holidays, Ellen and his meddling sister Mary, convince Rafe to let them find him a suitable wife. Rafe reluctantly agrees, but he insists that love doesn’t matter at his age, and ladies who are loud and demanding need not apply. 

Mrs. Lavinia Fitzroy, exuberant widow and old friend, is bold, well-connected and entirely uninterested in marriage for herself. She is just the woman to help find the gruff doctor a wife, but finding the perfect match for Rafe proves to be as thorny as winter holly. One minute everything is going as smoothly as clockwork, and the next, it’s gone to the dogs!

Will Lavinia discover the perfect bride…one who ticks all the boxes for the doctor?  Only time will tell!

Book Four in the Cherrybrook year, “Time Will Tell” may be read alone. With older protagonists, it’s a later-in-life romance (kisses only)!

BOOK LINKS:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BJ7ZJYTX

https://www.charlottebrothersauthor.com/time-will-tell

(The rest of the series is wide, but I’m keeping this exclusive to Amazon for the first few months)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charlotte Brothers

I grew up with an emotional support book. You know, the girl who never leaves home without one tucked under her arm “in case”?

For me, this was usually an English classic or high fantasy YA with a strong romantic subplot. When I finally read my first genre romance novel at the gentle age of forty, I was happily swept away! Once reading romances became a beloved habit, penning my own quickly followed. 

Currently, I live in Michigan, USA, with my delightful family, beloved pets, and a busy bird feeder. I do my utmost to write heartfelt stories about memorable characters with a dash of humor and playful prose. If you’re a Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Georgette Heyer, or (actor) Richard Armitage fan, you’re my kind of book friend!A

A Scandalous Incident in Drury Lane!

A certain lonely lord was seen leaving Drury Lane early – entirely missing the final act of Miss Ryan’s divine Duchess of Malfi. He’s seen her play before, no doubt. It’s said he’s present in his brother’s box for every show so what dreadful occurrence might interrupt such dedication? The gentleman in question is a known connoisseur of theatre – and actresses. He left early, stepped into a hack with a footman-type, and wasn’t seen again that evening. One can only pity the actress concerned – because rumour has it that something scandalous occurred last night at Carlton House…

Whatever has happened, the incident appears serious. The Prime Minister could not be reached this morning. It’s said he’s unwell, though lights burned late in Westminster last night. The matter is top secret, but it’s certain at least one known rake was seen leaving the Regent’s private rooms at an unearthly hour – and the Prime Minister’s private secretary was spotted using the tradesman’s entrance twice. One doesn’t like to spread gossip regarding the higher echelons of government, but one can hardly help it in this case. Only one other thing seems certain – this secret incident doesn’t seem to involve any ladies, which is both a comfort to society, and a disappointment to this writer. If all that’s at risk is the reputation of a certain London actress, our debutantes may sleep soundly in Mayfair.

About the Book: The Case of the Black Diamond (Part I)

AVAILABLE ON LIMITED RELEASE:  https://amzn.to/3AU941L

The Case of the Black Diamond Part I
Nicknamed ‘the lonely lord’, Alexander Lindsey has spent a decade spying for the King and believes himself immune to surprises – until he meets Miss Ryan. Claire Ryan doesn’t swoon, and doesn’t blush – but when the Regent’s jewel is stolen, Lord Lindsey turns up at The Soho Club, asking questions. Soon, Claire and Alexander are investigating each other.

This is the first of a five part series. Part II is already available.

Release Date: 22 November 2022

Excerpt from The Case of the Black Diamond, by Clyve Rose:

Outside The Soho Club, dark clouds gathered in the afternoon sky. The air thickened, closely heavy in the prelude to a drenching. Claire shivered at the change in temperature, the tensing of mood. She sipped her coffee, watching Xander Lindsey, watching her. His gaze seemed focused rather closely on the rim of her cup, specifically where the fine china met her lips. 

She sipped her brew again. “If you’re intent on seduction, you should know I am not my sister.”

His gaze lifted to her face, steady, focused, powerfully intent. “I have never seduced your sister. I am no rake, Claire.” His voice remained sure, strong, and deeply tempting.

“So it’s a ruse?” She guessed.

He inclined his head, his “mmmm,” resonating low in his throat, like a throb. “We can’t all mask our clandestine activities with scent.” His tone turned husky, intensity sharpening like a honed blade.

“I am not in the habit of short term liaisons,” Claire spoke carefully. “I am not in the habit of being seduced, either.”

“There’s a remedy for that,” he said quietly, suggestively. Did his voice deepen further? How deep does he—stop it.

As though he’d heard her, Xander set down his cup. He walked slowly towards her, the way one might approach a rare and dangerous object.

“Tell me, Claire Ryan, are you armed?”

“Why do you ask?”

“Because I should like to kiss you. If I halt here, you may blade my heart open instead,” he stopped halfway across the chequered floor, arms by his sides like a supplicant. A supplicant with warm brown eyes, and a devastating dimple.

Claire affected a study of the distance between them, lifted her head, locking her gaze to his.

“Three steps back gives you a sporting chance, Xander Lindsey.”

“Indeed?” The resonance from his baritone rippled through her. Nevertheless, he held his ground and Claire lifted a brow, gaze travelling brazenly over his planed face. He stared right back, smiling, offering that dimple where she lingered before studying the cleft in his chin, his corded neck muscles, those powerful shoulders of defined shape. Her gaze dropped lower, taking in his broad torso, narrow waist, and the shapely front of his trousers. She smiled then, wide and joyous, walking slowly towards him, slower than ever, as though she may never reach him, never touch him. Time stretched out, thinning, heating, bringing her closer to the heft of breath beneath flesh, her pulse beating faster with each step until her skin throbbed with the thought of his lips beneath hers, his surrender within her body. 

“Something to savour,” she murmured, watching his answering smile. His tongue darted out, licking his lips and she let out a small laugh, not blinking at all. Not missing a moment of Xander Lindsey standing before her, arms at his sides, gaze locked on hers with an impulse she felt in every nerve and muscle. Claire touched his cheek, stroking him gently before leaning forward, lips positioned inches from his. Reaching up, she slipped her other hand beneath his jacket, sliding her palm over his shirt, feeling his breath shorten, his weight shift…until she located his hidden jacket seam. Keeping her gaze on his, she extracted his pistol as smoothly as possible, stroking the barrel along firm muscle as she withdrew. She kept his barrel there, smoothing it lightly back and forth against his shirt, teasing him with danger, with steel, with her unbroken gaze.

“Is it cocked, my lord?”

Author Bio:  Clyve Rose is an award-winning author of historical fiction in Australia and the US. She has been writing historical romance for the best part of two decades, and has three bestsellers to her credit. She believes that love is the highest and strongest force known in the world, and that it only manifests when we are our best and truest selves. She’ll continue writing about love in all its various, glorious forms, and that one day her epitaph will read Just one more read-through.

Persian Princess in Gypsy Thief Scandal

Zahrah snorted at the newspaper her brother had handed her, and threw it on the table. The Teatime Tattler had the headline completely wrong. “I am not Persian, nor a princess, nor Romanichal, nor a thief,” she told him. “Also, there was no scandal.”

“Actually,” Jamal retorted, as he helped himself to breakfast from the sideboard, “the last bit is correct. The article is about the fall of the House of Strickland, which is the scandal du jour. All of the papers have been covering the separate arrests and subsequent legal cases against father and son. The Teatime Tattler has done a bit of digging around and uncovered your role in precipitating the collapse of their house of cards.”

Zahrah forbore to point out that she had not invited her brother to breakfast. He would merely retort that he knew how much she missed him. “They have written about me?” She picked up the paper again to scan the article.

“They’ve changed a few details, probably because the duke made sure the papers knew there’d by consequences if they brought you into it.”

Ah yes. They had called her Sarah Joseph, and made those ridiculous claims that were in the headline. The overall outline was true, though. The innocent governess, persecuted by the eldest son of the house who then stole from her. Her eviction when she complained. The trials of her attempt to reach Birmingham, culminating in her arrest at the behest of a pack of drunken yokels who insisted that she must be a gypsy, and therefore a thief. The lies that saw the man who was now her husband arrested with her.

Indeed, thanks to the machinations of the Stricklands, she and Simon had had time to fall in love and decide to marry. “God closes the door but opens the window,” as her father was fond of saying.

Well. Let the Tattler have its story. It was nothing to do with Zahrah Marshall, wife of a Birmingham jewellery. Zahrah, whose father was from Egypt, and who was the vizier and best friend of an English duke. The duke’s first wife had, indeed been a Persian princess. In fact, if one knew the backstory, and interpreted the headline in that light, it wasn’t too far from the truth.

“I suppose ‘Protege of Persian Princess Victim of Gypsy Thief Allegations’ would not be nearly as exciting a headline,” she said. “Eat up, Jamal. Since you are here, you can escort me for a ride in the park. Simon is visiting a possible client, and I would like the company.”

***

Zahrah ibnit Yousef (ibnit means daughter of) is the  heroine of my story in Belles & Beaux, due for release on 15th December. Find out more about this story and the other seven, and preorder, on our projects page.

A Most Disturbing Report of a Royal’s Dire Jeopardy!

A most noble lady

Gentle Reader,

Is there anyone who doesn’t love a royal? Well, clearly, there is because we are extremely disturbed to inform you that the newest amongst our ranks has suffered not one but two attempts on her life! And yet, despite this horrors of such a thing occurring to one who could possibly be the sweetest, most demure royal we have ever encountered, she was seen at a ball less than twenty-four hours after her latest attack! Not only that, but telling anyone and everyone who would listen how imperative it is that she stand up not only herself, but her country, and the memory of her dearest, departed brother. We were nearly swooning at the girl’s bravery! I tell you, dear reader, if anyone can capture the villain responsible for attempting to harm our beloved princess, he will be declared a hero in truth.

In Lieu of a Princess by Meredith Bond

“This isn’t her Royal Highness,” the headmistress told the man and the woman who were staring at Lucinda with their mouths hanging open.

“But it could be.”

These words turn the life of Lucinda North upside down. Within hours, she agrees—against her better judgement—to impersonate the missing Princess Louisa of Aachen-Düren. Within a week, she meets the queen and the handsome and charming Lord Melfield. Within the month, she is living at Buckingham Palace, lying about her true identity not only to Queen Charlotte, but to all of Regency society, while someone is trying to kill her. Within her lifetime, she will never regret a moment of it.

 Anthony Melfield would rather not waste his time helping a spoiled princess learn how to conduct herself. He would certainly rather not have to return to society after a heartbreak. And he most definitely would rather not have feelings for the princess, no matter how sweet, funny, and beautiful she is. To top it all, he would much rather not have to use his skills to save her life and figure out who wants her dead.

Hidden identities, a princess on the run, and three lives at stake… despite this, these royals and rebels must learn to trust and open themselves to a lifetime of love.

Purchase Link at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lieu-Princess-Royals-Rebels-Book-ebook/dp/B0BL1886VZ  This book is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited

Excerpt: 

“You said you had an opening for a language teacher? I, er, I brought references as you asked. I’m afraid two of them aren’t in English, but I do hope that won’t be too much of a problem,” Lou said, fumbling as she opened her portfolio while still standing in front of the headmistress. “I also have an essay which I—”

“But you look…” the woman started, completely ignoring the letters Lou was trying to hand her. “You are the spitting—”

“She cannot be found anywhere. I have ridden…” A man’s deep, accented voice made Lou spin around. “Oh! Eure Hoheit! Meine Prinzessin! Wo bist du gewesen?” He started to scold her gently in German before Lou held up a hand. He was a large man, probably a full foot taller than Lou, and looked strong enough to pull a horse rather than the other way around. His pale blond hair was windblown, and he was wearing riding clothes. He smelled as if he’d been in the saddle for some time.

“I’m terribly sorry,” she told him in German, “but you seem to have mistaken me for someone else. I am Lucinda North. I’m here to apply for a teaching position.”

He stopped and stared at her as if she had just grown a second head. “Was? Ist das eine Art Spiel?” He gave her a tentative smile.

Lou shook her head. “No. This is no game. Truly, I—”

“Oh, thank goodness!” Another woman joined them, also speaking German. “Where were you, Your Highness? You should know better than to scare us like that!”

“It’s not her,” the man said, turning to the middle-aged woman. She had dark blonde hair pulled into a tight chignon and a fashionable yet sensible gown of deep blue that made her cheeks look flushed.

“What do you mean? What nonsense are you—” The woman came forward and stopped just in front of Lou. Her eyes widened. “Your eyes. They are brown. Why are your eyes brown?”

“This isn’t Her Royal Highness,” Mrs. Carter told the man and the woman who were now staring at Lou with their mouths hanging open.

“It could be,” the woman said in strongly accented English. She stared at Lou as if she were a painting, examining every detail. “She’s got the same heart-shaped face, the same features, her height, build… She even has the same shade of blonde hair… But for the eyes.”

“What are you saying, woman?” the man snapped, turning to look at the lady.

“Who is she?” the woman asked the headmistress, ignoring him.

“She’s here for a teaching position,” Mrs. Carter told them.

The Author, Meredith Bond

Meredith Bond’s books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. An award-winning author, she writes fun traditional Regency romances, medieval Arthurian romances, and Regency romances with a touch of magic. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith loves to take her readers on a journey they won’t soon forget.  

Merry loves connecting with readers. Be sure to find her:

Website: https://meredithbond.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meredithbondauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meredith_bond/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Meredith-Bond/e/B001KI1SNE/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meredith-bond

Newsletter: http://meredithbond.com/subscribe/

Must we speak ill of a gentleman returned from the wars? Never!

Dear readers,

No one likes to speak ill of a gentleman returned from the wars.

We must pay our respects to that country baronet who has returned as gallantly as any ancient knight to take on his father’s title.

And surely all will… if Sir M. is ever seen at any social function, here or in the country, at all.

Apparently the gentleman is of good nature apart from the occasional raising of his voice. He has not inherited the icy sharp tongue of his mother, that Miss H. our readers may still remember for her public and very cutting rejection of her most highly-placed suitor.

Indeed, if the rustic reports are true, Sir M. is appropriately and publicly entertaining a young lady at his estate right now. And whether she is teaching him to ride again after the loss of his leg, or whether she is, as reported, a distant relative making him a gift of a biddable horse, surely the gentleman will be of better temper once he is astride again.

In this warm summer weather, it is only reasonable to venture abroad for fresher air, and if anyone happens upon a party with Sir M., they may confirm for themselves that his tendency to take off his coat in company is his only real fault.

There is nothing to the speculation that Sir M. has given shelter to a French spy, or that he has grown dissolute in his rural isolation. The gentleman remains gallant to anyone ladylike, and is far too clever to risk his reputation on anyone not like a lady.

* * *

Not Like a Lady

Letty’s lost everything but one friend, and her horse.

She desperately needs to convince the fierce baronet to buy any horse but hers.

Now she’s causing her own problems, because she can’t stop touching the man she wanted to hate.

The only way Sir Michael Grantley knows how to be the baronet of Roseford is to do what his father did. But he’s not his father; he’s a salty ex-sailor who lost half a leg in the war with a far worse temper. Struggling to be the new baronet, he’s desperate to get outdoors again – but for that he needs a biddable horse he can ride. He’s not prepared for the horse to come with a woman who wants her own life… and who decides that the key to her future is helping him ride again.

Letty has never been anything even close to a lady. Sir Michael imagines that the lady of Roseford Manor will be like his mother: calm and elegant. Neither of them can resist the one person they ought to refuse.

A sensual, engrossing, enchanting romance between two people who can’t keep their hands off one another.

Amazon: https://geni.us/notlikealady

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1610132457

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/not-like-a-lady-1

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Judith_Lynne_Not_Like_a_Lady?id=2BhYEAAAQBAJ

All buy links: https://find.judithlynne.com/950hat9ifa

EXCERPT:

“It’s hopeless.”

Michael swung himself down from the ropes using the handrails, and had only taken one crutch from Letty’s waiting hands to swing only a step or two away and then collapse on the cool grass.

Letty dropped his coat on his stomach quite unceremoniously, then plopped herself down on the grass next to him.

“Hopeless might be too strong a word,” she said but her dubious tone said that on the other hand, it might not.

Maggie had spent at least two hours walking in circles.

Michael’s thighs were aching and his frustrations had peaked at least twenty minutes ago. “Hopeless.”

Letty was watching Maggie crop placidly at the grass. Of all of them, she had to admit, Maggie looked the least exhausted. She had an infinite supply of patience, that horse. If the human wanted to walk around in circles forever, then by all that was holy, she would walk around in circles forever.

“I think we have to take off the stirrup.”

“Oh, do you?”

Letty looked down at Michael’s sweating, angry face. “I have not seen you sarcastic before, sir.”

“Does it not increase my lordly appeal?”

“I don’t know what that might be, but I daresay even without knowing what a lordly appeal should look like, I think that it does not.”

Michael sighed and closed his eyes.

She let him lie there for a moment, then one of her hands covered his and she said softly, “Don’t be discouraged, Michael, truly. It is only the first day.”

He opened his eyes and looked up at her where she sat by his side. Even the sky was gray to match his mood, but she still had her sunny hair and sunny smile, and they eased something in his chest.

He said, “If you are using my given name to appease my bad mood, it is working.”

* * *

Judith Lynne writes rule-breaking romances with love around every corner. Her characters tend to have deep convictions, electric pleasures, and, sometimes, weaponry.

She loves to write stories where characters are shaken by life, shaken down to their core, put out their hand… and love is there.

A history nerd with too many degrees, Judith Lynne lives in that other paradise, Ohio, with a truly adorable spouse, an apartment-sized domestic jungle, and a misgendered turtle. Also an award-winning science fiction author and screenwriter, she writes passionate Regency romances with a rich sense of place and time.

Come chat!

https://twitter.com/judithlynnepub

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