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A Discarded Suitor?

Dear Readers

Your correspondent is curious to know why Miss F, Lord B’s eldest daughter, has been out of town for some weeks. You may recall that Miss F was being courted by Lord O who, I have on the best of authority (his own!), is a fine upstanding young man always ready to provide advice and direction to the fairer sex. Perhaps Miss F did not perceive the advantages of an alliance with him as clearly as he did himself?

Whatever the reason for her recent absence, Miss F is now back in society. Only a few days past she was seen in the Park, first driving with Lord O, and then being taken up by Lady C for a turn in her phaeton. Lord O did not look best pleased, to put it mildly. It would not be going too far, I think, to mention the clenching of fists and gritting of teeth.

But the intrigue deepens, my dears. Only yesterday Miss F was driving in the Park with Lady C again, when they met one of the younger sons of Lord D. He was accompanied by a young man I have never set eye upon before—and as I’m sure you are aware, I know everyone who is anyone. This unknown young man spent some time walking with Miss F.

Can there be romance in the air? Has Lord O lost to a nobody from the country? Be sure to look out for more news in this column.


About the Book: An Embroidered Spoon

Can love bridge a class divide?

Wales 1817

After refusing every offer of marriage that comes her way, Isolde Farrington is packed off to a spinster aunt in Wales until she comes to her senses.

Rhys Williams, there on business, is turning over his uncle’s choice of bride for him, and the last thing he needs is to fall for an impertinent miss like Izzy – who takes Rhys for a yokel. But while a man may choose his wife, he cannot choose who he falls in love with.

Izzy’s new surroundings make her look at life, and Rhys, afresh. As she realises her early impressions were mistaken, her feelings about him begins to change.

But when her father, Lord Bedley, discovers the situation in Wales is not what he thought, and that Rhys is in trade, Izzy is hurriedly returned to London. Will a difference in class keep them apart?

Amazon link: mybook.to/Spoon


About the Author

Jayne Davis writes historical romances set in the late Georgian/Regency era, published as both ebooks and paperbacks.

She was hooked on Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer as a teenager, and longed to write similar novels herself. Real life intervened, and she had several careers, including as a non-fiction author under another name. That wasn’t quite the writing career she had in mind…

Finally, she got around to polishing up stories written for her own amusement in long winter evenings, and became the kind of author she’d dreamed of in her teens. At present she is working on the Marstone Series – standalone stories with some characters in common – and trying to fight off all the other story ideas distracting her.


Excerpt from An Embroidered Spoon

Once Lord Ordsall had tooled the curricle through the park gates and could safely divert some of his attention from the track ahead, Izzy asked him if he liked her gown. “For it is new, you know, although not as fine as I’d like.”

It looks very well on you, Miss Farrington,” he said, after a quick appraisal. His expression softened a little as his gaze ran down her body.

“It is rather plain, though.” Izzy fingered the silver embroidery down the front, trying to ignore the uncomfortable feeling his inspection had induced. “Seeing my relatives in Wales made me realise how nice it is to have a rich father who can keep me in new gowns.” She made a brief pout. “But Mama will insist that simplicity is best for unmarried women. I’m so looking forward to being able to decide on my own wardrobe once I am wed.”

A surreptitious glance in Ordsall’s direction revealed his eyebrows rising.

“There are some lovely new fabrics, you know, with real silver and gold thread in them, or embroidered with pearls.” At least, if there were not, there should be. “They are a trifle expensive, to be sure, but my future husband won’t mind.”

“Miss Farrington, I thought you were aware that I would be spending much of my time on my estate. Such gowns are not required for country living.”

“Oh, no, I agree. I will need a completely different wardrobe for that, but even country gowns need to keep up with the fashions, do they not? And I will visit my family in Town often.” She smiled at him kindly, noting the crease between his brows deepening. “I need not drag you away from your estates, you know. A married lady has more freedom to go about.”

“Miss Farrington, I do not—”

“Oh, look—is that a high perch phaeton?” Izzy pointed at a carriage some distance away. “I do so want to learn to drive. That will be useful in the country.”

“Yes, but I have a coachman to—”

“Oh, pooh, that is no fun! A phaeton like that will be just the thing for me, or perhaps a curricle.”

His brows were drawing together now, and was that an angry flush on his cheeks? “Miss Farrington!” His voice was getting louder, too—excellent!

“Ladies do not drive such vehicles.”

Fortune really was smiling on her today. As the phaeton approached, Izzy saw that it was driven by a woman of middle years, smartly dressed in a wine-coloured pelisse. Izzy recognised the driver as an acquaintance of her mother.

“Do you mean Lady Cleeve is not truly a lady?” Izzy adopted her puzzled expression as the phaeton drew to a halt next to them.

“L-L-Lady Cleeve,” Ordsall stuttered, casting a venomous glance at Izzy. “How… how nice to meet you here.”

“Lord Ordsall.” Lady Cleeve nodded at him and turned to Izzy, her mouth curving in a friendly smile. “Miss Farrington, I was hoping to meet you today. Will you take a turn about the park with me?”

Links

Website: www.jaynedavisromance.co.uk

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

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jayne-Davis/e/B078WTF3DP

The Peculiar Coachman

Rumford, March 1815

Dunno if you can use this, Clemens, but here’s a bit from the tavern last night. It’s about Fred Newell’s peculiar nephew. Fred runs a first class coaching operation. Bit above hisself—don’t much mix down at the public house—but honest. Mostly keeps the good jobs for his boys, so no chance for a local but to muck out his stables. Th’ nephew come home from fighting Boney three years ago, limping and all, and boys at the pub figured him for a charity case. Next thing we know, he has the plum job driving one of the high-class carriages, and him with only part of a leg on the left.

But that isn’t what I have for you. The man comes to the tavern now’n again like I said. Between trips, like, and not often enough to be a regular exactly. Bit tight with his coin. I mean, he’s been known to buy a drink for a body now’n again, but no one has ever seen him buy a round for the whole place like his cousin Paul did when one of Newell’s horses won that race over near Doddinghurst. Ostlers from Fred’s say he don’t spend a penny he don’t have to. Saves it all, but for one thing—books! Have you ever known a coachman who bought so many books his little room over the stables is floor to ceiling three deep in books?

But that isn’t what I have for you. The man came to the tavern last evening, because he’s between trips. Harry Simmons, the keeper, likes him, so at least we know he pays his shot. Damned if the man didn’t start singing! Started out with a ballad and Marion the wench that serves most nights went into raptures about his voice. Moved on mostly soldiers stuff; he said he had passengers for morning that put him in mind of the war. But he got bawdier as the night went on, and none of the girls seemed to mind judging from the sighs.

So that’s it, Clemens. A singing coachman who lives with naught but books for company—is that peculiar enough for your paper? I grumbled to Harry that I wouldn’t want to ride out with a coachman who spent the night before in a tavern. Harry laughed and said then I probably don’t want to ride with the mail or post. Told me the damn fool was drinking straight cider anyway.

About the Story

Neither battle nor loss of his leg destroyed Zachery Newell. Working as a coachman, he tries to build a life in spite of his injuries while he plans for the sort of life he knew in childhood, happy and content above his father’s print shop, but when a woman races out of the storm and into the stable yard of The Queen’s Barque with a wagon full of small boys, puppies, and a bag of books, he is enchanted.

Dismissed by a charity school, Patience Abney struggles on her own to create a school that gives every boy a happy and productive life. Now the roof has caved in. Though she managed to get her boys to the safety of an inn, she has no idea how she will rebuild.

Zach knows Patience, the granddaughter of an earl, is far above the touch of shopkeeper’s son. He tries to keep his distance, but when the two of them make their way across the flooded marsh to her damaged school in search of a missing boy, attraction grows toward passion, complicating everything.

Excerpt

Before she could speak, he crossed the room and pulled her into a crushing embrace, taking her mouth with his until her knees failed and she had only his embrace to rely on.  Insanity born of hope. Zach could think of no other explanation for his behavior.

About the Book

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

Release Date: April 13, 2021
Special Preorder price of $0.99
Buy Links:

Amazon US |  Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Amazon AU |BR |CA |DE |ES |FR |IN |IT |JP |MX |NL |UK

Angus & Robertson or Books2Read

About the Author

Bluestocking Belle, traveler, adventurer, writer of historical romance. Caroline Warfield is enamored of owls, books, history, and beautiful gardens (but not the actual act of gardening).

https://www.carolinewarfield.com/

Is the Duke’s Daughter a Dark Horse?

This particular duke’s daughter does not often come before the readers of Society pages. Indeed, this reporter has never had cause to mention her since her underwhelming come-out some years ago. It is generally believed she has always been eclipsed by the dazzling beauty and brilliant marriages of her older sisters, and by the important work of her older brothers.

However, after years of silence, this youngest and as yet unmarried daughter of a most influential ducal family has come to our notice not once but twice!

Firstly, though his grace’s influence has kept the story out of most other newspapers, it is rumoured that the maid whose murdered body was discovered near Covent Garden, belonged to this same ducal household, and that the body was found by none other than our Society-shy lady.

Secondly, I can reveal that with my own eyes I clearly saw this same lady in a closed carriage, in company with an extremely handsome gentleman. His identity remains a mystery to this reporter, who is left wondering if there is any connection between the two unusual events. It is certainly difficult to imagine what such a connection might be. Nevertheless, it seems that the shy Lady G. might indeed be a dark horse.

Watch this space for new developments.

Mysterious Lover (Crime and Passion, Book 1)

mybook.to/mysteriouslover

About the Book

Mary Lancaster’s thrilling new series “Crime & Passion” from USA Today Bestselling Author Mary Lancaster.

London, 1851

In the shadow of the Great Exhibition, poverty and crime stalk the meaner backstreets of the city. But sin is not confined to the underworld. One couple passes seamlessly between the neighboring worlds of privilege and privation, solving crimes and enabling love to bloom.

Mysterious Lover, Book 1

An unforgettable night at the opera…

When she accompanies her family to Covent Garden, Lady Grizelda Niven does not expect to be discovered in a nearby back street, clutching a dagger over the dead body of her maid. However, she is even more surprised when the police arrest not her but the devastatingly handsome young man who found her. Clearly, it behoves her to have him released and to enlist his alliance in discovering who truly killed Nancy.

Dragan Tizsa, a Hungarian refugee doctor, revolutionary, and soldier, lives constantly with the anguish of loss. The death of one more acquaintance makes little difference to him, except that it brings the vital and eccentric Griz into his life. He is a man who likes puzzles, and the mystery that is Griz soon assumes as much importance as that of the murder.

As they work together to unravel the layers of Nancy’s life and discover why she died, friendship and attraction blossom, much to her family’s unease. From the danger of London’s underworld, to the glittering salons of her married sister, Griz and Dragan look out for each other. But is she right to believe in her new friend when the evidence begins to tell against him?

And as she comes face to face with the killer at last, is love and happiness forever beyond her reach?

Crime & Passion
Mysterious Lover
Letters to a Lover
Dangerous Lover

About the Author

Mary Lancaster lives in Scotland with her husband, three mostly grown-up kids and a small, crazy dog. 

Her first literary love was historical fiction, a genre which she relishes mixing up with romance and adventure in her own writing. Several of her novels feature actual historical characters as diverse as Hungarian revolutionaries, medieval English outlaws, and a family of eternally rebellious royal Scots. To say nothing of Vlad the Impaler.

Her most recent books are light, fun Regency romances written for Dragonblade Publishing: The Imperial Season series set at the Congress of Vienna; and the popular Blackhaven Brides series, which is set in a fashionable English spa town frequented by the great and the bad of Regency society.

Connect with Mary on-line:
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/b4Xoif 
Website: http://www.MaryLancaster.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MaryLancasterNovelist/
Facebook Timeline: https://www.facebook.com/mary.lancaster.1656
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/mary-lancaster
Email Mary: Mary@MaryLancaste

A house party of eye-opening revelations!

To the Tattler:

I find it imperative that I comment upon the house party to celebrate the May Day events at Lord and Lady Courtland’s home this past week. While I decline to name us for discretion among the ton, my husband and I are always invited to the annual event. This year’s frolic was truly a romp!

One lady was known to have secluded herself with a man she barely knows. Another had a most unusual public argument with a gentleman who heretofore was her childhood friend and now, oddly, seems to be her lover! The bride whose wedding we were to celebrate ran off. We know not where, nor does the groom, poor man. And her friend, who has lost two betrotheds, one to casualty of war and another to a terrible catarrh, took up with the vicar and then she disappeared!

Now I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, what kind of party was this to be? 

One shudders to think of the consequences. 

One hopes all these young ladies recover their decorum. Further, one earnestly wishes these young men attend to their manners and their duties. Proposals are expected! Special licenses necessary! Weddings should be soon.

And my, my. I do look forward to next year’s May Day Frolic. Don’t you?

Sincerely, A lady of fine repute

LADY WILLA’S DiVINELY WICKED VICAR, Book 4, 

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FROLIC

She believed she destroyed any man who loved her. 

Lady Willa Sheffield had beauty, education, charm, a handsome dowry…and a curse for killing any man who proposed. When she falls for a man who has favor with someone who answers all prayers, she questions if she’s right.

He would move Heaven and Earth to marry her.

Reverend Charles Compton has everything a lady could require: wit, ethics, good family and stable position. But no money and no title. And for a lady who is an earl’s daughter to wed well, she needs a man of some gravitas. But a vicar of a small parish—with rousing political ideas and little income—must move Heaven and earth to make a good future.

Who can doubt the determination or the inventiveness of a man in love?

AMAZON Affiliate:  https://amzn.to/3qbv8gH

Explosive Tidbits from Lincolnshire

London, 1812

Dear Reader,

It has come to the attention of this author that the Viscount and Viscountess Grange are delivered of their first child, a baby girl by the name of Violet. Felicitations to the delightful parents. The Viscount Grange is well known for his mathematical acumen and his siblings are dabblers in the natural sciences as well. We wonder if his new daughter will follow in the family’s footsteps.

London, 1822

Dear Reader,

A certain Lady M. has suffered an attack of nerves following a visit to the Grange estate for an afternoon of croquet and refreshments. This Author has been informed that the Grange daughters have indeed inherited their family’s interest in the natural sciences. The young Granges are so enamored that they have taken to performing their scientific experiments to aid in their sporting endeavors as poor Lady M. found out. It seems the eldest daughter, Miss Grange, filled a croquet ball with a volatile powder designed to explode when one of her younger sisters hit it with a mallet. Lady M. reports that the resulting noise and chaos was far too much excitement for a gently bred woman to bear. Seeing as Miss Grange is ten years old, the author can only reflect with increased concern about the well-being of distinguished guests to Lincolnshire.

London, 1824

Dear Reader,

News out of Lincolnshire has reached our ears. It appears that after a series of explosions, floods, and strange smelling fogs that have rattled the environs of the Grange estate for the past two years, the oldest of the Grange sisters, Miss Grange, will be attending The Yorkshire Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a scientifically-minded school for young women on the Yorkshire coast. We wish Miss Grange the best of luck in her new adventures and sympathize with the neighbors that the Misses Peony, Lilly, and Pansy Grange have also inherited the family interest in science. No doubt they will provide this author with plenty of news in the years to come!

About the Book

A Lady’s Formula for Love

What is a Victorian lady’s formula for love? Mix one brilliant noblewoman and her enigmatic protection officer. Add in a measure of danger and attraction. Heat over the warmth of humor and friendship, and the result is more than simple chemistry–it’s elemental.

Lady Violet Greycliff is keeping secrets. First, she founded a clandestine sanctuary for England’s most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a confidential mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland.

Solitary and reserved, Arthur learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time he spends in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally.

When a shadowy threat infiltrates Violet’s laboratories, endangering her life and her work, scientist and bodyguard will find all their theories put to the test–and learn that the most important discoveries are those of the heart.

Explosive chemistry, a heroine who loves her science, and lines that made me laugh out loud–this witty debut delivered, and I’d like the next installment now, please.--Evie Dunmore, USA Today bestselling author of Bringing Down the Duke

 A witty, dazzling debut with a science-minded heroine and her broody bodyguard. Fiercely feminist and intensely romantic, A Lady’s Formula for Love is a fresh take on historical romance that’s guaranteed to delight readers.–Joanna Shupe, author of The Devil of Downtown

To purchase: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/653311/a-ladys-formula-for-love-by-elizabeth-everett/

About the Author

Elizabeth Everett lives in Upstate New York with her family. She likes going for long walks or (very) short runs to nearby sites that figure prominently in the history of civil rights and women’s suffrage. A Lady’s Formula for Love is her first novel, inspired by her admiration for rule breakers and belief in the power of love to change the world.

Excerpt From A Lady’s Formula for Love

After Violet’s nightly ritual of brandy and a bath followed by a journey to her empty bed, she concluded her routine with one final step. She would imagine someone climbing into the bed from the opposite side, blowing out the candle, and taking her into their arms before falling asleep.

These nighttime visitors remained firmly in her head. Violet’s late husband had insisted that a woman with a physical appetite was both unladylike and distasteful. Although she suspected this might not always be the case, she’d never searched out a real-life lover to prove him wrong. Her reputation was too important to the future of Athena’s Retreat.

Worse, what if he was right?

In all those lonely nights, Violet had never conjured a pair of arms that surrounded her like this man’s holding her now. The sensation of a warm, solid body against her stunned her, more than the chaos and the scattered shards of glass and wood. The soles of shoes whipped past her; all around her, voices were raised in angry, frightened cries.

None of this touched her.

She was safe.

Not because the man holding her had rasped those words in her ear, although that was delightful, how his lips had brushed against the sensitive lobe. No. Something else told her everything would be well.

She had seen him before the explosion, standing next to Grey. In the commotion around her, the dark figure at Grey’s side had remained preternaturally still until he exploded into motion.

A typical reaction might have been to step back or shy away from a strange man hurling himself at you. Instead, as he came closer, Violet had the strangest urge to step toward him.

Nothing about his appearance signaled safety. He wore a dull brown frock coat, a few years out-of-date. He was tall, but not too tall. Broad, but no more than an average laborer. His top hat of felted wool was nondescript, as was his dark, curly hair and the whiskers halfway down the sides of his cheeks. Deep lines evidenced exposure to the elements over many years, and he’d broken his nose at some point.

In any other setting, he would have slipped her notice, as though he were a shadow or a slight blur at the edge of her vision.

Except she happened to look into his eyes.

Not even when she’d had no idea why he would have laid hands on her, in the seconds it took between the time he grabbed her until the explosion—not even then—was she frightened.

Cradling her head in one large hand to protect her skull from the fall, he held their bodies flush. When he’d pulled his mouth away from her ear and locked his gaze on hers, Violet had understood. Although they were an unremarkable shade of brown, his eyes were what told Violet she would be safe, no matter what.

His glance swept her face, then traveled the length of her body, before he turned his head to survey the crowd. The lack of expression and preternatural calm belied the intense vigilance in the depths of his gaze.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

Was she all right?

Links

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

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

Website: https://elizabetheverettauthor.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/elizabetheverett

 

 

 

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