You no doubt read this report from our intrepid Suffolk reporter last month:
The rustic seaside town of Fenwick on Sea is not as sleepy as one might think, especially with the travelers stranded by what might truly be called the Storm of the Century.
A Scotsman has arrived at the Queen’s Barque, his well-made coats soaked and his fine boots caked with mud. A tall, handsome specimen of our northern cousins, he claims the status of gentleman. And yet, dear Reader, he arrived with a local woman, with whom he plans to shelter in the inn’s oldest wing–alone!
Is she, in truth, a titled lady, as some say? She goes about in men’s trousers, is said to be not averse to a midnight sail, and often visits the inn with a tub or two in hand! Though on this occasion, it was her companion thus encumbered, so perhaps he truly is a gentleman after all.The Teatime Tattler
My dear Lady F
I’m sorry I did not get a chance to bid you farewell before leaving town. My journey north was uneventful, apart from my diversion to Norfolk for my godson’s leave-taking. I just could not deny myself the opportunity to visit my cousin there who has not been well.
I found myself caught in that terrible storm flaying East Anglia, and thus, having broken an axle, stayed several nights at the Blue Boar in Yarmouth. I cannot tell you how surprised I was to see your relation there, young Lord M. Such a handsome and sober young man for a Scotsman. You recall that he attended my soiree with your other relation, Mrs. McB. That was a clever bit of matchmaking we managed there, bringing her back together with Major McB. As for Lord M, I saw him across the crowded inn yard as I was departing, and was about to send my man to fetch him, when he was joined by a boy of about twelve years of age, and, dare I say, a lady? She did appear to be a lady, and I was reliably informed that she was indeed a titled lady, and a quite comely with an air of assurance. You must write at your earliest convenience and tell me if there is news, because I had thoughts of introducing Lord M to my great-niece and must not raise her hopes.
Dear Readers, could this be the Scotsman and titled lady in men’s trousers from the Queen’s Barque? And who is the boy appearing with them?
About the Book: Storm & Shelter
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.
About The Story: Comtesse of Midnight
A Scottish Earl on a quest for the elusive Comtesse de Fontenay rescues a French lady smuggler from the surf during a devastating storm, and takes shelter with her. As the stormy night drags on, he suspects his companion knows the woman he’s seeking, the one who holds the secret to his identity.
Marielle Plessiers may dress like a boy and go out with the local free traders, but she’s really the Comtesse de Fontenay. She trades in spirits, not secrets, but the information she holds will change Malcolm Comyn’s life forever.
The Scotsman, however, was dead on his feet. She could almost feel sorry for him. He was far from home, and had been traveling for several days. His neckcloth was limp, his cuffs soiled, his coat wrinkled. His boots, well and carefully crafted, if not by Hoby then by some equally fashionable bootmaker in Edinburgh, had not been properly polished in the last few days.
He’d shaved though, probably very early that morning, because a delicious dark stubble had sprouted along his strong jaws.
Did he have a razor in his interesting valise? She wouldn’t molest him, unless he thought to do the same to her. If it came to that, and she prayed that it wouldn’t, she would use her own blade and not some unfamiliar shaving instrument.
“Is this one of your imports?” he asked, swirling the amber liquid. “It’s very good.”
His words stirred her out of her imaginings about handsome young men, and she realized she must manage the conversation else she’d slip into sleep, or perhaps something more inconvenient, without thinking.
The Comte had always succumbed to sleep when they’d conversed, no matter the topic. She must soothe this fine-looking and very fatigued man the same way.
Outside, the thunderstorm had moved on, and the rain pounded in a comforting downpour. With the warm fire, and the heavy blankets, and the sleeping dog, it was quite cozy.
But what to talk about? Most certainly not the free trade. It would be far too diverting to put him to sleep, and besides she had no idea what he would do with the knowledge.
The countryside? She might slip and drop a hint about her home at Bloodmoor Hill.
She thought back to her time on the fringes of a London society that she’d found unbearably dull.
“I am glad you are enjoying the brandy,” she said. “But I daresay you are not liking this weather. It is quite the worst storm in many seasons, people are saying. Normally at this time of year the sea has quietened.” A lie, of course, but how would he know?
He sipped his drink, eyeing her over the glass.
Oh. Given that it might remind him of her activities that evening and spark questions, the sea was an inappropriate topic, whether or not one was fudging a weather report. “Winters, however are generally mild.”
He yawned, and she went on, discussing the number of rainstorms in March and going back to February, and then January, and making up the story as she went along, until his eyes drooped and the empty glass fell into his lap and lodged itself next to his fall.
Warmth uncurled in her. His trousers were tight in the usual fashion for gentlemen, outlining masculine endowments that sparked her interest far too much. Retrieving the fallen tumbler was out of the question.
She set down her own glass and fought the urge to join him in slumber.
Storm & Shelter also includes novellas by Jude Knight, Carolyn Warfield, Sherry Ewing, Rue Allyn, Cerise DeLand, Mary Lancaster, and Grace Burrowes.
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3kgRmLG
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3lZYHja
About the Author
Award winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but prefers 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, where she shares a midcentury home with her husband and a spunky, blond rescued terrier. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. Though hard at work on her next series of romantic adventures, she loves to hear from readers!
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY
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