Dear Readers,

One of our favorite sources of scandal and on dit, Lady Ablethorp is at it once again. This conversation was overheard in its entirety by our intrepid London reporter.

“Have you heard?” Lady Ablethorp said as she approached her friend dressed in a frothy pink gown and chapeau, whilst carrying a charming pink umbrella, though no rain was in sight.

“Heard what?” the Honorable Miss Patricia Helmsworthy said with keen interest.

The day was balmy with a few clouds ambling above them. Lady Ablethorp looked around, checking none of those she planned to skewer were in the vicinity of Bond Street. Thankfully the coast was clear. “Did you hear about Lady Jersey?”

“I have not.” Miss Patricia Helmsworthy said, leaning closer.

“It appears that most esteemed lady was caught in a gust of wind and somehow her skirt and her chemise flew into the air, up around her head. Her privates were exposed!”

”Indeed!” Miss Patricia’s eyes went wide.

Lady Ablethorp tapped a finger to her cheek. “She was wearing drawers, but they are like chaps, and they made not one bit of difference.”

“Shocking!” Miss Patricia tittered, a flush rising to her cheeks.

“There is more! Lord Kingfisher received a new pair of teeth, and they look mighty strange.”

Much to Lady Ablethorp’s dismay, Miss Patricia merely sniffed.

“Word is, his teeth came from a dead soldier at Waterloo.”

“Indeed,” Miss Patricia said in a somewhat bored voice.

Not at all what Lady Ablethorp was expecting. More disappointment.

“I have a pair of those myself!” Miss Patricia grinned, showing teeth resembling a favorite mare of Lady Ablethorp’s. If she recalled, the mare’s name was Bernice. Lady Ablethorp cleared her throat, then offered a smile. “Yours are quite nice, my dear, though they must have belonged to a very large soldier!”

Miss Patricia sniffed again. “Indeed.”

“Have you traveled lately?” Lady Ablethorp asked knowing well that the Honorable Miss Patricia Helmsworthy had traveled recently, she suspected much to the lady’s chagrin.

“Indeed!” Miss Patricia said, with a wide smile as she rested her hands atop the handle of her umbrella. “To the Lake District, in fact.”

“And was it a comfortable trip?” Lady Ablethorp raised her monocle.

“Oh, indeed, it was, though I did have to share a bed at the Winged Swan, a quite charming inn.”

Lady Ablethorp winked, though it may have looked more like a twitch to observers. “You did not sleep alone?” Lady Ablethorp feigned shock. “In truth, it would be quite lowering for the Honorable Patricia Helmsworthy to share a bed at the inn, common practice or no.” It was her turn to sniff.

“Indeed. As I mentioned, I did share a bed!”

Why was the woman smiling? Lady Ablethorp waited for Miss Patricia’s embarrassment, for her horror. “Honorables” were not meant to lower themselves to cozying up in bed with a stranger. That was for the middle class and poor. And yet Miss Patricia seemed unabashed. Lady Ablethorp waited. And waited. Finally… “Were you not discomforted sharing your bed with riffraff?“

Miss Patricia rolled her eyes skyward. “Not in the least. For the bed I shared was with the Captain Lansdowne.”

“The marquess’ brother? That captain?”


There were those teeth again. “One of the heroes of Trafalgar?”

“Indeed.” Miss Patricia said, her smile increasing.

Lady Ablethorp was confounded and began to imagine Captain Lansdowne. Tall and stately and fit. Very, very fit. And young, not yet thirty. Lady Ablethorp liked the young ones best.

“Are you sure it was the dark-haired handsome one?” Lady Ablethorp said.

Miss Patricia smiled so wide it looked as if her cheeks might break. “We two spent a lovely night beneath the covers. Most lovely indeed.”

What a lucky duck.

About The Bond: Rosamund is at a dangerous crossroads…

Lady Rosamund Fielding hides a secret so terrible it could ruin her, her family, and Major General Lord Rhys Lansdowne, the man she loves. Rose and Rhys were inseparable in childhood—their friendship was the one shining light in Rose’s dark upbringing.

Yet when Rhys proposes, Rose refuses, for he can never know her shameful truth.

Returned from the Napoleonic wars and now the Marquess of Ravenscroft, Rhys is determined to uncover the reason behind Rose’s rejection and win her hand and her heart once and for all.

Yet Rose’s father, Earl Fielding, is demanding Rose accept Brigadier Viscount Pennworth’s marriage proposal, threatening dire consequences if she does not obey.

Time is of the essence as Rose faces this difficult crossroad, where she is forced to confront past demons and choose a path.

Should she marry Rhys, deceiving him, and forever be branded a liar in his eyes? She cannot.

Wed Pennworth? Never.

Or flee? Away from Rhys, away from her father, and away from all she holds dear.

Rose has faced many dangerous choices in her life. Will this final one destroy her?

Available Now:  Amazon: Everywhere Else:

About Samma Brand:  Award-winning author Vicki Stiefel now also writes as Sanna Brand, whose Regency Romance, THE BOND (The Secret Tales Book 1) launches May 15. Vicki has also written the fantasy romance series, The Made Ones Saga, as well as The Afterworld Chronicles, an urban fantasy series. Her award-winning mystery/thrillers feature homicide counselor Tally Whyte.

Vicki tapped into her love of knitting to produce Chest of Bone The Knit Collection and co-write 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters.

After running The Writers Studio with her late husband, William G. Tapply, Vicki taught fiction writing at Clark University.

She is currently working on THE DECEPTION, The Secret Tales Book Two.


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