Gentle Reader,

Society is agog and young debutants a slight shade of green as one of our newest members, the niece of Lady B—seems to have found herself not one beau, but two! The young lady, a very pretty miss who is by turns charming with a smile for all she meets or more sober and intellectually minded, is one who society is having difficulty comprehending. We are certainly not averse to beautiful bluestockings nor young ladies who are well rounded in their enjoyments, but the young lady in question have all wondering which Miss K– they are going to encounter when give a cheery wave. To this end, the young lady has attracted the notice to two very different sorts of gentlemen to her side. Lord C–, recently returned from Italy, can quite often be seen attending to her. When he isn’t there, it is Lord St. V—who is engaging her in deep, meaningful conversations. 

The other young ladies of society respectfully wish for Miss K to make up her mind in order to leave the playing field open for those who have a mind to join the game. 

Lady P— was overheard just the other day saying to her daughter that it was “simply too bad of her to hold onto the attention of two gentlemen. It’s not like she can marry them both.”

A Trick of Mirrors by Meredith Bond

Can the Ladies of the Wagering Whist Society help sort out a love quadrangle?

It’s not that the practical Beatrice Kendrick doesn’t trust her mirror twin, the vivacious and flirtatious Isabel. It’s just that the rebellious Bel has proven herself all too capable of welcoming the attentions of the wrong sort of man. So to keep her sister from getting into trouble, Bee secretly accompanies her when she goes to make her debut. Can Bee shield her own heart while trying to protect her sister? And can Bel ensure that her quiet sister gets a taste of the joys of London society – and a chance at romance?

When the broodingly romantic Edward Conway, nursing a broken heart, meets musically inclined Bel Kendrick, she stirs a passion in him he wasn’t sure he could ever feel again after the death of his Italian lover. The strappingly handsome Paul St. Vincent, too, meets the thoughtful and clever woman he thinks is Bel, and she seems to be just the sort of intellectually-minded woman he’s looking for. Only sometimes Edward senses that Bel doesn’t always remember what they’d discussed the last time they met. And at times she is entirely too giggly for Paul’s taste.

Both men, however, have decided that Miss Kendrick is the right woman for him. What they don’t realize is that they’re both right. But it will take a little sleight of hand by the ladies of the Wagering Whist Society to untangle this trick of mirrors.

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“Ah, Miss Kendrick, good evening,” said a very tall, blond-haired man standing with Lady Blakemore.

“Good evening,” Bee said. Her mind went absolutely blank for a moment as she took in this incredibly handsome man. He was wonderfully tall, and while Lord Conway filled out his coat extremely well, this gentleman made her feel almost overwhelmed by the strength of him. She suddenly realized she was staring at him like a fool, so she quickly added, “It’s lovely to see you again.” And then prayed that “she” had met him before.

“And you,” he said. His voice was deep and sent tingles down to her toes. “Have you started any more fascinating books since yesterday?”

Bee widened her eyes at him. Bel had spoken to him about books? But she hated reading—well, she hated reading anything that wasn’t a novel. Every once in a while, she would pick up a book on travel and look through the pictures, but that was the extent of her reading habits.

“Oh! I promise, I haven’t told a soul,” he whispered just loud enough for her to hear.

“Thank goodness,” Bee said with a giggle, wondering what her sister might have said to this man.

“So, what are you reading just now?”

“A History of Greece by William Mitford,” she answered without thinking.

“A history? But you told me you hated histories,” he said with surprise.

“I…I did?”

“Most emphatically. You told me you disliked history and especially the history of Lincolnshire, in no uncertain terms.” He frowned as he seemed to think back to what she’d said—which was good since Bel hadn’t told Bee a word about this. “But you did say that you enjoyed reading about foreign lands, so I suppose Greece counts in that way.”

“Er…yes. Greece is definitely foreign. And, er, my uncle’s library here isn’t very extensive. I had very little to choose from.” Well, that was honest. What was also honest was the fact that Bee was going to have a serious word with her sister on alienating handsome men!

“Ah, I understand. One must make do, I suppose,” he said, his smile returning to his face.

“Yes,” she said, giving a little giggle. Bee wasn’t sure, but she thought all this giggling was giving her a headache.

“Well, I promised you no more discussion of the history of Lincolnshire, and I’m determined to  keep to my promise.”

“The history of Lincolnshire? Oh, but it has such a wonderful, rich history,” she blurted before her tongue could catch up to her brain. But truly, the history of the area where she lived interested her beyond anything. She’d read every book she could find on the subject and had been to visit a great number of ruins, dragging poor Bel with her every time.

He frowned. “Yes, indeed, it does. But you made it more than clear to me yesterday that you had no interest in it.”

“Oh.” For a moment Bee wanted to curse her sister. How could she tell this fascinating man that she wasn’t interested in history? How could she tell him that she wasn’t interested in anything he wanted to discuss? He could talk about horse manure, and she would find it fascinating. “While that’s true, there are a great many fascinating ruins not far from where we live, not to mention Lincolnshire Cathedral itself, which is just beautiful.”

“I think I mentioned that to you myself,” he said, raising one eyebrow.

“Oh, did you? I… I didn’t recall.” Ugh, now he was going to think her an idiot.

About the author:

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: