Dear Readers,

No one will deny that there is a veritable plague of rakehells, rogues, and young blades in the fair city of London. However, it has recently come to the attention of this publication that there has been an incursion of young men of this nature in our very own neighbourhood.

Furthermore, it is disturbingly evident that many residents—young women in particular, believe the countryside to be lacking in men of such vices and are therefore sadly lacking the essential knowledge of how they must be avoided.

We feel it is our duty to expunge this misconception and to caution our young ladies and their Mamas and Papas that nothing could be further from the truth.

In the interest of the public good, we have thereby taken it upon ourselves to put to paper a list, Dear Reader, of five mistakes not to make when in the very dangerous, very deadly (when one considers the potential for spiritual and moral decay) presence of such ones so lacking in tender feelings.

  1. Avoid immodest dress

To begin, we urge young women to be always perfectly neat and clean, both in your person and clothes. Be not swayed by ill-suited finery, excessive ornamentation, or worst of all, styles which reflect an indelicate mind and may lead to loss of innocence. We speak, Dear Reader, of that depraved London fashion of wetting one’s dress.

  1. Avoid improper diversions

Time is invaluable and its loss irretrievable. Look on every day as a blank sheet to be filled with worthwhile pursuits. Diversions, properly regulated, are not only allowable for young women but necessary to youth. But when taken to excess, when they lead to indiscretion or an excess of passions, they grow distasteful. Therefore, guard most carefully against that pastime which may be a danger to your modesty and even womanly chastity itself. We refer, of course, to that insidious fashion—the waltz.

  1. Avoid foolish adventures

Neither knowledge nor pleasure can accrue from indiscreet attempts by youth to seek out adventurous undertakings. We refer, of course, to the pastime of excessive walks and the seeking out of unusual locales for picnics and the like, for during such foolhardy and even dangerous excursions young women may find themselves alone and in perilous situations which the libertine or rake may use to their favor.

  1. Modesty and silence are a woman’s best weapons against the rakes and libertines who hide among us

We wish to warn young women of taking indiscreet freedoms, particularly in conversation with men. Many are of opinion that a very young woman can hardly be too silent and reserved in male company, but we recommend even more strongly that young women avoid the majority of such company altogether for fear their ears be insulted by the words of the unprincipled and their minds contaminated beyond repair.

  1. Pay no heed to erroneous advice

“A reformed rake makes the best husband” is a common opinion oft resulting in unhappy victims of the female persuasion. A man who has long been in the company of the worst sort of women is very apt to contract a contempt for females in general. Incapable of esteeming any woman, the fairer sex is a continual source of ill humour. What prospect of happiness can there be with such a companion?

Further guidance shall appear in subsequent issues of this publication.

The Editors

The Bedford Chronicle

June 3, 1818


“The enemies-to-lovers trope is Elizabeth-Darcy on steroids. […]If you love small cottages, villages, and dangerous English rain, you will love this novel’s vibe!” – Katherine Grant, Author of The Countess Chronicles

“I was absolutely bitten by the Bridgerton bug. […]  I’m so happy I went with this debut novel by Fenna Edgewood. It was a perfect ‘break into Regency’ read. […] Claire and Thomas immediately had serious Regency style chemistry and once they gave into it, they were moths drawn to a flame.” – Made Me Blush Books

A cynical rake…

The arrival of Thomas Campbell and his elder brother has the village of Bedford abuzz with excitement. Not only is Thomas tall, dark, and handsome, he is also rumored to be a most notorious rake.

Claire Gardner is young, innocent, and completely infuriating. Yet given an opportunity, Thomas can’t help teaching the headstrong beauty a lesson in desire.

A quiet life for a lady…

Content with a simple rural life, Claire Gardner has no wish for a season in London nor is she eager to wed. But after a catastrophic mistake compromises her honor, Claire finds herself ensnared in scandal.

Claire is quite certain reformed rakes do not make the best husbands. She would rather face shame than lose her freedom to a man she is convinced does not love her. But as rumors swirl regarding her ruined reputation, the condemnation of her neighbors becomes more than she can bear.

Tormented by a bitter betrayal, Thomas has steeled himself against ever loving again—but he harbors a secret which leaves him in need of a wife. Will the truth about the other woman in Thomas’s life destroy their marriage before it has even begun?

Meet the Gardner Girls:

Four devoted sisters must face pride, peril, and adventure before each finds a love that conquers all.

The Gardner Girls series is composed of standalone stories which may be read in any order. Mistakes Not to Make When Avoiding a Rake is the first book in the series, but the second chronologically.

Book Details

No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a happily ever after.

Heat Level: Sweet-with-Heat, Slow Burn

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