Last night, at a dinner party hosted by a prominent member of the ton, the lovely Lady N was caught in the garden in a passionate embrace with a certain captain, the son of the Earl of W. Reportedly, both the captain’s brother, Viscount S, and the lady’s illustrious father, the Duke of C, witnessed the shocking sight.
Even more disturbingly, an engagement announcement between Lady N and Viscount S had been widely anticipated. Although the captain has been decorated for his bravery, his actions last night were certainly far from heroic. Did the heiress’ rumored immense fortune cause the captain to steal his brother’s intended?
Although we here at the Teatime Tattler fully expect that the young man will do his duty by the young lady, we wonder how these two prestigious old families will ever recover from this scandal. Both the Duke of C and the Earl of W must be very ashamed by their children’s behavior. We certainly expected more from a lady and one of country’s most decorated heroes!
EXCERPT – GAMBLING ON THE DUKE’S DAUGHTER
“He’s a disgrace! Honestly, can you believe the nerve! Making a scene and ruining a perfectly lovely ball!” Lady Amelia Lansdowne fluttered her filigreed fan with unusual vigor, an unbecoming flush on her pale cheeks.
“I wouldn’t call this a scene, Amelia. He merely arrived a little late. I’m sure he had a good reason.” Lady Natalia Sinclair sighed with impatience over her companion’s melodrama, but her own fan fluttered a bit faster as she watched Captain Blake chat with Lord Basingstoke.
Captain Dylan Blake, recipient of the Victoria’s Cross.
Natalia knew all about him. She’d read dozens of newspaper articles touting his courage, but she’d never actually met him.
“He’s dreadfully good-looking,” she mused, as she cast a subtle glance in the captain’s direction.
In his scarlet dress uniform, with his confident military bearing and chest full of medals, he stood out in the crowd of somber, black-garbed lords. His thick black hair, caught at his nape with a piece of scarlet ribbon, contrasted sharply with his light blue eyes. His high, chiseled cheekbones, square jaw, and clear, sun-kissed skin stole her breath.
Amelia gave a delicate shudder. “How can you say such a thing? He hasn’t a title nor farthing to his name. He’s been in the military for years, serving with the very dregs of society, and probably doesn’t know the first thing about how to act around civilized people.”
“Surely, the fact that he fought to preserve our way of life gives him the right to a few eccentricities. He’s a hero, Amelia.” Natalia didn’t bother to point out that a man’s wealth had nothing to do with how attractive he was. It wouldn’t do any good. In Amelia’s eyes, money and power did determine a man’s worth.
Unfortunately, Natalia’s father shared Amelia’s opinions, and he would choose her future husband.
Amelia turned up her nose with a condescending sniff. “Well, hero or not, you wouldn’t catch me marrying such a man.”
“No.” Natalia fought to maintain a civil tone. “I don’t suppose so.” Not that a hero like Captain Blake would want to marry a little cat like you anyway.
To her relief, Amelia soon drifted away, obviously in search of someone more inclined to share her narrow-minded opinions. Natalia found herself alone for a few moments, free to daydream about Captain Blake.
She wanted to meet him, even though her father would never permit a man like Captain Blake to court her. It seemed so unfair. What good were wealth and a title, when so many of those who had them lacked even a hint of character?
Captain Blake had risked his life to save his men. He’d dashed back into the fray three times before he’d been wounded. The mere thought of his courageous actions sent a shiver down her spine.
Unfortunately, Captain Blake and Lord Basingstoke left the ballroom before she could work up the audacity to arrange an introduction. Disappointed, Natalia forced a smile as the next young man on her dance card claimed her for a mazurka.
Lord Roger Densby was the son of a duke. While undoubtedly her social equal, he was at least two stones overweight and stank of sweat and brandy.
He managed to step on her toes twice before he even got her out on the dance floor and didn’t have a heroic bone in his entire well-fed body.
Densby, or someone like him, was her fate. Still, her entire soul rebelled at the thought of spending her life with a man who wasn’t interested in anything but the next hunt or glittering party.
What she really wanted was someone like Captain Blake—a man with poetry in his face and courage in his heart.
All my life, I’ve wanted to a writer. Even as a child, my sister claims all I ever did was sit in my closet and scribble in a notebook. Now, I concede the scribbling part, but not the closet part! Why would I need to sit in my closet when I had a perfectly good desk? In any event, I won my first writing contest when I was seven, and I was hooked!
I married young, and soon had three wonderful little boys running around the house, so writing took a backseat for several years as I worked a variety of jobs that I hated. Once I started seriously pursuing a writing career, I found it was not as easy as I had expected, and I was not the prodigy I had imagined. But I joined a writer’s group and made a ton of writing friends along the way who showed me the error of my ways and unselfishly helped me to get a little better. By the time I sold my first book in 2006, I’d already been at this for over ten years and was about ready to give up. Rejection is hard!!! But holding that first book in my hands made it all worth it!
Now my sons are all grown up, and two of them have babies of their own, and being a grandma rocks! I now have all the time in the world to devote to telling the stories that just won’t let me sleep. I hope you enjoy them!
Website – www.dianabold.com
Reader Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/dianasboldbeauties/ Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/diana-bold