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The Duke of Glenmoor is Dead

Numerous witnesses have come forward to the Teatime Tattler with the following rather lurid story making the rounds of London salons and drawing rooms.

First a bit of background. Betting has raged the better part of summer and into autumn about the fate of the Duke of Glenmoor who went missing quite suddenly. Dukes do not, as numerous well-connected people have pointed out, “go missing,” yet this one has. This has led to rampant speculation about his heath, his sanity, and even about his survival.

Tasteless as it is to report, many of these unfortunate bets have come down on the side of the duke’s death by violence, accident, or even, sadly, his own hand. His obvious despondence just before his disappearance, lends credence to the latter. It has been said, however, that dukes do not kill themselves. It isn’t done.

What brings this unpleasantness to our attention today is a new claim. The Honorable Eustace Selwyn came forward at White’s last night with a new assertion. Several witnesses attest that he signed the betting book with the claim that the duke is dead and further that he was killed by his brother. Since said brother, rumored to be deformed and not of sound mind, has long been thought to be dead, this allegation met with disdain and incredulity.

The Honorable Eustace is known to be what one wag called, “a dunderheaded drunken rattle,” and his claims could be easily dismissed but for one fact. Eustace Selwyn had just returned from his home in Dorset, a home that is known to be the neighbor of Mountglen, the duke’s primary seat. He claimed that, while there, he actually observed the brother or a man claiming to be he. Selwyn believes him and asserts that the brother, now calling himself Gideon Kendrick, is not only alive, but much brighter than reported. The Honorable Eustace proposed “cunning,” as the better descriptor. London is not certain what to make of it, but men are lining up on both sides of the bet nonetheless, as young men are prone to do.

***

The not so Honorable Eustace Selwyn appears in Caroline Warfield’s, Duke in All But Name, currently in process. In that story the Duke of Glenmoor has indeed gone missing. He and his brother, Gideon Kendrick, first appeared in The Defiant Daughter, as step sons of the heroine. In that story moral and legal complications regarding the circumstances of their birth came to light.

About The Defiant Daughter

Madelyn assumed marriage as an old man’s ornament would be better than life with her abusive parents. She was wrong.

Now the widowed Duchess of Glenmoor, she wrestles with ugly memories and cultivates a simple life. She is content. At least, she was until her half-brother returned to Ashmead bringing a friend with knowing eyes and coal black hair to capture her thoughts.

Colonel Brynn Morgan’s days as an engineer in his father’s coal mines in Wales are long behind him. With peace come at last and Napoleon gone, he makes a life for himself analyzing the reports about military and naval facilities worldwide for a shadowy government department. What income he has is committed elsewhere. He has nothing to offer a wife, much less a dowager duchess.

More lies between the duchess and the man she wants than money and class. They have personal demons to slay.

Available for purchase or read for free with Kindle Unlimited. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09GL6PT1J/

About the Author

Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

Website:   http://www.carolinewarfield.com/

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Outrageous! A young lady with two beaux?

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.

Purchase Link at Books2Read: books2read.com/u/4AzO5d

Excerpt: 

“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:

Website: https://meredithbond.com

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Is that Viscount really a Duke in disguise? A deceit in our midst!

Gentle Reader,

Dowager Duchess M is throwing a house party with a motley assortment of guests. I dare swear most are little better than treasure seekers. 

Worse, she has loudly and publicly welcomed the Duke of E to her home as Viscount R! Now everyone is calling him Viscount R and the man can’t get a word of correction into the conversation.

The absent Viscount R is a suitor for AH, the Duchess’s granddaughter, but this author suspects AH finds the Duke a more compatible companion. If she doesn’t, she should!

Given the Duchess’s reputation as a prankster, the next couple days should prove entertaining. 

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Artful-Deceit-Art-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B09XRCHTP7

Blurb for An Artful Deceit:

What happens when a Duke is mistaken for a Viscount—on purpose?

Add that to two Michelangelo sketches, hidden passages, vanishing and reappearing art, threatening messages, conniving art collectors, arrogant academicians, a Bow Street agent, a lovelorn couple, and an elderly prankster.

It’s enough to give a Duke a headache.

Miles Wingate, the Duke of Ellinbourne, was not supposed to be at the Dowager Duchess of Malmsby’s house party. He was supposed to be in London preparing for the spring opening of the Royal Academy of Art, yet here he was, a stand-in guest for his injured cousin, Viscount Redinger.

This was taking family loyalty too far. The only rational person at the house party was Miss Ann Hallowell, the Duchess’s granddaughter, and as his luck would have it, his cousin’s intended!

Thrown together when he’s mistaken for his cousin, Miles and Ann join to unravel the house party mysteries. But every time they pull one mystery thread free, another appears, for seemingly everyone has a hidden agenda—including the Duchess!

Excerpt from An Artful Deceit:

“Yoo-hoo! Viscount Redinger!” called out Lady Oakley. She stood on the terrace and waved at him. Even at the distance across the grounds Miles could tell she was smiling. She fairly bounced as she waved to them.

Ann dropped his arm as they turned to face Lady Oakley

Ann huffed; her mouth set in a straight line. She crossed her arms over her chest. “She knows you are not Redinger,” she said crossly.

He nodded. “I’ll warrant your grandmother does as well.” He slid a sideways glance at Ann. “I think your grandmother and Lady Oakley are up to some mischief,” he murmured.

“Why do you say that?”

“When the maid showed me to my rooms—the suite reserved for royalty, I might add—she called me Your Grace.”

“You’re in the purple passion suite!” Ann exclaimed. “That is what my cousins and I called that suite.”

A laugh burbled up inside her, then she finally broke into uncontrollable laughter.

“What? What is it?” he asked.

“You are probably right as to mischief,” Ann said as she struggled to get her laughter under control. “I should have realized she has been good for too long!”

“I don’t understand,” Miles said.

“My grandmother loves pranks. Not nasty ones, but fun ones. She was always thinking up pranks to pull on her grandchildren when we were growing up,” Ann explained as Miles smiled and waved back at Lady Oakley. 

“We should probably be heading back to the main house anyway. The wind is picking up and there is the beginning of a chill in the air,” he said as he put on his jacket. 

It impressed Ann that he could shrug into his coat without the assistance of his valet.

“The maid, I believe her name is Donna,” he continued, “addressed me as ‘Your Grace’. I did not tumble to the import of that action until an hour later. If the staff knows I am not Redinger, then I believe your grandmother does as well. So, I’ve decided to play along,” he said as they walked back to the house and Lady Oakley.

Lady Oakley tried to wave them to her at a faster pace; however, Miles chose to ignore that bit of body language and take his time with Miss Hallowell. He enjoyed her company.

 “What do you mean?”

“I shall answer to Redinger.”

“But you’re a Duke! That’s so disrespectful!”

“Perhaps it would be if I had been raised to the expectation, but I wasn’t. I am a clergyman’s son.”

“You have said that before. Do you hold that as some trump card?”

“I suppose in a way I do. It is my way of honoring my father and not allowing myself to become caught up in the title and lose my sense of perspective with those around me.” He laughed. “Too many others do that for me!”

The twilight breeze quickened. Treetops swayed and garden flowers bent before it. The chilling breeze snatched Ann’s untied bonnet from her head.

“Oh!” Ann whirled around to try to catch a ribbon, but the wind sent the bonnet twenty feet away before dumping it to the ground and rolling it over and over.

Miles thrust his sketchbook into Ann’s hands and ran to rescue the bonnet. When first he stooped to pick up a ribbon, the wind playfully skittered it out of his reach. He quickly moved again to the capture the errant headgear and planted his boot on the end of the ribbon to lay claim before the wind could play again.

When he turned back to look at Ann, he found his breath caught in his chest. While the wind had played with Ann’s bonnet, it had played with Ann’s hair as well. Strands whipped free of their confining pins and framed her face in a riot of dark blond curls and waves. This would be a portrait worth painting, he decided, not some staid formal sitting. She was beautiful. Not in the London marriage mart diamond-of-the-first-water sense. She was too real. Her eyes glittered brightly, her cheeks showed a delicate blush that owed nothing to artifice. His cousin was getting a prize, and Miles felt disconcerted by that thought.

About Holly Newman:

Holly lives near the Florida Gulf Coast with her husband and six cats. An Artful Deceit is her 11th novel. When she is not writing she likes to read, garden (more like perpetually pulling weeds) and take walks.

Website: https://hollynewman.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HollyNewmanAuthor

Pinterest: Reading, Writing, Not ‘Rithmatic

The Marriage Stakes

My dear Mr. Clemens,

I have the distinction of attending a most exclusive house party at Clarion Hall in Ashmead, hosted by the Earl of Clarion with his sister, Mrs. Morgan—she who was once Duchess of Glenmoor—serving as hostess. Much of London vied for invitations, and ours was obtained only by dint of my longstanding friendship with none other than the Marchioness of Danbury, patron of the event. The usual

Clarion Hall

entertainments have been on offer but I quickly realized that all of this forced conviviality is in the service of politics, of all provoking and boring things. I note the attendance of the Home Secretary himself along with his closest cronies including the Duke of Awbury. I personally have always found Awbury a bit too high in the, well, instep, for my comfort. The man believes himself superior to most mortals except perhaps the Prince of Wales, and he disapproves of Prinny, too. It is all most disappointing, but I digress.

What is most interesting to your dear readers, of course, is the question of the earl’s marital aspirations. For weeks the most frequent on-dit in London would have it that, while the excessively proper earl had finally bent sufficiently to host his peers, he had no intention of looking for a wife, being content to mourn his first spouse dead these six years. Families with daughters to puff off, for the most part, stayed away.

You may understand, then, dear Sir, why I am aflutter with excitement. One could ignore the handful of persistent mamas who inserted ambitious daughters into the party. An unattached earl—particularly one as attractive (dare I say it?) as the earl—is a marital prize they cannot ignore. One can hardly blame them, but one can ignore them. I say that because it quickly became clear that Mrs. Morgan had marshaled the ladies of the family–regrettably not all of them legitimate members—to depress those ambitions. No amount of sprained ankles, lost wandering into the bachelor bedrooms, rearranged seating charts, or manipulated teams for games escaped the vigilance of the earl’s female relatives. I was ready to believe that he actually was not in search of a wife. Almost.

The arrival of Lady Estelle Wilton in the company of her grandparents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Wilbury, was an entirely different thing. A perfect lady, she has resorted to none of the shenanigans the other hoydens have attempted and yet, she has monopolized much of the earl’s attention. A man as reserved and proper as the upright earl would certainly seek such refinement in a wife. A man with political ambition would no doubt seek one with a pedigree as illustrious as that of Lady Estelle who would without doubt make a superior political hostess. As if all that weren’t transparent enough, my maid confided that a footmen told those assembled in the servants hall that the two of them rode out today with only his nominal company. Furthermore, they rode to Willowbrook, the earl’s former home and spent over an hour inside—sans footman or other chaperone.

In short, it appears we anticipate a happy announcement. I write now so that you may have the news first, and get the jump on your competition. You may coyly print:

Has a certain house party in the midlands brought marital aspirations to the Earl of C__? A certain Lady E__ W__ appears to have won the race to capture his attention. We expect wedding bells soon.

I have no doubt you will be merely reporting the truth, though of course you will protect the lady’s name. There has, alas, also been some foolish gossip about Lady Delia Fitzwallace, Awbury’s former daughter-in-law. If she weren’t a widow and a matron one might call her a hoyden as well. She lacks the refinement one would expect in an earl’s bride. Awbury himself is quite critical of her easy ways. Her looks are too coarse for a countess—her skin and hair reflect an island heritage—even as her manners show her family origins in trade. No, she would not do at all, and the earl can be relied on to know it. I’m sure of it.

Your devoted friend,

Alvira, Lady Eaton

About the Book

The final book in Caroline Warfield’s beloved Ashmead Heirs series is available at preorder pricing (only 99 cents) today. It reverts to retail after launch on June 28.
The notorious will left David, the very proper Earl of Clarion, with a crippled estate and dependents. He’s the one left to pick up the pieces while caring for others—his children, his tenants, and the people of Ashmead. He cares for England, too. Now that the estate has been put to right, he is free to pursue his political ambitions. But loneliness weighs him down. Then he meets his new neighbor. When his family plans a house party to launch his political ambitions, nothing goes quite as he planned.
Her uninhibited behavior shocks him. Why can’t he get her out of his mind?
Happily widowed Lady Delia Fitzwallace revels in her newly rented cottage, surrounded by flowers and the wonder of nature, thrilled to free her three rambunctious children from the city of Bristol and let them enjoy the countryside to the fullest. If only she can avoid offending her very proper neighbor, the earl, when their children keep pulling her into scrapes.
She is not what he needs in a countess. Can she help him find a proper political wife?

 

One Diamond who seeks an Apothecary? Heavens, no!

Dear Readers, the Earl of Seahaven’s daughters seem determined to raise eyebrows wherever they go, especially the beautiful, but too independent, Lady Josefina Bigglesworth. She may be one of the Seahaven diamonds and certain to turn heads during her season in York, but is this not all the more reason she ought to be careful about running off on her own? Even an innocent daytime excursion to a local apothecary shop in The Shambles may be viewed as too forward.

She has also been seen lately having tea with none other than the Duke of Bourne, York’s most eligible bachelor, and it is said he could not take his eyes off her. Although the Dowager Countess of Seahaven is keeping quiet about it, several reliable sources present at the Castlegate Tea Room assure this Tattler the duke proposed to the lovely Josefina and she has accepted his offer of marriage.

The duke, that handsome devil, is taking Lady Josefina to his seaside estate outside of Whitby to meet his beloved sister. It is rumored she is ill and the doctors seem unable to cure her. Lady Josefina is known as quite the expert in curative plant medicines. Do her plant lore talents have anything to do with his desire to marry her? And will he marry her if she is unable to cure his sister? It would be a shocking scandal if he begged out, ruining the girl and her family. 

Desperate Daughters, Box Set, Bluestocking Belles and Friends

Desperate DaughtersBlurb:

Lady Josefina would much rather spend her time studying plants and their healing properties, but her father, the Earl of Seahaven, has died and left the family impoverished. Marriage seems her only alternative until she meets the handsome Duke of Bourne in an apothecary in York’s ancient Shambles. He offers her an intriguing proposition, a fake betrothal and a king’s ransom as reward if she returns with him to his estate and finds a cure for his sister’s illness. But will the true reward be his heart?

The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters. They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close?

About the Author, Meara Platt:

Meara Platt is an award winning, USA TODAY bestselling author and an Amazon UK All-Star. Her favorite place in all the world is England’s Lake District, which may not come as a surprise since many of her stories are set in that idyllic landscape, including her paranormal romance Dark Gardens series. Learn more about the Dark Gardens and Meara’s lighthearted and humorous Regency romances in her Farthingale series and Book of Love series, or her warmhearted Regency romances in her Braydens series by visiting her website at www.mearaplatt.com 

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