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A New Season

London April 1821

Welcome lords and ladies to a new London Season! It is sure to be an exciting one, as fresh doe-eyed debutantes embark on an untested journey in life. The art of husband hunting! How exciting! Among the arrivals are a pair of wealthy cousins, the ladies J and O St. J. I’m told that lady O has a rather large problem. I’m sure she will not gather the special attention of anyone in particular. She may gain notice for her rather large dowry. There are a number of fortune hunters who would be happy to assist her. At the top of the list is one Baron B, who’s finances are in such dire straits that if he does not marry soon, he may find himself in debtors’ prison. The list of eligible gentlemen is long and prosperous, one could only hope to snare one. A lady has many options from the boyish blonde-haired Marquess of H, who is possibly the only true bachelor looking for a wife. Perhaps Lady J, who I’ve heard is full of energy, could catch his eye. Unfortunately, his family’s twenty-year scandal doesn’t paint him in a favorable light.

The bachelor that every mama will be hoping to attach their eager daughters to, is none other than the Duke of K. known to all as the Bachelor Duke. It has been ten years since he inherited the dukedom, which is one of the wealthiest in England. His estate in Norwich is bountiful, and dare I say, he is one of the handsomest men I’ve ever had the pleasure to behold. When a lady finally wraps her delicate gloved hand around his arm, she should hold on and never let go. How terribly disappointing.

Last Season our Bachelor Duke found himself pursued by the now Countess of W. There were a select few among us who even thought that the widow Lady E had a chance with him, alas another season went by without our duke even glancing at a lady. Will this Season irrevocably change all of our lives? Will the Bachelor Duke finally marry?  I don’t particularly see circumstances changing for him, but in matters of the heart one never can be sure.

Word has reached this reporter that the Bachelor Duke has just arrived in town for the Season! I am sure there will be broken hearts from here to Bath. It is an unfortunate truth that he shall never marry.

Whatever happens this Season, it’s sure to be a wild carriage ride. I suggest you hold on and watch it all unfold. I know I will.

About the Book

The Bachelor Duke meets a beautiful, curvaceous lady.
Remington Warren, The Duke of Karrington, lives his life by the name society has thrust upon him. Having witnessed cruelty against the fairer sex with his own eyes, he vows never to marry to prevent himself from becoming like the monster who raised him. After ten years of being The Bachelor Duke, his life is irrevocably changed when he sees Lady Olivia St. John across the ballroom floor. 
Having lived a sheltered, pampered life, surrounded by her loving family, Lady Olivia St. John longs to know passion and love. She is beautiful, bold, and has a rather large dowry. According to society, she would be a diamond in the first water of this season if it wasn’t for her one flaw.
Will she find all she longs for and more in the arms of The Bachelor Duke, or will heartbreak be her demise?

Excerpt from The Bachelor Duke

Remington led Livie into the secluded opera box, drawing the curtain closed behind him. They were utterly alone for the first time. He cupped her cheek and gazed into her eyes. Heat spread throughout her body. Her heart began to beat wildly in her chest. “Livie, I am very sorry you had to be subjected to their gossip.” His hand traveled to the nape of her neck, guiding her head back as he leaned down, their lips a whisper apart. Her tongue wet her dry lips in anticipation. “Let me assure you that I find every single inch of you pleasing, and I cannot wait until the day I may call you mine.” Remington’s lips pressed to hers. His free arm encircled her waist and pulled her closer to him. A groan of pleasure escaped him. Livie was excited, knowing she was the one that caused him to react in such a way. He brushed his lips softly against hers, allowing her time to become accustomed. She relaxed in his arms. Her lips parted, releasing a sigh of contentment. Taking her bottom lip into his own, he sucked gently, before gliding his silky tongue along it. Livie whimpered, the pure ecstasy of his lips touching hers was a feeling she had never felt in her life. His hand spread wide on her lower back branding her through the fabric of her dress. “Remington,” she sighed against his lips, hearing voices all around them. She wanted to stop the madness with all of society just on the other side of the curtain. But she could only grasp his lapels and hold on tight as she opened to him, allowing him the freedom to devour her. Time stood still while they kissed for what seemed like forever, their lips unable to part, even for something as basic as breathing. The dull sound of voices all around her was drowned out by the rushed beat of her heart. Remington trailed kisses down her neck, and she tilted her head back, gasping for sweet air while new sensations traveled down to the apex of her thighs. “Livie, my God, Livie,” he groaned out before he covered her mouth again with his.

About the Author

 Cecilia Rene is a creative, happy, and outgoing Detroit native who majored in Broadcast Communication at Grambling State University. Immediately following her graduation, she started her new life in New York City. As a self-proclaimed New Yorker, her stimulating and diverse career in advertising sparked a drive for hard work and dedication. Her love and passion for writing followed her from childhood through adulthood, where she wrote short stories, poems, and screenplays. Always an avid reader, she stumbled across a book that ignited a deeper need for more and joined a fandom of like-minded individuals. Cecilia and her family made a huge move five years ago to the great state of Texas, where she currently lives with her loving husband, wonderful son, and spoiled fur baby, Sadie. Cecilia Rene loves romance, humor, and all things spicy. For this reason, she will always give you a Happily Ever After.

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A Duke and His Housekeeper!

We have received a most interesting report from an American acquaintance now engaged in a grand tour of the far northern reaches of our fair isle. The events in question occurred several months previously, and have not been greatly talked of in London. Or at all!

Dear Readers, you are the first in our great metropolis to learn of this story! No less a personage than a new member of the loftiest of our toplofty ranks, formerly a mere Mr. Mac, has married none other than the lady he employed to tend to the domestic responsibilities of the castle from which he rules his realm.

His housekeeper!

Some of you may not find such a story surprising. After all, it is said that the society of those places my American friend describes as having “lakes with a quiet sheen of water surrounded by high, swelling, naked mountains” might be less genteel than that of our southern climes. Perhaps this is due to the great north’s scarcity of society, the harsh climate, and the ancient rigors of kinship. (Why, my friend has also reported that at the close of a hearty dinner, even the ladies take whisky!)

Landseer, Edwin Henry; Sunset in Scotland; National Trust, Mottisfont Abbey; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/sunset-in-scotland-220446

Astonishingly, however, my inquiries reveal that this former Mr. Mac and the lady in question, a certain Mrs. M, were in fact not of Caledonian extraction at all but of good English gentry stock!  

How such a thing came about is a tale involving a long-standing feud, common in those climes. Our American friend, a minister of one of the churches hatched in the free-thinking country that renounces all noble titles, finds the matter vastly amusing. He claims, in fact, to have dined with the lofty personage and his lady and heard the whole story from the proverbial horse’s mouth!

He proclaims it a most heartening Christmas tale of revelation, forgiveness and in the end redemption.

Dear Reader, as soon as we learn more, we will be sure to provide the whole story!

About the Book: The Duke She Despised

The new Duke of Kinmarty has lost everyone who mattered and gained naught but a title, and debt, and an old pile of a castle. When a fetching new housekeeper appears on his doorstep frantic to ready the place for the Yuletide, he seizes the chance for a respite from grieving and pretends to be the new duke’s estate factor.

With her cousin’s children due to arrive from India, a vicar’s widow hides her identity and takes a position as housekeeper to their dreadful uncle, the man who years ago sabotaged her own chance for happiness. Overwhelmed by a castle understaffed and in disarray, she forges a bond with the new duke’s charming but not very competent factor, not knowing that he’s hiding something as well.

When allies become lovers, each senses the truth may rip them apart. Can their love survive when she discovers he’s the duke she despised?

Amazon:

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-duke-she-despised

Nook:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-duke-she-despised-alina-k-field/1136931774

Apple Books:

https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-duke-she-despised/id1511435698?ls=1

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=Bs_gDwAAQBAJ&rdid=book-Bs_gDwAAQBAJ

Universal Book Link: https://books2read.com/u/38Z7YV

About the Author

Award-winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. She is hard at work on her next series of historical romances, but loves to hear from readers!

Author Links: 

https://www.facebook.com/alinakfield

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173518.Alina_K_Field

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Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY

Duke’s Grandson Visits Former Colony

Dear Readers,

It has come to this writers attention that a young lady from our very own town is getting married to the grandson of the Duke of Dunsbury. Savannah is in an uproar. It has been well known that Miss Tara Wellesley was a Union Sympathizer during the War Between the States. Some speculate that she was a Union Spy but no evidence was found to prove said scandalous behavior. Sebastian Stafford, the man she is engaged to wed, is said to have been part of a secret society called the Rakes and the Crown. No evidence has been found to ascertain the validity of this either, since records don’t exist on the group, itself. Readers, you can’t get this anywhere else!

Savannah Romance
Harry Fenn, View of Savannah from the River

Strange events have been happening at night here in Savannah. Sounds of musket shots, canon fire, and sword clashing could be heard from near the river. Some have noticed British flags flying from the redoubts, men dressed in Colonial garb, and some even in the bright red coats of the English Army. This humble writer, would love to know more about these somewhat bizarre events and would like to see them for himself. Maybe even write a future article about it.

Savannah Romance

In other news, the Wellesley twins are back from their adventures in the North. There is gossip saying that one of them has a secret child housed at the Whispering Oaks plantation. Oh la la, readers! The other twin is said to have fallen for an English girl whom no one has heard of before. How scandalous! The women of Savannah will surely mourn the presence of such handsome gentlemen.

Readers, this author will have more gossip for you in my next article. Until then, check out “A Sea Between Them” by Jessica A Clements and follow this link to find out more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082S2KVJH.

About the Book

Tara Wellesley, a Southern belle, knew her world was going to change. The only one in her family with the second sight, she could see what would happen to those around her. What she didn’t see, however, was the English Rake that befriended her twin cousins—dragging them into a deadly battle with a rival spy ring.
Sebastian Stafford, the grandson of the Duke of Dunsbury, came to the United States to resurrect the Rakes of the Crown, a spy syndicate that once supplied information for the English Crown. Now, far from England, Sebastian takes solace in Tara’s love and renames his group The Rakes of Liberty. The Rakes have one mission—to keep the Union together no matter the price. That means engaging in their own battle with the Order.
But, fate has other plans. When the Order launches an attack against Sebastian’s family, he races back to England to save what is left of them. With a sea between Tara and Sebastian, will the Order get the upper hand or will love be enough to conquer an old foe?

Oh Where is the Duke?

Where, oh where, is the Duke of Reddington? Since the 23-year-old Viscount Tisdale acceded to the dukedom upon the death of his father last month, he seems to have disappeared. A certain housemaid in the Half Moon Street residence of the volatile beauty known as La Fantasia (with whom, readers may recall, the viscount has for some time enjoyed an intimate acquaintance) informs the Tattler that the young duke returned to Town after the funeral only to quarrel violently with his inamorata, at last being driven from the beauty’s abode by means of vases, figurines, and sundry other bric-a-brac hurled at his head.

When questioned as to the duke’s whereabouts, Sir Ethan Brundy will only say that the duke is seeing to one of the several estates that came to the young man along with his ducal title. Pressed for particulars, he declined to specify which estate, claiming that the duke controls so many he cannot keep them all straight. Given that the late duke had sufficient confidence in Sir Ethan’s intelligence to name him executor of his will, we at the Tattler suspect his professed ignorance is, in fact, false modesty. Readers will remember that Sir Ethan is the brother-in-law of the young duke (having married the duke’s sister four years ago in what at that time was called the mésalliance of the century) as well as the political rival of Sir Valerian Wadsworth, both men currently standing for the same seat in the House of Commons.

Adding to the mystery, a young man fitting the duke’s description has been sighted in a Lancashire village near Manchester—specifically, at what was formerly the home of the late Mr. Henry Drinkard, now converted to a boardinghouse run by his widow and daughter, Daphne, the latter being a promising young poetess whose work the Tattler has had the honour to publish.

But what’s this? An examination of public records by one of our intrepid reporters indicates that none of the duke’s holdings are located in Lancashire; however, that northwestern county is the location of a thriving cotton mill owned by none other than Sir Ethan Brundy himself. Can it be that Sir Ethan knows more than he is telling? And where do Mrs. Drinkard and Miss Drinkard fit into the puzzle?

We are pleased to assure readers that our intrepid reporter is on the case, and we hope to have an answer very soon to the Mystery of the Disappearing Duke.

Duke

~excerpt~

“Truth to tell, Ethan, I’m deuced glad you’re here” Theo confessed. “I’d be obliged to you if you can advance me something on my inheritance—just enough to tide me over until the will is probated, you know.”

Sir Ethan shook his head. “Much as I’d like to oblige you, I can’t.”

“You can’t? But—well, but dash it, Ethan! You’re the executor, aren’t you?”

“Aye, I am.”

“Well, then—”

“Theodore, all that means is that I’m charged with making sure the terms of your father’s will are carried out the way ’e intended—and that includes seeing to it that everything is done open and aboveboard.”

“But it’s my own money, dash it!” Theodore protested.

Sir Ethan nodded. “And you’ll get it, all in good time.”

“Good time for you, maybe!”

“Aye, and for you. After all, you’d not like it if I started doling out legacies to your father’s valet, or housekeeper, or butler, would you?”

“No, but—”

“But the money’s rightfully theirs,” he added with a look of bland innocence in his brown eyes. “It says so in the will.”

“It’s not at all the same thing!”

“It is so far as the law is concerned. If I were to distribute so much as a farthing from your father’s estate before probate is granted, I’d open meself up to legal action.”

 “But I would be the logical one to bring any such action against you, and it’s not like I’m going to prefer charges against you for giving my money to me!

You might not do so, but your father’s lawyer might,” his brother pointed out. “ ’e’d be within ’is rights, too. In fact, ’e might even consider it an obligation to ’is grace.”

“Crumpton is my lawyer now—and he’d do well to remember it!”

“Aye, that ’e is. And if you know ’e can’t be trusted to look out for your father’s interests, ’ow can you trust ’im to look after yours?” Seeing this observation had deprived his young relation of speech, Sir Ethan added gently, “What’s the matter, you young fool? Surely you ’aven’t got yourself rolled up within a se’ennight of in’eriting the title?”

“I’m not ‘rolled up,’ ” Theodore protested. “I’ve got plenty of money—or I will have, as soon as it comes into my possession.”

“Is it that little ladybird you’ve ’ad in keeping?”

“No—that is, not entirely, but—dash it, Ethan, she expected me to marry her! I may have been green, but I’m not such a flat as all that! And when she saw I couldn’t be persuaded, or seduced, or coerced into it—” He broke off, shuddering at the memory.

“Didn’t take it well, did she?” Sir Ethan observed knowingly.

Theodore gave him a rather sheepish grin. “Lord, you never saw such a shrew! It made me think that perhaps I’m well out of a bad business. But I couldn’t let it get about that she’d ditched me, so I went to Rundell and Bridge and bought her the most expensive thing they had.”

Sir Ethan, who had bestowed upon his wife more than one bauble from this establishment and thus had a very good idea of the prices to be found therein, gave a long, low whistle.

“And then,” Theodore continued, “I went to White’s and—well, I just wanted to forget about it, just for a little while—not just Fanny, but all of it: the dukedom, and the steward and his blasted ‘improvements,’ and the House of Lords, where I’ll no doubt be expected to take my seat, and—oh, you don’t understand!”

“Actually, I do,” said his brother with a faraway look in his eyes.

Theodore, intent on his own troubles, paid no heed to the interruption. “And I can’t let it get out that the Duke of Reddington don’t pay his debts, for we’ve had quite enough of that in the family already! But I don’t have to tell you that—God knows you shelled out enough blunt, towing Papa out of the River Tick.” At this recollection, a new possibility occurred to him. “I say, Ethan, I don’t suppose you would be willing to lend me the ready? Just until the will is probated, you know, and at any interest rate you care to name,” he added hastily, lest his brother-in-law balk at agreeing to this proposal.

Sir Ethan gave him an appraising look, and asked, “ ’ow much do you need?”

Theodore told him.

“You’ve managed to run through that much in less than a fortnight?” demanded his brother-in-law.

“No!” Theodore said, bristling. “That is, I’ll admit I’ve spent more than I should, but old Crumpton says the will could take months! A fellow has to have something to live on in the meantime.”

“Never mind that! ’ow much will it take to settle your gaming debts and pay for the trinket you gave that game pullet?”

This figure, while high, seemed quite reasonable compared to the sum Theodore had felt necessary to sustain him for the few months it might take for the will to go through probate.

“All right, then,” pronounced Sir Ethan. “It’s yours.”

Theodore was moved to seize his brother’s hand and wring it gratefully. “I say, Ethan, you’re a great gun! You’ll have every penny of it back, I promise—and, as I said, at any rate of interest you care to name.”

Sir Ethan shook his head. “There’ll be no interest. As for paying me back, you don’t ’ave to do that—at least, not in pounds, shillings, and pence.”

This assurance left Theodore more than a little puzzled. “What do you want, then?”

“You’ll pay me back by working it off.” In case further explanation was needed, he added, “In the mill.”

About the Book

When 23-year-old Theodore becomes Duke of Reddington after his father dies, his new responsibilities are enough to send him off in a blind panic. Within days, he’s amassed a pile of debts, which his brother-in-law, mill owner Ethan Brundy, agrees to pay—provided Theo works in the mill until his father’s will is probated. In the meantime, Theo has a lot to learn about how the other half lives—and there’s no one better qualified to teach him than Daphne Drinkard, forced to take in boarders since the death of her father has left her and her mother penniless.

About the Author

Sheri Cobb South is the bestselling author of the John Pickett mysteries (now an award-winning audiobook series!) as well as Regency romances, including the critically acclaimed The Weaver Takes a Wife and its sequel The Desperate Duke, winner of the 2019 Colorado Authors League Award for Best Romance Novel.

Sheri Cobb South

www.shericobbsouth.com

https://www.amazon.com/Sheri-Cobb-South/e/B001HOIXD4

https://www.facebook.com/sheri.south

An Invitation to Holiday Revels

An invitation addressed to His Grace, the Duke of Harlowe, has found its way into our newsroom. It appears that Gertrude Marsden, Countess of Marsden may have sent several letters of this ilk regarding revels at her country house.  The lady, if we may call her that, is quite bold in her expression in this one. We at the Teatime Tattler believe it will be of interest to our readers, who may wish to be warned about the countess’s nature before they accept.

December 1, 1815

Your Grace~

Now that we’ve sent that rascal Bony to the far reaches of St. Helena, I’m ready for festivities for the Season! I hope you are also.

To marry off my darling nieces, I’ve invited my fondest friends to my Christmas house party on the North Steyne in Brighton from December 21 through December 28. Twenty-six will lodge in the house. More than one hundred also have responded they’ll attend my annual ball Christmas night. At least half of them are eligible men. And should you accept my invitation—which of course this is—you will be numbered among them.

I do hope you will attend us here for the duration! I’ve planned the usual diversions. Greenery gathering, though we do not wish to prick our fingers! Cards and dice, though I will ensure my darling Marjorie does not pick your pocket too deeply! Charades. Do plan to partner me in that game as—perhaps—Romeo and Juliet? Elizabeth and Darcy?

I know it has been five long months since we “played” at anything together. However, I do presume to invite you to join me during this gathering. I need a partner. You.

Yes. You see I am quite frank!

Why?

First and foremost, my step-son, Colonel Lord Marsden, remains with Wellington in Paris. While I wish for his return—especially to do what his heart commands and woo my niece Marjorie—I have no final word from him that the Duke will permit him leave of absence.

Secondly, but not less important, I must declare once and for all, Your Grace, I need you here with me. For Christmas, I wish you close.

I can imagine your marvelous blue eyes wide, your grey brows arched high, with surprise at my declaration of desire. But I am compelled. Driven. Indeed, needy, Your Grace. Needy!

No, I have not written you since I left you in that quaint little hotel room that afternoon in Margate in August. I wished to contemplate what we did there. And I’ve concluded that what I felt then for you, Your Grace, was a passion as hot, an affection as radiant as the summer sun. I feel it still each time I recall us as we lounged like libertines on the terrace naked while the sea crashed upon the shore and took our breaths in such raptures.

I do confess that since I left you that afternoon I’ve been atwitter, hoping against hope you might favor me by calling upon me. Alas, you have not. But I excuse you readily. Of course I do. I put your reluctance down to your desire to conclude your year of mourning for your wife. That formal period ended last week.

After much thought on the matter, I can understand other reasons why you’ve not approached me. You were shocked by your quick affections. I was surprised by my own. After all, it had been five years since last we met…and enjoyed the varied rewards of our mutual affections. Five years ago, those were of conversation and the recognition of like minds. Our Margate encounter was the rekindling of those sparks which previously we dared not fan. Yet I will declare our interlude was a unique rapture. If my heart palpitated with exquisite delights that afternoon we spent in the throes of madness, my mind since then has relived a thousand times the ecstasy we shared.

Might you not come to my party? Might we not rekindle the flames of a glorious afternoon rolling as God made us upon those downy linen sheets?

Yes, you may call me bold. Yes, you may refuse me a response.

But I ask you, Your Grace, is not life for the living?

My husband has long since departed this world.

Your wife, gone less time, but nonetheless not of this world.

My step-son is grown. A man about to take a wife. My other responsibilities of my dearly departed sister’s three daughters will soon cease as they go to their own marriage beds. My days spread before me and I wish for another marvelous taste of true love before I grow too mature to revel in its physical pleasures…and its ethereal rewards.

Won’t you join me and my guests for Christmas?

Let us hail Christmas with reverence. Hail my nieces’ and my step-son’s engagements with joy. And ring in the New Year, just you and I alone in a cocoon of our mutual desires for romance, love and conjugal unity.

Darling Winston, let us not to the marriage of true minds find impediments. We are too old to worry that children may object. Would yours dare? They married for love. We two are also free, unburdened by family responsibilities. Your three are married and prospering. Mine soon will be, too. We both are too established among the ton to care that you are a duke, widowered, and I, a widowed countess who has slept alone for more years than I care to recall.

May we not, my dear, revel in the Season and in each other?

I long to kiss you and invite you to cavort with me!

Let this be a happy Christmas! Come to my party! We’ve much to enjoy!

                                             Yours affectionately,
                                                      Gertrude

About the Books

The Countess of Marsden invites you to her house party! Seven nights and days of frolic, gossip, dancing…and match-making for her three nieces.
Sad, isn’t it, that none of the Craymore sisters wishes to wed?
Exciting, isn’t it, that three war heroes arrive who know precisely what they want for Christmas?
Wonderful, isn’t it, that each might gain the most precious Christmas gift of all?

Find them here:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0089DS2N2

 About the Author

Cerise DeLand loves to cook, hates to dust, lives to travel, read and write!

She pens #1 Bestselling Regencies and Victorians known for their spice, historical accuracy and eloquence! With awards on her shelves for more than 60 romances, she’s written for Pocket, St. Martin’s and Kensington. She likes awards…and wine at 5 p.m.

Find Cerise:

Cerise DeLand’s Website www.cerisedeland.com

Cerise DeLand’s Delicious Doings Blog: http://cerisedeland.blogspot.com

 

 

 

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