Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Tag: Friends to Lovers Page 1 of 5

A note from a Disgruntled Reader who says, “Publish This If You Dare!”

Dear Mr. Clemens,

Until last week, you enjoyed my greatest confidence that the Teatime Tattler reported London’s juiciest gossip. But now I must pose this question: whyever was your coverage of the Duke’s ball so woefully incomplete?

Becoming WantonI have never before risked such correspondence, but I cannot resist, for I wish to know, sir. Do you abuse your discretion as publisher to protect certain lords in Parliament? Or were your usual sources so captivated by the obvious they overlooked the most delicious gossip? To be fair, most guests at the ball were not afforded my view…

Oh, I do not disagree that Lady Clara’s scandal was noteworthy. An earl’s sister and a Scottish industrialist? Yes, of course I gasped along with everyone else when that commoner brute swept her into his muscled arms after she swooned! And again when, carrying her to the terrace, he shouldered the very host of the ball out of the way! The Duke!

Any informed reader cannot, however, be surprised. This is the lady who withdrew from her coming-out season and rejected favorable courtships. Why, any close Mayfair neighbor can attest to the wicked music her fingers regularly elicit from her piano. Chopin’s most fervent pieces!

The other honorable guests at the ball were agape at the Scotsman and Lady Clara, but I cannot purge a different passionate image from my memory. I shall share it with you, sir, on the chance that its omission from the Tattler was not occasioned by favoritism. 

At first I cursed being of such delicate stature and politeness that I did not forcefully maneuver to the front of the crowd. I now suspect a divine hand placed me, permitting me to witness…

No, before sharing that, first I must ask you—were you as gullible as I? Did you, too, believe the Marquess of Candleton was the proper statesman his activities in the House of Lords suggest? Were you taken in by the Marchioness’s modest gowns and impeccable manners all these years? Do not feel foolish, for I also had the wool pulled over my eyes. No more.

What was Lady Candleton’s expression full of as she observed the scene with Lady Clara? Not disapproval, as one might have assumed, nor gentle concern. No, she watched raptly and with envy—the kind with knowledge behind it. Her virtuous airs dupe me no longer. 

If that wasn’t shocking enough, do be certain to sit before you read on. Lord Candleton, Britain’s champion and architect of reform, was not watching the scene everyone else was, oh no. He had eyes only for…his wife! 

Suspend your disbelief; cast aside your assumptions about this lord and lady. Had you seen the fierce look of unfulfilled desire in Lord Candleton’s eyes this Society Matron did, you would have no doubt. Mark my words, something is raging within the Marquess and Marchioness, something we would all agree has no place in a respectable marriage!

***

About Becoming Wanton by Rebecca Aubrey: 

This couple’s dilemma? They’re both married…to each other.

Lord William Dalfour, Marquess of Candleton, is in a terrible fix. Oh, he knows what’s expected of him. By day, he’s to face Britain’s challenges as a notable member of the House of Lords. Night means siring heirs in the dark with his marchioness, but only with the utmost decorum. His animalistic urges…well, those are to be unleashed in the Thames Fencing Club. Or with a mistress—if he had one.

One does not engage in wantonness with one’s wife and mother of one’s children. Oh, no. One does not become enchanted by one’s wife!

A respected society hostess and devoted parent, Lady Beatrice should be fulfilled by domestic bliss and having her husband’s ear on parliamentary business. Behind closed doors, however, she dares to come into her own, asking for more and testing the limits of William’s insistence on propriety—and his self-control.

No matter the pain his rejection inflicts, William’s highest duty is to keep Bea wholesome. Isn’t it? To protect her, even from himself? From herself. But what if honoring his wife means succumbing to their mutual craving? Worshiping her, body and soul…

Don’t miss Trade of a Lifetime, Book One in the Trade Wind Series, about Lady Clara and James Robertson. 

Becoming Wanton on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B4LZNWK5

About Rebecca Aubrey:

Romantic by birth. Author by choice.

Rebecca AubreyRebecca writes about strong women, the men they find compelling, and the passion that ensues. Oh, and their clothes come off—whether corsets or clergy collars, gowns or gun holsters, breeches or business suits.

Count on intense emotional and physical attraction, and meticulously-researched settings. Between daydreams, Rebecca has detailed plans for her next book, bake, and cocktail—and a vague notion of what’s for dinner. Rebecca is also a lawyer and proud graduate of Smith College.

Visit her website and sign up for her newsletters at www.rebeccaaubrey.com.

News of Arrival of most noted Military Hero!

News from Lady G.T.!

Dear Readers,
I’m sharing with you a letter from one of my faithful correspondents:
Dear Mr. Clemmons,
I hope that this letter finds you well. I myself was agreeably settled for a time to take the waters in Harrogate, with all the conviviality that entails. Goodness! I might have had some delicious news to share with you, had I not received a most surprising letter from my grandson which required me to rush off to York!
Oh, this news is not in the nature of titillating on dits for your readers (Of which I number myself one!), but the happiest sort of news to thrill the hearts of honest Englishmen and Englishwomen. For, a hero of the seemingly unending wars with the French has arrived in York, Major A.K. (Oh, I may not use his name, for he is a creature of the most humble and self-effacing disposition where his military service is concerned). I am quite proud to say that he is a relation of mine, and his late mother was my dearest friend.
So I write to you from York, having only just arrived and had the pleasure of dining with said hero, as well as my grandson, and my widowed daughter-in-law, Lady H.T. She has taken a house in York for the season—wisely, one that accommodates all of us! I daresay she is young enough to marry again, though her years with my late son may discourage… no, I will not go there.
But should she decide to dip a toe into matrimony again, I daresay she and the Major are of an age to be quite suitable, if he is so inclined as well. And what man is not better off for having a wife?
I shall write again and tell you more of the Major’s heroics, as he has promised me the tale at another time.
Do ensure that my copy of the Teatime Tattler reaches me at the direction I’m providing.
I am as ever, your faithful reader,
Lady G.T.

Lady Twisden’s Picture Perfect Match, in Desperate Daughters, A Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends
After years of tolerating her late husband’s rowdy friends, Honoria, Lady Twisden, has escaped to York where she can paint, investigate antiquities, and enjoy freedom. Then her stepson appears with a long-lost relation in tow, the perfect image of a long-ago relation whose fierce portrait made her shiver with mad imaginings.

Promised York’s marriage mart and the hospitality of his cousin’s doddering stepmother, Major August Kellborn is shocked to find that his fetching hostess is the one woman who stirs his heart. To win her heart, however, he must convince her he’s not just a perfect image, but her perfect match.

Excerpt:
“Where is the footman? We need him to fetch in our trunks.”
We?
Looking past the broad shoulder she saw another figure approaching and…
Good God. Heat swamped her and flamed in her cheeks. Dark eyes shot darts at her over a grimly set, thin-lipped mouth. The palpable sternness of Wes’s companion sent a shiver of awareness through her. It was a familiar shiver, one she’d indulged during her tedious days at Twisden Manor when she’d found herself fighting off mad imaginings.
Wes’s laughter shook her tongue loose. “My goodness, sir,” she said. “You bear an uncanny resemblance to—”
“Old Ebenezer Twisden,” Wes said. “Yes, it is as if the old Warden has come back to life, Mother. As soon as I laid eyes on him in Brampton, I knew he must be a relation. And do you know who he is, Mother?” He laughed again. “I’ve written to Granny to tell her. She’ll be in alt when she reads the news.”
A man of perhaps forty, he was about the same age as Wes’s ancestor, the Warden in the painting at Twisden Hall who’d been in the King’s service for many years when that portrait was done. This new incarnation of Ebenezer wasn’t a particularly tall man, not as tall as Wes, but he still towered over her.
Old Ebenezer cleared his throat.
“But of course,” Wes said. “Where are my manners? Mother, may I present my cousin, Major Augustus Kellborn. Gus, this is my dear stepmother, Lady Twisden.”
While she curtsied, managing not to wobble, he dipped his head, never taking his gaze away.
Good holy heavens.A hero returned from the wars!

Desperate Daughters:  A Bluestocking Belles with Friends Collection

Love Against the Odds

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?

Buy Links:

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Author bio:
USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature but prefers the happier world of romance fiction. Her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., but after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California where she shares a midcentury home with a gold-eyed terrier and only occasionally misses snow.

Website: https://alinakfield.com/

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

Scandal can be found anywhere!

Abigail Danvers paced behind her sister as she penned the latest gossip they learned at the Valentine’s Day ball in Bath. If Prudence didn’t hurry, they would never get the information to Samuel Clemens at The Teatime Tattler in time for the morning edition. Perhaps this might not be a bad thing after all…

“It’s done,” Prudence finally said before standing up to allow Abigail to sit at the desk. “Tell me what you think.”

Abigail continued her pacing. She had recently begun to wonder if being an anonymous reporter for The Teatime Tattler was worth their time and energy. They’d never find husbands if they spent all their time snooping into other people’s business.

“I’m certain it’s fine, Prudence.”

A heavy sigh left her sister. “Just look at it, for heaven’s sake. A second pair of eyes are helpful.”

“Very well,” Abigail replied taking a seat and beginning to read.

This just in, gentle readers!

If you missed the charity Valentine’s Day ball in Bath, and honestly anyone who is everyone was present, then you didn’t witness the latest gossip. A certain Miss M.d.C. was spotted dancing without a proper introduction to an unknown gentleman. There was much speculation after she was escorted from the ball by her sister on exactly who this very fine-looking man was. Stay tuned for more news on what this young Miss will get herself involved in next. It’s never a dull moment where this young lady is concerned.

An Anonymous Reporter for
The Teatime Tattler

Abigail began folding the letter. “It’s fine,” she replied curtly.

Prudence frowned. “What’s wrong with it?”

“Nothing at all. It’s just me. I’m in a foul mood,” Abigail replied. “I’m getting a bit tired of constantly blabbing all we see for Clemens instead of focusing on finding our own husbands.”

Prudence laughed. “Miranda de Courtenay deserves everything she gets!”

Abigail’s brow lifted. “Does she, Prudence? Honestly, it was only a dance. What harm was done?”

“But it was Miranda de Courtenay!” her sister bellowed.

“Never mind. Just send the darn thing,” Abigail snapped. “Mr. Clemen’s will be pleased with it even if I am questioning our involvement.”

Prudence grabbed at the letter and called for a servant to have it delivered post haste. Abigail wiped a tear from her eye and went to her room. She’d worry over where her life would lead from this point forward in the morning.


This is an original post is from Belle Sherry Ewing whose novella Before I Found You: A De Courtenay Novella (Book Three) releases on February 8th. Recently found in the Belles’ box set Storm & Shelter, it will now be available for individual sale.

Before I Found You:
A De Courtenay Novella (Book Three)
By Sherry Ewing

Release Date: February 8, 2022

A quest for a title. An encounter with a stranger. Will she choose love?

Miss Miranda de Courtenay has only one goal in life: to find a rich husband who can change her status from Miss to My Lady. But when a handsome stranger crosses her path at a Valentine’s Day ball, her obsession with titles dims. Might love be enough?

Captain Jasper Rousseau has no plans to become infatuated during a chance encounter at a ball. He has a new ship to run, passengers to book, and cargo to deliver. But one look into a young lady’s beautiful hazel eyes, and he becomes lost. Does love at first sight really exist?

Their paths continue to cross until they are both stranded in Fenwick on Sea. Their growing connection is hard to dismiss, despite Miranda’s childish quest for a title at all cost. But what if the cost includes love?

Buy Links:

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The Duke’s Missing Lady!

To our devoted readers!

This just in…

 It has come to the Teatime Tattler’s attention (by a very reliable source I might add) that the woman who recently held the Duke of H’s heart has gone missing! Apparently the man is beside himself and has sent out inquires to all corners of London and beyond. Perhaps Lady R is only hiding from the man given her last encounter with him and his ex-mistress. Or is her disappearance subject to a nefarious nature? Stay tuned for further updates and remember you read it here first.

S. Clemons, Editor
The Teatime Tattler

Samuel Clemons read this latest tidbit from Abigail Danvers and grinned. His readers will go mad with the news that the Duke of Hartford lost the lady whom some have whispered was a love match. Love… what a silly emotion getting the better of oneself.

His office door opened and Samuel handed the parchment to the young gentleman whose ink-stained fingers implied he had been busy in the press room.

“Make this a special edition,” Samuel declared with a smirk. “I want it on the front page and not buried inside. Our readers deserve to see this first thing with their breakfast.”

“Yes, sir!”

Samuel watched the man leave before leaning back in his chair. A laugh escaped him. He loved his job and was satisfied the Teatime Tattler would be sold out come the morning. Tomorrow was going to be a glorious day.


Sherry Ewing is one of the Bluestocking Belles and her Regency novel One Moment In Time: A Family of Worth, Book Two was nominated as a 2019 RONE finalist with InD’Tale. Enjoy this excerpt.

Excerpt: 

Edmond opened his eyes and found himself gazing into the face of an angel. Emerald pools, green as the Scottish moors, stared back at him with an expression of wonder. He reached out to lightly caress her cheek just to ensure she was real. She trembled beneath his touch and he thanked God Roselyn had awoken once more.

Swinging his legs down to the floor, he stood and reached for her hands to help her to rise. Her beautiful face wore a confused frown, and without thought he acted on the urge to assure himself she was real and on the mend, bringing her into his embrace. He knew in his heart his gesture was inappropriate; he should not be so bold, especially considering all that she had been through, but he could not resist.

Stepping back as he should became impossible when she returned his affection by placing her arms around his waist. As if they had a will of their own, his hands made their way up her arms and into her glorious curling hair that cascaded down the length of her back. It felt like the softest silk to his touch and a lock coiled around his fingers taking possession of him.

He took her chin in his fingers and tilted it up so he could see the face she had been hiding in his chest. Once more staring into her eyes, he saw her lips tremble and wondered how sweet they would taste. Leaning forward, he came to within a breath and hesitated. But only for one second. At last, he brought his mouth down to hers in a gentle first kiss.

There could be no mistaking her hesitation nor that she was inexperienced in her technique. Edmond retained enough control to remember she was a young innocent and he did not wish to scare her away. His heart rejoiced when he felt her arms creep up his back and he tightened his hold upon her. One taste would in no way satisfy the sudden desire he had for her and her encouragement gave him the permission he needed to deepen the kiss all the more.

His sanity finally reined in his desire, and he broke the spell by ending their kiss abruptly. Alarm briefly shook him when Roselyn took several steps backwards to put some distance between them. In the silence of the room, the only sound was the two of them attempting to catch their breaths after the heat of the moment.

One moment in time may be enough, if it lasts forever…

When the man Lady Roselyn Anne Winslow has loved since she was a young girl begins to court her, Roselyn thinks all her dreams have come true… until the dream turns into a nightmare.

Lady Roselyn is everything Edmond Worthington, 9th Duke of Hartford, could ask for in a wife and he is delighted to find she returns his love… until he loses her, not once but twice.

From England’s ballrooms, to Berwyck Castle and a tropical island that is anything but paradise, Edmond and Roselyn face ruthless enemies who will do anything to tear them apart. Can they recover their one moment in time?

Buy Links:

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More about Sherry

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist. You can learn more about Sherry and her books on her website where a new adventure awaits you on every page at www.SherryEwing.com.

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Trouble always follows her

Lord Adrian de Courtenay and his wife Celia sat in the morning room eating their breakfast. A servant quietly entered placing a newsprint within his lady’s reach. Adrian glanced over at the paper and grimaced.

“Why do you bother reading that trash, my love,” he reluctantly asked his wife.

“How else am I to keep up with the goings on in Society whilst we are retired here in Bath, Adrian?” she asked before picking up the paper to peruse the contents.

He gave the matter no further thought as he continued to enjoy his morning coffee before Celia gasped. She cast nervous eyes in his direction, worry etched upon her brow. God forbid! What now? he thought.

“Hand it over,” he said far more gently than he expected. Considering how Celia’s hands shook when she handed over the newsprint, the contents couldn’t be good news.

“Adrian… just remain calm,” she said placing her hand upon his arm.

“I am always calm, my dear,” he replied and watched a delicate brow arch upwards. “Well… most of the time.” He scanned the print until the words swirled before his angry eyes.

Gently Readers:

It has come to the attention of this reporter that a certain Miss d.C. was seen entering a seaside inn at an indecent hour of the night. Did this young lady just return from an evening of debauchery with some unknown gentleman? Time will only tell if her reputation will survive this latest bit of tittle tattle. Stay tuned for more, dear reader!

An Anonymous Reporter for
The TeaTime Tattler

“What the bloody—”

“Adrian,” Celia called out.

“I thought Grace and Nicholas had a firm had on Miranda and what is she doing at some inn along the coast?” he howled in frustration.

“There’s no sense in getting worked up about something you had no control over. You know how trouble seems to follow Miranda wherever she goes. I’m certain there’s an explanation for everything.”

“I highly doubt that, my dear. I will, however, send a message to Grace to find out what she knows. If you will excuse me, I’ll go to see the matter,” he replied before placing a kiss on the top of her head and heading for his study.

Miranda in trouble again. He swore his sister was going to be the death of him.


This is an original piece by Belle Sherry Ewing. Miss Miranda de Courtenay was previously seen in A Kiss For Charity and The Earl Takes A Wife. She now gets her happily ever after in Before I Found You that is in the Bluestocking Belles’ next box set Storm & Shelter.

Excerpt from Before I Found You: A de Courtenay Novella (Book Three):

“You look as though you belong here, Miranda.” That voice broke into her musings, causing a shiver of pleasure to race throughout her body. His tone was gentle. Might Jasper still care for her? God help me.

She turned to face him and realized he was closer than she thought. Her breath caught in her throat before she finally answered him. “Do I?” she asked hesitantly, before she shrugged. “I never seem to really fit in anywhere.”

“Maybe you’re just looking in all the wrong places.” His solemn expression seemed genuinely concerned. Miranda’s determination to have a titled man as her husband waned in Jasper’s presence. It troubled her, and at the same time she felt guilty. Wasn’t she being untrue to herself?

“Perhaps,” she replied, quietly. She would concede that something inside her was changing. She wasn’t sure if she cared for the changes or not, but she couldn’t stand to see the hurt she might cause this man once again reflected in his eyes.

A few locks of her hair whisked across her face and Jasper reached out to tuck the length behind her ear. “Miranda—”

“I must apologize if my presence has made you uncomfortable, Jasper. I tried to persuade Grace to pick me up after they were done here,” she interrupted. She gestured at the planks beneath her feet. “As you can see, I failed.”

“You are more than welcome onboard. But you’re not remaining in London?” The ship chose that moment to sway and, before Miranda’s stance could falter, Jasper took hold of her elbow to steady her. Her heart betrayed her yet again when he placed her hand into the crook of his arm to offer his support.

“No, I’m afraid not. Nicholas has purchased a cottage on the coast at Cromer in Norfolk. I’m to accompany them and their children while they look the place over and furnish it. It’s part of my punishment for past offenses, I suppose. I’d rather not go into the details.”

“Spending time with your family hardly seems like punishment, Miranda.”

“I’m glad you haven’t heard the gossip surrounding me the past few years. Elsewise, you’d be like the rest of the tonand stay away from me at all costs. I’m only really accepted among them because of Grace and Adrian.”

He pulled her to face him and lifted her chin. “We may not have known one another for long, but you must know I’m not cut from the same mold as most of society. I’ve lived by my own rules, and, while I try to remain the gentleman my parents raised me to be, I don’t mind taking a risk now and then.”

“Like at the ball?” she asked, trying to keep her nerves calm.

“Yes. I thought you also didn’t mind occasionally dismissing the convention of men and women of their ilk since you decided to dance with me.”

She thought of how a foolish bet with Grace had almost been the ruin of her reputation at Hollystone Hall. A laugh escaped her. “If you only knew…”

“Perhaps one day you shall confide in me. I promise to keep your secrets.” His grin was completely wicked, and another piece of her heart melted.

“I just may hold you to your vow, Jasper,” she teased, her eyes twinkling in merriment while they jested with one another.

Storm & Shelter:
A Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

Before I Found You Blurb:

Miss Miranda de Courtenay has only one goal in life: to find a rich husband who can change her status from Miss to My Lady. But when a handsome stranger crosses her path at a Valentine’s Day ball, her obsession with titles dims. Might love be enough?

Captain Jasper Rousseau has no plans to become infatuated during a chance encounter at a ball. He has a new ship to run, passengers to book, and cargo to deliver. But one look into a young lady’s beautiful hazel eyes, and he becomes lost. Does love at first sight really exist?

Their paths continue to cross until they are both stranded in Fenwick on Sea. Their growing connection is hard to dismiss, despite Miranda’s childish quest for a title at all cost. But what if the cost includes love?

Buy Links:

Amazon US |  Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Google Books | Kobo

Amazon AU |BR |CA |DE |ES |FR |IN |IT |JP |MX |NL |UK

Angus & Robertson

About Sherry Ewing:

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist. You can learn more about Sherry and her books on her website where a new adventure awaits you on every page!

Website & Books: www.SherryEwing.com

Bluestocking Belles: http://bluestockingbelles.net/

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