The editor will be appalled, and rightly so, by the stories currently in circulation concerning a certain Miss I—-s.
Far be it from me to promote tittle-tattle, but I have it on the Very Best Authority that the young lady in question has been spotted attired in Men’s Garb. If this new denizen of Bath is as unstable as the infamous Caroline Lamb, might I suggest that her Mama not only obliges her to drink our Famous Spa waters but immerses her in them as well.
The young lady in question also appears to have a remarkable ability to recover from the most serious of illnesses—even without recourse to said Healing Waters. A visit by an undertaker after news of Miss I—–’s demise was followed rapidly thereafter by her being seen at a coffee house, squired by none other than the gallant Captain H.
Whilst I have great respect for the Military, I cannot approve of so worthy a Gentleman allowing himself to be seen in public with such a rackety, harum-scarum young female. Furthermore, if his week-long vigil outside her door was a polite form of House Arrest, I am most put out that he did not inform those of us who dwell nearby what menace the I—-s family represents to its neighbors. It was most thoroughly remiss of him.
Any further explanation of these events would be most welcome so that we Bathonians may be reassured that we do not harbor a disturber-of-the-peace among us and may continue to rest easy in our beds.
A Game of Hazard
Her fate depends on a roll of the dice.
There’s a price on her head…
Miss Alexandra Isaacs learned many things at finishing school but how to run a vast smuggling empire wasn’t one of them. She’s desperate to protect this perilous inheritance because so many lives depend on it. However, there’s a traitor in their midst, and Alex must risk exposure to unmask him. There’s external danger, too, in the shape of a clever—not to mention compelling—excise officer. It would be utter folly to allow the captain any closer, but that’s precisely what a blackmailing matchmaker forces Alex to do.
…and he means to claim it.
The reward for capturing the smugglers’ ringleader is hugely tempting to Captain Giles Harewood. His sisters are in dire need of dowries and the Bath Season is in full swing—the perfect opportunity to find husbands for them. But the implacable Lady Pandora Osbourne has other plans for this confirmed bachelor—plans that could destroy all his hopes.
Who will win and who will lose in this deadly game of Hazard?
The above story is part of THE WEDDING WAGER anthology.
The Boast—pride goeth before the fall…
After facilitating the match of the season, Lady Pandora “Pansy” Osbourne, has boasted that she is the best matchmaker The Ton has ever seen. Always willing to bring her cousin down a peg or two, her cousin, Lady Octavia Sewell insists that was no feat of matchmaking at all, as the couple involved were clearly destined for one another despite Pansy’s meddling. A bitter argument ensues and a dreadful challenge is issued. Pansy must do more than say it… she must prove it.
The terms of the wager are set!
Pansy must produce no less than one match per month between people who have been notoriously unmarriageable—spinsters, bluestockings, rakes and fortune hunters, oh my! But there’s more riding on this than simply her pride! If Pansy loses, she will have to give up her most prized possession—a tiara that belonged to their grandmother will be forfeited into Octavia’s grasping hands.
The Ends Justify the Means… or do they?
Desperate to make these matches, prove her claims of matchmaking prowess to be true and make Octavia eat crow in a very public fashion, Pansy resorts to the greatest weapon in any matchmaker’s arsenal—the house party. Not just one, but a series of them. For two weeks out of every month, she will open her home to an assortment of victims…er, guests. At the end of each party, one couple will emerge either betrothed or wed, by fair means or foul.
Find your Buy Links here to take advantage of the pre-order discount-
That most scandalous of establishments, The Soho Club, is more popular than ever in Regency Society – and this time, there are festivities afoot.
You may recall that this unique and exclusive club maintains both a male and female membership. All appetites are welcome at The Soho Club, a haven for those who wish a moment’s indulgence away from prying eyes and scurrilous gossips. Only the premiere scandal sheet in the capital is even aware of this place where one’s most daring appetites are expected, encouraged, and even shared.
The Soho Club has only one rule: Discretion above all things. It’s the ‘all things’ that the members enjoy, because sharing secrets at Christmas time so often leads to love.
Eight steamy Regency romance novellas to ring in the season!
Heidi Wessman Kneale, The Freedom of a Widow
Master Bisou gives kissing lessons at The Soho Club, but what to do with a young widow, who wants to learn so much more?
Renée Dahlia, The Widow’s Modiste
Lady Merryam, widowed and bored, only attends the Soho Club’s latest ball to help raise funds for her son’s orphanage. The last thing she expects is a one night stand with the mysterious woman wearing ‘that’ dress. Could spending more time with her be the answer to her ennui?
Charlotte Anne, Violet Evergreen Seduces a Rogue
Wallflower Violet knows there’s more to the world than parties and fine gowns, and she’s determined to experience it all. With a little light bribery she convinces the great nonpareil of London’s gambling dens, Morgan Turner, to gift her some ‘experience’ at The Soho Club for Christmas.
Clyve Rose, The Case of the Black Diamond (Part II)
Much has changed since the events of Part I. Ada Ryan is caught up in her sister’s intrigues and her sister’s colleague Mr Felix is too attractive for a mere valet, but is that all there is to this man? Mr Felix is working to solve a maid’s murder and uncover a conspiracy. The last thing he needs is a distraction from one of the loveliest and most talented women in London – but he’s under orders to see to Ada Ryan’s safety. He’d best keep her close.
This novella includes links to a free bonus download featuring more espionage, adventure and passion. The bonus book is a bonus gift to all who purchase this collection – Merry Christmas!
Linda Rae Sande, The Holiday of a Marquess
A widowed countess who knows her numbers and a marquess in need of an accountant. When a will reveals her late husband’s secret, Elaine succumbs to Edward’s advances and discovers a second chance a love is possible at The Soho Club.
Ebony Oaten, Scandalous Charlotte
Charlotte, Lady Durham, has a terrible secret that weighs more heavily upon her by the day. If Charlotte thought she could have a quiet Christmastide as a widow, she did not count on Brabham, the ever-so-helpful footman whose well-meaning goodwill threatens to expose everything she holds dear.
Fiona M Marsden, Thursday’s Child
Newlyweds Will and Bella are struggling after their disastrous honeymoon and a family Christmas looming before them. They agree to rebuild their marriage kiss by kiss, touch by touch, in the scandalous private reading room of The Soho Club.
This collection includes 2 BONUS NOVELLAS:
Pamela Hart, A Generous Heart
Accessing her substantial inheritance from conservative trustees is proving impossible for Adeline Edmonds. Her heart is set on creating a charitable school for the poor of London. Viscount Marryam has his heart set on Adeline Edmonds, but the company she keeps could derail his ambitions.
Ebony Oaten, There’s Something About Miss Mary
Miss Mary Callingsbrooke knows there’s something terribly wrong with her. Her body reacts in such an unnatural way when she’s close to a handsome gentleman. Mary meets the mysterious Mr Smith at the Soho Club, who shows Mary that her ‘faults’ are in fact incredibly attractive features. He’s more than happy to marry Mary, but why the haste?
About the Book: Christmas Secrets of the Soho Club
Eight Regency novellas for less than $1 (plus your BONUS CHRISTMAS GIFTS).
Excerpt from The Case of the Black Diamond (Part II), by Clyve Rose:
Felix moved towards her. “May I assist you?”
“You’ve done nothing but assist me since I made your acquaintance.” Ada’s bluntness surprised them both, if Felix’s raised brows were any indication. Is this what working without a script feels like? The parlour door swung slightly ajar, a crack of light between the wood and the jamb. Did propriety matter when a woman had already kissed the gentleman in question? In such cases as these, it matters more. Ada’s inner pragmatist made little sense today. She stared accusingly at the nearly-closed door.
Felix’s gaze followed hers before returning to fix on her face – and there it was, the blush she’d managed to keep at bay since she’d met this man. Kissed him. Been kissed by him… Something real, warm, and wonderfully powerful rushed through her, like winter sunlight after frost. She shivered, opening her mouth to speak and banish this strangeness but no words came out. For the first time since she’d stood before an audience, Ada Ryan closed her lips without uttering a sound. Her gaze found Felix’s. He studied her face as though enchanted. His strong jaw relaxed, lips parted in the beginnings of a smile, his dimple half-visible, half-lost.
“Are you thinking of our kiss?” She asked, her cheeks heating further.
“Five weeks ago,” he replied, still smiling. Heavens, that dimple.
Five weeks, three days, and twenty-two hours. Ada nearly pouted at her memory’s stubborn persistence. She reached towards him as though she’d lost control of her limbs. Felix was across the room in an instant. His palm cupped her cheek, his eyes staring searchingly into her face.
“Ada, are you certain?”
Ada placed one palm over his, the other reaching up to stroke his hair. Tugging gently, she settled his mouth over hers, tasting citrus and scotch, intoxicating, enthralling, and gently questing. Ada sighed, nestling closer as his mouth teased hers, nipping at her lips while his palms cradled her face in the gentlest caress. His fingers moved delicately against her cheeks, as though she were precious, important, and valuable simply as Ada. So she kissed him as Ada; gently, wonderingly, with a hesitancy she’d not felt before…a kiss that was not ‘business’, or theatrics, or demanded. A kiss that was quiet and deliciously sweet, balancing desire with depth.
She drew back, swallowing the taste of him deeply, holding this honeyed moment still. When she nerved herself to meet his gaze, Ada saw warmth and gentle acceptance. She saw hunger too – fierce and potent. A trilling laugh bubbled up from her throat. She bit it back, forcing it away from this sensation that didn’t belong to staged scenes. It belonged to Ada and Felix. Laying her eyeglasses on the desk she stared at this man, awake to the shock of being real.
I liked kissing you she wanted to say, but confidence was one thing; brazenness was quite another. There were rumours all over London about the ‘new duchess’ at Drury Lane. Perhaps Mr Felix believed them. She swallowed. “I like kissing you.” She whispered, trembling in every nerve.
“Then I am the luckiest man in London.”
Clyve Rose is an award-winning, Amazon-bestselling author of historical fiction in Australia and the US. She has been writing historical romance for the best part of two decades. Clyve believes that love is the highest and strongest force known in the world, and that it only manifests when we are our best and truest selves.
Her debut novel Always a Princess was a finalist in 2020’s ARRA Awards. The Soho Club collections were also finalists in these awards, as was the sweet romance novella Love’s Sweet Arrow. She is also the recipient of a Passionate Ink award for The One Below.
An item from the Nottingham Vigilant sent to The Teatime Tattler
Ashmead Gleanings for Saturday June 20, 1818
The Village continues to enjoy a quiet June. Weather to date has been favorable for a good harvest, and the Saint Morwenna Ladies’ Guild has kept the church awash in flowers.
Fletcher Hadden, village bootmaker, welcomed a fine son last week. The father reports mother and son are fit as can be. Walter Simmons announced the betrothal of his daughter Penelope at the assembly Saturday night. Folks were pleased for the girl, but a few ladies couldn’t help commenting that her older sister Bernice appeared none to pleased to be left on the shelf.
Ignatius Browning’s prize sow delivered of twelve piglets, causing much local interest. Due to an accidental over shipment of summer muslin, George Denman wishes folks to know it can be had at bargain prices at Denman’s drapery.
The most interest in Ashmead this week, however, centered on the whereabouts of Eli Benson, land steward to the Earl of Clarion. The end of May a woman turned up at Clarion Hall seeking help. Folks there report the woman had Caulfield hair and eyes, as do all of the old earl’s by-blows. We speculate she hoped to get part of the will where he left them all bits, but everyone knows Benson already settled the will. Made good on every promise. Is she a fake?
Edward Lamson Henry (1841-1919)
Soon after, Benson hied off to Manchester with the woman. Supposedly to settle some legal problems for her. A few folk took particular notice that they went off alone together. We’ve not verified that, but in any case he hasn’t returned. Work on road improvements around tenant cottages has all but stopped waiting for Benson’s input, and the repairs to the stables haven’t done much better.
This reporter asked the man’s father, Robert Benson, the innkeeper at The Willow and the Rose, about it over a pint of ale. He repeated that Eli is simply managing some legal problems and will be home soon. If that is so, why did he send his other son to investigate?
We have it on good authority that Sir Robert Benson, the one that’s a hero, galloped off to see to his brother. Trouble is brewing in Manchester. Count on it.
About the Book
Frances Hancock always knew she was a bastard. She didn’t know her father was an earl until her mother died. The information came just in time. She and her mother’s younger children were about to be homeless. She needs help. Fast. What she wants is a hero.
Eli Benson, the Earl of Clarion’s steward, took great pride in cleaning up the mess left behind by the old earl’s will. When a dainty but ferocious young woman with the earl’s hair and eyes comes demanding help, his heart sinks. She isn’t in the will. She was forgotten entirely. And the estate is just getting its finances back in order. But he knows a moral obligation when he sees one. He may not be her idea of a hero, but people count on him to fix things. He’s good at it. Falling in love with her will only complicate things.
Eli will solve her problems or die trying. It may come to that.
Award winning author and Bluestocking Belle 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.
Regarding the recent marriage of the Earl of Chadbourn to that country mouse who appears to be some sort of relative of his late brother-in-law, I found the affair to be respectable enough but woefully modest for a man of his stature. I suppose some find a village church wedding charming, but your readers would no doubt prefer to hear about a fully realized society affair at Saint George, Hanover Square, or even Saint Paul’s. Still, I managed to unearth a few tidbits to report, per your request.
The Landrum family was out in force of course, even Lady Flora who so scandalously married in a rush. There was much talk about the hurry, because the family was in mourning for her sister’s husband. Neither she nor her new spouse, Lord Ethan Alcott—who makes no effort to disguise the obvious deformity he brought back from war—appeared the slightest concerned about talk. Her attendence was particularly shocking, when her obvious queasiness gave evidence that she anticipates an interesting event.
Of more interest to your readers, Lord Ethan’s brother, the very eligible Viscount Penrhyd, who is after all the heir to a Marquess, attended. He escaped entanglement last Season and showed no particular preference for any lady at the wedding, so the hopeful young women of London may take heart.
The ladies may also note that the Marquess of Glenaire stood up with Chadbourn. The man would be an breathtaking catch for any hopeful debutante—rich as Croesus, heir to the Duke of Sudbury who claims precedence following only the royal dukes, and well to look at—but alas an elusive one. Some find him as handsome as sin; I for one find him cold. Those icy blue eyes quite give one a shudder. I would warn any young lady under my patronage to avoid him.
Glenaire’s entire family attended the wedding. That the Duke and Duchess of Sudbury honored Chadbourn with their company was no surprise, given the son’s friendship. Their youngest daughter, who recently completed her second season (perhaps third, I quite forget) without a betrothal, spent the affair trying to attract the attention of Penrhyd with little success. The presence of their oldest (and let me say quite unmarried) daughter, Lady Georgiana, was the biggest surprise. They call her The Recluse of Cambridge, and she rarely appears in society. She appeared every inch the spinster she is.
Baron Ross’s rakehell son, the Honorable James Heyworth managed to behave like a gentleman, though he imbibed a bit much. One recalls that he, Glenaire, and Chadbourn, were fast friends before war with the despicable French sent most of them off. It caused me to recall their other friend, Andrew Mallet. He lacked the connections of the other three, but went about in society with them when the four came down from university. He too went off to war and came back rather sadly scarred.
I raise his name because the presence of the others and Lady Georgiana brought to mind some old gossip. It has been several years, but I seem to recall rumors regarding the duke’s daughter and the scholar’s son. Odd that he didn’t attend, and she did. Plus, there is the Cambridge connection for I am positive he grew up there. You might want to put some of your people on it to see if there is something delicious to uncover.
I endured the wedding for your sake, my dear Clemens, overrun as it was with small boys and odd servants. (Chadbourn does hire a peculiar collection of scarred, limping, and deaf retainers, former soldiers all. Admirable, but unpleasant for his guests.) In any case I trust you to keep my name off any items you decide to publish. I do appreciate your little gifts. Leaving a packet at Williamson’s Lending Library as you have before, makes for a pleasant surprise.
Your devoted friend,
About the Book
There are indeed grounds for the rumors about Lady Georgiana and Andrew Mallet. Their story is in Dangerous Works.
A little Greek is one thing; the art of love is another.
Only one man ever tried to teach Lady Georgiana Hayden both. Now she has taken on a body of work; translating the poetry of the women of ancient Greece. If it takes a scandalous affair to teach her what she needs to complete her work, she will risk it.
Major Andrew Mallet returns to Cambridge a battle-scarred hero and would be scholar. His last encounter with Georgiana cost him eleven years of his life. Determined to avoid her, he seeks work to heal his soul and make his scholar father proud. The work she offers risks his career, his peace of mind, and (worst of all) his heart. Can he protect himself from a woman who almost destroyed him? Does he want to?
As to the Earl of Chadbourn, the story of he and his “country mouse” can be found in A Dangerous Nativity, which is always ***FREE*** at various retailers.
Lady Flora, Lord Ethan, and Viscount Penryth appear in “Lord Ethan’s Honor,” in the Bluestocking Belles’ Collection, Fire & Frost.
The very elusive Marquess of Glenaire finally gets taken down a peg or two in Dangerous Weakness, also FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
About the Author
Caroline Warfield, Bluestocking Belle and lover of romance, writes stories set in the Regency and Victorian eras from her desk in the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania when she isn’t traveling the world with her Beloved looking for interesting places to send her characters.
A most scandalous display of courtship occurred yesterday on the stoop of Lady R’s townhome. The dashing Lord B swept the innocent debutante Lady D into his embrace for a scorching kiss. The neighbor’s windows steamed over from the passionate heat. It was said that the lady did not protest the affectionate gesture, but wrapped her arms around the gentleman pulling him closer. The kiss was soon broken-up by the reformed rakes The Duke of S and Lord W.
As Lord B was dragged away by Lord W, he drunkenly declared his apologies. While The Duke of S offered an explanation for his friend’s actions to Lady D. (Who I might add had also courted the lady himself before he wed the lovely Lady S.) A smile of pleasure graced the lady’s face before she closed the door.
But wait, there is more to this story readers. My sources tell me that earlier in the day while at his club, Lord B laid Lord P to the floor with a planter. He threatened him with more punches if he ever approached Lady D and his sister again. It leaves me wondering who the Earl tried protecting more, his sister or the red-haired beauty, Lady D.
Well readers, does the impoverished Earl mean to ruin Lady D for financial gain? Or is he smitten with her charms? While most ladies would have slapped a gentleman stepping over the bounds of propriety, Lady D did not. Which leads me to believe that she welcomes this scandalous courtship. I for one, will enjoy watching this scandal unfold.
About the Book: I Shall Love the Earl (Tricking the Scoundrels #3)
How many times must a gentleman ruin a lady before he offers for her hand….
She waited for the temptation held in his gaze. He refused to give into his desire to court her. Can a ruination of a lady lead toward a love to last a lifetime?
Every ball Dallis MacPherson attended, she saved a spot on her dance card for a certain gentleman. Many balls later and still no offer, prompts her to pursue the earl. When she encounters him on a darkened balcony, he steals a kiss and warns her away. His stolen kiss promises a passion she wants to explore. At every occasion he attends, she tempts him with her own promise. Soon the earl falls for her charms and sends her down a path of ruination with one incident after another. Can Dallis overcome the scandal of the earl’s pursuit?
Roderick Beckwith watched the Scottish beauty from afar. He lost his heart the moment he set eyes upon her. Throughout the season every gentleman offered her a dance, but him. With his financial affairs on the brink of disaster, he couldn’t provide her with the life she deserved. When his mother introduces his sworn enemy to his heart’s desire, he must set aside his pride. However, his courtship is less than ideal. At every opportunity he brings scandal to her name. Can Rory redeem himself and prove to Dallis that he is a gentleman worth loving?
With every glance, Dallis pulls Rory in deeper. His stolen kisses forces him to make her an offer of marriage. As they prepare for their wedding, he acts as the perfect gentleman. However, the proper gentleman was not who Dallis desired. Will her scoundrel show himself before they say I do?
I Shall Love the Earl is the third book in Laura A. Barnes’s romantic historical romance series. If you love a novel filled with a scandalous courtship set in Regency England, then you will enjoy Rory enticing Dallis with promises of love.
Devour I Shall Love the Earl, the third novel in Laura’s Tricking the Scoundrel series today.
Dallis heard the pounding on the door and realized that for some reason Shaw wasn’t going to answer the caller. Even though it was highly improper, Dallis opened the door herself. She stood in surprise at who stood on her doorstep. Lord Roderick Beckwith swayed back and forth, trying to fight for his balance. His eyes glazed over as his lips pulled into a lopsided smile.
“Yous is sooooo betiful.”
He was drunk. The ever-proper, keeping his temper in a tight control, protective Rory Beckwith, was blazing drunk. He reached out to wrap his finger around a stray curl.
“Soooo soft. Knew wods be.”
Rory’s touch stilled Dallis from helping him stand. The gentle caress caught her unaware. His thumb brushed across the loose strand. Rory continued to sway and soon lost his balance. He fell into the doorjamb, where he decided to lean. When Dallis didn’t respond to Rory, he took his touch one step further and brushed his thumb across her lips. The jolt propelled Dallis closer to him, her mouth opening at his touch.
“Soft engf to kiss.”
Dallis didn’t know how to react. Rory was finally near and touching her. Her body took over, responding to his need. Her tongue slowly slid out to lick his thumb. At her reaction, he groaned and pulled her into his arms.
“See, I tolds you I’s dangerous.”
Rory’s lips devoured hers passionately, exploding her senses. His mouth pulling kiss after kiss from her soul, while his hands dived into her hair causing her hair pins to scatter across the foyer. As he sensed her desire, the kiss turned more urgent. Everything she ever read about was coming true at this moment. Still, Dallis held back from responding due to her naivety. Until he groaned and tightened his embrace, giving her the encouragement to return his kiss and match him stroke for stroke.
“We thought this might be your next destination. C’mon mate, before the neighbors catch sight of your stupidity. I told you, Sheffield, that he would go to her.”
Sheffield and Wildeburg pulled Rory away from Dallis. Her face flamed with embarrassment to be caught so intimately in Rory’s embrace. Dallis held her cheeks as Wildeburg led him away.
“Sorrysss Dallis,” Rory called out.
“For the kiss?” she whispered.
Sheffield answered for him. “No, my dear, for another matter. I am working to quell that problem. But you should be aware that he defended your honor at the club today with Lord Phipps.”
“By a bloody punch to the nose.”
“Oh. More to add to my embarrassment.”
“I am afraid so. Do you remember our conversation in the park?”
“If it is any comfort, you are not the only one suffering from love.”
“Then why does he ignore me?”
“Pride, my dear Dallis. A man’s greatest downfall in life.”
“My sentiments exactly.”
“Thank you, Sheffield.”
“Anything for a friend. Will we see you at the Sambourne Ball?”
“Yes, I am very excited. Lady Beckwith offered to introduce me to Lord Holdenburg.”
“So I have heard. Another reason for our acquaintance’s inebriation.”
Dallis smiled. Rory’s display of drunken affection proved he was jealous. Was he jealous enough to stop the courtship her grandmother proposed? If not, his actions this afternoon secured that he must court her or ruin her reputation. They could have explained away the punch, but the kiss held the most damage. Dallis knew her grandmother’s neighbors watched them. There wasn’t an activity in the neighborhood they didn’t observe.
“Give Sophia my love.”
“Will do. Please save me a dance this evening. We might as well make the bloke so bloody jealous that he will become a pup at your feet, begging for a treat.”
Dallis closed the door as Sheffield entered his carriage. She leaned against the paneling, her smile growing wider, realizing she had Rory right where she wanted him. Her smile turned to astonishment as she remembered the taste of him on her lips. She pressed her fingers to her mouth. Would he recall their kiss after his drunkenness wore off? If not, she would be sure to refresh his memory.
International selling author Laura A. Barnes fell in love with writing in the second grade. After her first creative writing assignment, she knew what she wanted to become. Many years went by with Laura filling her head full of story ideas and some funny fish songs she wrote while fishing with her family. Thirty-seven years later, she made her dreams a reality. With her debut novel Rescued By the Captain, she has set out on the path she always dreamed about.
When not writing, Laura can be found devouring her favorite romance books. Laura is married to her own Prince Charming (who for some reason or another thinks the heroes in her books are about him) and they have three wonderful children and two sweet grandbabies. Besides her love of reading and writing, Laura loves to travel. With her passport stamped in England, Scotland, and Ireland; she hopes to add more countries to her list soon.
While Laura isn’t very good on the social media front, she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her on the following platforms: