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:
A few nights ago there was a delightful surprise at the
Raven. The notorious gambling establishment premiered its new singer, an auburn
haired beauty named Charity Walsh. Little is known about the new girl, aside
from her talent. She stunned audience members with her Gaelic tunes and stolen
a few hearts with her angelic face. The lack of history only adds to the
mystery my readers!
After the show I went backstage to see if I could find out a
little bit more about the lovely Songbird, only to be turned away. It wasn’t
just this humble reporter getting rejected. I heard the owner himself say that
the lady was refusing all visitors. That is almost unheard of in the world of
performers. I immediately became intrigued.
Turns out the lady is adamant in her refusal of all
gentleman company and from the sources I talked to she has been turning away
gifts since her debut. I found out that there is one young man who has at least
managed to spend time in her company, but he is only a musician looking for a
chance to play. There couldn’t possibly be anything to speculate about there.
The owner has decided to use the little charmer’s refusal to
his advantage, encouraging the wild gentleman of his club to try harder. I can
confirm that there is both an entry in the betting book at White’s, as well as
at least one private wager among a set of young lords, as to who might be the first to win the her
coveted affection. The anticipation of finding out has only made her show that
much more popular. It is standing room only and she now plays to a packed house
Will she be able to resist the temptation of a charming, handsome (not to mention rich) protector? Or will she hold fast to her word of swearing off all men, even those with deep pockets? Perhaps she will find her heart being pulled in an unknown direction. Rest assured, dear readers, I will make sure to find out and keep you apprised of what occurs.
About the Book Song for a Scoundral
Jasper Heade was the second son of the second son of a baron, which meant very little in the world. He was a sharp man, with big ideas and lots of ambition but could only get as far as being secretary to his cousin, the earl. One day, his cousin offers a contest with a sum of money larger than Jasper would ever see. The goal: woo the pretty little songbird that sang at the Raven Club.
Charity Walsh had grown up a dirt poor nobody and she refused to live her entire life that way. The Irish redhead had convinced the owner of the Raven Club to let her perform and she was a success, but she wanted more. She longed to sing for a bigger stage and a more distinguished audience. To reach that goal, she will need to prove not only her musical skill but also her spotless reputation. That becomes difficult when she is bombarded with suitors.
Jasper decides to assume a secret identity to win the money, but what does he do when he loses his heart?
Sinners Club Novellas, Book 2
About the Author
Emma Brady is an author of historical romance set in the Victorian period. She currently has a series about naughty gentleman that get their just desserts in the Sinners Club. She is also working on a group project, a series of Victorian Fairy tales with a great group of authors to release this summer called Lady Goosebury’s Tales. She loves too cook and play with her two dogs, Brady and Jack. For her, romance is all about being willing to take a risk.
You can learn a lot in pubs and cafés. Your Teatime Tattler
has long had a policy of lingering in such establishments on the fringe more
posh neighborhoods—the sort of places servants might gather on their off days.
The Little Brown Hen Pub has been particularly useful
lately. It seems one of our “better” squares, one populated by two earls, a
wealthy baron, and a dowager duchess to name a few, has had an abundance of
havey-cavey behavior lately—enough to make a debutante blush.
First off an upstairs maid from the Earl of W—’s house and a footman from Mr. M.C.’s both were at pains to tell our man on the spot about strange arrangements in the Earl of C—’s fashionable townhouse—he who came into his title just last summer.
“Y’don’t see them servants here, do ya? They keep to themselves they do. Downright unfriendly,” complained the footman.
“That butler o’thern looks more like a prize fighter than a
butler, if you ask me,” the little maid sniffed. “And have you seen that
footman missing one ear? His visage has an ugly scar. What kind of earl hires
They scurried off to fetch more ale when an older woman, dressed in black, and obviously an upper servant shooed them away. She introduced herself as Her Grace’s dresser—that would be the dowager—and insisted on tea. “Only tea,” she said with a sniff. This bird seemed a bit high class for this pub, but then maybe widowed duchesses don’t pay as well as others.
“If you’re interested in the Earl of C—, I can tell you more
interesting things about that house than deformed footmen,” she said, rubbing
two fingers together. We’re always willing to spare a few coin for a woman who
can use ‘em. We obliged.
“To begin with the man doesn’t live there. He has rooms at the Albany, and God only knows what bachelors get up to there. When the old earl died, the older sister—she who is the Duchess of M— came to look after the younger girl, a flibbertigibbet of the first order, in my opinion.” She drew breath and our man quickly suspected she had many opinions loosened by coin.
“Now the Duke of M— is a fine man, but his wife is a pale shadow of a thing, utterly incapable of minding the hoyden. They must have gotten fed up with her foolish starts and outlandish taking because they up and left. Closed up the house but for a few servants.”
She leaned over and dropped her voice, those fingers moving. Another coin may have slid across the table. “I saw them leave. Saw the carriage pull round, the duchess get in, the duke pull their boy by his collar and toss him in, and then they left.”
Our man waited, and not in vain. “I did not see the younger sister get in that carriage. Nor the one with the maid, valet, and baggage,” she went on. “Neither one. I watched the whole time.” He took her meaning, but to be sure he asked, “Are you telling me the Earl of C—’s young unmarried sister is living on her own in a house that’s supposed to be closed?”
“Well I know I didn’t see her leave with ‘em, and more.” She
leaned in again. “I’ve been watching a girl her size wearing the clothes of a
scullery maid but walking with the bearing of a countess coming and going
through the tradesmen’s door. That chit is up to something, no doubt about it,
and heading for ruin.”
“Is that it?”
“Well. The Earl of C— feeds anyone who come to his kitchen. Her Grace has complained mightily that it attracts all sorts of unsavory types. This very morning I saw a particularly horrid specimen—a filthy one-armed ruffian—parade through their garden as free as you please, and get taken in. Taken in and that girl in residence! Not an hour later he was out on the street. Did they toss him on his fundament? No! One of those deformed footmen was giving him directions. I ask you, is that how a respectable household conducts itself?”
The Earl of Chadbourn makes it a policy to hire as many
veterans in need of work as he can. The result has been a rather unusual
collection of servants. As to his sister, perhaps he wasn’t watching as closely
as he should.
When a young woman marches into an alley full of homeless
former soldiers, Ethan Alcott feels something he thought dead stir to life: his
sense of honor. Effort at charity put the chit in danger; someone needs to take
her in hand.
Lady Flora Landrum discovers that the mysterious one-armed ruffian she encountered in a back alley is Lord Ethan Alcott, son of the Marquess of Welbrook; her astonishment gives way to determination. As Ethan comes to admire Flora’s courage, perhaps he can reclaim his own.
About Fire & Frost
Join The Ladies’ Society For The Care of the Widows and Orphans of Fallen Heroes and the Children of Wounded Veterans in their pursuit of justice, charity, and soul-searing romance.
The Napoleonic Wars have left England with wounded warriors, fatherless children, unemployed veterans, and hungry families. The ladies of London, led by the indomitable Duchess of Haverford plot a campaign to feed the hungry, care for the fallen—and bring the neglectful Parliament to heel. They will use any means at their disposal to convince the gentlemen of their choice to assist.
Their campaign involves strategy, persuasion, and a wee bit of fun. Pamphlets are all well and good, but auctioning a lady’s company along with her basket of delicious treats is bound to get more attention. Their efforts fall amid weeks of fog and weather so cold the Thames freezes over and a festive Frost Fair breaks out right on the river. The ladies take to the ice. What could be better for their purposes than a little Fire and Frost?
Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020 with six interconnected Regency romances from the Bluestocking Belles.