As I embark upon a new Season, I cannot help but reflect upon last year, my observations, and the few people in which I’d taken a great interest. One being the Duke of Arscott and how he grew more irritable with each passing day.
The cause—his daughter, Lady Lucinda Claxton. She was soon to turn two and twenty and had yet to settle upon anyone, though many lords wished to settle on her. Her father claimed that she was being too fastidious. I believe she was being pragmatic. Deciding upon a husband is far more serious than choosing whom one might grant a waltz.
Her admirers were many, as you may recall. Not only was her father a duke, but she also possessed lovely chestnut locks and intelligent grey eyes. However, she did not suffer fools, which could explain why she remained unwed. I, too, have often wondered if intelligence exists during the Season, especially among the dandies.
I waited in anticipation for a lord to win her heart, but alas, as the Season came to an end there was no hope of a betrothal. It was then that I returned my attention to His Grace and wondered if he would be forced into drastic measures to see his daughter his wed. Which is exactly what occurred, and rumors may have already reached your ears regarding the Duke of Arscott’s house party held shortly after Christmas.
It was ten days of festivities, outings, games and a guest list to impress, if not small, all for the purpose of seeing that Lady Lucinda finally settle on a husband.
Did I mention that it was small? Yes, I did. In fact, there were only ten lords invited and all for the single purpose of wooing Lady Lucinda.
The lady herself, was not pleased. Especially since her father refused to reveal the names of the guests for fear that she’d form her objections before they ever arrived.
However, the gathering turned out to be far more pleasant than Lady Lucinda ever dreamed, and you’ll never guess who she settled upon.
About the Book: Lady Lucinda’s Lords: Tenth Day of Christmas
Ten Leaping Lords, one imperious grandmother, and a Mister from Louisiana were her Christmas fate.
Much to Lady Lucinda Claxton’s dismay and irritation, her father’s house party only includes bachelors ready to wed. With her siblings off celebrating Christmas elsewhere, Lucinda is left to fend for herself. A new arrival, however, changes everything, and soon Lucinda decides the next ten days may not be so tedious after all.
Mr. Caleb Copeland agrees to accompany his great-aunts to the home of the Duke of Arscott on one condition: He’ll not participate in any of the entertainments. He is simply their escort, not an invited guest. However, as much as he tries to keep his vow, his path often crosses Lady Lucinda’s while she is hiding from her court. Before long, Caleb knows none of her leaping lords will ever be worthy of her. Unfortunately, neither is he.
(12 Days of Christmas Book 10): https://books2read.com/u/brWOLW
RELEASE DATE: December 10, 2020
“Why are you up here and not down there?”
Caleb nearly jumped at the female whisper and turned to find a young woman with dark ringlets and laughing grey eyes.
“I’m not really a guest.”
She frowned, her full, rosy lips puckering. “Then why are you here? Did you sneak in? Are you here to rob us? Should I be screaming?”
Affronted, Caleb took a step back, though he was beginning to suspect she teased him. “I simply accompanied my great-aunts.” He pointed to the three older women seated side by side.
She glanced down at the gathering below before a smile burst on the woman’s lips. “Ladies Priscilla, Joanna and Esther Tilson!” She quietly clapped her hands in delight. “I’d not been told they’d be coming. I do so adore them. They may be just what saves this house party from being tedious.”
“Yes.” She sighed and leaned on the balcony. “Those ten are the only guests, other than you and your great-aunts. To make matters worse, the rest of my family has found a reason to be absent, leaving me, my father and grandmother to attend to those lords.” She turned. “Forgive me, I’m Lady Lucinda Claxton.”
“Mister Caleb Copeland.” He bowed to the duke’s second daughter. “Why did he only invite ten gentlemen?”
She let out a deep sigh. “To see me married, of course.”
It was as he suspected, though it didn’t explain why his great-aunts needed him. They couldn’t expect him to be included in the group below, who would undoubtedly leap to do any deed to win Lady Lucinda’s favor.
He chuckled. “Ten lords a leaping,” he sang quietly.
Lady Lucinda scowled at him. “I don’t find you the least bit humorous.”
Caleb would have believed her if Lady Lucinda’s lips hadn’t twitched.
“Yes, you do.”
She brought a hand to her mouth to muffle her giggle. “Perhaps I do.”
Merriment danced in her grey eyes. “They do tend to jump, or in this case leap, to do one’s bidding when one is the daughter of a duke.”
“You should be flattered.”
At that she rolled her eyes. “It’s bothersome. I shan’t wed because they are of the right family and are titled, nor should that be the reason anyone wished to marry me.”
“It is the way of things, is it not?”
“For some, but not for me.” She lifted her chin. “Shall we join the others?”
“You go on,” Caleb insisted. He’d much rather have a view of the leaping from where he currently stood.
“Are you not a bachelor as well?” A dark eyebrow lifted with the question.
“I am, but while my uncle may be a duke, and my brother in training to become one, I am but a simple mister from New Orleans.” He then grinned. “And I do not leap.”
“Such a pity for I do believe I’d enjoy you doing so.” She laughed.
Lady Lucinda swished away from him and for the briefest moment, Caleb almost wished that he could claim the title of lord.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Jane Charles is a prolific writer of over fifty historical and contemporary romance novels. Her love of research lends authenticity to her Regency romances, and her experience directing theatre productions helps her craft beautiful, touching stories that tug at the heartstrings. Jane is an upbeat and positive author dedicated to giving her characters happy-ever-afters and leaving the readers satisfied at the end of an emotional journey. Lifelong Cubs fan, world traveler and mother of three amazing children, Jane lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two dogs and a cat. She is currently writing her next book and planning her dream trip to England. Be sure to join Jane on Facebook @JaneCharlesAuthor for Wine Pairings Wednesdays.