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A house party of eye-opening revelations!

To the Tattler:

I find it imperative that I comment upon the house party to celebrate the May Day events at Lord and Lady Courtland’s home this past week. While I decline to name us for discretion among the ton, my husband and I are always invited to the annual event. This year’s frolic was truly a romp!

One lady was known to have secluded herself with a man she barely knows. Another had a most unusual public argument with a gentleman who heretofore was her childhood friend and now, oddly, seems to be her lover! The bride whose wedding we were to celebrate ran off. We know not where, nor does the groom, poor man. And her friend, who has lost two betrotheds, one to casualty of war and another to a terrible catarrh, took up with the vicar and then she disappeared!

Now I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, what kind of party was this to be? 

One shudders to think of the consequences. 

One hopes all these young ladies recover their decorum. Further, one earnestly wishes these young men attend to their manners and their duties. Proposals are expected! Special licenses necessary! Weddings should be soon.

And my, my. I do look forward to next year’s May Day Frolic. Don’t you?

Sincerely, A lady of fine repute

LADY WILLA’S DiVINELY WICKED VICAR, Book 4, 

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FROLIC

She believed she destroyed any man who loved her. 

Lady Willa Sheffield had beauty, education, charm, a handsome dowry…and a curse for killing any man who proposed. When she falls for a man who has favor with someone who answers all prayers, she questions if she’s right.

He would move Heaven and Earth to marry her.

Reverend Charles Compton has everything a lady could require: wit, ethics, good family and stable position. But no money and no title. And for a lady who is an earl’s daughter to wed well, she needs a man of some gravitas. But a vicar of a small parish—with rousing political ideas and little income—must move Heaven and earth to make a good future.

Who can doubt the determination or the inventiveness of a man in love?

AMAZON Affiliate:  https://amzn.to/3qbv8gH

Did Cupid’s Arrow Find Its Mark?

Lady Constance Whittles was unsure of her feeling for the gentleman who had been her escort last night. She wasn’t sure why… or did she? Lieutenant Terrance Abernathy had conducted himself in a gentlemanly manner the entire night. With Aunt Penelope acting as chaperon, the Lieutenant had escorted them to the theater and the play had been lovely. His banter in the carriage and during the intermission had kept them laughing but something was missing that made her want to see him again.

If she searched her heart deep enough, Constance knew the reason. The Lieutenant wasn’t Viscount Digby Osgood. She gave a heavy sigh and the sound echoed in the blue breakfast room where she awaited her aunt. Just thinking about Digby caused her heart to take flight even though he had ended their relationship over two years ago. She had attempted to tell him she would wait for him until his business abroad for his father was over. But he had insisted she move on with her life. If only she could…

Her aunt entered the room followed closely by a maid who pushed a tea trolley and placed the cart next to her aunt once she was seated next to Constance at the table. Aunt Penelope all but tossed a folded newsprint into Constance’s lap.

“Page seven, half way down,” her aunt said who was clearly upset with whatever she had read. She poured a cup of tea and handed the china to Constance. “You may wish to take a sip before you peruse that rag! I highly doubt we’ll be able to enjoy breakfast this morning.”

Constance took a sip of her tea and then set it down on the table. She unfolded the newsprint. The Teatime Tattler… Good heavens! What had Samuel Clemmons written that had her aunt so upset?

Gentle Reader ~

It has come to this reporter’s attention that Lady C.W. may have finally… finally, dear readers… moved on from her past relationship with a certain Viscount who left her two years ago. Seen at the theater with Lieutenant T.A., could Cupid’s arrow have found its mark with these two potential love birds? Only time will tell! As the details unfold,  you’ll read it here first on the most reliable source of intel for all of London Society.

Submitted by an anonymous reporter
The Teatime Tattler

Reliable?” Constance muttered before folding the newsprint again and tossing it aside. “When did that gossip rag become reliable?”

Aunt Penelope nodded to a servant who made her a plate of food from the sideboard. “You should speak to Miss Amelia. Certainly, she must have a say on what her brother prints.”

“I highly doubt she’ll be able to sway her brother,” Constance replied before quietly thanking the servant who placed a plate in front of her.

“You work for her, Constance! Surely, she would talk to Samuel to ensure her employee’s reputation is not smeared across his newspaper.”

Constance set her fork down. “To be honest, is there really anything that isn’t true? I am trying to move on from Digby and I was at the theater with the Lieutenant. The only thing that was in error was the speculation that I was in love with the man, which I am not.”

“I’d bet my new green bonnet it was those Danvers sisters at it again putting their nose in everyone else’s business,” her aunt fumed.

“It doesn’t matter who tipped Mr. Clemons off and we shouldn’t let this upset us. Now let’s try to enjoy our breakfast and go about our day.”

As Constance put on a bright face for her aunt’s benefit, she refused to let a bit of gossip get the best of her. Let them say whatever they want. As far as she was concerned, Cupid’s arrow had missed her by a long shot where the Lieutenant was concerned!


Belle Sherry Ewing brings you A Second Chance At Love previously published in the Belles’ box set Fire & Frost. It’s now released for individual sale.

Excerpt:

“As I live and breathe, Digby Osgood.” She watched his eyes widen before his spectacles began to fog up as the warm air of the shop hit them. His cheeks were red, probably because of the cold outside, and she hid a smile at her imagination, which almost thought he was blushing because she addressed him so informally. She should not have been so presumptuous and quickly corrected her mistake. “I mean… Lord Osgood.”

Reaching inside his coat, he pulled out a linen handkerchief and began wiping his glasses before placing them back on the bridge of his nose. “Lady Constance,” he said just as formally. He gave her a welcoming smile before removing his hat. “It has been too long.”

Her breathing elevated just seeing Digby again, and she moved behind the desk to try to calm her thoughts. Still… she could not prevent herself from taking in the sight of him. His black hair curling at the edges was slightly damp where his hat had not covered his head from the falling snow. A slight cleft in his chin had always fascinated her whenever they had been together in the past. His face reminded her of the sculptures she had seen in her aunt’s garden; classical and timeless. But it was his vivid blue eyes that were her undoing. He gazed upon her as though asking if he was assuming too much by being here. The silly man.

“Too long indeed. There are not many who would brave such inclement weather to venture outside,” she finally answered.


A Second Chance At Love
A Frost Fair Regency Romance
By Sherry Ewing

Can the bittersweet frost of lost love be rekindled into a burning flame?

Viscount Digby Osgood returns to London after a two-year absence, planning to avoid the woman he courted and then left. Surely she has moved on with her life; even married by now. A bit of encouragement from a friend, however, pushes him to seek the lady out. Can she ever forgiven him and give them a second chance at love?

Lady Constance Whittles has only cared for one man in her life. Even after he broke her heart, it remains fixed on him. Another man tries to replace him, but she soon learns she can never feel for him a shadow of what she still feels for Digby. One brief encounter with Digby confirms it; she is more than willing to forgive him. Can they truly take up where they left off?

Charity projects and a Frost Fair on the Thames bring them together, but another stands in their way. Will he tear them apart?

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Books2Read

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

About Belle 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!

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Ladies Indulge in Pugilism!

1818, London

Despite the dubious legality of the noble and quintessentially English pursuit of pugilism, matches, or set-tos still happen with utmost regularity under our very noses. Why, there is word amongst the Fancy that the notable and invincible London championess, Miss Bess Abbott has a set-to for the ages scheduled at two months hence. One may recall her sponsor, the late Lord D—, who paraded her about last year. This female pugilist is also connected since childhood to the social climber with a Midas touch, Mr. A—, who has lately found matrimonial attachment with a respectable family, no doubt to the chagrin of Lord L—, whose daughter made such a sacrifice as to tie herself to the former prizefighter.

Should we exalt the athletic prowess of Miss Abbott, and call her one of our own, for her record is as yet unblemished? She may not possess the refinements of a lady, for she is not one. But her opponent in this set-to is heralded as the championess of Ireland. No one has found record of the Irish bruiser’s matches, but is that a surprise? No, I urge the dear readers to throw their support behind our own! We must give Miss Abbott her due in the ring, for such a woman has very little outside of it. I fear for her prospects should she retire from her sport.

An excerpt from the advertisements shows  the strength of character:

I, Bess Abbott, am not known for my fine features. And knowing such a mug as mine with intimacy, I pledge to remake Miss Kelly in my own image. If you have seen my nose, then you know it’s uneven features, which would be beguiling replacement seated amidst Miss Kelly’s delicate visage. Place your blunt on my fists, dear Fancy, and I promise to return your investment in a hail of blows unseen in any match yet in London.

 Excerpt

The empty apple boxes clattered as the men shifted their weight and stood, their boots heavy as they hit the ground.

The lamplighters were still some way off. Bess sighed and turned, hoping the men would see her better as the meager gaslight spilled down the thoroughfare. This usually put off any would-be brawlers. “I said, go home, lads.” Bess planted her feet and put down the bottle.

“Cor, not a beaut by any measure,” one of them said as he stalked closer.

“What’s with yer nose, pretty?” The men chuckled.

Bess took the insults without blinking. These jabs didn’t hurt, but she steadied her breathing, readying for the moment to come.

“Jeezus, Harry, look at her ears!” another said.

Bess had tried to take pride in the uneven scarring of her cauliflower ears. Male pugilists were proud of this physical sign of their profession, but somehow, Bess didn’t care for it, despite her status as a fighter being apparent in so many other ways.

“Eh,” said the one who was probably Harry. “Put a sack over ’er head.”

“You should be grateful some blokes want to have a bit o’ fun with you,” one insisted.

“Such a compliment,” another said, daring to pluck at her sleeve.

It was the sleeve that pushed her over the edge. She kicked the man closest to her and went after the one who had touched her. A quick right cross followed by a left uppercut and right kidney shot put him on the ground.

She pivoted to survey the other three. The man she’d kicked had stumbled but was on his feet. “Go home, lads,” she said, her hands still ready. She wasn’t above running, but with a group like this, it would be easy for them to overcome her if her back was turned.

They didn’t speak for a moment, still unable to understand how their chum had ended up on the ground.

“Let’s go, Mickey,” urged the one who had been kicked.

The silhouettes faded into the darkness of the streets. Bess sighed and scooped up the bottle, inspecting it for damage. Suddenly, Bess heard clapping from behind her. She spun towards the noise, her heart ticking faster just as it had begun to slow down.

“Well done,” a low voice boomed.

Searching the dark shadows of the storefronts, Bess felt the voice almost in her bones. “Show yourself,” she said.

A large man with dark skin stepped out of the shadows and into the light. He was at least two hands taller than Bess, and twice as wide. In his hand, he carried a blacksmith’s hammer.

“I’d prefer if you put down the weapon,” Bess said. Again her nerves prickled, but this time in a way she could not identify. The man was powerfully built, but likely slow on his feet. If nothing else, she could slide in a few hits and then run. The hammer swing would be slow enough to dodge, but a mistake would be fatal.

He chuckled, another low noise that sounded more like the shifting starts of an iron locomotive. She felt it in her ribs, and it made an ache bloom almost as if she had been knocked by a belly-go-firster.

He put up one of his massive paws as a show of peace. “I’d not raise a weapon to the great Bess Abbott,” he said, lowering the hammer to rest on the ground.

“You have me at a disadvantage,” she said, still not abandoning her defensive stance but no longer thinking about running. The ache in her chest eased, and she was distracted by the roping power in his bare forearms, the low light etching him in silver and gold.

The man shook his head. He had no hair, and the dark skin of his bare pate gleamed. “I don’t believe you could have a disadvantage. You’re too quick.”

She watched him a minute more, waiting for something else to happen: an insult, a shout, or even for him to slide back into the shadows. Instead he smiled at her, which made her suspicious.

“You’re my favorite fighter,” he said, leaning back against the building. His accent was strange. The lilting sounds of the West Indies came through, tempered by what sounded Northern, maybe a Manchester accent. The odd mix was pleasing to hear.

It sounded so wrong to hear, it almost struck her as a joke. She shook her head and walked over to where he stood. The hammer leaned against the wall next to him, the handle coming near to her waist. It was no ordinary tool. Suddenly, she forgot how to breathe, being this close to a man that wasn’t trying to train with her. “Then I thank you,” she said, gasping for no reason. “You a smug?”

“My foundry is up there,” he said, gesturing with his chin back toward Edgeware Road.

Bess frowned. “Isn’t that Barnsworth’s?”

“Took it over when he died. It’s been mine for a little over a year now,” the blacksmith said, shifting his weight to better look at her.

“I didn’t hear.” So many people from her childhood were passing that she could barely keep track of the old neighborhood anymore. The foundry was a landmark in everyone’s mind, a place of perpetual fire, the sound of metal on metal at all hours.

He lifted his massive shoulder and let it fall. The motion only showed how much power was poised inside of him. If he’d an inclination, there’d be plenty of money to be found in the ring.

She felt him weighing her, taking in all these odd pieces. It was only a matter of time before he ran away, having identified her for what she was. Unnatural. Strange. She braced for the impact of his judgment.

“I’ve always wanted to tell you that I like your ears,” he said. “I thought if I met you someday, on the street, I would tell you that.”

Heat flushed Bess’s face. Without thinking, her hand went to cover the telltale scarring. “It makes me ugly.” She pulled her cap down lower, covering the dirty-dishwater color of her unwomanly short hair.

He lifted his dark eyebrows, the whites of his eyes near glowing. “It makes you powerful,” he said, picking up the heavy blacksmith’s hammer with ease.

“I never got your name,” Bess said, reaching out with her hand before she thought better of it.

“Come by the shop and I’ll tell you,” he said before he slung the hammer over his shoulder and sauntered away.

Bess stared at his receding figure before remembering the empty bottle in her hand. The glass was warm from where she clutched it. Talking to the blacksmith had been so distracting she had almost forgotten if she was coming or going.

Turning to finally head down to Tuck’s, Bess kept looking back at him, this blacksmith who liked her ears.

About  the Book

Can London’s lady champion fight for love?

As London’s undefeated women’s boxer, Bess Abbott has the scars-both inside and out-to prove it. But when one of her boxing students, Violet, needs protection, Bess Abbott’s rock hard heart cracks open. And when a handsome blacksmith comes along, giving her compliments and treating her, well, like a woman, Bess doesn’t know what to do. She’s on the ropes in the face of love.

Os Worley was a child when he became an accidental stow-away. He grew up not knowing the family or the island that inflected his accent. His only memory of his mother is a head bent, hands working a stitch, a voice humming a melody. Now that he has his own foundry, and his own apprentice, he’s come to London to find the woman attached to this memory. His heart is already tempered and quenched, focused on his goal-but a lady boxer threatens to recast his love in her own image.

As Os and Bess face off, will they toe the line or retreat to their corners?

Buy Links:

A Lady’s Revenge https://books2read.com/u/38EojZ

The Boxer and the Blacksmith https://books2read.com/u/3JXDEJ

About the Author

Edie Cay writes Feminist Regency Romance. Her debut, A LADY’S REVENGE won the Golden Leaf Best First Book in 2020. The next in her series, THE BOXER AND THE BLACKSMITH won the Hearts Through History Legends Award as an unpublished manuscript in 2019. She obtained dual BAs in Creative Writing and in Music, and her MFA in Creative Writing from University of Alaska Anchorage. She is a member of RWA, The Beau Monde, the Historical Novel Society, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. Follow her on social media for pictures of the latest baking project with her toddler @authorEdieCay.

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May Day Frolic at Courtland Manor

Your erstwhile correspondent has disturbing news of the May Day Frolic doings at Courtland Manor last week. It seems not only did the bride, Miss Esme Harvey, never appear in the chapel at the appointed hour of her wedding, but that another young lady, her friend Lady Willa Sheffield, also disappeared from the same event later that afternoon!

We shudder to think of the reasons. Were they both lured away by some nefarious person? Were are they colluding together to escape the frolic? Miss Esme to escape her wedding and Lady Willa to confuse us or deter us from finding Miss Harvey? Did they—oh, my dear reader—run away with gentlemen? Men whom we do not know? Or worse, have they been kidnapped?

We did have it on good authority that Miss Harvey was a bride very enamored of her groom, the Marquess of Northington. Had her affections changed? Had his? So radically in such a short period between engagement and wedding date? And why?

We understand less about motives for the disappearance of Lady Willa Sheffield, the daughter of the Earl and Countess De Courcy. We grieve for that lady who has already endured much grief personally. Her two previous fiancés died tragically young and unexpectedly. And now we wonder if there has there been another gentleman who has interested her? Is there another love affair brewing? The vicar of the church where Miss Harvey was to be wed and a new friend of Lady Willa tells us that no love affair led her to disappear. But what then occurred? What do we not know?

And how will we possibly find these two young ladies who have disappeared into thin air? Your dedicated correspondent desperately wants to know if you have any clues to these two ladies disappearances. Do write to me here at the Tattler should you have any information.  Miss Harvey’s parents, the Viscount and Viscountess Courtland, and Lady Willa’s, the Earl and his Countess, have sent out many to find them. But at this time, we have no indications of where or why the two ladies have vanished.

Please help us! Haste is of the utmost importance.

 About the Book

LADY WILLA’S DIVINELY WICKED VICAR, Book 4,

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FROLIC

She believed she destroyed any man who loved her.

Lady Willa Sheffield had beauty, education, charm, a handsome dowry…and a curse for killing any man who proposed. When she falls for a man who has favor with someone who answers all prayers, she questions if she’s right.

He would move Heaven and Earth to marry her.

Reverend Charles Compton has everything a lady could require: wit, ethics, good family and stable position. But no money and no title. And for a lady who is an earl’s daughter to wed well, she needs a man of some gravitas. But a vicar of a small parish—with rousing political ideas and little income—must move Heaven and earth to make a good future.

Who can doubt the determination or the inventiveness of a man in love?

AMAZON Affiliate:  https://amzn.to/3qbv8gH

About the Author

Cerise DeLand loves to write about dashing heroes and the sassy women they adore. Whether she’s penning historical romances or contemporaries, she’s praised for her poetic elegance and accuracy of detail.

An award-winning author of more than 60 novels, she’s been published since 1990 by Pocket Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington and independent presses. Her books have been monthly selections of the Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club and the Mystery Guild. Plus she’s won countless 4, 4.5 and 5 star rave reviews from Romantic Times, Affair de Coeur, Publishers Weekly and more.

To research, she’ll dive into the oldest texts and dustiest library shelves. She’ll also travel abroad, trusty notebook and pen in hand, to visit the chateaux and country homes she loves to people with her own imaginary characters.

And at home every day? She loves to cook, hates to dust, lives to travel and go to Jazz class once a week!

Four Weddings and a Frolic Series

Rekindled love at the Frost Fair?

Painting by Luke Clenell, entitled The Fair on the Thames, Feb’y 4th 1814

 Gentle Reader:

 Is romance in the air? This reporter saw none other than Lady C.W. being escorted by none other than Viscount D.O. The lady seemed to be enjoying the gentleman’s company whilst he escorted her to various vendors set up on the ice during today’s Frost Fair. We shall be keeping an eye out to see where this budding romance may lead, given the Viscounts departure on business several years ago. In either case… the lady seems particularly pleased of his return to England’s shores.

An anonymous report for
The TeatimeTattler


Belle Sherry Ewing brings you A Second Chance At Love previously published in the Belles’ box set Fire & Frost. She now has it up for individual sale with a release date of February 9th.

Excerpt:

A rush of air left his lips as though he had been holding his breath while awaiting her answer. He stepped up to the desk and reached for her hand, kissing the air between his lips and her knuckles as any proper gentleman would. “You are very gracious, Constance. I must admit I was afraid you would hate me, considering how I left things between us.”

She gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “I could never hate you, Digby.” A blush rushed to her cheeks at the tone of her voice. They had been on a first name basis two years ago and somehow it seemed right to call him by his given name. My word, she had missed this man.

“Then perhaps you would allow me to escort you to a meeting at the Duchess of Haverford’s residence next week on the third. I understand she is in the process of forming several committees to organize an event for The Ladies’ Society for the Care of the Widows and Orphans of Fallen Heroes and the Children of Wounded Veterans.”

Constance laughed. “You must be joking? Why, you will never get all that on any kind of a banner.”

Digby joined her and laughed. “I would never make up such a tall tale, my lady.”

“No one in their right mind would, although it does sound like a worthy cause.”

“I could not agree more, which is why I have offered my services to the gentleman’s auxiliary, whose responsibilities will include making sure you ladies are able to do your work in this dreadful weather. I knew this was just the sort of event that would be of interest to you.”

“You know me so well. I would be happy to accompany you, Digby.”

“Wonderful,” he replied with a smile. “If your aunt could join us and act as chaperone, then I could pick you both up around noon, if that is acceptable.”

“I will eagerly await next week, my lord.”

Digby took her hand again and bowed over it. “As will I, my lady.”

His gloved hand felt warm in hers. When Digby’s thumb gently caressed the back in a small circular motion, Constance’s heart leapt at the possibility that all was not lost. Her eyes went to his in a long lingering glance as pleasure swept across her entire being. She smiled, and he returned it with a smile of his own. Constance could not remember when she had ever been this happy.

A Second Chance At Love
A Frost Fair Regency Romance
By Sherry Ewing
Special preorder price of $0.99

Can the bittersweet frost of lost love be rekindled into a burning flame?

Viscount Digby Osgood returns to London after a two-year absence, planning to avoid the woman he courted and then left. Surely she has moved on with her life; even married by now. A bit of encouragement from a friend, however, pushes him to seek the lady out. Can she ever forgiven him and give them a second chance at love?

Lady Constance Whittles has only cared for one man in her life. Even after he broke her heart, it remains fixed on him. Another man tries to replace him, but she soon learns she can never feel for him a shadow of what she still feels for Digby. One brief encounter with Digby confirms it; she is more than willing to forgive him. Can they truly take up where they left off?

Charity projects and a Frost Fair on the Thames bring them together, but another stands in their way. Will he tear them apart?

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Books2Read

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

 

About Belle 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!

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