Since Miss B’s sudden visit to Prussia, our fair maiden has all but disappeared. All that remains are some excellent likenesses gracing the walls of Clayford House, and several risqué sketches of her old friend Major M.
Despite this author’s best efforts, we can find no one willing to discuss the lady’s whereabouts, nor can we find any suitable explanation for her old friend Major M’s sudden desire to visit Paris. (True, the Christmas art exhibition is exciting – but how much companionship can be found in art? This author believes it is really past time our handsome Major settled down, don’t you?)
His talents are sorely needed at the Congress of Vienna, for he dances well and improves the dullness of the assemblies immeasurably. One cannot expect English ladies to waltz with the French, can one? After all, the wars have only just ended – haven’t they?
While our dashing Major M is an acknowledged collector of neo-classical artworks, we cannot fathom only any reason for a man of his divine looks to spend an unaccompanied Christmas in Paris. Not when there are so many ladies in Vienna to oblige him – though perhaps it is not these fine ladies who attract him?
We have heard on dubious authority that Major M consorts with artists’ models. Indeed, he has recently been seen in the company of a notorious French artist, the one who paints such scandalous nudes.
The Major is a well known art lover, dear reader, but there are many sides to art – are there not?
We weep for Major M, spending Christmas alone, or at least surrounded by Frenchwomen. Come home, Sir, and choose a companion from among your own countrywomen. We assure you, the English ladies are desolate at your desertion.
About the Book: Le Salon de Noël
Since his oldest friend disappeared during her confinement, Major Henry Musgrave has used his time at The Congress of Vienna to learn all he can regarding the whereabouts of Miss Louisa Beresford.
A series of paintings draws Henry to Paris for the first Salon de Noël (Christmas Salon) since the wars ended. Could the model in the paintings be Louisa? As rumours swirl through the city that France is not yet safe, Henry grows more determined to find the only woman he’s ever loved, and give her a Christmas to remember.
Le Salon de Noël is a Regency holiday reunion novella set among the art salons of Paris and Montmartre in 1814. It contains some of the characters from Always a Princess. Release date: 19 November
Clyve Rose is an award-winning author of historical fiction both in Australia and the US. She has been writing historical romance fiction for the best part of two decades. She works in the Regency and Georgian periods, with occasional detours into Ancient Greece.
I write with a warning for all who may consider a journey to the West Indies. The British Government wishes us to believe that Pirates no longer rule the waters of the Carribbean. That the so called ‘golden age of piracy’ ended with the captures and deaths of Edward Teach–commonly known as Blackbeard and Bartholomew Roberts. However, this is far from the case.
I know from my own experience that Piracy is alive and thriving in the Carribean and the coastal waters of the former Colonies. Our government calls it ‘privateering,’ and claims that such persons as Mr. LaFitte of New Orleans and the infamous Irish Red–supposedly of Jamaica have letters of marque placing them under the protection of legitimate governments and preventing our Navy from summarily executing them when captured.
This is a deception most foul and it must stop. I recently embarked on the merchant ship Tally Ho, returning to England from a visit to my sister who lives in St. Martin. We were three days out of port when sails were sighted on the horizon. Soon enough, it became obvious that the approaching ship was The Dragon’s Rest, flag ship, if you will, in the flotilla led by the pirate–I refuse to dignify this rapscallion with the title privateer, Irish Red.
The Tally Ho was out gunned and its Captain, poor man, unable to outrun or out manuever The Dragon’s Rest. We were boarded and subjected to a most humiliating search. All valuables were seized and our lives threatened, lest we refuse to give over all money, jewels and important papers. Thought what a pirate wants with bonds, certificates and government documents is beyond me.
As a last humiliation we were all assembled on the main deck and forced to kneel, heads bowed for that scum of the oceans Irish Red to inspect each of us personally. I thank heaven he chose to pass me by, though the woman next to me had her chin lifted and was forced to look the heathen in the face.
We were told that because of our cooperation our lives would be spared and the Tally Ho would not be confiscated. The pirate crew returned to their ship and departed. Thankfully no passenger was seriously hurt, although several of our valiant crew suffered wounds in attempting to prevent the pirates from boarding.
Frankly I was astonished that we escaped so easily. However, I was even more astonished to learn from the woman who was forced to face Captain Irish Red that the man is no man at all. It is an insult to the British Navy that it has allowed this renegade female to rule the Carribean for so many years. I call upon our government to do its utmost to capture this woman, and I most emphatically warn all my fellow citizens not to sail in Carribbean waters without well armed naval escort. Heed this warning or you will certainly lose your fortunes and may well lose your lives.
She who shall never again leave England.
A word about this post. This week I will begin my next story, which centers around the character known as the pirate Irish Red. The article above lays some of the preliminary ground work for Irish Red’s book. You can expect to see more about her and her adventures in the next few months. Thank you all for reading and sharing.
About Rue Allyn: Award winning author, Rue Allyn, learned story telling at her grandfather’s knee. (Well it was really more like on his knee—I was two.) She’s been weaving her own tales ever since. She has worked as an instructor, mother, sailor, clerk, sales associate, and painter, along with a variety of other types of employment. She has lived and traveled in places all over the globe from Keflavik Iceland (I did not care much for the long nights of winter.) and Fairbanks Alaska to Panama City and the streets of London England to a large number of places in between. Now that her two sons have left the nest, Rue and her husband of more than four decades (Try living with the same person for more than forty years—that’s a true adventure.) have retired and moved south.
When not writing, enjoying the nearby beach or working jigsaw puzzles, Rue travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance. She loves to hear from readers, and you may contact her at <a href=”mailto:contact@RueAllyn.com” title=”Contact Rue Allyn” target=”_blank”>contact@RueAllyn.com</a>. She can’t wait to hear from you.
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:
No one in London can be unfamiliar with the circumstances of the death of one of our most beloved and renowned citizens, the elephant Chunee, who Wednesday last met his fatal end at the Exeter Change in such a barbarous manner that many were moved to write letters on his behalf. The Tattler has learned the identity of one lady of quality, whose letter we reprint here. While we must applaud the lady’s sentiments on behalf of this noble creature, we must also wonder if so outspoken a young woman as Lady Emily Radstock will ever find a husband among the gentry and nobility of England. Rumor has it that she is one of the financial backers of Sir Arthur Broome’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Sir Arthur currently resides in Marshalsea Prison for debt.
The facts in the death of Chunee are so well known as to
need no recounting. Thousands in London have seen the prints of his cruel
slaughter. His agony at the hands of those on whom he long depended for his
sustenance and whose pockets were lined with the proceeds of exhibiting him to
the public is indefensible.
His handlers’ inability to consider his needs and to
foresee a time when distress of body and spirit would render him a danger to
himself and others and to plan accordingly for his care and ultimately for his
end brings into question the fitness of human persons for keeping any wild
animals in captivity, confined against their nature in cages, to be stared at
by the masses with no freedom to act in accord with the promptings of their
It is time to close the Exeter Change and all similar
institutions whose indifference to the well-being of their charges is a stain
on the honor of our city.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
About the Book: The Spy’s Guide to Seduction
Weeks from her twenty-ninth birthday, Lady Emily Radstock receives from her mother a little blue book, The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London.Outraged at her mother’s attempt to push her out of the nest, Emily declares she’ll marry the first imbecile she meets. Overhearing the beautiful heiress, Baronet Sir Ajax Lynley, newest gentleman spy in the Pantheon Club, takes her at her word. From the moment their engagement begins, Emily finds herself intrigued by her fiancé, a man who encourages her daring and who offers a most seductive partnership in spy-catching. When mounting danger and an uncanny echo of his painful past lead Lynley to abandon the partnership, Emily has to put aside the hurt and humiliation of a missing fiancé to save her partner in spying and seduction. A 2019 Library Journal Top Pick in Romance.
Kate Moore taught English lit to generations of high school students, who are now her Facebook friends, while she not-so-secretly penned Romances. In Kate’s stories an undeniable mutual attraction brings honorable, edgy loners and warm, practical women into a circle of love in Regency England or contemporary California. A Golden Heart, Golden Crown, and Book Buyers Best award winner and three-time RITA finalist, Kate lives north of San Francisco with her surfer husband, their yellow Lab, toys for visiting grandkids, and miles of crowded bookshelves.
A Dispatch from our undercover reporter, Bellanna Banders
My Dearest readers,
It’s come to this reporter’s attention that the Viscount and
Viscountess of Hallowell’s eldest daughter, Miss Olivia Redfield, has come out
of hiding so that she may attend her sister’s wedding to the Duke of Crawford’s
heir. This reporter has not personally laid eyes upon the young woman, but it
is well known that Miss Redfield was born afflicted with one crossed eye,
which, if the rumor is true, is cursed!
Other ladies who attended the prewedding ball said the girl
was seen lurking behind plants near the ladies retiring room and then later,
hiding in the garden with Lord Kingsley, who has for years been betrothed to
Miss Victoria Shipley, currently of London.
“She would be beautiful, of course, but for her unsightly
eye. When it landed on me, I was terrified,” Lady G of Brighten shared her
“What did she do to the earl to keep him at her side for so
long? It has to be the curse, I say. It must be.” This startling statement was
made by Lady Q.
Has the mysterious young woman cast a spell on the already
claimed handsome Earl? This reporter, who has been invited to the nuptials,
shall be watching carefully.
About The Perfect Spinster
Firmly Upon the Shelf
Miss Olivia Redfield labors under no
misapprehension that anything other than spinsterhood lies in her future. Not
for lack of dowry, or breeding, or education, but because of one tiny flaw….
one might even call it… a curse. Removed from society for this ill-fated
defect, she’s resigned herself to caring for others in a somewhat dreary
existence. Until, that is, she falls for the charming but unattainable, Lord
Too Much Time on his Hands
Gabriel Fellowes, Earl of Kingsley
is doing a favor for a friend by overseeing the dangerous–– but promising––mine
on the border of Viscount Hallowell’s property. With time to spare, he finds
himself irresistibly intrigued by the viscount’s daughter, Miss Olivia
Redfield, and delights himself in their mutual provocation. In no position to
promise more than a dalliance, but unable to stay away, Gabriel takes the
unprecedented step of befriending a woman.
Is Friendship Even possible?
Their flirtatious attachment
threatens to erupt in passion, but duty and honor forbid anything more. Will love
be defeated when tragedy strikes, or can Olivia and Gabriel overcome Society’s
dictates and put the notion of Olivia’s curse to rest once and for all?
Not moving his
gaze from her face, he lifted the dandelion and traced it along the curve of
And then her
“Is this what
friends do, Gabriel?” Her smile faded as she gazed back at him.
Friends? No. The
thoughts in his mind had nothing to do with friendship.
And then she
sighed and turned her face away. “I’ve never had a male friend before. Do you
have many lady friends?”
He’d never been
interested in friendship with the ladies of his acquaintance. Pursuing such with most ladies of the ton
might be considered dangerous.
had taken risks with a few widows and of course, some select lady birds of the
demi monde. “A few.” He answered vaguely, drawing the petals along the corner
of her eye now.
“Friends do not
kiss, do they Gabriel?”
But then he
trailed the flower to the pink flesh of her lips, and when her mouth parted for
him, all thoughts of laughter fled.
“You wish to kiss
me now, don’t you?” Her voice dropped to almost a whisper and her slightly
hooded gaze met his with unabashed honesty. “I am not mistaken. You are very
close to me. There is something…” Her voice trailed off as she seemed to search
for the words.
innocence delighted him.
“In the air?”
“No.” Her eyes
narrowed slightly. “You.”
“The Perfect Spinster has
left me desperate to read more from Annabelle Anders.”––Bibliophile
Do you like heroines with flaws?
Heroes who have a lot to learn? Miss Olivia Redfield is a lovely lady but for
one tiny defect. Lord Kingsley has good intentions but can’t seem to stick with
them… Is it possible these two imperfect souls are love’s perfect match?