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The Sword of the Maid

3oth of August, 1815

Dearest Eliza,

Joan the Maid by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

I fear my quest for the sword that may have once belonged to The Maid of Orléans will be hindered by the presence of Lord Maxwell Trent. I foolishly believed that he knew nothing of the sword, and trusted that when he boarded the ship in Cornwall, that he’d be well on his way to Italy by now. It was all a ruse. He didn’t want me to know about the sword. I only discovered his duplicity when he arrived at the home of Lord Crispin Tilson, who had written not only to me about the rumor, but Max as well.

As you know, Max and I have often competed when in search of antiquities. However, this quest will prove to be far more difficult than those in the past. You see, there are dangerous men who are also in search of the sword. We’ve unfortunately encountered them previously, and they do not hesitate to use any means necessary to gain information or the antiquity for their employer. Already one shopkeeper has been harmed due to this search. Therefore, Max and I have reluctantly agreed to work together.

I can assure you that this will not be a pleasant task for Lord Maxwell feels the need to protect me. He claims my reckless nature, which I do not possess, will lead us into danger. Of course, I felt the need to remind him that I was the one who rescued him from a miscreant earlier in the day.

This is going to be by far the most trying quest, but because of the added dangers we have agreed to be partners this one time. I can only pray that we find the sword quickly so that we may go our separate ways.

Your dearest friend, Rosemary

About the Book, Lord Maxwell’s Quest

Lord Maxwell Trent has never remained in one place for long. His fascination for history and quest for antiquities has taken him from Pompeii to Greece to Egypt, and now the search of an ancient sword has brought him to London—and back into Miss Rosemary Fairview’s orbit.

Miss Fairview has always valued her independence. Raised by travel-mad parents and fascinated by her mother’s archaeological journals, she knew that she’d never be content to settle into the dull life of running a household. When word of the lost sword brings Rosemary to London, she finds herself in pursuit of the same relic as her nemesis, Lord Maxwell Trent.

They know it’s impossible the sword once belonged to The Maid of Orléans. But that one sliver of hope, the what-if, propels them on the quest to discover the truth.

Danger stalks them from Mayfair’s drawing rooms to the maze of London’s rookeries. Can they work together to find the sword—and to survive? And will they realize that perhaps they shouldn’t have been competitors at all, but something more?

AN EXCERPT

“It’s a pleasure to see you again, Miss Fairview.” His tone cool and polite.

He was still angry. “But we both know that it is not,” she smiled at him.

“Yes well, it’s best not to deceive oneself,” Maxwell muttered and strode toward the sideboard and poured a glass of brandy. “Did you make good on your promise and deliver the scroll you stole from me to the Vatican.”

She gasped. “I did not steal from you, Lord Maxwell. I simply found it before you had a chance to do so. And yes, I delivered it to the good Father.”

Maxwell snorted. “Stole,” he muttered under his breath.

Rosemary had found it first, as he well knew, so why was he grumbling about her stealing?

Except, Max didn’t really mean him. He was angry that she had taken the scroll from Jerusalem. However, she had more faith in the priests at the Vatican than he did, and as soon as the translation was provided, she’d return the scroll to Palestine and deliver it to the rightful owner. It was that simple.

Max returned to her side, now holding a glass of brandy, and stared down at her. Rosemary’s breath hitched as she looked up into his blue eyes.

Blast, she shouldn’t react to him at all, but she did. He was both aggravating and handsome and it irritated her that she was affected by his presence at all. It was an attraction she was almost able to set aside when seeking and finding antiquities, but in settings such as this, taking tea, she became all too aware of how much she desired him, and had for several years. This was also the very setting when she’d first met him. She’d only been a girl of thirteen, but infatuation for the rogue had taken root and remained a constant companion.

She’d also never let him know that he had any effect on her whatsoever.

“A word, Miss Fairview,” Max ground out.

Rosemary blew out a sigh and set her tea aside before she followed him out onto the terrace.

“Why did you just lie to everyone and accuse me of theft?” she demanded.

“Because I couldn’t tell them the true reason why I’m angry because it would put your reputation in jeopardy.”

Rosemary blinked at him. “Reputation?”

He hitched a brow.

“Oh, you mean that I snuck out of your chamber, with the scroll, after spending the night with you and without so much as a by your leave?” She grinned. “Like a lover sneaking away after a night of passion?”

He quickly glanced around. “Please lower your voice before someone thinks we are lovers.”

It stung that he’d be embarrassed or ashamed if someone thought he’d been with her. Or it could be because he was respectable. Sometimes Max was more prudish than the few matrons she’d met in Society.

“That is exactly to what I’m referring. Your disappearance that is,” he added.

“I left you a note,” Rosemary reminded him.

BUY LINKS: https://books2read.com/u/bzdpV9

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 and join her private reader group Romance and Rosé https://www.facebook.com/groups/romanceandrose. More information on her books can be found on her website: https://www.janecharlesauthor.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Just Between Friends

What’s a bit of gossip between friends… a letter written by Lady Carolina, Dowager Viscountess Solisbury, to her bosom bow Lady Eugenia Springhope, Countess of Colston.

8th of July, 1809, Camberley, Surrey

Dearest Genie,

First and foremost, my apology for not responding to your last letter. As I wrote previously, Charles and I accepted an invitation to join Muriel Weatherington’s house party. We arrived yesterday and have been enjoying the most delightful company. The viscountess does know how to entertain!

I feigned a megrim to escape an afternoon in an apple orchard of all places so I could write of the goings on here. Where do I begin?

The gentlemen! What handsome specimens of English nobility!  Viscount Weatherington, the handsome devil invited his equally as handsome friends from his school days. You know who I mean. The Earl of Moreham, Viscount Sturmbridge, and the Earl of Crossley. All four gentlemen unmarried which has provided delightful entertainment as they attempt to avoid being cornered by the young maids in attendance. It would seem Muriel is determined to find her son a wife. It would also seem Weatherington is on to her scheme. The gentlemen travel in pairs!

The most entertaining guest is Lady Philomena Preston, of course. I’ve never understood how a spinster of her age can continue to be the center of attention at every social gathering. She’s here chaperoning her hellion of a niece, Lady Serena.

Just yesterday, Philly appeared dressed in a mustard-colored muslin day dress with large purple buttons down the center of her dress from her neck to her hem. The pièce de résistance was the garish purple swirl embroidery that graced said hem. While the dress was indeed something to behold, her bonnet upheld her love for the outrageous. A poke bonnet with yards of purple ribbon, yellow and purple flowers. In typical Philly fashion, a trio of the most monstrously long peacock feathers provided the dramatic flair the lady is known to flaunt.

Genie, you may not remember but Weatherington does keep a flock of peafowl. All would have been well if Philly had not joined Lady Muriel for a stroll through the back gardens, the domain of said peafowl. All was well until a rather cantankerous peacock took notice of Philly, or rather of her bonnet. The fowl screamed a hideous screech.

Those of us following the two ladies stopped and watched in horror as the massive bird took flight. Have you ever seen a peacock fly? I found it most unsettling to see those wings move through the air. Only Philly can cause such calamity. The bird flew over her head and plucked the three feathers from her bonnet. Philly calmly swatted at the bird, pulled her de-feathered bonnet down on her head and  continued her walk. The woman is truly an eccentric.

Today, much in the demeanor of her aunt, Lady Serena demanded to join the gentlemen for a shooting competition. The young lady brought her own Manton pistols! Weatherington graciously agreed to her participation. To the amazement of all, she was the best shot and won a box of cigars which she promptly handed over to Philly! Do you think that lady smokes cigars?

We have another ten days here. I dare not imagine what the Preston ladies will do next, but I promise to write you at once to share their misbehaviors!

Your dearest friend, Lina

About Book One, Dangerous Pursuit

Lady Serena Preston leads a double life. Not the typical society miss, she dresses and acts the part with perfection, a flawless and unique spy for the Crown. Abandoned by her father and
brother as a ‘useless’ girl, Serena determined she would prove her value and skills of observation and detail. Now highly regarded by her peers, she’s confident she can best any man in a game of
wits…that is until he returns to London. Richard is the only man she’s ever loved, and the memory of his rejection still stings. Now delegated to work with him, she’s determined to show him she’s no longer the young girl he rebuffed. But can she put aside the past, ignore the familiar longing, and trust Richard with her life?

Viscount Richard Weatherington left England four years ago after quite the embarrassing episode with Serena. Now back in London, he expects she is over her infatuation now, perhaps even married. He never thought she’d be working for king’s foremost spymaster, all grown up and using her beauty against French sympathizers. Now thrust together in pursuit of deadly
turncoats, Richard’s respect grows as he watches her pragmatism and dedication to their mission. Daily he fights the incessant pull of attraction he feels for her while, frustratingly, she appears to be unaffected by him. But when she’s captured, her life hanging in the balance, Richard vows to tell her he loves her—if she survives.

Dangerous Pursuit is on Kindle Unlimited or for purchase here

About Book Two, Dangerous Liaison

The Earl of Moreham has no interest in society seasons. Being known as a rake has helped him avoid such unsavory situations such as tedious receiving lines and pinch-faced bluestockings. He prefers the solitude of his work as a dedicated spymaster for the Crown. Unfortunately, his current investigation of a duke suspected of treason lands him in the middle of the upper crust crowd he avoids, complete with wearisome minuets and bothersome misses—one in particular who will not take no for an answer. One who he wishes he wasn’t so drawn to.

Gillian Browning is the perfect definition of a Lady. She has manners and decorum, doing what she should, when she should. But as the niece of the Duke of Whitney, when she learns of a vile conspiracy to convict her uncle of treason, she will stop at nothing to prove his innocence—even insisting she help the arrogant agent search her uncle’s bookroom to verify his lack of guilt. But when they find a coded note, Gillian is forced to admit her uncle is hiding something. Worse, when caught compromisingly alone, they are forced to marry. Now they must work together to find the truth, despite the mutual distrust that battles against their undeniable attraction.

When the note is decrypted, Moreham and Gillian are caught up in a conspiracy of murder, greed, and a secret that puts Gillian in grave danger. Can Moreham save a wife he’s not sure he wanted, but one he’s discovered he loves?

Dangerous Liaison is on Kindle Unlimited or for purchase here

About the Author

Ann Chaney is a nomad. In the last 36 years, she and her husband have moved eleven times. Her professional career included active duty service in the US Army for seven years and working 35 years in Human Resources and University Administration. She attended University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

In 2010, Ann began her writing journey by completing a collection of essays of her childhood memories before venturing into the world of Regency romance. Today, Ann writes historical romance novels set in Regency England in the early 19th century.  A member of Regency Fiction Writers, Ann is proud to support all authors of historical fiction. She enjoys researching the Regency era almost as much as she enjoys writing her characters’ Happily Ever Afters.

In 2018, following the path of her first book, Dangerous Pursuit, Dangerous Liaison finaled in Kiss of Death’s Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery & Suspense. Both books are part of her Lords of Whitehall series where gentlemen put honor and duty first until their world is turned upside down by equally determined and honorable ladies. Dangerous Illusions, the third and final book of the Lords of Whitehall Series will be released in January 2022.

www.annchaney.com

The Vile Impersonator

Dearest Reader:

The arrival of another country heiress in the Metropolis is hardly cause for excitement, at least in our considered opinion, for they are two a penny, if you will pardon the pun. That these all-too-often underbred innocents are beset by suitors will amaze no one, for there are at least as many gentlemen with fortunes needing to be mended, and they are none of them nice in their requirements. Let her be well endowed in the stocks, and her other charms—or lack thereof—need not signify.

The particular country heiress who has excited the latest rage, a Miss Lenora Breckinridge, while possessing somewhat more by way of refinement than her contemporaries, appears quite as susceptible to flattering attentions, and may require a hint. She has made no secret of her admiration for a certain gentleman, and is forever being seen with him, at Society parties and driving about town, and has raised both eyebrows and concerns. One can only wonder at her parents for neglecting to advise her in this matter, for they surely must be privy to the rumors which blaze through the town regarding her beau, and if she cares not to safeguard her fortune, her father at least should.

For the man whom our young lady has singled out is none other than the mysterious Lord Helden, whom we do not scruple to style a fortune hunter—though this may be the least of his sins. It is commonly known that his estate is ruined, its bounties wasted by his predecessor for reasons too sordid even for our pen, and he can offer not even a sound roof over the head of his future bride.

But even more shocking, if rumors are to be believed, his lordship may prove to be nothing more than an imposter. The thought makes one stare! However, upon reflection, one will acknowledge that for the lost heir to a viscountcy to suddenly reappear just as an heiress has made no secret of her admiration for his estate, is a fact that must bear more scrutiny than Miss Breckinridge, or her parents, appear to deem necessary.

The near impossibility that anyone but his lordship could prove himself to be Lord Helden, we cannot but allow; however, creditable sources have confirmed that the man claiming to be Lord Helden has been, for the past six months, performing the duties of caretaker to the Helden estate; moreover, he did not show himself to Society in his present guise until after Miss Breckinridge came upon the scene. If this does not arouse suspicion, we know not what could, and we call upon those in positions of responsibility to more seriously consider the matter.

One shudders to reflect upon the depravity of a man who will stop at nothing, be it the entrapment of an innocent maiden or the heinous sin of impersonating a nobleman, to gain a fortune. While such cannot be proven against the man in question at this time, this observer holds it as the duty of all loyal citizens to be vigilant against the mere possibility of evil. At the very least, if neither Miss Breckinridge nor her parents choose to alter her course, and she bestows her hand and fortune upon this Lord Helden, they only will be to blame when his true character is unfolded, as it must certainly be, in their married life. We have done our poor best to undeceive her, and can only hope that our friendly hint will be heeded before it is too late.

–a Disinterested Observer

About the Book

Romance of the Ruin, Book 2 of the Branwell Chronicles

The ruined manor promised her romance, but its master was maddeningly elusive.

Prey to Gothic sensibilities, Miss Lenora Breckinridge is smitten with the air of tragedy and romance surrounding an abandoned mansion. Convinced that she is fated to become its mistress, she sets out to find the master, secure in the belief that he will fall madly in love with her and they will use her fortune to restore the manor together.

Mr. James Ingles is disillusioned by the short hand fate has continually dealt him, but goes to be caretaker to the ruined mansion in a last effort to seek his fortune. When he discovers Miss Breckinridge’s fascination with the ruin, however, he recognizes an opportunity to get the better of fate, if only he can play his cards right.

Excerpt:

Would Mr. Ingles have done something so rash and dangerous as attempt to impersonate a nobleman? Lenora could imagine that the situation was indeed a tempting one, and the family bible might have given him all that was necessary to prove his claim. It may have contained histories, besides the names, with birthdates and places that would come in useful.

But she could not credit it. Mr. Ingles was not that kind of man—she knew that without a doubt. And the Lord Helden she had danced with was a perfect gentleman. How could a rough, coarse, uncouth man suddenly become well-versed in etiquette and possessed of refinement, unless he had been raised and educated so? His years in the army could very well have driven him to hide his finer virtues, and had he not—though briefly and under the influence of spirits—claimed himself a gentleman, at their first meeting?

That Dowbridge had so quickly believed the worst was worrisome, however, and the more she reflected, the more anxious she became. How many others would do as he had done, and would their suspicion be without foundation? Was it possible that Mr. Ingles was a consummate criminal, so conniving that he could touch her heart, even as he played the drunken fool?

Distressed, she took refuge in her room, sinking down into the chair by her fire and gazing unseeing into the flames, her hands wringing in her lap. She was discovered in this attitude some time later by Tess, who instantly strove to discover what ailed her mistress.

Lenora brushed her away impatiently. “Tess! I was merely thinking, for I have a thorny problem, and I am at my wits’ end to know what to do about it. Mr. Ingles is in London professing to be Lord Helden, and I do not know if it is true, or if he will be taken up by the magistrate and transported.”

“Good Lord, miss, I never!” responded Tess, correctly interpreting this cryptic utterance. “To think that such a hairy man could be Lord Helden!”

Lenora shook her head. “And yet he is Lord Helden. At least, I must believe so, for though he has been so rough and rude, and was a drunkard, and a common soldier, and—and so very hairy—I do not believe that he would do so dangerous a thing as to impersonate a nobleman! It defies reason.”

“That it do, miss, and I wonder that he’d have the pluck to try it! He’d have to be bold as brass! But if he fancies himself a gentleman, there’ll be no stopping him, for he’ll be living too high to wish to leave off.”

“You are right, Tess! He will soon be ruined!” responded Lenora, startled. “Who knows how he came by the money to rig himself out in fine clothes and set himself up as a gentleman in town, for even if he is Lord Helden, it cannot last for long, and when he comes to the end of it, he may be driven to desperation to keep up his appearance! He may turn to gaming, or to thievery—or worse!”

As neither young lady liked to think what could be worse than thievery, they did not attempt to envision such vice, but bent their minds to discover a way to save the unfortunate gentleman.

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BTPZ6SW/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_41AJA15ZFP5QB0QXQGW3

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09BTPZ6SW/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_HSDZ1PS7XR01HA3CM64T

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09BTPZ6SW/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_PCSETNJBGHQSKK9NX2G9

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/romance-of-the-ruin-judith-hale-h-everett/1139972663?ean=9781736067536

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/romance-of-the-ruin

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/romance-of-the-ruin/id1579888890

About the Author

Judith Hale Everett is a writer of low-heat traditional Regency romance. She is one of seven sisters, and grew up surrounded by romance novels. Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen were staples, and formed the groundwork for her lifelong love affair with the Regency. Add to that her obsession with the English language and you’ve got one hopelessly literate romantic. You can find her at:

WEBSITE: https://judithhaleeverett.com

FACEBOOK: https://facebook.com/JudithHaleEverett

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/judithhaleeverett

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JudithHEverett

Runaways or a Clandestine Tryst?

Molly,

When I visited Ashmead last summer, I am certain you told me the Duchess of Glenmoor was a recluse. You were quite firm that she rarely  left the Clarion Hall dower house. What is she doing barreling on past Birmingham on the coaching road?

We arrived stopped to refresh at  the  Crippled Cock on our way  south and noticed a carriage with the Clarion crest in the yard. I hoped to catch sight of  the Earl of Clarion, but who did we see leaving  the private parlor but the duchess herself. She and her companion made no greeting and departed smartly. A male companion! I saw no sign of a respectable woman with  them.  assisted her into the carriage and road up behind on a fine mount.

An illustration of “The Follies & Fashions of our Grandfathers: 1807” by Andrew W Tuer. Getty Images

The innkeeper proved closed mouthed, but the serving wench talked freely. The duchess claimed the “companion” was her brother. Isn’t the earl her only brother, and him fair of hair and complexion? In all my years visiting Ashmead I’ve never seen a Caulfield with hair as black as this gentleman, if I can call him that.

Do you have any notion who it might have been or why  they were in such urgency to travel east? Write to me as soon as you can to the Thomas’s townhouse in London.

Your devoted etc.

Maudy Flint

About the Series

The Duchess of Glemoor’s flight east takes place in The Defiant Daughter, Book 2 in Caroline Warfield’s The Ashmead Heirs. It will come out in October 2021. She is the sister of  both  the earl  and of  Sir  Robert Benson.

The Wayward Son, Book One is available now.

About the Book, The Wayward Son

Sir Robert Benson’s life is in London. He fled Ashmead the day he discovered the man he thought was his father had lied to him, and the girl he loved was beyond his reach. Only a nameless plea from his sister—his half-sister—brings him back to discover he’s been left an estate with a choice piece of land. He will not allow a ludicrous bequest from the earl who sired him turn him into a mockery of landed gentry. When a feisty little termagant with flashing eyes—and a musket—tries to turn Rob off the land—his land—he’s too amused and intrigued to turn away. But the longer he stays, the tighter the bonds that tie him to Ashmead become, strengthened by the powerful draw of the woman rooted on land he’s determined to sell.

Lucy Whitaker’s life is Willowbrook, its land, its tenants, its prosperity, but she always knew it wasn’t hers, knew the missing heir would come eventually. When a powerful man with military bearing rides up looking as if he wants to come in and count the silver, she turns him away, but her heart sinks. She can’t deny Rob Benson his property; she can only try to make him love the place as she does, for her peoples’ sake. A traitorous corner of her heart wishes Rob would love it for her sake.

His life is London and diplomatic intrigue; hers is Ashmead and the land. How can they forge something lasting when they are torn in two directions?

Available on Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09484DC1D/

About the Author

Award winning author 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.

Links

Website:   http://www.carolinewarfield.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WarfieldFellowTravelers

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Warfield/e/B00N9PZZZS/

Good Reads:  http://bit.ly/1C5blTm

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/caroline-warfield

 

 

 

What Happens at The Soho Club?

Rumours abound regarding The Soho Club, an establishment so discreet that many members of the ton are unaware its doorways adjoin their own. All we know, dear reader, is that The Soho Club’s membership is expensive, exclusive — and scandalous.

In what manner scandalous, I hear you ask? To begin, both men and women attend the premises. To go on, it’s said this club offers a place where one’s most daring appetites are expected, and certainly encouraged.

The proprietress is rumoured to be a Mrs Skarsgard, about whom no one knows a thing except that she is wealthy, lovely, and of indeterminate age and status. She’s surely a natural-born cousin of a countess, or the like.

There’s only rule at her Soho Club – discretion above all things. What happens in the Soho Club, stays in the Soho Club. It’s only in this atmosphere of secrecy that our Regency lovers are free to indulge themselves in the pursuit of pleasure, desire, and of course, romance. For those who yearn to love outside imposed boundaries, love is always possible.

About the Collection:  Ten tempting Regency romance novellas to tickle your tastebuds, ranging from sweet to spicy

Theresa Fuller, A Headhunter in London:
A curious journalist is on to the story of a lifetime. But is this scoop worth putting her life – and her heart – on the line?

Heidi Wessman Kneale, Just Glimpse
A shy artist needs real experience when it comes to the human form. But how is she to find a willing model without causing scandal?

Beverley Oakley, Hazard’s Daughter
Louisa Stapleton’s life of drudgery is penance for past ‘sins’. A marriage proposal from the unctuous Mr Rivers could seal her fate. The object of her true affections is Felix Evesham, but Felix is distracted by the mysterious (and masked) ‘Miss Valentine’ at The Soho Club.

Renée Dahlia, Love Wasn’t Built in a Day
Businessman Humphrey Dexington’s love for engineer David Mattson will be forever unrequited. Humphrey invites David and his lover to the Soho Club for an evening together, but when David’s lover doesn’t show, it might just give Humphrey the chance he’s always wanted.

Pamela Hart, A Generous Heart
Accessing her own 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.

Joanne Austen Brown, Redemption
Two damaged souls find healing and love thanks to Mrs Skarsgard and The Soho Club.

Clyve Rose, The Case of the Black Diamond
Nicknamed ‘the lonely lord’, Alexander Lindsey has spent a decade spying for the King and believes himself immune to surprises – until he meets Miss Ryan. Claire Ryan doesn’t swoon, and doesn’t blush – but when the Regent’s jewel is stolen, Lord Lindsey turns up at The Soho Club, asking questions. Soon, Claire and Alexander are investigating each other.

Linda Rae Sande, The Making of a Mistress
Miss Daisy Albright has volunteered to assist in exposing the man behind a smuggling ring operating in Yorkshire. Her assignment will require she become the mistress of the suspect. Now if only she can convince Alex Bradley to execute her plan. He’s positively appalled at learning what she wants him to do—at first.

Fiona M Marsden, Mine on Thursday
Angelina Delacourt has been engaged to Sebastion Smith-Davenport for five long years, with no sign of nearing the altar. Angelina cares not for gossip. She owes Bastion her life, and she’s prepared to endure a loveless engagement and marriage to protect his reputation. But Angie knows she’s missing out on something, and fellow Soho Club member Jasper DeMello is willing to provide that certain something.

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 Mister 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: Secrets of the Soho Club

Ten Regency novellas for less than $1.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER:

 

Release Date: 15 July 2021

 

Multiple Authors:

Theresa Fuller

Heidi Wessman Kneale

Beverley Oakley

Renée Dahlia

Pamela Hart

Joanne Austen Brown

Clyve Rose

Linda Rae Sande

Fiona M Marsden

Ebony Oaten

 

Excerpt from The Case of the Black Diamond, by Clyve Rose:

Outside The Soho Club, dark clouds gathered in the afternoon sky. The air thickened, closely heavy in the prelude to a drenching. Claire shivered at the change in temperature, the tensing of mood. She sipped her coffee, watching Xander Lindsey, watching her. His gaze seemed focused rather closely on the rim of her cup, specifically where the fine china met her lips.

She sipped her brew again. “If you’re intent on seduction, you should know I am not my sister.”

His gaze lifted to her face, steady, focused, powerfully intent. “I have never seduced your sister. I am no rake, Claire.” His voice remained sure, strong, and deeply tempting.

“So it’s a ruse?” She guessed.

He inclined his head, his “mmmm,” resonating low in his throat, like a throb. “We can’t all mask our clandestine activities with scent.” His tone turned husky, intensity sharpening like a honed blade.

“I am not in the habit of short term liaisons,” Claire spoke carefully. “I am not in the habit of being seduced, either.”

“There’s a remedy for that,” he said quietly, suggestively. Did his voice deepen further? How deep does he—stop it.

As though he’d heard her, Xander set down his cup. He walked slowly towards her, the way one might approach a rare and dangerous object.

“Tell me, Claire Ryan, are you armed?”

“Why do you ask?”

“Because I should like to kiss you. If I halt here, you may blade my heart open instead,” he stopped halfway across the chequered floor, arms by his sides like a supplicant. A supplicant with warm brown eyes, and a devastating dimple.

Claire affected a study of the distance between them, lifted her head, locking her gaze to his.

“Three steps back gives you a sporting chance, Xander Lindsey.”

“Indeed?” The resonance from his baritone rippled through her. Nevertheless, he held his ground and Claire lifted a brow, gaze travelling brazenly over his planed face. He stared right back, smiling, offering that dimple where she lingered before studying the cleft in his chin, his corded neck muscles, those powerful shoulders of defined shape. Her gaze dropped lower, taking in his broad torso, narrow waist, and the shapely front of his trousers. She smiled then, wide and joyous, walking slowly towards him, slower than ever, as though she may never reach him, never touch him. Time stretched out, thinning, heating, bringing her closer to the heft of breath beneath flesh, her pulse beating faster with each step until her skin throbbed with the thought of his lips beneath hers, his surrender within her body.

“Something to savour,” she murmured, watching his answering smile. His tongue darted out, licking his lips and she let out a small laugh, not blinking at all. Not missing a moment of Xander Lindsey standing before her, arms at his sides, gaze locked on hers with an impulse she felt in every nerve and muscle. Claire touched his cheek, stroking him gently before leaning forward, lips positioned inches from his. Reaching up, she slipped her other hand beneath his jacket, sliding her palm over his shirt, feeling his breath shorten, his weight shift…until she located his hidden jacket seam. Keeping her gaze on his, she extracted his pistol as smoothly as possible, stroking the barrel along firm muscle as she withdrew. She kept his barrel there, smoothing it lightly back and forth against his shirt, teasing him with danger, with steel, with her unbroken gaze.

“Is it cocked, my lord?”

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