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Lady Medway and the Scandal of the Decade

I stopped by B.P. Charles and Co., Stationers, to buy some ink, when the heavens opened, letting out a downpour unprecedented in the history of London.

Oh, very well, it was an ordinary shower, but I write for the Teatime Tattler, so I’m accustomed to exaggerating—to making the best better and worst even worse. While I waited out the rain, I began to write my gossip column: 

It has come to our attention that the Countess of Medway, fondly known amongst the ton (and, I dare say, amongst Britons as a whole) as the Perfect Aristocrat, finds herself faced with a dilemma.

A guffaw startled me, and I knocked the inkpot flying. I clapped a hand to my bosom, as Mr. McBrae, who does etchings for Mr. Charles, set the inkpot down.

“What a piece of nonsense!” He gestured at my deathless prose, still laughing.

 “A trifle exaggerated,” I said, “but Lady Medway is as near perfection as makes no odds.”

He snorted. “Only if you define the perfect aristocrat as rude, ignorant, domineering, and utterly convinced of her superiority.”

I haven’t met her ladyship, but I expect Mr. McBrae has, as he has friends in high places. However, the Tattler can’t afford to offend her. My encomium was taken from sightings of her in the park, where she is effortlessly elegant, composed, and aloof. “You may dislike her, but even you would pity her now. Her daughter, Lady Rosamund, is on the verge of another scandal, and as usual, it’s all Corvus’s fault.”

He chuckled at mention of the infamous artist. “In what way? Lady Rosamund is no longer in London, so Corvus will find another victim to caricature.”

 “Not when he hears this.” I lowered my voice. “Her father, the Earl of Medway, has been invited to a house party at the estate of Sir Alphonse Lewis, that well-known frequenter of theatrical circles—and he wants Lady Rosamund to accompany him!”

“Surely not,” McBrae said. “She’s in mourning.”

“Yes, and if that wasn’t bad enough, Sir Alphonse’s guests are playwrights and actors, inferior persons with whom no high-born lady should associate. What’s more, the hostess is his mistress! I don’t know what Lord Medway was thinking. But there’s worse!” I lowered my voice further. “At a previous party at Sir Alphonse’s estate, there was an orgy!”

McBrae huffed. “Lord Medway won’t allow his daughter to participate in an orgy.”

“No, but Lady Rosamund’s reputation is already scandalous, thanks to Corvus. Her poor mother has two choices: either do nothing and hope word doesn’t spread—”

“Which won’t work, because you intend to spread the word yourself,” McBrae said.

I fear I blushed. “True, but spreading gossip is our raison d’être at the Tattler. What else can we do when such a juicy morsel comes our way?”

McBrae acknowledged this with a rueful shrug. He is a kindly sort of man. He disapproves, but he also understands.

“Her second choice is to send her son hotfoot to the rescue,” I said, “and risk that he, being a young, virile man, will participate in the orgy, too!”

“You have a fertile imagination, ma’am,” he said, “but no orgy is likely to take place.”

“I suppose not,” I said dejectedly, for it would have been an astonishing story. “But the real problem is, what will Corvus make of it all?”

“Something amusing, no doubt.”

“If I were Corvus,” I said, “do you know what I would do? I’d go to Sir Alphonse’s house to see what really happens.”

“Ah, but think what fun for Corvus,” McBrae said, “to just make it all up?”

Fun indeed. All England awaits his next caricature with bated breath, and you may count on the Tattler to inform you of every tidbit of news in what could well prove to be the scandal of the decade!

About the Book

Widowed Lady Rosamund spends the first months of her mourning in the Lake District, where it’s safe and peaceful, and murders are exceedingly rare. Luckily, she is rescued from this tedium by a house party comprised of playwrights, poets, and actors—an immoral set of persons with whom no respectable lady should associate. Even so, she hardly expected to wake in the wee hours to find one of the guests lying dead.

As if that wasn’t troublesome enough, Gilroy McBrae is at the same party, masquerading as a footman to investigate a series of thefts. Was the sudden death an accident—or murder? Almost everyone had reason to loathe their unpleasant fellow guest. Rosie must set aside her confused emotions about McBrae and work with him to find the culprit before an innocent person is accused of the crime.

An Excerpt

The first night at a house party, Lady Rosamund is wakened by a scream…

I sat up in bed, heart battering my chest. By the grey light in my room, I surmised it was almost dawn. Had that shriek been merely a dream? The house seemed enveloped in silence.

And then came more screams, ghastly and chilling, one after another after another. 

I leapt out of bed, crammed my feet into my slippers, donned my wrapper once again, and rushed into the passageway.

It was cloaked in gloom, but faint light from the Great Hall filtered up. It was from there that the screams came, now dissolving into hoarse sobs. A door opened behind me across the passage, but I was first to the stairs.

Which you no doubt think was foolish of me, but I couldn’t help myself. Although I have had many small brushes with supposed insanity, I’m not a complete idiot. I peered over the banister before starting down.

Below me, flat on the floor, was a man. All I could discern was his head and feet, for something huge and unidentifiable lay atop him. As I stared, a woman appeared and glanced about. She bent over the huge something, grunting…and then with a swish of skirts, she vanished.

Meanwhile, a sobbing girl stumbled up the stairs toward me. She tripped on her gown and fell, crying out, and I helped her up. “What happened? What’s wrong?”

“He’s dead.” She swayed. “Oh God, he’s dead. He murdered him!”

I feared she would faint, so I kept a firm hold on her. “Who?” A stupid question, I realized. In the first place, I didn’t specify whether I was asking for the identity of the victim or the murderer. In the second place, she was hysterical and unable to speak coherently. I could very well go see for myself, once I got rid of her.

“It’s all my fault,” she whispered, clutching my arm. “I wish I had never come to this horrid place.”

An understandable sentiment, but she couldn’t have predicted this…could she?

“Helen! Miss Gardner, that is.” Mr. Powers hurried up, clad only in shirt and breeches. This utter disregard of the proprieties, coupled with his use of her Christian name, seemed to indicate that his relationship with the young woman might be as close as Harold Bellevue feared. “What happened?”

“He’s dead!” she wailed, and cast herself upon his breast.

“Hush,” he said. “Who’s dead?”

“How could you?” she cried, and sobbed into his shirt. She, at least, was fully dressed, making the embrace less improper than it otherwise might have been.

I left them to it and hastened down to see the body for myself. Obviously, it behooved me to determine first of all whether the man on the floor was indeed dead.

It was the unpleasant Mr. Fence, but looking unlike himself—tranquil and at peace. With a shudder of revulsion, I realized that what lay atop him was a huge rack of antlers. I glanced up at the wall of the landing: sure enough, the largest stag’s head I’d seen there last evening was gone.

I knelt beside him and felt for his pulse—a waste of time, for even if he still lived, he wouldn’t for long. Two prongs of the antlers had pierced his chest.

There was not even a flutter of heartbeat.

I stood and took a deep breath, trying to shove away the thought that ran over and over through my mind: you wanted a corpse, and you got one.

Amazon links. Additional vendors are pending.

Amazon US   https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Rosamund-Horned-God-Regency-ebook/dp/B0913LPHMC/

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Australia  https://www.amazon.com.au/Lady-Rosamund-Horned-God-Regency-ebook/dp/B0913LPHMC/

About the Author

Rumor has it that Barbara Monajem is descended from English aristocrats. If one keeps to verifiable claims, however, her ancestors include London shopkeepers and hardy Canadian pioneers. As far as personal attributes go, she suffers from an annoying tendency to check and recheck anything and everything, usually for no good reason. Hopefully all this helps to explain her decision to write from the point of view of a compulsive English lady with a lot to learn about how the other ninety-nine percent lived in 1811 or so.

As for qualifications, Barbara is the author of over twenty historical romances and a few mysteries, for which she has won several awards. On the other hand, she has no artistic talent and therefore is really stretching it to write about an artist who draws wickedly good caricatures. But she’s doing it anyway, because he’s irresistible. To her, anyway. Not so much to the aristocratic lady. Or at least not yet.

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Gossip Spreads Through Fenwick on Sea

Kitty Smothers, youngest and newest of the girls in service at the Queen’s Barque, swung her broom with more enthusiasm than skill. It didn’t much matter. With the inn bursting at the seams and all the paying rooms full of well-off travelers, Mrs. Brewster sent them to clean out the old wing, the one with more cobwebs than heat and more mice than usable furniture. They needed it for all the refugees coming up from the beach, didn’t they?

The storm, the fiercest in all of Kitty’s fourteen years, rattled the windows where there was still glass, where they hadn’t been papered over. She listened wide eyed while Nelly Jones chattered a mile a minute while she swatted at the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and giggled with Annie Burke.

“I think Mr. Simon is the handsomest,” Annie said.

“He don’t hold a candle to Captain Rousseau—Jasper,” Nelly sighed dramatically.

“Looks more like a pirate to me, him with that ship stuck out on the shoals,” Annie argued. “Mr. Simon has that mysterious air…”

“Sneaky more like,” Nelly said. “and besides, he’s married.”

“Shows what you know.” Annie dropped her voice and beckoned Nelly closer. Kitty moved nearer to listen. “Those girls Mrs. Fullerton sent over from Morphew Manor told Mags and Alice in the kitchen that there’s folks from London staying at the manor.”

“So what’s that to us?” Nelly said out loud.

Annie shushed her. “Mags told me they’re here for that so-called Mrs. Simon. Says she’s really betrothed to the dandy staying at the Manor. Simon isn’t married at all.”

Kitty tilted her head, puzzled. “But he and Mrs. Simon are sharing a room.”

Annie and Nelly laughed at her. “You think every pair that puts up at an inn claiming to be married really are?”

“How about that Lord Stanton. He’s as handsome as can be,” Kitty said.

“He’s a lord, ain’t he? No point in mooning after a lord,” Annie said. “Besides, have you seen how he looks at his lady? Honeymooning those two—for sure.”

“But you said not every couple who claim to be married…” Kitty still thought he was handsome.

“Some are, you ninny. The real question about those two is what are they doing in Fenwick on Sea? Folks like that go to Paris. Or Brighton. Odd if you ask me,” Nelly said.

“I’ll tell you who’s odd. That Cosistas fellow. Slimy fish. Have you seen how he looks at that Fynlock woman? Gives me the creeps.” Annie shivered just to show them.

“I—” Whatever Kitty would have said was interrupted by an arrival.

“How is this room coming? Can I send in the men with the straw bedding?” Patience Abney, she that teaches at the charity school above town, stood in the door waiting for an answer.

“Will do in a few more minutes, Miss Abney,” Annie said.

Patience smiled at them. “Good. Mr. Somerville the vicar came with word there are more folk on their way. We need every room. Hurry it up.” She swept out.

Nelly made an ugly face after her.

“I like Miss Abney; she’s always kind,” Kitty said. “It’s generous of her to help out.”

“She’s only working here to pay so her boys can stay out in the stables,” Annie said.

“Thinks she’s better than us, her with her fancy school. Peter told me their roof caved in. We’ll see how high and mighty she is now,” Nelly said.

“High enough. I heard talk,” Annie said.

“What do you mean?” Kitty asked, finishing up her sweeping and picking up the dust pan.

“I heard those two high nosed ladies in the big suite on the first floor talking. Patience Abney isn’t what she looks like. She’s an earl’s niece.”

“Gol. Come on hard times for sure, emptying night soil like the rest of us and sweeping up this ruin of a wing,” Nelly said.

“Got that right,” Annie agreed.

The girls finished the room and picked up their rags and brooms to move on. When they squeezed by Patience Abney in the hall directing footmen to bring straw bedding to the room they just finished, Nelly dipped a mocking curtsy behind her back and Annie giggled.

They handed all the dirty rags and dust pan to Kitty, sending her to the kitchen. As Kitty walked away, she heard Nelly’s last pronouncement.

“I’ll tell you what else I heard. Some folks think there’s a reporter from that Teatime Tattler staying here, taking notes on all these folks. What do you think of that?”

Kitty continued downstairs, dumped the dirt and picked up new rags. She nodded greetings to Alice, Mags, and the girls from Morphew Manor who waited tables and worked in the kitchen. On her way out something caught her eye, lying on the work table. It was The Teatime Tattler folded up to a headline, “Storm ravages Great Yarmouth and the coast.”

“Get on with it, Kitty. This isn’t a library,” Mrs. Brewster snapped pointing to the door.

Kitty smiled on her way up the servant stairs. “We’re going to be famous.”

***

A Reporter Snooping Around? We can’t have it. There’s an award for the person that figures out who it is. The answers are buried in Storm & Shelter.

A Bluestocking Belles with Friends Collection

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

Available on Amazon or various other vendors,

More about each story here.

Join the Hunt

There are three big prizes. Enter the contest!

How to enter

  • Read the book.
  • Send your guess about the identity of person writing the reports for The Teatime Tattler to teatimetattlereditor@yahoo.com

Details are here!

A Discarded Suitor?

Dear Readers

Your correspondent is curious to know why Miss F, Lord B’s eldest daughter, has been out of town for some weeks. You may recall that Miss F was being courted by Lord O who, I have on the best of authority (his own!), is a fine upstanding young man always ready to provide advice and direction to the fairer sex. Perhaps Miss F did not perceive the advantages of an alliance with him as clearly as he did himself?

Whatever the reason for her recent absence, Miss F is now back in society. Only a few days past she was seen in the Park, first driving with Lord O, and then being taken up by Lady C for a turn in her phaeton. Lord O did not look best pleased, to put it mildly. It would not be going too far, I think, to mention the clenching of fists and gritting of teeth.

But the intrigue deepens, my dears. Only yesterday Miss F was driving in the Park with Lady C again, when they met one of the younger sons of Lord D. He was accompanied by a young man I have never set eye upon before—and as I’m sure you are aware, I know everyone who is anyone. This unknown young man spent some time walking with Miss F.

Can there be romance in the air? Has Lord O lost to a nobody from the country? Be sure to look out for more news in this column.


About the Book: An Embroidered Spoon

Can love bridge a class divide?

Wales 1817

After refusing every offer of marriage that comes her way, Isolde Farrington is packed off to a spinster aunt in Wales until she comes to her senses.

Rhys Williams, there on business, is turning over his uncle’s choice of bride for him, and the last thing he needs is to fall for an impertinent miss like Izzy – who takes Rhys for a yokel. But while a man may choose his wife, he cannot choose who he falls in love with.

Izzy’s new surroundings make her look at life, and Rhys, afresh. As she realises her early impressions were mistaken, her feelings about him begins to change.

But when her father, Lord Bedley, discovers the situation in Wales is not what he thought, and that Rhys is in trade, Izzy is hurriedly returned to London. Will a difference in class keep them apart?

Amazon link: mybook.to/Spoon


About the Author

Jayne Davis writes historical romances set in the late Georgian/Regency era, published as both ebooks and paperbacks.

She was hooked on Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer as a teenager, and longed to write similar novels herself. Real life intervened, and she had several careers, including as a non-fiction author under another name. That wasn’t quite the writing career she had in mind…

Finally, she got around to polishing up stories written for her own amusement in long winter evenings, and became the kind of author she’d dreamed of in her teens. At present she is working on the Marstone Series – standalone stories with some characters in common – and trying to fight off all the other story ideas distracting her.


Excerpt from An Embroidered Spoon

Once Lord Ordsall had tooled the curricle through the park gates and could safely divert some of his attention from the track ahead, Izzy asked him if he liked her gown. “For it is new, you know, although not as fine as I’d like.”

It looks very well on you, Miss Farrington,” he said, after a quick appraisal. His expression softened a little as his gaze ran down her body.

“It is rather plain, though.” Izzy fingered the silver embroidery down the front, trying to ignore the uncomfortable feeling his inspection had induced. “Seeing my relatives in Wales made me realise how nice it is to have a rich father who can keep me in new gowns.” She made a brief pout. “But Mama will insist that simplicity is best for unmarried women. I’m so looking forward to being able to decide on my own wardrobe once I am wed.”

A surreptitious glance in Ordsall’s direction revealed his eyebrows rising.

“There are some lovely new fabrics, you know, with real silver and gold thread in them, or embroidered with pearls.” At least, if there were not, there should be. “They are a trifle expensive, to be sure, but my future husband won’t mind.”

“Miss Farrington, I thought you were aware that I would be spending much of my time on my estate. Such gowns are not required for country living.”

“Oh, no, I agree. I will need a completely different wardrobe for that, but even country gowns need to keep up with the fashions, do they not? And I will visit my family in Town often.” She smiled at him kindly, noting the crease between his brows deepening. “I need not drag you away from your estates, you know. A married lady has more freedom to go about.”

“Miss Farrington, I do not—”

“Oh, look—is that a high perch phaeton?” Izzy pointed at a carriage some distance away. “I do so want to learn to drive. That will be useful in the country.”

“Yes, but I have a coachman to—”

“Oh, pooh, that is no fun! A phaeton like that will be just the thing for me, or perhaps a curricle.”

His brows were drawing together now, and was that an angry flush on his cheeks? “Miss Farrington!” His voice was getting louder, too—excellent!

“Ladies do not drive such vehicles.”

Fortune really was smiling on her today. As the phaeton approached, Izzy saw that it was driven by a woman of middle years, smartly dressed in a wine-coloured pelisse. Izzy recognised the driver as an acquaintance of her mother.

“Do you mean Lady Cleeve is not truly a lady?” Izzy adopted her puzzled expression as the phaeton drew to a halt next to them.

“L-L-Lady Cleeve,” Ordsall stuttered, casting a venomous glance at Izzy. “How… how nice to meet you here.”

“Lord Ordsall.” Lady Cleeve nodded at him and turned to Izzy, her mouth curving in a friendly smile. “Miss Farrington, I was hoping to meet you today. Will you take a turn about the park with me?”

Links

Website: www.jaynedavisromance.co.uk

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Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jayne-Davis/e/B078WTF3DP

Another Season For Lady J

Three years after The Bachelor Duke was taken off the market

London 1824

Here we are again! Another exciting Season! Every year, eager debutants and reluctant gentlemen come together with one common goal. Marriage! Or perhaps other pursuits. Ladies that are new to the London Season shan’t fret over the possibility of finding a suitable husband. The numerous success stories of our past are an inspiration to all mothers and daughters.

The most successful love story of the last three seasons is that of the former Lady O and The Bachelor Duke, although now that name has been long gone for years. When Lady O arrived with her exuberant cousin, Lady J, she was all anyone could speak of … and not in a good way. There were those who believed that she was too plump, too round in the hips to win such a man as the Duke of K, but she soon proved everyone wrong! I, for one, never doubted her for a second!

It’s been three years since the marriage of the century and the heart. The now Duchess of K has become a bit of a celebrity throughout society. Especially after the ordeal she survived after her first season. Oh, the horror!

In spite of the exciting first Season, Her Grace has excelled in every endeavor that has been presented to her. A kindhearted philanthropist, she often contributes to the poor, both in London, and on their country estate in Norwich. Whatever endeavor she tackles next, it is sure to be a great one, now if only her cousin, Lady J, could repair her ruined reputation!

Let’s hope that now that a new Season has begun, Lady J finds what she lost three years past, but I’m sure opportunity like the one she had will not come around again. Rumor has it a new bachelor will soon be arriving in town.

Let the fun begin!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3a5umLb

Excerpt from The Bachelor Duke:

“Let me assure you that I find every single inch of you pleasing, and I cannot wait until the day I may call you mine.” Remington’s lips pressed to hers. His free arm encircled her waist and pulled her closer to him. A groan of pleasure escaped him. Livie was excited, knowing she was the one that caused him to react in such a way. He brushed his lips softly against hers, allowing her time to become accustomed. She relaxed in his arms. Her lips parted, releasing a sigh of contentment. Taking her bottom lip into his own, he sucked gently, before gliding his silky tongue along it. Livie whimpered, the pure ecstasy of his lips touching hers was a feeling she had never felt in her life. His hand spread wide on her lower back branding her through the fabric of her dress. “Remington,” she sighed against his lips, hearing voices all around them. She wanted to stop the madness with all of society just on the other side of the curtain. But she could only grasp his lapels and hold on tight as she opened to him, allowing him the freedom to devour her.

About the Author

Cecilia Rene is a creative, happy, and outgoing Detroit native who majored in Broadcast Communication at Grambling State University. Immediately following her graduation, she started her new life in New York City. As a self-proclaimed New Yorker, her stimulating and diverse career in advertising sparked a drive for hard work and dedication. Her love and passion for writing followed her from childhood through adulthood, where she wrote short stories, poems, and screenplays. Always an avid reader, she stumbled across a book that ignited a deeper need for more and joined a fandom of like-minded individuals. Cecilia and her family made a huge move five years ago to the great state of Texas, where she currently lives with her loving husband, wonderful son, and spoiled fur baby, Sadie. Cecilia Rene loves romance, humor, and all things spicy. For this reason, she will always give you a Happily Ever After.

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But He’s Not a Gentleman

This letter has fallen into the hands of your Teatime Tattler editors. We trust our readers will find it of interest.

From Mrs. Letitia Piggott-Pym, Berkeley Square, London

To Miss Lorena Ogilvy, Vine Cottage, Sussex

Dear Sister,

At the close of this most successful Season, I am delighted to report that not only have we secured an entirely satisfactory husband for Arabella, but that our future son-in-law, if somewhat lacking in the matter of a chin, more than makes up for it in family connection and social distinction.

But I will confess that for a time our prospects appeared somewhat less propitious when Bella (along with several silly girls of her set) conceived a sudden tendre for a certain Mr. Merion – a development which, as you can imagine, Mr. Piggott-Pym and I found not a little worrisome.

In particular, dear Lorena, it simply wasn’t possible to refuse to receive Mr. Merion. He is a protégé of Viscount Crowden, not only having saved the viscount’s life during a terrible battle at sea, but being quite excessively attractive, looking just as one wishes one’s national heroes to look, as, sadly, they rarely do. War, after all, will cause disfiguring scars, burns, and amputations, but Mr. Merion’s wound is of the more decorative variety. In truth, the nearly imperceptible limp with which he walks, aided by a masterfully wielded cane, can only fan the flames of patriotic virtue among the girls, and perhaps, at times, even within the bosoms of their Mamas.

Not to speak of the fit of his coat, and even what might discern beneath…

But I digress; and in my meanderings have nearly forgotten to add that Mr. Merion is quite rich, or well on his way to becoming so. Of course, a lady doesn’t speak overmuch of such matters, but I am assured that he’s highly respected as a commercial investor in properties in certain neighborhoods. And although one wouldn’t venture to such quarters oneself, Mr. Piggott-Pym tells me that large sums of money may be made there in rents to a certain class of person.

Which brings me finally to the inescapable truth, that as ornamental an addition as Mr. Merion had made to one’s guest list – for his aforementioned assets and as proof of patriotism on the part of his hosts – the fact remains that Mr. Merion was not born a gentleman, and in fact served in His Majesty’s Royal Navy as a common sailor. And although this did not stop certain families from countenancing his attentions to their daughters, I can assure you that Mr. Piggott-Pym and I felt very differently…

And so in consequence, it was no surprise to find ourselves quite vindicated by the most shocking, interesting, and entertaining development… when a week ago, without a word of explanation or apology to any of his generous and condescending new connections, and leaving several dinner parties horribly lopsided, Mr. Merion quite entirely, and inexplicably, disappeared

ABOUT THE BOOK: A House East of Regent Street

The future looks bright for former sailor Jack Merion. His wartime heroics have won him influential contacts, and his good looks and flair for business are definite assets. With funds to invest, he’s on the brink of financial success in the high-stakes world of Regency London.

And buying the house in Soho Square is a can’t-miss opportunity. Once a fashionable brothel, the property will yield a good income in commercial rents and a clear path to the respectable life Jack has never known.

There’s only one problem – another prospective buyer. With a dark past, a desperate future, and some unmistakable assets of her own, Miss Cléo Myles is a formidable obstacle, one that Jack would be wise to steer clear of.

But instead, he proposes a bargain that’s as scandalous as it is irresistible.

Five afternoons. Five rooms. Uncountable pleasures…

…In a neighborhood that’s seen better days. And a house that’s seen everything except love.

An Excerpt

Woman, rather than lady.

Unless, Jack supposed, one knew how to pronounce the word lady with a certain ambiguity – a tone of voice like a wink or smirk exchanged with the other men in the room, to show that one really meant quite the opposite. A courtesan. Or even better, the French phrase Lord Crowden had taught him – trust the French to come up with an expression like grande horizontale. He himself had never encountered such a woman at first hand, and so he’d never been quite sure of all the nuances of implication.

But this… ah, lady could quickly fill the gaps in his education. He need only contemplate her posture and manner of address; it would be like memorizing an entire lexicon – of new uses for ordinary words that Miss Myles’s extraordinary presence had suddenly rendered inadequate.

One couldn’t, for example, exactly say she was small: not with her posture so regal that only the proximity of the lanky servant called attention to her lack of stature. Slender? He doubted that the possessor of such a voluptuous bosom could correctly be called slender. She was hardly young but it wouldn’t do to call her old either; the word ageless came to mind, but here his common sense rebelled. No woman was ageless – her youth, or lack of it, was always a critical index of her value.

Beautiful? He wasn’t quite sure – he’d always thought that beauty brought with it a comforting, disinterested sort of serenity. Well, striking, then, Miss Myles was certainly that. Sparkling eyes slanted catlike above well-drawn cheekbones; her mouth was expressive, the sinuous upper lip curving in a wary half-smile above the full, appetitive lower one. The afternoon sunlight seemed to embrace her as its own, her bright eyes and creamy skin outshining the brilliance even of these surroundings.

And oddly dignified, Jack thought, dignified and defiant – though world-weary might have been a more accurate word…

Release Date October 6, 2020 – Available for Preorder Now

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About the Author

Author of historical romances set during the English Regency and before the French Revolution, Pam Rosenthal has been praised for her graceful style as well as her writing’s unabashed eroticism. She was twice nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award, and in 2009 her novel The Edge of Impropriety won the RITA for Best Historical Romance. Find out more about Pam and her books at pamrosenthal.com, on Twitter @pamrosenthal, on Facebook, and on Goodreads.

“Elegant, tender, and daring… Pam Rosenthal has an impeccable sense of the Regency and a fearless way with a story.” – Julie Anne Long, USA Today Bestselling Author

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