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One Diamond who seeks an Apothecary? Heavens, no!

Dear Readers, the Earl of Seahaven’s daughters seem determined to raise eyebrows wherever they go, especially the beautiful, but too independent, Lady Josefina Bigglesworth. She may be one of the Seahaven diamonds and certain to turn heads during her season in York, but is this not all the more reason she ought to be careful about running off on her own? Even an innocent daytime excursion to a local apothecary shop in The Shambles may be viewed as too forward.

She has also been seen lately having tea with none other than the Duke of Bourne, York’s most eligible bachelor, and it is said he could not take his eyes off her. Although the Dowager Countess of Seahaven is keeping quiet about it, several reliable sources present at the Castlegate Tea Room assure this Tattler the duke proposed to the lovely Josefina and she has accepted his offer of marriage.

The duke, that handsome devil, is taking Lady Josefina to his seaside estate outside of Whitby to meet his beloved sister. It is rumored she is ill and the doctors seem unable to cure her. Lady Josefina is known as quite the expert in curative plant medicines. Do her plant lore talents have anything to do with his desire to marry her? And will he marry her if she is unable to cure his sister? It would be a shocking scandal if he begged out, ruining the girl and her family. 

Desperate Daughters, Box Set, Bluestocking Belles and Friends

Desperate DaughtersBlurb:

Lady Josefina would much rather spend her time studying plants and their healing properties, but her father, the Earl of Seahaven, has died and left the family impoverished. Marriage seems her only alternative until she meets the handsome Duke of Bourne in an apothecary in York’s ancient Shambles. He offers her an intriguing proposition, a fake betrothal and a king’s ransom as reward if she returns with him to his estate and finds a cure for his sister’s illness. But will the true reward be his heart?

The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters. They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close?

About the Author, Meara Platt:

Meara Platt is an award winning, USA TODAY bestselling author and an Amazon UK All-Star. Her favorite place in all the world is England’s Lake District, which may not come as a surprise since many of her stories are set in that idyllic landscape, including her paranormal romance Dark Gardens series. Learn more about the Dark Gardens and Meara’s lighthearted and humorous Regency romances in her Farthingale series and Book of Love series, or her warmhearted Regency romances in her Braydens series by visiting her website at www.mearaplatt.com 

Shhh. The Trouble with Governesses!

Art Institute of Chicago.

English Drawing Room of the Georgian Period, 1800. Art Institute of Chicago.

London, 1815

One would think that finding and keeping a governess would not be a difficult thing, but apparently it is for Lord Preston Ambrose, Viscount Melcombe. He has had three in less than a year but is hopeful that the fourth will prove to be suitable for his household and settle in nicely to guide his nieces for the next few years.

The trouble with governesses started last spring when Lord Melcombe became the guardian of his five nieces, ages five to fourteen. They’d had a governess at the time, but she was sacked and we’ve yet to discover why.

Once the former governess had departed, Melcombe made no effort in finding a replacement, though he knew that he should. Then, one bright winter day, Miss Althea Claywell stepped off the mail coach. Melcombe was also aware that she was running and offered her the position within his household, which she gladly accepted.

All worked out well, until the two fell in love and married. Thus, Melcombe was in need of a governess again. This time he placed an advertisement, and was hopeful when the perfect candidate replied, a Miss Katrina Carrick. In fact, he and Lady Melcombe were quite pleased with the interview, and Miss Carrick was hired. But, before she could begin her duties, love arrived to claim her.

Lord Melcombe has now contacted an employment agency and is hopeful that the woman scheduled to arrive for an interview will be the fourth and final governess to be employed for some time. However, if that does not turn out to be the case, I might suggest that any miss wishing to wed become a governess in Viscount Melcombe’s home. No doubt, you will barely be unpacked before the love you have been waiting for finds you.  

LINKS FOR THE LOVE OF A GOVERNESS SERIES:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09R26VG3L/

RELEASE DATE OF PURSUING THE GOVERNESS: April 26, 2022

EXCERPT from PURSUING THE GOVERNESS:

Regina started at the pounding on her door and stepped away.

“Regina, open this door.”

All hope of Alec thinking she was someone else fled. Or, had Lord and Lady Melcombe broken their promise and confirmed her identity?

“Open the door, Regina,” he called again.

If she remained silent, perhaps he would think she was somewhere else and go away.

“The girls told me you are in here,” he said.

She still didn’t move or answer him. It wasn’t as if he could do anything if she refused to unlock her door.

There was a sudden thud against her door and then it splintered, flying open. Regina quickly turned her back on him.

“I know it is you, Regina,” he said. “I simply wish to know why you have let me believe you were dead for a year.”

She bit her lip, not certain what to say.

“Please,” he begged in a softer tone. “Why won’t you look at me?

Tears sprang to her eyes. He couldn’t see her.

“Why?” he asked.

“It is for the best,” she finally answered.

“Best!” he yelled. “I loved you. Was in love with you. Do you know I wanted to die when I learned what happened?”

“I am sorry,” she whispered. What more could she say?

“Sorry?” he asked. “That is all you have to say! I thought you loved me as much as I loved you.”

Oh, she did. She still did. Even though Regina Rutledge died, her love for Alec had not. But she needed him to go away. “What we had is over. Please go.”

“That’s it? You are rejecting me without an explanation? One day you’re across my lap you cry out my name, and now you want nothing to do with me.”

“Please lower your voice. The girls will hear you.” She didn’t care what he thought of her, but her charges did not need to hear such talk.

“I now understand how misses and ladies feel after they have been ruined and discarded.”

Pain and anger merged within his tone, but Regina held her tongue. It was best for both of them if he hated her.

“At least face me while rejecting me after everything we shared.”

“I cannot. It’s best that you go.”

“Cannot, or will not?”

“Both.”

“If you want me to go, then you need to turn around and tell me. Swear that what we shared meant nothing to you.”

Regina had been dreading this moment, and hoped the day would never come, but Alec was going to be stubborn.

She took a deep breath and slowly turned around.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Charles, AuthorUSA Today bestselling author Jane Charles is a prolific writer of over fifty historical and contemporary romance novels. Her love of research lends authenticity to her Regency romances, and her experience directing theatre productions helps her craft beautiful, touching stories that tug at the heartstrings. Jane is an upbeat and positive author dedicated to giving her characters happy-ever-afters and leaving the readers satisfied at the end of an emotional journey. Lifelong Cubs fan, world traveler and mother of three amazing children, Jane lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two dogs and a cat. She is currently writing her next book and planning her dream trip to England. Be sure to join Jane on Facebook @JaneCharlesAuthor for Wine Pairings Wednesdays.

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News of Arrival of most noted Military Hero!

News from Lady G.T.!

Dear Readers,
I’m sharing with you a letter from one of my faithful correspondents:
Dear Mr. Clemmons,
I hope that this letter finds you well. I myself was agreeably settled for a time to take the waters in Harrogate, with all the conviviality that entails. Goodness! I might have had some delicious news to share with you, had I not received a most surprising letter from my grandson which required me to rush off to York!
Oh, this news is not in the nature of titillating on dits for your readers (Of which I number myself one!), but the happiest sort of news to thrill the hearts of honest Englishmen and Englishwomen. For, a hero of the seemingly unending wars with the French has arrived in York, Major A.K. (Oh, I may not use his name, for he is a creature of the most humble and self-effacing disposition where his military service is concerned). I am quite proud to say that he is a relation of mine, and his late mother was my dearest friend.
So I write to you from York, having only just arrived and had the pleasure of dining with said hero, as well as my grandson, and my widowed daughter-in-law, Lady H.T. She has taken a house in York for the season—wisely, one that accommodates all of us! I daresay she is young enough to marry again, though her years with my late son may discourage… no, I will not go there.
But should she decide to dip a toe into matrimony again, I daresay she and the Major are of an age to be quite suitable, if he is so inclined as well. And what man is not better off for having a wife?
I shall write again and tell you more of the Major’s heroics, as he has promised me the tale at another time.
Do ensure that my copy of the Teatime Tattler reaches me at the direction I’m providing.
I am as ever, your faithful reader,
Lady G.T.

Lady Twisden’s Picture Perfect Match, in Desperate Daughters, A Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends
After years of tolerating her late husband’s rowdy friends, Honoria, Lady Twisden, has escaped to York where she can paint, investigate antiquities, and enjoy freedom. Then her stepson appears with a long-lost relation in tow, the perfect image of a long-ago relation whose fierce portrait made her shiver with mad imaginings.

Promised York’s marriage mart and the hospitality of his cousin’s doddering stepmother, Major August Kellborn is shocked to find that his fetching hostess is the one woman who stirs his heart. To win her heart, however, he must convince her he’s not just a perfect image, but her perfect match.

Excerpt:
“Where is the footman? We need him to fetch in our trunks.”
We?
Looking past the broad shoulder she saw another figure approaching and…
Good God. Heat swamped her and flamed in her cheeks. Dark eyes shot darts at her over a grimly set, thin-lipped mouth. The palpable sternness of Wes’s companion sent a shiver of awareness through her. It was a familiar shiver, one she’d indulged during her tedious days at Twisden Manor when she’d found herself fighting off mad imaginings.
Wes’s laughter shook her tongue loose. “My goodness, sir,” she said. “You bear an uncanny resemblance to—”
“Old Ebenezer Twisden,” Wes said. “Yes, it is as if the old Warden has come back to life, Mother. As soon as I laid eyes on him in Brampton, I knew he must be a relation. And do you know who he is, Mother?” He laughed again. “I’ve written to Granny to tell her. She’ll be in alt when she reads the news.”
A man of perhaps forty, he was about the same age as Wes’s ancestor, the Warden in the painting at Twisden Hall who’d been in the King’s service for many years when that portrait was done. This new incarnation of Ebenezer wasn’t a particularly tall man, not as tall as Wes, but he still towered over her.
Old Ebenezer cleared his throat.
“But of course,” Wes said. “Where are my manners? Mother, may I present my cousin, Major Augustus Kellborn. Gus, this is my dear stepmother, Lady Twisden.”
While she curtsied, managing not to wobble, he dipped his head, never taking his gaze away.
Good holy heavens.A hero returned from the wars!

Desperate Daughters:  A Bluestocking Belles with Friends Collection

Love Against the Odds

The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.
The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.
When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters.
They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.
So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close?

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3qG6WGs
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Angus & Robertson:
Thalia: https://bit.ly/30q8dqI
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Author bio:
USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature but prefers the happier world of romance fiction. Her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., but after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California where she shares a midcentury home with a gold-eyed terrier and only occasionally misses snow.

Website: https://alinakfield.com/

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY

Church Lady’s Lament

To Reverend Mr. Horace Sorsby, Vicar of Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Knaresborough

Sir:

Reluctant though I am to criticize church matters, I truly must speak up, and hope my frequent liberal contributions to your parish will gain me attention. As you know age and infirmity make it impossible for me to attend services in Knaresborough. While I am pleased that a chapel of ease has been set up here in Harrogate for the benefit of leading citizens like myself who find themselves hampered from full participation, the man assigned  it has failed us. I am compelled to report that the curate you appointed to serve my our needs has proven to be negligent and useless.

First of all, his sermons focus entirely too heavily on service due the poor, in my opinion, and too little on the respect the lower classes owe their betters. I suppose I must excuse this as he is young and does seem to have a grasp on scripture.

I excuse it mainly because I am rarely able to attend even the chapel of ease here. That curate, Mr. Eustace Clarke, has been repeatedly asked to attend me at home. We are now moving into December, and I am obliged to report he made but two visits since summer. Neither visit lasted longer than an hour. I ask, Mr. Sorsby, do you believe that shows sufficient care for a frail old woman, one I might add who has generously supported Saint John in the past?

I am quite, quite distressed to add that my precious Wellington, an extraordinarily noble pug, has taken him dislike as well. The impudent young man accused my darling Welly of damaging his boots. I cannot believe poor Welly has developed a taste for leather. He has demonstrated no such affinity in the past. I am certain Mr. Clarke enticed him as an excuse to make a quick departure.

My loyal butler reports that it appears Mr. Clarke persists in wasting his time with that pathetic little soup kitchen he calls Pilgrim’s Rest, feeding every lazy, worthless beggar that imbibes from Harrogate’s public springs but refuses to pay for his lunch. Now news has reached me that he believes he needs funds to repair the roof of that barn. I will not stand for it. I demand you order him to close that fruitless and unproductive little mission down and focus on those of us who support the parish at large as he ought.

If my words have not been enough to convince you the man needs sharp words from his superior there is this. My personal maid, a woman of fine character, has told me that he is now seen walking out with a woman employed in the kitchens of the The Hampton Hotel. What such a woman is doing sporting about town on the arm of a single man, I can only guess. The hussy’s name I’m told is Doro Bigglesworth.

I trust you will counsel your curate about proper behavior and duties. I would hate to take my contributions and charity elsewhere.

With Respect,

Lady Louella Spotsworthy

About the Book: Desperate Daughters

Love Against the Odds

The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters.

They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close.

Among them?  “Lady Dorothea’s Curate,” by Caroline Warfield

Employed at a hotel in order to assist her stepmother, Lady Dorothea Bigglesworth had no use for a title. It would only invite scorn, or, worse, pity. Plain Miss Doro Bigglesworth suited her fine.

Ben Clarke dedicated his life to helping the neediest. It gave his life meaning. He tended to forget the younger son of a viscount went by “Honorable.”

Working together at Pilgrim’s Rest, neither saw the need to mention it to the other, before fate separated them. When they were formally introduced after an unexpected reunion— in a ballroom in York—shock rocked them both. Can their budding love survive?

You can find links to various vendors here: https://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/desperate-daughters/

 

Foul Play on a Baron or the Foul Baron Played?

Thomas, the second Baron Lyttelton, has died under mysterious circumstances.

Rumors concerning his death abound. He was an infamous rake, known for using his charm and talent to seduce women and gain influence. He fought duels, gambled away a fortune, and married the misguided Aphia Witts to pay his debts before fleeing to Paris with a barmaid. Upon his return in, he entered the House of Commons in 1768 and exited the next year after being accused of bribery.

Thursday last, 25 November, 1770 Lord Lyttelton told friends of an extraordinary dream he’d had the previous night. A bird had flown into his room, transformed into a woman wearing white, and informed him that he’d die within three days. He discounted the dream, attributing it to a recent party he’d attended where a robin had flown into the room. He was accustomed to a woman’s scorn, so that part of the dream seemed easy enough to explain.

By Saturday evening, he boasted he would “bilk the ghost” and ordered breakfast for the following day. He retired shortly after. Just before midnight, lying in his bed, Lyttelton’s valet said his master died “without a groan.” There was no inquest.

According to close friends, the only legacy he leaves behind is a reputation of questionable character as a compulsive gambler, drug addict, and debaucher of women. So, The Teatime Tattler asks,  was his death an act of vengeance? Or did karma finally come calling for the wicked baron?

About the Book

Upon a Midnight Dreary is up for preorder and will release this month, October 21.

This amazing anthology contains dark, romantic tales of ghosts that haunt and taunt, written by some of your favorite historical romance authors. Each novella will include a romance and a “real” ghost story. Aubrey Wynne’s contribution includes the wicked Lord Lyttelton.

Buy Link: (https://books2read.com/midnightdreary)

Excerpt from “Percy’s Perdition” in  Upon a Midnight Dreary Halloween anthology

Ellie nibbled at a candied apricot as she snuggled against Percy’s chest. They had foregone supper, moved to their bedchambers, and now ate a cold repast spread about the counterpane. “I heard the most delicious tale the other day. Did I tell you of the wicked Lord Lyttelton?”

Percy smiled and kissed the top of her head, the blond waves spread over her bare shoulders. His limbs were heavy, and he couldn’t care less about some rakish peer. “No, love.”

“He was a baron with no regard for mankind, wasting his money and seducing innocents. One mother was so horrified when her daughter succumbed to his advances, she died of a broken heart.” Ellie paused while she took sip of wine. “But the mother had the final word.”

“They always do,” he agreed.

She slapped his arm but grinned. “Anyway, she returned as a ghost and told him of his looming demise. Three days and he would be dead.”

“Ah, but one can do so much living in three days.” He picked up a hunk of cheese and offered Ellie a bite. She shook her head.

“Well, a quarter hour before midnight of the third day, he dropped dead! Can you imagine?” She sank her teeth into the blue and white Wiltshire and smacked her lips.

“People die every day, my dear. It doesn’t mean an apparition caused it.”

“This happened forty years ago, but there is much documentation. And it gets stranger.” She kissed his cheek. “The wicked lord stopped by his friend’s bedchamber on his way to Hell. The man saw the baron at the foot of his bed, miles away in another county, the same night he died. He woke his household to look for the scoundrel since Lord Lyttelton was known for his pranks. But alas, he was never found.”

“Because he was dead.”

“Exactly!” She beamed at him as if he’d done something very clever.

Percy snorted. “You have a way of maneuvering our conversations until it appears I agree with you.” He kissed her soundly on the mouth.

“Don’t you?” she asked, batting her eyelashes.

About The Author

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule, and barn cats. Obsessions include wine, history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas. Her Chicago Christmas series has received the Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and twice nominated as a Rone finalist by InD’tale Magazine.

Aubrey’s first love is medieval romance but after dipping her toe in the Regency period in 2018 with the Wicked Earls’ Club, she was smitten. This inspired her spin-off series Once Upon a Widow. In 2020, she launched the Scottish Regency series A MacNaughton Castle Romance with Dragonblade Novels.

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