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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

Trouble always follows her

Lord Adrian de Courtenay and his wife Celia sat in the morning room eating their breakfast. A servant quietly entered placing a newsprint within his lady’s reach. Adrian glanced over at the paper and grimaced.

“Why do you bother reading that trash, my love,” he reluctantly asked his wife.

“How else am I to keep up with the goings on in Society whilst we are retired here in Bath, Adrian?” she asked before picking up the paper to peruse the contents.

He gave the matter no further thought as he continued to enjoy his morning coffee before Celia gasped. She cast nervous eyes in his direction, worry etched upon her brow. God forbid! What now? he thought.

“Hand it over,” he said far more gently than he expected. Considering how Celia’s hands shook when she handed over the newsprint, the contents couldn’t be good news.

“Adrian… just remain calm,” she said placing her hand upon his arm.

“I am always calm, my dear,” he replied and watched a delicate brow arch upwards. “Well… most of the time.” He scanned the print until the words swirled before his angry eyes.

Gently Readers:

It has come to the attention of this reporter that a certain Miss d.C. was seen entering a seaside inn at an indecent hour of the night. Did this young lady just return from an evening of debauchery with some unknown gentleman? Time will only tell if her reputation will survive this latest bit of tittle tattle. Stay tuned for more, dear reader!

An Anonymous Reporter for
The TeaTime Tattler

“What the bloody—”

“Adrian,” Celia called out.

“I thought Grace and Nicholas had a firm had on Miranda and what is she doing at some inn along the coast?” he howled in frustration.

“There’s no sense in getting worked up about something you had no control over. You know how trouble seems to follow Miranda wherever she goes. I’m certain there’s an explanation for everything.”

“I highly doubt that, my dear. I will, however, send a message to Grace to find out what she knows. If you will excuse me, I’ll go to see the matter,” he replied before placing a kiss on the top of her head and heading for his study.

Miranda in trouble again. He swore his sister was going to be the death of him.


This is an original piece by Belle Sherry Ewing. Miss Miranda de Courtenay was previously seen in A Kiss For Charity and The Earl Takes A Wife. She now gets her happily ever after in Before I Found You that is in the Bluestocking Belles’ next box set Storm & Shelter.

Excerpt from Before I Found You: A de Courtenay Novella (Book Three):

“You look as though you belong here, Miranda.” That voice broke into her musings, causing a shiver of pleasure to race throughout her body. His tone was gentle. Might Jasper still care for her? God help me.

She turned to face him and realized he was closer than she thought. Her breath caught in her throat before she finally answered him. “Do I?” she asked hesitantly, before she shrugged. “I never seem to really fit in anywhere.”

“Maybe you’re just looking in all the wrong places.” His solemn expression seemed genuinely concerned. Miranda’s determination to have a titled man as her husband waned in Jasper’s presence. It troubled her, and at the same time she felt guilty. Wasn’t she being untrue to herself?

“Perhaps,” she replied, quietly. She would concede that something inside her was changing. She wasn’t sure if she cared for the changes or not, but she couldn’t stand to see the hurt she might cause this man once again reflected in his eyes.

A few locks of her hair whisked across her face and Jasper reached out to tuck the length behind her ear. “Miranda—”

“I must apologize if my presence has made you uncomfortable, Jasper. I tried to persuade Grace to pick me up after they were done here,” she interrupted. She gestured at the planks beneath her feet. “As you can see, I failed.”

“You are more than welcome onboard. But you’re not remaining in London?” The ship chose that moment to sway and, before Miranda’s stance could falter, Jasper took hold of her elbow to steady her. Her heart betrayed her yet again when he placed her hand into the crook of his arm to offer his support.

“No, I’m afraid not. Nicholas has purchased a cottage on the coast at Cromer in Norfolk. I’m to accompany them and their children while they look the place over and furnish it. It’s part of my punishment for past offenses, I suppose. I’d rather not go into the details.”

“Spending time with your family hardly seems like punishment, Miranda.”

“I’m glad you haven’t heard the gossip surrounding me the past few years. Elsewise, you’d be like the rest of the tonand stay away from me at all costs. I’m only really accepted among them because of Grace and Adrian.”

He pulled her to face him and lifted her chin. “We may not have known one another for long, but you must know I’m not cut from the same mold as most of society. I’ve lived by my own rules, and, while I try to remain the gentleman my parents raised me to be, I don’t mind taking a risk now and then.”

“Like at the ball?” she asked, trying to keep her nerves calm.

“Yes. I thought you also didn’t mind occasionally dismissing the convention of men and women of their ilk since you decided to dance with me.”

She thought of how a foolish bet with Grace had almost been the ruin of her reputation at Hollystone Hall. A laugh escaped her. “If you only knew…”

“Perhaps one day you shall confide in me. I promise to keep your secrets.” His grin was completely wicked, and another piece of her heart melted.

“I just may hold you to your vow, Jasper,” she teased, her eyes twinkling in merriment while they jested with one another.

Storm & Shelter:
A Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends

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.

Before I Found You Blurb:

Miss Miranda de Courtenay has only one goal in life: to find a rich husband who can change her status from Miss to My Lady. But when a handsome stranger crosses her path at a Valentine’s Day ball, her obsession with titles dims. Might love be enough?

Captain Jasper Rousseau has no plans to become infatuated during a chance encounter at a ball. He has a new ship to run, passengers to book, and cargo to deliver. But one look into a young lady’s beautiful hazel eyes, and he becomes lost. Does love at first sight really exist?

Their paths continue to cross until they are both stranded in Fenwick on Sea. Their growing connection is hard to dismiss, despite Miranda’s childish quest for a title at all cost. But what if the cost includes love?

Buy Links:

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

Angus & Robertson

About Sherry Ewing:

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist. You can learn more about Sherry and her books on her website where a new adventure awaits you on every page!

Website & Books: www.SherryEwing.com

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Will she be mine?

Sir Rolf stared across the great hall to the woman who held his affection as she danced across the floor to a lively tune. Her current partner, one of several who had won the honor of a dance at today’s tourney, was of similar age to Lady Lynett. He caught her gaze and a smile spread across her features and gave Rolf hope that he could somehow capture her heart. But others stood in his way, along with the knight who came to stand beside him.

“She will never be yours, Rolf,” Ian MacGillivray murmured as he, too, watched the lady who now frowned whilst she observed them.

“And you think you will win her hand?” Rolf asked knowing full well that Ian had more of an opportunity of marriage with the fair lady than he did. After all, she had been in love with Ian once. “You had your chance years ago before you disappeared to seek your fame.”

“Lynett was young then and at the time I had nothing to offer her. You know that. She is a woman full grown and, now that I have inherited, I am more than suitable to provide a lifestyle that she is accustomed to. What do you have to offer?”

Rolf glanced at Ian. What indeed? Love perchance? He ignored the underlying taunt and returned his attention to the lady. “I was here to dry her tears whilst she mourned that you did not come back for her. Every. Single. Day. That alone should prove my worth, not that I must needs justify anything to you.”

Ian sighed. “We were comrades once… fighting for the same cause. We can put our differences behind us and remain friends. I only have Lynett’s best interest at heart.”

Rolfe scoffed. “And you think I do not share a similar mind as to what is best for the lady?”

“We are both fools,” Ian said with a shake of his head. “Neither of us will have an easy time winning the lady’s love.”

Rolf’s heart lurched in his chest as though Ian’s words held some merit. As the music died down, Lord Dristan motioned towards him. “If you will excuse me, Ian. I have a dance to claim with the fair Lynett.”

Rolfe did not wait for a reply. Instead, he went to the woman he wished to wed with all his heart. If this was the only time he would ever hold her in his arms, so be it. He would enjoy this moment to cherish for the rest of his lifetime.


This is an original piece from Belle Sherry Ewing for her medieval romance A Knight To Call My Own. Read on to learn more about this bestselling novel.

A Knight To Call My Own:
The MacLarens: A Medieval Romance (Book Two)
By Sherry Ewing

Excerpt:

Lynet should have expected this to happen when she had stated she would stay with him. But nothing in her score of years had prepared her for the sensation of her very first kiss as a woman full grown. She would have thought such a momentous event would send her heart flipping end over end, but ’twas further from the truth than she cared to admit, even unto herself. Although mildly pleasant, such a kiss as this did not make her want to profess her undying love to the knight who would offer her everything she desired if she could but learn to love him.

Perchance, she did not put enough effort into such an endeavor, for how was she to know how this kissing business was accomplished, having only experienced it once afore as a young girl with Ian, haphazard and brief as that had been. She took a step closer. Rolf must have taken this as a sign of encouragement. He deepened their kiss, and Lynet quickly became aware of two startling revelations. For one, Rolf had far more experience than she herself did when it came to kissing and certainly knew what he was doing. The second was far more disappointing to her peace of mind. She abruptly realized, if they were to marry, she would be settling into a relationship where they may have found a common accord, but Lynet would never truly love him deep within her heart. They both deserved much better than such a fate as that.

“I hope we’re not interrupting…” an annoyed voice called out from behind her.

Shame flooded through her, down to her very toes, as they swiftly broke apart. To be caught in such a compromising position such as this and by him, of all people! She turned to see none other than Ian himself making his way up the last of the parapet steps, followed closely by her brother Aiden, who strode menacingly towards Rolf with a clenched fist.

“I should call you out for taking advantage of my sister!” Aiden bellowed, wedging himself between her and Rolf. “What the devil were you thinking to touch her so?” Rolf threw both his hands up, obviously not willing to fight her brother in front of her.

“’Tis wretchedly obvious he was not thinking at all, Aiden,” Ian drawled, taking her elbow. “Come, Lynet. I will escort you to your chambers.”

“Nay! I will go nowhere with you, Ian,” she professed in embarrassment whilst trying to wrench her arm free with little success.

Aiden whirled around, glaring at her ’til she snapped her mouth shut. “You will go with Ian to your chambers. You have enough to worry about in the coming days with all the rabble outside our gates vying for your hand and should get your rest whilst you may,” her brother ordered. He made sure his words were abundantly clear, giving evidence he was not pleased with her behavior.

Her emotions torn between the three men, she watched as Aiden made to usher Rolf from the battlement wall. ’Twas clear her brother had no qualm about leaving her alone with Ian. But she knew otherwise and what this could mean to her already tattered heart. Ian was by far more dangerous to her wellbeing.

“Rolf,” she called, stepping towards him although Ian’s grip kept her from getting any closer to him. “I will see you on the morrow.” He gave her the briefest of nods as acknowledgement afore leaving with Aiden, who continued his lecture as they did so.

Lynet stood in silence as she watched the turret door shut with a resounding slam. She made the blunder of looking up into Ian’s stormy face once they were alone. His visage was furious with possibly a hint of jealousy hidden in the depths of his eyes. ’Twas hard to tell what the man was pondering inside his head, but she knew she would not have to wait long afore he spoke his mind. When he did, it caused her to inwardly cringe.

“You will not meet with him by yourself again, Lynet.” He enunciated each word with clenched teeth, giving confirmation to the anger he was holding in check. “Do I make myself clear?”

Her own rage exploded to the surface like blinding, white-hot lightning. “Who do you think you are that you assume you can just order me about and tell me what to do?” Courage to stand up for herself raced through Lynet, for she would not let him see how he affected her so. Her reckless and traitorous heart skipped a beat with his nearness. Damn the man’s soul to hell. How she hated him!

“I will tell you who I am, lass. I am the man you will forever bow down to and call husband come the end of these games,” he roared ferociously, like a wounded animal.

“I will neither bow down to you, nor any other man, you worthless cur,” she shouted right back at him.

Ian grabbed her arms, giving her a shake ’til she felt her teeth rattle. “You will submit to me, you stubborn woman. Do you not even realize when you have met your match?”

She lifted her head at him with narrowed eyes. “Aye, as a matter of fact, I do, for he just left with my brother!”

“He is only the captain of your guard, Lynet. He has no right to lay claim to you as his future bride,” Ian retorted hotly, “nor to steal your kisses in the moonlight.”

“That did not stop you from loving my sister when the same held true of your position. What makes you think you are a better man than Rolf to hold my affection, or that you can do a finer job of kissing me? I enjoyed his lips on mine and will kiss him anytime I should choose to do so,” she snickered, tossing him a defiant glare that all too quickly fell from her features. With one glance upon him, she might as well have slapped his face, considering the look he gave her. She knew she had pushed him too far.

He said not another word, but made fast work of guiding her down from the lofty parapet walkway. Her slippered feet barely touched the coldness of the stones beneath her, so rapid was their hasty decent down the turret stairs. When they came to the portal of her chamber, Ian backed her up against the solid wood with his arms resting on either side of her, as he had done but recently. There was no escaping him.

They stood, just the two of them, listening to the crackling sound of the lit torches in the passageway. Far more troubling to her way of thinking was her heaving chest as she attempted to gain her breath. She could no longer stand her submissive stance of looking down at her feet, so she raised her eyes to meet his.

When would she stop making such stupid decisions as actually looking at the man, not that she had anywhere else to gaze, given his close proximity. The firelight from the torches in the wall sconces brought out the red of his hair. She would have sighed at the sight of it, but would not give him the gratification. His heavy lidded, hazel eyes took on a light of their own and seemed to search into her very soul. She gulped and watched a gleam enter those knowing orbs whilst a discerning grin formed on his mouth. A mouth that was rapidly closing the distance between them!

“Do not dare─”

Her words were cut off as his mouth quickly took possession of her own, for possess her he did, with just the slightest first brush of his lips. She gasped when a turbulent wave of searing heat radiated throughout her entire body. But, such a profound encounter only allowed him to further plunder her senses as his tongue began to frolic with her own. Sweet Jesus, what in the world is he doing to me?

She felt his hands cup her face ’til he tilted her head, allowing him better access to her mouth. An unexpected moan escaped her. ’Twas, apparently, what he had wanted to hear from her. The sound surely only confirmed his own damn suspicions that she had told a lie when speaking of the effect of Rolf’s kiss. She was certain such a revelation pleased him.

His hands began a slow descent as they roamed down her back ’til he cupped her bottom, bringing her up hard against his solid frame. She quaked in response to such intimacy between them. Her shock did not stop his arm from winding around her waist, keeping her firmly in place as he continued to devour her last shreds of reality. The disbelief of feeling his firmly muscled body pressed up against her own sent any sense of prudence to remain indifferent to him fleeing from her mind. How could one keep a hold on any form of rationality when all she could suddenly feel was the unmistakable form of his manhood pressed intimately against her?

She was lost, and she unexpectedly cared not. Nay… all she could recognize in her feeble attempts to remain level headed was the fact that any control of the situation she may have had up to this point had vanished as soon as Ian had kissed her. Her arms made their way up and around his neck to playfully finger his shoulder length hair. She mimicked what he was doing to her mouth, letting him teach her what he liked. She must have done something right, for she heard his own groan of pleasure whilst he tightened his grip upon her.

About A Knight To Call My Own:

When your heart is broken, is love still worth the risk?

Lynet of clan MacLaren knows how it feels to love someone and not have that love returned. After waiting for six long years, she has given up hope of Ian’s return. Her brother-in-law, the Devil’s Dragon of Berwyck, is tired of waiting for her to choose a husband and has decided a competition for the right to wed Lynet is just the thing his willful charge needs to force her hand.

Ian MacGillivray has returned to Berwyck Castle in search of a bride and who better than the young girl who cared for him all those years ago. But Lynet is anything but an easy conquest and he will need more than charm to win her hand in marriage.

From the English borders to the Highlands of Scotland, the chase is on for who will claim the fair Lynet. The price paid will indeed be high to ensure her safety and even higher to win her love.

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Also available on audiobook:

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About Belle Sherry Ewing:

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist. You can learn more about Sherry and her books on her website where a new adventure awaits you on every page!

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A scandal at every turn!

Miss Miranda de Courtenay sat in the morning room sipping tea in Highgrove Manor remembering the gentleman she had met at the Valentine’s Day Ball. He had been the stuff dreams were made of. His green eyes had held her spellbound when she had dared to dance with him… a waltz of all things. Her breath hitched with the memory of how she had wished to tame those blond locks back into place when the fell across his brow. And to be held in his arms while they made their way through the crowded dance floor… she had wished at the time that the music would never end!

When her sister Grace entered the room, one look upon her face told her much. Miranda was in trouble… again.

“You might as well just tell me what I did now and get it over with, Gracie,” Miranda said with a heavy sigh before pouring her sister a cup of tea. Grace slid a newsprint across the table. The blaring words of The Teatime Tattler blurred before her eyes. “Oh, no!”

“Oh, yes,” Grace answered before taking a sip of her tea as if this alone would make the latest gossip regarding her sister disappear. “Unfortunately, the article is on the second page most likely because the charity ball was held in Bath and most of Society was in attendance.” 

Miranda opened the newspaper to the second page and scanned the lettering for what would obviously condemn her once again. She began to read aloud.

Gentle Readers:

Only days after the Bath Valentine’s Day ball, this reporter learned of a most tantalizing bit of gossip for your reading pleasure! A certain young lady, Miss M.d.C., was in attendance and it’s been learned she has once more begun her search for a titled gentleman for a husband. Yet, despite the obvious rules amongst the Ton, this reporter learned she danced with a gentleman whom she hadn’t been introduced to. The music barely ended before her brother, the earl, had her escorted from the event. We’ll have to wait to see if Miss M.d.C. is allowed at other events in the Season or if she’ll be exiled to the country.

An Anonymous Reporter of
The Teatime Tattler

Miranda closed the newspaper not caring to read anything else that rag might have mentioned. “Well, I suppose it could have been worse,” she said looking across the table at her sister.

“Adrian will be furious,” Grace groaned.

“When is our brother not angry with me over some slight?” Miranda replied taking up her cup and saucer. 

“You need to learn to control these outrageous notions that continue to flit into your head that you think you can get away with, sister,” Grace fumed. “Society will be lenient for only so long before you’re completely ostracized. You’ll never find a husband if you can’t hold your head up within the ton.”

“I can barely move among them as it is now due to my past schemes,” Miranda said sadly. “Honestly, you’d think I was the only one who was prepared to do anything to catch a title.”

“But you tend to get caught, my dear. There’s a difference,” Grace answered reaching over to take Miranda’s hand. “I want you to find love, dearest sister. That is far more important than any title a man might have.”

“You don’t understand what it’s like to be the only one in this family without one,” Miranda huffed on the verge of tears.

“Maybe not but I do know a thing or two about being in love. Love will carry you through every heartache the world may throw at you. Don’t be a fool to only look at the title and not the man whom you wish to wed.”

Grace finished her tea and left Miranda to her thoughts. Marry for love? She scoffed at the idea. Love was for fools…


This is an original piece by Belle Sherry Ewing. Miss Miranda de Courtenay was previously seen in A Kiss For Charity and The Earl Takes A Wife. She will now get her happily ever after in Before I Found You that is in the Bluestocking Belles’ next box set Storm & Shelter.

Excerpt from Before I Found You: A de Courtenay Novella (Book Three):

She was not sure what to expect. Being outside alone with a man she did not know was a bold move. If she needed reinforcements, she could easily call out for help, but that would hardly do her reputation any good. It had barely recovered from her last scheme. Society’s memory was short, remembering scandals only until something new came along for them to gossip about—or until something happened to remind them. She couldn’t afford to give them new fodder to chew on.

She could not resist. Miranda took the remaining few steps until she stood next to him, and he rose to his full height, his hair tousled by the evening breeze. She suppressed the urge to push back the lock of hair across his brow that refused to stay in place. Oh my, but the man was tall!

Miranda did not even realize she offered him her hand until he leaned down and kissed the air between her knuckles. His fingers were warm even through the silk of her gloves. How would they feel if her hand was bare? Good heavens! What was coming over her?

Mademoiselle,” he whispered in a husky French accent, causing goose bumps to rise on her arms. His voice was utterly divine!

“Miranda,” she said offering only her first name. It was hardly appropriate, but she did not wish to see his disinterest when he learned she was a “Miss” and not a “Lady”.

Although it might not matter. Many gentlemen present this evening were on the lookout for a well-dowered heiress to enrich their estate. The man before her could be one of them. Even though she could not attach “lady” to her name, she was still wealthy in her own right… or would be when she finally wed.

Love had nothing to do with what really mattered in life—marriage to a husband within the nobility, one with enough wealth to keep her and her children in luxury. Not for her a boring life as a country matron, with nothing to do or to talk about beyond counting sheets and breeding children. She wanted a glittering life as a Society hostess! It would be an adventure. Or so she had always thought, and she would not allow her heart to rule her head.

She bit her bottom lip before she realized she had done so. The man before her could not know it was an automatic reaction when she was worried. She watched his brow arch in surprise before a grin turned up at the corner of his lips.

“Jasper,” he finally replied in return, examining her reaction to his touch. “The evening has become brighter now that you have joined me for a breath of fresh air. Look how the stars above beam in approval that they may gaze down upon you.”

Miranda’s lips twitched at the compliment. Very nice, though she sensed that he used this phrase often. She realized he still held her fingertips and she reluctantly pulled them away before waving her hand towards the crowd inside.

Storm & Shelter:
A Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends
Release Date: April 13, 2021
Special Preorder price of only $0.99

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.

Before I Found You Blurb:

Miss Miranda de Courtenay has only one goal in life: to find a rich husband who can change her status from Miss to My Lady. But when a handsome stranger crosses her path at a Valentine’s Day ball, her obsession with titles dims. Might love be enough?

Captain Jasper Rousseau has no plans to become infatuated during a chance encounter at a ball. He has a new ship to run, passengers to book, and cargo to deliver. But one look into a young lady’s beautiful hazel eyes, and he becomes lost. Does love at first sight really exist?

Their paths continue to cross until they are both stranded in Fenwick on Sea. Their growing connection is hard to dismiss, despite Miranda’s childish quest for a title at all cost. But what if the cost includes love?

Buy Links:

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

About Sherry Ewing:

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist. You can learn more about Sherry and her books on her website where a new adventure awaits you on every page!

Website & Books: www.SherryEwing.com
Bluestocking Belles: http://bluestockingbelles.net/
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/33xwYhE
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sherry-ewing
Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/SherryEwingAuthor
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