This letter, we assume it is a copy, was left on the editor’s desk anonymously. The information contained herein is so scandalous that we feel obligated to print the missive in its entirety. You dear readers shall be the judges of whether or not you each believe attendance at the Mistletoe Assembly is appropriate or not.
Dear Mrs. Pearler,
I have heard quite reliably that all the tickets to the Grand Mistletoe Assembly have been sold and while I congratulate you on the success of the event to be held at your magnificent residence, I must point out a grave error that must be resolved.
I, Lady Agatha Witherspoon, third cousin to Lady Cowper, was unable to procure one!
Surely, you can find room for one more person, especially one who is held in high regard by members of the ton and who travels in the best circles. I was so looking forward to attending as I heard from my cook (not that I listen to idle rumors from belowstairs, mind you) that you will be serving an array of delicacies only those of us with the most refined palettes will appreciate.
A monstrous rumor has also been circulating (not that I gossip, but one cannot always leave a room when other people’s conversations are taking place) that tickets have been sold to a female boxer, a woman who was once accused of murdering her husband, and the widow of a philandering artist. I shudder to think these three creatures will be mingling with the crème de la crème of the ton. My heart is palpitating at the mere thought. (Excuse me while I ring for my maid to bring my vinaigrette.)
I suppose you must allow riffraff in when they pay the price of the ticket to a charity ball, but perhaps you’ll consider a charity lecture or sermon next time. I am thrilled of course that your event has already brought in a considerable sum for the foundling home you support. I gather even more will be raised from the silent auction that will take place. If you can find one more ticket, for me, I guarantee that I shall be bidding on the exquisite diamond necklace you are donating to the auction. Are you not afraid of thieves, setting such a tempting item on display? With your unfortunate lack of diligence in ferreting out suitable patrons, you may have one in your midst.
I do hope to hear from you soon. I must have time to order a new gown.
Lady Agatha Witherspoon.
About the Stories in The Grand Mistletoe Assembly: a Regency Christmas Anthology: Can the festive ball of the Season bring these couples together in time for the holidays? A collection of Regency romances with star-crossed lovers, fast-paced plots and timeless connections. Cuddling under mistletoe, fine lace, snowy linen: true love can be found in the flickering lights of a hundred gas lamps. Pearler House is bedecked for the holidays and everyone is attending the event of a lifetime.
He gambles for a ticket to the ball, but might win the love of his life.
High society’s rules make it impossible to meet. Is their love doomed to remain a scandalous secret?
A young woman forging a career as a bare-knuckled boxer. A footman looking for something more … and an overturned platter at the event of the year.
Will her secret stand in the way of their second chance at love?
He’s her brother’s best friend, and he wants her for Christmas.
What’s an earl to do when his sister’s best friend becomes the one temptation he can’t resist?
Experience the joy of the season with six all-new tales of passion. Some are sweet, some are spicy, all will capture your heart.
Available at: https://buy.bookfunnel.com/zk90pzt05b
About the Authors:
Bestselling author Sara Adrien writes hot and heart-melting regency romance with a Jewish twist. As a law professor-turned-author, she writes about clandestine identities, whims of fate, and sizzling seduction. If you like unique and intelligent characters, deliciously sexy scenes, and the nostalgia of afternoon tea, then you’ll adore Sara Adrien’s tender tear-jerkers.
Jemma Frost: Jemma Frost writes steamy, unconventional romances for an easy escape into history. She grew up in the Midwest where she visited the library every day and read romance novels voraciously! Now, she lives in North Carolina with her cat, Spencer, and dreams of stories to be written! She also writes contemporaries under the name Hallie Bennett.
Nina Jarrett, best-selling author, likes to tell mischievous tales of life-changing decisions and character transformations while drinking excellent coffee and avoiding cookies. When she finished school she moved on to work in non-profits assisting recovering drug addicts in South Africa. She now lives in Florida with her real-life hero and fellow bibliophile.
Edie Cay writes Regency Historical Romance about women’s boxing. She obtained dual BAs in Creative Writing and in Music, and her MFA in Creative Writing from University of Alaska Anchorage, and has gone on to win numerous writing awards. Once a month she interviews other authors on the Paper Lantern Writers YouTube channel! Tune in.
Award-Winning and International Bestselling author Tanya Wilde developed a passion for reading when she had nothing better to do than lurk in the library during her lunch breaks. Her love affair with pen and paper soon followed after she devoured all of their historical romance books! She lives in South Africa and when not writing, loves to go off on adventures.
Pamela Gibson’s novelette is called Lily’s Scandalous Secret and features Emily’s aunt, Lily Whittington, from Scandal’s Promise. She’s back in London and meets a man from her past who invites her to the ball. Their “connection” is instant, but Lily shies away because she has a terrible secret and can never marry again.
Excerpt from Lily’s Scandalous Secret:
He took her hand and gently rubbed her covered wrist. She closed her eyes and let herself feel the erotic strokes, imagining those fingers elsewhere. When the carriage stopped, Alastair leaned closer.
“I know we’ve just recently become reacquainted, but it seems like the years have fallen away. May I escort you to the charity assembly at the end of the week? Your niece told me you are reclusive, although I’ve yet to understand why, but I shall honor your decision if you choose not to go.”
She wanted to say yes. She wanted to spend as much time in Alastair’s company as she could before returning to Langston Grange. She wanted to savor his expressions, his seductive voice, and his turns of phrase. She wanted memories of him to cleanse the horrors in her past.
Others would be at the assembly, people he knew and who had known his deceased wife. His daughter would be there. No. She couldn’t risk being recognized by a dowager who might remember the old scandal.
The evening had been perfect, and here she was, contemplating ruining it by refusing to give him the answer he sought. She shouldn’t be churlish. Nothing happened at the theatre. She was being a ninny. She should say yes, say she was looking forward to the assembly.
They entered the quiet house and slipped into the drawing room, away from the prying eyes of the night footman. “Can I offer you a brandy? My nephew’s late father put down an impressive cellar both here and at Cardmore Hall.”
“I have a better idea.” He looked into her eyes as he slowly tugged her glove completely free. He lowered his mouth to her hand, and when his lips touched the inside of her wrist, tingles went straight to her center. His tongue traced a pattern there that nearly melted her knees, then he drew her gently toward him and kissed her.
She’d forgotten what a delicious kisser he was, eliciting murmurs and sighs as the kiss deepened and their tongues entwined. His mouth brushed her ear. “Say yes, Lily. Say you’ll attend.”
When his lips caressed her neck and feathered kisses behind her ear, she knew what her answer would be.