Special to the Teatime Tattler~
Like many of you, I have followed the outrageous shenanigans of Mr Ross Jameson over the last few years with growing concern. It beggars belief how a man with such low-born and repellent connections has wheedled his way into society and I fear for all of our futures if this is a sign of things to come. Surely other see what his crass behaviour clearly implies?
Jameson, as we all know, is little more than an upstart from the slums, the son of a tavern wench and a notorious forger. By his own admission, he hauled cargo at the filthy London docks and probably still consorts with the sort of criminals who thrive there. How is it possible that such a man is welcomed into the homes of the great and the good? I was scandalized when his application to join White’s Gentleman’s Club was approved, although if every terrible story we hear about the man is to be believed, I daresay the other members feared his dreadful retribution if they refused him entry.
It is well known that he ruins other men. Why, only last year he charmed the unwitting Earl of Runcorn into partaking in an innocent card game, then manipulated the poor fellow into wagering the deeds of his own house. Poor Runcorn never stood a chance against the vile trickster and lost it all. Unsurprisingly, in his shock and grief, the unfortunate earl blew his own brains out immediately afterwards in the lobby of White’s!
Since then, other horrors have come to light. Every week there is a new story about Jameson in the gossip columns. Sordid tales of gambling, debauchery, the cuckolding unsuspecting husbands, confidence tricks and worse. Have you heard about what happened with not one, but TWO! Opera dancers at Convent Garden? Suffice to say, the exact particulars are too outrageous even for this publication, but it involved the shameless seduction of BOTH women at the same time!
There is even talk that he sold his own criminal father down the river in order to claim the reward from the authorities! Whilst I do not now, and never could, condone forgery as a profession, what sort of man betrays his own kin for financial reward?
And to make matters worse, Jameson does not show any remorse for having the blood of at least two men on his hands. He swans around town as if he has a divine right to mix with his betters. I am now reliably informed he intends to live in the beautiful country house he swindled from the deceased Earl of Runcorn, where, no doubt, he will quickly turn my beloved Barchester Hall into a brothel or gaming hell, or some other scandalous den of inequity. We cannot allow this travesty to happen! He must be stopped before he ruins more lives.
He might dress and sound like a respectable gentleman, but mark my words, one day that despicable rogue will hang from the gibbet! And I will happily swing on his legs!
A lady’s mission of revenge…
Lady Hannah Steers has three reasons to loathe and despise Ross Jameson. He’s a scandalous libertine, he stole her home and he was responsible for the death of her brother!
Determined to expose Ross for the rogue he is, Hannah dons a disguise and infiltrates his home as his new housekeeper. Unfortunately, this scoundrel proves himself to be the epitome of temptation and, instead of building a case against him, Hannah finds herself in a position she never expected…falling head over heels in love with him.
Hannah schooled her features into a neutral mask to cover her disgust at being with him. She had heard Jameson was a shocking libertine, but she had not expected to be confronted with such overwhelming evidence of his debauchery straight away. The sight of the rumpled bedclothes and the overpainted woman wantonly sprawled across them, skirts raised suggestively to her knees, had been bad enough- but then her eyes had encountered their first sight of Ross Jameson, and that had been frankly outrageous.
He was a huge bear of a man- showing far more exposed skin than a gentleman would deem proper. Of course, a gentleman would not have the body of a farm labourer either. Jameson was solid and muscled-a sure sign of his coarse upbringing. Men of class were more willowy and less… sturdy. He probably looked ridiculous stuffed into a tailored coat. She supposed the less discerning women would describe his tousled black hair and twinkling green eyes as handsome, but he used those good looks to his advantage.
He appeared to Hannah exactly what he was- a charming, dangerous and duplicitous rogue. She certainly would not trust him as far as she could throw him- which, she conceded, was not likely to be very far…
About the Author
Virginia Heath lives on the outskirts of London with her understanding husband and two, less understanding, teenagers. After spending years teaching history, she decided to follow her dream of writing for Harlequin. Now she spends her days happily writing regency romances, creating heroes that she falls in love with and heroines who inspire her. When she isn’t doing that, Virginia likes to travel to far off places, shop for things that she doesn’t need or read romances written by other people.
Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2431qYN