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Sheri Cobb South: Waiting Game (John Pickett #5)

quizzing glass copyLast Wednesday marked the release of Too Hot to Handel, the fifth novel in the John Pickett series of mysteries set in Regency England. I’ve so looked forward to this one, for a couple of reasons: it’s my personal favorite and, not coincidentally, it’s the one that finally resolves the romance between Bow Street Runner John Pickett and the widowed Julia, Lady Fieldhurst, whom he first met, quite literally over her husband’s dead body, in the first book of the series, In Milady’s Chamber.

But before there was Too Hot to Handel, there was Waiting Game—a novella that was never intended as part of the series at all, and yet sold more than 1,500 copies in the last month alone.

How did it happen? It’s a long story—no pun intended. Too Hot to Handel was originally scheduled for March 2016, but just before Christmas my publisher, Five Star/Cengage, announced that due to unforeseen circumstances, the entire 2016 publishing schedule was being delayed three months, pushing my March release date back to June. Now, a three-month postponement may not seem like much, but when marketing plans are measured in months, not weeks, every one of those months is crucial. My bookmarks had already been printed with “March 2016” as the release date—and I didn’t even want to think about what the interruption meant as far as ARCs, which would probably go out much too late for the major reviewers such as Publishers Weekly and Library Journal.

But the people I felt the worst for were my readers. I’d left them a romantic cliffhanger at the end of the previous book, Dinner Most Deadly, which concludes with [spoiler alert!] John Pickett recklessly declaring himself to Julia, who is too stunned—and too moved—to respond. I had assured readers they wouldn’t have long to wait for resolution on this, since the next book would be out in only six months, rather than the more typical ten to twelve, and now I discovered that I was wrong. Granted, it wasn’t my fault, but I still felt like I’d lied to them.

I felt like I owed fans of the series something to make it up to them. I’d had some success with a prequel novella called Pickpocket’s Apprentice, so I decided to write a short piece to self-publish in March, something that would fill in the gap in the timeline between the end of Dinner Most Deadly and the beginning of Too Hot to Handel. Ironically, that gap was also three months, from November 1808 to February 1809.

It was a good idea in theory, but I soon realized I’d written myself into a corner. The book’s setting made it practically imperative that the Christmas season be addressed in some way, but I didn’t want it to turn into a Christmas story, given that it would be released in March. Furthermore, since the text of Too Hot to Handel makes it very clear that there has been no interaction between Pickett and Julia during those three months, I somehow had to advance the romance without ever putting the potential lovebirds together.

Waiting Game 001 copyOne of the women in my writers’ group suggested that I let Pickett be actively trying to avoid being seen by Lady Fieldhurst, and it seemed to me that this situation would lend itself well to comedy. Since Pickett had extracted a reluctant promise from his magistrate not to send him on cases involving the aristocracy, where he might encounter Julia, I decided to create a scenario involving the merchant middle class. Of course there would be a marriageable young woman whose advances he would have to rebuff. (There’s always some girl after poor John Pickett; it’s a running gag throughout the series.) Throw in a big dog named Brutus who manages to steal almost every scene in which he appears, and the story practically began to write itself. And hey, since this story involved a linen-draper’s shop, wouldn’t it be fun to include a cameo appearance by a youthful Ethan Brundy, titular hero of The Weaver Takes a Wife, the most popular book I’ve ever written? (After writing three books about the man, I should have known him better than that. He refused to remain a mere bit player, and insisted on assuming a significantly larger role than I’d intended.)

It’s not strictly necessary to read Waiting Game to enjoy Too Hot to Handel, but I do strongly recommend reading at least one of the John Pickett mysteries before reading the romantic denouement. While the mystery will stand alone, the love story will be more satisfying if you’re at least somewhat familiar with the characters’ history up to this point. Besides, romantic resolution, much like book publication, is all the sweeter for having been delayed.

Waiting Game

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Too Hot to Handel

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Commenters

Win a copy of both John Pickett novellas (Waiting Game and the prequel novella, Pickpocket’s Apprentice) by leaving a comment.

Check out this great offer from Sheri!

Sheri is concerned that the three month delay might have a deleterious effect on sales of Too Hot to Handel to libraries. So… anyone who requests that their library purchase Too Hot to Handel can email a screen shot of their filled-out request form to her at Cobbsouth@aol.com along with their mailing address, and she’ll send them a handy-dandy jar opener and an 8-page coloring book featuring scenes from her novels. See photo below of both prizes. No drawing on this one; anyone who requests that their library purchase the book, and sends me a screenshot as proof, automatically wins.

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About the Author

Sheri Cobb South is the author of more than twenty novels, including the John Pickett mystery series and the critically acclaimed Regency romance, The Weaver Takes a Wife. A native of Alabama, she now lives in Loveland, Colorado.

Beverley Oakley: The Mysterious Governess (Daughters of Sin, Book 3)

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The Cato Street Conspiracy and Queen Caroline’s Return to England—Two Important Events of 1820

 Historical Romance Author, Beverley Oakley, recently brought one of her characters, Miss Araminta Partington, to tea. Miss Partington, who has an extremely high opinion of her attractions, and of her knowledge of most matters, elucidated on the background to the new book in which she features called The Mysterious Governess, part of the Daughters of Sin series, which touches on the events before and after the Cato Street Conspiracy of 1820.

Miss Partington: Hello Susana, and thank you so much for inviting me to take a dish of tea in your parlor. I must say, it’s very comforting to know I can sleep at night in the knowledge that those dreadful men—Arthur Thistlewood, Edward Spence and the others – who call themselves “The Society of Spencean Philanthropists”, have been either hanged or transported for life for their parts in the Cato Street Conspiracy.

Susana: A delight to have you here, too, Araminta. Yes, what a shock to the public! What do you suppose they were hoping to achieve?

Miss Partington: Why, utter madness, in my opinion! Mr. Thistlewood talked of desiring a “Government of the People of Great Britain,” which would take power out of the hands of Parliament and the landed elite and place it into the hands of the people.” In my opinion, that’s tantamount to stealing Papa’s estate and giving it to Jane, my useless maid, who only last week lost one of my silver hairpins.

Susana: Goodness, that does sound dire! I’m referring to the plot, of course. Was there violence?

Miss Partington: Fortunately, the only violence was after the Coldstream Guards and Bow Street runners ran into the loft where these miscreants were plotting that night’s intended rampage through the home of the Lord President of His Majesty’s Privy Council, Lord Harrowby. Indeed, they were intending to murder the entire King’s Cabinet before taking to the streets of London to storm the Bank of England and the Tower of London. They hoped to stir up revolution in our country, like in America and France only a few decades ago.

Susana: Good Lord! How was it possible that law enforcement was able to apprehend the plotters?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00064]Miss Partington: Well, apparently, the Government knew what they were about and had planted spies in their organization. My Cousin, Stephen Cranbourne, works for the Foreign Office. I’m sure he’d have confided in me had I not been on rather… er… friendly terms with Lord Debenham who is rumored to be associated with the Spenceans. He’s not, of course. I made sure to burn the incriminating letter his cousin wrote before she drank poison. Aren’t the daffodils beautiful at this time of year? I’ve trimmed my bonnet with several bunches. Sir Aubrey does think them fetching. Yes, I’ve transferred my affections to Sir Aubrey as I think he’d be far easier to manage than dangerous Lord Debenham.

Susana: Yes, the daffodils are, indeed, beautiful. And I was so sorry to hear about Lord Debenham’s cousin. I believe she was Sir Aubrey’s late wife. But, back to politics, do tell me, when was the Spenceans’ plot brought to nought? My apologies for my ignorance, I’ve been in France for some time.

Miss Partington: On February 23, 1820, but of course, it’s not really news any more since the gossip sheets—and indeed, the newspapers—are having much more fun giving us all the thrilling details of George IV’s estranged wife Queen Caroline arriving from continental Europe, a few months afterwards, and attempting to take her place as Queen consort. Personally, I think someone with such atrocious dress sense doesn’t deserve to be queen, but, not everyone agrees with me—which I always find rather odd, really. Of course, the Prince Regent only agreed to marry Princess Caroline of Brunswick back at the end of the last century so his father would clear his debts. £630,000 pounds is rather a lot of money, though I imagine that if I owed such a sum, I might be induced to marry Lord Debenham above Sir Aubrey, despite his wicked reputation and the fact Lord Debenham would be so much more difficult to manage.

Susana: Yes, your half-sister, Miss Larissa Hazlett, has inferred the same.

Miss Partington: My half-sister? [Miss Partington rises.]Let me assure you, I do not have a half-sister. Any resemblance between that dreary governess and myself is entirely coincidental. Now, if you’ll excuse me… while it has been most pleasant, I must leave now for an appointment I’ve just remembered. Yes, it’s all part of a little plan I’m implementing to put that dreary governess right back in her box!

About The Mysterious Governess

Two beautiful sisters—one illegitimate, the other nobly born—compete for love amidst the scandal and intrigue of a Regency London Season.

Lissa Hazlett lives life in the shadows. The beautiful, illegitimate daughter of Viscount Partington earns her living as an overworked governess while her vain and spoiled half sister, Araminta, enjoys London’s social whirl as its most feted debutante.

When Lissa’s rare talent as a portraitist brings her unexpectedly into the bosom of society—and into the midst of a scandal involving Araminta and suspected English traitor Lord Debenham—she finds an unlikely ally: charming and besotted Ralph Tunley, Lord Debenham’s underpaid, enterprising secretary. Ralph can’t afford to leave the employ of the villainous viscount much less keep a wife but he can help Lissa cleverly navigate a perilous web of lies that will ensure everyone gets what they deserve.

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Excerpt

Although The Mysterious Governess is about Lissa, who is Araminta’s half-sister, the plot involves them equally. Lissa is hard-working and honourable, the antithesis of Araminta, as you will see below, in this short extract:

“Is everything all right, Miss? Were the fireworks grand? You’re back earlier than I’d ‘spected.” Jane, who was polishing the silver bottles on her mistress’s dressing table, looked up nervously as Araminta entered the room.

Without a word, Araminta brought one arm across the entire surface and sent powder bottles, perfume vials, hairbrushes and jewelry boxes crashing to the floor.

Then she threw herself onto her bed and burst into noisy tears.

“Oh, Miss, I take it things didn’t go to plan,” said Jane, going down on her knees to start to clean up the mess before changing her mind and putting a tentatively soothing hand upon Araminta’s back.

“No, they did not!” Araminta shrieked, beating her fists upon the counterpane.

“So, His Lordship didn’t ask you to marry him, then?”

“Yes he did!” Araminta rolled onto her back and glared at Jane. “He asked me to marry him and then said he had to go away on important business for two months! Two months! Where does that leave me? In an impossible situation, I don’t need to tell you. I might as well throw myself in the river, except the water’s far too cold and I’m hardly about to copy bacon-brained Edgar. There must be another way.”

“Poison?”

“I mean to get out of this mess, you stupid girl!” Araminta screamed. Feverishly, she began to bite her fingernails before realizing the damage she was doing to an important asset. “Oh, Jane, don’t look like you’re related to a mule. Come up with a plan, for dear Lord’s sake!”

About the Author

Beverley Eikli author picBeverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. However, drowning her heroine on the last page was not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

In 2009, Beverley published her first novel. Since then she has written more than thirteen sizzling historical romances, filled with mystery and intrigue, mostly set in England during the Georgian, Regency and Victoria eras.

Beverley lives near Melbourne opposite a picturesque nineteenth century insane asylum with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met in Botswana, their two beautiful daughters and a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback the size of a pony.

Beverley also writes more psychological historicals, and Colonial-Africa- set romantic adventures, as Beverley Eikli.

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Sheri Cobb South: Too Hot to Handel (Giveaway)

Every novel contains, or should contain, certain scenes that stick in the reader’s memory long after the book is finished. The definitive scene in my newest release, Too Hot to Handel, finds Bow Street Runner John Pickett and his Lady Fieldhurst escaping a burning Drury Lane Theatre. This is the only book I’ve ever written that is centered upon an actual event; the Theatre Royal at Drury Lane really did burn down on 24 February, 1809. So, how much was real, and how much is the product of my imagination? Let’s take a look.

First of all, theatre fires were not a rare, or even a new, phenomenon. They had been regular occurrences since the theatres reopened after the Restoration of Charles II. Before that time, fire hadn’t been much of an issue. The theatres of ancient times had been outdoor affairs, and plays had been staged during the daytime. Even Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, although enclosed all around, had a roof that was largely open to the sky, in order to reduce as much as possible the need for artificial lighting. But advances in theatre brought added risk of fire: the Globe burned down in 1613, when a cannon used for special effects in a production of Henry VIII misfired, setting the thatching over the stage ablaze. Although the theatre was destroyed, the only injury reported was one unfortunate man whose breeches were set on fire. (Quick-thinking theatergoers extinguished the flames by dousing him with ale.)

The real change came with the Restoration, when the re-opening of the theatres was celebrated with a host of innovations. The most prominent of these, of course, was the appearance of actresses in female roles that had previously been played by boys. Another, perhaps less-discussed innovation was the rash of theatre-building, including venues at Lincoln’s Inn Fields (1661) Drury Lane (1663), the Haymarket (1720), and Covent Garden (1731). Unlike their open-air predecessors, these new venues were fully enclosed. This meant performances were no longer limited to daylight hours, but it also meant that all performances, even those staged during the day, required artificial lighting. And artificial lighting meant open flames—either candles or oil lamps—and lots of them.

When we consider the combination of open flames and rowdy crowds—capacity in the new theatres rose from 650 seats at Drury Lane in 1700 to 3,600 by the time of the 1809 fire—the number of theatre fires is no longer surprising. In those days before electricity, the theatre at Drury Lane burned twice (in 1672 and again in 1809), as did the one at Covent Garden, aka the Royal Opera House (in 1808 and 1856). Ironically, only fifteen years earlier, in 1794, the Drury Lane theatre had installed a fire curtain made of iron—the first theatre in London to do so—along with large water tanks beneath the roof that could be used for special effects as well as fire safety.

With all these precautions in place, how, then, did it burn? No one knows. The theatre season was greatly subdued during Lent, with fewer plays being performed, and nothing, not even a rehearsal, was taking place on that Friday night in 1809. Since the theatre was apparently empty, there were no injuries, but from the incident we get the wonderful (if apocryphal) account of Richard Brimsley Sheridan—playwright, Member of Parliament, and manager of the Drury Lane theatre, who in 1794 had bankrolled the construction of the enormous new theatre from his own private fortune—watching the blaze from a nearby pub. When urged by his friends to go home, he is reported to have said, “Can a man not enjoy a glass of wine by his own fireside?”

Of course, from a writer’s perspective, the destruction of an empty building makes for dull fiction. So for the purposes of my story, I filled the theatre to its full 3,600-seat capacity and staged a production of Handel’s oratorio Esther. Besides being suitably sober for Lent, it contains a passionate duet between Esther and the king that made it a natural choice for Too Hot to Handel, certainly the most romantic of the John Pickett mysteries. And the fact that so little is known about the cause of the fire gave me the freedom to create my own “what if?” scenario.

Click here to see Sheri’s photos of the Drury Lane theatre before and after the fire in 1809.

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About Too Hot to Handel

When a rash of jewel thefts strikes London, magistrate Patrick Colquhoun resolves to deploy his Bow Street Runners to put astop to the thefts. The Russian Princess Olga Fyodorovna is to attend a production of Handel’s Esther at Drury Lane Theatre,where she will wear a magnificent diamond necklace. The entire Bow Street force will be stationed at various locations around the theatre—including John Pickett, who will occupy a box directly across the theatre from the princess.

In order to preserve his incognito, Pickett must appear to be nothing more than a private gentleman attending the theatre. Mr. Colquhoun recommends that he have a female companion—a lady, in fact, who might prevent him from making any glaring faux pas. But the only lady of Pickett’s acquaintance is Julia, Lady Fieldhurst, to whom he accidentally contracted a Scottish irregular marriage several months earlier, and with whom he is seeking an annulment against his own inclinations—and for whom he recklessly declared his love, secure in the knowledge that he would never see her again.

The inevitable awkwardness of their reunion is forgotten when the theatre catches fire. Pickett and Julia, trapped in a third tier box, must escape via a harrowing descent down a rope fashioned from the curtains adorning their box. Once outside, Pickett is struck in the head and left unconscious. Suddenly it is up to Julia not only to nurse him back to health, but to discover his attacker and bring the culprit to justice.

Note: This book will be released on June 22, 2016. However, the previous book in the series is available.

In My Lady’s Chamber

Excerpt

Pickett opened the door of the theatre box, and immediately stepped back as he was struck with a wall of heat. The corridor was alive with flame, and as they stood staring into the inferno, a burning beam from the ceiling fell almost at their feet. He slammed the door shut.

“We won’t be going out that way,” he remarked, glancing wildly about the box for some other method of exit. He seized one of the heavy curtains flanking the box and pulled until it collapsed into his arms in a pile of red velvet. He located the edge and began ripping it into long strips.

“What are you doing?” asked her ladyship, her voice muffled by the folds of his handkerchief over her mouth.

Pickett jerked his head toward the sconce mounted on the wall between their box and its neighbor. Its many candles, so impressive only moments ago, now appeared pale and puny compared to the flames dancing all around them.

“I’m making a rope to tie to that candelabrum. You can climb down into the pit and escape from there. And don’t wait for me. As soon as your feet reach the floor, I want you to forget everything you ever learned about being a lady—push, shove, do whatever you have to do, but GET OUT, do you understand?”

“And what about you, Mr. Pickett?”

He glanced at the brass fixture. “I’m not sure if it will bear my weight, my lady. I suppose I’ll have to try—I don’t much fancy my chances in the corridor—but I’ll not make the attempt until I see you safely down.”

She leaned over the balustrade and looked past the three tiers of boxes to the pit some forty feet below, then turned back to confront Pickett. “Setting aside the likelihood that I would lose my grip and plummet to my death, do you honestly think I would leave you alone up here, to make your escape—or not!—as best you might? No, Mr. Pickett, I will not have it! Either we go together, or we do not go at all!”

The crash of falling timbers punctuated this statement, and although there was nothing at all humorous in the situation, he gave her a quizzical little smile. “ ‘ ’Til death do us part,’ Mrs. Pickett?”

She lifted her chin. “Just so, Mr. Pickett.”

The author is offering a trade-size paperback ARC of Too Hot to Handel to a random commenter.

About the Author

Five Star author photo copyAt the age of sixteen, Sheri Cobb South discovered Georgette Heyer, and came to the startling realization that she had been born into the wrong century. Although she doubtless would have been a chambermaid had she actually lived in Regency England, that didn’t stop her from fantasizing about waltzing the night away in the arms of a handsome, wealthy, and titled gentleman.

Since Georgette Heyer was dead and could not write any more Regencies, Ms. South came to the conclusion she would simply have to do it herself. In addition to her popular series of Regency mysteries featuring idealistic young Bow Street Runner John Pickett (described by All About Romance as “a little young, but wholly delectable”), she is the award-winning author of several Regency romances, including the critically acclaimed The Weaver Takes a Wife.

A native and long-time resident of Alabama, Ms. South recently moved to Loveland, Colorado, where she has a stunning view of Long’s Peak from her office window.

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Sheri Cobb South: Dinner Most Deadly (Giveaway)

Five Star author photo copy

Dinner Most Deadly is the fourth book in my series of Regency-set mysteries featuring Bow Street Runner John Pickett, and in some ways it’s the riskiest. I call it my Empire Strikes Back book, because I still remember how appalled we all were when that movie came out in 1980, and the ending left us hanging: Han Solo frozen in carbonite? Luke’s dead (or so we thought) father, the Jedi hero, is Darth Vader??? And we were going to have to wait three years to find out what happened next?

In the case of Dinner Most Deadly, the cliffhanger involves the Scottish marriage by declaration which was accidentally contracted by John Pickett and Julia, Lady Fieldhurst, in Family Plot. When Julia returns from Scotland restless and out of sorts, her friend Lady Dunnington decides what Julia needs is a lover—and arranges a dinner party with half a dozen male guests from whom Julia may take her pick. But one of the men is murdered, and when John Pickett is summoned from Bow Street, he must not only find the killer, but break the news of their “marriage” to Julia. As with the other books, the mystery is solved, but the romance is more unresolved than ever as the couple must go about seeking an annulment—a process far messier than most romance novels lead readers to believe.

I’ll admit, I was more than a bit nervous about how readers would react. I had braced myself for a big outcry against “sequel-bait,” but to my relief, it hasn’t happened. I hope that’s because readers understand that, because of the enormous social gulf between them, Julia’s mind is not going to leap immediately to marriage. She is, however, appalled at what the annulment process is going to demand of poor John: the only grounds available to them are inability to consummate, and since she was married for six years—during which any such problem would certainly have been addressed—that leaves him to take the fall. She’s never known a man who loved her enough to sacrifice for her, and although she’s deeply moved by his willingness to do so, she doesn’t quite know how to respond. It’s going to take something drastic to force her to confront her own feelings—and that something comes up in the next book, Too Hot to Handel.

Thankfully, readers won’t have to wait three years to find out what happens next, but only about six months: my publisher has scheduled Too Hot to Handel for March 2016.

If you’re new to the series but want to give it a try, I would strongly suggest beginning with In Milady’s Chamber, the first in the series, to follow the progression of the romance as it develops. In order, the books are: (1) In Milady’s Chamber; (2) A Dead Bore; (3) Family Plot; (4) Dinner Most Deadly; and (5) Too Hot to Handel. There’s also a prequel novella, Pickpocket’s Apprentice, which traces John Pickett’s rise from 14-year-old pickpocket to nineteen-year-old Bow Street Runner.

Giveaway: Sheri will award a hardcover, dust jacketed copy of Dinner Most Deadly ($25.95 retail) to one lucky commenter.

DinnerMostDeadlyFront copy

About Dinner Most Deadly

When Julia, Lady Fieldhurst, returns from her sojourn in Scotland restless and out of sorts, her friend Emily, Lady Dunnington, decides what Julia needs is a lover. Lady Dunnington plans a select dinner party with half a dozen male guests from whom Julia may choose a paramour. Emily also invites a potential lover for herself: Sir Reginald Montague, a man whose urbane manner and dangerous good looks hide a host of unsavory secrets.

Alas, Emily’s little dinner is a disaster from the outset. Every gentleman at the table bears some unspoken grudge against Sir Reginald, and then dinner is interrupted by Emily’s estranged husband. He and his lady have a heated discussion which ends with Lord Dunnington’s vowing to put a stop to his wife’s pursuit of Sir Reginald “no matter what it takes.” But the coup de grâce comes at the end of the evening, when Sir Reginald is shot dead.

Bow Street Runner John Pickett is summoned to Emily’s house, where he is taken aback to find Julia. For in addition to investigating the case, he is faced with the awkward task of informing her that their masquerade as a married couple in Scotland (Family Plot) has resulted in their being legally wed. Beset by distractions—not the least of which are the humiliating annulment process and the flattering attentions of Lady Dunnington’s pretty young housemaid—Pickett must find the killer of a man whom everyone has reason to want dead.

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Excerpt

For the first time in the interview, the solicitor’s professional demeanor faltered. “The only possibility that remains is, er, that is, it involves consummation of the union.”

“But you just said a lack of consummation did not constitute grounds,” protested Lady Fieldhurst.

“No, but if either party should be unable to—that is, to be incapable of—” He took a deep breath and started over. “Your ladyship, I must remind you that you and the late Lord Fieldhurst were married for six years. If, during that time, it had come to light that you were—were incapable of participating in the act that might have given your husband the heir he desired so desperately, he would surely have sought such an annulment for himself years ago.” He turned to Pickett. “Such being the case, that only leaves . . .”

As the solicitor’s implication dawned, Pickett flushed a deep red.

Lady Fieldhurst was equally embarrassed, but considerably more vocal. “You cannot ask Mr. Pickett to—to—” Words failed her. She broke off and tried again. “Mr. Pickett may not be married, but I daresay there is a female somewhere who could destroy such a claim simply by coming forward and—and—”

“As a matter of fact,” Pickett said miserably, “there isn’t.”

“There isn’t?” echoed Lady Fieldhurst.

Pickett shook his head and prayed for the floor to open up and swallow him.

“There isn’t,” she murmured, regarding him with new eyes.

“But,” he added hastily, “that isn’t to say I couldn’t—that is, I—I have no reason to suppose that—that all my parts are not—not in good working order.”

“Oh, my.” She snatched up one of the solicitor’s legal papers and began fanning herself with it. “Oh, my.”

About the Author

At the age of sixteen, Sheri Cobb South discovered Georgette Heyer, and came to the startling realization that she had been born into the wrong century. Although she doubtless would have been a chambermaid had she actually lived in Regency England, that didn’t stop her from fantasizing about waltzing the night away in the arms of a handsome, wealthy, and titled gentleman.

Since Georgette Heyer was dead and could not write any more Regencies, Ms. South came to the conclusion she would simply have to do it herself. In addition to her popular series of Regency mysteries featuring idealistic young Bow Street Runner John Pickett (described by All About Romance as “a little young, but wholly delectable”), she is the award-winning author of several Regency romances, including the critically acclaimed The Weaver Takes a Wife.

A native and long-time resident of Alabama, Ms. South recently moved to Loveland, Colorado, where she has a stunning view of Long’s Peak from her office window.

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