Tag Archive | romantic suspense

Regina Jeffers: Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep (Giveaway)

English Titles & Peerages

Many of the minor plot lines in my latest Regency romantic suspense concern who could inherit a title. There is the matter of the Marquess of Malvern’s losing his memory. Should the Duke of Devilfoard declare his eldest son incompetent and petition for his second son to assume control of the dukedom? Was such even legal? And what of the missing Earl of Sandahl? The original earl falls overboard on his “honeymoon” and cannot be found. Should he be declared dead? If so, who inherits? The logical answer is the second son, but that solution is not what it seems.

So, what do we know of peerages? When reading historical fiction/historical romance there are many misconceptions about titles. First thing a reader must know is not all titles are created equal. For example, a baronet may pass on his title to his heir, but he is not considered part of the Peerage in the United Kingdom. There are some 800+ peers in modern day England whose titles may be inherited. Peers include Dukes/Duchesses, Marquesses/Marchionesses, Earls/Countesses, Viscounts/Viscountesses, and Barons/Baronesses. The law that applies to a particular British title depends upon when it was bestowed upon the family and the method of its creation.

Peerages of England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom follow English law; the difference between them is that Peerages of England were created before the Act of Union 1707, Peerages of Great Britain between 1707 and the Union with Ireland in 1800, and Peerages of the United Kingdom since 1800. Irish Peerages follow the law of the Kingdom of Ireland, which is very like English law, except no Irish peers have been created since 1898, and they have no part in the present governance of the United Kingdom. Scottish Peerage law is generally similar to English law, but differs in innumerable points of detail, often being more similar to medieval practice.” (Burke’s Guide to British Titles: Courtesy Titles. Burke’s Peerage and Gentry. 2005)

A title may be created by a writ of summons, which means that a person is summoned to Parliament. A writ of summons is a document calling Members of the House of Lords to Parliament. Members of the Lords may not take their seats until they have obtained their writ of summons. Writs of summons are issued by direction of the Lord Chancellor from the office of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. New writs are issued before the meeting of each Parliament to all Lords Spiritual and Temporal who have a right to seats in the House. (Francis Palgrave (1788-1861), Parliamentary Writs and Writs of Military Summons (2 volumes, 1827 and 1834) Writs of summons set out the titles of the Sovereign and the recipient of the writ. They state the reason for Parliament’s calling upon the individual.

When the Earl of Berkley died, his oldest son applied for a writ of summons to the House of Lords. The Committee on Privilege turned him down and said he and the other brothers born before 1795 were illegitimate and that the earldom had fallen to the sixteen-year-old born in 1796. The boy was too young to do anything about the matter and his oldest brother and mother ran things. When he came of age, he never put forth a claim to the earldom However, he was, by right and law, the earl so anything requiring the signature of the earl had to be signed by him. He signed responsibility over to his oldest brother, but the title itself went dormant until he died.

Titles may also be created by letters of patent. This method sets out a created peerage and names the person in question. It may limit the course of descent to the male line, with only legitimate children having a right to the title. (Scottish titles permit the “legitimacy” to be determined by a marriage, not simply a marriage at time of the birth.) Traditionally, only the peer sits in the House of Lords, but from the time of Edward IV, an heir to the title (who also held additional titles) could sit in the HOL as one of his father’s subsidiary dignities. This is possible through a writ of acceleration.

Letters patent granting the Dukedom of Marlborough to Sir John Churchill were later amended by Parliament (via Wikipedia)

Letters patent granting the Dukedom of Marlborough to Sir John Churchill were later amended by Parliament (via Wikipedia)

Letters Patent can be amended by Act of Parliament. Likely, the two most famous examples of amending Letters were the Dukedom of Marlborough in 1706 and the Duke of Windsor in 1936.

A person who is a possible heir to a peerage is said to be “in remainder.” A title becomes extinct (opposite to extant, which means alive) when all possible heirs (as provided by the letters patent) have died out, i.e., there is nobody in remainder at the death of the holder. A title becomes dormant if nobody has claimed the title or if no claim has been satisfactorily proven. A title goes into abeyance if there is more than one person equally entitled to be the holder.

In the past, peerages were sometimes forfeit or attainted under Acts of Parliament, most often as the result of treason on the part of the holder. The blood of an attainted peer was considered “corrupted,” consequently his or her descendants could not inherit the title. If all descendants of the attainted peer were to die out, however, then an heir from another branch of the family not affected by the attainder could take the title. The Forfeiture Act 1870 abolished corruption of blood; instead of losing the peerage, a peer convicted of treason would be disqualified from sitting in Parliament for the period of imprisonment.

London Herald (Edward VIII’s Abdicates)

London Herald (Edward VIII’s Abdicates)

Nothing prevents a British peerage from being held by a foreign citizen (although such peers cannot sit in the House of Lords). Several descendants of George III were British peers and German subjects; the Lords Fairfax of Cameron were American citizens for several generations.

“Hereditary peers do not have the automatic right to a writ of summons to the House. Irish peerages may not be disclaimed. A peer who disclaims the peerage loses all titles, rights and privileges associated with the peerage; his wife or her husband is similarly affected. No further hereditary peerages may be conferred upon the person, but life peerages may be. The peerage remains without a holder until the death of the peer making the disclaimer, when it descends normally.” (Hereditary Peers) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereditary_peer

So what can a person do if he does not wish to accept the title? He could simply refuse to take up the title or touch the money. Technically he’d still be the title’s holder, but to have the full title and honors he must be confirmed before Parliament, and all the legal stuff has to be done to ensure he is the correct heir. He can simply not claim the title and not style himself by the title, but it remains it place at his disposal. The person does not need to send in the writ of summons to the House of Lords, and he can refuse to use the title, but someone must care for the property, and no one else may claim the title while he is alive. He can also do something drastic, such as commit treason, in which case he and his family would be stripped of the title, but no one would recommend such a step. It would be easier simply not to claim the title.

Like it or not, the heir cannot be disinherited to prevent his assuming the title. If there is a living person and the lawful successor to a title, he cannot be displaced unless convicted of a crime. During the Regency there was no way to disclaim a peerage except by not using it and not sending in a request for a seat in the House of Lords.

AngelCover copy

About Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep

Huntington McLaughlin, the Marquess of Malvern, wakes in a farmhouse, after a head injury, being tended by an ethereal “angel,” who claims to be his wife. However, reality is often deceptive, and Angelica Lovelace is far from innocent in Hunt’s difficulties. Yet, there is something about the woman that calls to him as no other ever has. When she attends his mother’s annual summer house party, their lives are intertwined in a series of mistaken identities, assaults, kidnappings, overlapping relations, and murders, which will either bring them together forever or tear them irretrievably apart. As Hunt attempts to right his world from problems caused by the head injury that has robbed him of parts of his memory, his best friend, the Earl of Remmington, makes it clear that he intends to claim Angelica as his wife. Hunt must decide whether to permit her to align herself with the earldom or claim the only woman who stirs his heart–and if he does the latter, can he still serve the dukedom with a hoydenish American heiress at his side?

An early review

Angel Comes to Devil’s Keep is a well-written tale of courage and sacrifice and what women went through in order to marry well in Regency England. The author did her homework and it shows in an authenticity that we don’t often see in Regency romances.

Pre-orders available now

NookKobo • SmashwordsBlack Opal Books

Available everywhere on August 6, 2016

Giveaway

Leave a comment below to be eligible for an eBook copy of Angel Comes to the Devils Keep (Book 1 of the TwinsTrilogy). The giveaway ends at midnight EDT, August 7, 2016.

About the Author

author photoRegina Jeffers, a public classroom teacher for thirty-nine years, considers herself a Jane Austen enthusiast. She is the author of several Austen-inspired novels, including Darcy’s Passions, Darcy’s Temptation, Vampire Darcy’s Desire, Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion, The Phantom of Pemberley, Christmas at Pemberley, The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy, Honor and Hope, and The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy. She also writes Regency romances: The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, A Touch of Velvet, A Touch of Cashémere, A Touch of Grace, A Touch of Mercy, A Touch of Love, and The First Wives’ Club. A Time Warner Star Teacher and Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, Jeffers often serves as a consultant in language arts and media literacy. Currently living outside Charlotte, North Carolina, she spends her time with her writing, gardening, and her adorable grandchildren.

WebsiteBlog  • AustenAuthorsTwitterFacebook

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

AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiBooks

Too Hot to Handel

AmazonBarnes & Noble

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.

20160617_110359_resized copy

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.

Jessica Cale: How Royal Copenhagen Conquered Europe

Eighteenth Century Porcelain: How Royal Copenhagen Conquered Europe

13509851_263614374004128_2085781765_oThe Royal Porcelain Factory (Den Kongelige Porcelænsfabrik), better known as Royal Copenhagen, was founded in a converted post office in Copenhagen on May 1st, 1775 under the protection of Queen Juliane Marie. Although porcelain had been made in Germany since 1710, it was not produced in Denmark until chemist Frantz Heinrich Müller developed a method for its manufacture in 1774. Juliane Marie had an interest in mineralogy and porcelain was a family passion: both her brother, Charles I of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and sister, who was married to Frederik II of Prussia, had founded porcelain factories in Germany.

The factory’s first pieces were dining sets for the royal family. Juliane Marie insisted each piece be stamped with the factory’s mark, three wavy lines that symbolized Denmark’s three straights–the Øresund, the Great Belt and the Little Belt–as well as the royal crown stamp to highlight the firm’s royal connections. Each piece is marked this way to this day.

Blue and white china became popular across Europe as early as the seventeenth century with the import of goods from the far east. The fine porcelain of China’s Ming and Qing dynasties sparked an enduring love for floral patterns in blue and white and Royal Copenhagen quickly developed their own. Blue Fluted Plain (Danish: Musselmalet) was their first pattern and at more than two hundred fifty years old, it is the world’s oldest china pattern still in production.

13467665_263614317337467_432371625_oBlue Fluted Plain was inspired by Chinese floral patterns and updated to include flowers native to Denmark. Cinquefoils were added to the stylized chrysanthemums to give the pattern a more Nordic appearance. The ultramarine blue pigment in the paint was originally purchased from the Blaafarveværket (“blue colour factory”) in Norway, a company that provided up to eighty percent of the world’s cobalt during the nineteenth century. Each piece was and continues to be hand-painted by blue painters who spend at least four years in training for the position.

Since its development in 1775, Blue Fluted Plain has appeared on more than two thousand different pieces and has inspired countless imitations. It reached the height of its popularity in the early nineteenth century and appeared on everything from tea cups to washbasins and chamber pots.

Lord Nelson brought Royal Copenhagen porcelain back for his mistress, Lady Hamilton, following the Danish defeat at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801. While Denmark lost that particular battle, Royal Copenhagen’s invasion of Britain was a success. It qualified for London’s World Expo in 1851 and gained international fame by winning the grand prize at Paris’ World Expo in 1889.

13509748_263614310670801_2069635372_oThis pattern has also appeared in some well-researched historical films and television shows, so not only does the pattern “look right” for the period, but even newer pieces are historically accurate for any time after 1775. You can still find pieces in this pattern to this day, so if you would like to add a little eighteenth century elegance to your kitchen or a touch of the Regency to your cup of tea, look for Royal Copenhagen’s Blue Fluted Plain.

Note: For more images or shopping information, Replacements Ltd. has a spectacular assortment of pieces in this pattern here: http://www.replacements.com/webquote/rcoblfp.htm

About The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home, Book 3 in The Southwark Saga is a magical, adult fairy tale that will keep you entertained from start to finish. Find out what happens when a paranoid king, a poison plot, and hideous shoes prove… it’s not easy being Cinderella!

coverAfter saving the life of the glamorous Marquise de Harfleur, painfully shy barmaid Alice Henshawe is employed as the lady’s companion and whisked away to Versailles. There, she catches King Louis’ eye and quickly becomes a court favorite as the muse for Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. The palace appears to be heaven itself, but there is danger hidden beneath the façade and Alice soon finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, murder, and Satanism at the heart of the French court.

Having left his apprenticeship to serve King Charles as a spy, Jack Sharpe is given a mission that may just kill him. In the midst of the Franco-Dutch war, he is to investigate rumors of a poison plot by posing as a courtier, but he has a mission of his own. His childhood friend Alice Henshawe is missing and he will stop at nothing to see her safe. When he finds her in the company of the very people he is meant to be investigating, Jack begins to wonder if the sweet girl he grew up with has a dark side.

When a careless lie finds them accidentally married, Alice and Jack must rely on one another to survive the intrigues of the court. As old affection gives way to new passion, suspicion lingers. Can they trust each other, or is the real danger closer than they suspect?

AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiBooks

About the Author

jessicaJessica Cale is a historical romance author, a Bluestocking Belle, and a journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

Her series, The Southwark Saga, is available now. You can visit her at www.dirtysexyhistory.com.

 

Jacki Delecki: A Christmas Code (Giveaway)

bigstock-Christmas-background-with-fir--70639783-copy

Tis the Season…for romantic suspense!

As a romantic suspense author, I am always in search of new ideas and concepts that I can weave into my stories and plots. What might sound like homework to some is more like a challenging scavenger hunt to me. The idea is to collect a variety of random ideas and then figure out how to assemble them into a compelling tale of intrigue.

For A Christmas Code, Book 2 of the Regency romantic suspense series, the Code Breakers, I combined elements from the winter holiday season to craft a story that features an attempted poisoning set against the elegant backdrop of the Regency Ton. In this story, the hero Ash is poisoned by a dose of ground up holly berries meant for the Prince Regent.

JackiDelecki_AChristmasCode_HR copyA popular accent used in Christmas decorations, holly is an evergreen shrub that can grow to be a tree, and there are more than 400 different varieties of the plant. The fruit and leaves contain a mix of caffeine-like alkaloid theobromine, caffeine and glycosides (theobromine is also found in chocolate and cocoa).

People and pets avoid the prickly leaves, but children may be attracted to the bright red berries. As few as 20 can be lethal if consumed, and eating just three berries can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe symptoms include drowsiness, slowed breathing and heart rate, coma and death.

Ash catches a lucky break, because, while holly berries are toxic, people rarely die from ingesting this type of poison. Nowadays modern medicine can treat individuals who consume holly berries, but that wasn’t always the case.

I recently released the audiobook version of A Christmas Code, which is narrated by the talented Pearl Hewitt, who also narrated two other books in this series: A Code of Love and A Code of the Heart. You can listen to an audio sample here: http://bit.ly/1ToZIx9

Comment on this blog for a chance to win a digital or audiobook of A Christmas Code.

Fans of holiday romance are in for an added treat from Jacki Delecki. A holiday edition of Marriage Under Fire, Book 4 of the Grayce Walters contemporary romantic suspense, is available. This edition features more than 9,000 words of exclusive content, including Maddy and Hunter’s romantic Christmas wedding with Grayce, Davis, Hollie, James and the entire Grayce Walters crew. The holiday edition of Marriage Under Fire is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play for a limited time. Readers who have already purchased the book can enjoy the new scenes for free by accessing the updated ebook.

About the Author

Head Shot copyJacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. Both acclaimed series are available for purchase at http://www.JackiDelecki.com. To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB—Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.

Maggi Andersen and “Taming a Gentleman Spy”

VBT_TamingAGentlemanSpy_Banner

Maggi will award a $50 Amazon GC plus an e-book copy of A Baron in Her Bed – The Spies of Mayfair, Book #1 to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Taming a Gentleman Spy

Cover_ TAMING A GENTLEMAN SPYJohn Haldane, Earl of Strathairn, is on an urgent mission to find the killer of his fellow spy. After visiting the young widow of one of his agents, Strathairn strengthens his resolve. A spy should never marry, and most certainly not to Lady Sibella Winborne, with her romantic ideas of love and marriage. Unable to give Sibella up entirely, he has kept her close as a friend. Then, weak fool that he is, he kissed her.

Lady Sibella Winborne has refused several offers of marriage since she first set eyes on the handsome Earl of Strathairn. Sibella’s many siblings always rush to her aid to discourage an ardent suitor, but not this time. Her elder brother, Chaloner, Marquess of Brandreth, has approved Lord Coombe’s suit.  Sibella yearns to set up her own household. She is known to be the sensible member of the family, but she doesn’t feel at all sensible about Lord Strathairn. If only she could forget that kiss.

Available

AmazonKnox Robinson Publishing Ltd. • Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

Sibella’s brother Edward stood at her shoulder. “I’ve come to claim you for the next dance, before any of your admirers beat me to it.”

“I shouldn’t worry, many are losing interest,” she said crisply, rising from her chair.

He eyed her as they entered the dance floor. “Losing hope, more like.”

As they moved through the steps of the quadrille, he dropped quiet remarks in her ear.

“Give up on Strathairn, Sib.”

“I don’t believe, I—” They parted, and by the time the steps brought them back together, she’d given up protesting. Edward had inherited their mother’s astute nature.

“It’s not that I don’t like him. I do very much. But he’s not for you.”

“You needn’t worry. He doesn’t wish to marry.”

Her brother raised a black eyebrow. “Oh, I believe you could sway him toward marriage, if you set your mind to it. That’s not the reason.”

“Then what is the reason?”

“Chaloner hears things in the House of Lords. I can’t repeat them.”

“So he tells you but not me.”

Edward shrugged with a smile and moved away.

“Why does such mystery surround the Earl of Strathairn?” she hissed at him when she next got a chance.

He shook his head. She’d learn no more.

About the Author

AuthorPicMaggi Andersen fell in love with the Georgian and Regency worlds after reading the books of Georgette Heyer. Victoria Holt’s Gothic Victorian novels were also great favorites.

She has raised three children and gained a BA and an MA in Creative Writing. After husband David retired from the law, they moved to the beautiful Southern Highlands of Australia.

Maggi’s free time is spent enjoying her garden and the local wildlife, reading, movies and the theatre. She keeps fit swimming and visiting the gym.

Maggi is a multi-published author, and writes mysteries and young adult novels as well as her Georgian, Regency and Victorian romances.

Contacts

WebsiteBlogTwitter Facebook

Episode #15: Lady P On Assignment in 1814 Kent

Susana: Lady P, who is still visiting her daughter’s family in 19th century Kent, heard some rather juicy gossip about the scion of a prominent family in the area and decided to investigate, intending to present the results of her investigation to me in an attempt to make reparations for making free with my credit card to buy gifts for her grandchildren prior to her return to her own time period.

Lady P [interrupting]: Although I know Susana well enough to know that it is not the money that concerns her; it’s something called the Prime Directive. So silly really, to think that something as innocuous as the Laugh and Learn Learning Puppy could cause the end of the world. [Shaking her head] In any case, I sent a note to Lord Rutherford to call upon me at my son-in-law’s home in Thanport at his earliest convenience, and he was pleased to do so.

* * * * * *

Lady P: I am much obliged to you, sir, for your prompt response to my invitation.

Rutherford [bowing]: You indicated that it was a matter of some urgency?

Lady P: Yes, indeed. Rumor has it, my lord, that you are a sapskull.

Rutherford [eyebrows raised]: A sapskull, madam? Indeed? And how did you come to that conclusion?

Lady P: Although perhaps it is merely a ploy to draw attention from your dabbling in the area of espionage.

Rutherford: Espionage? Really, my lady. I think you’ve been reading too many Minerva romance books.

Lady P [waving an arm]: Do not be alarmed; your secret is safe with me. I am more concerned about your attentions toward a certain highly-regarded young lady in the area.

Rutherford [rather stiffly]: If you mean Miss Marsh…I suppose it is no secret that I am courting her.

Lady P: It is hardly flattering to Miss Marsh that you spent so many years sniffing after Lady Phoebe and only turned to her when Lady Phoebe became engaged to another.

Rutherford: I was not sniffing after Lady Phoebe. She has never been more than a friend. I was merely waiting until Miss Marsh attained an age to marry. [Under his breath: Shocking how meddlesome older ladies can be!]

Lady P [with narrowed eyes]: What was that about older ladies?

Rutherford: Nothing ma’am. Are you quite finished with your interest in my affairs?

Lady P: Not even close, my lord. Then you waited on the sidelines while Miss Marsh received countless offers of marriage…surely any sensible man would have made an effort to fix his interest with the woman he intends to marry. What if she’d have accepted one of them? Where would you be, then?

Rutherford: I had the situation well in hand. If it appeared as if she were interested in another gentleman, I would have stepped in.

Lady P: Why did you decide on Miss Marsh? What are the qualities you saw in her that gave you the impression that she would make a suitable wife for you?

Rutherford: I have known her all her life. She is a well-behaved, proper lady who has all the attributes I desire in a wife. Furthermore she is used to taking her lead from me. I wish to live a well ordered life. With Miss Marsh there will be no surprises.

Lady P: I understand, however, that Miss Marsh has turned down your offer of marriage.

Rutherford [running a finger down his cravat]: That is true. A fit of pique, only.

Lady P: But you persist in pursuing her. What makes you think you can prevail upon her to change her mind? Miss Marsh appears to be a young lady who knows her own mind. I doubt she will be easily importuned.

Rutherford: I have been busy during the past couple of years. Once I spend some time dancing attendance on her, I’m sure she’ll come around. After all, we have been close friends for years.

The Secret Life of Miss Anna MarshLady P: What can you offer Miss Marsh that her other suitors could not?

Rutherford: I beg your pardon, my lady, but these questions are extremely intrusive. [To himself: not to mention something I don’t wish to think about.]

Lady P: How have your feelings changed toward Miss Marsh since your return to Kent?

Rutherford: Really, these questions are outside of enough. My feelings toward Miss Marsh are no concern of yours. All anyone need know is that I intend to make her my wife. You can tell that to Lady Blanchard. [Rutherford mutters behind his hand: Now if I can only convince Anna. I wish I knew why the devil she is being so difficult.)

[A maid comes in and whispers in Lady P’s ear.]

Lady P [to the maid]: Tell my daughter I’ll be along shortly. [to Lord Rutherford]: I do beg your pardon, Lord Rutherford, but a domestic squabble requires my attention. Before you depart, however, there is one last point of curiosity I should like you to satisfy, if you would be so kind.

Rutherford [rolling his eyes]: By all means, my lady. I have no wish to leave your curiosity unfulfilled.

Lady P [with a saucy grin]: Can you tell me where I might find a copy of that book Miss Marsh found in the library? You know, the one with all the—er—fascinating illustrations? I have a novelist friend who would give her eye-teeth to have one.

Rutherford [clearing his throat] I believe I must take my leave of you, madam. It’s been a pleasure, of course.

Lady P [winking and offering her hand]: Indeed it has, Lord Rutherford. I wish you well in your endeavor to win Miss Marsh’s affections. Perhaps a match between you is not quite so ill-conceived as I thought.

Rutherford: À bientôt, my lady. [softly cursing as he walks out the door]

About The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

Since she was a young girl, Anna Marsh has dreamed of Sebastian, Baron Rutherford asking for her hand in marriage. But that was in another life when her brother Harry was alive, before she vowed to secretly continue the work he valiantly died for. Now as Sebastian finally courts Anna, she must thwart his advances. Were he to discover her secret, he would never deem her a suitable wife…

Sebastian has always known Anna would become his wife someday. He expects few obstacles, but when she dissuades him at every turn he soon realizes there is much more to this intriguing woman. Somehow he must prove to her that they are meant to be together. But first he must unravel the seductive mystery that is Miss Anna Marsh…

Available for pre-order on Amazon.com

SusanaSays3Susana Says: Fabulous Read, 5/5 stars

On the surface, Anna Marsh appears to have everything a young lady could wish for. She’s beautiful, accomplished, well-mannered, and sought after by countless eligible gentlemen. She’s also a wealthy heiress. But Anna is not a typical debutante. She has a secret life that she is determined never to give upeven if it means she must remain unmarried the rest of her life. In any case, the man she’s always loved, Sebastian, Lord Rutherford, seeks a biddable, compliant wife, which she knows she’ll never be.

Sebastian, Lord Rutherford has been waiting for Anna to mature into a desirable young lady, and now that she has, he’s ready to pop the question. But when he doesn’t get the answer he expects, he becomes all the more determined to win her heart. But how can he truly love Anna when he doesn’t really know her? The question becomes: is he a suitable husband for her?

Anna is a strong, independent woman determined to make more of her life than the typical society maven. There were times in the beginning when I wanted to slap Rutherford silly for taking Anna for granted for so long, but, on the other hand, there is nothing quite like seeing a man grovel to appease his lady, and Rutherford manages to do so quite satisfactorily.

There is a very sweet secondary romance in this story, and also a mystery to solve originating from Anna’s “secret life.”

The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh is the second in a series, following The Seduction of Lady Phoebe. The book stands well on its own, however. This review was written from an ARC provided by the author, who, incidentally, has the first book on pre-order. Ella Quinn is a wonderful new talent in the Regency world, and this Regency devotee looka forward to enjoying her future works.

About the Author

Ella QuinnElla’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.

Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of America, The Beau Monde and Hearts Across History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington. Her debut novel The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, will release in September 2013

Contacts

Website: (Up soon) www.ellaquinnauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/EllaQuinnAuthor

Twitter www.twitter.com/ellaquinnauthor

Blog http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpresscom

 

The Lady P Series

Episode #1: Susana’s Adventures With Lady P: The Introduction

Episode #2: Lady P Talks About… Pride and Prejudice?

Episode #3: Lady P and the Duchess Who Lost a Billion Dollars

Episode #4: Lady P and the Face On the $100 Bill

Episode #5: In Which Lady P Discovers Sparkly Fabrics and Ponders Violating the Prime Directive

Episode #6: Lady P Dishes the Dirt on the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #7: The Political Exploits of Lady P and the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #8: Lady P and the Prince Regent’s Illicit Marriage

Episode #9: In Which Lady P Depletes the Cooking Sherry During Her Discussion of Caroline of Brunswick

Episode #10: Lord Byron: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Episode #11: In Which Lady P Talks About Hannah More and the Rights of Women

Episode #12: Lady P’s Revelations Regarding George III and His Peculiar Progeny

Episode #13: Lady P Discusses the Luddite Uprising, the Assassination of Spencer Perceval, and the General Unfairness of Life

Episode #14: In Which Leticia, Lady Beauchamp, Pops In For an Interview On Her Personal Acquaintance With Princess Charlotte of Wales

Episode #15: Lady P On Assignment in 1814 Kent

Lady P Quizzes Jane Livingston, the Hero’s Sister From “A Twelfth Night Tale”