Yuletide Gems—A Regency Novella Duet

Two heartwarming holiday tales of true love set in a place where happily ever afters abound–the library, of course!

Worth More Than Rubies – by Grace Burrowes

All the Duke of Dunfallon wants this holiday season is a respite from the machinations of the matchmakers. When pursued by a particularly determined would-be duchess, he ducks into the West Bartholomew Street Lending Library. Librarian Emerald Armstrong sees a dapper gent in a bit of a hurry and mistakes Dunfallon for a curate overdue for his assignation with West Bart’s theological collection.

Dunfallon is intrigued by Emmie’s love of books, her disdain for society’s games, and her ferocious generosity of spirit toward all of the library’s patrons. She has no patience with posturing, and thus he takes the risk of admitting his true identity. To his surprise, Emmie doesn’t mind all that much that he’s a duke—some things cannot be helped—but she is far less willing to keep silent about Dunfallon’s other secret, the one he has been guarding from even his fellow peers.

If an honest woman is worth more than rubies, what will a duke sacrifice to earn her love?

Diamond in the Rough — by Christi Caldwell

Lady Diamond Carmichael, paragon of propriety, is horrified when she discovers her headstrong younger sister at the Royal Colonnade Library reading books that would enrage their ducal father. Worse, this disaster-in-the-making has been abetted by a rude, opinionated librarian named Mr. Abaddon Grimoire.

Abaddon clawed his way free of a life of poverty and crime thanks to the refuge he found at the Royal Colonnade Library, and he’s determined to help other people find their escapes as well—in the pages of the library’s books! He issues Diamond a challenge: Spend a fortnight exploring the volumes on the library’s shelves; if after two weeks, she still wants to prevent her sister from visiting, he won’t interfere.

Abaddon soon realizes that beneath Diamond’s icy veneer beats the heart of a loyal, loving, and passionate woman, and Diamond comes to see that Abaddon’s devotion to books is a respect for truth and learning. A former guttersnipe and a duke’s daughter aren’t the stuff of matches made in Mayfair, but perhaps happily ever afters aren’t just for fairy tales!

NOTE: This duet will be released on Sept. 27, 2022, through library channels (and for our international readers, through Kobo). Readers wishing to purchase the story directly can do so from either authors’ website. Wide-retail distribution for these stories is planned for the 2023 holiday season, when next year’s new duet takes its turn as a library exclusive!

Never a Duke

Despite having humble origins and a criminal past, Ned Wentworth has learned to dress, waltz, and express himself as elegantly as any lordling. When Lady Rosalind Kinwood’s maid goes missing, her ladyship turns to Ned, precisely because he still has friends in low places and skills no titled dandy would ever acquire, much less admit he possesses.

Rosalind is too opinionated and too intelligent, and has frequently suffered judgment at polite society’s hands. In the quietly observant Ned Wentworth, she finds a man who actually listens to her and who respects her for her outspokenness. As the search for the missing maids grow more perilous, Rosalind and Ned will have to risk everything—including their hearts—if they are to share the happily ever after that Mayfair’s matchmakers have begrudged them both.