Lady Violet Belmaine emerges from two years of mourning less than enthusiastic about resuming her place in Polite Society. She’s talked into attending a country house party by her French physician friend, Hugh St. Sevier, only to find that the house party guests are preyed upon by a mysterious thief.
Among the guests is Sebastian MacHeath, Marquess of Dunkeld. Violet once considered Sebastian her closest confidant, but war and the passing years have changed him. Nonetheless, when Sebastian’s valet, another veteran, comes under suspicion, Violet, St. Sevier, and Sebastian must work together to discover the true culprit, lest an innocent man be sent to the gallows for crimes he did not commit.
What happens when the proprietress of Siren’s Retreat discovers the charming romantic she’s been corresponding with is same villain turning her beloved property into a gaming hell? Find out in LOVE LETTERS BY THE SEA!
When not responding to advice column letters, entrepreneurial widow Mrs. Deborah Cartwright runs bright, beautiful Siren’s Retreat, legendary for helping her lovelorn guests find their perfect match. Deborah experienced love years before, and lightning does not strike twice. Although there might be a light flirtation with a certain anonymous letter-writer she’s definitely not falling for, there’s no time for romance. Not whilst a heartless blackguard is in town to wrest her beloved inn out from under her!
Clever, career-minded Mr. Patrick Gretham is the trusted man-of-business for a powerful lord, who is eager to turn this perfectly situated property wasted on lovebirds into a gambling hell the likes of which no one leaves with their fortunes intact. Over Deborah’s dead body! The beautiful proprietress hates everything Patrick stands for and will fight him every step of the way. Except when they find themselves on opposite sides of a plume. Or falling into each other’s embrace…
What happens when a wallflower’s extremely make-believe fake suitor appears in the flesh just in time to ruin all her spinsterly plans? Find out in AN AFFAIR BY THE SEA!
Orphaned pianist Allegra Brown is a poor relation with nothing much to recommend her, save a minuscule dowry and a very big imagination. She has spent the past several years as governess to her younger cousins, who are now ready for their come out—and want Allegra to marry, too. Specifically, they eagerly await the return of Allegra’s dashing, handsome, swashbuckling, conveniently absent and secretly fictional fiancé, the dread pirate Captain L’Amour.
The only place Mr. John Sharp strikes fear is in the courtroom, where his neat, ordered mind is renowned for winning every case he presents. John loves predictability and longs to be a chef. Unfortunately, every time he puts on an apron, the entire kitchen catches fire. Much like passion burning between him and a certain wildly unpredictable spinster, who seems to have confused him for a dashing, exciting pirate. By fulfilling her fantasies, can his dreams come true…together?
Heiress Anne Baxter seeks a repairing lease by the sea after she’s left standing at the altar for the second time. To her utter mortification, the best man, Augustus, Duke of Tindale, has been invited to a house party at a nearby estate, and comes upon Anne trying to enjoy some solitude along the shore.
Augustus believes Anne is far better off without the buffoon who jilted her, but knows polite society will hold the lady accountable for the failed wedding,… weddings, rather. He proposes to show Anne marked attention at the house party, in hopes that a ducal suitor will prove to the gossips just how lovely Anne is. Alas for Augustus’s brilliant scheme, the best laid plans of dukes of damsels, oft go awry!
Vergilius, Viscount Summerton, has watched his wife of ten years grow more and more distant, and he’s determined that this year the marriage will start moving in a better direction. Penelope, Lady Summerton, is also determined that this year will be different. She slips off to a seaside cottage, intending that to be her first step toward a new life free of marital difficulties. Gill ends up at the same seaside inn, where he hopes to plot a wooing no wife can resist.
He’s determined to reconcile; she’s determined to pack his bags, but then the magic of the Siren’s Retreat begins to steal over them both…
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.
Lydia Lovelace has taken the housekeeper’s post in the home of Captain Dylan Powell. The captain is short on charm, but he’s known for his rapport with, and support of, former soldiers trying to make a peacetime life in London. Unbeknownst to the captain, Lydia is searching for a brother who never came home after Waterloo, a brother whose birthright, along with Lydia’s settlements, is being frittered away by scheming family members.
Dylan has never viewed his home as much more than a place to take meals and sleep out of the wet while he tries to find paying work and good positions for his former subordinates. The new housekeeper is changing all of that, bringing comfort and tranquility to Dylan’s domicile and to his days. When Dylan and Lydia begin to explore pleasures shared in the night, Lydia realizes she will have to choose between loyalty to a long-lost brother, and a future with the very man who might have sent that brother into hiding.
Two PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED novellas connected to the Windham family series.
Morgan and Archer
Morgan James, sister-by-marriage to the Windham ducal heir, has spent several Seasons dutifully trooping with her in-laws to every ball and musicale in Mayfair. The glittering London society she never thought she’d be part of has begun to pale, while solitude and quiet have grown enormously attractive.
Morgan’s longing to withdraw from society is cut short when she crosses paths with Archer Portmaine, a distant family connection who is is investigating a plot against the Crown. Archer must foil a dangerous scheme, and Morgan, with her quick wits and unusual ability to blend into any crowd, has the perfect skills to help him capture the villain–and to capture Archer’s heart!
Jonathan and Amy
Jonathan Dolan, a wealthy Irish quarry nabob, has done the unthinkable for an otherwise sensible widower and fallen in love with his daughter’s governess. If he’s to win the heart of proper, pretty Miss Amy Ingraham, Jonathan must turn to his former brother-in-law, the Marquess of Deene, to help him woo the lady. Despite Deene’s willingness to aid the course of true love, Jonathan must be clever, determined, and– above all else–honorable if he’s to win not only Amy’s hand, but also the respect of a society only too willing to judge him harshly.
Two PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED Regency novellas. A is for Amorous (originally published in Love by the Letters) and Architect of My Dreams (originally published in No Dukes Allowed.)
A is for Amorous
Adalicia Beauvais has no use for children, and even less use for most men. Plato wasn’t a bad sort, and Euclid was bright enough, but the modern variety of male holds no appeal for her. To earn ownership of a lovely country estate with a delightfully well stocked library, Ada must raise funds for an orphanage full of noisy, malodorous urchins.
As if that isn’t challenge enough, her only ally in this endeavor, is the headmaster, Lord John, who loves children, referees cricket matches, and plucks Ada’s very, very last nerve, even though she knows his devotion to the children is genuine, as is the orphanage’s need for funds. Opposites don’t always attract, but in this case, they must work together for thirty days, or neither Ada’s nor John’s dreams will ever come true.
Architect of My Dreams
Eugenia, Dowager Duchess of Tindale, travels to the Brighton shore for a respite from London’s din and crowding. She is both dismayed and curious to find that Adam Morecambe, the very architect whose building project has rendered her London street unbearably noisy, has also journeyed to Brighton. Adam is traveling on business–he’s always on business–though he’s also pleased to bump into the duchess who has the loveliest smile he’s ever seen.
Genie has no intention of ever remarrying–once was bad enough–and Adam would never allow a romantic frolic to interfere with his busy schedule, but then he learns that Genie’s kisses are as sweet as her smiles, and all of his fixed notions about what the future might hold go flying out the nearest bedroom window.
Vicar Pietr Sorenson is preparing to endure–enjoy, rather–another solitary, frigid holiday season at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, when Miss Joy Danforth‘s coach lurches to a halt across the village green. Joy and her brother have nowhere to wait out the impending bout of nasty weather, while the vicarage is even emptier than usual.
The lady is on her way to charm a titled nitwit into offering her marriage, lest her family face financial ruin. Pietr has accepted a prestigious post closer to civilization, though he hasn’t quite found a way to tell his congregation he’s leaving early in the New Year. Will Pietr and Joy steal some holiday comfort beneath the mistletoe, or find the love of a lifetime on a bleak mid-winter night?