The Year with No Summer is drawing to a close, bleeding into a harsh winter that promises snow, ice and continued hardship. London, so rich with life and bustle, is quiet beneath the ice, buried in a cold few can ever truly recall happening before. Many of the ton are taking their leave for the Christmas holiday, abandoning the soggy streets of London for even chillier country roads. Milton Grandby, Earl of Torrington, believes that now is the perfect time to introduce his new bride, Adele, to his ancestral hunting lodge and seat of his Earldom in Northumberland. A private getaway nestled in glistening snow can lead to all sorts of enjoyment… and hopefully, an heir.
With excitement in the air and Christmas fast approaching, the newlyweds make plans to travel north. While no family will be invited to the Torrington lodge, the Earl will bring his valet, Alonyius Banks, and Adele will be accompanied by Alice Simpkins, her rather grumpy lady’s maid.
Yet when The Lord and His Lady arrive at Torrington Park sans their needed companions, things take a decided turn and quickly become intimately awkward. While Milton is more than happy to play lady’s maid to his bride, the close confines and frigid air bring secrets to the front—and mistrust to the surface. As the duo learns more about each other’s pasts, they discover struggles and misunderstandings abound. Can they look beyond their flaws and allow the spirit of the season and the gift of giving to thaw the sudden ice between them? Or will their first holiday away doom their new-found devotion? The budding romance of their servants may provide the answer in The Christmas of a Countess.
After four Seasons and no prospects, Lady Samantha is resigned to spinsterhood in THE PASSION OF A MARQUESS. Her aunt, Viscountess Chamberlain, insists they sail to Italy to find a marriage-minded European aristocrat. His mines having suffered a multitude of disasters, Ethan Range, Marquess of Plymouth, needs to secure an Italian invention to help alleviate fires. He’s none too happy to find Lady Chamberlain traveling on the same ship. He knows her secret and is incensed she’s able to hide Samantha’s true past from the ton. While on deck, the marquess confronts Samantha. Offended by his claims, she slaps the man before a wave washes them both overboard. Forced to save each other, they end up as castaways on a deserted island. Although they face perils a plenty, they have more to fear from one another than from hunger, weather, and pirates. Can they realize the mistakes of the past are not their own?
The illegitimate sister the Earl of Trenton, former maid Lily spent two Seasons attending balls and learning about the ton. Now she finds herself courted by four aristocrats—probably for her dowry—and the subject of gossip rags. Concerned by what he's reading, the earl invites her to spend the summer so he can hear her side of the stories—tales Lily may need to embellish to get her way. William Overby has spent most of his life toiling at Wellingham Imports. Despite his poverty-stricken past, his position as a clerk has afforded him a satisfying life—until he’s reintroduced to Lily. The idea of courting Lily is suddenly paramount. But will Lily consider his suit now that she’s elevated in Society? Lily's tales may reveal more in what she doesn’t tell in THE DESIRE OF A LADY.
Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.
His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.
But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…
Will a week be enough time for Michael to court his new wife and convince her of his affections? Or will he regret his last-minute efforts to accomplish too much in too little time? Only time will tell in "Tuesday Nights".
Directions send Isabella to the doors of The Elegant Courtesan, a high-end brothel owned by David Fitzwilliam, Earl of Norwick, to whom she relates her gruesome tale. Stunned and heartbroken at hearing the fate of Arabella, David vows to ensure Isabella’s safety from Craythorne, and he enlists the aid of Octavius, Duke of Huntington, to provide protection and a home in the country, where she won’t be found. He would do it himself, but he’s due to marry the girl’s aunt, Lady Clarinda, and has some courting to do— his twin brother seems determined to make her his own wife.
Still suffering from the loss of his wife in childbirth, Octavius has long since given up the joy he took in his race horses—choosing to ignore his stables and country estate and live in London, immersed in reading and attending sessions of Parliament.
Not particularly pleased with having a ward, Octavius soon discovers Isabella’s passion for horses goes far beyond just riding them. With a new generation of racehorses in his stables, and his country estate suddenly in pristine condition, he may just experience some horse sense himself in The Dream of a Duchess.
When archeologist Dr. Stewart Jones, a duke, goes missing and is feared dead while searching for an important Greek artifact, explorer Harold Tennison, Earl of Everly, is pressed into service by fellow members of the Royal Society to find him. Since Harry has already planned an expedition to the Cyclades to search for rare birds and flowers, he sets off for the Aegean to begin his quest.
On his last visit to Delos, Harry was blessed with a visit from a young woman—his very own version of Aphrodite rising from the sea to regard him with an arched eyebrow and a simple question that left him so discombobulated, he could barely speak.
Born of a Mykonian mother and a British duke, Lady Estelle isn’t particularly comfortable in either world. With her father’s recent disappearance and no prospects for marriage, Stella may end up stranded on Mykonos. She spends her days assisting her uncle in his hunt for Greek treasures he can sell to visiting Europeans. At night, she remembers the bespectacled earl who nearly broke her foot during a waltz back in London.
When Harry arrives on Mykonos to begin his hunt for the duke and to resume his own research, he’ll have to learn far more about mythology, antiquities, and Greek goddesses than he bargained for. The search may be worth it, though, but only if he ends up with his very own Aphrodite in The Epiphany of an Explorer.
The Earl of Fennington has a secret identity – he doubles as Mr. Pepperidge, editor of London's premiere gossip rag, The Tattler.
While attending a garden party as the Earl, he meets and falls in love with Lady Emelia. The attraction is instant and mutual, and a stolen kiss won’t cause any harm. Will it?
But when Fennington asks permission to marry Emelia, her father denies him, requiring him instead to court Emelia for eight weeks. Only allowed to see her once each week, Fennington devises a scheme to see more of her by posing as Mr. Pepperidge.
Each week they meet in the park where Emelia provides him with the gossip she hears whilst paying calls in Mayfair parlors. It’s that, or he'll print the scandalous news of her kiss with Fennington in The Tattler!
Meanwhile, Andrew Burroughs, the long lost love of Jane Vandermeer, Dowager Countess of Stoneleigh, returns to her life with a promise that he'll spend the rest of his life with her in London. The future suddenly looks bright, until The Tattler prints a report of Andrew kissing another woman. Now hurt and angered, Jane sets out to discover the truth while Emelia is about to discover one of her own—all while a new Gossip Goddess shares news of philandering fake aristocrats.
With mistaken identities ruling the reports in The Tattler, is it any wonder the members of the ton love to hate gossip? Or do they really love The Gossip of an Earl? The Tattler knows!