A Common Elements Project Regency Romance
Thrilled to finally have a permanent home, a Squire’s daughter won’t let a supernatural creature scare her away. While hunting the ghost she doesn’t believe in, she stumbles upon a mysterious flesh and blood man who might be the key to all of her problems.
When the new Squire moves into Fenwick Manor, an ex-army officer secretly searching the sprawling medieval wreck devises a plan: First, the manor’s legendary ghost will chase servants away. Then, he’ll convince the new residents to leave.
But the Squire’s spirited daughter soon has him wondering if he might have found a perfect comrade in arms to help battle old enemies and find the proof that will clear his family name.
Publisher: Havenlock Press
An arm snaked around her shoulder.
“Miss Fenwick, how well you have arranged this.”
An unpleasant male musk filled her senses, and all of her muscles tightened.
Papa was not here, nor Lord Farnsworth. But…please God…rescue was not so far away.
“Do remove your hand, Mr. Greggson.” She shouted the words at the doorway that led to the servant’s passage.
“I think not.”
He whipped her around and bent his head toward her. She dodged away, and his hands framed her head, turning her to him.
“Stop this now,” she shouted, arching away from his fishy breath.
Her backside hit the table. She brought her knee up sharply and Greggson flew away, crashing into the wall.
She clutched a chair back, struggling for breath. What had just happened? And why? And how…a tall figure advanced on her. Her pulse spiked, and then eased. She couldn’t make out a face, but the scent was her Papa’s soap.READ MORE
It was Freddy. Trembling, she flung herself at him and fell into a tight embrace.
“Are you all right?”
Nearby, Greggson moaned, and in the corridor footsteps clattered. Freddy was wise to whisper. Greggson wasn’t unconscious.
She snuggled against his shoulder, relishing a warmth no man had ever offered her. Freddy had rescued her. He’d risked much—Greggson was a dangerous man.
Murmurs in the corridor grew closer, and Greggson groaned more loudly. She untangled herself and stepped back. “Go. Papa’s coming, and Greggson is coming to.”
Greggson stirred, and Freddy stepped toward him.
She grabbed his arm and tugged him along toward the servant’s door.
“Go,” she whispered.
“No. Your father—”
“Will protect me. Us.”
His dark gaze melted her, heat uncoiling deep within her. Freddy had honor, and courage, and strength. He’d saved her, and now she must save him.
“Us?” The word whispered through her, their lips almost touching. “Tilly—”
Cloth rustled as Greggson stirred.
“No.” She shook her head. “Here.” She handed Freddy the single taper she’d been carrying. His own brace of candles rested on the sideboard near the servant’s passage. He was lucky Greggson hadn’t spotted him.
Gloved fingers cradled her cheek, spiking more warmth.
“I’ll be right here, on the other side.”
She nodded and pulled the door closed on Freddy’s boot. Papa’s footsteps moved closer, but Greggson’s arms and legs were moving as well.
One serving tray remained, laden with cutlery. She grabbed a sharp knife just as the corridor door opened, admitting her father and Lord Farnsworth.
Papa froze, the lamp he held lighting his features, his gaze landing upon the knife in her hand. “Tilly?”
She let out a long breath and followed his line of sight to her trembling hand.
Freddy peered through the slit in the door opening, anger still quaking inside him. How dare Greggson touch the lass?
It wouldn’t happen again. He’d see to it, just as soon as he had a moment alone with the maw-worm.
“Tilly,” Sir Newton said again, and there was astonishment in the older man’s voice. “Whatever has happened, my dear?”
The voice grew louder as the Squire approached.
“What is going on here, Greggson?” Sir Newton asked sharply.
“Mr. Greggson surely stumbled,” Tilly said. “In the dark. We didn’t know you’d left and when we returned, you’d put out all the lights on the table except those.”
“That’s quite a stumble.” Farnsworth must have drawn nearer, as his voice carried more clearly. “I’ll fetch you a brandy, Greggson, though perhaps you had more than enough wine to have hit the wall so handily.”
“Thank you,” Greggson said. “Actually, I fear I must have a private word with you, Sir Newton.”
“A private word? Tilly, where is the footman?”
Freddy held his breath, waiting for her reply.
“I sent him to alert the stables. Mr. Greggson wanted to leave before the rain worsens and I thought perhaps you would wish to return safely home also, Lord Farnsworth.”
His heart lifted. She was not just lovely, but smart to boot and she could work her away around the truth without telling an outright lie.
“I fear I must talk to you tonight, sir,” Greggson said, clearing his throat.
The hair on Freddy’s neck rose as his fists clenched.
“You see,” Greggson said, “Miss Fenwick and I—”
“Saw the ghost,” Tilly blurted out. She reached for her father’s hand tugging him towards her.
“The ghost, my dear?”
“Yes, Papa. I hesitated to say it. It was the most astonishing thing.”COLLAPSE
Tilly Fenwick and her father, The Squire, have inherited Fenwick Manor. It’s a beautiful estate but not without its quirks, including a ghost. The servants run off and Tilly is left wondering what to do when she meets a mysterious man named Freddy in the woods. She offers him a job but he declines. It’s not until her father meets Freddy that things start to get interesting. Is the “ghost” driving people away? There’s a rumor of treasure at Fenwick Manor and Tilly wonders if Freddy is after the treasure. When the truth is revealed as well as Freddy’s feelings for her, she’s conflicted. Does Freddy love her, even with her plain looks, or is he speaking platitudes to gain control of Fenwick Manor and its treasure?
This is my first hearing about the Common Elements Romance Project, and it intrigued me. Five common elements connect Haunting Miss Fenwick with the other books. Brilliant!
Haunting Miss Fenwick is a delightful romance with dashes of the supernatural and intrigue thrown in. Both Tilly and Freddy are intelligent people which I thoroughly enjoyed. The attraction between Tilly and Freddy is immediate but their romance blooms slowly. Tilly’s dog is a friendly big dog whose instincts are 100% accurate. The mystery behind the “ghost” kept me turning the pages. I couldn’t stop reading and read it in two sessions. Haunting Miss Fenwick is a character-driven story with a lot going on. Historically accurate but that is not surprising as Alina K. Field is a stickler for research.
If you’re looking for a sweet romance with suspenseful elements, pick up Haunting Miss Fenwick today. Highly recommend!
Favorite Character/Quote: Tilly. I love a spirited heroine, especially in the Regency era. She speaks her mind and more times than not, gets her into trouble. She’s very protective of those she loves and thinks nothing of putting her own life in danger. Independent, high-spirited and loves with her whole being… everything you want in a heroine.