I’m continuing my series of blogs introducing the stories in Desperate Daughters, a Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends.
Though if you’re a regular reader here, you’ve seen Lady Twisden in some of my earlier blog posts. She’s the heroine of my novella, Lady Twisden’s Picture Perfect Match!
This collection of novellas by nine Regency romance authors is a perfect opportunity to sample some new-to-you storytellers. The stories are set around a central premise, a family of all daughters, left destitute by their late father, the Earl of Seahaven.
Here’s the blurb
Love Against the Odds
The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.
The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.
When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters.
They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.
So they start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close?
It’s not just daughters finding romance…
Not everyone who finds love is a daughter. It was great fun to see the earl’s young widow find her own happily-ever-after. And my heroine, Lady Twisden, is a widowed great-aunt to the desperate daughters who learns that following her passion for painting doesn’t mean sacrificing love.
I’m continuing a series of blogs to give you a taste of the stories in this collection, today featuring my story.
Lady Twisden’s Picture Perfect Match
After years of putting up with her late husband’s rowdy friends, Honoria, Lady Twisden, has escaped to York where she can paint (even if badly), investigate antiquities, and enjoy freedom. Then her stepson appears with a long-lost relation in tow.
Promised York’s marriage mart and the hospitality of his cousin’s doddering stepmother, Major August Kellborn is shocked to find that his fetching hostess is the one woman who stirs his heart.
“Where is the footman? We need him to fetch in our trunks.”
Looking past the broad shoulder she saw another figure approaching and…
Good God. Heat swamped her and flamed in her cheeks. Dark eyes shot darts at her over a grimly set, thin-lipped mouth. The palpable sternness of Wes’s companion sent a shiver of awareness through her. It was a familiar shiver, one she’d indulged during her tedious days at Twisden Manor when she’d found herself fighting off mad imaginings.
Wes’s laughter shook her tongue loose. “My goodness, sir,” she said. “You bear an uncanny resemblance to—”
“Old Ebenezer Twisden,” Wes said. “Yes, it is as if the old Warden has come back to life, Mother. As soon as I laid eyes on him in Brampton, I knew he must be a relation. And do you know who he is, Mother?” He laughed again. “I’ve written to Granny to tell her. She’ll be in alt when she reads the news.”
A man of perhaps forty, he was about the same age as Wes’s ancestor, the Warden in the painting at Twisden Hall who’d been in the King’s service for many years when that portrait was done. This new incarnation of Ebenezer wasn’t a particularly tall man, not as tall as Wes, but he still towered over her.
Old Ebenezer cleared his throat.
“But of course,” Wes said. “Where are my manners? Mother, may I present my cousin, Major Augustus Kellborn. Gus, this is my dear stepmother, Lady Twisden.”
While she curtsied, managing not to wobble, he dipped his head, never taking his gaze away.
Good holy heavens.
Desperate Daughters is available for Pre-order for only 99 cents: https://books2read.com/u/bMwL17
Hurry! The price goes up after the book’s May 17, 2022 launch day.
What critics are saying:
A Marvelous Group of Authors
In addition to Belles authors, Caroline Warfield, Jude Knight, Rue Allyn, and Sherry Ewing, the collection features stories by Mary Lancaster, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, Meara Platt, Ella Quinn, and, of course, me!
I’ll be back soon for an excerpt from the next featured story, Meara Platt’s A Duke for Josefina.
You can find the complete list of stories and blurbs on my Desperate Daughter‘s book page.