days hours are whizzing by until the release day for Desperate Daughters, a Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends.
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 start their adventures in York with them, 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 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’s feature is Meara Platt’s tale.
A Duke for Josefina
Lady Josefina would much rather spend her time studying plants and their healing properties, but her father, the Earl of Seahaven, has died and left the family impoverished. Marriage seems her only alternative until she meets the handsome Duke of Bourne in an apothecary in York’s ancient Shambles. He offers her an intriguing proposition, a fake betrothal and a king’s ransom as reward if she returns with him to his estate and finds a cure for his sister’s illness. But will the true reward be his heart?
Josefina regarded him as though he were demented. “Marry you? Marry you? You are asking me to marry you?”
She did not realize their steward had just come up behind her and had heard her repeat his proposal. The man rushed to the major domo to report the news, was overheard by several other stewards who were now reporting it to the patrons they were charged to serve.
It took no more than a minute for the whispers to swell to an excited buzz around the tea room, as though a thousand bees were now buzzing around their hive.
Josefina was now laughing at the preposterous notion, a response the other patrons mistook for joyful acceptance. After all, who would not be overjoyed to marry the Duke of Bourne?
Was he not the catch of the season?
The catch of a lifetime?
Well, he had truly gotten himself into a fix.
He had meant to say, a pretend marriage…or rather, a pretend engagement. Then he could scoop her away to meet his sister and aunt, all proper since everyone would believe she was his betrothed. After she had reaped her plants and turned them into medicinal powders and tinctures, he would have dumped an enormous monetary settlement on her and allowed her to quietly end their betrothal.
But he had said ‘marry’.
Forgotten that crucial word…pretend.
There was no help for it now.
He took Josefina’s hand in his and raised it to his lips. “Smile, Josefina. Everyone is looking. And yes, I am going to marry you.”
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.
About the author
Meara Platt is an award winning, USA TODAY bestselling author and an Amazon UK All-Star. Her favorite place in all the world is England’s Lake District, which may not come as a surprise since many of her stories are set in that idyllic landscape, including her paranormal romance Dark Gardens series. Learn more about the Dark Gardens and Meara’s lighthearted and humorous Regency romances in her Farthingale series and Book of Love series, or her warmhearted Regency romances in her Braydens series by visiting her website at www.mearaplatt.com
What critics are saying:
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, and final, featured story, Sherry Ewing’s A Countess to Remember.
You can find the complete list of stories and blurbs on my Desperate Daughter‘s book page.