Nine Authors/ Nine Unique Stories of Love in the Regency
A new collection of stories from the Bluestocking Belles and friends is now available for pre-order!
Under the Harvest Moon
As the village of Reabridge in Cheshire prepares for the first Harvest Festival following Waterloo, families are overjoyed to welcome back their loved ones from the war.
But excitement quickly turns to mystery when mere weeks before the festival, an orphaned child turns up in the town—a toddler born near Toulouse to an English mother who left clues that tie her to Reabridge.
With two prominent families feuding for generations and the central event of the Harvest Moon festival looming, tensions rise, and secrets begin to surface.
Nine award winning and bestselling authors have combined their talents to create this engaging and enchanting collection of interrelated tales. Under the Harvest Moon promises an unforgettable read for fans of Regency romance.
Release Day October 10, 2023
The collection includes my story, Under the Champagne Moon
Orphaned as a child by the French Revolution, Fleur Hardouin’s road has not been easy. Homeless again, she seeks an advantageous marriage as a matter of security. But when she crosses paths with a handsome young captain who, years ago, came to her rescue, she must choose between her heart’s desire and practicality.
Saved from French troops by a French vintner, Gareth Ardleigh promised to find his rescuer’s granddaughter, Fleur, for a marriage that will unite two branches of the family business. But when he finds her, he must choose between honoring a promise or pursuing the woman he loves.
“I will show you the art of sabrage, Laurence. Only but watch my technique.”
A shiver passed through Fleur, followed by heat that turned her hands and cheeks clammy. The voice, the cocky intonation… She paused, gathered her composure, and then turned the knob.
The door opened on silent hinges, cigar smoke wafting to meet her. Silver flashed. An object shot out and bounced against the fireplace shovel with a loud bang, and the air bubbled with the scent of fermented grapes.
A well-dressed gentleman sat behind a heavy desk, cigar in hand. The other, his curly dark locks in disarray, coatless, and with very fine legs encased in tight buckskins, stood before the desk, his back to the door.
“Dans la victoire,’’ the man in buckskins proclaimed, “tu mérites du champagne, et dans la défaite tu en as besoin.’’
In victory you deserve champagne, and in defeat you need it?
Her stomach twisted, thoughts stirring in her muddled mind. It had sounded like him, but it couldn’t be, could it? Nor was it Thaddeus—he’d fallen at Waterloo.
Had he lived?
If it wasn’t him…would Sherington be hosting a blasted Frenchman?
Laurence—surely the weak-chinned blond fellow behind the desk was Laurence—noticed her. Thaddeus had been the handsomer of the two boys. Poor Thaddeus.
Laurence’s smile fell away as he stood and set aside his cigar. The man with him, the man clutching a foaming bottle in one hand and a saber in the other, turned his head. His lips stretched and softened, and his eyes darkened with what she recognized as a man’s carnal interest.
And then they widened with shock. A smile dawned, flooding his face with something that looked like relief.
Her own heart thundered. Gareth. This was Gareth, grown into a man, with thighs that would send Dulcinea into embarrassing public ecstasies.
“Petal,” he cried. “It’s you.”
“Flora?” Laurence stepped closer, his gaze traveling over her like an annoying insect buzzing around. “I haven’t seen you in years. Is it really you? All grown up?”
The tone was lascivious and didn’t deserve a reply.
Laurence rounded the desk and scoffed. “Don’t tell me you still don’t speak, Flora.”
That again. The fool.
“My name,” she said, “is Fleur. Not Flora. Nor is it Petal.”
Gareth’s eyes twinkled, flecks of gold sparking among the brown, and his whole face lit from within as if he was holding in one of his hearty laughs, like the one that exploded out of him the last time she saw him.
Did he still have the handkerchief she’d labored over? He’d probably thrown it into the fire the same day he’d received it.
And that was fine. Gareth had no place in her plans.
I’ll be featuring more of the stories from this collection in upcoming blog posts!