NEVER SEND A DEBUTANTE
William Ryder, Earl of Castleton, is at the end of his noble rope. Not only has he broken ties with his longtime mistress, his mother has publicly announced her wish for him to marry a suitable young lady―if only to help him raise the twins left in his care. Hiring a governess should solve some of Will’s problems…but when he meets the candidate in question, he finds himself in an entirely new predicament.
TO DO A WALLFLOWER’S JOB
Miss Margaret Lacey is brainy, beautiful, and, once upon a time, Will’s betrothed. But she bowed out of the engagement―and, since then, has never been the same. A tragic accident robbed her of everything, and now, at age twenty-three, her marital prospects are slim to none. Penniless but not without pride, Meg convinces the vexingly handsome Will to hire her for the job. What neither of them could have expected from this arrangement, however, is an attraction that burns stronger than ever. Are these two lost souls finally ready to be schooled in the art of love?
London, May 1817
Miss Margaret Lacey—Meg, to her family and friends—had the odd but unshakable feeling that the next half hour could alter the course of her life. Forever.
Which was just as well, because heaven knew that she and her sisters couldn’t remain on their current paths—not if they wished to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies.
“Trust me, Meg. You’re perfect for this position.” Her friend Charlotte linked an arm through Meg’s and bustled her down the street toward a row of elegant Mayfair townhouses.
“Perfect is a bit of a stretch.” Meg had hoped to find work as a companion to an aging dowager, fetching fans and lemonade. Elderly people, she understood. Persons under the age of twelve were another matter entirely. “Shouldn’t a governess have a way with children?”
“You’ve two younger sisters,” Charlotte said.
“They’re only a few years younger, and the only useful thing I’ve taught them is how to ignore insults from puffed-up debutantes.”
“Nonsense. You’re kind, intelligent, and patient. I’ve no doubt you can manage a pair of six-year old girls.” Charlotte stopped and faced Meg. “Show me your best governess expression.”
Meg glanced sideways at her friend and gave her an encouraging sort of smile.
“That will never do.”
Charlotte sighed. “The look is your primary weapon.”
“Weapon? You said they were six.”
“Suppose the twins complain about doing their sums. A good governess does not deign to argue with her charges. She simply gives them the look. Now, let’s see it.”
“Very well.” Meg did her best to imitate the withering, mildly disdainful expression that had seemed etched onto her own governess’s face.
Charlotte grimaced and bit her bottom lip.
Oh dear. “They’re not going to do their sums, are they?”
“Heavens no. They’ll think you’ve eaten a bad kipper.” Charlotte took her arm, pulling her along once more. “Never mind—we shall work on that. But I can assure you that you are qualified. Honestly, Meg,” she added with a warm smile, “any child would be lucky to have you as a governess.”
Meg swallowed. She liked children, truly she did, in spite of their tendency to be terrifyingly unpredictable. “Let us hope I can convince my potential employers.”
And convince them she must. Dear Uncle Alistair would never admit it, but Meg and her sisters had been a tremendous burden on him and his dwindling fortune. He’d generously taken them in after the unexpected and tragic deaths of her parents eight years ago. But now she was twenty-three, old enough to venture out on her own—and to try to save Uncle Alistair from debtor’s prison
There has never been a man placed between so many rocks and so many hard places in such a short time-span
1. His mother is demanding that he marry before HER birthday.
2. His cousin dies, leaving him guardianship of 6-year old twin girls.
3. He has given his longtime mistress the boot. In favor of another woman.
4. He has fallen hard and fast for the beautiful and spirited governess that HE hired to instruct the twins.
5. Said governess is also the childhood crush who spurned a betrothal orchestrated by their parents.
6. She, Miss Margaret Lacey, is also...the only woman that he, William Ryder could ever love.
Authoress, Anna Bennett, brings a fresh fire, brash banter, and even a bit of wit and whimsy to Regency Romance. In this, the first offering in her Wayward Wallflower series.
Leading lady, Margaret Lacey makes quite the splash. As a downtrodden debutante, and the eldest of the "Wilting Wallflowers". Miss Lacey is a woman determined to do whatever she can to reverse the fortunes of herself, her sisters, and her eccentric yet lovable uncle Alistaire, The Viscount Wiltmore.
Even if "whatever" means putting herself in the employ of the one man that she once vowed she would...
William Ryder may be all grown up, able to summon the best and brightest beauties of the ton to his bed with nothing more than a look. But he never forgot her. The young, coltish, and free spirited young girl, whom he longed to see every time his father's temperamental tirade would drive him out of the house.
Now...after all this time. She's here and she needs him. More to the point however, he and the twins need her. In their lives. In their hearts. In their world.
My Brown-Eyed Earl is a story brimming with dilemma, heart, and a ferocity of spirit that makes the story and its characters come more alive for readers with every turn of the page. Though both the tale's leading man and lady circulate within social spheres of immense wealth and privilege; they are possessed of a grit, and drive to live life on their own terms, that readers cant help championing.
Further sweetening the ever simmering plot pot. Their tragedy laden past ties, and the equally emotional bonds of their shared concerns for the futures of Will's young twin charges serves to provide a solid emotional playing-field for the two. A playing-field which quickly morphs into a minefield, when weapons of the heart come to bear.
It is those weapons of the heart and the heat of the passionate fight, which serves to make this nearly perfect tale of love complete. With both of adult hearts open to the precocious, but unadulterated adoration that Valerie and Diana provide. It is only fitting that the shared desire that they share for each other be brought to the fore...to shine in its own right.
In short. If you love your ladies smart and full of snark. Your men soulful and strong.