Tea with Dorothea

Miss Dorothea Horatia Wythe stared at the elaborate invitation in stunned surprise. No matter how many times she read it, the sentiment was still the same:

An invitation to tea.

With the Duchess of Haverford.

The Duchess of Haverford.

Not a relation.

Not a friend of a distant cousin.

Not a person she’d bumped into in the park on accident whilst trying to hide from Lord St. Vincent.

Not a friend of a friend, unless one counted Aunt Harriett who knew simply everyone. Or they her.

No…a duchess. A stranger.

Royalty.

Royalty who wanted to take tea with plain ole Dorothea Wythe—a bluestocking too opinionated to take in society.

Dory didn’t know whether to jump up and down in her stockings or dive beneath the covers and hide for a few years. The entire idea of tea with the Duchess of Haverford was impossible with a view to the absurd.

Did Aunt Harriett have a hand in this? Or worse, Lord St. Vincent?

Dory glanced over at her desk which was littered with page after page of notes from the writing she was translating: coded messages written in the margins of a small bible—one she’d borrowed from Lord St. Vincent. She was nearly finished, which was fortunate for she needed to return the bible before its absence was noted.

The fact that she’d stolen into Lord St. Vincent’s room to borrow it in the first place was telling of her character was it not?

Dory raced to the desk, dipped her quill in ink, and penned her acceptance to tea.

She was far too curious for her own good.

The Umbrella Chronicles is a story in the Never Too Late collection. Every Monday for the next little while, one of my fellow Bluestocking Belles will bring their hero or their heroine along to meet the Duchess of Haverford. I hope you’ll join us to learn more about them and their stories.

Never Too Late has its own page on the Bluestocking Belles website, where you can learn more about each story and find preorder links while they are being added. (It’s 99c while in preorder, so buy now.)

If you’re an Amazon US purchaser, buy it here.

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Sunday Spotlight on What the Scot Hears

Amy Quinton has produced another fun romp in her Agents of Change series. MacLeod, the Scot of the title is superb: gloomy, pessimistic, suspicious, and totally befuddled by the brash American woman who keeps stumbling across his work as a spy for the British Crown.

For all her cheerful outgoing personality, Amelia hides secrets of her own, not least her identity and her background.

Read this book to discover how this mismatched pair discover they are perfect for one another, while negotiating people determined to kill them and MacLeod’s reaction to Amelia’s lies. Better still, read the series. Two other couples already matched are in this novel, and it was fun to see them again. I very much enjoyed What the Duke Wants, and am now itching to read What the Marquis Sees, which I’ve skipped. See? The books can be read independently and out of order, but I want to see how Beatrice won her man. I’ve a suspicion she may be my favourite of the three heroines so far.

I’d have loved a bit more of a sense we were in 1814. The voice is very modern, and there’s little period detail. But still a rollicking good yarn, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

What the Scot Hears

Agents of Change, Book 3

England 1814: Reticent Scottish Lord pursues Mouthy, Independent, American Woman… She is an outspoken American orphan with a questionable past and a dubious purpose. He is a man of few words on the lookout for a traitor. How could they NOT get along?

Mrs. Amelia Chase is a highly-opinionated, 23-year-old woman from America on the run from her past with a penchant for self-preservation and a healthy love for Shakespearean insults. Much to a certain Scotsman’s dismay:

She isn’t:

  • Quiet – not with her tendency to talk to everyone about anything…
  • Demure – highly overrated if one cannot wear red and show off one’s curves…
  • Equine-savvy – she once fled some currish, toad-spotted, coxcombs – er, villains – in a stolen carriage at a pace slower than a meandering walk. Oh, and mistook a common mule for a thoroughbred. But other than that…

And she is:

  • Brave – Smart, Loyal, Witty. Er, charming. Plus, Modest, Lonely, Secretive – Um, forget that last part…
  • And In love – with a distrustful Highlander of all things…

Lord Alaistair MacLeod is an agent for the Crown and a man with secrets. He doesn’t speak of them, he doesn’t dwell on them, and he certainly doesn’t let them define his future. Much. One thing is for certain, he definitely doesn’t share his confidences with a peery, outspoken American woman who is obviously trouble, acts highly suspicious, and is far too nosy for her own good… No matter:

He is always:

  • Focused – men who cannot stay to task are foolish…
  • Pointed and Reserved – enough said…

And he isn’t:

  • Cheeky – like a certain American firebrand…
  • Led by his… ahem…even when following on the heels of a curvy, red-wearing… ahem
  • Or In love… especially not with a Troublesome, Meddlesome, so-called Independent American Woman…

Can he trust enough to embrace such an enigmatic woman? Can she awaken the passions of such an intensely private man?

Amazon ☼ Barnes & Noble ☼ KOBO ☼ iBooks

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