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New Release | A Wallflower’s Midsummer Night’s Caper by Alina K. Field #regencyromance #regency #historicalromance #romance #bookboost



Title A Wallflower’s Midsummer Night’s Caper

 

Author Alina K. Field

 

Genre Regency Romance

 

Book Blurb

 

A Midsummer Night’s masquerade at her family’s country home presents the Honorable Nancy Lovelace with the perfect opportunity for revenge against the man who ruined her first London season—a man she’s known since childhood, a man she’d once thought she loved. With the help of her crew of younger relatives, she’ll give him his comeuppance.

 

Thanks to his bad behavior, Simon Crayding is now known to society as the Swilling Duke. Then an old school chum invites him for a Midsummer Night’s party, and he jumps at the chance to lick his wounds among friends and apologize to his friend’s sister, Nancy, because apparently, he’s done something to hurt her, he just doesn’t remember what.

 

It soon becomes clear that Nancy will not easily forgive. Never one to resist a challenge—or a beautiful lady—Simon vows to persevere. As the night unfolds and passions rise, will Simon be well and truly punished, or will Nancy be caught in her own game?

 

Excerpt

 

“I do wish one of the boys was with us,” Nancy said. She had four brothers old enough to attend a ball and none of them happened to be in town for the start of this, Nancy’s first Season. “Whoever am I going to dance with?”

 

Mama squeezed her hand and smiled. “Lady Chilcombe tells me Simon will be there.”

 

A flicker of warmth crept up Nancy’s neck and stirred her nerves. The smile on her mother’s face turned sly.

 

Simon Clayding was her brother George’s best friend from childhood.

 

Nancy suppressed a sigh and said tightly, “Simon is a duke now. He won’t look below an earl’s daughter.”

 

Nor would he remember her, the awkward, clumsy girl who nine years ago had followed him around like a puppy.

 

Oh, but if he did remember her? She’d spent years comparing every one of her suitors against Simon—his looks, of course, but also his humor, his kindness.

 

Though in retrospect, his treatment of her had been more like sufferance toward a friend’s younger sister than kindness.

 

“Nonsense,” Mama said. “You’re grown up now and Simon might not recognize you, but he’s kept up a correspondence with your brother George, and occasionally with Fitz. He won’t cut you. Perhaps he’ll even ask you to dance.”

 

The words, uttered just as the coach rolled to a halt and the door opened, sent Nancy reeling. She hopped out before the steps were all the way down. The pink rouleau around her hem took that opportunity to spring free again, and she fell into the arms of a startled bewigged footman.

 

Nancy lifted her skirts and tiptoed along the dark passage, willing herself to proceed in a stately manner with her hem and her hair wreath minding their places.

 

She had been doing so well, so very, very well, quelling the nervousness twitching through her… Until that first step from the carriage when she’d knocked the poor footman’s wig askew.

 

She took a long breath and assumed the ramrod posture that was her defense against the busk in her stays—as well as all the other worries unsettling her.

 

The dancing would start soon, and she would so love to dance the first set.

 

There’d be no more tripping. No more ripped clothing. No more embarrassing awkwardness.

 

If only she and Mama were not virtually alone in this crowd of strangers.

 

Not that the ball guests were all strangers to her mother. Though Mama had been absent from London these last two years since Papa’s death, she’d kept up her correspondence with friends and acquaintances.

 

Mama would find someone to lead her daughter out. Someone young, Nancy hoped, but not too fashionable. Not eager to wed, because she wasn’t at all ready to spend hours drinking tea or being driven in the park. She could drink tea and go for drives at home, and there were far too many interesting museums and theaters in London to waste time on mere courting. Her friend from school, Sally Simpkins, was in London as well, though Mama had advised restraint about socializing with the daughter of a Drury Lane actress, never mind that the woman was considered respectable.

 

It had seemed a trifle unfair. Sally was as much a lady as any of the ton, and she’d know exactly how to act with the crowd gathered here, no matter how high the title.

 

Oh, for a familiar dance partner. Her brother, George, wouldn’t mind if she stepped on his toes; her brother, Fitz, would laugh if she made a wrong turn. The same was true for Rupert and Selwyn.

 

Or… what about Simon?

 

Thoughts of him sent emotions spiraling in her, longing twining with annoyance, and strands of hurt and embarrassment befuddling her, so that when she turned a corner, she stumbled against a large body with a startled squeak.

 

“Here now. What’s this?”

 

Powerful hands matched the deep masculine voice and set her back, steadying her. She looked up, astonished, and her heart swelled and threatened to burst. All the mixed emotions evaporated, and joy flooded her. Dark hair spilled over one blue-gray eye, and the full lips pursed together in a frown.

 

He’d come for her. Simon Clayding—Duke of Something now, but he would always be Simon to her—Simon was here.

 

“It’s you,” she said. “I’m so s-sorry. I’m as clumsy as ever. B-but… you’re here?”

 

Perhaps he would dance with her. Perhaps she should ask him.

 

“’Course I’m here.” He blinked, as though trying to focus. “Question is, why are you here looking like a fresh young thing ready for your come-out?”

 

“S-Simon?”

 

Simon?” He muttered a foul profanity she’d heard only on the rarest of occasions spilling from one of her brothers’ mouths. “Demmed Percy told you my Christian name, I suppose, and sent you along. One of his pranks. Well, madam, you’re a pretty thing, and I mean you no offense, but I’m not going to be sidetracked tonight. I’m not interested.”

 

A wave of misery stilled her tongue and drove the breath from her. She’d loved Simon Clayding since her brother George brought him home from school that first holiday fifteen years earlier when she’d been not much more than a baby.

 

In the dim light of a wall sconce, his gaze darkened and held hers, despite his proclaimed lack of interest.

 

Perhaps… Simon hadn’t seen her in nine years. He didn’t recognize her. He had her confused with someone else.

 

Reasoning trickled back into her senses, bringing along the strong scent of brandy.

 

Of course. He was completely foxed.

 

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Author Biography

 

USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature but prefers the happier world of romance fiction. Her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., but after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California where she shares a midcentury home with a golden-eyed terrier and a feisty chihuahua and only occasionally misses snow.

 

Social Media Links

 

2 Comments


Alina K. Field
Alina K. Field
2 days ago

I love the image! Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee whilst reading this story. Thank you for featuring this new release.

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
2 days ago

Thank you, Alina, for sharing your new release with our readers!

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