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An Escape to Love: Two Regency Romances is a Christmas in July Fete pick #regency #holidayromance



Title:

An Escape to Love: Two Regency Romances

Author:

Regina Jeffers


Genre:

classic historical fiction; women authors; historical Regency fiction; novellas, collection; clean romance; Regency romance;


Book Blurb:

Two Lords.


Two impertinent ladies.


Two loves, not to be forgotten.


The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst


What happens when a lady falls in love, not with her betrothed, but rather with his cousin?


Miss Priscilla Keenan has been promised to the Marquess of Blackhurst since her birth. The problem is: She has never laid eyes upon the man. So, when Blackhurst sends his cousin to York to assist Priscilla in readying Blackhurst’s home estate for the marquess’s return from his service in India, it is only natural for Priscilla to ask Mr. Alden something of the marquess’s disposition. Yet, those conversations lead Cilla onto a different path, one where she presents her heart to the wrong gentleman. How can she and Alden find happiness together when the world means to keep them apart? Inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” this tale wants for nothing, especially not a happy ending, which it has, but that ending is not what the reader anticipates.


Lord Radcliffe’s Best Friend


Hendrake Barrymore, Lord Radcliffe, is a typical male, a bit daff when it comes to the ways of women, especially the ways of one particular woman, Miss Adelaide Shaw, his childhood companion, a girl who plays a part in every pleasant memory Drake holds.


Yet, since he failed to deliver Addy’s first kiss on her fifteenth birthday, his former “friend” has struck him from her life just at a time when Radcliffe has come to the conclusion Adelaide is the one woman who best suits him.


This tale is more than a familiar story of friends to lovers for it presents the old maxim an unusual twist.


Excerpt:


Drake waited in Lord Shaw’s study to speak to Adelaide’s father. Before the window was the cage with the birds he had presented her for her fifteenth birthday. He wondered when she had moved the cage into her father’s sanctuary. Had it been the night which had marked the end of their relationship or later? Perhaps she realized the gift had been his mother’s inspiration, rather than his. He had arrived upon her father’s threshold with nothing more upon his mind than to steal a kiss from a willing female. Obviously, the songbirds were a poor replacement for what she had asked of him: He had failed to present Adelaide the one gift she thought was indicative of their friendship.


Thinking upon how much had changed between their families since that disastrous evening, Drake was not certain what he would say to Shaw. Drake just knew he could not spend another day obsessing over the baron’s daughter.


He wanted to walk over and look upon the birds. He realized, belatedly, his mother had been correct in her choice: The birds would have been a thoughtful gift for a girl of Adelaide’s nature. Yet, he remained perfectly still; even so, his emotions churned as if he were a duck upon a crystal-clear lake. He hoped he appeared composed on the surface, but beneath the proverbial water, his mind raced to know what he could do to change Adelaide’s opinion of him.


“My lord,” her father said in the terse tones the man often used when they were forced to converse over business. “How may I be of service, Radcliffe?”


Drake rose to his feet and presented the man a bow. “I have come on a mission of which I expect you, initially, will disapprove, but I pray you provide me time to persuade you otherwise.”


Shaw pointedly closed the door. “You have piqued my interest, Lord Radcliffe.” The man crossed to a table in the corner of the room and poured himself a drink. “Might I interest you in a brandy, my lord?”


Although Drake would have enjoyed several drinks to bolster his resolve, he politely refused the offer. “I am satisfied, my lord.”


Shaw claimed the seat across from Drake. The man’s desk separated them. “Is this another issue with Sultan? I have spoken to Lord Shelton and a reimbursement has been settled between us, as he will no longer receive the stud fee from you for your mare Everlee. Obviously, I will not require a like fee from you for Sultan’s efforts. You may sell the foal with no complaints from me.”


“It is not Sultan.” Drake nervously straightened the line of his coat. “My business is of a more personal nature.”


Shaw’s eyebrow rose in question. “More personal, you say?”


Drake swallowed hard before announcing, “I am seeking your permission to court Miss Shaw.”


Shaw’s frown deepened, and Drake’s heart plummeted to the pit of his stomach. He would be refused. “You wish to marry our Adelaide? Have you spoken your wishes to my daughter?”


Drake switched his legs to cross the left over the right, seeking a more comfortable position, but it was no use. “I thought it best to approach you first, sir.”


Shaw folded his hands to rest them on his desk. “As Adelaide is of age, or reach her majority in three weeks’ time, my daughter would take offense if I chose to speak for her.”


“I see,” Drake said shakily. He had hoped to convince her father first, allowing the baron to soften Adelaide’s regard. “Then I must speak to Miss Shaw.” He sucked in a steadying breath. “Might I tell your daughter you hold no objections to my suit.”


Shaw leveled a serious expression upon Drake. “I did not say I possess no qualms regarding your joining. I said Adelaide would have something to say to the acceptance or rejection of your proposal.”


There was a rush to silence. At length, Drake asked, “May I inquire as to why Miss Shaw would refuse to accept my courtship? We have known each other most of our lives. At one time, we were quite good friends. As my wife, she would be a countess, and she would remain near you and her brother, eliminating her removal to another part of England if she chose another.”


“All true,” Shaw said, “but I doubt Adelaide will consider any of those points when deciding whether to accept your attentions or not, my lord.”


Swallowing the dryness in his throat, Drake asked, “Then you suspect Miss Shaw wishes to claim a husband she could love and know affection in return?” Drake held Adelaide Shaw in deep affection—they shared so many common interests, and he was more than just a little attracted to her; yet, he had never thought he would marry for love. His parents’ marriage had been one of convenience, although he knew, for a fact, for he had walked in on them more times than he cared to count, the late Lord and Lady Radcliffe had a satisfying physical marriage.


“In truth, my daughter and I have never held a discussion regarding what she would or would not expect of her future husband. It was the late Lady Shaw in whom Adelaide confided.” Lord Shaw sighed heavily in honest regard. The muscles along his jaw bunched in obvious disapproval. “On her death bed, my Claire shared what occurred on my daughter’s fifteenth birthday.”


“I swear,” Drake began, while a flush of color rushed to his cheeks. “My actions that evening were not indicative of the man I have become. I promised Miss Shaw I would confess my ‘sins’ to your wife, and I did so despite Miss Shaw’s disbelief regarding my honesty. When Lady Shaw saw the necessity to dispense with Iris’s services, I spoke privately to my mother, apprising her of my poor choices and asking Lady Radcliffe to offer Iris a position at our Cornwall estate. I did not think then, nor do I now, think the maid should be punished for my lack of judgement.”


Some nameless emotion crossed Lord Shaw’s features, and Drake felt a sense of dread creep up his spine. “All admirable behavior,” his lordship said through tight lips. A long pause held between them. “Did you believe such would soften Adelaide’s disdain?”


Drake’s temper flared, but he reined it in quickly. Even so, when he spoke, his tone remained biting. “Am I to be held accountable forever? Am I permitted no forgiveness?”


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):





Available to Read on Kindle Unlimited




What I love most about the holiday season:


One thing I adore about the holiday season is listening to Christmas carols, BUT NOT WHEN THEY ARE PLAYED IN JULY ON THE LOCAL RADIO STATION. I enjoy the carols when I am decorating the tree or baking gingerbread and how the smell fills the house with happiness or when I am sipping on eggnog. The little things make the holiday season.


Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?


The characters in a must-read are a mix of the inevitable—what we as readers expect of them based on the personal histories and their motivations—and the “I did not see that coming” surprise. “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst,” for example, has the “happily ever after” all readers of romance expect, but the path to that happiness has more than a few side steps, which makes the ending both surprising and satisfying, and it all takes place at Christmas in a church.


In “Lord Radcliffe’s Best Friend” we have a friends to lovers tale that becomes turned upon its head. One never know how far a man violently in love with a woman will go to prove he is more than a “pain in the arse.”

Both tales provide the reader the HEA they all desire when reading a romance. They are satisfying reads. Personally, I love to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate at Christmas. As a writer, time is often too short to read as much as I would like. Traditionally, I treat myself to “ME” time at Christmas.


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card:



Open internationally.


Runs July 1 – 31, 2023.


Drawing will be held on August 1, 2023.



Author Biography:


A writer penning more than 60 novels, Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of stories with dashing heroines and daring heroines, all set in the Regency or early Victorian era. A Smithsonian presenter and a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, Jeffers has been honored with multiple awards for her tales: She writes full-time, skillfully enveloping her readers in the hearts and minds of her characters. She will have you cheering for her characters, will likely make you cry, will have you laughing aloud, as well as wanting more.


Social Media Links:


Always Austen (Group Blog)

1 Comment


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jul 17, 2023

Thank you, Regina, for sharing your book in our Christmas in July Fete!

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