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Lady Elinor’s Escape by @LyndiLamont is a Springtime Books Event pick #booksale #99p #ku #giveaway
Title: Lady Elinor’s Escape
Author: Linda McLaughlin
Genre: Historical Romance
A mysterious lady. An inquisitive gentleman. And a secret that could tear them apart.
Lady Elinor should be in London enjoying the season, not fearful and trapped in a country cottage with an unbalanced relative. When her aunt becomes violent, she flees straight into the path of a compassionate barrister. Desperate, she accepts his help, but will she be able to hide the truth from this inquisitive, intelligent man?
There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin's life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a woman in need. The reticent seamstress resists his every attempt to draw her out and remains a mystery he can’t solve.
Then a Bow Street Runner hired by her aunt comes asking questions. Elinor again turns to Stephen for help. But when circumstances reveal the truth about her background, will Stephen and Elinor lose their chance at happiness?
The next morning brought a drizzling rain that apparently kept everyone at home, for not one customer appeared in the shop. However, what might have been a day of discontent and restlessness was instead full of gainful and cheerful employment.
Bless Stephen and his sister, Elinor thought, as she glanced up from her sewing. Mimi and her two assistants were busy laying out the material for the peach silk ball gown while Elinor added embroidery to the hem of a stylish walking dress in Pomona green. She might not be much of a seamstress, but her embroidery skills and artistic training allowed her to contribute in her own way. And it was a relief to be able to do something more interesting than basting seams and hems.
The other women chatted for most of the day while Elinor listened. She had spent so much time alone she was no longer in the habit of speaking a great deal. And living with Aunt Sarah had taught her the value of keeping her thoughts to herself. But by late afternoon, the only sounds were the steady drum of the rain and the clip-clip of Mimi’s scissors.
Early that evening the bell over the shop door rang out.
Peggy and Dolly jumped up and rushed to see who it was. Mimi followed them, while Elinor peeked through the doorway. To her surprise, their caller was Stephen Chaplin, a basket of flowers over one arm. The sweet scent of lilacs, combined with the freshness of spring rain, accompanied him. Raindrops dripped from the brim of his hat and the hem of his great coat.
“Monsieur Chaplin,” Mimi exclaimed, “how delightful to see you. Let me help you with your coat.”
He handed her the basket of flowers, then shrugged out of his coat and handed it and his hat to Peggy O’Shea. She gave him a flirtatious smile in return before hanging the wet items on a nearby rack.
Elinor stepped forward. “Flowers, Mr. Chaplin?”
He turned toward her. “Ah, Mrs. Brown. Yes, I thought these spring blossoms just the thing to brighten Madame Latour’s shop on such a dismal day.”
“How very kind you are,” said Ellie. “But an entire basketful?”
He smiled. “The young girl selling them was in despair over the lack of customers. She appeared to be almost drowned and nearly in tears, so I bought all she had, including the basket.”
“And paid far more than they were worth, I am certain,” Elinor murmured.
“Did you say something, Mrs. Brown?” he asked with a raised brow.
“Nothing of importance.”
He rummaged through the basket and produced a nosegay of bluebells, which he presented to Dolly. “These are for you, to match your eyes.”
Her blue eyes grew wide with wonder as she accepted the nosegay. “Oh, sir, no one ever give me flowers afore.”
“Well, I am certain this will not be the last time,” he said gallantly. Ignoring Dolly’s worshipful look, he returned to the basket for another nosegay, white violets this time, which he gave to Peggy.
She bobbed him a curtsy. “Oh, thank ye, yer lordship.”
He gave her a warm smile. “You are very welcome, Miss O’Shea. But I am not a lord, merely a mister.”
“No matter. ’Tis a fine gentleman ye are, to be thinking of us working girls.”
“Girls, why do you not go on home?” Mimi asked. “You have all worked so very hard today, and there will be no more customers, n’est-ce-pas?”
With glad smiles for Mimi, and more thanks and curtsies for Stephen Chaplin, the girls donned their cloaks and left the shop.
“I will get a vase for these lovely flowers,” Mimi said. “Please come into the parlor, Monsieur Chaplin, and warm yourself by the fire. I have made the coffee and there is water for tea.”
“Thank you,” Stephen Chaplin said. He delved into the basket one last time before handing it to Mimi. As she left the room, he handed Elinor a bunch of purple violets.
Elinor held them to her nose and breathed in the sweet, delicate fragrance. “‘A violet in the youth of primary nature, forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,’” she quoted.
“‘The perfume and suppliance of a minute; no more,’” he added softly.
Startled, she gazed into his warm honey-brown eyes and her pulse began to race. She would have to guard her heart around this man? Why did he have to have such an effect on her? Was it simply because he was the only eligible gentleman she had ever known?
No, a gentleman who brought flowers to poor shop girls and quoted Shakespeare was surely out of the ordinary. What a catch he would be for some young lady. But of course, not for her.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Currently on a Kindle Countdown Deal at Amazon.com ($1.99) and Amazon.co.uk (99p) from March 21-27, or read free on Kindle Unlimited.
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Lady-Elinors-Escape-Linda-McLaughlin-ebook/dp/B00CHSNEII/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Lady-Elinors-Escape-Linda-McLaughlin-ebook/dp/B00CHSNEII/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-Elinors-Escape-Linda-McLaughlin-ebook/dp/B00CHSNEII/
What makes your featured book a must-read?
Spring is the season for Regency romance. The fabled London season began in spring and ended at the beginning of summer. And this March we have the second seasons of Sanditon on PBS and Bridgerton on Netflix starting this very week!
If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, read a Regency romance and see for yourself. Lady Elinor’s Escape is a Cinderella-inspired traditional Regency romance, a perfect escape from the harsh reality of our chaotic world.
Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs March 22 – March 29, 2022.
Winner will be drawn on March 30, 2022.
Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, Australia, the British Isles, Europe and Iceland. She now lives near the ocean in Orange County, California.
Linda writes historical and Regency romance under her real name and spicier romance as USA Today bestselling author Lyndi Lamont.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/lindamclaughlin