The Earl’s English Rose by @ReginaJeffers is a Beach Reads Event pick #regency #histfic #giveaway
“The Earl’s English Rose” (part of A Regency Summer Garden Anthology)
Regina Jeffers, et.al
Regency romance; historical fiction; classic romance; anthology
“The Earl’s English Rose: A Regency Romance Novella”
The new Earl of Everwalt was not one to appreciate being bamboozled by an obstinate, headstrong girl, though pretty she may be. If he did not require her to repair his reputation, he would leave her to the schemes she had concocted to save her father’s estate.
Just because he was now her guardian, the Earl of Everwalt had no right to decide who she might marry. Therefore, Miss Rose Vickers sets out for London to provide the new earl a piece of her mind, only to run into a highwayman. As if scripted, the new earl proves to be her savior, but it would be some time before the suspicious Rose and the extremely susceptible Everwalt learn the depth of their connection and the true meaning of love.
More than flowers can bloom in an English Summer Garden.
This anthology includes:
The Scandalous Countess by Arietta Richmond
The Earl's English Rose by Regina Jeffers
Meadows and Mischief by Summer Hanford
To a Wild Rose by Janis Susan May
The Count Courts an Heiress by Olivia Marwood
Lady Laura's Curiosity by Victoria Hinshaw
Jacob concentrated hard to keep the road in focus. He had enjoyed one too many drinks at the last posting house. Dreading his duties to Miss Rose Vickers, he had purposely accepted the offer of several hands of cards, along with more than a few stiff drinks with three acquaintances headed toward London to join their families for the upcoming Season.
Now, he regretted his actions, for he had wasted valuable daylight and still had many miles to travel before finding rest for the night. “Should have holed up at the posting inn,” he grumbled as he squinted again to make out the lay of the road. His horses jerked against his hold on them, as if they sensed something ahead. The idea sobered him quickly, and he became more alert. Deftly, he brought the pair back in hand, but he was prepared to practice more caution.
* * *
Rose heard the carriage wheels cracking as it rolled over the fine gravel. She could see very little of who or what approached, but she could hear them. There was no means to move her carriage from the way: Even so, she prepared herself to meet whatever the next few minutes would hold. Her reason told her a carriage meant someone to assist in Dhruv’s rescue. Consequently, she braced herself and fought the need to dive from the way. Instead, she began to wave her arms about to stop the carriage barreling around the bend of the road before it slammed into her.
* * *
Within seconds of each other, as they scooted around a curve in the road most would not dare to traverse at such a speed, both Jacob and his horses became aware of some sort of impending danger ahead. Some figure moved erratically about and called out in a screeching voice.
It took him several seconds to realize his horses meant to take flight. Although still a bit inebriated, he managed to bring them under control with not a second to spare before running into a carriage “dead” in the road.
Setting the brake on his curricle, he first took a moment to calm his frightened team before he turned to discover a young lady, hands together in an act of supplication. “Thank the heavens,” she said in an agitated manner.
“What the devil do you think you are doing, girl? You could have killed us both!” He stormed toward her.
“I did not mean to spook your horses, sir, but we require assistance. I pray your pair did not suffer an injury.”
“It would be no thanks to you,” he grumbled.
“Please, sir,” she began, despite his chastisement, which Jacob found admirable, for few approached him when he was in a dudgeon. She gestured to the coach. “We were set upon by highwaymen. Dhruv has been shot.”
“Duh-what?” he asked, not certain what she was attempting to convey. “Highwaymen, did you say? Was a horse shot? A person?”
“Dhruv,” she repeated.
Again, he could not make out the word, but a quick glance in the direction she pointed revealed another woman up on the box.
“Son, sir. My son,” the woman said with a thick Indian accent.
Jacob immediately realized the fetching female standing before him was his wayward ward, the one he meant to call upon. Miss Rose Vickers employed two servants of Indian extraction: her ayah and the woman’s son. He doubted this trio could be anyone but those he sought out.
“Permit me to assess the situation,” he said as he climbed up into the box where the older woman held the man’s head in her lap.
“He bleeds, sir.”
Jacob removed a small knife from an inside pocket of his coat and cut away the sleeve of the man’s jacket. Using his fingers to probe the area, he said, “I do not feel any of the bullet in the wound, but such does not mean the wound is clean. It is still seeping blood, and it is too dark outside for me to determine the extent of the damage to his arm. We must find a doctor to treat him. There is an inn perhaps seven miles up this road.” It was then Jacob realized the girl had climbed up on the other side of the coach.
“If you can manage the coach,” she said, “I could follow in your curricle, sir.”
“My team are quite ‘lively,’” he corrected. “I doubt—”
“Then I will walk them to the inn,” she argued. “Dhruv requires your assistance more than I require your concern.”
“You would take it upon yourself to walk my team seven miles?” he demanded, still more than a bit skeptical.
“If it means Dhruv finds a competent physician,” she declared boldly, “I would venture to do what is necessary.”
He pressed his own handkerchief against the young man’s wound. “Put more pressure on it,” he told the fellow’s mother, while I demonstrate to your companion how to handle the reins of my curricle. I’ll be but a moment.”
“Bless sir you,” the older woman said softly.
Presenting the girl a shooing motion, he gestured her to the ground and followed her down from the bench. Catching her elbow, he immediately let go. “What the . . . ?” A sharp zap of awareness shot up his arm. He turned to look at her stunned face, meaning she had felt it also. There was no time to discuss what had just happened. Again, he caught her arm, more gently this time, to direct her steps toward his waiting curricle. “Tell me you have some concept of how to drive one of these.”
“We have a small gig at home,” she murmured, quick-stepping to match her stride with his longer one. Realizing her struggles, Jacob slowed his steps.
He stopped short of the first horse’s obvious caution. “This is—” He nearly said her name as part of his introduction of her person to the horse. However, he came to the quick conclusion this adventure would be the perfect opportunity to learn more of his ward without her knowing his true identity. Perhaps, he would find her not the type he could tolerate. No sense in making a commitment until the time was necessary, he reasoned. He began again. “This young lady requires my intruding into her life,” he told the horse, “which means she will direct you on a ‘slow’—” he emphasized the word and nodded to her, “journey before we rest this evening. We will all work together.” Jacob took the girl’s hand and guided it down the horse’s nose. “This is Balder,” he told her.
At least, she was not frightened of horses. “He is magnificent,” she said softly. His horse snorted its approval. “And the other.” She looked to Balder’s matched mate.
“Dash,” he added with a grin. “Makes them respond together when I yell out, ‘Balderdash!’”
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
An anthology is always a great idea for summer reading for the stories are short enough to be read in one sitting, while being a great price point for the reader.
Although we all enjoy the idea of love winning out in the end, each tale in this set is full of great characters. Do not forget: It is the journey along the way which keeps the reader turning pages and wanting more, so join us in a Regency garden to see what blooms first—the flower or love?
As to my particular story, neither hero nor heroine is without flaws. Miss Rose Vickers is no candy bowl perfect heroine: Although she does often show her innocence with society, she is strong enough to make the hard decisions. As to Everwalt, his lordship is truly no rakish devil, even though he would likely characterize himself as such. To the core, he is a good man. If the reader is looking for an enjoyable romance with a twist, “The Earl’s English Rose” will fit the bill. In it, the reader will find a bit of angst, guilt, and regrets, along with lots of hope and love.
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Regina Jeffers, an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era romances, has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeffers writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem, while mastering tension in her own life with a bit of gardening and the exuberance of her “grand joys.”
Social Media Links:
Every Woman Dreams (Blog) https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com
Austen Authors (Blog) http://austenauthors.net
You Tube Interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzgjdUigkkU