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The Wallflower, the Rake, and the Masquerade by Alanna Lucas is a Historical Fiction/Romance Event pick #historicalromance #regency #mustread #giveaway



Title:

The Wallflower, the Rake, and the Masquerade

 

Author:

Alanna Lucas

 

Genre:

Historical Romance—Regency

 

Book Blurb:

 

After years of being treated as a little more than a servant, Portia Lamont overhears her half-siblings plotting to send her to Town and marry her off. Since she has a paltry dowry and little else to offer a prospective husband, she wonders if she’ll even find a half-decent match, someone who’ll share her love of intellectual pursuits.

 

Titus Beaumont, Lord Ravensworth, is an unwilling participant in this year’s Season. All his adult life, he’s managed to avoid marriage, becoming a seasoned rake because he dares not risk his heart again. However, at his aunt’s insistence, he must attend for his cousin’s entrance into Society.

 

In the ton’s hectic marriage mart, Portia is considered a wallflower, an experience made even more vexing when she catches sight of Titus, her beloved childhood companion—the boy who once told her, I will always be your friend, no matter what happens. But when she was sent away after her father’s death, she never heard from him again. And time, a ruthless master, has not improved her circumstances. It seems he still wants nothing to do with her.

 

Except at a masquerade, when he doesn’t recognize her behind her mask and kisses her…

 

Sometimes the best revenge is just being yourself.

 

Excerpt:

 

Portia had learned many years ago to not get involved, and more importantly, to try not to care. Such was the way her life was now. Wariness had become a constant companion since her father’s death, when her half-siblings had revealed their true selves. Gone was the caring family that she’d believed loved her, that had visited her and her dearest papa. Their sociability had been nothing more than a series of lies and manipulations, their only concern for themselves and their fortune. Nothing had changed over the intervening years.


And then Miss Alison added the four most distressing words, “They were discussing you.”


“Me?” Why on earth would they be discussing her?


Oh, no. Panic rose within, thumping hard against her chest.


The last time Portia had been the topic of conversation was when her father died, and she had been forced to leave her childhood home and come here to live with Judith and her family. The life she’d known with her father had been ripped away during her darkest, grieving hours. She had pleaded to no end with her eldest half-brother, George, to remain at the manor, near to Lord Ravensworth and Titus.


Titus.


Titus was the son of the late Lord Ravensworth—her father’s dearest friend and neighbor in the countryside—and her constant companion in childhood. She’d once fancied herself in love with him, but that had been a schoolgirl’s fantasy. Even as an adolescent, he’d been so very handsome with soft brown hair streaked with gold, enticing green eyes, and a lovely smile that would have melted any girl’s heart.


A deep sigh of dreams never to be filled rankled her insides. That time had passed. Her path had taken a different course, and one not of her choosing. Certainly, Titus must be married by now to a beautiful woman of rank and sophistication. If only she’d been able to stay at the manor, then perhaps her life would have turned out differently. But on that distant day, her cries had fallen on deaf ears and she’d been forced to leave her home, her friendships, her happiness.


Miss Alison put a gentle hand on her shoulder, bringing her back to the dire present. “I’ll watch the children. Go and find out what they’re saying about you.”


Over the course of the last twelve years, Miss Alison, and Mr. and Mrs. Darnel—who served as the butler and head housekeeper, respectively—had become like family, and always had her best interests in mind.


Portia turned to address the twin boys. “I will be back in a few minutes. Don’t give Miss Alison—”


“Any trouble,” the twins finished her sentence in unison.


“Yes, we know, Portia,” Thomas said with a sweet, sincere smile that warmed her heart. Although she was technically their aunt, neither her nephews nor niece referred to her as such. She always suspected that Judith did not want to acknowledge that she was related, even if she was only a half-relation.


She flashed her charges a smile, then dashed from the room. The worry and pounding in her chest grew with each step she took. She was at her siblings’ utter mercy. It was only because Judith found her ‘useful with the children’—as she so frequently stated—that she had fared as well as she had.


With the twins leaving for Eton, had she outlived her usefulness? Is that why her half-siblings had convened? She stopped mid-step, putting her warm hand on the cool wall. What would become of her now?


She had no money and no prospects of her own. She had no other family—her mother had been an only child with only a distant elderly uncle. But at the time of Mother’s death, Uncle Frederick had been past the age of sixty, and that was more than twenty years ago. He most probably would not still be alive. And her dearest papa had also been an only child. Although he’d had a larger extended family, he’d not been close with any of them. Portia had been left alone at the mercy of her half-siblings.


A dreadful thought strangled whatever calm she’d been trying to maintain. Were they to marry her off?


Judith had threatened her with that possibility for several years now, but had not wanted to disrupt the twin’s education. Portia suspected a more likely reason was that Judith and her husband did not want to spend money on a proper governess. The only reason Albert had been sent to Eton was that his paternal grandmother footed the cost, just as the older woman was about to do for the twins.


It couldn’t be that, certainly not. Portia hardly knew anyone, certainly no gentlemen, and had little freedom. Since moving here, her entire existence had been quite restricted. It must be something else, she tried to reassure herself.


But what?


Only one way to find out. She forced her feet forward, wanting to know, but dreading what their plans were for her.


“Hurry, miss,” Mrs. Darnel whispered with urgency as she met her at the foot of the stairs. “They’ve assembled in the drawing room. This bodes no good, no good at all,” she ended with a mutter.


“Thank you,” Portia whispered. As they neared the partially closed door. Mrs. Darnel took her leave, but not before offering a sympathetic smile.


Portia had always thought it odd that none of her half-siblings ever closed the door completely when discussing delicate matters. It was almost as if they wanted the staff to overhear. Judith and her husband were always pitting one against another, as if it were some form of entertainment.


Portia stood off to the side, so as to not be seen, and listened. She’d never considered herself to be an eavesdropper, but it was the only way she garnered information about Albert, the twins, and now herself. She leaned closer to hear better when one of her half-sisters said her name.


“Portia must go to Town.”

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 



 

 

 


 

 


What makes your featured book a must-read?

 

What’s not to love about a friends to sort-of enemies to lovers story?!

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.

 

Runs March 21 – April 2, 2024.

 

Winner will be drawn on April 3, 2024.



Author Biography:

 

Bestselling, award-winning author, Alanna Lucas pens Regency-set historicals filled with romance, adventure, and of course, happily ever afters. When she is not daydreaming of her next travel destination, Alanna can be found researching, spending time with family, tending to her garden, or going for long walks. She makes her home in California with her husband and children, and too many books to count.

 

Just for the record, you can never have too many handbags or books. And travel is a must.

 

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1件のコメント


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
3月27日

Thank you, Alanna, for sharing your book in our Historical Fiction/Romance Bookish Event!

いいね!
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