Title: A Regency Christmas Proposal: A Regency Romance Christmas Anthology
Authors: Regina Jeffers, Arietta Richmond, Summer Hanford, Alanna Lucas, Janis Susan May, and Emma Kay
Genre: Regency Romance; Holiday Reads, Historical Romance
A Fabulous Regency Christmas anthology from Best-selling Authors.
Six full length novellas to keep you reading all through Christmas, each featuring a happily ever after centered around Christmas.
The anthology includes:
The Last Woman Standing by Regina Jeffers
Twelfth Night Promise by Alanna Lucas
A Bluestocking for a Baron by Arietta Richmond
The Earl and the Bluestocking by Janis Susan May
His Yuletide Kiss by Summer Hanford
Wooing the Wallflower by Emma Kaye
“Last Woman Standing” by Regina Jeffers blurb:
JACKSON SHAW, the Marquess of Rivens, never considered the “gypsy blessing” presented to his family during the time of Henry VIII truly a blessing. He viewed it more as a curse. According to the “blessing,” in his thirtieth year, at the Christmas ball hosted by his family, he was to claim a wife among the women attending. The catch was the decision was not his to make. His wife was to be the one who proved herself to be his perfect match, according to the gypsy’s provisions: a woman who would bring prosperity to his land by her love of nature and her generous heart. In his opinion, none of the women vying for his hand appeared to care for anything but themselves.
EVELYN HAWTHORNE comes to River’s End to serve as the companion to the Marchioness of Rivens, his lordship’s grandmother. However, Lady Rivens has more than companionship in mind when she employs the girl, whose late father was a renown horticulturalist. The marchioness means to gather Gerald Hawthorne’s rare specimens to prevent those with less scrupulous ideas from purchasing Hawthorne’s conservatory, and, thereby, stealing away what little choice her grandson has in naming a wife, for all the potential brides must present the Rivenses with a rare flower to demonstrate the lady’s love of nature. Little does the marchioness realize Hawthorne’s daughter might not only know something of nature, but be the person to fulfill the gypsy’s blessing.
Excerpt from Last Woman Standing from Regina Jeffers:
Evelyn wiped at her itchy nose with the back of her sleeve—a very unladylike gesture, but the pollen of the flower she was repotting had landed in the last breath she sucked in and had set her nose to twitching. She paused to look around the dowager marchioness’s conservatory. “Simply exquisite,” she sighed aloud.
After her ladyship had declared Evelyn exactly what the marchioness had hoped her to be, on Monday, Lady Rivens had insisted on showing Evelyn the River’s End conservatory. Evelyn had marveled at the large structure, thinking, “Papa would have adored this moment.”
“As you see,” her ladyship had said as she gestured freely to the various plants and alcoves off the main square of the building’s center, “my late husband kindly indulged my whims. Lord Justice Rivens was always generous in that manner.”
Evelyn did not have time to wonder if her ladyship’s comment had another meaning or not, for the marchioness continued with her tale.
“Many come to view the wide variety of plants we house here. Those who like to tour the local country estates are always in awe of our efforts. I am certain your father experienced a like number of visitors to his conservatory. In fact, part of the draw of our annual Christmas ball is this display of rare plants and flowers. However, we expect many more than the customary number of guests this year.”
“And why would that be, ma’am?” Evelyn had asked in all her innocence.
“This ball is special. My grandson has recently turned thirty, and as is the established tradition with all the Lord Rivenses, he will choose a wife from among our guests at the ball.”
“His lordship will marry at Christmas?” Evelyn asked in disbelief, as she thought again upon the kiss they had shared. Although she did not think he intended to extend his hand to a mere lady’s companion, she had dwelt long on the experience. She believed he had enjoyed the kiss as much as she. She had asked something of the marquess’s character below stairs, and all spoke of his benevolence. Yet, had he played with her, realizing he must choose a wife? One last seduction? Even in the bowels of Northamptonshire, she had heard tales of those of the aristocracy seducing the women they employed.
“Rivens will marry on the first day of the new year, but he will propose at midnight before all in attendance on the evening of the ball.”
Shock flooded Evelyn’s senses. “But surely Lord Rivens has decided to whom he will extend his hand. The lady has been invited, and the proposal is merely a formality?” Without thinking, Evelyn frowned. Why would Lord Rivens kiss her if he planned to marry? “The ball is simply the stage upon which he will make his addresses known. Am I not correct?”
“Although Rivens likely knows some of the women who will vie for his hand, the choice is not completely his to make,” her ladyship explained. “He has not officially courted any of the young ladies. When I first attended the Christmas ball, I held only a speaking acquaintance with the lord who became my husband. In fact, my parents and I were not guests at the Christmas house party hosted by the Rivenses. We lodged at a nearby inn. My son Lord Jonathon Rivens, whom we called ‘Jack,’ also held only a bowing acquaintance with Jackson’s mother, Lady Prudence Knightley, before the night of the ball. You see, the ball and the proposal are part of a tradition started by the first Lord Rivens. Hollister Rivens, then a baron, served King Henry VIII at Guinegate, who, as a reward, made Hollister an earl. Several generations later, the marquisate was bestowed upon one of the Shaws, who, by then, had assumed the earldom, after the original Rivens’s line died out. The Shaws have held the title since the 1700s.”
“So there has not been even the hint of a courtship between Lord Rivens and those from whom he must choose to wed? A dance? A chance meeting?” Evelyn asked in amazement.
Lady Rivens’s mouth drew up in an unfamiliar emotion. “Naturally, some knowledge of each other is to be expected among members of the ton, but no formal courtship will have occurred prior to the ball. I met Justice Rivens on two prior occasions before I attended the ball at River’s End with my parents. I doubt we had exchanged more than a few dozen words with each other prior to that evening.”
“Then every young lady who attends the ball is a potential bride?” Evelyn knew she should quash her curiosity, but she had never been one to hide her greatest fault.
“Not exactly,” Lady Rivens admitted. “The number is not as expansive as all those who shall attend the ball.”
Evelyn had paused to consider what Lady Rivens did not say. “I fear I do not understand, my lady.”
Lady Rivens smiled deviously. “As part of the Rivenses’ legacy, the next marchioness will be expected to oversee a variety of rare flowers in the estate’s conservatory. Therefore, those who wish to be considered a potential bride for the current Lord Rivens will present our household with a new flower, nourished upon the young lady’s home estate.”
“But not necessarily grown personally by the bridal candidate?” Evelyn asked.
“No, but some candidates will bring a variety nourished by their own hands. I certainly managed to earn Justice’s notice with my entry,” Lady Rivens shared as she caressed the petals of an odd shade of roses.
“Entry?” Evelyn wished she had swallowed the word, for she had no right to question the dowager marchioness on family traditions. She had been employed to be her ladyship’s companion, not Lady Rivens’s confidante.
“Those who wish to be Rivens’s bride will compete to become Jackson’s marchioness. The flower judged to be the best new variety to be added to the Rivens’s conservatory will determine who my grandson will marry.”
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November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?
This year, in addition to my son and his family, I am especially thankful to know a measure of good health. When one is in her 70s, good health means freedom to make one’s own decisions.
Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?
This book is perfect for snuggling because it is six great stories from six best-selling authors for the price of one, each with a guaranteed Happily Ever After. Moreover, these tales will get the reader in the mood for Christmas and all it brings.
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Award-Winning Author Regina Jeffers’s writing career began when a former student challenged her to do what she so “righteously” told her class should be accomplished in writing. On a whim, she self-published her first book Darcy’s Passions. “I never thought anything would happen with it. Then one day, a publishing company contacted me. They had watched the sales of the book on Amazon, and they offered to print it. The rest is history.”
Since that time, Jeffers continues to write. I should have 50 books to my credit by year’s end. “Writing is just my latest release of the creative side of my brain. I taught theater, even participated in professional and community-based productions when I was younger. I trained dance teams, flag lines, majorettes, and field commanders. My dancers were both state and national champions. I simply require time each day to let the possibilities flow. When I write, I write as I used to choreograph routines for my dance teams; I write the scenes in my head as if they are a movie. Usually, it plays there for several days being tweaked and rewritten, but, eventually, I put it to paper. From that point, things do not change much because I have completed several mental rewrites.”
Social Media Links:
Every Woman Dreams: https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com
Austen Authors: http://austenauthors.net
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Regina-Jeffers/e/B008G0UI0I/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1479079637&sr=8-1