Looking for a clean Regency romance quick-read? Check out the new short story in our Follyjohn Gossip series: When She’s In Danger.
Regency romance: When She’s In Danger
At just 21, little Lady Destiny Tilney is very beautiful, with bright red-gold curls, blue eyes, and a shy nature. She’s an obedient daughter, who’s always done whatever is expected of her.
Destiny has no recourse when her father tells her that she’s to marry Thomas Holborn, a 50-year-old widower with six children. She knows that her father is deeply in debt. In return for the hand of his daughter, twice-widowed Mr. Holborn will pay all Lord Tilney’s considerable debts.
The wedding date is set. Then Destiny stops being obedient. She runs away to her grandmother’s friend, Lady Hollet, at Follyjohn Manor.
Lady Hollet is concerned about her new guest…
Here’s a short snippet. Read more on Amazon.
On a bright summer’s day Lady Hollet lost her patience with her guest. Little Lady Destiny Tilney deflected all her questions with a smile, and it wouldn’t do.
She sent word to her estate steward, and met him in the library at Follyjohn Manor. She narrowed her gaze on him. “What d’you think of young Lady Tilney, Major Campbell?”
Her steward looked startled. He cleared his throat. “She seems very kind, my lady. And very pretty.”
Lady Hollet huffed. She twisted the handle of her walking stick, then lowered herself into the chair beside her small writing desk. When the major stepped forward to help her, she shook her head. “No need to help me… I can manage the chair. Now, Lady Tilney. Yes, she’s everything you say she is. But she’s also secretive — I know that there’s something that she’s not telling me. I’d like you to find out what that is.”
“Ma’am, I think not. I think that — ”
“Find out,” Lady Hollet said with determination. “She spends time at the stables, and you’ve been riding with her. Most unusual, everything about her situation. Here she is, within a cat’s whisker of being married — I received my invitation weeks ago for a date three days hence. But she tells me that the wedding has been called off. I don’t know what to believe. I keep abreast of the doings in town, but there’s been no notice in the newspapers.”
“My lady, I don’t think that I’m comfortable questioning Lady Tilney,” Mr. Campbell said firmly.
Lady Hollet eyed the tall man, and chuckled. Heaven help her, it was as if a bull mastiff were terrified of a kitten. “I didn’t ask you to be comfortable, Major — there’s no need for comfort. I need to know what’s happening. For all I know the girl’s run off.”
Major Campbell’s eyebrows rise. He rubbed his forehead with a large hand, and hesitated. “If she doesn’t wish to discuss her situation ma’am… Perhaps you might send a letter to her family?”
“No. That’s precisely what I can’t and won’t do. Her father’s a scoundrel. A wretched loose screw, always has been. Don’t know how he managed to breed a perfect little gem like Destiny, but he did. So if she’s run off, I imagine that she’s a good reason to do so. I won’t betray her, but I do know want to know what’s happening.”
When the major remained silent, Lady Hollet narrowed her gaze. “You’re a decade older than she is, and a very clever man besides. You’ll find some way to gain her confidence. And you won’t make love to her, because you’re much too sensible for that. Tell me what you discover.”
Although the major tried to refuse again, she’d stopped listening to him.
Finally, he left the library, his back very straight and disapproving.
When She’s In Danger: A Regency Romance Short Story is available now.