Do you love Regency romance? I do too. I’m a hopeless romantic — I adore the Season, romantic heroes and not-so-romantic rakes. It’s perfect escapism.
Passion By Candlelight: Steamy Regency Romance Collection 1 features four of my favorite stories, in one ebook.
Here’s an excerpt from one of the stories, My Prize in Pearls.
Regency romance: excerpt from My Prize in Pearls
The next morning, Lady Constance sent a message to Nicholas asking him to the sitting room in her apartments.
“She’s in love with the estate steward?” Nicholas realized that shouting at Lady Constance achieved nothing. He was immediately sorry for his intemperance when she winced at his tone.
“Apologies, my lady,” he muttered, turning away from her so that she couldn’t read his face. He was enraged, and that shocked him. The kiss he’d shared with Daisy had shaken him. He’d never felt more strongly attracted to a woman, and that upset him too — it wasn’t right to feel that way about his prospective wife. She deserved his respect, not his lust.
And she was in love with the estate steward?
“You do care for her. That’s wonderful — I thought you might. Everyone adores Daisy, except for her brother and sister.”
He didn’t know what he felt, Nicholas realized. Perhaps he was a little in love with Daisy. Of course, he’d recognized her when he saw her in head gardener’s office. Her apron couldn’t hide the fine cotton of her gown, and her cap couldn’t hide her fiery hair. “We’re talking about her, not about me. How could you let something like that happen?”
Lady Constance frowned at this tone of accusation. “I don’t see how I could have stopped it. She was bound to imagine herself in love with someone sooner or later. It’s because Daisy rarely leaves the estate. She didn’t have a season. When she was 18, I was looking after a friend’s family. My friend died, and when I returned to Wellbridge Park, my brother was ill. I cared for him, and the time just slipped away. Then he died, which meant the family was in mourning for a year.”
“You could still give her a season.”
“Why? She’s 22. You care about her. You can make her fall in love with you.”
Nicholas couldn’t explain it. He had come to England, determined that he would have a wife who would be the matriarch of his dynasty. A well-born wife. You couldn’t get more well-born than the daughter of a duke, even if she was that duke’s natural daughter.
But he didn’t want Daisy if she didn’t want him. Then he realized he was lying to himself. After that kiss, he wanted Daisy any way he could get her.
He remained silent for a moment, still thinking. “When I take her to Boston, she will be homesick. I don’t want a wife who’s love-sick for another man, as well as that.”
“Yes, Daisy will be homesick. And she may indeed be love-sick, but if she’s in love, it will be with you.” Lady Constance smiled at him when he looked at her in surprise. “Give yourself some credit, young man. You can give Daisy everything she needs. More than she could have in England.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Her siblings dislike her. Rose may even hate her. No matter who she marries, if she stays in England her brother and sister will make her life a misery. I will miss her, of course… But I’ve every intention of visiting her, so you have that to look forward to.”
Nicholas realized that it hurt to imagine that Daisy was unwanted. She was so young, and so lovely, she deserved the best. He tried to imagine what her life had been like, to be a stranger in her own home, and he couldn’t.
“She will have a better life with you, than she could ever have here. I realized some while ago that Rose and Daniel would maintain their dislike of Daisy, probably forever.” Lady Constance sighed, and leaned back in her chair. “That’s another reason I can’t give Daisy a season. They would shun her, and there’s nothing I can do about that. Daniel is the Duke of Wellbridge. If he publicly accepted Daisy, it would make all the difference, but he won’t.”
“You’ve asked him?”
“I’ve demanded it, and he’s threatened to cut off my allowance. He doesn’t like Daisy. She’s too attractive, you see. He knows she’s capable of putting both him and his sister in the shade.”
Nicholas heard himself say:”I will have her as my wife, my lady, never doubt it.” He realized that he meant it.
He would seduce Daisy into forgetting the steward, and falling in love with him.
Available now: My Prize in Pearls, and three other stories
Passion By Candlelight: Steamy Regency Romance Collection 1 is available on popular ebook retailers now. Enjoy. 🙂