If you love Regency fiction, I think you’ll love Esmée Garland and Viscount Cairnmore, who meet in unusual circumstances in My Enchanting Emerald.
Here’s how they meet…
Autumn, 1810. London.
Mark froze. A woman stood on the railing of the bridge, staring at the water far below.
If he called out, he might startle her. If she overbalanced she would fall.
Or she might jump. Perhaps that was what she intended. She wanted to commit suicide. In the army, men deliberately put themselves in the way of the guns, wanting to get the fear over with.
She lifted her arms.
She was about to jump — no, she was balancing, walking quickly along the bridge railing.
Mark frowned. Singing? He revised his opinion of the woman. She wasn’t about to kill herself. She was crazy. A candidate for Bedlam. He ran an ungloved hand through his hair — he’d lost his gloves in the last gambling hell he’d visited — then washed his face with both hands. He was foxed. And she was getting away, moving swiftly along the railing. As if she were walking along the street.
At any moment, she could teeter and fall.
He moved silently, scarcely daring to breathe. If his mouth were not so dry, he could call out. But no. He still didn’t want to startle her.
Dawn had just settled in. He heard the clop of hooves in a distant street, and the occasional splash from the river. If she fell, he would go in after her. Of course he would. Even if she wanted to die, he wouldn’t let her.
Whatever would make a woman as young as she was, want to die?
It made his own worries seem petty. He thought of pretty Mary Prewitt. He couldn’t imagine her climbing onto a bridge.
The woman continued along the railing, arms lifted out to either side for balance. She drew close to a street lamp. The light illuminated her. She wore a grey pelisse. She had thin skirts. Mark could almost see through the pale green skirts, which moulded themselves to her legs as she glided along on top of the railing.
He’d seen acrobats before, and she looked as they did, graceful.
He swallowed. She was small, and lovely. Mark accepted that he was attracted to women. He hadn’t seen it as a failing, until one of his commanding officers pointed out that Mark allowed his appetites to rule him. The officer had told Mark that until he matured, he would stay a captain.
He shouldn’t be attracted to a poor Bedlamite however, and that she most certainly was. Even with Mark’s wide experience of women, in several countries, no woman acted as she did. Her clothes indicated that she was gentry. They looked well made, but not of the first quality.
She stopped. Mark stopped too. Then he moved forward as silently as he could. He would leap at her, seize those amazing, well-shaped legs, and pull her against him. They might fall, but at least they wouldn’t go into the river.
Read the story of Esmée Garland and Viscount Cairnmore. She has no one. He has everything… Until he meets her. Then he has nothing, without her.