The Spinster's Christmas, so you all get a chance to read it. After I post it all, I’ll take it down from my blog, so be sure to read it while it’s being posted. It is the first book in my Lady Wynwood series.
A Regency romantic mystery
Miranda Belmoore has never felt attuned to the rest of society. Her family has never understood her blunt speech and unwillingness to bow to conventional strictures, and so they have always made her feel that there is something wrong with her. Now as a poor relation in her cousin’s house, she makes plans to escape a life of drudgery and disdain from her own family members.
Naval Captain Gerard Foremont is having difficulty adjusting to life back on land, frustrated that his career has been cut short by his severely injured knee. Guilt haunts him as he sees the strain his long convalescence has had upon his parents. As they spend Christmastide with the Belmoores, he wants to help fulfill his mother’s wish to have her orphaned niece come to stay with them.
However, an enemy has infiltrated the family party, bent on revenge and determined that Twelfth Night will end in someone’s death …
Start reading here.
After retrieving Sally’s mittens, Miranda had reached the foot of the nursery wing stairs and started down the hallway to the main staircase when she saw the under-maid, Jean, looking around furtively with her hand on the latch to Cecil’s bedroom. Jean froze when she saw Miranda.
“What are you doing?” Miranda demanded. Jean was not an upper-maid, nor was she Cecil’s valet, so she should not be entering Cecil’s room for any reason.
Jean’s eyes were wide for a moment, then she affected an innocent expression. “Sir Cecil is in a snit because his grandfather’s pistol is missing. I am helping to search for it.” She smirked at Miranda.
“You are not.”
“Are you calling me a liar?”
“I am.” Miranda drew herself up. She was a poor relation now, but she was also a gentleman’s daughter and had been the only daughter of a wealthy household. In her father’s home, Jean would have been sacked for such belligerence to any guest.
Jean stood there stiffly, her hands clenching and unclenching at her sides. Then she gave Miranda a nasty smile. “What will you do about it? Will you have me turned out? Lady Belmoore won’t listen to you.”
“Let’s find out, shall we?”
“Or p’raps you’ll resort to other ways to get me sacked. I hear you’re quite good at it.” Jean whirled in a flurry of skirts and stalked away.
The hallway tilted. Miranda thrust out blindly for the wall, sagging against it. Her stomach heaved.
Jean knew. And there was only one way she could know. She’d been told.
The light dimmed, darkness threatening to cover her, but she fought it, dragging in deep breaths, willing her heartbeat to ease and slow.
She knew who was after her. And why.
Next blog post: Chapter 14a
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