Skip to main content

The Spinster's Christmas - Chapter 11b #Christianfiction #Regency #romance

I’m posting my Regency romance, The Spinster's Christmas, so all my blog readers get a chance to read it! It’s the Prequel novel to my Lady Wynwood’s Spies series.

A Christian Regency romantic suspense

Spinster Miranda Belmoore has become a poor relation in her cousin’s house. She determines to escape a life of drudgery and disdain from her own family members, who are embarrassed by her straightforward speech and unconventional behavior that does not match with proper society. She is beginning to believe what they tell her—that she doesn’t matter to anyone, not even to God.

Former naval captain Gerard Foremont is having difficulty adjusting to life back on land, bitter that his career has been cut short by his severely injured knee. A Christmastide houseparty with the Belmoores reunites him with his childhood friend, Miranda, but he is appalled at the verbal abuse she endures and wants to help her.

The festivities are disrupted when a cloaked intruder attacks Gerard, with Miranda as the only witness. Now the two of them must uncover who wants to harm him and why, before Twelfth Night ends in murder …

All the posted parts are listed here.


Chapter 11b


She had been drowning in her thoughts for too long. She forced a smile. “When will you return to Foremont Lacy?”

“It has been let because I was away at sea when I inherited it from my grandmother.”

“You used to talk about what you would do when you inherited it, the improvements to the house and farm.”

“Those were the boastings of a foolish boy.” He gave a half-smile. “I know now that I know nothing of farm management.”

“You can learn from your father. Isn't it like ordering your men aboard ship?”

“I suppose, but I would need to know the orders to give, else I would make the men completely bewildered.” His gaze drifted to his knee. “I had thought I would do all this when I was older.”

“Perhaps it is better to learn while you are young, and your father is young.” She hesitated, then said, “I know you are unhappy on shore, but I think you could come to enjoy it.”

“I shall have to, or life will be intolerable.” His voice was sad and only slightly tinged with bitterness.

“You have always risen to challenges. This will be as great a challenge as any you have faced on board your ship. Are you averse to running the farm at Foremont Lacy?”

“Not at all. I always expected to do so, and eventually take over my father's farm, too.” His gaze fell on his knee again. “Perhaps you are right. I will be able to ride a horse soon and can follow my father and his steward.”

She hadn't realized how tense her shoulders had become until they relaxed. She’d had no illusions that she would cheer him up immediately, but she’d hoped that the thought of Foremont Lacy as a place for him to escape would comfort him, especially now when he was hurting from the suspicions of his parents. “Or perhaps you will bowl along in a dogcart like Squire Bigsby used to do.”

“Good old Squire Bigsby. I would need a dog as mangy as his.”

“There is a litter in the stables. If you ask him, I am certain Cecil will give you the runt.”

“I would expect no less from Cecil.”

A roar of laughter from the Charades players filled the room. However, when the noise had died, Gerard turned to her with an uncomfortable set to his shoulders. “Miranda, I know you did not wish to speak of this, but we must.”

She knew what he wanted to speak about, and the flash of remembrance of his arms around her, his lips pressed to hers, involuntarily sent a tremble of joy through her. She did not expect to be kissed again in her lifetime, and Gerard's kiss would be her brightest memory. “We must forget it happened.”

“We cannot hide in the closet like we used to do and let the world pass by outside,” he said. “My actions have bound me to you. I will do the honourable thing.”

It was her escape from Cecil and from the Beattys, and yet she wanted to be honourable as well. It would be wrong to trap him into marriage, a man who did not love her, who would resent her. A marriage of convenience would be all her convenience and none of his. He had no need of a wife, no desire for one.

And even aside from that, she didn't want the honourable thing from him. She wanted passion and a friendship deeper than any other. And yet perversely, she could not take that step to open herself up to anyone. She had simply been alone for too long. “Gerard, do you love me?”

She thought she knew what she would see in his eyes, and had steeled herself for it. But she hadn't expected the warmth of his surprise. He was speechless, and so she rushed forward. “Of course you do not. I will not shackle you to a woman you do not love. It is not what I wish.”


“And Gerard, if you married me, your family would call me a fortune-hunter. Your mother would be so distressed.”


“So I have refused your proposal. You are free.”

He gave her a dry look. “I did not actually propose.”

“Oh. Well, I have saved you the trouble.”

“If you would allow me to put in a word edgewise, I would say—”

Some of the Charades players suddenly called his name, and Miss Church-Pratton crossed the room to tug playfully at his arm. “Come join us, Captain, do, for we believe the next clue has something to do with water.”

Miss Church-Pratton, of course, did not acknowledge Miranda's presence, and Gerard rose from his chair in response to her entreaties and those of the other family members. However, he surprised Miranda by leaning close to tell her, “We have not finished discussing this, Miranda.”

He collected his crutches and made his way to the Charades players. Miranda rose to leave the room, but he glanced at her as she paused in the doorway. It was as though he had reached out to touch her across that distance. Her heart pulsed faster.

She took a deep breath and then exited the room, almost running up the stairs. 

Why couldn't her girlhood infatuation have simply withered away? Why must he be so noble, and she so fearful?

Because yes, she was afraid of him. She was afraid of opening herself up to him. She was afraid that Gerard's fondness for her would dry up into a brittle embrace like that of her parents.

She would be grateful to him and the Foremonts if they would allow her to stay with them, but she could not stay for long. Once Ellie was comfortable, once Lady Wynwood was able to take her, she would go. She would find a position far away. She would never see him again, until he was old and married.

She stifled the sob that caught painfully in her throat, and hurried up to the nursery.


Buy The Spinster’s Christmas ebook!
Google Play


Popular Posts

Interview with Tamara Leigh

Captain's Log, Stardate 03.13.2006 Multi-published Tamara Leigh has shifted from Medieval romances to chick-lit! Her newest book is STEALING ADDA published by NavPress. It had been a long time since New York Times best-selling author -- and historical romance writer extraordinaire -- Adda Sinclaire had experienced more than a fictional dose of romance, but when publisher Nick Farnsworth walks into her life, everything changes. Life for Adda ironically reads more like a country song than a bodice-bursting, breathless affair. For starters, she has no actual romance in her life. That might have something to do with the fact that her husband -- correction-EX husband -- ran off with Stick Woman, whom everyone knew would never be more than a mid-list author anyway. To add insult to injury (and another verse to the country song), he not only took their dog but gave it to her. If this isn't enough, Adda's come down with a horrible case of writer's block and finds h


Source: via Camy on Pinterest In-N-Out, one of my fav burger joints, makes an appearance in the first chapter of A Dangerous Stage . It's a chain on the West Coast and Hawaii, I'm not sure how far east they have restaurants. They don't freeze any of their food, it's all fresh, including the buns and the french fries. When you order, you can see them use this french fry hand-crank machine to make their fries, it's pretty cool. The specific restaurant in A Dangerous Stage doesn't exist at that location, but there's a couple of them near me and I go there way too often than is good for me, but it's oh-so-yummy!

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Sweet & Clean Christmas Romance sale

I’m participating in the Sweet & Clean Christmas Romance sale. Check out all the sweet/clean romance books available and stuff your eBook reader! Sweet & Clean Christmas Romance

99c Squeaky Clean Christmas Romance sale

I’m participating in the 99c Squeaky Clean Christmas Romance sale. Check out all the sweet/clean romance books available and stuff your eBook reader! 99c Squeaky Clean Christmas Romance

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduc

Clean Romance Deals

I’m participating in the Clean Romance Deals sale. Check out all the sweet/clean romance books available and stuff your eBook reader! Clean Romance Deals

Daniel 9:9

Dear Lord, Thank you for being so merciful and forgiving to us no matter what we’ve done or where we’ve been. Thank you for loving us so much, even when we find it hard to love ourselves. Even if we have rejected you, you still reach out to us and want us to come to you for love and comfort and forgiveness. Thank you for your magnificent grace. Amen 主よ、 私たちが何をしようと、どこにいようと、私たちを憐れみ、赦してくださりありがとうございます。私たちが自分自身を愛することが難しいときでさえ、私たちをこんなにも愛してくださってありがとうございます。たとえ私たちがあなたを拒んだとしても、あなたは私たちに手を差し伸べ、愛と慰めと赦しを求めてあなたのもとに来ることを望んでくださいます。あなたの素晴らしい恵みに感謝します。 アーメン

Michael’s Scarf knitting pattern

Michael’s Gray and Brown Scarf I had just written a scene in Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 5: Prisoner where my character Michael gives the heroine a very significant scarf. When looking for a stitch pattern, I found the one used in “#31 Comfort either for a Lady or Gentleman” in The Lady's Assistant , volume 2 , published in 1842 by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, pages 125-126 (click on the link to view and/or download the free PDF of the digitally scanned book). When I did test swatches, it turned out to be a pretty eyelet pattern that looks like branches or vines winding upward. I tried the pattern as a parallelogram scarf and discovered that the pattern has a changeable orientation, looking vertical or diagonal depending on how you looked at it. So I decided to use this pattern, knitted as a parallelogram, as Michael’s scarf. I decided to use a smaller needle and add a slip stitch in the pattern to make the eyelets a bit more close and less lacy. When paired with a brown an

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci