I'm pleased to welcome a trio of bookish guests to share a charming and romantic anthology featuring stories by Sian Ann Bessey, Sarah M. Eden, and Rebecca Connolly. I had the pleasure of reading this collection before its release and now I want to adopt a lamb (or ten). You will understand when you read the stories. This is a lovely collection that I'm happy to recommend.
Her Country Gentleman
Not all love is found in London . . .
"Spring at Tribbley Hall" by Sian Ann Bessey
When Charlotte's grandmother invites her to accompany her to Norfolk, Charlotte jumps at the chance to visit the sea and escape the fuss surrounding her sister's wedding preparations in London. Lord William Cheston, on the other hand, is most unhappy when his mother informs him that her old friend and a granddaughter are coming to stay. Not only is it lambing season, but he's also dealing with the mysterious loss of several sheep. The last thing he needs is a child underfoot. When Charlotte and William first meet, he does not realize that the lovely young lady is the granddaughter in question, and she assumes that the man dressed in work clothes in the barn is a servant. Soon afterward, however, Charlotte stumbles upon a clue to William's sheep's disappearance, and when her life is placed in jeopardy, William is forced to choose between saving his unwanted houseguest and catching the thief.
"Love of My Heart" by Sarah M. Eden
Cordelia Wakefield has never lived anywhere but London and is not overly happy when her family is forced to retrench to a small estate near Teviotbrae, Scotland. An ill-fated game of battledore and shuttlecock brings her face-to-racquet with Sebastian, who runs the home farm at nearby Teviot Castle. What begins as a clash of personalities, expectations, and preferences, soon leads to a friendship neither had expected. As the magic of Teviotbrae weaves its spell, the possibility of something more than friendship begins to blossom. But what future is there for a lowly farmer and a London lady?
"Miss Smith Goes to Wiltshire" by Rebecca Connolly
Martha Smith wants to marry for love, and will not be persuaded otherwise. She is highly sought after in Society for her beauty and status, but refuses to consider any suitor whose only claim is that his prospects meet with her mother's approval. Her widowed mother has had enough of Martha's romantic sensibilities, and is sending her to stay with unfortunate cousins in Wiltshire to show her that marrying for love is a risk that is too great. Benjamin Steele, Lord Hillier, is working on his new and dilapidated estate when he first catches sight of the striking Martha Smith. Becoming Lord Hillier has only brought him a house that needs significant repairs, tenant farms that had been abandoned, and only the money he'd already possessed. He wants meaning in his life, and he's more than willing to work for it. Though worlds apart in all else, on this point they can agree: a life of meaning would change everything.
Content Rating: Sweet and wholesome.
About the Collection
The Timeless Georgian Collection is a new series featuring novellas set in England during the Georgian era (1714 – 1830). It is part of A Timeless Romance Anthology series published by Mirror Press — a curated collection of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.
The authors are generously sharing an excerpt, so enjoy a few words from "Love of My Heart," a story by Sarah M. Eden in Her Country Gentleman.
Cordelia Wakefield knew no home other than London. She’d lived in the bustling metropolis for the entirety of her twenty years and could not imagine passing so much as a single day as a resident of any other part of the world.
In London, one had that world at one’s fingertips. Drapers, milliners, dressmakers, and booksellers of the highest stamp could be found in England’s foremost city. The very best of food and company, the perfect balance of imposing architecture and glorious green spaces filled it to bursting. She was not so naive as to think her beloved home city was devoid of suffering and struggle, or that the experiences of all who called it home were as pleasant as her own.
But with all its flaws, she loved it.
Her younger sister was equally enamored. In fact, on a late-March morning, the two young ladies were spending time as they often did, making a slow circuit of the gated green near their home. The day was a bit blustery, as was often the case in Town, yet they could not have been happier with their location and the diversions it offered. The very earliest bulb flowers were emerging from their winter slumber. Soon, London itself would awaken as well, with the return of those who divided their time between their country estates and their Town residences. Cordelia felt heartily sorry for them. One ought to never be required to quit such a glorious city.
“Do you suppose Mother and Father will allow me to finally have my Season this year?” Cordelia asked.
“I do hope so. I’ll not ever have mine if they don’t allow you yours.”
Cordelia shook her head at Seraphina’s teasing declaration. Her sister did, in fact, wish to join Society herself in the next year or two, but she was too good a sister and too good a person to not wish Cordelia happy.
They passed Mrs. Seaver—a widow of advancing years who lived nearby—and her companion on the path that circled the green. Both ladies offered greetings, which the sisters returned in kind. This was an established routine between them. Cordelia loved the familiarity and calm of her life in London. She knew the people, and they knew her. The only thing marring her adoration of Town was her longing to truly become part of Society.
She would so enjoy attending dinner parties and balls, having full access to musicales and the theatre. She would, of course, still make ample time for painting, her true passion. Watercolors were deemed entirely acceptable for young ladies. Though Cordelia did enjoy the challenge of that particular medium, she was more enamored of oils, a less characteristic choice for a woman.
“Do you suppose Father and Mother have not allowed you your Season because they feel you ought to be older?” Seraphina asked once they’d fully passed Mrs. Seaver and Miss Greene.
“Perhaps. Though, I hope not. Most young ladies making their first foray into Society have done so by my age. I’ll be ancient in comparison if made to wait too many more years. I nearly am already.”
“And that would mean I would, of necessity, be required to wait just as long.” Seraphina’s sigh was heavy with frustration. “I would very much like to dance the allemande with someone other than Monsieur Benoit.”
Their aging dancing tutor had provided them a more than adequate education in the various dances one was expected to execute, but he smelled very strongly of cloves mingled with a putrid sort of tobacco and powdered his hair so heavily and inexpertly that a cloud of wafting white followed him everywhere he went. They did not dislike the Frenchman, but he was sometimes a bit uncomfortable to spend time with. Surely, there were gentlemen at the balls they’d heard so much about who did not leave residue everywhere they went.
“Perhaps Father and Mother have denied you your Season because of the expense,” Seraphina said.
There had been some tightening of the family purse strings the last couple of years, but nothing terribly severe.
“Perhaps they fear I will spend all of my time amongst Society haranguing anyone and everyone on the topic of painting,” Cordelia suggested with a teasing smile.
“Which means they will never permit me a Season, as I am even more likely to make a nuisance of myself, though on the subject of music.”
Excerpt Copyright © Sarah M. Eden. Shared with permission.
Meet the authors behind the stories!
Sian Ann Bessey
Born in Cambridge, England, but grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales, Sian left her homeland to attend university in the U.S. and earned a bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in English.
She began her writing career as a student, publishing several magazine articles while still in college. Since then, she has published historical romance and romantic suspense novels, along with a variety of children's books. She is a USA Today bestselling author, a Foreward Reviews Book of the Year finalist, and a Whitney Award finalist.
She loves to travel and experience other cultures, but when she's home, her favorite activities are spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.
Learn more at sianannbessey.com.
Sarah M. Eden
Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today bestselling author of multiple historical romances, including AML's "2013 Novel of the Year" and Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, and the Whitney Award's "2014 Novel of the Year," Longing for Home: Hope Springs.
Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.
Learn more at sarahmeden.com
Rebecca Connolly is the author of more than two dozen novels. She calls herself a Midwest girl, having lived in Ohio and Indiana. She's always been a bookworm, and her grandma would send her books almost every month so she would never run out. Book Fairs were her carnival, and libraries are her happy place.
She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She received a master's degree from West Virginia University, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.
Learn more at rebeccaconnolly.com.