A country mouse does the London Season,
with entirely unexpected results.
It is spring, the beginning of the London Season, and the beginning of what will be a season of surprising and far-reaching change for Hertfordshire sisters Rosa and Arielle Lane. Sent to stay with their London aunt for the purpose of finding suitable husbands, Rosa does not rate her chances of success very highly. She is a country mouse of the worst kind, with almost nothing to recommend her. She is small and slight, timid, chronically shy, possesses no fortune, and is afflicted with a mortifying stammer. All she has to bait her hook with is her girlishly pretty face and her sweet, obliging nature.
Beautiful, vivacious Arielle could not be more different. She is set on one thing: falling in love with the handsomest man in London. And she does not care whether or not he is a good match.
However, Rosa, one of the closest to the wall wallflowers of the Season, soon finds herself receiving interest from an entirely unexpected quarter. Torn between a marriage of convenience to a wealthy and eligible gentleman who makes no declaration of love, and her growing attraction to a sullenly mysterious man who makes no offer of marriage, Rosa has a difficult decision to make. To choose sense or sensibility, safety or danger?
Big-town rats, and the cats who know their ways, are to be found aplenty in London, and with Mrs Gently taking little interest in her two country nieces, they will have to navigate their first Season largely unaided. For the naive young sisters, it is a difficult and deceptively treacherous task…
Content: A sweet and clean, authentic, traditional (but with a twist!) PG 13-rated Regency romance (kissing only, no strong language).
Length: 33,000 words
IN WANT OF A WIFE
Rosa forced herself to walk out into the hall.
Mr d’Arcy was putting his hat on. ‘Goodnight, Mrs Gently, and thank you for a pleasant evening.’
He bowed to Rosa. ‘Goodnight, Miss Lane. It was an honour to make your acquaintance.’
She blushed and smiled, replying with a nod.
Then he walked out into the night.
‘You should have said goodnight!’ scolded Mrs Gently. ‘You must learn our London ways. Standing there like a senseless mute will not do at all!’
Rosa felt her cheeks burn with shame. Nothing was more mortifying to her than to have her shyness pointed out, or worse, corrected. ‘Yes, Mrs Gently,’ she murmured, ‘I am sorry.’
Her aunt let out a huff and went. Rosa turned instantly and dashed upstairs to her room. As she took off her finery, she started to cry. She was so tired and ashamed. She could think of hardly any moment of the past three hours which did not cause her to cringe at what a failing her social manner had been.
Arielle arrived. She almost walked on air, doing little dance steps as she went. ‘Oh, Rosa, I am so happy I could die!’ she cried, flinging herself down on the chaise. ‘I am in love with the handsomest man in all London. Tonight I am the luckiest girl alive! What is the matter?’ she asked, suddenly noticing her sister’s state.
‘I made a complete fool of myself! Mr d’Arcy must surely think me a retarded, childish imbecile, and heaven knows what those fine young ladies thought – if they even noticed my presence at all. I hope they did not. Oh, I want to go home!’ wailed Rosa. ‘Why can we not go home?’