The Gossip of an Earl
(The Widows of the Aristocracy Book 1)
by Linda Rae Sande
Genre: Historical Romance
The Earl of Fennington has a secret identity—that of Mr. Pepperidge, editor of London's premiere gossip rag, The Tattler. While attending a garden party as Fennington, he meets and falls in love with an earl's daughter. The attraction is mutual, for despite knowing better, Lady Emelia allows him to kiss her behind a hedgerow. Who will know but them?
When the earl asks permission to marry Emelia, her father denies him, requiring him instead to court Emelia for eight weeks. He's only allowed to see her once each week, however. Desperate to spend more time with her, Fennington devises a scheme in which he'll be able to do just that, but in disguise. Emelia will have to meet Mr. Pepperidge in the park once a week to provide him the on-dit she hears whilst paying calls in Mayfair parlors. That, or he'll print the news of her kiss with Fennington in The Tattler!
Jane Vandermeer, Dowager Countess of Stoneleigh, is considering a move to the Continent—a year of mourning after a loveless marriage has left her wanting something more. When her long lost love, Andrew Burroughs, appears at Lord Weatherstone's ball and informs her he'll be spending the evening—and hopefully the rest of his life—with her in London, the future is suddenly looking bright. That is, until The Tattler prints a report of Andrew kissing Lady Jane in the gardens during the ball. A different Jane.
Hurt and angered, Jane goes about trying to discover the truth while Andrew is seeing to the restoration of the childhood home he hopes to share with Jane.
With mistaken identities ruling the reports in The Tattler and a new Gossip Goddess sharing news of obscure aristocrats, is it any wonder the members of the ton love to hate gossip? Or do they really love "The Gossip of an Earl"? The Tattler knows!
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Pulled from her reverie by the odd statement, Jane stared at Andrew. “Oh?” was all she could think to say.
Andrew allowed a chuckle. “I do hope I haven’t scandalized you, my sweeting.”
Goodness, they had just become reacquainted after eighteen years, and he was already using an endearment only suitable for couples who were ...
Jane inhaled sharply. Is that what Andrew Burroughs intended? To make her his mistress? To offer carte blanche?
“Oh, Christ, I have scandalized you,” he said with a roll of his eyes. He straightened in the squabs and gave a quick shake of his head. “I apologize, my lady. It’s not my intention to take liberties, nor to ...”
“I am rather flattered, actually,” Jane interrupted with a shake of her head. “No one has ever called me ‘sweeting’. Not even my husband, but then I suppose you already knew that.” This last was said in a quieter voice, as if she realized her place in her husband’s life was well known to others.
How many women in the ton knew of her despair at being left alone for months at a time as her late husband spent all his time away from London? He was only ever at their mansion in Westminster when Parliament was in session, and even then, he spent most of the time when he wasn’t in the House of Lords at his club, Boodles.
“I did not,” Andrew said with a shake of his head. He sighed and was about to say something else when the coach suddenly halted.
A fan of action-adventure movies, she can frequently be found at the local cinema. Although she no longer has any fish, she follows the San Jose Sharks. She makes her home in Cody, Wyoming. See her upcoming books on her website: www.lindaraesande.com.
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