Ah, the summer house party, where ladies and gentlemen flirt to their heart’s content over games on the lawn and walks in the garden. Where the moonlight inspires sweet kisses. Where alliances are announced and matches are made. Where a young lady’s mistaken cry can banish a handsome rake to Jamaica.
Welcome to Summer House Party, a new anthology of traditional Regency romance novellas by bestselling authors well known in the genre. I’m delighted to be part of this set from Mirror Press, which also features stories by the incomparable Donna Hatch and the beloved Sarah M. Eden. Here’s what you’ll find.
“The Paupers’ House Party” by Sarah M. Eden--It’s a rare event that Edward Downy and his brother are invited to a house party by a member of the ton. But when they arrive, Edward quickly realizes this house party is different than any other. All invited guests are quite destitute, fallen members of Society barely hanging onto their homes. The hosts of the house party, the Warricks, then make a stunning announcement—they intend to gift all their properties to one fortunate guest. As the guests race to impress the Warricks, Edward finds a fast friend in Agatha Holmwood, who shares his same aversion to the horrible expectations. But their growing fondness for each other only makes the game more painful.
“A Perfect Match” by Donna Hatch--Genevieve attends a summer house party hosted by her best friend who can't wait to introduce her to a gentleman she wants to marry, Christian Amesbury. After meeting him, Genevieve determines Christian is perfect . . . for her. Torn between loyalty to her best friend and the yearnings of her heart, Genevieve must first escape the attention of a powerful lord who's obsessed with her and who tries to rob her of any hope for a happily ever after.
“An Engagement of Convenience” by Regina Scott--Kitty Chapworth is nearly a spinster, and an orphan living on the charity of her uncle, with nothing to recommend her for the marriage mart. Her primary purpose is relegated to acting chaperone for her cousins until she can see them successfully married. Kitty remains focused on her duty even though she knows her future is bleak. When Quentin Adair returns from a long ten years working in Jamaica and proposes a wild charade to Kitty, she agrees, although the plan might reawaken her old feelings for Quentin. Can a reformed rake convince the perfect chaperone to overlook propriety for love?
Kitty is a bit of a spitfire. Here’s a taste of her with her cousin Lucy after Quentin proposes his “engagement of convenience.”
Lucy was welcoming the latest arrivals, an older couple with two giggling debutantes who immediately eyed Quentin as he passed. Kitty wanted to shout “Engaged!”
Which was only slightly better than “Mine!”
The book launches today on Amazon.