Life in Regency England had a very strict set of rules if you were a virginal young woman from a wealthy family. Your hopes of making a good marriage could be compromised in so many ways. Far too many of them could occur accidentally, if you didn't know the rules.
A stolen kiss in a secluded garden is something we would consider not just fun, but quite tame today, but two hundred years ago, it would most likely have been your undoing. You would have been forced into matrimony with whoever your co-conspirator was, or returned to your country home in disgrace if he chose not to marry you, and likely would have been considered fast, ostracized, and remained a spinster for the rest of your days.
Dancing with the same gentleman more than twice was one of these many rules. A third dance would likely require a declaration of intent to marry. That is the premise behind this short novella. It is a fun, playful story, filled with mischief, sensuality, and the oh so controversial Third Dance.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
The Third Dance
Rex Rosslare, the Duke of Remstone, is back in England, it’s not his favorite place, but duty calls. He’s a self-sufficient adventurer who has spent more than a decade travelling the world and has learned a task or two most dukes would never contemplate undertaking themselves. So when his horse casts a shoe and the blacksmith is somewhat ‘indisposed’, he takes on the challenge himself; his prize Thoroughbred is more friend than mount and he wants to assure his well-being. But while rendering the new shoe in the blacksmith’s stead, he meets Lady Caprice, a capricious young woman whose horse has also cast a shoe. Caprice, he’ll never think of her as anything else! Young Lady Caprice is enjoying one last afternoon of freedom before going to London to begin her Season, in a compromise with her grandmother she informs him, she has agreed to attend just the Little Season. She is a year or two older than the typical debutante, and a whole lot more worldly-wise. She rides astride without a groom in tow, carries a small flask of brandy on her hip. And is not remotely cowed by meeting him—an unknown man complete with scars and an eye patch—wielding the heavy tools in the blacksmith’s place. He agrees to shoe her horse for her, but in return he requests one small thing—a kiss—and he is instantly aware that the kiss is her first.
Unfortunately, she is leaving for London the following day. So obviously he must follow. Daggert, his manservant/friend and helper is highly amused by the way Lady Caprice is able to twist his jaded employer around her little finger. But then Daggert has never seen the man fall in love before.
Only days into his sojourn in London, Caprice is tying Rex in knots. And Daggert can’t wait to see what will happen next. The girl doesn’t even bat an eyelid when Rex, who is known for his infamous temper, roars like a baited lion when she attempts to sneak into his home via the garden trellis.
But the question is, when Caprice asks Rex for the one thing a debutante would never dare risk, a third dance with the same man, almost the ton’s equivalent of a public declaration, will he comply? Has he met his match? Or does the thrill of travel and adventure call once more?
In the US Find The Third Dance here
In the UK Find The Third Dance here
In Canada Find The Third Dance here