Series: Cecilia's Mismatches #1
Published by Meryton Press on March 28, 2023
Genres: Regency Romance
Buy on Amazon
Audra Hales is a lady of many perfect accomplishments—at least she believes so. It is no wonder: she has mirrored her great friend Cecilia, the newly minted Lady Hoxley, so how could her talents not be worthy of the highest praise? A self-described matchmaker, Cecilia has brought Audra to Bath—where balls and excursions abound—with the intention of matching her with the gregarious Lord Garner Tremaine. Though he seems an affable and talented gentleman, his brother, the marquess, is quite the opposite.
As head of his family, Everett Tremaine, the Marquess of Vernon acts on behalf of his father, the duke, who remains secluded from Lady Hoxley’s guests. With his obligations, Everett has no time for foolish temptations such as Miss Hales…so why does he constantly find her thrown into his path?
Meanwhile, Audra has conjured all sorts of wild imaginings concerning the frustrating marquess, and every time she encounters him, he leaves her breathless rather than answering her questions! After all, what is ailing the mysterious duke? Could the marquess be a villain masquerading as the savior of his family? And most importantly: should she marry Lord Garner, the safe suitor, or follow her heart?
Book One of the Cecilia’s Mismatches series is a stand-alone novel.
Greetings you guys! Welcome to our stop on the blog tour for a brand new Regency Romance series. The first instalment is a quick novella to entice you to sit patiently, like a proper lady in waiting should do, for the rest of the series to launch.
As the series title indicates, these books are all going to be about Lady Cecilia Hoxley and her matchmaking antics. But who is Cecilia?
She’s Lady Hoxley, a recently married young lady whose husband is old enough to be her father. Theirs is a love match. She loves his money and title, and he loves her youth and vivacity. Cecilia is so gratified with her own match that she is determined to match her friends with worthy gentlemen—but what happens when all her grand schemes seem to go awry?
We are so fortunate to have the lovely author of this new series visiting us today and to share an excerpt from her novella. She’s a cat lover as well, so of course this series is just going to be the best ever! Welcome Suzan!
I appreciate the opportunity to come on this blog. I am cat mom to Marvin, who I think would like Elza. He’s a shy cat, but friendly to cats and his parents. As I type this, he’s in his cubby hole next to my desk—he likes to stay close to me.
In this excerpt, Miss Audra Hales got caught in a rainstorm earlier in the day and was saved by Everett Tremaine, Marquess of Vernon, the elder brother of the man to whom she’s being matched. Mortimer is her cat, who isn’t with her, and usually comforts her when she’s upset.
Audra’s lower lip could not be out farther than it sat, occasionally trembling, while she lay in her bed, trapped by layers upon layers of bedclothes with hot stones. Her book would be the sole diversion she could expect tonight, that and the memories she conjured up of Mortimer’s thick coat. She was adept at pitying herself today. Perhaps she would be fortunate enough to receive a visitor some time before or after the performance at the Royal Theatre. She blew out a lengthy breath of air. Everyone was going except her.
Or maybe Lord Vernon was forced to be abed too, in that room above hers. She did not know. Miss Davison could also be in the same predicament. She would have been wet through upon her return. But no one had been in the weather as long as Audra. Even so, it would not be fair if she was the only one forced into this dull situation.
How was the marquess and his injured leg? That sort of disadvantage would not suit such a proud man. For his sake, the injury had best be a minor setback which allowed for a swift recovery. But what if it was not? He would be embarrassed at having to depend upon his walking stick rather than using it for show. Would it make him touchy and difficult? More than he could usually be? Of course, he was not always that way—his foul temper only flared when she bothered him. She should take care to be kind to him while he recuperated.
Oh, she worried too much! She should not be preoccupied with Lord Vernon in this way. Instead, she should put him out of her mind and not dwell upon him further.
The windows of her room shook from a gust of wind. This storm was going to continue through the night. Thankfully, Hoxley had arranged for that broken branch to be removed, the one that had been screeching against her window on her first night in Bath.
Of course, that was the same night Lord Vernon had walked in the gardens in the dead of night. Why would he do so? Was he worrying about his father? He could not walk out tonight. Would he also be required to forfeit the theatre? He had been so kind today when she was in trouble and lost in the rain, and the regular evidence of his kindness had her doubting her worries about his involvement with her sinister imaginings. There must be some explanation.
A knock echoed from the door, and she quickly schooled her features.
It was Cecilia, dear friend.
“How are you doing, little one?” Cecilia rushed over to sit gingerly on the edge of the bed. She reached out as if to take Audra’s hands, but they were so trapped within the bedclothes that it was impossible, so she settled her palms on the top instead. “Do you feel dreadful?”
“I am well. I was chilled before, but now I am comfortable.”
“But you must have a cough, a fever.” Cecilia felt Audra’s forehead. This was an unwelcome sensation, but since she was trapped in the bedcovers, Audra had no choice but to allow the touch.
“I do not believe so. I have a robust constitution.”
“Oh, sweetheart, the grippe may still come on. You must stay abed at least for a day or two to make certain you are not ill.”
“I do not know how I shall stand it. I hate missing the pantomime tonight.”
“I know, dearest.” Her friend stroked her hair.
“How are the others?”
“Miss Davison and Lord Vernon will be missing the theatre tonight too, keeping to their chambers with warm stones after their chill. It was generous of Lord Vernon to rescue you.”
“I agree. He is a considerate man.”
“Of course, he must have had his brother in mind while doing so. Lord Garner is beside himself with worry. I do not know how he is able to keep his equanimity about him. He has agonized over you in your sickbed.”
“What did he say?”
“Oh, um, just as I said.”
Audra was not satisfied and crossed her arms. The movement was not straightforward under the heavy blankets. “Tell me the exact conversation.”
“Um, we were talking about the rain and how terrible that three of our party were caught in the downpour, and he lamented that he was stuck indoors. Um, he asked if we liked the stripe of his waistcoat…We all agreed it was fine indeed. I said that Miss Hales might be coming down with a cold as a result, and he said that colds were dreadful things because he could not smell his soup. Her Grace said she hoped you would not become ill and the ladies all agreed. She asked Lord Garner if he agreed, and he replied that he did. He said Miss Hales is a sociable lady who wears the nicest dresses and it would be a pity if you had to stay indoors. He said he wondered if Miss Davison had a cold. I think he bit his knuckle then.”
“It does sound like he thought about me some. It would be better if I was there. He would not be so apt to forget about me then.”
If you don’t have anything to read tonight, why not pick this quick novella up? It appears to be a perfect antidote to a difficult day!
About the Author
A lover of Jane Austen, Regency period research and costuming, yoga, fitness, home renovation, design, sustainability, and independent travel, cat mom Suzan Lauder keeps busy even when she’s not writing novels based on Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, all of which are published by Meryton Press.
She and Mr. Suze and their rescue tabby split their time between a loft condo overlooking the Salish Sea and a 150-year-old Spanish colonial casita in Mexico. Suzan’s lively prose can be found on her Facebook author page, www.facebook.com/SuzanLauder; on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as @SuzanLauder; and on her Meryton Press blog, road trips with the redhead www.suzanlauder.merytonpress.com. Her Amazon author page is https://www.amazon.com/author/suzanlauder.
Prior to publishing An Accomplished Woman of the Cecilia’s Mismatches series, Lauder had four novels, a novella, and a novelette published by Meryton Press and has short stories in two Austenesque anthologies. All are popular, most earning four-plus star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads. Accolades include Amazon bestseller for Letter from Ramsgate and The Barrister’s Bride, a Finalist for Sexy Scribbles for an excerpt from Alias Thomas Bennet, and several of her books were placed on top ten of the year lists by influential bloggers.
She even finds time to bake muffins!
Meryton Press Blog, road trips with the redhead
Thanks for the visit Suzan and a big thank you to Janet for inviting us on the blog tour!