Two classic Regency romances by beloved bestselling author Jane Ashford celebrate the
adventures of a London Season
Widowed Lady Anabel Wyndham was married right out of the schoolroom and has never before
experienced the delights of a London Season. She's dazzled by the attention of the fascinating
Sir Charles Norbury, a man whose touch seems to melt her very soul, but a notorious rake.
She's drawn to handsome friend-of-the-family Christopher Hanford and the comfort and serenity
he offers. But how does one choose between two such charming suitors? Anabel is finding that
love is so much more dangerous the second time around.
BRIDE TO BE
Emily Crane is the toast of the ton-and she couldn't find it more tedious. Until she
encounters the darkly sensual stranger whose life she once saved and the London Season becomes
infinitely more exciting. Recently returned from the wilds of South America, Lord Richard
Sheldon has only contempt for tiresome London chits, but he finds himself stunningly intrigued
by the dauntless Emily Crane. When the two become embroiled in a budding scandal and are
forced into an engagement, they discover a passion more dangerous than any killer...
Read an Excerpt of FIRST SEASON
Anabel enjoyed herself hugely at the ball, and as a consequence slept luxuriously late the
following morning, waking barely in time to dress for her appointment with Sir Charles
Norbury. Thus, she was not downstairs to receive a morning caller who asked for her with some
impatience. Indeed, no one was about, and the footman left the gentleman in the drawing room
to go in search of Lady Goring.
The man paced the elegant room in long, swift strides, obviously preoccupied. Once, thinking
he heard a sound, he stopped and turned quickly. But no one was there. He was dressed in well-
tailored traveling clothes, though not in the height of fashion, and there was something very
appealing in his ruddy blond complexion and alert blue eyes. He was just above medium height
and just past thirty years of age, and his handsome face fell naturally into lines that
Still pacing, this time he did not hear the faint noise from the doorway. But it was followed
almost immediately by a shriek that brought him swinging around.
â€śUncle Christopher!â€ť A diminutive figure hurled itself across the carpet and onto his chest,
nearly knocking the breath out of him. â€śYouâ€™re back, youâ€™re back!â€ť
â€śHello, Susan,â€ť he replied, hugging her like a man accustomed to such assaults. â€śI am. I
arrived this morning.â€ť
â€śHow did you know where we were?â€ť Susan had drawn back a little and was pulling him toward the
sofa, where she settled herself on his knee.
â€śI saw it in the newspaper.â€ť
The childâ€™s green eyes went wide. â€śAre we in the newspaper?â€ť
â€śYour mother is. It says she attended a ball last night.â€ť His tone in imparting this
information was ambiguous.
â€śOh. That.â€ť Susanâ€™s interest vanished. â€śI am so glad to see you, Uncle Christopher. You must
take us all home at once.â€ť
Christopher Hanford eyed the small girl meditatively. He was not really her uncle. The
Wyndhams and the Hanfords had been neighbors in Hertfordshire for generations, and he had
grown up with Ralph Wyndham and remained his closest friend even after the latterâ€™s marriage.
Upon his untimely death, Hanford had naturally become the mainstay of Wyndhamâ€™s bereft young
family, and all of the children called him â€śuncle.â€ť Anabel, too, relied on him. He had always
been happy to oblige. But in the last six months or so he had gradually realized that his
happiness was not simply that of a faithful friend. The Wyndhams had less and less need of him
as the grief for Ralph faded and Anabel learned about running an estate and managing alone.
Yet he called as often and found himself resenting the change. Finally the truth had struck
him. He had, in the past three years, fallen deeply in love with his charming neighbor, and he
could no longer be content without her.
This knowledge had unsettled him, chiefly because Anabel herself showed no signs of returning
his regard. She was always glad to see him and treated him with the relaxed informality of
long-standing friendship; she seemed delighted by his love for her children. But on the few
occasions when he had tried to express more profound feelings, she had not understood, or
perhaps, as he sometimes thought, she had pretended not to, thinking he would see that she
could offer him nothing more.
This conclusion had so cast him down that he embarked on a sudden voyage abroad, resolving to
stay away until he had conquered his unrequited passion. He told the Wyndhams only that he was
leaving, and he did not write. But this accomplished no more than to keep him wondering how
they were through the entire trip. Last week he had given it up and turned homeward,
determined to confront Anabel and find out his chances. But almost the first thing that
greeted him in England was the announcement that she had brought her family to town. He was
irrationally angry that she should have taken this step without consulting him, and uneasy
about its consequences.
â€śHave you seen her?â€ť asked Susan, tugging at his lapel to get his attention. â€śUncle
â€śWhat? Seen whom?â€ť
â€śDaisy. My cat. Iâ€™m looking for her. She comes down here all the time, and the servants get
â€śI havenâ€™t seen her, Susan. Iâ€™m sorry.â€ť
Susan shrugged and smiled angelically up at him. Not for the first time, Hanford marveled at
the strange combination of seraphic face and hellish temper.
The drawing-room door opened again, and Nicholas peered around it. When he saw Hanford, he
looked first astonished, then delighted. â€śWilliam!â€ť he called over his shoulder. â€śHere.â€ť Then
he in his turn ran forward and embraced the man, to be followed quickly by the elder male
Wyndham. â€śHow good that you are back,â€ť said Nicholas when their greetings were over. â€śYou can
speak to Mama.â€ť
Hanford smiled at his assurance. â€śAbout what?â€ť
â€śGoing home, of course. I daresay she will be more willing to go now that you will be there.â€ť
â€śWhat makes you think so?â€ť he replied rather sharply.
â€śOh, things were dreadfully flat after you went. We all said so.â€ť
â€śYour mother, too?â€ť
This time Nicholas glanced up at his eagerness, slightly puzzled. â€śOh, yes. Will you tell her?
We dislike London so.â€ť William and Susan nodded vigorously.
â€śWe shall see.â€ť He felt a rising hope. Was it possible that Anabel had come to London because
she missed his company?
Do the best matchmakers come in small sizes? Leave a comment below and be entered for a chance
to win a copy of FIRST
SEASON / BRIDE TO BE.
Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was entranced by the
glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight was part of what led her
to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Born in Ohio, she has
lived in New York, Boston and LA, her writing life punctuated by breaks where the fates
intervened and swept her off in different directions.
Jane has written historical and contemporary romances. Her books have been published in
Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia and Spain, as well as the U.S. She has
been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by Romantic Times Magazine.
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23 comments posted.
Yes , probably so . It is amazing what children can do when they are wanting something , like a home with a Mom and a Dad. Children may know more than we give them credit for .I hope to read this book soon , it sounds like a very exciting story .Thanks for this chance to win .
(Joan Thrasher 5:51pm October 7, 2015)
First of all thank you for the chance to win your amazing book with the wonderful stories. Yes, I would definitely say that size does not matter
(Holly Loch 3:32am October 8, 2015)
They certainly do - you never know when/how a matchmaker will come into your life!
(Felicia Ciaudelli 1:28pm October 8, 2015)