'Tis the season when lovers' eyes shine by the light of a blazing Yule log, when a quick kiss is shared beneath the mistletoe, and when love is the most splendid gift of all. Savor the beauty and passion of Christmas with two heartwarming stories by outstanding Regency author Elizabeth Mansfield. From A Sneeze on Tuesday: A broken engagement and a miserable cold were not in Elinor's holiday plans. But her spirited heart found its own remedy: a true and lasting love.
When James Everard announced that he had invited a young lady home for the holidays, his father, the Earl of Gyllford, was astounded and skeptical. Could it be that Jamie was finally showing an interest in something other than horseplay with his friends? But when lovely Miss Evalyn Pennington arrived at Gyllford Manor, it was the earl who found himself inexplicably drawn to her winsome beauty. Having been dismissed from her post as a governess, Evalyn would long remember the kindness of being welcomed at Gyllford Manor when she had nowhere else to turn.
"Not so great"
Time is running out for 25-year-old Lady Margaret Underwood. Desperate to retain the independence that her considerable fortune affords her, she accepts the proposal of Viscount Charles Isham. But after a few hours in his stultifying company, she does what any woman would do: She flees. A snowstorm and a carriage mishap lead to rescue by a seductive stranger.
"Pride and prejudice..."
Ever since Miranda Pardew haughtily rejected his shy request for a dance, Barnaby Traherne has been a resigned bachelor. Ten years later, her circumstances have changed and the still-smitten Barnaby has an opportunity to hire the now-impoverished Miranda as governess to his brother's children. Barnaby must decide if he'll hold a long-stinging grudge, or allow the spirit of Christmas into his heart.
After scandalizing London with her improper behavior and jilting two suitors, Nell Belden is about to do it again. This time she rejects the very wealthy, utterly insufferable nobleman her financially strapped guardians have been pressuring her to marry. Banished to their isolated Cornwall estate, Nell is awakened one night by an unusual apparition.
"Sometimes You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs...."
It's a scandal that 27-year-old Sarah Stanborough is still unwed. Despite her matchmaking mother's fervent wishes, Sarah refuses to encourage the eminently eligible John Phillip North, marquis of Revesne. The arrogant bounder has actually fought duels to keep her potential suitors at bay. Only one man attracts the independent spinster: handsome Edward Middleton, her young cousin's guardian, who detests the frivolous gossip and shallow flirtations of London society as much as she does.
A dashing stranger sweeps Lady Gwendolyn Rowle onto the dance floor. She is living every woman's fantasy until she discovers who her romantic waltz partner really is: Viscount Andrew Jamison - the man who killed her husband.
"I tried to like the story, but..."
After nearly losing his life at the battle of Waterloo, Captain Alexander Tyrrell, earl of Braeburn, comes home to the shocking news that he is still married. Braving enemy fire is nothing compared to having to see the duplicitous Priscilla Vickers again.
When Jenny Garvin arrives at the Portsmouth pier to see her adored brother sail off on one of His Majesty's ships, she catches the eye of a tall, well-dressed stranger, who rescues her from a thief. But Captain Tristram Allenby is not what he seems. According to her brother, he is an icy-cold, monstrous tyrant who must be avoided at all costs.
Sophia Edgerton knows how to make an entrance. Yet even she isn't prepared for the consequences when she throws herself into the arms of a total stranger at a society ball, mistaking him for her long-lost cousin. Marcus Harvey, fifth Earl of Wynwood, responds with a remark that sets the ton abuzz.
"madcap/hellion heroine insulted by stiff sprig gentleman hero"
The Hartleys are on the brink of disaster. Viscount Mainwaring has died, unaccountably leaving his entire fortune to an American. Worst of all, Anne Hartley's future is in jeopardy. She has been forbidden from marrying the nobleman she has adored since the moment she found him thrown from his horse in Hyde Park.
Her sister's husband Miles Strickland, seventh Earl of Langley, is a scoundrel. Olivia just caught him in the arms of another woman. When she dares to confront him, the blackguard has the gall to accuse her of blackmail. Determined to expose his unfaithfulness, Olivia leaves London to visit her sister in the English countryside, where her world is overturned.
A sparkling collection of short stories by leading female authors including “Miss Brill” by Katharine Mansfield, “The Lifted Veil” by George Eliot and “A Venetian Night's Entertainment” by Edith Wharton.
The art of writing a short story can be barely noticed by a reader or listener - such is the quality with which they are usually written. It is a difficult trade, an unforgiving discipline, but for those who master it, the rewards are many. In this series of works by our greatest female writers we bring you a selection of those we consider the best. In Volume 1 we bring you the classics 'A Dill Pickle' by Katherine Mansfield, 'The Storm' by Kate Chopin, and 'The Sexton’s Hero' by Elizabeth Gaskell.