When frigate Captain Buckingham Kernow-Smith encounters a sprite in a topiary garden he pulls off her stocking cap, revealing the character of “Rosalind” from As You Like It, played, in this case, by the appealing Fanny Edwards. Three years pass. The War over, Buck encounters his Rosalind at a ball, where she has developed into a notable beauty. However, her guardian confides to him that she is dancing on the very edge of propriety. Buck, who has been fighting the French since he was twelve, also finds the ton confining and sympathizes with Fanny/Rosalind’s plight as a properly reared young lady. Together, they make a dangerous pair, toeing the line between propriety and scandal. When they push their fun too far, Fanny faces ruin and the demimonde. Will Buck confide his own secrets and overcome his life-long aversion to marriage? Can there be a happily ever after for someone as headstrong and impetuous as Fanny?
"Vandagriff's Regency Austen-esque romance is perfect for any reader who loves a good old-fashioned romance and can enoy the journey of two people learning not to fear love while learning how to have faith in each other." --Deseret News "Regency Romance in the style of Austen and Heyer.
Love as it's meant to be written." --InDtale Magazine
"Another Regency delight from G.G. Vandagriff!" --Meridian Magazine
It had been many years since Captain Buckingham Kernow-Charles, Marquis of Deal, had strolled in the formal Ruisdell Palace gardens. The topiary animals that had so delighted him when he was twelve were now rendered even more magical by a frosting of snow. The last time he had seen them was that summer before he first went to sea. The giraffe, the boar, the jaguar, and . . . what was that?
Before him in the freezing mist appeared a slender, small youth dressed in tights, a belted tunic, and a comical hat that resembled nothing so much as a blue and red striped stocking.
“Marry, kind sir, how com’st thou here?” He blinked his eyes, but the youth remained. His comely, almost feminine features had a puzzled look. Upon closer inspection, Buck saw signs of a bosom and smothered a grin.
“I am a guest of the duke. My name is Captain Kernow-Charles,” he said, forgetting his new title. The apparition bowed from the waist.
“And I, kind sir, am Gannymede. Welcome to the Forest of Arden.”
Buck’s forehead bunched in a frown. Gannymede? Shakespeare? As You Like It? Striding forward, he took hold of the end of the stocking hat and pulled. Out tumbled waves of thick auburn hair, descending to Gannymede’s waist.
“Thou art Rosalind, I think?”
“Thou dost not play fair, sir.”
He chuckled. “You are, quite obviously, a girl. Your disguise was futile. Does your mother know you are cavorting about dressed as a boy, boldly addressing strangers?”
“Rosalind” blushed a fiery red that clashed with her bounteous hair. “My mother is nothing to do with you, sir. She lives in Shropshire. I am sister to the duchess and may do as I please.”
“How old are you?” he asked with the sternness for which he was known aboard ship.
“I do not see that that is any of your business, sir.” Her eyes, an unusual shade of turquoise, snapped with annoyance.
“You may address me as Captain. My guess places you at sixteen. Am I wrong?”
“Quite wrong, Captain. I am to make my curtsey to the Queen in the spring. I am a great many months older than seventeen.” He saw that she was beginning to shiver in her scant clothing.
“It is too cold for you to be out in this weather dressed as you are. Come back to the house.”
Looking mulish, she said, “I am not cold. Besides which, I am meeting Jacques.”
“If I know Jacques, he will not come out in such weather.”
“He wishes to write a poem about it.”
“A lament, you mean.”
“Possibly. May I say, you are quite overbearing, Captain? But at least you know your Shakespeare.”
Author G.G. Vandagriff G.G. Vandagriff is an Amazon #1 best selling author of Regency romance, however she has recently begun a Romantic Suspense series starting with the publication of Breaking News It surrounds the events in a Chicago TV station's investigative journalism unit and is lots of fun. Her first novel The Last Waltz, the first novel in her 20th Century Historical Romance Series won the Whitney Award for Best Historical Novel in 2009. There are now two more books in that series--Exile and Defiance. Her thirteen Regencies have been lauded by critics and compared to the witty novels of Georgette Heyer. She has also written a lively genealogical mystery series featuring Briggie and Alex, two wacky widows, as sleuths. Alex is in her thirties, Briggie in her sixties, and both have plenty of romance in their lives. Vandagriff graduated from Stanford and received her master's degree from George Washington University. She worked as an associate editor at Stanford's Hoover Institution, an assistant treasurer in the Harvard Treasurer's office, a bond analyst at Fidelity Investments, and an international banker for Continental Illinois National Bank (later acquired by Bank of America). She and her husband David are the parents of three children and seven grandchildren, her greatest joys in life. Her favorite novel? Jane Eyre. She also loves Florence, Sundance Resort, Cubs baseball, hot chocolate, lilacs, and dachshunds.
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