This is my sixth selection in the Regency Romance Reading Challenge 2013, our celebration of romance author Candice Hern. We will be reading all of her traditional Regencies over the next nine months, discussing her characters, plots and Regency history. Make haste! You can still join the reading challenge until July 1, 2013. Participants, please leave comments and or links to your reviews for this month in the comment section of this post.
Unrequited love can force a girl into desperate measures—a scheme that Lydia Bettridge’s brother Daniel has concocted—and she is uncertain will work. Before the most important ball of the Season, he will procure his friend Philip Hartwell to sweep her off her feet in front of the object of her affection making him wild with jealousy. But when Philip is detained from the ball and unknowingly asks the object of her affection Geoffrey Danforth to be the swain who sweeps, Lydia is thrown for a loop. NO—he was to be the jealous lover, not the one to make her lover jealous! Thankfully Geoffrey does not know who the object of the game is and Lydia is not going to tell him! But now everything is topsy-turvy. How was she going to make him think of her as a beautiful, desirable young woman and not the little sister of his best friend? It does not help that he is so eager to play the part, especially since he has never singled out any woman in his life and will draw the attention of Society by playing the “mooncalf” with her. He was determined to make everyone in the room believe that he was madly in love with her, and he did, even Lydia! It was totally glorious—except that it was not real. Pressed to reveal whom Geoffrey is to make jealous, Lydia picks the first man she sees, the infamous rake Lord Tennison. Shocked, he tries to warn her off, but Lydia claims she needs excitement in her life. Always the obliging gentleman, Geoffrey promises to play the part to the nines and have Tennison falling at her feet before the night’s end.
“Desperate Measures” is a charming short story introducing readers who love Regency romance, Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen to the talents of novelist Candice Hern. It has a happy ending of course, but not before the reader is swept into a ballroom and into the arms of a blue-eyed swain who makes Lydia and anyone with a heart weak in the knees. I hope she is inspired to expand the story and characters into a full novel. An excerpt from her novel The Best Intensions follows the short story, leaving one craving more on both fronts.
4.5 out of 5 Regency Stars
Desperate Measures: A Regency Short Story, by Candice Hern
Candice Hern (2011)
Digital eBook (34) pages
A Grand Giveaway
Author Candice Hern has generously offered one digital copy of “Desperate Measures” to one lucky winner. Leave a comment stating what intrigues you about this short story, or if you have read it, who your favorite character is by midnight PT, Wednesday, July 03, 2013. Winner to be announced on Thursday, July 04, 2013. Digital copy delivery internationally. Good luck!
- Up Next on July 24 – Miss Lacy’s Last Fling
- Visit Candice Hern at her website
- Sign-up for the Regency Romance Reading Challenge 2013
Book cover image courtesy © Candice Hern 2011; text © 2013 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose