Desperate Measures: A Regency Short Story, by Candice Hern – A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

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.

Playing the “Mooncalf”

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.

Anyone with a Heart Will Be Weak in the Knees

“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 out of 5 Regency Stars


  • Desperate Measures: A Regency Short Story, by Candice Hern
  • Published by Candice Hern (May 29, 2011)
  •  eBook (33) pages
  • ASIN: B00539TLVM
  • Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance 


We received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Cover image courtesy of Candice Hern © 2011; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2013, an Amazon affiliate.

15 thoughts on “Desperate Measures: A Regency Short Story, by Candice Hern – A Review

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  1. It sounds intriguing. How is Geoffrey going to make Lord Tennison fall madly in love with Lydia? Look forward to reading this short story.


  2. One wishes Candice Hern would indeed feature this charming hero and heroine in a full-length novel of their own. (as she suggested) It was so romantic that I just sort-of floated away upon finishing it…


  3. Sounds like a delightful read though I am concerned that the short length will not allow enough time for character development


  4. I’ve never been a fan of short stories, but enjoyed the clever story line, and all too quickly finished it, though the kissing scene was beyond my comfort zone and rather spoiled the story for me. I liked the obvious affection in Lydia’s relationship with her mother, and their mutual consideration.


  5. I am enjoying these books…this was quick and fun! I already have the e-book so please don’t enter me in the give-away!


  6. This was cute but really needed to be longer. It would be a great book if you started before the ball when they were very young. Not enough story to make this wonderfu.


  7. A day (or two) late and a dollar short, but at last I am caught up!
    I must agree with the previous comments – we received the briefest of glimpses into these two delightful characters; the final chapter of a grand story. What marvelous potential for a great novel…we know the end, but it is usually the beginning, the twists, the conflicts and unintended mistakes that make getting to the end so rewarding.
    I do hope that Ms. Hearn will one day revisit this little gem to give Geoffrey and Lydia the full story they deserve.


  8. This was a charming short story and fit well into the entire series of Ms. Hern’s Regencies. Loved all the twists and turns the story went through in such a short time. (Yes, I know I’m very late. I’ve read all the books/stories and forgot to post when the time came.)


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