From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:
Hello readers! Please help me welcome historical romance author Paullett Golden to Austenprose today in celebration of the release of her new anthology, A Dash of Romance, the first book in her new Romantic Encounters series.
The anthology contains a novella set in 1795 Devonshire, England, the love story of Percival Randal and Abigail Walsley, two dreamers who enter into a marriage of inconvenience for both of them. Also included is a special bonus collection of flash and short fiction—all stand-alone stories. This is a series that the author intends to produce annually.
If you are in the mood for short and sweet romances for light summer reading, look no further. In addition to a book description, we are happy to share an exclusive excerpt selected by the author to whet your appetite.
With quills and fantasies, they write their future.
Percival Randall lives an uncomplicated life of luxury, as he likes it. Not even an ultimatum requiring marriage can tip the scales. A conniving young lady who compromises his name to force a betrothal, however, is an impediment to happiness Percival must confront.
Abigail Walsley dreams of publishing novels rather than marrying dashing heroes. An unexpected proposal and a subsequent Banbury tale tumble her into a betrothal with a man she has never met. Following her dreams proves a challenge with a marriage of inconvenience on the horizon.
This is the love story of Percival and Abigail, two dreamers who write their love story one scene at a time.
From second chance romances to mistaken identities, experience A Dash of Romance in this collection of one short novel and fourteen bonus flash fiction pieces.
Using a ribbon to replace her finger as a bookmark, Abbie decided it time to set aside Clarissa. She could not concentrate, no matter how captivating the story. She held the book to her chest and stretched her legs. Had her father finished preparing his sermon?
Just as she rose from her chair, intent on checking on him, the parlor door opened.
Her father’s face peered around the door, his eyes roaming the room until he spotted her. Leland stepped into the room wearing a peculiar expression. He was not alone. Following behind him was a man dressed so well as to be considered foppish. Blonde, blue-eyed, extraordinarily tall, athletic—a handsome man indeed! Abbie flushed at the sight of him. He pulled a snuff-box out of his pocket and took a pinch then paused to study the top of the box, as though it held all the secrets to the modern world. He had yet to look at her.
Her father’s smile was tight, not reaching his eyes, and his brow furrowed, as though trying to sort a difficult puzzle as he looked from Abbie to the man and back.
“Dearest, I trust you’re not indisposed. Lord Dunley requests an audience.”
Ah! It had been so long since she had last seen Lord Dunley, she hadn’t recognized him. He was much taller and broader than she recalled, certainly more fashionable. There was more lace and frill about his person than she possessed in her entire wardrobe.
It was not until her father backed out of the room and shut the door, leaving her alone with the viscount, that Abbie began to fret. Her eyes widened in alarm, the book clutched against her bosom.
“Has her ladyship taken ill?” she asked.
Guilt! Oh, dear guilt. She had been avoiding Lord Dunley’s mother for purely selfish reasons, and now look what had happened! Her ladyship was ill, or worse. Could it be worse? Abbie drew the book higher until the edge pressed at her chin.
“Miss Abilene,” Lord Dunley said, “my mother is quite well. It is on her behalf I have come today.”
Abigail stared in confusion, her fingers tightening around the book.
For the first time since entering the room, Lord Dunley’s eyes lifted from studying his snuff-box and cast her a cursory inspection before his gaze rested on the book in her hands.
He frowned. “Is that a book my mother would approve?”
“I’m afraid I don’t understand your question.” It was not, in fact, a book Lady Dunley would approve, but that was neither here nor there, as this was her father’s house not his.
His frown deepened, his eyes not lifting from the book. “Reading is an unhealthy habit for a young lady.”
Bristling, Abbie bit back her response. It would not do to insult a viscount, certainly not one standing in the vicarage. Instead, she tucked the book behind her and indicated a chair.
“Would you care to join me, my lord?”
“I shan’t stay long, Miss Aberdeen. I’ve come to secure your hand in marriage.”
Abbie’s jaw dropped.
“I—but you—but we’ve—We’ve never even spoken to each other, my lord,” she stammered.
Not in her wildest fantasies would she have expected a proposal from a viscount, least of all this one. Had he been besotted with her all this time? Had he been gathering information about her from his mother? How flattering. How peculiar. But he had never spoken to her! Despite the absurdity, she felt a moment’s blush. She could marry. She could have a family of her own. She could know love. Long ago had such dreams diminished. To have them flooding back to her in such an unexpected fashion was too much. Although not the swooning type, Abbie felt faint, her limbs cold and her face clammy.
“I see no reason why that should change,” he answered, returning to study his snuff box.
It took her a minute to recall what she had said. When she did, she clamped her jaw closed, affronted and perplexed.
Pocketing the box, he huffed a bored sigh. “Well, Miss Adelaide? Shall I procure a license on Monday? A hasty and private ceremony would be best, don’t you agree?”
- “Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this new endeavor from Golden and look forward to next summer’s anthology.” —No Apology Book Reviews
- “With a sweet, romantic novella and bite-sized flash fiction, Golden has everything you need to escape into something lighthearted at the end of the day.” —Dream Come Review
- “A Dash of Romance is a pure delight to read! I recommend it for readers who enjoy a light read, but also one that is full of heart and wonderful characters and will leave you with a smile.” —Roses are Blue: Romantic Fiction Reviews
Paullett Golden is a Houston, Texas native who now divides her time between Northumberland, England and her hometown. She has been a university professor for over 20 years. As a cancer survivor, she now focuses her attention on writing. She loves historical fiction of all kinds as a way to transport us to a different time and place. When not writing, she can be found in her butterfly garden or on a racetrack.
- A Dash of Romance (Romantic Encounters: An Anthology Book 1), by Paullett Golden
- Self-published (July 20, 2020)
- Trade paperback & eBook (338) pages
- ISBN: 978-1735236001
- Genre: Historical Romance
Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image, book description, and exclusive excerpt compliments of Paullett Golden © 2020; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2020, austenprose.com.