Christmas Awards 2011

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Pilfered Plume



It was June and the new nineteenth century had begun, it was just a year since Linnet Carlisle had fled from London with a broken heart. She had been the welcome guest at the Lakeland residence of her great-aunt Miss Edith Minton. Ivystone House was in a picturesque setting between high fells and a beautiful lake.
Linnet had been visited regularly, by her dear friend Venetia Lady Hartley, a very rich and beautiful widow of Lord Hartley, who she had married at the age of only nineteen years. It was not a happy marriage and it was a great relief to Venetia when her Lord died only one year later, she was now a very merry widow and a famed hostess. On one of these visits to Linnet, Venetia had brought her half brother with her. He was a handsome and charming companion and soon Linnet discovered her heart was no longer broken, she had fallen for the charms of Benedict Gresham, who had recently returned from madras. Both Bededict and Venetia tried in vane to entice her back to London. But the fear of coming face to face with the man who had broken her heart was still too raw. Linnet had no desire to meet Nicholas Fenton, Lord Fane, who had preferred the charms of the most famous courtesan in London, a certain Miss Judith Jordan, to her own.
The expected visit of Venetia and her brother was due and Linnet was indeed looking forward to it. Her Aunt, Miss Minton was not an admirer of Benedict Gresham, she put him down as a fortune hunter sure that he was only after Linnets fortune, but she was too wise to voice these suspicions too widely.
At last the two young people arrived and Linnet was happy to be courted by Benedict, he was very attentive and so kind that when he asked her to go back to London with him, this time Linnet agreed.
They were just a short way from Carlisle House now and Linnet and her Aunt were heartily glad that the journey was almost over. Linnet was glancing out of the window when she saw Nicholas he was riding a superb Arabian horse and looked extremely aloof and aristocratic but also very handsome, the sight of him made Linnet’s heart flutter and she, much to her annoyance trembled as he turned his head and saw her. Removing his hat he gave her an exaggerated bow, a twisted smile on his lips, she turned away as the carriage swept past him. Linnet knew that she would have to face him, but this was too soon.
Venetia soon visited Linnet and was full of plans for her entertainment, always including Great Aunt Minton in the plans. But Miss Minton declined saying she was too tired from the journey to take part in any expeditions, declaring that as a widow Venetia was well able to act as chaperone to Linnet for a day or two.
That evening much to her discomfort a letter was delivered to Linnet, Nicholas was intending to visit her, she panicked her Aunt had not left her room all day and she would not see Venetia or Benedict until later there was nothing for it she must face him alone.
The meeting was not a success Nicholas was angry that she had left London the previous year in such a hurry and obviously believed the worst of him without listening to him. Nicholas asked if Benedict had visited her when she was staying with her aunt in the Lake District, she said he had, which angered him and he demanded to know what Benedict was to her. Linnet would not answer him at first but then said that Bennedict was a very close friend They exchanged many angry words and Linnet rang for the butler to see Lord Fane out, just as a carriage stopped outside, with Venetia and Benedict in it.
Nicholas saw the carriage and strode from the room and out of the front door giving the Hartley’s a curt nod.
The evening at the theatre was spoilt for Linnet when she saw Nicholas with the Jordan woman enjoying the show.
There are many twists and turns in this Regency book and I hope that I have given you a taste for it, it is well worth reading for those who love this genre and I am sure you will enjoy this delightful story. I award this book 5 Red Roses. AS

No comments: