Publisher: Gyneva Books
Page Length: 321 Pages
Genre: Regency Romance
Lady Raquelle Adderley wished she’d been born a man.
Her cousin and partner in all rebellious activities has just set off on the adventure of a lifetime, riding to Moscow with her new husband.
Envious, bored and restless, what could be a better antidote than going to Paris disguised as a man to help Major Beaumont rescue a lady in trouble.
Major Alex (aka Griz) Beaumont believes ‘men should be men and women should be ladies’ and is not shy about stating his opinions.
What could possibly go wrong?
Then he turned the full force of his disapproval on Quelle.
‘Lady Raquelle. Forgive me if I seem underwhelmed by your collective feminine beauty but this is not how I am used to being greeted by well-born ladies of the ton. Though Jack has recently reminded me this is ‘Lady Lucy country’ so I do realize I should not be surprised.’
‘And clearly you’re not impressed, Major. So there is no need for us to detain you,’ Quelle responded heatedly.
The insufferable prig!
So this was the Major Beaumont Carly had told them about who had been so disapproving of Lucy even though her intervention in the skirmish at Maime had helped destroy the last link in Napoleon’s chain of supply. It had also saved Captain Arlington’s life and quite probably the earl’s. The Captain could not sing Lucy’s praises highly enough.
Her whole body stiffened with outrage on Lucy’s behalf.
To her surprise Jackson placed his hand on her arm. For all that they’d fought regularly for several weeks now, he’d never physically touched her. She was no demure, timid miss and if she felt the need to speak her mind she did, with a forthrightness and fire that her mother had despaired of curbing in her.
But the shock of Jackson’s touch stalled any further invective and she contented herself with glaring uncompromisingly at Major Beaumont.
Who, apparently lacking any gentlemanly attributes, glared right back.
‘Hold on, Griz. You won’t get any cooperation from the lady in that way. And you do want her cooperation, do you not?’
‘Lady,’ the Major scoffed. ‘I never saw anything less lady-like in my life.’
Quelle’s bristling hackles were immediately soothed by Jackson’s earthy chuckle.
‘Fetching nevertheless, you’d have to admit, Griz?’
To Quelle’s astonishment, the Major’s harshly sculpted cheeks were suddenly highlighted by a dull, burning red.
‘Ladies should be ladies and leave manly pursuits to men,’ he growled.
The sudden roiling heat in her belly meant this would not end well.
‘Then you’d not have the perfect solution to your problem. And you have to admit you came looking for Lady Lucy because she’s a lady who knows how to handle a sword and a pistol. She’s not here—but Lady Raquelle is. In fact she’s more suited to the job than Lady Lucy. Not so—um—’
Arlington, waving his hands vaguely in the direction of Quelle’s chest, for once seemed lost for words.
Not so the Major.
‘—feminine—where it counts? You’d get no argument from me on that score.’
‘That’s torn it,’ Arlington muttered as Quelle wrenched her arm free of his calming grip.
‘You sir,’ she ground out, thrusting her buttoned sword point into the Major’s broad chest, ‘are an unmitigated boor.’
‘Agreed,’ he came back at her with disconcerting honesty. ‘I make no apologies for my belief that men should be men and women should be ladies and I have little patience for anyone who thinks differently. It is, after all, the natural order. However, I do have need of such a personage to assist with a delicate mission and Jack insists that in the absence of Lady Lucy, you are the woman I need. In fact, as you hear him say, you are much more suited to the role since you don’t have her rather more obvious womanly attributes.’
Fury seared the breath from her lungs.
Quelle turned a disbelieving glare on the Captain.
She’d heard enough from the arrogant Major and was working up a furious utterance to the effect that he had even less idea of what constituted a ‘gentleman’ than she a ‘lady’, but he simply ignored her swelling ire and continued.
‘So—care to take up my challenge? I understand you’ve been lamenting not having a right-handed partner to train with while Lady Lucy is away. Will you fight me?’
‘Buttons off?’ she demanded, stepping back a little and feeling decidedly bloodthirsty. The big, handsome boor would look very well spitted on her steel.
‘I think not.’
The infuriating man regarded her with a flash in the dark, grey eyes that might have been the hint of a smile, though Quelle had the distinct impression that smiling was something Major Beaumont was not accustomed to doing.
She stepped back and allowed her sword point to rest on the floor and watched with slowly building appreciation as the Major doffed his uniform tunic and tossed it to the dais.
In full uniform he had a presence any woman would appreciate. But as he turned back to her, the closely fitting shirt and buckskin trousers showcasing the long, hard, blatantly masculine lines of his body, Quelle had to prise her tongue from the roof of her mouth.
The Comtesse would have enjoyed this one—which was a very sneaky way of admitting that she herself was similarly impressed.
Jen Yates is a great granny so has a few life years behind her. Thirty-three of those years were spent teaching at primary schools and a further six running her own antiques business. Auctions and garage sales became an addiction.
Regardless, there always had to be time for writing.
Now able to write full time and read whenever she wants, she considers she has the perfect life, and spends much of it skiving off with her characters, usually pen in hand and imbibing coffee at one of her favourite cafes.
Born and raised in New Zealand and now living with her husband in the small rural village of Piopio in the King Country area of the North Island, she nevertheless feels a strong connection to England, as her forebears came from Devon and Cornwall.
Jen has written contemporary romance, erotica and past life travel, but her passion is romance set in Regency era England. Her heroines rarely conform to expectations, would definitely have been considered ‘Originals’, and since it takes an exceptional hero to tempt a strong and independent woman, you can expect sexy situations and impassioned confrontations.
Jen writes what she loves to read, a compelling, emotionally driven story that always delivers a deeply satisfying HEA.
Jen Yates also writes as one of ‘The Three Quills’, with Leigh D’Ansey and Caroline Bagshaw. Together they put out an anthology of three short Regency stories twice a year.