A Coaching Accident, a Regency New Year Fancy Dress Ball, and a Devilish Masquerade will ensue.
The cynical Melbourne, Earl Standish, has resigned himself to a bachelor existence in which a mistress is a damn sight safer than young chits with mother’s who are hell-bent on securing a title for their daughters. Stealing the cherry as sporting game has never been his gambit, until that is, a coaching accident, involving his sister and the Danby family, thrusts an irresistible young lady into his sightline. Conventions of hospitality must be afforded to the rescuers of his sister, and with a New Year ball imminent at Norton Priory, Standish is hopelessly smitten, but he has two brothers and the elder of the two is a renowned cherry stealer. Can the Earl overcome his misgivings and rejoin the Marriage Mart – and will the rakish brother let him steal away with Cecily Danby?
True to the traditional romance of Regency England coaches and horses feature greatly within Regency novels, and of course coaching accidents were not as uncommon as modern-day thinkers tend to assume. Some coaching accidents were fatal for passengers, especially those thrown overboard from up top, Other coaching accidents, often in perilous weather conditions were almost as deadly. Thus a coaching accident features in this novella, and is the opening to a tale involving the original Cinderella fairy tale, though Cecy is no poor mistreated Cinderella. But the story reveals all, so I'll leave it there, except to say the coaching accident leads to a stay at Norton Priory, and that is where Cecy learns who she really is, after seventeen years of believing she is someone else!