Me again after a very long break! In fact my last HDH post was back in June.
So long ago that I think an explanation is in order. Hump Day Hook is a sort of blog hop where bits of story are posted – these can be anything from erotic romance to sci fi – and we all bop around the blogosphere reading each others work. Just click on the kissy-face graphic below to go to the list of participating authors.
Since the graphic for HDH is het I decided to post bits of an old Regency romance that I started to write over 25 years ago. In the story well meaning but foolish Sir Aubrey loses an IOU promising his sister’s hand in marriage to a friend, who loses it to someone else. Lady Cicely is horrified to read in the paper next morning an announcement of her engagement to Sir Patrick Fitzroy, son and heir of the Earl of Innisidhe. Now Aubrey and Cicely are squabbling about the best way to deal with the situation.
“He’s a handsome devil, though,” Aubrey admitted, “which makes him even more eligible despite his faults. There are going to be a lot of disappointed young ladies and furious mamas reading the paper this morning.”
Cicely gaped at him. “You mean to say that he’s a – a catch! Mad Pat FitzRoy?”
“Mad Pat FitzRoy has got more money than he knows what to do with. There’s many a girl, as you well know, who would give her eyeteeth to be a Countess with a fortune not dependent upon a few hundred acres in Derbyshire. They are going to be green with envy.” Aubrey suddenly grinned. “They’ll be cutting you dead in the streets.”
Cicely also saw the funny side and began to giggle. “Are you sure,” she demanded, “that he’ll be as upset about this as I am?”
“Mad Pat? With a wife? He’ll be frantic!”
“Good.” Cicely’s smile was not very nice. “Let’s teach him a lesson. I want you to write a letter to my betrothed, Aubrey. Let’s see if we can make the worm squirm before we let him off the hook.”
Author’s Note: In those days, once the announcement had been made in the paper it was pretty much a done deal. A man could be sued for breach of promise if he went back on an engagement and the girl had to think hard about whether she wanted request an end to the engagement and risk being branded a flirt and a jilt. To post a retraction, stating that the announcement had been made accidentally would cause a scandal. So Cicely’s situation is rather more serious that it first appears to be.