The Desire of a Lady
by Linda Rae Sande
Genre: Historical Romance
A sensual tale of a maid, four suitors and a clerk on a mission
As the illegitimate daughter of an earl, Lily Harkins spent her early years toiling as a scullery maid and later as a lady's maid. When her brother, Gabriel Wellingham, paid a call to claim her as his sister, Lily was surprised and a bit overwhelmed. With recognition as the Earl of Trenton's half-sister came the responsibility to learn the ways of the ton as well as the promise of a substantial dowry—an irresistible draw for many a man who might require the income to pay off gambling debts or shore up flagging bank accounts.
William Overby may have started his life as a street urchin in the Seven Dials, but he worked his way from being Thomas Wellingham's caddie to clerking at the man's business. Having outfitted his bachelor quarters with excess inventory from Wellingham Imports and rather satisfied with his lot in life, William has no need to wonder what's next. That is, until he meets the comely blonde chit who's paying a visit to her cousin, Thomas. The idea of courting—the idea of taking a wife—are suddenly all William can think about.
Thanks to patient tutoring, Lily had a successful come-out—too successful. Having read the stories in the gossip sheets from London suggesting his sister is being courted by no fewer than four aristocrats, Gabriel sends for her. He’s determined to hear her side of the stories before deciding which man is worthy enough to be her husband.
Having suffered a good deal of embarrassment in her encounters with gentlemen claiming they wished to court her, Lily wonders if any of her suitors are sincere. And just who is the young man who works for her cousin Thomas? Is he a suitable suitor? Or just another fortune hunter after her dowry? While on her way to meet her brother in Staffordshire, Lily decides she may have to spin a few tales of her own to get her way in The Desire of a Lady.
1. Gabriel Wellingham, Earl of Trenton, first appeared in THE KISS OF A VISCOUNT.
2. In July 1817, the sovereign coin was reintroduced.
3. Little Gabe, Sarah and Gabriel’s son, is illegitimate, a result of their first evening together in the Spread Eagle, a coaching inn in Stretton.
4. There really is a Spread Eagle Inn in Stretton.
5. Fictional Trenton Manor is located in Bilston, Staffordshire, a town now nearly merged into Wolverhampton.
6. Gas lighting was introduced for stage productions in the West End, including The English Opera House and Theatre Royal in Drury Lane and Theatre Royal in Covent Gardens.
7. Sarah Cumberbatch Wellingham, Countess of Trenton, first appeared in the very first chapter of THE KISS OF A VISCOUNT.
8. A French letter, or condom, was made from sheep intestines and tied on using a ribbon.
9. William Overby first appeared as a caddie (messenger boy) in THE PROMISE OF A GENTLEMAN.
10. Waterloo Bridge opened in London on June 18, 1817.
11. Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817.
12. Vauxhall Gardens was a pleasure garden on the south bank of the River Thames and one of the leading venues for public entertainment.
13. Thomas and Emma Wellingham first appeared in THE PROMISE OF A GENTLEMAN.
14. A pasquel flower is one of the rarest flowers found in Great Britain.
15. The story of how Gabriel and Sarah Wellingham ended up together can be found in MY FAIR GROOM.
16. Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London.
17. Gunter’s Tea Shop, located at No. 7-8 Berkeley Square, was a fashionable light eatery featuring ices and sorbets.
18. A musicale is a gathering or concert, typically small and informal.
19. Milton Grandby, Earl of Torrington, first appeared in THE KISS OF A VISCOUNT and is mentioned or plays a significant role in every “Aristocracy” book by Linda Rae Sande.
20. Grandby’s wife, Adele Slater Worthington Grandby, is sister to William Slater, Marquess of Devonville, and the aunt of Hannah Slater, whose story can be found in THE SEDUCTION OF AN EARL.
21. Lord Weatherstone’s balls are favored by members of the ton because his gardens provide cover for trysts.
22. A soirée is an evening party or gathering, typically in a private home, featuring conversation or music.
23. Drawn by a single horse, high-perch phaetons were to the Regency what Corvettes are to current car enthusiasts. Yellow and red were the most popular colors for these vehicles.
24. Lily Harkins first appeared in THE STORY OF A BARON when her half-brother, Gabriel Wellingham paid a visit to Fitzsimmons Manor and claimed the lady’s maid as his sister.
25. Park Lane addresses were highly prized by members of the aristocracy. The houses on the west side back up to Hyde Park.
A former technical writer, Linda Rae’s interest in the Regency has resulted in ten books set during that era. Employed at Goodyear Printing, she can frequently be found at the local cinema enjoying the latest movie. During the winter, she houses junior hockey players and follows the San Jose Sharks. She makes her home in Cody. Read more about her books on her website: www.lindaraesande.com.