Miss Dare, why are you dragging me down the corridor? The ballroom is the other way.
I know, Lady B. Forgive the distraction, but I want you to meet Eliza. She’s in the spare parlor.
Which spare parlor? I have several.
Er…the lavender one?
Ah, yes. Why is the gel waiting there? Have you brought along another of your wallflower spinsters, Miss Dare?
No, no. Miss Eliza Cade is quite a different breed from the Spindle Cove set. She’s most definitely not a wallflower. Quite a bold and lively young lady, in fact.
Then why doesn’t she come join the ball?
Well, she’s not allowed, you see. She’s the youngest of four girls, and her father has decreed that Eliza may not be “out” in Society until all three of her older sisters are married. Even though she’s a grown woman now, and she’s been waiting for years.
That strikes me as rather strange parenting.
(I lower my voice.) You see, there was an incident a few years ago. Eliza was young, and her heart was in the right place–but she showed rather poor judgment. Her father thinks she’s too scandal-prone. He’s convinced she’ll sink her sisters’ chances if he lets her anywhere near a ballroom. Meanwhile, Eliza’s trying her best to be good.
I open the parlor door.
Well. She seems to be failing on that score.
I shut the parlor door. But not before Lady B gets an eyeful of Eliza engaged in a feverish embrace with a dark-haired, roguishly handsome man.
(Lady B raises her quizzing glass) Miss Dare, who was that gentleman?
Er…that would be Mr. Wright.
Mr. Wright? He looked like Mr. Wrong to me.
Yes. Indeed. Harry Wright’s rather a dangerous scoundrel, always hovering at the fringes of balls and parties. And Eliza can’t seem to avoid him, no matter how hard she tries.
She didn’t seem to be trying very hard just now.
Well… No. She wasn’t. *sigh*
Lady B (and everyone) can read all about Miss Eliza Cade’s struggles to avoid temptation and the oh-so-wrong Harry Wright in my new novella, “The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright.”
It’s part of a digital anthology called Three Weddings and a Murder, which will be available for sale sometime this week – perhaps as early as tomorrow!
Included are historical romance novellas from yours truly, Courtney Milan, Leigh LaValle, and a romantic thriller from Carey Baldwin–all for the bargain price of $2.99, and profits go to a good cause–the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. You can learn more about the anthology, read an excerpt of my story, (and find buy links, once they’re live) here.
I will confess–this novella was partly inspired by my desire to write a couple who bore a slight resemblance to one of my all-time favorite couples, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. A devilish scoundrel, paired with a spirited society girl. Only I wanted Eliza and Harry to have a happy ending!
If you could rewrite a famous love story and give it a happier ending, which would you choose?