Last week’s book release party has apparently given Lady B ideas. If four couples can manage to find their way to love over the course of one house party, then surely some progress could be made over the rest of the Season.
“After all, Miss Darby, my nephew has always been a quick wit and a fast learner.”
I stare at our hostess with what I hope is the blandest of all expressions on my face. Admittedly, we guests of the ballroom have seen Monty in generally unfortunate circumstances, with a good heart but not necessarily the brightest of bulbs. But it is entirely possible Lady B knows something about him that simply hasn’t had a chance to shine through.
“But he uses that intelligence to annoy me and avoid all stratagems.”
Hmm. That’s true. Maybe Monty is more clever than I give him credit for.
“Clearly the last girl (and her mother) were not suitable for him, but they are both more than appropriate for Monty’s friends.”
“Finally! A peep out of you. Yes, did you think my dear nephew was not sociable? Like his Aunt he is in much demand. And like his Uncle before him, he has a very close knit group of male companions with which he gads about town.”
I’m all ears now, because all of you romance readers know what this sounds like to me?
CABAL OF HOT SINGLE TITLED HEROES IN WAITING!
Sorry for the all caps, but you know that’s a romance writer’s dream.
“Tell me about these companions?” I urge. “Why have we never seen them lounging about here? I mean, really, us authoresses would be more than happy to…”
Lady B is watching me with a very peculiar expression. “Exactly, my dear Miss Darby, I am so glad you are in agreement. Because this scheme will require the services of you and your fellow authoresses.”
I stepped right into that one. She knew exactly the right carrot to dangle in front of me.
“What is your plan, Lady B?”
“To marry each of his friends off so that he feels that it is the only thing to do. You know how these young men are these days. If one of them buys a new dangerously high-perched phaeton, all the rest of them have to as well. “
I nod sagely but inside I’m shrieking with delight and not at all upset that I’ve been manipulated into helping with her scheme.
“So,” Lady B continues, “while I know I normally leave the place to the lot of you on Saturday, I’ve invited the gentlemen to tea and I expect all of you authoresses to attend and take their measure. Now I had better meet with my cook to make certain we have food conducive to gentling my nephew and his friends.
I didn’t get to ask the one question I had, how big is a cabal? However, I can ask everyone else, what is your favorite group of romance book heroes?