A Regency Yuletide
by Becky Lower
Historical Romance with Sass
After a disappointing season in London, Sophie Davenport returns home without a marriage proposal, which she doesn’t mind. However, her mother and her uncle do mind, and set about getting Sophie married to the vicar’s son. When Jeremy Wyatt wanders into their lives, Sophie wonders whether a loveless marriage is what she wants, and Jeremy begins to question his lifestyle. It takes Christmas, and mistletoe, to upend their lives.
Being of good English stock, Sophie Davenport loved the rain. At least most of the time, since it made the rolling hills of Carlisle a pretty, bucolic green in the summer. Today however, she took her knitting to the window seat in the library and gazed into the darkening countryside while her fingers flew, making stitches from the fine wool. It had been raining for days now, which, in and of itself, was not an uncommon event during the month of December. But this afternoon the gloom settled over her as if it were a heavy blanket. She had lost so much time by trotting to London for her first season on the marriage mart at the insistence of her Uncle Harry, that she was unable to tend to her gardens and her charitable pursuits this year. He had hoped to foist Sophie off to a gentleman of means, so he could be rid of both Sophie and her mother.
The season had been an abysmal failure, at least in Mother’s eyes. And in the eyes of Uncle Harry, since Sophie had returned home empty-handed. Not one man had danced with her unless you counted pimply-faced Freddie, her cousin, who had done so out of family duty rather than real interest. Sophie, however, breathed a sigh of relief at returning home without sparking the interest of a gentleman, since the men of the Ton were, for the most part, more interested in their own appearances than in hers. If she had to cast her fortunes in with someone, it would most certainly not be with a man who had a larger wardrobe than she.