An expert at winning a woman’s hand. A woman who cannot be won.
Lord Featherstone has the world on his shoulders. Or at least his world. With two brothers and a failing estate he must make funds somehow. But what happens when he falls for a woman? Will his tactics work when the situation is so close and personal?
Everyone thinks Lady Loveluck is a wealthy widow. What they don’t know is that she is on the brink of hiring herself out as a Governess in order to pay for her next meal. The only thing keeping her from employment is a growing reputation as a matchmaker. As long as she never falls for another man, as long as she doesn’t allow herself to be fooled into marrying, she will be just fine.
But she never counted on being caught up in the beguiling tactics of London’s renowned and not so secret matchmaker for men.
PRAISE FOR TO WIN HER HAND
- “I loved the character growth, watching them learn more about the other’s heart and hardships, and the realization that perhaps they had more choices than they first thought. Such a sweet regency. I’m so grateful I had the chance to read this one.”— Makayla Branson, Reading Past Bedtime
- “The house party, the quiet moments, the collection of other characters, and much more all combined together made this is delightful read.”— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads
- “Two matchmakers with a wager. What fun for all! [A] heart touching story.”— Shauna Jones, Goodreads
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Geigle Johnson is an award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy’s top award for Romance,
Jen has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well.
Six children and an inspiring husband keep her going and make certain she doesn’t stay glued to a keyboard or lost in obscure fascinating details of old castles.
Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.
EXCERPT FROM TO WIN HER HAND
“My dear, are you quite well?” He placed a hand over the top of hers. “You seem much more agitated than you were a moment ago.”
She glanced around again and then shook her head. “I’m so sorry to admit my great distraction, but our talk of Miss Anna has reminded me that I have not seen her for quite some time and am concerned for her welfare.”
“Not to worry. I happened to see her walking with Lord Templeton, and from there, became a great focus of attention to a group of young ladies who are all gathered by the fountain.” He indicated the fountain, and though Lady Loveluck could not see Miss Anna, she heard their chatter and happiness from where she stood.
Mr. Hartsworth smiled. “She is right in the center of that group and is quite animated. I think she must be doing well. I myself would have wished to have a word, but I dare not venture into that gathering of followers for fear I might not return.”
How singular that Mr. Hartsworth was so aware of Miss Anna, that he was so intrigued by her conversation and indeed had such a knowledge of her. She’d obviously made quite an impression. “She is of particular interest to me. I thank you for looking out for her.”
“Am I?” He shrugged. “Seems I can’t help but notice. She is everywhere I am.”
Lady Loveluck fled that away as something to analyze later, as Miss Anna herself seemed interested in this man. She inched further from him, though her hand still rested on his arm. This man who was making obvious overtures toward forming a closer relationship was clearly a preferred choice of her client. And Mr. Hartsworth held nothing intriguing for Lady Loveluck, besides an obvious sincerity. She would reward sincerity over every other thing. But this man’s reward could potentially be a happy relationship with her client. Something he would be grateful for every day of his life if things worked in that direction.
If only she could trust Lord Featherstone to be the same. Unlike Mr. Hartsworth, Lord Featherstone brought out a certain anticipation in her that she’d not felt in a long time. He could take lessons from his client. But it was no matter. She was not interested, could not be interested, in even a flirtation with a man. She had work to do, and she’d best be about doing it.
“Do you think you could escort me over to them? I arrived with Miss Anna, and I find myself needing to leave earlier than she will possibly want.”
“Certainly. Shall we head in that direction directly?”
“Oh yes, I would be most obliged.” Suddenly, the park was more tiring than usual, the people more taxing, the machinations of the London marriage mart too much for her to want to navigate at the moment.
But as she approached Miss Anna, she knew it would be unfair to pull her from such a success. The women were laughing together. They were enjoying themselves. And she hated to point out that there were no men involved. No matter, Mr. Hartsworth needed to be in there. He watched Miss Anna, and something appreciative appeared in his expression. She did look lovely when she smiled. And with this new relaxed laughing, she was simply the stunning person that Lady Loveluck had come to know. They pushed toward the group.
Miss Anna glanced up and smiled a welcome. “Oh, Lady Loveluck, Mr. Hartsworth. Do join us. We are having a time of it.”
Mr. Hartsworth moved to the spot just to the left of Miss Anna that she had shifted to clear. And soon he was laughing and listening with the rest of them.
Lady Loveluck shifted away, edging herself out of the group. She was almost successful in a full escape unnoticed when Lord Featherstone held out his arm. “Might I have a promenade?”
She resisted an eye roll and also the natural smile that grew upon seeing him. With hopefully a somewhat blank, unrevealing face, she placed a hand on his arm. “That would be most useful, yes.”
“I did notice your attempt at escape. I’ll have you know, Mr. Hartsworth hasn’t even noted your absence yet.”
“Has Miss Anna?”
“I don’t believe so.”
“Very well. Shall we?”
They walked for a time in silence. His expression was calm.
He seemed at perfect peace in the world. If only Lady Loveluck could feel the same.
“I’m uncertain how you do it.”
“Hmm? Do what, exactly?”
“Walk with such ease of person. Are you not at all concerned about Mr. Hartsworth?”
“Not at all.”
“But he’s giving me flowers. He is not attending to any other woman…”
A burst of laughter sounded from the group they’d left. Miss Anna and Mr. Hartsworth were at the center, leaning their heads together. “Oh, no?”
“I stand corrected. I do admit to hoping for this new development.”
“He is most particularly smitten with you.”
“But he notices her. He was well aware of everywhere she’d been since we arrived at the park.”
“That is good news indeed. Perhaps we should alert him of his preference for her?” Lord Featherstone laughed. “I jest, of course. Letting him know that he is besotted with a woman is a terrible idea.”
“Can he not see himself?”
“Let us hope. Though you did seem to appreciate his attention.”
Lady Loveluck eyed Lord Featherstone for a moment. He seemed serious. Was he truly attentive to her for his own personal interest? Was he feeling insecure? Second to Mr. Hartsworth? She knew too much of the ways of love. She’d analyzed everything too deeply to see what was happening right in front of her face. She couldn’t even tell for certain what Lord Featherstone’s intentions might be. He could be choosing to walk with her for any number of reasons . . .
He clucked his tongue.
“You. Are ruminating.”
She opened her mouth and then closed it. “You are going to ruin the moment. Can we not simply walk and talk or even be silent, and not overly think about things? I asked you to walk with me because I value your company.”
She narrowed her eyes.
“And because I hoped that our two clients might enjoy a bit of time together?”
“And because I figured that you might wish to escape.”
“And for no other reason?”
“And because I am most intrigued by you.”
“So, we will just walk. Without knowing the how or why?”
“I told you plenty of whys, and I’m pretty certain walking comes most naturally.” He smirked.
“My apologies. I’m a greater mess of exhaustion than I realized.” She rested a hand on her forehead, suddenly more tired than she could hide.
“Would you care to sit?”
“I would, in fact, love to rest for a moment.”
“Come, I have just the place.” He picked up their pace and led them down one path and up another to a secluded smaller garden within the paths. A rose arbor lined the entrance, and a fountain graced the center. A small bench awaited in the corner.
“This is lovely. I should not be surprised you know of it.”
He shook his head with his lips pressed together but said nothing.
She took his hand and lowered herself to the bench, just short of a collapse. “Thank you. I fear I have not much to offer at the moment.”
“And I crave solitude. This is a perfect matching.”
Her eyebrows lifted.
“For the moment. A perfect pair for just what we need right now.”
She closed her eyes. “Thank you for this rest.”
He sat beside her, his hand resting just next to hers. The soap he used and the waters he most likely doused himself with each morning were mild, pleasant, enticing. She breathed deeply. Hints of the mint on his breath lingered with the bergamot and sandalwood. She could sit beside him for many moments in just this way.
Chapter Four, pages 51-54
From To Win Her Hand © 2022, Jen Geigle Johnson, published by King’s Row Press
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1 thought on “Book Tour and Excerpt: To Win Her Hand @austenprosepr #historicalfiction”
I enjoyed the excerpt! This sounds good.
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