A House of Hale Story: Book One
Sophy is covered in mud by a distracted curricle driver. Then he hides his real name from her. And that’s only the beginning of their problems.
When rain-soaked Sophy Hawthorne is splashed with mud in a country lane by a handsome stranger driving much too fast, she’s affronted but attracted at the same time. The same goes for him. But to win her hand he has to employ not altogether straight-forward stratagems. And if the beginning is inauspicious, a secret revealed on their wedding day is worse.
This is a classic, clean Regency story of lovers caught in a twenty-year old mystery that for the sake of the family name, they must untangle.
The Earl and the Mud-Covered Maiden is the first book in the House of Hale Trilogy, introducing characters you will love to follow as they set out on their rocky path together.
In which Miss Hawthorne makes the acquaintance of Mr. Barrington.
Sophy Hawthorne trudged along in the pouring rain thinking ruefully that she would never have been remotely friendly to the solicitor’s clerk if she had known what he was intending. She had met Mr. Frimpton just over two months ago at the vicarage. When the vicar’s wife Mrs.
Bradshaw had invited her to tea, she had given her no inkling that the invitation was for anything more than the little chats they quite often enjoyed. It was an unpleasant surprise to find another guest there, a rather bumptious young man with very high collar points and thin hair brushed forward onto a greasy brow. He turned out to be clerk to the local solicitor and a newcomer to the village. She had seen him in church on Sunday and had responded to his bow with a nod, but they had never been introduced. Nor had she sought an introduction.
It was unclear whether Mrs. Bradshaw had decided to bring them together, or whether he had asked her to perform that service, but there she found herself, making polite conversation with a person who obviously thought a great deal of himself and expected her to do so too. He held forth at some length about his education at Harrow and his intention of completing his clerkship in three years, so that he might, as he said, set himself up on his own account. His success, apparently, was only a matter of time. She listened politely, asking what she hoped were intelligent questions whenever he paused for breath. When the time came for her to leave, she could not prevent him walking her home, though it was only a quarter of a mile. She was astonished that anyone who had such a high opinion of his own future should deign to explain it all to her, as clearly unsuccessful as her background was. He only had to look at her drab, old-fashioned gown and threadbare cloak.
After that, he had taken to approaching her after services on Sunday and walking her home, in spite of her albeit false protests that she enjoyed the quiet walk as an opportunity to think about the vicar’s sermon. She had tried sitting in the back and slipping out before the Dismissal to avoid him. Then two Sundays ago he had obviously been on the look-out for her departure and had hurried after her. When they arrived at Hawthorne House he had begged to be allowed to enter and speak to her father. In vain had she tried to dissuade him. He overrode all her protests and strode into the house, unfortunately running into her father in the hall. Taken by surprise before his first glass of port of the day, Mr. Hawthorne had been as powerless against Mr. Frimpton as Sophy herself. They had disappeared into the study, to emerge a short time later.
“Well, Sophy,” exclaimed her father, “congratulations are in order, it seems. Mr. Frimpton here has asked and received my permission to pay you his addresses. My word, you are a sly one!
You never mentioned to me anything about a beau!”
Thank you, GL Robinson and Love Books Group
About the author
GL Robinson was born in Portsmouth, England and was educated in a convent boarding school as her father worked in Africa. She graduated from University College London in the late 60’s and when Britain joined the Common Market (as it was then), moved to Brussels (Belgium) to work. She married an American in 1974 and they lived in Brussels and Bonn (Germany) before moving to upstate New York with their three children, where she has been ever since. She always says she never had a baby in English!
She retired from being a French professor and put her energies into running a small antiques (read: pretty junk) business. Then her dear sister died unexpectedly in 2018 and, inspired by the memory of the times they had spent together giggling under the covers after lights out in the convent reading historical romances, she began to write. She has written a number of Regency Romances, a contemporary romance (still in the editing phase!) and two children’s travel books. Her first Regency was published in November 2019. Since then, she has published two more and a fourth, the first in a new series, is due out at the end of August.
Apart from writing, she still dabbles in her junk and likes her garden, cooking, reading and having tea parties with her seven grandchildren