The Lord’s Persuasion of Lady Lydia by Raven McAllan
Thank you so much for hosting #TeamHarry on your blog today.
#TeamHarry is the nickname of The Lord’s Persuasion of Lady Lydia. Because when I let the RavDor Chicks the Fb group for Doris O’Connor and myself read some snippets they declared Harry a hunk and #TeamHarry are his cheerleaders.
Seducing the wallflower…
Over the years, Lydia Field has perfected the art of being a wallflower. It’s the only way to avoid the attention of unwanted suitors – and the perils of a convenient, loveless marriage! Instead, she dreams of the day she can leave London’s high society behind her, trading the glamorous balls and afternoon teas for a quiet life in the country.
But in an unguarded moment, she finds herself catching the eye of notorious rake ‘Handsome Harry’, Lord Birnham. Now that he’s glimpsed the wildness and fire that lurks beneath Lydia’s demure exterior, Lord Birnham will not rest until he has unleashed the full extent of her passion!
For if there’s one skill that Lord Birnham is known for, it’s the art of persuasion…
And a wee tease…
On the spur of the moment, Lydia decided to slip out and purchase a novel to read on the long journey she intended to undertake. For once, she totally flouted convention and didn’t take a maid or a footman. Her mama would be horrified if she knew, and the ton would have no hesitation in labeling her flighty and worse.
She couldn’t have cared less.
As she wore an old and shabby-ish pelisse and a bonnet that shaded her face, no one gave her a second glance and she reached the bookshop unnoticed. Once inside the shop, with its unmistakable scent of leather and paper, Lydia’s tension slipped away from her like a discarded cloak. She slipped her bonnet down – the brim impeded her vision – and let her gaze feast on the delights in front of her. A happy half hour passed as she deliberated between the volumes on the shelves, and eventually picked one she thought should be light and entertaining, and another, which seemed darker. Between them and chatting with Millie, the journey should pass tolerably well.
Now all she had to do was return home, look as unhappy and unsettled as she had done recently, and wait until the appointed time to leave.
Sneak out like a thief. It was so annoying that she had to behave in such a way, but Lydia understood her parents well enough to know it was the only solution. She turned to go and have her books parceled up but discovered her route was blocked. By a young man. Who, she realized with a jolt, she recognized.
She should have kept her bonnet on.
Lydia stared at the young man who barred her way. Surely he wasn’t going to cause a scene in Hatchards? Lydia nodded her head infinitesimally in the hope he would find some grace and good manners. He didn’t. He neither moved nor spoke, just glowered.
‘Excuse me,’ she said levelly. ‘I wish to pass.’
His eyes narrowed and he didn’t move. Her temper spiked. Even though he was dressed as any young man of the ton should be, something set him apart, and not in a good way. The wild look in his eyes, perhaps, or the fact that the petulant look she had noticed before was gone, to be replaced by something more adult and, not to put too fine a point on it, worrying.
‘You look like a scullery maid.’
‘I thank you.’ she replied frostily. ‘Please move to one side.’
He stayed put. Those nasty spiders of worry began to make their presence known on her arms. It was one of the most unpleasant feelings ever. Why on earth was he behaving so abysmally?
‘I have heard you think you are going to marry Lord Birnham,’ he said in such a violent tone she jumped. ‘I think not. Not if you value your family.’
Lydia saw red. She was tired of being told what she was and was not to do. People needed to stop dictating to her and let her live her life. All the worry changed into annoyance.
‘What is all this about?’ she demanded. ‘I am so sick of your family trying to dictate to me and mine.’ She conveniently forgot her mama and her machinations. ‘I am marrying no one. Not you, not him, and not the man on the street corner. No one. Understand?’
He scowled. ‘Not him certainly, but me, definitely.’
‘You are mad.’ Lydia went to brush past him, and he barred her way by putting one hand on each stack of books. A very real, albeit tiny, frisson of fear skittered down her spine and she stiffened. He was not going to intimidate her. ‘Leave me alone or I will be forced to take action.’
‘I’ll get what I want,’ Jeremy said. ‘Wait and see.’
She didn’t bother to reply. After all, she wouldn’t be around much longer for him to cry out whatever threat he had intended to make. Lydia ducked under his outstretched arm, dropped her books on his feet, and swept past him, ignoring his howl of pain.
The Lord’s Persuasion of Lady Lydia is available
Love Raven x