Lost in Almack's
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by Lesley-Anne McLeod
Description: When Lady Genevra Haven becomes lost in the back corridors and staircases of Almack's, she needs courage and ingenuity as well as charm and confidence, to avoid social ruin and salvage her successful debut.
eBook Publisher: Uncial Press, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: October 2009
11 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [34 KB]
Reading time: 16-23 min.
"..a delightfully fun and lively foray into one young lady's educational evening at that holy of holies that was Almack's among early nineteenth-century Society. It's only one of the short and long Regency romances by Ms. McLeod, a talented and highly original author."--Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today
Her gloved hand covered her mouth. "Oh I do apologize. I quite thought..."
"'Tis of no matter what you thought, ma'am. I shall be delighted to aid you in any way I can. Captain Farley O'Doyle, at your service, miss. Sure and you are the loveliest lady I have had the honour of encountering this evening. What does your mama look like, m'dear? If she's as lovely as yourself, we sh'll have no difficulty locating her. In the ballroom, you say?" He placed her gloved hand on his arm, and inexorably drew her toward the staircase. "We'll just go upstairs, and pause perhaps in the tea room."
Politely, Genevra tried to regain her hand, but found it held fast. "Oh, but, I, no I had rather go directly to the ball room."
The soldier obliged her to mount the stairs at his side. Genevra had no wish to make a scene by pulling away from him, and as she wanted to gain the upper floor anyway, she saw no advantage to immediately disengaging herself from his company. Nevertheless she watched for an avenue of escape. What is an Irishman doing in a Dragoons dress uniform? she wondered, with an edge of hysterical laughter.
"Truly, I must rejoin my mother, Captain," she said as soon as they gained the upper vestibule.
"Nonsense. Now that we're here, let me obtain for you a little orgeat or negus. You look a little flushed and flustered. We don't want your mama to think you've been upset, now do we? You are Miss...?"
"Lady Genevra Haven." As soon as she said her name, Genevra realized she had been foolish. She wondered if this unlikely soldier might be the sort of fortune hunter her mama had warned her against. And now she had given him her title and her name. He might make free of both to her disadvantage.
There was a small crowd in the refreshment room, but she had no hope of recognizing anyone she knew. Indeed she could see no one clearly at all. She thought quickly. "Perhaps, Captain--yes, please, I do think some orgeat would be very welcome."
"Come with me then, m'dear," he urged her.
"Ohhhh," Genevra pressed her free hand to her brow, and gracefully sat down on the nearest chair. "I feel quite faint, Captain."
The man had perforce to release her other arm, and he peered at her suspiciously.
"Just a little orgeat," she said again.
He seemed to recognize that he had no choice but to do her bidding.
She watched his red coat disappear into the crowd. After waiting a long moment, she stood and moving swiftly, slipped from the room. She thought she heard her name called at least once, but she paid no heed.