A faith-based romance of the Regency Period from the author of “Christmas with Miss Austen” – the first in a three-book series filled with faith, hope, and second chances at love .
There are rules for everything in Regency London’s polite society … which is why spirited and unattached Flora sees the value in penning a book of courtship rules in an attempt to escape the genteel poverty surrounding herself and her sister–little realizing the consequences of such a decision.
When Flora is forced to use her own little book—the rules for engagements, claim its ardent readers—in order to save a friend from the clutches of a fortune hunter, she places her own heart at stake…as well as her future.
Will she succeed? Or is there more to proper courtship than a book of Rules for Engagements?
Rewarded Honorable Mention in the 2011 Idahope Writers’ Fiction contest, this lighthearted romance pairs Jane Austen’s world with characters of faith to create a tale of misunderstandings, romantic dilemmas, and regrets turned to new beginnings.
Excerpt from Rules for Engagements:
She turned the book to the first page. "A lady's dress is often the most memorable part of her appearance, but never neglect the gentle accents. A simple necklace, a headdress, even a hair ribbon may be enough to draw a gentleman's notice when striking and cunningly displayed."
A bold and daring thought indeed. She blushed, knowing that even a harmless, witty line like that would mean scorn for her family, if anyone knew she penned the words herself. What a blessing that the publishers insisted upon anonymity.
"A touch of scent, be it a fresh blossom from the field or a hint of sweet soap and fragrant vinegar, may linger in a man's thoughts with regards to a fair young lady's memory," she read aloud.
She flipped a few pages ahead in the volume. "A lady must always modulate her voice. Avoid the squawking of a bird, the chatter of a hen, or the timid whisper of a mouse. What man can possibly converse with a lady whom he can neither understand nor hear?"
If she organized them into a list, it would be helpful. A list of rules, in order of importance. Only the ones she deemed most important; after all, she was not in search of a proposal herself, so surely all of the book's advice was not necessary.
Drawing a blank page from her journal, she reached for her pen. Tapping the nub quickly against the inkwell's rim, she placed it to the paper surface and began writing.
Rule number one: Take care in one's dress at all times. Rule number two: Avoid flaunting one's appearance like a peacock.
She continued on. Rule number seven: Avoid petty insults, quarrels, and open displays of childishness, which suggest immaturity and smallness of mind.
Rule number eleven: Write nothing inappropriate in one's correspondence, be it letters or notes, to avoid revealing one's feelings or faults by accident, should they be read by a third party.
Rule number twelve: The dance is perhaps the most important display of one's charms!
Folding the list, she tucked it inside the little book and slipped it into her dresser drawer, where she turned the key in the lock. Aunt Charlotte would see that it was possible to be a charming young woman who had not the least intention of securing a proposal. And Hetta Harwick should most certainly discover that any woman could rival a great beauty's charms, given only a little practice and knowledge.
But the most important thing was, Roger would be saved from an imprudent attachment or an unfortunate heartache, without ever knowing of the danger in which he lay. That much she felt certain was possible, if she were both careful and clever.
About Laura Briggs
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Published April 16, 2012
History, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality.