Welcome Aileen Fish to Historical Heartbeats. Aileen’s novel, The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley, is one of the seven novels in Timeless: Historical Romance Through the Ages bundle. She welcomes comments and will give away an ebook copy of Timeless: Historical Romance Through the Ages to a lucky commenter.
Please tell us about your latest or upcoming release. Do you have a review you could share with us?
The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley is one of the seven novels in Timeless: Historical Romance through the Ages bundle. It’s the second book in my Bridgethorpe Brides series featuring the children of the Earl of Bridgethorpe. Here’s what one reviewer had to say: “The wit and characters are delightful. David and Joanna’a love of horses is a splendid thread throughout the story. And the play between the brothers and sisters was also very well done and kept me laughing. I can’t wait for the next book…I do hope it’s Hannah’s story (she’s David’s sister).” – Amazon Reviewer
What inspired this story?
My love of auto racing, in a roundabout way! I wanted to include something I am passionate about, but my stories are set too early for curricle racing. (It’s hinted at in several of the stories, but it’s not a going thing.) I decided my characters would have been horse breeders if they had a passion for racing during the Regency era.
What is the story behind the story?
I read in an old racing gazette about a reward being offered for information about the poisoning of a horse at a prior race. That gave me ideas for conflict between the hero and the heroine’s brother, when horses are turning up ill at the races.
Why do you write romance?
I write what I love to read!
What inspires you? What motivates you?
I read a lot of history in my time period, as well as biographies, in search of interesting bits to include in a story, or base one on.
Please tell us about your other books (if you have others published).
I released the fourth book in the Bridgethorpe Brides in the spring, a novella, Charming the Vicar’s Daughter, and will have the next novel out this fall, Her Impetuous Rakehell.
Not for her were the evening balls and theatricals enjoyed by the other young women and men while in Newmarket, either. Now, all she cared about were her family’s horses and how well they ran. Her mother would faint if she were aware of how much time Joanna spent at the course’s stables when she claimed she was investigating the ribbon vendor’s booth, or the town bookstore. Her maid, Molly, was easily bribed with a new bonnet or packet of sweets, and Joanna had a feeling the young woman took advantage of some of that time to flirt with a certain groom.
Being required to sit the entire afternoon was too much to bear. “Mama, may I find Molly and go rest until Patriot’s event? I don’t wish to watch every sweepstakes and race. I cannot tell the horses apart, so it’s of no interest to me.”
“Be still, dear girl. Your horse will run soon. We have only two sweepstakes to go before the Oatlands Stakes. If you leave now you mightn’t return in time.”
Joanna chewed on her lower lip, unconcerned her mother could see her. Her horse needed her, of that she was certain. How was he handling the excitement, the crowds? The knot in her stomach had been growing all day, and she would never be able to eat supper if it didn’t loosen soon.
The individuals who’d left their seats in the grandstand rushed to return, so word must have come the next race was lining up at the starting post a mile down the course. Joanna watched the men file down the rows, not really seeing faces, not really interested in who they were.
Until he appeared.
Taller than most men, yet not quite as tall as his companion, the gentleman with wavy chestnut hair made his way toward his seat in the center of one of the lower rows. He spoke to various people he passed, his smile friendly, open. He was not the most handsome man she’d ever seen, but something about him made her wish they were at an assembly where she could coerce an introduction from their hostess.
Perhaps it was the way he carried himself. His bearing was almost military, shoulders back, revealing the broad chest covered in a plain woolen waistcoat and coat. Just before he sat, he laughed at something his companion said and she wished she were close enough to see if the laughter carried into his eyes. Were they fair or dark? Whatever the color, she’d wager they were quite expressive.
The man following him had to be a brother, for the two were cut from the same cloth. The second was only a smidgeon taller, and perhaps that much more polished in his style. Perhaps he was titled. The difference in their bearing made her think of a son brought up to be an heir and one who was free to choose his own path. Yet this taller, polished brother didn’t hold a candle to the first, in her book. If she had to choose one as a suitor, she’d pick the first.
Aileen Fish, author of The Bridgethorpe Brides series and the Small Town Sweethearts series, is an avid quilter and auto racing fan who finds there aren’t enough hours in a day/week/lifetime to stay up with her “to do” list. There is always another quilt or story begging to steal away attention from the others. When she has a spare moment she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and their families, and her fairy princess granddaughter.
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