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Stand With Me, Earl (A Very Fine Muddle Book 3)

A Steadfast Lady and a Stupefied Lord

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About the Book

A Steadfast Lady and a Stupefied Lord

Lady Viola Bennington, third daughter to the Earl of Westmont, has been thinking of a certain Lord Baderston all summer. She only briefly encountered him in the park last season before she was out, but he seems to have everything to recommend him.

He is handsome, especially his copper-colored hair. He seems very genial and he has already told her sister Rosalind about his penchant for ham, which she adores herself. She’s had an untold number of conversations in her mind regarding how their romance will unfold.

All the lord need do is prove his abject loyalty, as that is a gentleman’s most important quality. It is a quality she will insist on.

Miss Mayton, the dear aunt who has raised all the earl’s daughters, is rather buoyed by her charges’ success in Town. The two eldest are married and, while the earl gives her all the credit for it, the truth is they are married despite her unhelpful help. Nevertheless, she is poised at the mark to offer that unhelpful help to Viola now.

Roland Trewellian, Earl of Baderston, heard quite a lot about Lady Viola from her sister, Lady Rosalind, when they met last season. The facts he gathered were very interesting—she was fond of ham, a talented painter, and she valued loyalty. Most encouraging, it seems she actually prefers his hair color. Then, when he saw her in the park—she was marvelous!
He’s spent the summer eating more ham than he ever has in his life, fully prepared to report on his consumption when he sees her again.

She is most pleased to hear it, but there is a bit of a sticking point—Lady Viola does not just require a speech about loyalty, she requires that it be proved.

With everything going so well between them, how does a lord prove that his loyalty would remain unshaken in a crisis?
As it happens, the Benningtons are particularly skilled at creating a crisis.

When Lord Baderston finds himself on a green one very early morning, he ponders precisely how loyal he could be if he’s no longer living.

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A Very Fine Muddle
Romance Me, Viscount
Be Daring, Duke
Stand With Me, Earl
Sweep Me Up, Baron
Write for Me, Marquess
Convince Me, Viscount

Series: A Very Fine Muddle, Book 3
Genre: Victorian
Tag: Dragonblade Sweet Dreams
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About the Author
Kate Archer

By the time I was eleven, my Irish Nana and I had formed a book club of sorts. On a timetable only known to herself, Nana would grab her blackthorn walking stick and steam down to the local Woolworth’s. There, she would buy the latest Barbara Cartland romance, hurry home to read it accompanied by viciously strong wine, (Wild Irish Rose, if you’re wondering) and then pass the book on to me. Though I was not particularly interested in real boys yet, I was very interested in the gentlemen in those stories—daring, bold, and often enraging and unaccountable. After my Barbara Cartland phase, I went on to Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen and so many other gifted authors blessed with the ability to bring the Georgian and Regency eras to life.

I would like nothing more than to time travel back to the Regency (and time travel back to my twenties as long as we’re going somewhere) to take my chances at a ball. Who would take the first? Who would escort me into supper? What sort of meaningful looks would be exchanged? I would hope, having made the trip, to encounter a gentleman who would give me a very hard time. He ought to be vexatious in the extreme, and worth every vexation, to make the journey worthwhile.

I most likely won’t be able to work out the time travel gambit, so I will content myself with writing stories of adventure and romance in my beloved time period. There are lives to be created, marvelous gowns to wear, jewels to don, instant attractions that inevitably come with a difficulty, and hearts to break before putting them back together again. In traditional Regency fashion, my stories are clean—the action happens in a drawing room, rather than a bedroom.

As I muse over what will happen next to my H and h, and wish I were there with them, I will occasionally remind myself that it’s also nice to have a microwave, Netflix, cheese popcorn, and steaming hot showers.

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