LLC/paperback, 184 pages
Josette Price sees her future in Beddingfield Park. While her brother, George, needlessly pursues a naval career, she
promises to watch over their beloved parents and the park estate. Nothing would make Josette happier than to see her
sister and her self settled within the palings of Beddingfield. But dark, brooding Captain Carter rides into their lives with
news that ruins everything: George has been lost at sea.
Learning the Park is entailed to their cousin, Edward, Josette must decide between marrying her fickle relation or
helping her besotted sister trap him in her stead. Only Captain Carter and his delightfully spinsterish relatives can stop
the Price girls from making a choice that would be the greatest tragedy of all.
“Papa!” she shouted, as she stampeded into the vestibule. “Papa!” She knocked brusquely on the study door before
“Good Lord, Josette, what is it?”
Josette’s father had a frown creasing the folds of his skin. His eyes glared impatiently from beneath fuzzy brows.
“Someone’s come. An officer.” She squeezed her hands anxiously. Her father did not like to be disturbed in his
sanctuary and he did not like it when his daughter wandered about in the rain.
“You’re wet,” came his disapproving answer. Still, Sir Robert Price unfolded himself from his chair next to the fire and
moved over to one of three great windows overlooking the park.
“It’s not George,” Josette said.
Sir Robert glanced at the wet puddles from Josette’s slippers. “Go change at once. You are not fit to be seen.”
Josette felt the muslin sticking to her skin. Of course she was not. She’d put on very little beneath her morning dress
and it showed. Shamed that her lack of modesty had been discovered, she hurried up the stairs.
Had the officer noticed? Heat tinged her cheeks but she pushed it away. She’d done her duty and informed her father
of their visitor, petticoats not withstanding. At least they would be able to stoke the fire and fetch a warm drink.
As she reached the top of the stairs, Hannah met her with a gasp. “Which you’re all wet, Miss Price,” she chided. The
ancient woman, who had served two generations of Price family, took her by the elbow in concern. “And you’ve been
out without your bonnet, too.”
Josette allowed herself to be led to her room. The door had not shut behind them before she startled herself in the
looking glass. Her hair was a tangled mess, her face flushed on both cheeks. What had the officer thought of the
hoyden in the woods?
A recollection of him lying in a heap made her stare at her own reflection. With his cape thrown back, the epaulette on
his shoulder had gleamed in the dreary gloom.
There had been no white piping on that uniform.
“Oh bother,” she muttered.
The man galloping across Beddingfield Park had been no mere lieutenant. He’d worn the rank of
* * *
Hannah sent her warm milk but Josette was at no leisure to enjoy it, for Amy came bursting in after the first swallow.
“Josette,” said her younger sister breathlessly, “a captain from the Royal Navy is here!” She squealed the last word
then jumped onto the bed like a little girl. “Hannah said he’s very handsome, too.”
“And puffed up,” answered Josette.
“But he’s a captain. He is important.”
“First Lieutenants are important, too.”
Amy waved this away as if it were unpleasant vapor. With her prim nose, pink sash, and golden hair set with ribbons,
she looked angelic. “But a captain’s more so. And I’d wager he’s come about George. He’s been promoted to be sure.”
A dark idea flowered in Josette’s mind at the same time a peal of thunder crashed overhead. She hurried to the window
to inspect the storm.
“Do you think he’ll stay?” Amy asked. The suspense in her voice revealed she hoped that he would stay and long
enough to fall violently in love with her.
“Bother, Amy,” Josette said impatiently, “What does it matter?” She watched a raindrop trail down the glass like a slow,
tired tear. From nowhere, a foreboding weight settled in her chest.
Dodging the service tray, she made a perfunctory self-examination at her repair. The mirrored image showed dark
curls, more a bristly mess than ringlets. She turned to see the bow high on her back matched the smart green flowers
scattered across the printed cotton. Green was one of the few colors that didn’t clash with her muddy brown eyes. She
frowned at herself then hurried out with Amy dogging her heels.
The pair of them stopped on the stairs as the doors to their father’s study opened. Out came Bernard, their butler, with
a very long face. He nodded toward Hannah waiting at the end of the hall, and their faithful housekeeper burst into
“Who died?” asked Amy in her carefree voice, and the weight in Josette’s chest exploded.
“Bernard!” she cried, forgetting the injustice of being able to only wear green and brown. She jumped down the stairs
two at a time. “What is it?” No one scolded her for her precarious actions or tried to stop her from interrupting her
father a second time. She knocked as she swept through the door and stopped short at the unwelcome picture.
Sir Robert stood afore the hearth with a look of disbelief, his hands limp at his sides. His wife was seated beside the
great mahogany desk. A small tear cascaded down Lady Price’s cheek just as rain had trickled down Josette’s window.
“Mama?” Josette swallowed so that panic did not overtake her.
The man who had cut across the park was standing at the windows. He was rumpled from the fall, and his hair was
plastered to his head from the rain. He turned when she entered the room, and the gravity on his face could not be
denied. Surely there would have been a letter or an announcement in the ship-news if her brother had come to harm.
“What is it?”
The guest cleared his throat and looked for permission to speak, but both of Josette’s parents seemed as if a Midas of
bad tidings had frozen them into caricatures of disbelief.
“Is it George?” Josette beseeched.
The captain finally spoke. “I’ve beaten the post which is late beyond reason.” He hesitated as Josette’s heart began to
race. “Your brother was a trusted friend and a most loyal officer.”
Josette shook her head as she struggled to make sense of it. “My brother was?” She flapped her arms like a bird,
unable to fold them or put them to her hips. This seemed to disconcert the man, and he looked once more to her
“Josette,” her mother whispered, but the captain with penetrating eyes interrupted again.
“Your brother is dead.” His emotionless answer blew Josette’s heart into pieces.
Amazon review by: Larry Hammersley
Rating: 5 stars: Josette, an excellent novel
"This makes the fifth Regency novel I've read, counting two by Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Ms.
Thorne's, Josette is not one whit behind the other four novels I've read."
"You will find sadness, humor, happiness and the list goes on. I highly recommend Josette and I believe once you've
started reading it, you will not want to put it down."
Amazon review by: TJ MacKay
Rating: 5 stars: Very close to Regency perfection
"Georgetet Heyer and Jane Austing fans, this is definitely a must read book! The fact that it comes so close to Regency
perfection ends up trumping even those nay-saying voices in my head :D"
Amazon review by: Miss Mae
Rating: 5 stars: Move over, Jane Austen!
"A new Regency author has hit cyberspace! Wow, wow, wow is all I can say about this delightful book from Ms. Thorne.
Throughout the pages I caught glimpses of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice combined, yet this story is
unique in its own right."
Reviewed by Martha E., Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
"The author does a lovely job of building sexual awareness and yet keeping the story on a completely sweet heat level.
The writing is descriptive and flows well. The author evokes a range of emotions from sadness, mirth, despondency,
and joy. The entire package is an easy, charming read. A great choice especially for historic romance fans."
Amazon review by: E&M
Rating: 4 stars: Josette
"Many scenes were reminiscent of Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Josette and a few other characters had a nice depth
to them. I really wished the author would have included some of the hero's thoughts into the book. They have so little
interaction together I was surprised Josette fell in love with him so quickly. Clean Regency romance."
Amazon review by: Fire and Ice
Rating: 5 stars: Best Regency Romance I've Read
"If you are a fan of Jane Austen and Regency Romance you will be smitten by Josette. The tension between the
characters and fast paced plot made it an outstanding pick. A cross between Pride and Prejudice and Sense and
Sensibility, the story captures two sisters in the season of their most important decisions. Sprinkled with deception,
intrigue, and slow building romance, Josette was all I hoped for and more. I would recommend it with our highest rating
to all readers as it's the best Regency romance I've read yet."
To Marissa Farmer, my old friend: You bring sunshine into
the lives of everyone around you. Never give up on romance.
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