Meet the Hero of “The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons” by Lela Bay
Thank you for having me on your blog, Emmy Z. Madrigal.
Although stories that dark and dramatic are enjoyable, sometimes it’s a relief to indulge in a romance that’s funny and bright. The first story in Ruined Reputations, “The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons,” is a lighthearted affair that plays with the conventions of a Regency romance. In the tale, Emmaline is constantly amazed at Mr. Aarons lack of convention. Undaunted, and driven by larger concerns, he drags Emmaline into his unusual quest.
Their very first meeting is filled with heroic promise, as Mr. Aarons insists on being introduced to Emmaline’s cousin, the lovely Catherine Connersfield. The result is less than heroic.
“A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. Aarons. I understand you’re staying in town with the Mayor?”
“Only while seeking my own residence for the summer,” he agreed. His voice was warm and deep. “Your hat is lovely.”
“My hat?” Catherine raised a hand to check the impressive structure. Bemused, she added, “How kind of you to notice.”
Rather than bow, he reached toward Catherine. He tugged on her hat with untoward familiarity. “Perhaps you can tell me where…?”
Rather than submit to his impertinence, Catherine reared like an unbroken horse.
A collective gasp left the watchers, smothering the rest of his sentence as his grip pulled the confection over Catherine’s forehead. Berries and doves cascaded to the ground. A ribbon hung in her hair, dragging her head down and throwing her wrapped braids into disarray. She squealed in shock, batting at the mess and grabbing the bonnet, still half-attached to her coiffure.
Mr. Aarons stood in shock, hand still extended.
Emmaline stepped between them, swooped up the abused bonnet and smoothed Catherine’s hair.
Aunt cried and Uncle shouted for the carriage. In the hubbub, they got Catherine seated inside. Her face glowed red and tears streaked her cheeks, though whether from sadness or pure fury, well…Emmaline had a good guess. She wouldn’t want to be Mr. Aarons should he make the mistake of crossing paths with Miss Catherine Connersfield again.
She peered out the window as they drew away from the church. A grim-faced Mr. Aarons watched the carriage depart, his hand still gripping a single long feather.
Emmaline pursed her lips and studied the hat in her lap, noticing a large gap where he’d helped himself to a handful of decorations. Really, what had come over him?
Recovering her words, Catherine shouted, “He plucked me!”
Emmaline and Catherine stared at each other and dissolved into a fit of giggles. Aunt Prue, sitting across from them, fanned herself with a handkerchief and Uncle drove the horses as if his daughter had been accosted for more than a few feathers and a paste cherry.
The girls’ fit of laughter lasted all the way until they reached home.
The second story, “Virtue’s Temptation,” is still humorous, but takes a darker, sexier turn as Eleanor Sinclair attempts to chaperone Bitsy, her unwilling charge, home while keeping her reputation intact.
Check out the pair of tales in Ruined Reputations by Lela Bay.
Learn more about Lela Bay at Lelabayblog.com
Lela lives in a modest house with her husband, children, and pets. Despite living in the far north, she requires a certain amount of sunshine each day or she gets grumpy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys strolling, gardening, reading, and tea time with friends.
She enjoys stories with intimacy and humor.
“A tantalizing pair of Regency tales.” ~Emmy Z. Madrigal
“Ruined Reputations is a love letter to high romance of the Brontes with the meticulous eye for detail that readers crave like oxygen itself.” ~MJ Sherry-author of the Back Page Babylon series
–The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons–
Rumors of Mr. Aarons unconventional ways are confirmed when he nearly yanks the bonnet off Emmaline’s cousin’s head. Drawn by his charm and good looks, Emmaline finds herself assisting him in his mysterious mission.
His obscure search appears to lead to her cousin, beautiful Catherine Connersfield. She is the more sensible choice, but will she have him? More to the point, will Emmaline let her?
Experience has taught Eleanor it’s better to be practical than passionate.
When she discovers Bitsy eloping with her French tutor, scandal threatens to ruin the girl.
To keep her reputation intact, Eleanor reluctantly chaperones the rebellious heiress.
Eleanor’s spotless character protects Bitsy, but behaving respectably proves difficult when tempted by the dangerously attractive Mr. Stinson.
If she fails it will end with … Ruined Reputations.