A charming wallflower's search for love...

Armed with a gypsy necklace and a belief in magic, Miss Valera Bell pursues the man of her dreams only to have her hopes shattered.

Will her best friend's older brother help her pick up the pieces?

@ 2016 Samantha Grace

Dear Gabby

Advice for the Regency Rogue

A while back, I invited Lady Gabrielle, the heroine from One Rogue Too Many to dole out advice to rivals Ben Hillary and Sir Jonathan. In The Best of Both Rogues, the gentlemen find themselves competing for the same lady. Although Sir Jonathan does seem to have a leg up since he is engaged to Miss Eve Thorne, Ben is unwilling to abandon the chase easily. He made that mistake once already and has regretted it ever since.

 

Fortunately, the men have Lady Gabrielle to consult, and she is perfectly suited to offer commentary on the gentlemen’s situation. After all, she has experience with two men competing for her hand. Lady Gabrielle does not know the identity of the letter writers. She was only told the letters came from bachelors in the neighborhood. Let’s see what words of wisdom she has for the lovelorn gents.  

Letter One

Dear Gabby,

 

Yesterday I discovered my betrothed was wearing a gift from her former love. I happen to know from my travels that the necklace is often used in wedding ceremonies to symbolize lasting love. When I commented on the necklace, she denied that it was anything special.

 

She removed it at my urging so I could inspect it, but it was obvious she didn’t want me asking questions. Her answers were clipped, and I noticed she tried to hide the piece afterward and changed the subject. Could her behavior mean she is still in love with her former betrothed even though he left her at the altar two years ago?

 

Signed,

Confused in Mayfair

Gabby's Advice

Dear Sir Jonathan—eh, I mean Confused.

 

I wish I could offer a word of reassurance, but the truth is old flames are often hard to extinguish. If the lady in question holds a tendre for her former beau, this will become more obvious in time. Does her gaze follow him as he moves about a room? Does she make blunders and address him by his given name? Does she seem distracted when you and she are together? If the answer is yes these questions, I’m afraid your lady is most likely having second thoughts about whom she truly wishes to marry.

 

Chin up, sir. No matter the outcome with your betrothed, you will always have your first love—your drums. And some day I suspect you will meet a lady more than happy to march to your own unique beat.

 

Sincerely,

Lady Gabrielle

Letter Two

Dear Gabby,

 

It is my hope you will advise me on a matter involving my former betrothed’s brother. After a falling out two years ago, he has been dead set on...well...seeing me dead, I suppose. He has the devil’s own temper, which has come between the lady and me more than once. Regrettably, I do not expect the situation to improve. When his sister and I marry, would it be impolite to forget to send him an invitation to our wedding?

Signed,

Itching to Trounce a Thorny Baron

Gabby's Advice

Dear Itching,

 

There are creams for such conditions, sir. Might I suggest you summon Dr. Portier? Concerning your baron problem, I believe you are putting the cart before the horse. At every at-home I have attended recently, the room has been abuzz over your persistent pursuit of your former betrothed. Did you truly ambush her at the Mayfair Ladies Charitable Society gathering last week and insist on accompanying the ladies to the foundling hospital?

 

While I appreciate bold gestures in the name of love, it appears Miss Thorne does not. She has been telling everyone that she wants nothing to do with you. Therefore, I suggest you worry less about Miss Thorne’s brother and put more effort toward wooing the lady if there is ever to be a wedding. You might wish to start with plenty of groveling after the way you jilted her before running away to India, followed by finding a way to get rid of her current fiancé. Jewelry is in order, too. One rarely goes wrong with large, expensive jewelry.

I wish you the best of luck. I fear you are going to need it.

Sincerely,

Lady Gabrielle 

A Note from Samantha:

Oh, dear. I am sorry, gentlemen. It appears your identities were not protected like I’d intended. I suppose that is one of the drawbacks to living in a small community. Everyone knows everyone else’s business.

 

Well, I wish you both luck in finding the happiness you desire. Rest assured, every lovable rogue will always get his HEA in the end, so please be patient. Some rogues simply cross the finish line a little sooner than others.