It’s Party Time in the Regency!
One of the fun things about writing historical romance is that you get to do some pretty cool research. For my new book, His Mistletoe Bride, I spent quite a bit of time researching Christmas and holiday traditions of the Regency era. Of course, many of the traditions that we now observe developed during Queen Victoria’s reign—thanks, in part, to Charles Dickens—but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some very festive holiday traditions celebrated during the Regency.
Here’s a short excerpt from His Mistletoe Bride, featuring my hero and heroine, Lucas and Phoebe, at the Twelfth Night Party at Mistletoe Manor.
The cake’s thick icing gleamed with a brilliant white in the blaze of the candles, and whimsical sugar figurines dotted the polished, two-tiered surface. The round base was elaborately trimmed with sugar flowers in a rainbow of pretty pastels, while a credible representation of the village church and a few of the local shops topped the cake off.
“Good Lord,” Lucas exclaimed. “Is that the village square on top of that monstrosity?”
“Yes,” Phoebe said proudly. “It was Cook’s idea. She did a splendid job, do you not think?”
Her husband laughed. “Actually, yes. It’s got everything but the village drunk.”
“Really, Lucas,” she responded primly. “Come along. It is time to take your seat on the Lord of Misrule’s throne.”
He frowned. “Why do you think I’m going to be Lord of Misrule? That’s a damned big cake, and there’s only one little bean baked into it. Anyone could find it and be appointed lord.”
She glanced over at Mrs. Christmas, who was cutting the first slice. “We decided to do things a bit differently this year. Given certain, ah, mishaps in the past, everyone will be handed slips of paper with their cake. He who receives the slip with the appropriate mark will be designated Lord of Misrule.”
“Hmm. I suppose someone got drunk and almost choked on the bean one year.”
She widened her eyes. “How did you know that?”
“It’s a fairly frequent occurrence. It happened to Robert once, and he wasn’t even in his cups. Almost went to his grave because of the damn thing. He’s only still with us thanks to his grandfather. The General slapped him on the back so hard he nearly knocked the poor lad into the next room.”
Phoebe had to laugh at the image. “Well, we want to avoid that sort of thing. Mrs. Christmas came up with the slips as a substitute.”
“Yes, but that still doesn’t explain why you think I’ll—”
Lucas broke off as Mrs. Christmas trundled toward them, carrying a plate. He directed a baleful look Phoebe’s way. “Tell me you are not doing this.”
She gave him a beatific smile in response.
He groaned. “On top of everything else, I must now be Lord of Misrule?”
“I am afraid so.”
Although many of us may no longer celebrate Twelfth Night, there are still lots of beloved holiday traditions carried over from the Regency and Victorian period. What’s your favorite Christmas or holiday tradition?
|Buy the book.|
When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…
Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very