Lord Alexander whatever a lot of names Beaumont entered White’s, found no one would look at or speak to him, and challenged his friend Wheeler to inform him what was going on. Seems Lord Alexander whatever a lot of names Beaumont (no mention of his actual title, which seems odd considering the normal manner in which a peer would be referred to by his friends, no?) has a wife who resides in Yorkshire. Lady Melicent, the wife, according to Lord Alex WALON Beaumont’s friends, is writing sultry books about sexual escapades of the ton, barely disguising names and thus costing the humperating males their very rich fiancees when said fiancees read the spicy writing.
“Lady Loveless’s sources are impeccable. Which is why she has to be stopped.”
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN.
Cue trip for Lord Alex WALON Beaumont UP to the WILD COLD WILDS of WILD YORKSHIRE!
*traveling music here*
Ah! In the course of ruminating on how very very angry Lord Alex WALON Beaumont is, we learn that he was forced into marriage to Lady Melicent by his father, Duke of Beaumont. Same surname as title – how Windsorian! But wouldn’t he have a courtesy title, and not his own surname? Unless he’s not the heir.
Ok, time to stop nit picking. Dammit Kalen Hughes, all that historical instruction is rubbing in. Damn You!
Oh ho! I am right! Lord Alex WALON Beaumont is a younger son, and his father pushed him into marriage by threatening to remove his rights to run the estates if he didn’t marry because his older brother, Henry, has a “preference for men” and wouldn’t ever marry. Yeah. Because being gay precludes him from running the estate? And there were no beard wives in the Regency? Paging Phyllida, Brotherhood of Philander, Party of three…Lady Phyllida, your table is ready.
So their marriage is unsatisfactory to Lord Alex WALON Beaumont, and he didn’t like it. Rage, he has it.
But he’s noble because he loves the land and the people on it and is the only one in the family who does. I suppose it’s a mark of the brevity of the format that the characters, even ones not formally introduced, are cast in such black and white terms. And he’s pissed off even more at the thought that someone – not him – introduced his wife to the ways of the fleshy flesh sword, because judging from the three lines he read, she’s got an intimate knowledge of the intimacy that couldn’t have emerged from their cold, lifeless coupling.
The plot! It thickens!
Melicent, it seems, is also a creature of innate nobility and dedication to family. She’d gone to Yorkshire to care for her mother after her father’s death, because, AND I QUOTE, “Melicent’s feckless young brother Aloysius was running wild.”
Oh noes! Feckless Aloysius is running wild! Raise the portcullis!
And Lord Alex WALON Beaumont is peeved because Melicent defied his wishes and left for for Yorkshire. Girlfriend stood up for herself, left his house, and now writes ferociously erotic fiction that thinly hides the true identity of its participants. Somehow, Lady Melicent has an impossibly accurate source of gossip that transmits the news from town to her frozen abode in Yorkshire, where she writes up the humpity hump hump humpity hump hump (Look at Frosty Go!) and sends it to be printed with such haste that the gossip in print is read by those who shouldn’t know of it, and lives… are changed… for… ever. Holy shit. She’s a blogger.
Behold Lord Alex WALON Beaumont, who now plans to “go to Yorkshire and seduce his errant wife according to the style laid down by Lady Loveless. He would expose her for the wanton she must surely be.”
And therein lies the end of chapter 1. Aside from that last part where he jumps to a bit of a conclusion and decides to go seduce his wife because she knows all about sex, based on the evidence presented by a bunch of uncomfortable men in a club who are mad that this writer has exposed them for the profligate sluts there are, these are some of my very favorite plot constructions:
1. Heroine with hidden talents, especially one who can skewer those what need skewering, and also one who hides those talents behind shyness, so that she is often underestimated.
2. Hero who must reevaluate his impressions of his wife.
3. Having the hero and heroine fall for one another already within the boundaries of marriage. I’m sort of a sucker for the ‘I thought I knew you but WHOA’ plotline – this may be a byproduct of my love for the first romance I ever read, Midsummer Magic.
So even though I’m picking the nits like damn and whoa, I’m having a good old time over here.