Release Date:DECEMBER 09
Book Preview: "RULES OF CONDUCT"
HE IS A MAN OF HONOR
The Duke of Vale is destined to marry the woman his parents have chosen for him. But he cannot forget the beautiful and mysterious woman he calls Viola.
SHE IS A WOMAN OF SECRETS
After losing her memory, Viola knows only of her Classical education, and her love for the Duke of Vale. In her flight from danger, she has broken all the rules of conduct. As she falls further in disgrace and her choices narrow, she must fight for what is hers.
Maggi Andersen's Rules of Conduct is "a right saucy tale," as they say, and one done in the finest traditions of Regency Romances. Although the overall tone of the tale is light, as such romances are meant to be, this book has a good plot, shows in-depth historical research, and develops its characters amazingly well. Maggi Andersen, it seems, has a real flair for Regency Romances. Her Rules of Conduct shows a brilliant attention to detail, moves at a fast pace, and makes the reader care about what happens to the main characters.
Maggi Andersen is terrific at making the time period come alive, so much so, that for precious hours I was transported there, living in the bright, colorful life of London's Ton society at the height of the English Regency period. So, for those who wish to escape our own time, travel to another, and meet new and fun people, Rules of Conduct is a must read. I highly recommend this delightful tale of two such star-crossed lovers! Rules of Conduct justly deserves the rating of 8 out of 10. And, Maggi Andersen appears to be a new force with which to be reckoned. I look forward with real interest to more novels by her! In fact, I can hardly wait!
Reviewed by: Rob Shelsky Novelspot
A shout roused Hugh from his reverie as the coachman hauled the
horses to a stop in the narrow laneway. His manservant, Peter, jumped
“What is it?” Hugh threw open the carriage door and leapt out, pistol
in hand. He looked around. Surely, highwaymen wouldn’t attempt to rob
him again. They’d come off the worse last time, with one man dead and
the other wounded in his escape.
At dusk, it was shadowy and dim beneath the thick canopy of leaves.
There were no highwaymen to be seen, but when Hugh moved forward,
he saw a body lying on the road, perilously close to the plunging hooves of the horses.
A trick? Hugh tightened his grip on his pistol. “Back up the horses,”
he urged his men. “Be quick about it.”
Peter grabbed the traces, and he and the coachman edged the nervous
horses away, their flesh quivering and their nostrils steaming in the cold air.
Hugh checked the silent, dark woods on each side of the road again
before kneeling beside the inert form. Gently rolling the body over, hereached into the lad’s shirt to feel for a heartbeat.
He pulled his hand out again as if stung. “Devil take us, tis a
woman!” As he moved her, the woman’s cap fell off and long strands of
fair hair escaped, spreading over her shoulders.
Rendered speechless, they stared at the slight body dressed in men’s
clothing. The thin material barely concealed the thrust of firm breasts beneath it. Pantaloons hugged slender legs, her bare feet thick with grime. The shirt strings lay open across a delicate throat, where a silver locket caught the light.
Hugh smoothed the hair away from her mud-streaked face. “I can’t
find any signs of bleeding, but she has a bump on her head the size of an egg,” he said. He thought her far too pale, but her pulse felt strong.
“Cor, she ain’t half dirty, your grace,” said Peter, wrinkling his nose in distaste. “She smells of the barnyard.”
“That she does.” Hugh slipped one arm under her shoulders and one
beneath her knees. With scant regard for his new, silk-lined and multicaped greatcoat, he lifted her up, placed her on the seat of the coach, and tucked a travel rug around her.
“Better light the lanterns, John, then on to Vale Park.”
A mist-shrouded moon shone its frail light into the carriage. The
young woman did not stir. Hugh picked up one of her hands and patted
it, but there was no response. Burned feathers or smelling salts might
bring her round once they arrived home, he reasoned.
He turned a small hand over in his large, brown ones. Her skin was
soft and showed no evidence of hard labour. She was no housemaid
then. Perhaps a seamstress or a governess from one of the big houses in the district, though what she was doing here dressed like that he couldn’t imagine.
Within the half-hour, the coach entered the gates displaying the Vale
family Coat of Arms. The gatekeeper saluted as they passed by, carriage lamps flickering, and they plunged into the solid darkness of the home wood.
Hugh sat forward as the coach rounded the last bend and emerged
from the trees. As its wheels clattered over the bridge, he caught sight of the church spire against the dark sky.
This first glimpse of the old house never failed to move him. The
windows on the ground floor were alight with candles. Braziers burned
in their sconces along the lake wall, turning the water to rippling fire and casting a warm, orange glow over the stone of the crenellated towers.
Parts of the building had been built as early as 1480. Hugh’s
ancestors had added wings throughout the years according to needs and
fashion"the last in the 18th Century. Despite this, the house retained its symmetry and beauty.