Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Where It All Started by Victoria Chatham

 I’ve been fascinated with the Regency era from a very early age. Largely, I suspect, from 
being born in Clifton, Bristol, in England, an area renowned for its classic Regency architecture. Even as a small child, the sweeping curves and many storeys of the terraces close to my grandmother’s house at Number 2 Windsor Place, fascinated me.

Clifton itself appears in the Domesday book, a document devised by William the Conqueror and completed in 1086. Back then Clifton was a village known as Clistone, meaning a hillside settlement. I can vouch for its position on a steep hill as the house I lived in perched on the side of Granby Hill, one of the steepest hills in Bristol.

Royal York Terrace
Below Windsor Place was Windsor Terrace and overlooking each rose the imposing Paragon. Further up the hill, Royal York Terrace, reputed to be the longest terrace in Europe, was just about the first thing I saw every morning. A friend of the family had a home in Cornwallis Crescent where my cousins and I had fun hopping over the stone blocks, once used for entering and exiting carriages and which sat at the edge of the pavement before each front door. These have long since been removed and the street now has car-parking on either side.   


All these elegancies entranced me and when I started reading Regency romances I just had to write them, too. I am currently at work on Book 3 in my Berkeley Square series. My hero and heroine are drawn from His Dark Enchantress, Book 1 in the series. No dashing Lord and feisty Lady in Book 3, His Unexpected Muse, these characters are much quieter and more retiring, but I had to tell their story. I hope you enjoy this snippet.  

HIS UNEXPECTED MUSE
By
Victoria Chatham

Chapter One

A crackling log on the hearth roused the somnambulant figure sprawled in a fireside chair. Lord Peter Skeffington yawned as he hauled himself into a sitting position. He scrubbed a hand over his face as his befogged mind tried to recollect where in tarnation he might be. The fireplace, with its ornate set of fire irons and a variety of bibelots decorating the mantle above it, winking in the glow from the firelight, were all unfamiliar to him.
He blinked and looked about but could see no further than the circle cast by the flickering flames. The gloom, however, rather than disconcert him, gave him an overall sensation of familiarity as he inhaled the aromas of ink and the mustiness peculiar to old books. From this, he deduced he had entered a study, though whose study it might be escaped him. What had he been doing that evening? The clouds in his mind suddenly parted and recollection came to him in a disconcerting rush.
He’d attended Lord and Lady Suffield’s damned rout-party. With his mother. Dragged along like a lamb to the slaughter. Whether that description applied to himself or the obligatory female of marriageable age to whom he had been introduced, he could not determine.
He remembered making his escape from the main salon, snagging a brandy decanter along the way. What had he done with it? He groped on the side table for the lead crystal snifter he remembered bringing with him. His long fingers connected with the stem but, before he could raise the glass to his lips, a sound behind him startled him.
What was that? He strained his ears, thinking he heard the soft susurration of a breath, or maybe the page of book turning. Could that be possible?


For more about Victoria check here:






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