The Everard legacy miniseries focuses on three handsome cousins who set out to claim their inheritances and learn that love is their greatest reward. In the first book, Jerome, Richard, and Vaughn Everard discovered that their late uncle had kept a daughter secret, a daughter who has inherited not only his title but their vast empire of shares in sailing ships, money in the Exchange, and lands in six counties.
All but one. Lady Claire Winthrop was once engaged to Captain Richard Everard, throwing him over for a wealthy viscount. Now she’s a widow with more than one secret in her past. Can Richard convince her to sponsor the mercurial Samantha? And if the two are drawn together once more, will the captain’s courtship be successful this time?
As you can tell, courtship plays a big part in this story, whether Richard and Claire’s memories of their first courtship or their attempts to find their way back into courting again. When I was writing my young adult novel, La Petite Four, I developed a character named Lord Snedley, who considered himself an expert in the rules of courting (among other things). Here are some of his rules for courting:
- On her first introduction to a gentleman, a young lady would do well to keep her eyes on his chin, unless of course he should have a pock or wart there. Raising her eyes to his will make her appear forward and staring at his feet will make the fellow uncomfortable. I also advise against staring at birthmarks or protrusions of any sort.
- Gentlemen, when you visit, stay a quarter hour, no more, no less. Unless, of course, you are pressed to stay by a particularly winsome young lady, or you find yourself enamored of the lemonade served that day, drink fourteen glasses, and must needs make use of the retiring facilities.
- Young ladies are indebted to their chaperons, those maternal sorts who hover about at balls, making sure that everything is aboveboard. Do insist that they stay away from card tables, sharp objects, and the occasional cavorting in the servant’s hall.
- Indulging in flirtation is every young lady’s prerogative and quite expected in more fashionable circles. If you feel daunted, I suggest you practice on a door knob, which will not notice if your hair was parted the wrong way nor remark that you have parsley stuck between your front teeth.
Now it’s your turn. Give me a rule of proper courtship, real, from a book you read, or imagined, in a comment to this post, and I will put your name in a drawing to win an autographed copy of The Captain’s Courtship. Comments received before midnight U.S. West Coast time on Thursday, July 12, will be eligible. I’ll announce the winner in my Friday post, where we’ll learn more about Lady Claire Winthrop, and I’ll give you another chance to win.
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