Lessons for His Bride

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Description

Despite not having a great start in life, Seraphina never gave up hope that good fortune would smile upon her. Just when things are looking most dire for her, she is whisked off to a new life at Primrose Park, home of Lady Tempest Knox and her husband, James.

When it is time for Seraphina to be married, Lady Tempest knows there is only one person up to the task – Lady Ambrosia, Matchmaker to the Discerning.

Dr. Lucas Spencer, the most eligible bachelor in the village of Briar Glen, is shocked by the lengths to which the local ladies – and their mothers – will go to ensnare him in marriage. Looking for a proper bride to share his life, he contacts Lady Ambrosia.

Seraphina has never met a man as handsome as Lucas, and when he boldly informs her that marriage to him will include firm discipline, Seraphina’s heart melts for her stern husband.

Lucas and Seraphina are well on their way to happily ever after. But will a secret from Seraphina’s past tear them apart forever?

This is book three in the Regency Matchmaker Series but can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy historical romance contains elements of power exchange.

Sample Chapter

Prologue

 

Mrs. Hartpence’s House of Ill Repute

London

 

Seraphina Moon stood upon the cold hard floor of Mrs. Hartpence’s private drawing room, a bar of soap clenched between her teeth.

“You are the most ungrateful, unappreciative, unwanted and unrepentant wretch I have ever encountered. After all I have done for you, you still cannot be bothered to maintain a civil tongue for even a few minutes.” Mrs. Hartpence paced the room angrily as she spoke, then returned to face the object of her vitriol. “Anyone else in this household would have been thrilled at the prospect of Lord Ross’ sponsorship, but what do you do?” Mrs. Hartpence paused in her tirade and shook her head back and forth in disbelief. “You swore at the gentleman, a lord no less. Some of the words you used, I had never even heard before. And I run a whorehouse!”

Her beady eyes bore into Seraphina’s and all Seraphina could do was shrug. She supposed she ought to apologize, but she was not sorry. No, not one little bit.

“Well? What have you to say for yourself?” Mrs. Hartpence’s voice became more shrill with each passing moment.

Seraphina tried to speak around the bar of soap, but her words came out indecipherable.

“Never mind. What you have to say is of no interest to me. I am the one whose word counts around here and let me tell you, you disgusting bit of trash, after your behavior today it will be a wonder if Lord Ross does not demand a refund of his payment to me.”

Finally fed up and not caring about the consequences, Seraphina removed the vile tasting soap from her mouth and threw it on the floor with a satisfying thud. “I told you I want nothing to do with him. I would rather be one of the regular girls than go with that disgusting man.”

“Stupid girl. Do you not understand? A man like Lord Ross would give you a home, food, clothes. Freedom like you will never have. You are the orphaned daughter of a whore. You would do well to remember your station in life, which is next to nothing.”

“I do not care what you say, I will run away before I allow him to touch me.”

“I am your guardian. You will do as I say.”

“You do not have the right to sell me.”

“The money from Lord Ross is a marriage settlement.”

“What a joke! He is already married. Call it what you will, but he is buying me to be his courtesan. And do not think I am unaware you have auctioned off my innocence to the highest bidder.”

“Who has paid for your keep for all these years? Do you think that comes cheap or free? You have had clothes, food, a roof over your head. Who else would have provided those things for you if I did not?”

Seraphina refused to give in on this point—the most important discussion of her entire life—but she did attempt another tactic. Taking a deep breath, she tried to reduce Mrs. Hartpence’s ire. “Mrs. Hartpence, I do appreciate all the things you have done for me, truly I do. But, is it so wrong for me to aspire to someday be married? To have a husband who loves me?”

Mrs. Hartpence paused and looked at Seraphina, considering her words, or so she hoped. Seraphina held her breath, praying her statement might have softened the woman who was both a madame and her guardian if only a small amount.

“What sort of fantasy are you spinning, girl? Marriage? Love? You make me laugh,” she said, though she did not laugh. Her mouth pinched into a tight line before she continued. “Men do not marry whores.”

Hot angry tears burned Seraphina’s eyes and she clenched her hands at her sides. “I. Am. Not. A. Whore.”

“You may be technically correct, Seraphina, but the reality is, you soon will be, and if you are smart, you will be more accommodating to Lord Ross when he returns. He has sailed for France and will come for you in a few weeks. I expect you to have a better attitude by then.”

“No. I will not do it. There is something better for me. I know it.”

Mrs. Hartpence studied her for a moment, then shook her head. “Foolish girl. Go. I have no further use of you right now. Mind my words.”

Seraphina did not have to be told twice. She hurried to the door and bumped directly into a tall distinguished looking gentleman in a sharply pressed army uniform. Seraphina had no idea what rank he held, but based upon the number of medals and ribbons adorning his chest, as well as his overall demeanor, it was clear this man was used to giving orders.

She stepped back to allow him into the room and instead of going on about her way as she had intended, she stood gaping at him.

He nodded to her then bowed to Mrs. Hartpence. “I am Colonel William St. Clair. I have been appointed guardian for Miss Seraphina Moon and have come to collect her.”

***

An hour later, Seraphina found herself seated in the grandest carriage she had ever seen, let alone ridden in, across from Colonel St. Clair, doing her best to digest all of the information which had come to light in the minutes after Colonel St. Clair’s arrival.

As it turned out, despite what she had been told for the last few years, she did have a father and he did care about her. So much so that in his dying breath he had induced his commanding officer, Colonel William St. Clair, to swear to become his daughter’s guardian.

Mrs. Hartpence had been so shocked, and likely intimidated, by the personage of Colonel St. Clair she had given scarce objection to his pronouncement he intended for Seraphina to leave with him right away.

Seraphina had rushed off to pack her few personal items and when she returned, she noticed Colonel St. Clair passing a handful of bills to Mrs. Hartpence who quickly slid the bundle into her pocket.

“I am in your debt, sir,” she said, shyly to the man who seemed to fill the entire carriage with his presence.

“I beg your pardon, my dear?”

“I-I saw you hand some money over to Mrs. Hartpence. I know she has been harping on the cost of my care and feeding all of these years. I cannot thank you enough for discharging the obligation for me.”

“I was pleased to do so. If it is of any comfort to you, the money came from your father. He had been saving in order to care for you once he was discharged from the army, but unfortunately he never got a chance to fulfill his wish…” the Colonel’s voice trailed off.

Seraphina could hardly believe her ears. Her whole life, there had been a man, her own father, who had thought about her and planned for her future. But, where had he been all these years? All these lonely years? “That is surprising and gratifying news, Colonel. But, why did he never contact me? Never pay a visit? I had no notion of his existence.”

The Colonel raised an eyebrow in surprise. “Why, he wrote to you often, as often as he could, and always included a few bills for your care.”

“No, it cannot be. I never received any such letters. And if you knew he had sent me money for my care, why did you pay Mrs. Hartpence?”

“Ah, a wise question,” the Colonel said with a smile. “You are very astute.” Seraphina’s heart filled with happiness over his praise. “I knew a woman such as Mrs. Hartpence would not allow a young lady to leave her home without some sort of compensation and I came prepared.”

Seraphina’s heart was full. Never had anyone given the slightest thought to her care and well-being, but this man, this very distinguished and important gentleman, had gone out of his way to see to her welfare.

For the first time ever, Seraphina looked to the future with optimism.

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Lady Tempest Knox

Primrose Park

 

Lady Tempest Knox stood outside the doorway to her husband’s library. Though she had been married to Lord Knox for nigh on to five years, being summoned to his private sanctuary always set her tummy aflutter.

She recalled with a rueful smile the very first meal they had shared together, when she had barged in upon him in this very room slamming down her tray of food and offending him with her frank manner and conversation.

In the years since that noteworthy meal, a deep and profound love had grown between the unlikely couple—though she continued to be frank in word and deed. In addition, they were now the proud parents of two rambunctious little girls. The eldest Lady Merry, born on Christmas day four years earlier, had been quickly followed by younger sister, Lady Anne, now aged two.

The household was quite busy indeed.

Despite being an experienced married lady, and the Countess of Knox, Lady Tempest still tingled with eager anticipation whenever she had the opportunity to be alone with her husband. She hoped his reason for summoning her to his private library was for pleasure, though she knew it was equally likely chastisement awaited her on the other side of the door.

For though they were very happily married, and very much in love, their life was not without the occasional marital conflict. Lady Tempest hesitated to even contemplate the number of times she had been taken across her husband’s knee for a bit of domestic correction.

Running back through her mind, Lady Tempest tried to ascertain whether she had done anything of late which might necessitate the application of her husband’s firm palm to her shapely backside. Try as she might, she couldn’t recall any transgressions on her part. However, well she knew those things which she might not consider transgressions often fell into that category as far as her strict husband was concerned.

“I know you are waiting out there, Tempest,” her husband called. “You may as well come in, because there are matters I wish to discuss with you. Stop hiding.”

She could not get away with anything

“Good morning, James,” she said, taking in the orderly state of his desk. Her efforts notwithstanding, he remained organized, dutiful, and quite determined to remain so. She moved around the large piece of furniture to place a kiss upon his cheek.

He grabbed her about the waist and pulled her down to his lap, holding her there while he kissed her properly. She wound her arms around his neck and reveled in the strength of his hold as he pressed her close.

When James lifted his mouth she used her hands, which still clasped his head, to hold him in place and prolong the kiss. He complied, but when the kiss was finished, he reached behind his head and disengaged her hands.

“Now, go take your seat, Tempest,” he said giving her a stern look. “I do have some important matters to discuss with you.”

With a pout she got up from his lap and did as he instructed. She was obedient, but did not believe she had to be cheerful about it. She slumped down into the chair across from him and gave him a side-eyed glance. “Why do you always have to spoil my fun?”

“As I recall,” he said, giving her a smoldering stare, “you had plenty of fun already this morning. Or does my lovemaking leave so little impression on you these days that you do not even remember?”

Tempest returned his smoldering gaze with a saucy smile. “Oh, I do recall it very much, my lord. And I thank you for it.”

Tempest was familiar enough after several years of marriage to be able to discern the different moods which her husband exhibited. Currently, she could see he was debating within himself about whether to continue on their path of flirtatious conversation, or to get on with the business of the morning. To her sadness, business won out.

“We must discuss Seraphina,” he said, and a pit of dread formed in Tempest’s stomach.

“Oh, James, please. No.”

“Yes, Tempest, my dear. This has gone on long enough.”

Tempest sighed in resignation. “But we promised Colonel St. Clair we would see to the girl’s welfare until she was ready to be courted. He is your mother’s husband, we can hardly abandon her.”

James sighed. “I know. And I am sure you are a much better influence on a young lady than my mother ever could be.”

“Now, James, that is unfair. Your mother is a wonderful woman, loving and warm. She is one of my favorite people.”

“Fair enough,” he replied, “besides, I can hardly imagine a household which contained both Seraphina and my mother. No wonder Colonel St. Clair was so receptive to leaving Seraphina in our care.”

“He made a wise choice, and well you know it. We must consider the girl’s well-being.”

“But, not at the expense of our own hearth and home,” James said, his jaw tightening in a way which sent a sliver of dread through Tempest.

“What has happened now?”

James leafed through a stack of papers on his desk. “This is a bill,” he said, holding up one of the pieces of paper, “for a window she broke, while attempting to hang a picture in her bedchamber.”

“I am sure it was an accident,” Tempest said.

“No one is saying the girl does these things intentionally,” James said, continuing to go through the documents on his desk. “Here is a bill from the doctor, for the treatment of one of the footmen who was injured when he had to go wading into the pond to rescue her after she fell in.”

“I know our expenses have increased since her arrival,” Tempest said, attempting to appease her husband, though the knit of his brow suggested she had an uphill battle.

“It is not always about the money, Tempest,” he said, “though I shall admit I have been shocked by the damage a single young woman can do the budget of a household, even one as large as ours. However,” he continued before his wife could jump in, “‘tis not only the costs but the general disruption.”

“Having a new person in the household is bound to result in some changes.”

“Tempest,” James leveled his gaze at her, “I caught her smoking one of my cigars.”

“Oh my!” Even Tempest was shocked by that bit of information. “She does have some colorful habits,” Tempest said as a means of placating her husband.

“Colorful habits is hardly the way I would describe her,” James said. “The girl is a walking disaster.”

“Oh, James,” Tempest said, wringing her hands. “How can you be so cruel? She is simply a girl who needs a bit of guidance.”

“Guidance? Would guidance have prevented her from spilling gravy all over a tablecloth which has been in the family for generations?”

“You know,” Tempest said, “I never did care for that tablecloth.”

James rested his elbows upon his desk, steepled his fingers and gave his wife a most severe glare. “Need I remind you, we have two small children in our home now. Sometimes I fear for their safety.”

“But James, she loves the children.”

“No one is questioning her devotion, her likableness, or her good intentions. I am simply stating the fact that the girl seems to bring destruction everywhere she goes.”

“But what are we to do? Colonel St. Clair vowed to care for her. ‘Twas only fitting we take her on as she is much closer to my age than your mother’s.”

“That is a mere technicality, not based on actual behavior.” James loved his mother, of that Tempest was certain, but the two were quite different and Lady Calliope St. Clair’s whimsical nature often caused strife for her one and only child.

“I have enjoyed having her here and I believe I have made great strides. She nearly never slurps her soup anymore and her posture is much improved. Do I not get some credit for those accomplishments?” She batted her eyelashes at her husband, hoping to jostle him out of his foul mood. She had high hopes for Seraphina, but the girl was not ready for her debut in society just yet.

Or ever, though Tempest was determined to make a silk purse out of the sow’s ear that was Miss Seraphina Moon. Of course, she only spoke optimistically about the young woman to her husband. James was far from unkind, but he was practical and even for Tempest some of Seraphina’s shortcomings were hard to overlook.

“You have accomplished a great deal, I shall admit. I was more skeptical than usual when Colonel St. Clair dropped her on our door.”

“James, that is unkind. I offered to take her in. Colonel St. Clair was more than willing to uphold his end of the agreement he made with the girl’s dying father. And he has been quite generous in providing for her clothing and other needs.”

“Would that he had gotten a bit more information before promising to see to her upbringing.”

“It is my understanding he assumed she was a child, who would be much more malleable than the nineteen-year-old harum-scarum he found.”

Despite his obvious intentions to be miffed about the situation, James laughed. “Oh, I can only imagine what their first meeting must have been like.”

“Yes, even the highly decorated Colonel William St. Clair was likely in over his head with Seraphina. But,” Tempest said, growing serious, “she is a dear girl and I would like to see her well-settled. Please, James, just a few more weeks?”

James sighed. “Between you and the children, it seems I am wrapped around the little fingers of all of the women of the household. Two weeks, but that is all. Have I made myself clear? I shudder to think of the havoc she will wreak upon a husband.”

“I believe, if you will recall, my dear, I brought a certain amount of havoc with me when I arrived at Primrose Park. But you seem none the worse for it.”

“I will grant you that, on both counts.” James smiled at his wife lovingly. “I am sorry this puts you in a bad position, but I do not know what else we can do. I fear the girl shall destroy our home by the time a proper spouse is found for her.”

“James, my darling, what do you suggest?”

“Why, Lady Ambrosia, of course.”

***

 

Fisk Residence

Briar Glen

 

“Oh, please, Doctor, I am in dire need of assistance.” Miss Caroline Fisk reclined against a chaise lounge, the back of her hand resting against her forehead in a clear—and clearly practiced—indication of distress.

Dr. Lucas Spencer stood at a distance observing the tableau being played out before him. Next to Miss Fisk, her mother, the formidable Mrs. Fisk, stood holding the girl’s other hand.

“Oh, Dr. Spencer, thank goodness you are here,” Mrs. Fisk said. “As you can see, my darling daughter Caroline, is in extreme anguish, and is in dire need of your assistance, Doctor, for there is a significant pain in her side.”

It was the fourth time in a fortnight the doctor had been called to the Fisk residence. When he had first arrived in the village, two years prior, he had wondered if perhaps Mrs. Fisk was some sort of hypochondriac. However, upon consulting with his predecessor, the aging Dr. Thorpe, he learned Dr. Thorpe had been called to the Fisk residence hardly at all. It seemed the family enjoyed good health. At least, until Dr. Spencer had arrived in town.

“I believe the affliction,” Dr. Thorpe had said with a chuckle when Lucas had consulted him on the topic, “of which the members of the Fisk family seem to suffer, or at least the female members, is the advancing approach of spinsterhood.”

Lucas had looked at his mentor with furrowed brow and an air of confusion. “I beg your pardon, sir? Whatever are you speaking of?”

“What I am saying,” the experienced doctor said, “is that you are the first eligible young gentleman to arrive in the village in quite some time. It has, no doubt, caused a stir amongst the eligible young, and not so young, ladies of the area.”

“You must be joking,” Lucas said. “Why on earth would anyone act in such a silly manner as to pretend to be ill in order to secure the attentions of a physician?”

Dr. Thorpe had only chuckled and said, “I believe their interest in you is more matrimonial than medical, though your steady income is also an attractive attribute, I am sure.”

Lucas had scoffed at Dr. Thorpe’s explanation—though not to his face—as such a thing would be highly rude and Lucas did have great affection and respect for the good doctor who had turned his practice over to him.

However, as time went on and not only the Fisk household but several others—all with eligible daughters of marriageable age—became his most frequent patients, he had to acknowledge the correctness of Dr. Thorpe’s assessment.

All of this put Dr. Spencer in an awkward position, to say the least. While he lived comfortably, he was not a wealthy man and the patronage of the families in the district provided for not only his support but that of the small staff who ran his household. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, he believed in his calling as a healer of the sick and ailing, regardless of their ability to pay. Because many in the area were unable to compensate him for his services, the fees collected from the more affluent households were crucial to offset those expenses.

Hence, he found himself at the beck and call of malingerers and manipulators.

Under other circumstances, he might have favored one of the local young ladies. But, as he had a complete abhorrence for artifice of any kind, he could never consider the young ladies who feigned illness in order to gain his attention as marriageable. Not to mention his profound desire to avoid the sort of overbearing potential mother-in-law which Mrs. Fisk and her ilk represented.

He had no objection to the institution of marriage, and in fact had been giving due consideration to taking a wife. However, the hounding by the local single ladies and their mothers—and sometimes aunts and grandmothers—had made him determined to have a wife who knew nothing about him in advance. He was tired of being pestered at all hours, not to mention that the truly ill were often neglected due to the constant demands of those seeking to ensnare him.

All he wished for was an honest woman of character. Surely making a marriage work could not be so difficult when sincerity and integrity were the main components.

As soon as he finished with this pointless examination, he would write to a matchmaker in London. He had heard many good things about a certain Lady Ambrosia.

“Doctor! Doctor! Are you unable to hear me? Shall I speak more loudly?” Mrs. Fisk moved to stand directly in front of him, blocking his exit and his view.

“My apologies, Mrs. Fisk, I was simply giving serious thought to your daughter’s medical condition.”

“Why yes, Doctor, how very clever of you.” Mrs. Fisk had returned to her obsequious self, stepping aside so Lucas could examine her daughter. “You see,” Mrs. Fisk said, drawing the doctor’s hand to her daughter’s midsection, “she has a most severe pain right here.”

I should like to give you both a severe pain. Much like the one you are giving me. But the good doctor kept those thoughts to himself. Removing his hand from the clutches of Mrs. Fisk, he rested the back of his hand against Caroline’s forehead. “I do not detect a fever.”

“Of course she does not have a fever, she has an ache in her side, which is no doubt getting worse as time passes.”

Lucas straightened to his full six feet two inches in height and directed a withering look at Mrs. Fisk. “Were this an attack of appendicitis, she would have a fever. Since she does not, I can rule that severe malady out, which is good news, do you not agree?” He held the meddlesome woman’s gaze until she looked away.

“Thank you, Doctor Spencer, that is good news indeed. But, what about the extreme distress she suffers?”

“I shall take a look now, if you will please step aside.”

“I shall do even better than that,” Mrs. Fisk said. “I shall go and fetch refreshments for us all. I am sure you must be hungry after a hard day of caring for the people in our village and I am sure your housekeeper is no match for our cook.” Mrs. Fisk scurried toward the door as she spoke.

“Absolutely not. Mrs. Fisk, I insist you remain in the room. You know it is not proper for me to be alone with your daughter, much less to do so while I am examining her.”

“But, Doctor, what about—”

Lucas felt his face heating with anger. As though being manipulated by the women of Briar Glen was not enough, Mrs. Fisk, no doubt, wished to create a scandal and force a marriage. He would not have it. After pausing for a moment, he composed himself and addressed her, knowing it was imperative he be diplomatic since Mrs. Fisk’s patronage provided a significant portion of his wages, not to mention the utter destruction of his medical practice which she could create if he displeased her. When Mrs. Fisk spoke, the women of Briar Glen sat up and listened.

“I appreciate the kind offer of refreshments, but I would hate to do anything which might bring disfavor upon your lovely daughter’s reputation. I also do not have time to socialize today. As you know, there is an outbreak of the fever in the wetlands.” He favored her with his most charming smile and a pink flush bloomed on her cheeks.

Yes, he abhorred artifice, but he also knew you sometimes had to fight fire with fire.

“Well, perhaps another time then, Dr. Spencer.”

Through all of this, his patient, Miss Caroline Fisk, had remained silent, not even a moan of discomfort. Apparently, her mother had noticed as well. “Caroline, are you not in pain?” she said pointedly which drew an immediate and agonizing groan from her daughter.

“Oh, yes, the pain is nearly unbearable.”

Knowing that the sooner he examined the girl the sooner he could be on his way, Lucas set about the task. “Does this hurt?” He gave a miniscule tap on her rib cage.

“I said it was nearly unbearable, did I not?” Miss Fisk replied tartly.

“The pain must be horrible, for as you know, Dr. Spencer, my dear Caroline has the sweetest disposition. That is, when she is not in excruciating pain.”

“Yes, of course, Mrs. Fisk,” Lucas said, then clamped his lips closed lest he say something he might regret.

“And does it hurt here as well?” he asked, but did not actually make contact with any part of Miss Fisk’s body.

The girl reared up from the lounge with a wail of agony. “Oh, it hurts there the worst of all.”

“Just as I thought,” the doctor said, rising.

“Well?” Mrs. Fisk followed as he walked to where he had left his doctor’s bag. “How serious is it, Doctor? You will come back tomorrow to check on her, will you not? Perhaps then you will be able to stay for refreshments.”

Lucas searched around in his bag, pulled out a few unguents and tinctures, mixed a couple of things together and handed the jar to Mrs. Fisk. “I believe if you apply this to the ache in her side you will see significant improvement in a matter of hours.”

“But, you will return tomorrow? What if she does not improve? I know we would both feel much better if you could call upon us, would morning be best? Or afternoon?” Mrs. Fisk gazed upon him hopefully.

“I cannot make any promises, Mrs. Fisk, I have a very busy schedule. I expect the salve I gave you will do the trick and an additional visit from me would just be a waste of your valuable time and attention.”

“Then, perhaps dinner? You must eat dinner after a long day of seeing patients. Will you not be so kind as to dine with us tomorrow evening?” Desperation caused Mrs. Fisk’s voice to go up a couple of registers.

“Thank you, Mrs. Fisk, but I must decline. Thank you just the same.”

“We have recently taken delivery of a new barouche, Dr. Spencer. What a wonderfully swift conveyance it is. We would be pleased to have you ride out with us, are you free day after tomorrow?”

Lucas fought against an exasperated sigh. “Oh, Mrs. Fisk, your daughter is in such severe pain I am sure she would not enjoy a ride, even in something as elegant as a new barouche, for quite some time.”

“Dr. Spencer, you work much too hard. I do hope we will at least see you at the assembly scheduled for Friday fortnight. A man such as yourself ought to get out and enjoy himself. And my Caroline is an excellent dancer. You may recall the dance master I hired to teach everyone the waltz at our last assembly. The same gentleman gave Caroline private lessons and declared her to be the best dancer he had seen in quite some time. I am sure she would be happy to save the first dance for you.”

It had been a long day and an even longer visit to the Fisk home. Though Lucas rarely lost his composure, Mrs. Fisk’s insistent nature had finally gotten on his last nerve and an impish desire to shock overcame him.

“I believe I will be at the assembly, Mrs. Fisk, but I will have to reserve all my dances for my new bride as I plan to be married by then. It will be a nice opportunity to introduce my wife to her new neighbors, do you not agree? I am sure she will be pleased to make the acquaintance of both you and Miss Fisk.”

“What?” both women shrieked.

“Married? To whom?” Miss Fisk said, rising from the sofa with ease and speed. “Why have we not heard of this news before now?”

“I wanted the two of you to be the first to know.” He handed Mrs. Fisk his bill, bowed to them both and exited the room as quickly as he could.

He had certainly gotten himself into a pickle now.

But the look on both the elder and the younger Fisks’ faces was well worth it.

Two weeks to get a bride. He had best get home and write to Lady Ambrosia.

 

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4.85 out of 5 stars

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  1. Marybeth

    Marybeth

    This is the third book in the Regency Matchmaker series. It is not necessary to have read the first two to enjoy this book. Seraphina is an orphan that is living in a brothel. The madame wants to sell the virginal girl to the highest bidder. But Colonel St. Clair rescues her and brings her to his home. Eventually she meets the matchmaker Lady Ambrosia to marry. Meanwhile Lucas is a rural doctor and he is tired of the single ladies and mamas of his town trying to get him to marry. He decides to let Lady Ambrosia find him a bride. The rest of the book is quite entertaining and, of course, there is a HEA.

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  2. Peter

    Game....Set....MATCH

    Peter

    I have been anxiously awaiting this newest book in the Matchmaker series. After having read the first two 5-Star books I just knew the third would be equally as good, and it is! Lady Ambrosia it the Marry Poppins of matchmakers. Her keen understanding of people & their personalities, her loving desire to get the very best for them, and with a little magic thrown in, always seems to lead to the perfect matches. Having already successfully matched Lady Calliope with Colonel St. Clair and Lady Tempest with Lord Knox, she is now asked to turn her attention to young Seraphina Moon. Seraphina, despite her upbringing as an orphan in a bawdy house, was as innocent and naïve as could be. Even with the support and friendship from Ladies Calliope and Tempest, her being the orphaned child of a whore, she would be a challenge for Lady Ambrosia to match. However, Ambrosia knew of a young doctor who was in search of a wife. Doctor Lucas Spencer has his own predicament with the social network in his town, so he seeks out Lady Ambrosia to find him a wife. The match is made. This then becomes the story of Lucas teaching and leading Seraphina in the ways of marriage and sex. A loving, fun filled romp which includes spankings (both erotic and mildly disciplinary) and some very sensual sex. There is a bit of a black cloud over their romance, and this too creates some challenging scenarios. All in all, a great follow up to the first two stories. I eagerly await Lady Ambrosia’s next match. 5 Stars.
    I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

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  3. Jessica

    Jessica

    Lessons for His Bride is the third book in the Regency Matchmaker series, but reads well as a stand-alone. Seraphina has always dreamed of a loving husband, but with a less than desirable parentage and upbringing, she doesn’t expect much. Surprised by a change in fortune, she’s taken to a matchmaker and is matched with Lucas, a doctor in a small village, and a man she feels safe around. Is she willing to tell him all of her secrets and can he keep her safe from her past?

    This book is so sweet with the perfect amount of steam, drama, and love. Seraphina and Lucas are quite the match and I loved that while they both wanted to get married, they were unprepared for the love, support, and devotion they could find with each other. I loved Seraphina! She was so innocent, even with her unique background, and I loved that even with her big dreams of love, she tried to be as realistic as she could be, even if that meant putting herself down. Lucas was the perfect man for her, followed through with what he said he would do, punished her for her misbehavior, but listened to her, too! They were really sweet together, but I also loved their chemistry! The drama in this book was exciting, too, and had me flipping pages just as much as the romance did! This was a fabulous book, I really enjoyed reading it!

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  4. Lori

    A good match

    Lori

    I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.  The third installment in the Regency Matchmaker series,  Seraphina and Lucas’ story.  A small town doctor and an innocent girl raised in a brothel.   He is tired of single daughters being thrown in his face and she is headed for her mother’s life.  Romance with sensual love, discipline and a few wrenches thrown in.

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  5. Ajjmb

    Ajjmb

    Seraphina a is an orphan that has been rescued from a pretty horrible life and quickly finds herself in a new type of atmosphere and married to Dr. Thorpe. I found their beginnings quite charming and adorable. Seraphs a is a wonderful young woman and Dr. Thorpe is a daddy Dom kind of guy. Evil lurks from Seraphina’s past that could destroy her new found happiness though. I really enjoyed this book even though it needs a little too quickly for me. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book.

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  6. Margaret

    A lovely addition to this wonderful series.

    Margaret

    I like this author and this is a well written intersting story. The characters are believable and well rounded. The scenes are realistic. I liked Seraphina, she is honest and sweet. Lucas is a real good match for her. Lady Ambrosia still surprises. It’s a shame that there is not someone like her in todays world! I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book and I highly recommend it. Well worth the read.

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  7. Ronald

    Two Happy People

    Ronald

    A really enjoyable story about two people, Lucas and Seraphina, who meet the day of their wedding but fall deeply in love with each other. She is a naïve girl who has grown up as an orphan; he is a country doctor with a lovely home who wants to get married. The story of how they meet, and how they adjust to marriage when she has no knowledge of what happens in a marriage is really fun to read. Both Lucas and Seraphina are warm and intelligent characters and the problems they encounter as they develop their relationship, some of which relate to her past, are resolved in an interesting way.

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  8. Joyce

    Another great match maker book

    Joyce

    Love these stories. Each book contains a heart felt love story. Characters overcome hardships in hopes of finding those true love. This one doesn’t disappoint! Each book can be read alone but it’s so much better to enjoy all of them. Each character in this book will capture your heart. Each are described in detail making it easy to envision each character and their surroundings. this is third in the series but the story does not disappoint.

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  9. Kathy

    JUST BE YOURSELF

    Kathy

    The third story in the Regency Matchmaker series will once again, having a lady—and a gentleman seeking the matchmaking skills of Lady Ambrosia. She will pair Dr. Lucas Spencer and Miss Seraphina Moon—and this is their story. I will admit that I was laughing out loud many times at the antics and behavior of Seraphina.

    The plot will have Seraphina rescued from the greedy clutches of Mrs. Hartpence at her brothel, where she has entered into a contract to sell Seraphina and her virginity to Lord Ross, when Colonel William St. Clair as her guardian shows up to extract her from the home after making a promise to her dying father who served under him. It will be Lady Tempest and Lady Calliope who decide to take her to Lady Ambrosia for a match. Dr. Spencer has asked for a marriage match because he is ready for a wife and to stop the matchmaking of mothers in his town of Briar Glen.

    I loved the chemistry between Lucas and Seraphina. She may have been raised in a brothel, but she was sheltered and a complete innocent from the activities. Both of them agree to a domestic discipline marriage, even if it is only a fantasy to Seraphina, she knows that Lady Tempest and Lord Knox have that type of union—and look at how happy and in love they are. Even Lady Tempest had instructed her, “I hope you will find a husband someday who loves you enough to provide you with the discipline and guidance you may occasionally need.”

    “I expect an obedient wife and I am not a man to spare the rod when it comes to wifely discipline. When the situation calls for it, yes. I intend to take you over my knee and punish your bottom. As we will be husband and wife, it will be upon your bare bottom. Among other punishm—“

    “I would be honored to have a husband who cared enough to turn me over his knee. It would be a small bit of discomfort for such a worthy affection.”

    The marriage will happy, and the lessons begin of what takes place between a husband and wife, from kissing to mild petting, and nothing like a spanking to start it off right. But what happens when Seraphina lets loose with some colorful language? That must be corrected, but afterward, it is time to consummate the marriage, and they both are ready.

    “We shall wash away the old, and start fresh,” he said when he told her of his intentions. “We are a new family, this is a new day, and we shall have a new beginning. You and me together. Dr. and Mrs. Spencer.”

    The story has innocence, passion, angst, mystery, suspense, danger, and romance. Once again, Lady Ambrosia has made the perfect match between Lucas and Seraphina.

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  10. Ed

    Ed

    I thought the characters were well developed and the storyline was fascinating and followed a logical progression for a story set in this time period. The setting only added to the overall experience. A great mixture of humor, love intrigue, danger and great sex. I would like to have seen more punishments especially some anal.

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  11. Mary Ann

    Another great entry in this series!

    Mary Ann

    Lessons for His Bride Is book 3 in the Regency matchmaker series and it’s another gem! This time we explore the story of Serphina, a young woman who has had a tough early life, and her “match” Dr. Lucas Spencer. Dr. Spencer has his own reasons for wanting to marry and Serphina, who is guardian to Colonel St, Clair, is a handful who everyone believes needs the guiding hand of a husband. We met Colonel St. Clair in book 2 in the series. Although this book is a standalone, we get updates on Lady Tempest, Lady Calliope and their husbands in the book. As with the previous two books in the series , this is a quick and witty read . It’s also very touching and romantic as Serafina and Lucas try to make their marriage a success. I’ve really enjoyed the series a great deal and if you enjoy this book, please consider reading the previous two in the series. They are great fun!

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  12. Toni

    Best yet

    Toni

    Having read all of the books in the Regency Matchmaker series I have to say that this is my favourite. The characters were great, the story moved along at a nice pace, & provided a nice bit of drama as well. This was an easy, enjoyable read that delivered on the emotion. Loved it

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  13. Joanie

    Lighthearted and Fun

    Joanie

    This book was extremely entertaining. If you read the first two books in the series, then you know that Lady Tempest is a delightfully energetic character and the eccentric Lady Ambrosia is full of surprises. Seraphina is a new, but no less developed character, who is desperate for a chance at a happy life. Despite her dire circumstances she maintains an inspiring hopeful attitude and dares to dream. Her hero is the hard working Dr. Lucas Spencer, who is charmed by her innocence and candor. He is kind but also upfront that he’s a believer in domestic discipline. The story held my interest throughout and at times I laughed out loud. I can’t wait for more in this series.

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