Book Title: The Husband Criteria
Series: The Lorings, Book #3
Author: Catherine Kullmann
Publication Date 2: 4 August 2023
Publisher: Willow Books
Page Length: 297
Genre: Historical Romance / Regency Romance
The Husband Criteria
The primary aim of every young lady embarking on the Spring frenzy that is the Season must be to make a good match. Or must it? And what is a good match? For cousins Cynthia, Chloe and Ann, well aware that the society preux chevalier may prove to be a domestic tyrant, these are vital questions. How can they discover their suitors’ true character when all their encounters must be confined to the highly ritualised round of balls, parties and drives in the park?
As they define and refine their Husband Criteria, Cynthia finds herself unwillingly attracted to aloof Rafe Marfield, heir to an earldom, while Chloe is pleased to find that Thomas Musgrave, the vicar’s son from home, is also in London. And Ann must decide what is more important to her, music or marriage.
And what of the gentlemen who consider the marriage mart to be their hunting grounds? How will they react if they realise how rigorously they are being assessed?
A light-hearted, entertaining look behind the scenes of a Season that takes a different course with unexpected consequences for all concerned.
Universal Link: https://mybook.to/criteria
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0CBKZCBVX
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CBKZCBVX
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0CBKZCBVX
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0CBKZCBVX
Catherine Kullmann was born and educated in Dublin. Following a three-year courtship conducted mostly by letter, she moved to Germany where she lived for twenty-five years before returning to Ireland. She has worked in the Irish and New Zealand public services and in the private sector. Widowed, she has three adult sons and two grandchildren.
Catherine has always been interested in the extended Regency period, a time when the foundations of our modern world were laid. She loves writing and is particularly interested in what happens after the first happy end—how life goes on for the protagonists and sometimes catches up with them. Her books are set against a background of the offstage, Napoleonic wars and consider in particular the situation of women trapped in a patriarchal society.
Catherine also blogs about historical facts and trivia related to this era. You can find out more about her books and read her blog (My Scrap Album) at her website. You can contact her via her Facebook page or on Twitter.
Amazon Author Page: http://viewauthor.at/ckullmannamazonpage
From Chapter Ten
“Will that be all, Miss?”
“Yes.” Satisfied with her purchases, Cynthia paid for two new pairs of evening gloves and several yards of green ribbon shot with gold.
“It matches your eyes, Miss,” her maid had said. “It’s just the thing to refresh your Naples bonnet.”
Cynthia loved to wander through the four departments of Messrs Harding Howell in Pall Mall where everything the female heart might desire could be found conveniently under one roof. She liked to slip out early in the morning when the air was fresh and the fashionable lounges not overly full. The walk back to Park Place for breakfast gave her time for reflection.
Her maid at her heels, she quickly crossed St James’s Street and turned into Dover Street. At this hour there were very few other people about; two housemaids flirted with a footman on the opposite side of the street, and an officer walked slowly and unsteadily ahead of her. She hoped he wasn’t drunk. Perhaps it would be better to cross the road. She looked back at Cotter just as a curricle and pair whirled around the corner with a clatter of hooves and wheels, the horses plunging madly and the driver pulling frantically on the reins. A tiger chased after them on foot. He must have been cast from the dickey. One of the horses must have taken fright; as they watched, it reared up, kicking over the traces. The whole equipage veered sharply to the right. Cynthia and Cotter retreated up the steps of the nearest house as it hurtled past them.
“Watch where you are going, damn you!”
Cotter clutched Cynthia’s arm. “He’s knocked down that officer, Miss. I hope he don’t run him over.”
With a loud crack, the curricle lurched back into the street, rolled a little, and came to a stop. The groom ran up, gasping, and went at once to the distraught horses’ heads. “The pole has snapped,” they heard him call to the driver who continued to tug on the reins.
“Let us go on; we can do nothing,” Cynthia said.
When the two women came abreast of the officer, they found him clinging to the railings. He was trying to stand, but seemed unable to put any weight on his left leg.
“Can we be of assistance, sir?” Cynthia asked. “Are you hurt?”
“I hesitate to ask, but if you could help me reach the steps so that I can sit and see if I can do anything with this deuced leg of mine…”
Cynthia glanced down, half-fearful of what she would see, but there was no sign of blood. “Is it broken?”
“I hope not. I only have it three weeks.” He laughed. “I beg your pardon. It is an artificial limb, a very fancy one with working joints and the ankle seems to have been knocked out of kilter.”
“I see.” She looked doubtfully at him, wondering if she would be able to bear his weight. Cotter seemed to feel the same. She handed her mistress the parcels, saying, “Begging your pardon, Miss, but I think I’ll manage better nor you. Now, sir, if you place your arm on my shoulder…”
The officer obeyed and, with Cotter’s support, managed to hop to the steps where he sat with a relieved sigh. Cynthia, in the meantime, advanced to the front door and rapped sharply. When there was no response, she rapped again, preparing her plea for assistance, for the man could not be left sitting on the steps and the hapless curricle driver and his tiger were not yet in control of their horses.
The door opened and a sour-faced servant looked down his nose at her. “Deliveries are through the area,” he said, indicating the steps down to the basement, and began to shut the door.
“Stop!” Cynthia put one foot on the hall threshold.
“That’s enough, Missy! Off you go, now.”
“Not before you go to the aid of this officer. He cannot stand or walk at present.”
The manservant sniffed. “Over-indulged has he? Let him see how he gets home. What are we coming to, with bits of muslin knocking on gentlemen’s doors. Be off, or I’ll have you removed.”
“How dare you! You should be ashamed of yourself, refusing to aid one who fought for England while you remained comfortably at home.”
The man’s face was beetroot red. His raised hand froze in the air.
© Catherine Kullmann 2023