The Butler Did Itby Kasey Michaels
Like every noble in the London peerage, Morgan Drummond, Marquis of Westham, expects his butler to be awaiting his return home even when that return follows a five-year absence. But he didn't expect the horde of strangers who've taken up residence in his house, courtesy of that enterprising butler and a discreet classified ad. Morgan's plan to toss his… See more details below
Like every noble in the London peerage, Morgan Drummond, Marquis of Westham, expects his butler to be awaiting his return home even when that return follows a five-year absence. But he didn't expect the horde of strangers who've taken up residence in his house, courtesy of that enterprising butler and a discreet classified ad. Morgan's plan to toss his unwelcome tenants into the street is thwarted by a beautiful but indomitable debutante, Miss Emma Clifford who's not averse to a bit of blackmail for a good cause.
Now Morgan finds himself squiring the lovely Emma to the ton's most fashionable events and what's more surprising, he's beginning to enjoy it. Surely he's not falling for such an infuriating woman, even if she does have a way of making him forget his own name? That butler has a lot to answer for but then again, it's so hard to find good help. . . .
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The Butler Did It
By Kasey Michaels
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneOne, Two, Three, Etcetera ...
As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St. Ives?
- Anonymous TO BEGIN WITH ONCE UPON A TIME would be, perhaps, a tad facetious. Rather to simply begin at the beginning, or at least as nearly as possible to that part of the beginning where it becomes interesting.
Picture England during the Regency. Such a time, such a varied generation. War, civil upheaval, opulence, indulgence, genius and cruelty. Great literature, great inventions, great deeds, great injustices. The English Regency has all of that.
Those who live there, happily, also manage to squeeze in a little silliness, a little fun. There are a few, in particular, who might be mentioned now.
Who are these people?
Why not commence with Morgan Drummond, Marquis of Westham, a gentleman who has been blessed with fine good looks, great wealth and high intelligence ... and cursed with a quick temper that, five years earlier, ended in a duel that nearly cost another man his life.
And Morgan was ashamed, devastated by his actions. What was the matter with him? he asked himself. Did an insult to his latest light-o'-love (what was her name again?) really necessitate a trip to Lincolns Inn Fields and dueling foils drawn at dawn?
Was he that mad? Hadn't he learned anything through his father's death at the hands of another duelist when he, Morgan, had been only a toddler in leading strings? What had that fight been about anyway? If Morgan couldn't recall the story, and he was the son of "Mad Harry," obviously the reason had been insufficient to the result - his mother a widow, his father's body moldering in the family mausoleum at Westham.
What he did know was that he did not wish his epitaph to read: "Mad Morgan, laid low by his own wretched temper."
So the chastened and repentant Morgan swore to shun his former hey-go-mad ways and had fled London, retreating to his estate in Westham, to lick his own wounds and examine his life.
And he had been exceedingly boring.
He had drunk deep and long, then thought, hard and long, and finally decided that he could control his temper. He worked diligently during those five years of self-imposed isolation, remaking himself less in his father's image and more in what he believed to be his own. He did not, however, metamorphose into Mellow Morgan, as he never quite overcame his inborn arrogance, his penchant for sarcasm, or his most definite disdain for fools.
Alas, ho-hum, he was still boring.
But at last Morgan, having just passed his thirtieth birthday, and admittedly weary of his reclusive life, believes himself equipped to rejoin civilization once more. Sure of himself, confident in his self-control, he even feels prepared to bear the silliness of a London Season, because yes, indeed, it is time Morgan marries and sets up his nursery, begets himself an heir to carry on the line.
He has thought long and hard (and boringly) about this as well. What he needs is a complacent wife, a calm and never ruffled wife, a woman of breeding and some wit, but with a temper as sweet as a May morning - for the sake of their unborn children, naturally.
So off he goes, to London.
NEXT UP, WE HAVE ONE Miss Emma Clifford who, as it happens, is also on her way to London.
Dear Emma. Was there ever a more beautiful female?
Poor Emma. Was there ever a more beleaguered female?
Emma Clifford is the older child and keeper of the Clifford family, which explains the beleaguered portion of her description.
Emma's mother is lovable, but a bit of a twit. Her brother is a complete loss. Her irascible grandmother is forever reliving her not quite proper past. And they're all constantly in need of funds.
The Cliffords do have one hope. Actually, they harbor quite a few hopes. Emma, however, has just one. She is not a silly girl; she knows she is quite beautiful. And, in London, beautiful is often the key that opens the door to an advantageous marriage.
In other words, a good marriage equaled solvency for the entire family. Ah, a financially comfortable existence; always considered A Good Thing To Have, and eternally prized as a cure-all to any woe by Those Who Don't Have.
Although her grandmother keeps telling Emma that, ideally, marriage shouldn't have anything to do with lining one's pocket at the expense of being stuck with a belching, scratching buffoon who probably ingests cabbage for breakfast.
Her grandmother's advice to one side, the determined Emma has sold her mother's diamonds, hocked the family portraits, and traded the services of a fairly good stud horse for the use of an ancient traveling coach and some showy if not quite prime carriage horses.
Excerpted from The Butler Did It by Kasey Michaels Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
USA TODAY bestselling author Kasey Michaels is the author of more than one hundred books. She has earned four starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and has won an RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award and several other commendations for her contemporary and historical novels. Kasey resides with her family in Pennsylvania. Readers may contact Kasey via her website at www.KaseyMichaels.com and find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKaseyMichaels.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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After being away for five years, it would be reasonable to find some changes in his home, but Morgan Drummond, Marquis of Westham did not expect to find a pack of assorted strangers using his residence as a hotel, nor that he would be obligated to let them stay. Thanks to a blackmailing old lady, Morgan is saddled with the aforementioned blackmailer, her daffy daughter-in-law who is romancing his butler, an obese woman with few, if any, social graces, an erstwhile alchemist/conman, a foppish youth who keeps fighting roosters in his room, and an altogether too charming young lady in search of a husband, Miss Emma Clifford. Morgan sets himself up as Emma's guardian, ostensibly to help her find a husband and thus rid his home of all of the lot who has invaded. Then, he begins to realize, he wants that role for himself. .......................... **** With a very British flavor, this longer regency packs a strong comedic punch. The multi faceted plot blends into a cohesive whole, with several stories going on concurrently. ****
A true romantic comedy! A laugh-out-loud tale.
I was looking for a historical romantic comedy. This book was an amusing farce. The Marquis has been away from his London home for the past five years. Thornley, the butler acting on his own initiative, has found a way to keep the staff busy. Masterfully, leasing rooms in the mansion for the past three London seasons. Besides, a little extra profit aren't shabby when the city comes to life from late March through the King's birthday. The book starts when the master, Marquis of Westham, Morgan Drummond returns from his country estate in search of a wife to find unexpected guests residing in his home. The beautiful improvished Emma Clifford and clan, including her witty and UNFORGETTABLE grandmama, Fanny Clifford. Mrs. Norbert the newly rich seamstress, and the masquerading Sir Edgar Marmington. Morgan plans to restore order by tossing the strangers out but is blackmailed; while a host of other activities are occurring unbeknownist to him. Recommend if you like stories where the central concerns are the events and the world is somehow out of order. This type of story always involves numerous characters and subplots to sort. In the end the main character must accomplish his goal...bringing balance back into his life or fail trying. Overall, worth a read. Looking forward to reading the sequel called: Shall we dance, the story of Perry Shepherd the Earl of Brentwood, Morgan's best friend. Hope I can find an ebook copy at one of the many libraries I frequent.
Great book. Lots of humor, had me laughing the whole way through.
A different premise than most books and very light hearted. I enjoyed the antics of this cast of characters.