More Phoebe stuff

Ok, it’s time to let you know what’s happening with Scandalous Innocent and there is an awful lot going on. After the non-mystery of finding the gold necklace with Phoebe’s name on it, we kind of finished off with Phoebe and Leo and suddenly jumped to 1803.

And you’ll never guess what happens? There is a woman called Phoebe living in the house that the earlier Phoebe and Leo lived in. She has a daughter. Her husband is dead. A man she hates cause her mother tried to get her to marry him three years ago turns up on her doorstep.

She’s like, “What do you want, loser?” He’s like, “Shut up, stupid woman. Totes done a bet with your brother last night while he was drunk and won this house! Yehhh! Woop woop! In your face!”

She’s all angry but it is her brother’s house so there’s not much she can do. Before he leaves the house after telling her this news, he grabs her hand, twists her arm up her back, drags her towards him and kisses her.

Niiiice. Smooth work, Viscount Ransome. O yes. That is his name, by the way. Rhymes with handsome and apparently he is. His nickname is also Buck Ransome.

The subtlety of this book is what I most enjoy.

Anyway, her name is Phoebe and she hates a man who keeps snogging her. Ring any bells? Sound like the first half of the book?

So what do we think happens here? The first person who gets it right wins a cake. So did you get it right? Yeh, he basically wins her over by saying she’s allowed to stay in the house while he owns it so long as she marries him.

O yes, Viscount Buck Ransome goes, “I know you hate me but just marry me and that.” She goes, “O but I hate you so much! I couldn’t possibly! Even though you are so handsome and I totally fancy you loads and loads. But no! O, um, ok, maybe. I’m thinking about it. Um. O, alright then. You’ve won me over with your physical bullying and by being slightly threatening.”

So they make out in the Ham House gardens just by the Orangery (that’s where I work!) and then get all filthy together in her little greenhouse among the cabbages and rhubarb. As one does in the 1800s.

It just gets better, doesn’t it? I’ll keep you updated.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Hey, I used the orangery in my book! But no making out. Conversation in which the heroine and hero #2 are shown starting to fall in love, but they’re being very proper and restrained about it – she’s married, and he used to be involved with her husband. (Basically Lancelot and Guinevere. Come on, Arthur and Lancelot were SO doing it, back before Guinevere.) Here, have a look at it:

    Now they were walking together along the gravel paths of the parterre, a perfect opportunity for speech, and it would seem that neither of them had any idea what to say. After Lieutenant Thorne’s formal “Would you do me the honour of walking with me, Lady Rockingham?” and her acceptance, they had both fallen silent.

    “Do you find it too cold, my lady?”

    Well, those were words, if not especially original ones. At least it was something! “No, not at all. I own I was eager to be out-of-doors; I have spent far too much time of late mewed up inside. But perhaps it was selfish of me. Are you very chilled?”

    He laughed. “I’ve endured far worse weather in far less pleasant company. A bit of November drizzle’s no great matter.”

    “Still, would you care to walk down to the orangery? The brick walls hold the heat, as they’re meant to, and I always find it pleasant to see some bloom and life during the winter months.”

    “I’d like that very much. Is that where the oranges for last night’s orange cream came from?”

    Caroline smiled. “Yes, and the cream from our own dairy, which is farther along. You might not think it to look at the house, but between those and the kitchen gardens, this is quite the farm.”

    Lieutenant Thorne looked at her, both amusement and disbelief in his face. “It’s on a grander scale than I’m accustomed to. We often keep hens and a goat, aboard ship, but there’s no way to bring a kitchen garden with us, and certainly no orangery. I’ve never seen one.”

    “But surely you’ve sailed to ports where oranges grow without such cosseting?”

    “Aye, that I have. And other fruits besides—mangoes, and breadfruit, and pineapples.”

    “I have eaten pineapple many a time,” Caroline said, “but I have never seen where they grow. I have never been outside of England. It must be very interesting, to see so many other lands.”

    “It might be, my lady, if we ever saw more than the port towns,” Lieutenant Thorne said. “Usually, if we’re ashore, it’s to take on stores and water, or because someone’s blown a hole in our ship that’s beyond our power to mend afloat. There’s rarely time to ramble around the countryside. I doubt you’d care to travel Navy-fashion.”

    “Perhaps not,” Caroline said. It was odd. Most men, saying that, would have sounded unbearably patronizing. Lieutenant Thorne sounded serious, and perhaps even regretful. “Would you care to see more, if the demands of the service permitted it?”

    “I would, very much,” he said. “Captain Birtwhistle was something of a scholar, before he went to sea, and he often has a bit of knowledge about where we’re bound. He’s often wished we could see Greece or Rome, as he spent so much time learning about the ancients and their languages. I’d like to see those places with someone who could tell me a bit about them.”

    “As would I. I didn’t study classical languages at school, only French and Italian. I should like to see Paris. Perhaps, someday, when the war is over, I might.”

    I like to think Love Continuance and Increasing is a little better than Scandalous Innocent, even if I do say so myself!


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