Amy Corwin




The Necklace

The Necklace CoverPublished: 2010
Publisher: Highland Press
Archer Family Regency Series: Book 0.1, A prequel to the Archer Family Regency Romances series

A scoundrel tries to steal a vowel (an IOU) only to find his heart stolen instead.   

When Oriana's uncle brings home a wounded associate, Mr. Chilton Dacy, to nurse, she can't help but wonder what sort of scoundrel he might be. Her uncle has a long and sad history of befriending miscreants of the worst sort. Then she finds a lost necklace and her worries only increase. The necklace bears a curse promising a hideous death to anyone who possesses it, and it seems as if it might come true when she's blamed for the murder of a virtual stranger.

Can Chilton prove her innocence, or is Oriana destined for a personal relationship with the hangman's noose?

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 In this scene, Chilton is angry to find that his valet has kissed Oriana, when Chilton very much wants to do so, himself...   

She laughed at his outraged expression. “He knew I wouldn’t get upset. Quite the contrary. I had two garter snakes for several years, named Emily and Heloise. They were lovely and quite friendly. Unfortunately, they got out one day and were very naughty.” She peeked at him through her lashes, her eyes glimmering with golden laughter. “It seems they developed a liking for beds, probably due to having been placed in mine so many times by Joshua. So they crawled into one. Unfortunately, the bed they selected belonged to my mamma. She was not as fond of them as I was.”

He could only imagine the uproar. “And they forbade you to have any more?”

“Oh, yes. I was very upset for several months afterwards. My parents utterly forbade us from having any creatures of any sort. They were very specific. No frogs, toads, polliwogs, butterflies, caterpillars, or snakes. Joshua was forced to use extreme measures when he wished to disconcert me. In fact, I blame his inability to bring any of the aforementioned creatures into the house for his kiss.”

“He kissed you? Joshua?” Chilton asked, appalled and angry at the same time. His valet had kissed Miss Archer?

“I was seven or eight, I suppose. It was indeed dreadful.”

“Oh. You were children.” This information should have amused him, but he found it profoundly irritating.

“Yes, we often played together, Andrew, Joshua and I.”

“I see.”

She gave him a stern glance. “It was quite proper. The Archers are a very distinguished and proper family. And Helen and I do have a maid, you know.” The return of the bland expression to her face let him know she had forgiven him enough to adopt a teasing tone.

An answering grin pulled at the corners of his mouth. He nodded.

“I’m sorry, I need to find something,” she said at last, turning toward the area he had identified. The corner of the yard where he had interrupted Red and John Archer the previous evening.

Miss Archer stepped away, her gaze sweeping the ground. She slowly moved into the corner and stood there for a few minutes, staring downwards.

Whining slightly, Josephine shoved her wet nose into his hand. He caressed her head and watched Miss Archer. Ruefully, he wished he was just a simple country lad, the son of some local squire perhaps, who could put his arm around her waist and give her a kiss.

If he could be anyone but himself, he would be profoundly grateful.

Even his valet was more fortunate. He, at least, had kissed her and felt her warm lips against his.




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Amy Corwin

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