My True Love Gave to Me
...twelve days of Christmas cheer...
The Wild Okie Writers
Pemberton Hall, England
December 26, 1814
Servants moved about the Hall dousing candles and clearing away the last vestiges of the ball. Weary footmen escorted guests to their carriages or their sleeping rooms. In the kitchens, scullery maids washed dishes while the cooks began preparations to feed guests in the morning. In the Hall itself, only a few creatures still stirred. Lords and ladies, maids and geese, swans and French hens were off to their beds, where visions of true love danced in their heads.
The Duke and Duchess of Pemberton retired to their rooms for a warm winter’s nap, secure in the knowledge their Christmas Ball was once again a success. After all…
Twelve drummers drumming announced the identity of Maximilan Francis Leopoldo Corvinus, the Duke of Montrovia and Crown Prince of Austria just in time for him to dance the last waltz with his true love, the Lady Edwina Swann. They discovered Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year to fall in love.
Despite her harrowing experience with eleven pipers piping, Lady Dinah Cooper found salvation with playwright Owen Fletcher, and the chance for a new life with him. She found her peace on earth in his faith and admiration.
Sinclair Fitzholden, the Duke of Hawksford, lost his heart to the grateful Lady Victoria Gremswell, even as his roguish reputation warred with his concern for hers. He didn’t care if those merry gentlemen rested or were dismayed, only that he won out over the ten lords a’leaping.
Even with nine ladies dancing for his attention, Lord Dominick Carrington, the new Earl of Abernathy, rediscovered his true love when the Scottish lass, Lady Mackenna Douglas, materialized as if from his dreams. He’d thought her lost to him forever, but her appearance reminded him that Christmas wishes did come true.
Lord Robert Wolverton, Wolfy to his friends, once declared he’d never pluck a feather from Lady Eleanor Swann—in fact he’d be more likely to kiss one of the eight maids a’milking Lord Waverly’s cows, but amid halls decked with holly, Wolfy was positive he’d marry Lady Nora, just as soon as he convinced her to lose her aversion to marriage.
Seven Swanns went a’swimming and found true love, bringing joy to the world—especially to their parents, Lord and Lady Cockswood. Lady Georgette, identical twin of Edwina, never expected to find it at the Christmas Ball, and especially not in the arms of her best friend’s older brother, David Barrington, the Duke of Alford. As Georgie discovered, David was the man who knew her heart—could tell her apart from her twin—and who loved her for herself.
Six geese a’laying eggs of innuendo and rumor couldn’t stop true love from finding the way, despite the gaggle’s cries of “Do you hear what I hear?” Lady Olivia Standford and Lord Andrew Randall overcame the scandal spread by malicious siblings. A very private ceremony was held in the snowy gardens of Pemberton Hall before the reunited bride and groom dashed away.
Bartholomew Dixon, Viscount Weston, future Earl of Hartley made a damnable bet to collect five golden rings from five different ladies. In pursuit of the fifth and final ring, belonging to the Lady Evelyn Powell, he was distracted by the lovely Lady Philippa Swann. And rather than collect the bet, Bartie lost his heart to Pippa on the midnight clear.
Four calling birds seemed destined to ruin Lady Catherine Swann’s reputation but Lord Richard Sefton, the Earl of Saxonhurst, intervened each time and saved her chestnuts from getting roasted— much to her chagrin at having to be rescued. Convinced curiosity might harm his Cat, Richard intended to keep her safe for the rest of their lives.
When Lady Charlotte Swann was confronted by the man who broke her heart, she already knew who’d been naughty and nice. Lord Evan Leighton lived a double life, and with the assistance of the three French hens, he hoped to settle the unfinished business between him and the lovely Lady Lottie—business of the heart to be sealed with a kiss.
Upon arriving at the winter wonderland that was Pemberton Hall, Nathan, Duke of Hastings, discovered that his one true love, Lady Theodosia Swann, was there. With the help of two turtle doves and a bit of mistletoe, Nathan rekindled the passion he and Thia once shared and the two of them found a life of love and hope.
Marcus, Viscount Weatherby loved Lady Emma Surrey with all his heart, but her conniving family took matters out of his hand long ago. Hearing the truth, and her secret, from Emma’s lips, Marcus knew he’d finally be home for Christmas with her in his arms. And that partridge in a pear tree? It flew away through the silent night to bring true love to other lords and ladies.
We hope you have enjoyed our little Regency tale. We’ll be back again for Valentine’s Day. In the meantime, the Wild Okie Writers wish a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!