Rumour and Scandal – Pru and the stuff of romance novels!

Libertà launches with fanfare of trumpets

It is always an exciting moment for an author when their new book is published, so I hope you will forgive me for indulging in a little fanfare today! I’d like to introduce my heroine, Pru.

Who doesn’t like a bit of gossip? Pru, for one

Illustrated London News

Prudence Clifford is one of the main characters in my latest Regency, The Night She Met the Duke. It hits the shelves at the end of this month.

So, here’s a little bit about Pru and her story.

Meet Prudence (or Pru)

Regency reading woman

print courtesy of Award Winner Louise Allen

Pru is a confirmed spinster, living a quiet life in Bath with her aunt. She likes her books and her charitable works. In her opinion she is too tall, her mouth is too wide and she is dull. She knows the last is true  because she overheard a gentleman telling his friends that she was “as dull as her name”. It was unkind and, as we find out as the story unfolds, untrue.

A chance meeting with Garrick Chauntry, Duke of Hartland, turns Pru’s ordered world upside down. Not that she knows it at the time. She never expects to see him again, until her aunt receives an unexpected invitation to go to London for the summer.

In the capital she discovers that Garrick is a social pariah and her strong sense of justice means she cannot sit by while he is vilified by society. Pru abhors gossip, but Garrick has lived with the scandal too long to care. He would be content to retire to the country, only he cannot allow an obstinate, headstrong young woman to fight his battles for him!

Pru’s story starts in a quiet Street in Bath

However most of the story is set in London. Why? Because there was a lot going there in 1814!

In June the Allied Sovereigns arrived in England to celebrate (prematurely) the downfall of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was also one hundred years since the House of Hanover ascended the British throne, which provided the Prince Regent with an excuse for even more festivities. The capital was bursting with visitors, all come to watch military reviews and balloon ascensions, to dance at the magnificent balls and enjoy the celebrations taking place in the London parks. What better backdrop for Garrick and Pru’s romance?

Tsar Alexander I

It is not only the great and good who crowd into London; ordinary citizens are there also, along with the mob. They are all there to watch the pomp and ceremony, to cheer the Duke of Wellington and the Tsar of Russia, and to boo their favourite villain, the Prince Regent.

The cartoon below by George Cruikshank is a little later than the setting for my story, but reports from the Sovereigns’ visit indicate that Tsar Alexander was extremely popular with the crowds, while poor Prinny was already suffering from a bad press.


George Cruikshank, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Rumours and Reputations

Pru and Garrick’s story is played out against this dangerous, glittering background, where reputations are easily lost and occasionally restored.

In order to prepare for doing a little marketing of this book I decided it would be a good idea to read one of my author copies and in doing so I realised that there is a strong element of adventure in this book. It is full of conspiracies, intrigue, spies and abductions.

Ladies of LLangollen

Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsony, “The Ladies of Llangollen”

There is even a tiny nod towards the Ladies of Llangollen.

And a happy ending?

Finding a way through all their difficulties was never going to be easy for my star-crossed lovers, but Pru and Garrick have friends to help them, including more than one indomitable female. (I just love strong female characters!)  It is a lively romp through Regency London, but the over-arching story is of course a romance and I hope I have included plenty of that, too.

Following on from Sophie’s recent post about 2023 being the year of the RomCom, I wonder if my book might fit into that category, too?

The Night She Met the Duke is pure escapism, I admit it, but who doesn’t need a little of that at some point in their lives?

As Sophie said, We need the love.

Happy Reading


10 thoughts on “Rumour and Scandal – Pru and the stuff of romance novels!

    1. Sarah Post author

      Thanks for dropping by, Liz. I agree about the escapism. One can have too much of “real life” sometimes and it’s nice to take a break.

    1. Sarah Post author

      Thank you, Liz, I hope readers will enjoy Pru and Garrick’s story, it was such fun to create it (I deliberately did not say “write” because writing up a story can be a very different experience….but that is a whole blog in itself!)

  1. Sophie

    Many congrats on the new book, Sarah. I always think people who call their daughter Prudence are asking for trouble. So glad she fights back.

    1. Sarah Post author

      Thank you, Sophie, and I totally agree with you about names, they can definitely help to shape a person’s character. For me, part of the fun when starting any book is choosing the names for the characters. I find myself searching through “naming baby” books, Greek myths and Norse legends, etc. etc. However, in this instance, there was never any doubt about Prudence! Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Sarah Post author

      Aw, thank you, Lesley! I really hope you enjoy the twists and turns before Pru eventually gets her man 🙂

  2. Joanna

    I think Sarah is offline at the moment, so may I say “thank you” on her behalf for all the lovely comments. I agree that it sounds like a great story.

    1. Sarah Post author

      Thank you for holding the fort, Joanna, and for your kind words. I know you like to add an element of adventure to your own Regencies, so I hope you’ll enjoy this one.

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