Fans of Eloisa James & Julia Quinn discussion

Monday Puzzler > Puzzler: 6 August 2018

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message 1: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1153 comments So....I chose another puzzler with a cat haha

It wasn’t that Heroine Surname was lacking in common sense. On the contrary, she was quite sure that she was one of the most sensible people of her acquaintance. But like any thoughtful individual, she occasionally chose to ignore the little voice of reason that whispered through her mind. This could not, she was certain, be considered recklessness. When she ignored this cautionary voice, it was a conscious decision, made after a (somewhat) careful analysis of her situation. And to her credit, when Heroine made a decision –one that most of humanity would deem beyond foolish– she usually landed quite sprightly on her feet.

Except when she didn’t.

Like right now.

She glared down at her companion. “I ought to throttle you.”

Her companion let out a rather unconcerned meow.
Heroine let out a rather unladylike growl.
The cat assessed the noise, judged it to be beneath its notice, and began to lick its paws.

Heroine considered the twin standards of dignity and decorum, decided they were both overrated, and returned volley with an immature scowl.
It didn’t make her feel any better.
With a weary groan, she looked up at the sky, trying to gauge the time. The sun was wedged quite firmly behind a layer of clouds, which complicated her task, but it had to be at least four o’clock. She reckoned she’d been stuck here for an hour, and she’d left the village at two. If she factored in the time it took to walk…

Oh bloody hell, what did it matter what the time was? It wasn’t going to get her off this damned roof.
“This is all your fault,” she said to the cat.
Predictably, the cat ignored her.

“I don’t know what you think you were doing up in that tree,” she continued. “Any fool would have known you couldn’t have got down.”

Any fool would have left it up there, but no, Heroine had heard the mewling, and she’d been halfway up the tree before it occurred to her that she didn’t even like cats.

“And I really don’t like you,” she said.

She was talking to a cat. This was what she’d been reduced to. She shifted her position, wincing as her stocking caught on one of the weatherworn roof shingles. The snag jerked her foot sideways, and her already throbbing ankle howled in protest.

Or rather her mouth howled. She couldn’t help it. It hurt.
She supposed it could have been worse. She’d been well up in the tree, easily a good eight feet above the roof of the barn, when the cat had hissed at her, flung out a well-clawed paw, and sent them both tumbling.
The cat, needless to say, had made its descent with acrobatic grace, landing without injury, four paws on the roof.

Heroine still wasn’t sure how she’d landed, just that her elbow hurt, her hip stung, and her jacket was torn, likely from the branch that had broken her fall two-thirds of the way down.

But the worst was her ankle and foot, which were killing her. If she were home, she’d prop it up on pillows. She’d witnessed more than her fair share of twisted ankles –some on her own body, even more on others– and she knew what to do. Cold compress, elevation, a sibling forced to wait on her hand and foot…

Where were her minions when she needed them?
But then, off in the distance she saw a flash of movement, and unless the local beasts had recently made the move to bipedalism, it was quite clearly human.

“Helloooooooo!” she called out, then thought the better of it and yelled, “Help!”

Unless Heroine’s eyesight was deceiving her –and it wasn’t, it really wasn’t; even her best friend Friend HeroSurname admitted that Heroine Surname’s eyes wouldn’t dare to be anything but perfect– the human in the distance was male. And there wasn’t a male of her acquaintance who could ignore a feminine cry for help.

“Help!” she yelled again, feeling no small bit of relief when the man paused. She couldn’t quite tell if he’d turned in her direction –perfect eyesight only went so far– so she let out another holler, this one quite as loud as she could make it, and nearly sobbed in relief when the gentleman –oh, please let him be a gentleman, if not by birth, then at least by nature– began to move in her direction.

Except she didn’t sob. Because she never sobbed. She would never have been that sort of a female.

She did, however, take an unexpected breath –a surprisingly loud and high-pitched unexpected breath.

“Over here!” she called out, shrugging off her jacket so that she could wave it in the air. There was no point in trying to appear dignified. She was, after all, stuck on a roof with a twisted ankle and a mangy cat.
“Sir!” she all but hollered. “Help! Please!”

The gentleman’s gait adjusted ever-so-slightly at the noise, and he looked up, and even though he was still too far away for Heroine’s perfect eyes to see his face, she knew.

No. No. No. Anyone but him.

But of course it was him. Because who else would stroll by at her lowest moment, at her most awkward and embarrassing, at the one bloody time she needed rescuing?

“Good afternoon, Hero,” she said, once he’d drawn close enough to hear.
He put his hands on his hips and squinted up at her. “Heroine Surname,” he said.

She waited for him to add, “I might have known.”

He didn’t, and somehow that made her even more irritated. The world was not in balance when she couldn’t predict every inflated, pompous word that rolled out of Hero Surname’s mouth.

“Getting a bit of sun?” he inquired.

“Yes, I rather thought I could use a few more freckles,” she snapped.

He did not immediately respond. Instead he removed his tricorn hat, revealing an unpowdered head of thick, tawny brown hair, and regarded her with a steady, assessing gaze. Finally, after carefully setting his chapeau down on what had once been a stone wall, he looked back up and said, “I cannot say that I’m not enjoying this. Just a little bit.”

Any number of retorts danced on Heroine’s tongue, but she reminded herself that Hero Surname was the only human being in sight, and if she wished to touch her feet to the ground before May Day she was going to have to be nice to him.

Until he rescued her, at least.

“How’d you come to be up there, anyway?” he asked.

“Cat.” Said in a voice that might charitably have been described as seething.


“It was in the tree,” she explained, although heaven knew why. It wasn’t as if he’d requested further explanation.

“I see.”

Did he? She rather thought he didn’t.

“It was crying,” she ground out. “I couldn’t very well ignore it.”

“No, I’m sure you couldn’t,” he said, and even though his voice was perfectly cordial, she was convinced he was laughing at her.

“Some of us,” she pried her teeth apart long enough to say, “are compassionate, considerate individuals.”

He cocked his head. “Kind to small children and animals?”


His right brow arched in that monstrously aggravating Hero’s Surname manner. “Some of us,” he drawled, “are kind to large children and animals.”
She bit her tongue. First figuratively, and then literally. Be nice, she reminded herself. Even if it kills you…

He smiled blandly. Well, except for that little smirk at the corner.

“Are you bloody well going to help me down?” she finally burst out.

“Such language,” he scolded.

“Learned from your brothers.”

“Oh, I know,” he said. “Never could quite convince them you were actually a girl.”

Heroine sat on her hands. She actually sat on her hands, she was so sure she would not be able to resist the urge to throw herself off the roof in an attempt to strangle him.

message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1002 comments I know this one. So cute...

message 3: by Lorien (new)

Lorien | 5 comments Oh I know this one!

message 4: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2080 comments Mod
I think I know this

Stacey is Sassy (staceyissassy) | 1249 comments I'm not sure but it seems very familiar.

Aly is so frigging bored | 857 comments Mod
This sounds really fun! I also think I recognized the author.

message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 669 comments Ah cats..... love the exchange cannot imagine... could be one I read but not sure.

message 8: by Amber (new)

Amber | 161 comments Love this story... the author is one of my favorites!

message 9: by Phoenix77 (new)

Phoenix77 | 346 comments Pretty sure I recognize this one.

message 10: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1895 comments Mod
Don't know it.

message 11: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments I think I recognize the author's voice but I still can't place it!

message 12: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nikanne) | 222 comments I love this one and the author is definitely a favorite of mine! I had been trying to place a different book for the last few weeks and thanks to this puzzler I remembered it was the next one in this series. Happy to have that mystery solved! Looks like the 3rd will be out this fall!!!

message 13: by Alexandria (new)

Alexandria Jane | 7 comments I'm pretty sure I got it!

message 14: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1153 comments As most of you may have guessed this book is by one of our Group's namesakes Julia Quinn and is called The Other Miss Bridgerton which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Unfortunately for me I didn't really get into book 2 and it is still sitting on my Kindle. Book 3 has a pirate in it!!! oooohhh!

message 15: by Lorien (new)

Lorien | 5 comments I think I enjoyed book 2 more than book 1. But I hardly remember anything but the beginning on this one, maybe time for a re-read

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The Other Miss Bridgerton (other topics)

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