Fans of Eloisa James & Julia Quinn discussion

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Monday Puzzler > May 25, 2020

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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 709 comments Happy Memorial Day, hope your day is great.

You all know me I have gone from Horses, to goats, and now swine…😊



“Heroine is, without doubt, the most vexatious, bothersome, pestilential female I have every had the misfortune to encounter.” The hog sniffing at Hero’s boots prevented him from pacing, though the moment called for both pacing and profanity.
The sow was a mere four hundred pounds, a sylph compared to the rest of the herd rooting about in Hero’s orchard, nonetheless, when she flopped to the grass, the ground shook.
“Have you, sir?” Everett Treegum asked with characteristic delicacy. “Encountered the lady, that is?”
“No.” Nor do I wish to.
Another swine, this one on the scale of a seventy-four-gun ship of the line, tucked in beside her herd mate, and several others followed.
“Then Heroine will have an excuse to come around again, banging on the door, cutting up my peace, and disturbing the tranquility of my estate.”
Two more sows chose grassy napping places. Their march across the pastures had apparently tired them out. Which was just too damned bad.
“Is it time for a Stinging Rebuke, sir?” Treegum asked, as a particularly grand specimen rubbed against him and nearly knocked the old fellow off his feet. Treegum was the Hero’s estate steward. Swineherding was not among his many skills.
“I’ve already sent Heroine two Stinging Rebukes,” Hero replied. “She probably has them displayed over her mantel like letters of marque and reprisal.” Hero shoved at the hog milling before him, but he might as well have shove at one of the boulders dotting his fields. “Her ladyship apparently longs to boast that she’s made the acquaintance of the master of “MANOR” Hall. I will gratify her wish, in the spit of true gentlemanly consideration.”
“Mind you don’t give her a fright,” Treegum muttered, wading around the reclining swine to accompany Hero to the gate. “We can’t have you responsible for any more swoons.”
“Yes, we can. If enough ladies swoon at the mere sight of me, then I will continue to enjoy the privacy due the neighborhood eccentric. I should have Granny Dewar curse me on market day. I’ll gallop past the village just as some foul weather moves in, and she can consign me to the devil.”
Treegum opened the gate, setting off a squeak loud enough to rouse the napping hogs. “Granny will want a fair bit of coin for a public curse, sir.”
“She’s partial to our elderberry cordial.” Hero vaulted a crumbling length of wall one-handed. “Maybe we should leave the gate open.” The entire herd had settled on the grass and damned if the largest of the lot—a vast expanse of pink pork---did not appear to smile at him.
“They won’t find their way home, sir. Pigs like to wander, and sows that size go where they please.”
Running pigs through an orchard was an old Yorkshire custom, one usually reserved for autumn rather than the brisk, sunny days of early spring. The hogs consumed the dropped fruit, fertilized the soil, and with their rooting, helped the ground absorb water for the next growing season.
“Perhaps I should saddle up that fine beast on the end,” Hero said, considering a quarter tone of livestock ought not to be. “Give the village something truly worth gossiping about.”
Treegum closed and latched the gate. “Hard to steer, though, sir and you do so pride yourself on being and intimidating sort of eccentric.”
“Apparently not intimidating enough. Tell the kitchen I’ll be late for supper and be sure the hogs of hell have a good supply of water; they will be thirsty after coming such a distance.”
Treegum drifted in the direction of the home far, while Hero turned for the stables. He preferred to serve as his own groom, and Elgin, the stablemaster, having been on nodding terms with the biblical patriarchs, did not object. He did, however, supervise Hero, as he’d been doing for nearly a quarter century. The other stable boys referred to their supervisor as Elfin, and in all the time Hero had known him, Elgin’s looks had remained true to that description.
“Fine day for a gallop,” Elgin remarked. “Please do avoid the field nearest the river, sir. Too damned boggy yet.”
“I’m paying a call. Wouldn’t do to arrive at her ladyship’s door with mud-spattered boots.”
Elgin took his pipe from between his teeth. “A social call?”
Nathaniel led Loki from his stall. “Shocking, I know.”
“A social call on a fee-male?”
Loki shied and snorted at nothing, then propped on his back legs and generally comported himself like a clod pate.
“Are you quite finished?” Hero inquired of his horse when the idiot equine had nearly banged his head on the rafters.
“Spring is in the air,” Elgin said, clipping Loki’s halter to the crossties and passing Nathaniel a soft brush. “Which ladyship is to have the pleasure of your company?”
“My company will be no pleasure whatsoever.” Hero started on the gelding’s neck, which occasioned wiggling of horsey lips. “I am to call upon Heroine, our neighbor to the immediate south.
Her swine are idling in our orchard, and I have every confidence she had them driven there in the dark of night precisely to annoy me. While I commend her ingenuity---grudgingly, of course---I cannot continue to humor her.”
Loki was five years old, and at more than seventeen hands, he looked like a mature horse, bristling with muscle and energy. He was a typical adolescent, though, both full of his own consequence and lacking in common sense. Brother had made Hero a gift of him, claiming that even an eccentric duke needed some entertainment.
Hero had not had the heart to refuse his brother, give the effort brother must have expended to picture the horse.
“And you are entertaining, “Hero murmured, pausing to scratch Loki’s belly.
“Heroine has pots of money,” Elgin observed. “she put that h our of hers to rights and made a proper job of it too. She’s a handsome woman, according to the lads the Whistling Goose.”


Hero takes off and so the chase begins……


message 2: by Okie (new)

Okie (okieb) | 2091 comments Mod
Happy Memorial Day!

LOL, Susan. I feel like I've got a theme goin on with my MPs, too. I'm branching out my next go.

Also, finally a MP that reads familiar. Can't wait to see what it is!


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 709 comments Next time I will branch out too but oooo love those animals


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1018 comments Has Hero considered turning the largest Porker into Ham for his tenants? That would discourage heroine from sending them into other peoples' orchards.


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 709 comments Susan but remember he is a hero and that means a gentleman


message 6: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1186 comments oooh! i haven't read this one ! but I am love the animals!


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1018 comments Gentlemen eat meat. They do.


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 709 comments Yes but not heroines


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1018 comments Ah, yes. Our sweet little fictional flowers subsist on whipped cream and nasturtium flowers.


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1018 comments I just came across the puzzler, purely by accident. Not-so-sweet heroine DOES eat meat, but she keeps these particular sows for breeding!
Although her excuse for letting them wander did stretch my tolerance for fictional believability.


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 709 comments The answer is:
Grace Burrows
My One and Only Duke (Rogues to Riches Book 1)


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