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Sir Andrew and the Authoress

Sir Andrew and the Authoress

Narrated by Jessica Elisa Boyd

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Lady Josephine, the daughter of a duke, secretly defies societal expectations by pursuing her passion for writing. However, her brother's best friend and her sworn enemy, Sir Andrew Wycomb, stumbles upon her secret. Andrew's loyalty is unwavering, even though he finds Josephine to be an annoyance. When he discovers her ambitious literary venture and her lack of knowledge on the subject, he agrees to a temporary truce between them.


Main Tropes

  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Brother's Best Friend
  • Duty vs. Desire


As the daughter of a duke, Lady Josephine has a long list of responsibilities, and an even longer list of things she must never do to dishonor the family name. Josephine knows exactly which side becoming an author falls upon, but she's determined to try her hand at it anyway. For months she has worked on her novel in secret, writing chapter after chapter of intrigue and romance. Unfortunately for Josephine, her sworn enemy stumbles upon her secret.

Sir Andrew Wycomb's close relationship to the Duke of Montfort's family and heir gives him more than one advantage in life. His loyalty to the family is absolute, even if he finds at least one of its members an annoyance. He and Lady Josephine have never seen eye-to-eye. But when he discovers that she's written a novel upon a subject she knows nothing about, he cannot help but sympathize with her dream. This creates an unlikely ceasefire between them.

But things at the castle are always changing, and when a determined suitor arrives to court Josephine, Andrew has to decide which secrets he's going to keep. Especially when he discovers the one he's kept even from himself - that perhaps he doesn't find Josephine an annoyance at all. In fact, she is quite charming. The more time they spend together, the more he hopes she will realize they aren't enemies, and they could be so much more...

As the third stand-alone novel in this sereis by author Sally Britton, this story continues the Clairvoir Castle romances. This is a light-hearted, sweet romance series set during the Regency era in England.

Intro to Chapter One

March 22nd, 1819

“The worst thing about London in the Spring,” Sir Andrew said with a disapproving frown, “is the myriad of people who come out of doors to crowd the parks.” Indeed, carriages and horses packed Rotten Row tightly enough that riding at anything faster than a tortoise’s pace proved impossible. 

The baronet’s best friend merely chuckled, too used to Andrew’s horse-madness to take the complaint seriously. Simon Dinard, called by his honorary title of Lord Farleigh, wore confidence the way others slipped on a pair of old gloves. With comfort and the ease of habit. 

“We are here until June, at least,” Simon reminded him. “Though my father believes the current unrest might keep him through most of the summer.” The duke’s heir nodded to an acquaintance in passing but did not stop. They were late.

Sometimes, Andrew envied his friend’s self-possession. Simon came by it naturally, as the eldest son and heir of the Duke of Montfort. Andrew emphatically did not envy Simon’s title or future responsibilities in the least. The heir to the duchy carried more responsibility on his shoulders than most men in England. 

Simon led them out of the park when they finally came to the end of the Row, ostensibly ignoring a barouche filled with young ladies all batting their eyelashes at him. Yet another thing Andrew had no wish to possess—an army of female admirers. The marriageable daughters of England’s nobility would throw themselves in front of Simon’s charging horse if they thought it meant a chance to gain his attention. 

“While I appreciate the Duke’s invitation to these meetings, I still wonder at my inclusion.” Andrew turned enough in his saddle to see Simon’s bodyguard following on his own mount at a short distance. “I have no wish to pursue a career in politics.” He couldn’t imagine dedicating his life to arguing with a room full of men more stubborn than him. He’d much rather enjoy life than waste time trying to shout down anyone who didn’t share his perspective.

“You say that now.” Simon wove between two carriages, with Andrew following close behind. “But if you ever change your mind, these afternoons with my father will prove useful.”

The Duke of Montfort had always allowed Andrew a place in his home. Years ago, His Grace had been friends with Andrew’s father. When an illness left Andrew a baronet at only nineteen years old, His Grace brought Andrew fully into the family. Andrew even had his own set of rooms in each of the Montfort family’s residences. 

Everyone had made him feel welcome. Except for Josephine. The Duke’s eldest daughter. Though she was five years his junior, she had treated him with indifference for several years, and then annoyance. Which he found entertaining enough to needle her into that state all the more, and he grinned to himself at the thought of seeing her. Needling her just enough to see the blush rise in her cheeks and her eyes grow stormy as she calculated the best response to put him in his place.

As Andrew and Simon maneuvered through the crowded streets, clouds gathered above to turn the cheerful day into something somber. By the time they reached the duke’s London house, the bright blue sky had transitioned into a mournful shade of gray. 

They entered the house at the same time a distant roll of thunder echoed across the rooftops of London.  Josephine Dinard, eldest daughter of the duke and duchess, stood on the stairs that descended into the entryway. She wore clothing meant for a walk, including gloves and bonnet. 

“Was that thunder?” she asked, taking the last several steps in a rush, her long pelisse flying up behind her like a cape. “Do not say it was thunder!”

“Very well.” Andrew spoke before Simon could say a word. “I will not say so. What shall it be instead? A giant’s game of nine pins? Perhaps the inexcusable rumblings of a hungry tiger?”

Josephine cast him a look of disdain before going to the large window nearest the door and peering out. “Mother and I were to go out.” 

Simon and Andrew shared a glance—Andrew of some amusement, which faded when he realized his friend appeared concerned. 

“You might still go to the Arcade,” Simon said somewhat consolingly. The Burlington Arcade, a covered shopping avenue newly constructed by George Cavendish, Earl of Burlington, featured nearly seventy shops full of luxury goods. The Arcade had opened only the week before. The family had missed the grand opening because of a wedding in the country. 

His sister slowly shook her head. “No. You know how little mother enjoys shopping.” She turned from the window, the disappointment darkening her blue eyes. 

She went to the stairs without another word, as gloomy as the weather outside. She didn’t even bother to glare at Andrew, and he couldn’t find it in himself to tease her.

Andrew looked at Simon again, puzzled, but his friend gestured to the hall. His father’s study was in another wing of the house, which meant they could ascend to the correct level at a different flight of stairs. Andrew followed, and after they turned a corner, Simon finally explained. 

“You left directly after the wedding,” he said. “But ever since Josie waved farewell to Emma’s carriage, she’s been a bit out of sorts.”

Emma Arlen, now the Contessa di Atella, had been Josephine’s companion. And her best friend since their nursery years. She also happened to be Andrew’s first-cousin, on his mother’s side. Emma had fallen in love with one of the duke’s summer guests—an ambassador from the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. They had married only a fortnight ago. 

“Have they never been apart?” Andrew asked, frowning. “I know Emma visited our relatives from time to time.”

“Yes, but she always planned to return.” Simon led them up a staircase, his expression still dark. “This time, Emma isn’t coming back. Not for more than a visit. They were close as sisters.”

Simon and Josephine had other siblings, of course. Two younger sisters and a brother. But there were several years between Josephine and her next sister. Too many years for them to go about in Society together. 

“Will she find another paid companion?” Andrew asked. “She must be lonely. I cannot think she has ever been without Emma for more than a few days.”

“No one has dared to bring it up yet. We all know she will deny she needs a companion. Whenever anyone mentions Emma, Josephine only says how happy she is for the marriage.” Simon led them through a set of doors through the library, a long room decorated in rich greens and expansive maps, with quite possibly the most comfortable furniture in the whole house pulled up to three different fireplaces. They stopped at the next set of doors. Simon tapped on one of the large wooden panels. 

The duke answered from within his study. “Enter.” 

Simon opened the door and entered first with Andrew directly behind him. In appearance, the study was an extension of the library. Deep green wallpaper covered the walls not hidden by tall bookcases, and thick rugs with patterns of twisting vines and flowers covered the dark-planked floors. Along two walls were tall windows. One set of windows looked into the courtyard, the other looked over the street below. 

Gregory Dinard, the fifth Duke of Montfort, stood with his back to them. His hands were clasped behind him, and he stared out the window to the carriages and people below. “Simon. Andrew.” The brief greeting had both younger men instantly pausing in their steps. 

The duke never addressed them by their Christian names except when they were together as a family. In his political meetings with them, he used their titles. While the difference might be subtle to some, it immediately indicated the nature of their conversation was not what they had expected. 

“Father.” Simon waited until the duke turned around, and Andrew watched as the man he admired above all others slowly faced them. His shoulders rounded, as though bearing a weight, and his eyes looked from one man to the other with solemnity. 

“Please, sit. There is something we need to discuss.”

They sat in the chairs across from the duke’s desk. Rather than retake his own seat, the duke went to his desk only to take a paper from its drawers. He came around to their side and held it out to Simon. “Read this.”

Andrew waited as Simon read in silence, then took the paper and read it for himself. The letter, signed by none other than the Earl of Liverpool, who currently served as Prime Minister, informed the duke of acts of sedition and rebellion across England. It strongly urged the duke to reconsider his stance on renewing the bill to prevent public gatherings—something the duke had disagreed with when a temporary law was put in place two years before. 

But what His Grace likely wanted to discuss was near the end of the letter. Along with the information and plea, the prime minister warned that several members of Parliament had been attacked on the street. What started as members of the public shouting slurs outside of Parliament itself, according to the letter, had escalated to stones hurled at carriage windows. 

Andrew read the last line of warning aloud. “‘It is no secret that the Duke of Montfort is a powerful voice in the government. Guard yourself and your family as best you can.’”

“I cannot think we have much to concern ourselves over,” Simon said when Andrew lowered the letter. “Rockwell follows me everywhere. Mother has two of your men with her whenever she leaves the house, the governess and children never leave unescorted. Josephine, too.” 

Andrew nodded in agreement without thinking. When Andrew joined the family after his father’s death, the duke had informed him of the measures he took to secure their safety. Former soldiers stood as guards throughout the house, though they dressed and acted as footmen. His carriage drivers were always armed. Every private room in the house had expensive locks installed. There were hidden passageways for family to step into and disappear entirely from sight if necessary. Even Simon rarely went anywhere unarmed—his walking stick concealed a blade he wielded with expertise. 

“I have always guarded against the possibility of a threat,” the duke said, accepting the letter from Andrew. “We have had little to trouble us due to my precautions. But this is different. Our countrymen are spoiling for a fight. And I cannot say I blame them,” he added, voice low. 

Their previous conversations in this room had given Andrew enough knowledge to understand the duke’s frustration. Corn laws, new taxes and tariffs, Luddites, rotten boroughs, and a people wanting more from their government than the government was willing to give, had brought them to the edge of a precipice. 

Would the government topple? Would the people? Or would everyone slowly back away and return to a discontented quiet? 

They had France to look to for an example of what could happen. Revolution. Treason. Death. Battle in the high streets of their cities. The government couldn’t ignore the rising voices of its citizens. Yet no one offered solutions except to press the people back into submission. 

“I must ask you both for greater vigilance,” the duke said into the thick quiet, his words pressing into Andrew’s grim thoughts. “When you are out, look after each other. When you can, look after the others in this household. Andrew, anyone with a knowledge of my family knows I consider you as a son. I fear you might be in some danger because of that.”

Andrew’s heart swelled with pride, and his head spun with the impact of the duke’s words. Though he had always felt part of the family, on an intimate level with them that was difficult to explain, it had never been stated so boldly by the duke before. “The affection you and your family have shown me are worth any danger, Your Grace.”

The duke’s smile appeared, though tempered still by the atmosphere. “We have months left in London yet. I fear as the weather grows warm, so too will tempers rise. Be wary. Stay alert when you are not within the safety of this house.”

“Yes, Father.”

“Yes, Your Grace.”

“I will speak with the duchess to determine how much of the circumstances we will share with the children. I have no wish to frighten those under my care, but I cannot think it wise to leave them without any word of this.” The duke walked around to the other side of the desk and took his seat. “Now then. We have a circumstance in Parliament regarding the right to trial by combat—an ancient law yet to be repealed.”

The subject changed. The three men began a different conversation altogether. Andrew took the duke’s warnings to heart, of course. Right along with the knowledge that His Grace, the Duke of Montfort, thought of him as a son.

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