A Wager to Win by Jenna Thatcher: When Lord Harrington mysteriously leaves the London season much too early, he sets tongues wagging. He would wager he will never marry...
May 2nd, 1813
14 Grosvenor Square, London
Our Dear Mother is in a State of Depression about your quitting London. She has asked me to write you and tell you how concerned I am about your current bachelorhood.
Reggie wrecked his curricle within 24 hours of his owning it, something about a race with Strathmore that was only an excuse to go at a bruising speed. I own I was a bit relieved to not have come along, for I very much like my face where it is. As I have won the wager, you will be receiving a copy of your required reading post haste.
The Right Honorable Viscount Petersham
May 7th, 1813
Holcombe Manor, Kent
The Mysteries of Udolpho is an absolute horror to read. I am finishing it as quickly as possible like medicine with a bad taste. I cannot understand the appeal, and I will look very differently now on females who praise its merits.
Meg has also written me, although her letter was full of a variety of descriptions about fripperies. I find it ironic that I haven’t the foggiest idea what any of it meant, and yet I am footing the bill. Our Dear Mother has also written, and it was much more to the point than either of yours. Apparently Miss Pratt is wasting away to nothing in my absence.
As a result, Mother has decided to have a house party in June. Perhaps it will allow Meg to socialize in a more comfortable situation before her entrance into society. Regardless, I must stay at the estate to attend to a variety of business. If there’s anyone you wish to invite, then of course bring them along.
I wager Miss Pratt will be the very first guest Our Dear Mother will invite. In that case, I should like to return the favor and have you read Udolpho in turn.
The Right Honorable The Earl of Harrington
May 11th, 1813
14 Grosvenor Square, London
There is no wager – I am in complete agreement. Mother is in a state regarding the house party. You’re a complete idiot.
June 15, 1813
Holcombe Manor, Kent
I am in receipt of your letter regarding my upcoming house party and your niece, Miss Jane Shaw. I must caution you that I have been careful in my invitations, for I hope to secure engagements for both my sons shortly. There are, however a few young men that are unattached, and I am sure the amiable genteel niece you have described will be perfectly content in our festivities.
PS. Any debt owing is, I assume, fulfilled in this invitation. Also, I must congratulate you on your remarkable efficiency of having twin sons; I am sure Lord Shaw is very pleased.
A Bite of... Jenna Thatcher.
Q1. What is your secret vice? And where do you indulge?
Cadbury mini chocolate eggs. After Easter I bought double-digits worth of bags. I keep them in the top drawer of my art desk (I also paint and do calligraphy), where I sneak a hand in every once in a while.
Q2. What is your greatest weakness? And your greatest strength?
I can be incredibly stubborn. I mean, beyond ridiculous. I have, unfortunately, passed this trait onto my children. Potty-training can be (and has been) a veritable nightmare.
My greatest strength is my determination? Loyalty? I suppose those are really only nice ways to say stubborn…I am a really good friend (there’s the loyalty) and when I believe something, I believe it with a firm conviction that’s pretty unshakable.
Q3. You have the chance to change one aspect of history. What would you change and why?
The problem with trying to change history is that history is constantly repeating itself. It’s like telling your child not to touch the stove because they’ll burn themselves. They do, and they learn their lesson, and the child that was watching knows this…but you have to repeat said lesson with them too. Ok, maybe not the perfect analogy. Throughout history, however, there has frequently been a loss of art, artefacts, etc. that would tell us more about those who have lived, and in many cases would be beautiful works that could be displayed for all to enjoy. (For example, the loss of so much during the Nazi regime.) I would find a way to find those so they could be appreciated.
Jenna Thatcher lives in a quiet little valley surrounded by mountains. She has been to every state in the US (except Alaska), and has a soft spot for volcanoes. Her favourite job ever was as a children’s Her favorite job ever was as a children's librarian where she ordered the 500s - 600s. Three kids and a smart-mouth cat keep her busy, but thankfully she has an amazing husband to juggle them all (not literally). You can find Jenna on Goodreads as she continues to publish a variety of genres, including fractured-fairytales, fantasy, and more historical fiction or follow her blog.