Title: A False Proposal
Author: Pamela Mingle
Genre: Regency Romance
London 1812 War hero Adam Grey returns home with a burning ambition to run for Parliament. But he needs the support of the local baronet, who controls the seat. Adam’s plans are thwarted by his dissolute father, who has promised him to the baronet’s daughter in return for forgiveness of his debts. Adam wants nothing to do with marriage or his father’s problems, so he fakes an engagement to Cass Linford—his best friend’s sister. Cass has been through hell since she last saw Adam. Her betrothed committed suicide, forcing her to withdraw from London society. Heartbroken, she’s given up on marriage. So when Adam suggests a temporary engagement, she agrees. He needs help with his campaign, and Cass can’t resist his charm or the chance to be involved in politics. It all seems so easy, until she finds herself falling in love with her fake fiancé.
Without furthor ado, let's meet Adam Grey and Cass Linford:
The two main characters in "A False Proposal"
PM: Cass, why did you fall for Adam?
CL: (Looks astonished) Have you seen him? I mean, before now?
PM: Uh, OK. Adam, same question to you.
AG: Really? You have to ask?
PM: I don’t think either of you is taking this question seriously. What, besides looks, attracted you?
CL: (Glances at AG, smiles) Well…I’ve loved him since I was a child. Idolized him, really. But then he went off to war and a tour on the continent, and I didn’t see him for several years. When we did meet, we quarreled, but also had a powerful attraction to each other.
AG: (Smiling broadly) She couldn’t resist me.
CL: (Pokes him in the ribs with elbow)
AG: Seriously, even though we quarreled, we felt an immediate connection. Enough so that when my father tried to get me to agree to marry someone else, I said I was engaged to Cass.
PM: Why did you use Cass as your excuse?
AG: (Smiles nervously) She was on my mind. All the time, actually. (Shifts in chair)
PM: How did you feel about that, Cass?
CL: I was furious! (Shoots daggers at him) I wanted to help get him elected to Parliament, and the best he could do was offer me a fake engagement? And then he fell all over himself in his rush to explain how he would never marry. As if hordes of women were breaking down his door. (Rolls eyes)
AG: Well, there were a few. (Mumbling) Including you.
CL: Don’t flatter yourself. I could’ve done without you.
PM: Let’s turn to more serious matters. Cass, talk a little about what happened after the death of your fiancé, Lord Bentley.
CL: (Shadow crosses her face) I don’t like talking about it. Remembering it. At first it was a matter of making it through each day. I was wounded, body and soul, and I stayed at my family’s home in Surrey until my brother insisted I return to London. It wasn’t until Adam came back into my life that I truly began to heal.
PM: What was the most difficult aspect of it?
AG interjects, even though question was directed at CL: The way she was viewed—and treated—by society. Or should I say, “mistreated.” Gossips have no care about the hurt they inflict on innocent people. They care only about who their next victim will be.
PM: Ha! Spoken like a man in love.
AG: Naturally. After the Prime Minister’s assassination, Cass was ready to seclude herself again, but I wouldn’t have it.
CL: (Clears throat) May I say something? (Glares at Adam)
PM: Please do.
CL: I’ve put it all behind me. And that’s all I want to say about it.
PM: Fair enough. Adam, can you talk a bit about your relationship with your father?
AG: (Frowns) Ah, no. I don’t discuss him.
PM: When you agreed to do this interview, you said no topic would be off limits.
AG: Did I? I must have been deep into my cups at the time.
AG: (Sighs deeply) He was a terrible father. And husband. My mother left him, and no, I won’t discuss the reasons.
PM: What about now. Has anything changed?
AG: He’s an embarrassment to the family. I don’t want Cass to meet him.
PM: And your brother, Hugh?
AG: What about him?
PM: Where do things stand between you two?
AG: (Shrugs) I hope we can mend our relationship some day.
PM (nods): Cass, let’s get back to you. How did you become so interested in politics?
CL: I grew up with it. My father was a friend of Charles James Fox, and he and my mother hosted many a dinner party where the abolition of the slave trade and parliamentary reform were spoken of, among other things. Fox was quite an eloquent man.
PM: So that piqued your interest.
CL: (Nods) I was thrilled—if somewhat skeptical at first—that Adam wanted to stand for the House of Commons. I intend to do all I can to further his career, and take an active role in it.
PM: Time to wrap it up. Anything else either of you would like to add?
AG: Nothing we can say in public. (Looks lovingly at Cass)
CL: (Laughs) Adam!
PM: Thank you both very much.
Author BioPamela Mingle has spent much of her professional life in libraries and classrooms. With a lot of persistance and a little luck, she’s found a new career as a writer. Pam is the author of The Pursuit of Mary Bennet, A Pride and Prejudice Novel, and Kissing Shakespeare, a young adult time travel romance. A self-proclaimed Janeite, Pam is Regional Coordinator for the Denver/Boulder region of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA). Pam lives and works in Lakewood, Colorado. On trips to England, she and her husband enjoy walking from one town to the next. While those long treks have often been challenging, they’ve proved to be a wonderful way to discover new settings for her books.
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