Good friend and fellow writer Sarah Granger continues her virtual book tour with the wonderful A Minor Inconvenience, a scintillating firecracker of a Regency romance that involves breeches. And more to the point, that involves the lack of breeches. That is definitely something to be commended.
Duty, honor, propriety…all fall in the face of love.
Captain Hugh Fanshawe returned from the Peninsular War with a leg that no longer works properly, thanks to a French musket ball. Now his fight against Napoleon is reduced to quiet, lonely days compiling paperwork at Horse Guards headquarters.
His evenings are spent dutifully escorting his mother and sister to stifling social engagements, where his lameness renders him an object of pity and distaste. But his orderly, restricted life is thrown into sudden disarray with the arrival of Colonel Theo Lindsay…
A Minor Inconvenience is that rare bird: an historical romance where the worldbuilding and the language are both pitch perfect; the wit is bright and the heroes charming. By the end of page one, you are in London with the hero, a London thrumming with all the excitement of the Napoleonic War. Not to mention the Season, Almacks, balls and routs. Oh, and those breeches. And the lack thereof.
When I reviewed the book on Goodreads, I said: “Sarah Granger has the style and language down pat, and a deft hand with plot and characters, crafting a story with light wit and sparkle on the surface and deep emotion underneath… I used to work right beside Horse Guards, by the way, in the Old Admiralty building. Sadly, I have to say there was a distressing lack of breeches, but not a lack of breeches in a *good* way, if you see what I mean. When this book loses its breeches, it’s in a very good way. The writing is beautiful, some of the wry, clever speeches laugh-out-loud funny, and throughout the whole there is such a sense of time and place that you forget that this mundane world of ours isn’t one of breeches and Almacks, Vauxhall gardens and opera dancers.”
VISIT the book tour page to win prizes, including a free copy of Sarah’s previous book, The Unforgiving Minute which is set in the world of Wimbledon and the US Open. No breeches, but shorty shorts and knees…
READ ON for an exclusive extract to whet your appetite for those items of male apparel upon which I appear to be fixated: Some hours later, Hugh was established comfortably in Theo’s sitting room, reading The Times. They had arisen rather late and enjoyed a relaxed breakfast before perusing the day’s newspapers, which had been laid out awaiting them. Apparently Theo took a copy of each of the newspapers instead of reading just one, as Hugh was wont to do. Hugh was clad in what he knew Murray would bewail as the ruins of his shirt, pantaloons and stockings from the previous night, as well as one of Theo’s dressing gowns, a magnificent creation of frogged gold-and-crimson brocaded silk. Theo, resplendent in a gown of quilted blue satin, was deep in another newspaper.
“For God’s sake!”
Hugh looked up from The Times to see Theo tossing his copy of The Daily Chronicle aside. He sounded, and looked, extremely irritated. “What’s wrong?”
“Damned newspapers and damned leaks. Would you believe somebody has supplied to that wretched publication a copy of one of Wellington’s circulars? I grant he is an ill-tempered martinet at times, but they twist things to make him sound a prating fool into the bargain.”
Perhaps it was as well Theo was not in London often, for it was depressingly common to read that sort of thing in the newspaper. People didn’t hesitate to use military matters for political gain, regardless of whether or not they had any comprehension of those matters.
“There’s no way of tracing the leak?” Hugh asked, though he thought he already knew the answer.
“None. The document was only for the commanding officers, but of course copies will have reached the regimental files. You know as well as I the number of people who have access to those.”
Hugh did indeed.
“Next we see, they will be publishing the revised route of the Monmouth Light reinforcements,” Theo grumbled.
“No. Even the newspapers would not risk military defeat for political gain.”
Theo snorted. “Some days I can’t decide whether such innocence in you is charming or dangerous,” he said, sounding ill-tempered still. He stood up suddenly, picked up the newspaper and cast it onto the fire. “That’s the best place for it. Now, what shall we do today, Captain Fanshawe? Taylor tells me it is temperate enough to make a ride in the Park a pleasure rather than a madcap excursion.”
“I no longer ride,” Hugh confessed awkwardly.
Theo stared at him. “Why? Your knee bends, after a fashion, and your thigh grips—extremely well, if my memory is to be trusted—and I know for a fact there is absolutely nothing wrong with your seat.”
Hugh blushed at the images conjured by Theo’s words even as he tried to wrest his mind back to the matter in hand. “I daresay I could manage, but I can’t see how to mount.”
“We shall have to resolve that situation,” Theo declared. “You can’t be in London in the Season and not make your appearance in the Park. More importantly, you can’t desert me to make my appearance there alone and be besieged by matchmaking harpies. Come along, Hugh—your heroism is required.”
And before Hugh knew entirely what he was doing, he found himself fully dressed in last night’s clothes and sent on his way to his lodgings in Ryder Street so he might shave and change into clothes suitable for riding before meeting Theo at the mews.
You know, I’m not going to count the number of times I’ve used the word ‘breeches’ in this post. I think the total might appal even me.
Perhaps it’s as well the excerpt ends where it does rather than in Hugh turning up in top boots and buckskin breeches, ready for his ride with Theo. One of the things I didn’t know before writing this was that, just as some daring young ladies dampened their muslins to make them cling, some gentlemen did the same with their breeches to ensure they clung to every single contour… I should make it clear that Hugh would never do such a thing, not least because it would then take Theo forever to get him out of them.
You are too kind, as always, Anna! Thank you for your enthusiasm for the book, and I would be absolutely delighted to see anyone who wants to drop in on the tour to talk about breeches or anything else that takes their fancy. 🙂
some gentlemen did the same with their breeches to ensure they clung to every single contour
YOU ARE GIVING ME IDEAS, WOMAN! 🙂
I love these men so much!
She’s giving *me* the vapours!
Ideas are good. Ideas are wonderful. Especially if they result in more breeches… 🙂
Damp breeches. Guuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
I, uh, know. I’ve come over all unnecessary.