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The Misadventures of Miss Adelaide

The Misadventures of Miss Adelaide

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She's on the run from her cruel guardian...

And Miss Adelaide has found the perfect hiding spot in the home of the formidable Earl of Tolston. But masquerading as a maid comes at a cost. She faints on the job, and wakes in the arms of the Earl, who was never supposed to notice her.

Her secrets about to be exposed, Addie wants nothing more than to flee—again. But the powerful, overprotective Earl with dark, brooding eyes makes it very clear that she's his to protect. "You can try to run, Addie . . . but I will follow."

Main Tropes

  • Damsel in Distress
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Cinderella Story


A sweet regency romance...

Miss Adelaide is on the run from her cruel guardian, scrimping and saving as a maid for a powerful, elusive Earl to provide for her infant brother.

But when Adelaide faints on the job, wakes in the arms of the Earl, and mistakes him for a doctor...secrets are spilled, and now Miss Adelaide finds herself under the Earl's protection—whether she likes it or not.

Intro Into Chapter 1

Miss Adelaide Hopewell was no more comfortable with the hustle and bustle of the Earl of Tolston’s giant kitchen now than she had been the day she’d arrived nearly a fortnight earlier. 

“Out of the way, girl,” the head cook said as she brushed past.

“Pardon me,” Addie murmured. 

She moved quickly through the workspace which was teeming with servants as the household worked to prepare the townhouse for the arrival of the Earl himself. He was expected two days hence after being abroad these last few months, from what Addie could gather.

Not that anyone told her much. She was merely a maid these days, and maids, she’d soon realized, were rarely privy to much pertinent information regarding the lords and ladies of the house.

Or at least, new maids were not privy. Perhaps once she’d been there for more than a fortnight she might start learning more about this Earl than the whispers and snippets she’d overheard.

What she’d heard had not made him seem terribly appealing. Words such as kind, honorable, and noble had never been used. More like firm, demanding, and cynical. She’d once heard one of the stablemen refer to him as grim.


That hardly evoked a pleasant image. Was it any wonder she was dreading his arrival? Of course, his impending arrival was the only reason she’d been hired on in the first place. The housekeeper had reckoned that with the Earl in London for the season, they’d require more maids—more maids who might be able to double as ladies’ maids, in particular.

She wouldn’t be surprised if the housekeeper anticipated many female guests. It did not take household gossip for her to know that the ton was expecting the Earl of Tolston to court and marry in the near future. 

Addie made her way through the seemingly endless maze of hallways in this grand old house. She’d been raised in a lovely estate up north, and while her father, the Baron of Wrencliff, had indeed taken a good deal of pride in their family home, their estate could not hold a candle to the opulence and elegance of the Earl’s residence. 

The memory of her home brought with it a familiar pang that she staunchly ignored. Wallowing never did anyone any good, that was what her father used to say. She’d made her decisions, and now it was time to embrace them. She reached the staircase, freshly folded linens in one hand as she looked up at the high ceilings, fighting a case of vertigo as her gaze followed the spiral staircase up and up and up.

Was it possible a home could be too large? She suspected so. Particularly this one with its single occupant who was rarely in residence. 

Once again, a vision rose up, this time unexpected so it nearly swept her off her feet. A memory, to be precise. The morning after her little brother was born—nearly two years ago now. She and her father had celebrated with pastries and tea, toasting one another in the pale glow of dawn as baby Reginald cried his little lungs out with a nursemaid while her mother slept. 

She supposed now that morning was the last truly happy memory of her home. Shortly after that, her idyllic life in the country had turned to a nightmare. First her mother died of complications from the birth, and then not long after that, her father had followed with a sickness that moved fast and fierce, turning her healthy and hale Papa to a withered shell of himself in what felt like a heartbeat. 

And then he too was gone, and Addie had supposed—rather naively, it turned out—that his death was the last of her turmoil.

But no. She’d soon discovered her hardships were only just beginning. 

Her stomach churned, but whether it was from the memories or her hunger, she could not quite say. Maybe it was just exhaustion that made her feel so ill.

She took a deep steadying breath as she prepared herself for another hike up this magnificent staircase. Perhaps it was the fact that her position had her racing up and down the stairs countless times a day, but Addie was certain this house was entirely too big. 

And to think, his estate in the country was said to be even more grand. She could hardly imagine. 

She walked up three steps and paused with one hand on the bannister. She closed her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she waited patiently for this wave of dizziness to pass. 

She would not faint. Maids did not swoon, everyone knew that.

Gently bred young ladies from the north might, but that was not she. Not any longer.

She pressed her eyes shut tightly as the world seemed to spin around her. Deep breaths. One. And then another. This was the way to get through the falling sensation. 

She’d survive it. She always did. 

“What are you doing dallying here on the steps?” The housekeeper’s brisk tone had her eyes snapping open once more.

“Sorry, Mrs. Harper.”

The housekeeper grunted in response, her breath coming in loud huffs as she hitched up her skirts and hurried up the steps at a rate that was rather alarming considering her large size and elderly age. “Don’t just stand there, Addie. Get back to work.”

“Yes, ma’am.” She followed the older woman, attempting to ignore the way the stairs seemed to shift and dip beneath her feet, and the way the walls around her did not appear to be as solid as one might hope. 

Deep breaths. One and then another. That was the way.

Mrs. Harper’s voice seemed to be coming to her through a tunnel. “They’ve sent word ahead that one of the party has suffered an injury,” she said. “I’ve sent Will to fetch the doctor, he should be here shortly...”

Addie nodded, though the words seemed to be fighting their way through a fog. She squinted at Mrs. Harper’s backside as the edges of her vision grew blurry and then dark. She stopped focusing on her breathing to focus on the steps. One step, two steps, three steps—


She hit the second-floor landing with a thud and a jolt of nausea and that was the last thing she knew before blackness overtook her vision and she felt herself pulled under into unconsciousness.

When she woke she was on her back, still on the floor. 

No, that wasn’t quite right. There was something hard against her back, propping her up. When she blinked her eyes open, she found herself staring into the warmest, darkest pair of eyes she’d ever seen.

She was so dazzled by their warmth that she forgot she was supposed to think.

Or breathe.

Or move.

Perhaps she was not quite back in her right mind because she felt as though she might be dreaming. If she were, she hoped it would not end. She wouldn’t mind lying here forever, gazing up dreamily into those warm brown eyes.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Harper interrupted the moment. “Addie. Addie, dear, are you all right?” The housekeeper’s voice beside her had her tearing her eyes away long enough to see the older woman hovering over her, her wrinkled brow furrowed in concern. 

Addie wanted to tell her yes, she was fine, but her voice wouldn’t seem to work. Her throat was closing in, and her mouth went dry. 

Reality was starting to creep in, and she was remembering it all. 


She was remembering too much all at once.

All her careful maneuvers to compartmentalize and focus on one problem at a time went out the window as her brain rushed to fill in every gaping hole at once.

She was a maid. She was friendless. She had no family, except for a little brother who was utterly dependent on her and her alone.

Her eyes widened with horror, not merely at her situation but at the fact that tears were beginning to sting the back of her eyes.

She never cried. 

Well, not unless she was grieving. But she refused to wallow over her situation. 

She couldn’t afford to lose control, not now when Reggie needed her to be strong. 

She found herself looking up into those eyes again, clinging to the connection like an anchor, seeking out that warmth. That little bit of human kindness.

He was handsome. Strikingly so. A lock of dark hair fell over his forehead, and lovely lush lips softened what was otherwise a stern set of features. But she didn’t mind the sternness, nor the way his brows were a rather harsh slant as he frowned down at her. Because his eyes gave him away, what with all that warmth he could not hide. 

She could gaze up at him for ages. 

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