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The Mischievous Miss Charlotte

The Mischievous Miss Charlotte

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She's falling for the one man she's sworn to hate...

Miss Charlotte despises the man she's supposed to marry. Of course, she hasn't actually met the Earl's son, but from the letters they've exchanged, he's exactly the sort of overbearing brute she can't stand.

Not at all like that handsome, witty, romantic stranger she met at the bookshop. She agrees to meet this intriguing stranger in the garden at midnight, not realizing that the man she's agreed to the same man she's vowed to hate.

Main Tropes

  • Mistaken Identity
  • A RomCom Meet Cute
  • Arranged Marriage


A lighthearted sweet regency romp filled with laughter and mishaps...

Miss Charlotte cannot stand Lord Thomas, the man she's meant to marry.

Of course, she hasn't actually met him. But from the letters they've exchanged, she's certain he's a beast.

Nothing at all like the handsome and kind young man she met at the bookshop. The one who insisted they meet at midnight at the ball...


Intro Into Chapter 1

The armoire in Miss Charlotte’s room at the young ladies’ finishing school was surprisingly spacious. 

Charlotte shifted against the billowing skirts of one ballgown and the silk bodice of another. Her spectacles fogged over as her own hot air filled the small space.

Drawing in a deep breath, she tried to make herself comfortable, but the air was growing thicker and more cloying by the moment.

As Charlotte had only just arrived at London’s esteemed School of Charm, her maid hadn’t even finished unpacking her trunks. So indeed, the wardrobe was surprisingly spacious.

But it was still a wardrobe, and hence, not that spacious. 

Definitely not meant to hold a grown lady such as herself. She fidgeted as her leg cramped. As a child, armoires like this one had made for a much more pleasant hiding spot.

Her skin prickled with uncomfortable heat as she waited for the seconds to pass. Her back was beginning to ache. She tried to shift for a better position, but the movement sent dust flying and her nose crinkled as she fought a sneeze.

Surely Lord Thomas and his mother would not wait for long if she could not be found. 

But then, if there was one thing she knew of the Earl of Calloway’s family, it was that they were persistent. Painfully so.

She’d hoped that with her years away on the continent, traveling as a companion to her elderly aunt, the earl and his wife might have lost patience and done away with the understanding that had been agreed upon when she was still in the nursery.

Indeed, she’d optimistically assumed everyone had forgotten that small matter of her impending marriage to the earl’s younger son.

But that had not been the case. The very first words her mother had greeted her with when she’d stepped foot on English soil were, “At last we can make your engagement official and get this wedding underway.”

There had been hugs and kisses as well, of course, from her brother and her sister. But those very first words of welcome had dashed her hopes that the understanding had been forgotten. Needless to say, it had not been the warm welcome of Charlotte’s dreams. 

In fact, it had been more like a scene from one of her more horrific nightmares. She’d said as much to her sister, but Eloise had declared her protests histrionic. 

But then, Eloise had never minded her own arranged engagement, and so she could not possibly understand. She even claimed to get on quite well with her fiancé, Lord Pickington, the old bore. Never mind the fact that she’d have to answer to the name Lady Pickington for the rest of her life.

So no, of course Eloise hadn’t understood her fears.

I’ve met your intended, Eloise had said in that haughty way of hers. He’s an excellent choice for you.

Which, coming from Eloise, only made Charlotte more frightened. For Eloise, like Mother, believed the best thing for Charlotte was to find a man who’d take her in hand and finally succeed in making her the obedient and dutiful young lady they wished her to be.

Charlotte clasped her hands together and willed herself not to sneeze. 

They’d be gone any moment now, and then she could disentangle herself from her gowns and pretend she had not heard her visitors arrive. 

She could avoid the inevitable for one day longer, at least. Her head fell back against the wood panel of the armoire with a thud. Was it her imagination or could she actually hear the bells tolling for her demise?

All right, yes. Perhaps Eloise had a point about her tendency for histrionics. Lord Thomas was likely not the evil villain she feared him to be. But he was still a stranger. She’d never met the man, though she’d heard about him. Sweet heavens, how much she’d heard. 

Her mother’s letters were filled with mentions of the man, only two years older than Charlotte but, by the sounds of it, with the demeanor of an old man. Just like his father, her mother had written. What good manners. Such noble bearing. Stern, quiet, proper, et cetera. 

It didn’t take much to decipher that he was a stodgy, unbearable, pretentious bore.

Quite a leap you’re making there, her Great Aunt Ida had said. But it wasn’t. Because Charlotte might not have met Lord Thomas, but she had met his father on occasion and to say he was a stodgy, pretentious bore would be a kind understatement.

She heard a female voice coming from the hallway. No doubt the new headmistress, Miss Farthington, calling out for her.

Miss Farthington likely thought she’d be ecstatic that her soon-to-be fiancé had called on her on her first day in town. But Miss Farthington would be wrong. 

It was nerves and not heat that had a bead of sweat forming on her brow. Oh please don’t let them find me.

Another female voice joined the mix, and Charlotte tensed as both voices grew closer. 

They were in her bedroom.

Charlotte held her breath.

“Have you seen her, Miss Mary?” Miss Farthington’s voice said.

“She was here a moment ago,” Miss Mary said. 

Charlotte and Mary were both new to the school. Miss Farthington too, for that matter. The school had been formed by the Earl of Charmian—better known as the Earl of Charm—as a present of sorts for his wife. Apparently, she was fond of helping young ladies acquire the appropriate skills to make them pillars of good society. Though, busy as Lady Charmian was as a countess, she had little to do with the day-to-day running of the school. 

Instead, they’d hired a Miss Grayson originally to help teach young ladies the social graces they’d need upon entering society. Miss Grayson had done such a wonderful job of it that every young lady in her charge had married and married well. Even Miss Grayson had found a marquess for a husband, which was how Miss Farthington had come to take her place. 

With such wonderful matches made during its first year of existence, the School of Charm was quite in demand for all the young ladies of the ton who were either still in need of a match or lacked the necessary traits needed to be the ideal wife in the eyes of the ton.

As it had been understood that Charlotte would marry Lord Thomas when she came of age, she obviously fell in the latter category. But as she listened to Miss Mary Evermoor converse with Miss Farthington on the other side of the wardrobe door, she wondered what had brought her to this school. 

Perhaps they might one day be close enough that she could ask. 

Charlotte had been on her best behavior the first time they’d met, and if she could only manage to keep her nose out of trouble, perhaps Miss Mary and Miss Farthington would think well of her, and she’d finally have friends who—

“Achoo!” Charlotte’s sneeze came on quite unexpectedly.

It was also excessively loud.

The silence on the other side of the wardrobe doors was telling, and Miss Charlotte was still wincing when the doors to the armoire were thrown open.

She found herself blinking at the sudden light and the two pretty-yet-stricken faces which greeted her. 

Miss Farthington recovered first. “Miss Charlotte,” she said.

That was all. But it was enough. The question underlying her words was clear indeed. 

“Er, yes,” Charlotte said as she went to climb out of the wardrobe.

Miss Mary quickly stepped forward and offered a hand, her gaze no longer shocked but rather filled with amusement. Charlotte decided right then and there that she and Mary would be friends. For her lack of derision alone, Charlotte liked her immensely. 

“I was just...checking, you see,” Charlotte said, her voice too breathy and high as she swiped errant, wispy blonde curls from her face. 

The wardrobe had wreaked havoc on the chignon her maid had done for her, but she tried her best to correct it as she faced the petite brunette who now ran this school. 

Her expression was hard to read, but Charlotte saw her lips twitching.

With anger? 

Charlotte pressed her lips together and bit the inside of her cheek. Oh drat. Now she’d gone and made a bad name for herself on her very first day at this school. 

“You were...checking?” Miss Farthington repeated. Her gaze moved beyond Charlotte to the wardrobe beyond. “Making sure all of your gowns will fit, I imagine.”

Charlotte’s lips parted with a gape. Miss Farthington’s voice was mild but there was that twitch of her lips again.

Was it disdain or was it...laughter?

No, it couldn’t be amusement. Charlotte didn’t know Miss Farthington well, but she’d heard the rumors. The daughter of a viscount, her reputation had taken a bit of a ding after her long-standing engagement came to an end for reasons no one knew for certain—though nearly everyone seemed to have a suspicion.

It was how she’d come to be here, running a finishing school rather than out in society with a beau of her own.

Miss Farthington and Miss Mary seemed to be waiting for her to speak. To explain. Charlotte drew in a deep breath. “Yes, Miss Farthington,” she said with as much pride as she could muster. “I wanted to ensure there would be enough space for the costume I brought along for the upcoming masquerade.”

Miss Mary was staring wide-eyed, disbelief and amusement making her dark eyes sparkle and her round cheeks pinken. No doubt on Charlotte’s behalf. 

Charlotte’s sweet older sister used to blush for her too, though it was rarely tempered with amusement. Just embarrassment on her behalf, plain and simple.

Another point in Miss Mary’s favor. Empathy was such a lovely quality in a friend. 

“Well, I don’t suppose you heard their arrival,” Miss Farthington managed with a straight face. “But you have visitors.” 

“Do I?” Charlotte was certain her attempt at shock fooled no one, yet everyone seemed to have come to a silent agreement that they would see this charade through to the end.

“Indeed,” Miss Farthington said, her lips still twitching. 

“Whoever might it be?” Charlotte asked. Perhaps she was taking it a bit too far.

“Lady Calloway and her son, Lord Thomas,” Miss Farthington continued. “They are in the drawing room at the moment.”

Charlotte’s stomach sank to her toes. “Are they?”

Her forced smile faltered. Drat. There was no escape. 

She’d have to meet him one day or another, she told herself. It might as well be today.

With a deep breath, Charlotte pushed her shoulders back and lifted her chin. But before she could say oh, all right, let’s get this over with, Miss Farthington continued. “But I suppose I shall have to send them away.”

Miss Charlotte blinked and Miss Mary turned to give the headmistress a curious look. 

“You’re clearly not well,” Miss Farthington said. 

Charlotte stared at her. She wasn’t?

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