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The Misgivings About Miss Prudence

The Misgivings About Miss Prudence

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The bane of her existence is now her private tutor...

Miss Prudence has worked diligently to become the perfect wife for the lord she's meant to marry. There's only one flaw left—music.

But when her aunt hires the handsome lord next door to help, Prudence's quest for perfection is ruined. How is the dutiful debutante expected to survive music lessons when her tutor is the boy who'd teased her mercilessly as a child? And now he's at it again. Poking fun and provoking her into rash actions. Except, he's no longer a boy. He's very much a man. And it's not his pranks that make her heart race...It's his kisses.

Main Tropes

  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Childhood Friends
  • Forbidden Love


A sweet regency romp filled with laughter and swoony kisses...

Miss Prudence is on a mission to become the perfect wife for the wealthy merchant her great aunt has chosen for her to marry. Her time at the School of Charm finishing school has gotten her most of the way there, but there is one subject she is failing.

Her great aunt insists on hiring a private music tutor, but to Prudence's horror, her aunt hires the lord from next door. Her childhood nemesis who's grown up to become a veritable rake!

Intro Into Chapter 1

There was nothing mysterious about Miss Prudence Pottermouth. With Prudence, what one saw was what one got. 

For the most part.

She had precisely two secrets which she kept from her friends at Miss Grayson’s School of Charm, a finishing school for refined young ladies. Or, as her friend Louisa put it—a finishing school for young ladies whose guardians knew not what to do with them.

She wasn’t wrong.

For Prudence, in particular, that description had always seemed acutely apt. She’d spent the better part of two years at this school, alongside her best friend Delilah and the other girls, and it was precisely because she was not wanted anywhere else.

That was her first secret. Although, considering Louisa, Addie, and Delilah had been at her side earlier today when she’d eavesdropped on Miss Grayson’s conversation with her great aunt, she supposed that secret was out.

“But surely Miss Pottermouth’s parents—” Miss Grayson had started.

“Her parents neither know nor care what that girl is doing,” Aunt Eleanor had snapped. 

Prudence winced at the memory of those words. True, to be certain, but still unpleasant to hear. Even more so when she’d glanced over to find her friends eyeing her with varying degrees of sympathy and pity.

And that right there was why she’d kept her unwanted status a secret. She was not one to be pitied. She’d been given every advantage as a child, thanks to her great aunt’s management. And her time at Miss Grayson’s had given her the feeling of home she’d never known she’d been missing. Because of this, it was only natural that she should be feeling a bit emotional about leaving. 

Prudence frowned down at the bag she was packing with her belongings. 

This feeling was definitely only natural—but it was still unwelcome.

“I am certain she won’t keep you away from us for long,” Delilah said reassuringly as she watched Prudence pack her life away. Well, she’d said it as reassuringly as a lady like Delilah was able. Which was to say, not very reassuringly at all. 

Though her recent adventures and her newly formed engagement with Lord Rupert had softened Prudence’s friend a little, Delilah could not quite shake a lifetime of cool arrogance and that haughty demeanor.

Prudence gave her friend a small smile. She didn’t mind Delilah’s standoffish ways. She never had. Perhaps because she’d always understood that beneath that icy hauture was a heart of gold. 

Well, perhaps not gold. But not the cold lump of ice she pretended to have, either.

“Yes, I’m sure you’ll be back before we know it,” Addie said.

Ever the optimist, Addie was giving her an encouraging smile that had the opposite effect. Rather than making her feel better, the flicker of pity she caught in the other girl’s eyes made her want to slam her trunk shut and pull her bag of sweets out of its hiding spot. 

That was her second secret. Her private pleasure. Her only vice.

“I still don’t understand what your great aunt was so upset about,” Louisa said.

Leave it to Louisa to bring up the more awkward aspect of the conversation they’d overheard.

“I thought she made herself quite clear.” Delilah’s voice dripped with anger. 

Delilah might have had her faults, but as a friend she was utterly devoted. Prudence suspected she’d been more upset than anyone at the way her great aunt had spoken about her...and her horrid performance.

Prudence struggled to be a mediocre musician at the best of times, but under her great aunt’s terrifying, watchful stare…

She’d been dreadful.

“I had no idea anyone could get so worked up over a recital,” Addie murmured.

Prudence winced. And then she gave into the overwhelming need for sugar and pulled out her secret stash, popping a lemon sweet into her mouth as she suffered through another wave of embarrassment.

“Just because you do not have an ear for music—” Addie began.

“No ear for music?” Louisa laughed. “That’s an understatement, wouldn’t you say?”

Prudence did not have to look to know that Louisa’s sudden silence was in response to the warning glare she was no doubt getting from Delilah and the more gentle shake of a head from Addie.

Louisa had a knack for speaking out of turn, but right now Prudence couldn’t quite bring herself to scold her friend for that fault.

Not when her own flaw had been so glaringly brought into the light.

“Whether she’s a musical prodigy or not is beside the point,” Delilah said. “What matters is that her aunt ought not to speak of her like that.”

“That is very true,” Addie said. “She was remarkably uncharitable, especially considering how well Prudence has mastered every other lesson.”

Delilah turned to Prudence with barely concealed rage. “You ought not listen to her, Pru. Your aunt is a beast,” she said. “She makes my stepmother look saintly.”

Louisa snickered at that. Even Addie smiled.

Prudence sighed, rolling her eyes at her friend’s exaggeration. In the months since Delilah’s adventure, she’d become more and more fond of finding the humor in her story, which was like something straight out of a gothic romance.

She supposed Delilah’s good humor on the topic was Lord Rupert’s influence. The charming gentleman who’d saved Delilah from her stepmother’s evil plans had softened Delilah considerably, bringing out her natural warmth and wit.

Prudence pursed her lips as she scowled at her friend. “Really, Dee. Your stepmother planned to murder you. I hardly think it is fair to compare Aunt Eleanor to that wicked woman.”

Delilah shrugged, unapologetic. “She shouldn’t be allowed to talk about you like that.”

“What does she expect?” Addie asked, her voice rising in a rare show of outrage. “Does she think you have to be perfect in order to find a good match?”

Yes. Prudence bit her tongue to keep from answering what was obviously a rhetorical question. But truly, yes, that was exactly what her aunt expected.

“But Prudence is perfect, Addie,” Louisa interjected with a mischievous little grin. “She’s told us so herself any number of times, haven’t you, Pru?”

“Louisa,” Addie sighed.

“Not now, Louisa,” Delilah snapped. 

Prudence didn’t mind her teasing. This was the way it had always been between her and Louisa ever since the other girl joined her as a student at this school. While she considered Louisa a friend, the outspoken redhead was in every way her opposite. Prudence disapproved of just about everything Louisa did and Louisa found Prudence to be unbearably sanctimonious. They’d butted heads since day one and while they cared about one another, their relationship was far more akin to siblings who teased and squabbled than true friends. 

Or at least, that was what Prudence suspected. She had no siblings so she had nothing to compare it to. 

“She knows I’m teasing,” Louisa protested. “Don’t you, Pru?”

“Of course I do,” Prudence said with a weary sigh. “But you must mind your manners, Louisa, if you’re ever going to be a respectable marchioness.”

Louisa’s grin was filled with joy at the mere mention of her upcoming marriage. “Don’t you worry about me, Pru. Tumberland loves me just the way I am.”

Prudence rolled her eyes. Out of habit she looked to Delilah to share in her distaste for Louisa and Addie’s sappy sighs, but Delilah was too busy smiling vapidly just like the others. 

Prudence sighed and reached for another sweet. 

Perhaps it was for the best that Aunt Eleanor was bringing her back to her country estate. Ever since Delilah had gone and fallen in love, Prudence had become the odd woman out.

While the rest of her friends prattled on about upcoming weddings and talked of true love and destiny, Prudence sat by and listened and tried not to lose the contents of her stomach at the sickening romantic drivel.

Romance was just another word for selfish decisions, as far as Prudence was concerned. Love was just a fantasy, ephemeral and weak. Neither romance nor love ought to take the place of reason when it came to making life-altering decisions.

But she knew better than to try and convince her friends of this. They would look at her like she’d gone mad and then return to their plans for wedded bliss.

She made a rather unattractive and cynical snorting sound as she sucked on her candy. 

Yes, it was definitely for the best that she was leaving. This sense of homesickness would pass once the school was out of sight, and her aunt, while perhaps a bit too harsh with her criticisms, had not been wrong.

While Miss Grayson and the other tutors at this school had helped her refine her skills, she was still a failure when it came to music. 

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