Today, we have Her Grace, Alexandra, the Duchess of Harcourt, sharing her fascinating journey from a Highland gypsy to a British peeress.
CC: Welcome, You Grace. I confess. I’m a bit nervous. I’ve never had the privilege of taking tea with a duchess. Please, have a seat. Milk or sugar in your tea?
I make a shooing motion.
Just push the dachshunds aside, but do watch your biscuits. They’ll snatch them right off your plates, the little fiends.
ADH: Thank you. It’s lovely to be here, and don’t worry about the dogs. I quite like animals. I take my tea with milk and two lumps of sugar.
CC: Please tell us a little about yourself, and how you meet his grace, the Duke of Harcourt. I hear it’s quite an amusing tale.
ADH: Chuckling. He helped rescue me from a band of rogue Scots holding me prisoner. I confess. Our first meeting was awful. I gave him a black eye when he stole a kiss.
He’s lucky I didn’t stick him with my dagger. I was raised as a Scottish Highland Traveller, a gypsy, and I know how to wield a blade. My gypsy name is Tasara Faas, and I lived with the travellers, also called black tinkers, for eighteen years.
CC: How fascinating. But you weren’t a traveller, were you? Was it a shock to discover you were a long-lost heiress? Tell us a little about that.
ADH: Chewing a bite of shortbread, she nods.
Yes. Right after my husband helped rescue me, I learned I wasn’t a traveller at all, but Alexandra Atterberry, an heiress in line for a barony.
The transition from living in a tent and bathing in streams to having a fortune at my disposal was a bit overwhelming.
I don’t much care for Society, you see. Such pretentiousness. I didn’t even know what fork to use at my first formal dinner, but I fell in love with Lucan.
He asked me almost daily to marry him. He’s most stubborn and wouldn’t accept no for an answer.
CC: I gathered that. What is the characteristic that first drew you to him?
ADH: He’s incredibly kind, especially to those others shun.
At first I thought he was a stuffy bore, but when I saw a glimpse of the real man, I was smitten! He has a delightful send of humor too.
Of course, I didn’t tell him.
He was far too cocky and assured I’d fall into his arms just because he held a duchy.
CC: Was there every a time when you thought you wouldn’t be together? That your worlds were too far apart?
ADH: She smiles and pets the two dogs that have snuggled next to her.
Absolutely. I thought we were wholly incompatible. He was accustomed to power and privilege and all the falderal that accompanies someone of his station.
I wanted no part of it. I loved the simplicity of living in the Highlands. Still do.
I was actually preparing to leave England for good when circumstance caused me to realize, I didn’t want a life without him.
CC: What are your plans now?
ADH: As you know, Lucan’s mother is unwell, so we spend the majority of our time at Chattsworth House.
I would dearly love to return to Scotland for an extended visit, but that will have to wait.
She pats her tummy.
I promised Mother Harcourt to wait until after the babe is born.
CC: Congratulations. His grace must be thrilled.
ADH: He is, and just like a man, is already planning activities for his son.
She leans back and grins.
I, on the other hand, am planning to teach our daughter how to use a dagger.
CC: Thank you for visiting today, and I hope the next time, you can persuade the duke to accompany you.
ADH: You are very welcome. If you ever find yourself out our way, please do, call.
Do you know the difference between a Scottish Highland gypsy and other European gypsies?
Heartbreak and Honor
Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 3
Abducted by a band of renegade Scots, Highland gypsy Tasara Faas doesn’t hesitate to blacken her rescuer’s eye when the charming duke attempts to steal a kiss. Afterward, she learns she’s the long-lost heiress Alexandra Atterberry and is expected to take her place among the elite society she’s always disdained.
Lucan, the Duke of Harcourt, promised his gravely ill mother he’d procure a wife by Christmastide, but intrigued by the feisty lass he saved in Scotland, he finds the haut ton ladies lacking. Spying Alexa at a London ball, he impulsively decides to make the knife-wielding gypsy his bride despite her aversion to him and her determination to return to the Highlands.
The adversary responsible for Alexa’s disappearance as a toddler still covets her fortune and joins forces with Harcourt’s arch nemesis. Amidst a series of suspicious misfortunes, Lucan endeavors to win Alexa’s love and expose the conspirators but only succeeds in reaffirming Alexa’s belief that she is inadequate to become his duchess.
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