A penniless dock worker inherits a title and his family’s destitute estate. In order to save the house and grounds, he puts an ad in the paper for a wealthy wife from the United States. The damaged Emma Swan is desperate for a new start anywhere but New York. Together, will they save Kentledge Hall?
Awash in several glasses of Champagne, eighteen year-old Emma
Swan had been easily tantalized into the Conservatory at the Vanderbilt Mansion
during a New Year’s celebration, ringing in the promises of 1916. Despite the December
chill, there was a lingering warmth in the Conservatory.
The young society darling and her date were surrounded by
all manner of exotic plants and flowers, blooming in the moonlight. She,
herself, was the most colorful thing in the room; she wore a gown of gold and
black, covered with a wine-tinted gauze and cinched at the waist with a
decorative band of gilded embroidery and mother-of-pearl. Her moonlit hair was
tucked into a pile of curls, secured with a large gilded comb bedecked with
Neal Cassidy, a young, handsome attorney from Delaware, was
her tuxedoed date for the evening’s festivities and they had just managed to
ditch Emma’s tipsy aunt Regina Mills back in the ballroom downstairs.
Emma giggled with delight as Neal swung her around the tiled
floor of the room, his arm wrapped around her back. They were dancing much
closer than they would have been allowed at the party. She closed her eyes as
Neal bowed his head to place kisses along the side of her neck, a smile
spreading over her lips.
“Mmm,” Emma moaned softly, sliding her fingers between his.
“You really shouldn’t do that, you know.”
Neal chuckled and let his lips find hers. He walked her
backward until her calves came to a stop against the end of a chaise longue.
“Why shouldn’t I?” He asked against her lips. “I’m going to marry you, Emma, my
The idea made her giddy. A grand wedding with all sorts of
fanfare and a milky-white gown of everything in the finest, her best friends
all with large bouquets of white roses and lily-of-the-valley…it was everything
Emma wanted. And Neal was such an entertainment to her over the past few
months. Lavish dinners, ferry rides, and even a day at Luna Park in Brooklyn
where he had won her a small pink porcelain figurine. He really knew how to woo
a girl. He grasped her by the waist and carefully laid her back onto the
chaise, taking a seat dangerously close to her.
“Neal,” Emma whispered, blushing profusely, “no, stop that…someone
will see you and think the worst.”
“With me, it will hardly be the worst, darling. Don’t you
want me, Emma?” He asked. The music downstairs grew louder, and Emma knew they
must be nearing midnight.
“After we marry, of course,” she insisted, moving her hands
to his shoulders to push gently.
The Way I Am, Pt. 1/? (2500 Follower Giveaway Fic #13)
For @myhufflepuffpants, who requested E/R pining with a happy ending, and whose prompt was broad enough that I could use it to write this fic (I sincerely hope you don’t mind me commandeering your prompt in this way).
Penelope AU, as that film just popped up at the front of my Netflix Watch Instantly list and I watched it again and I couldn’t stop myself. For those unfamiliar with the film, it’s a modern fairytale with a cursed high society darling and the dashing young man who just might be the one to break the curse.
E/R, modern AU with a bit of magic thrown in. This will be either 3 or 4 parts depending how it shakes out.
“Enjolras.” Louis Philippe’ voice was soft and gentle, and he leaned his head against the one-way mirror, trailing his finger slowly down the glass. “Dear, sweet Enjolras. I’d given up all hope of ever finding someone who truly understands me. At least, I had given up all hope…until I met you.”
He waited expectantly, but only silence met this announcement, and for a moment, Louis looked a little taken aback, but then he carefully smoothed his features back to where they were before. “You see, like you, I have also felt imprisoned most of my life.”
“Really? By what?” Enjolras asked, his voice slightly tinny as it echoed through the library. Maybe it was just the speakers, but Enjolras sounded completely bored by the conversation. “By your good looks and your good name?”
“Yes, exactly,” Louis said, sounding slightly relieved. “No one ever seems able to see past that. But Enjolras – dear, sweet Enjolras – curse or no curse, if I am more than just my name and my face, well then, surely you are more than yours.”
Darling, you’re not “too needy” or “too much” or “too sensitive” or anything like that that you’ve ever been accused of being. What you are though is empathetic. You know exactly what you deserve and you would never settle for anything less. That my Dear, isn’t being “too much”. That is just being more than what most people are capable of handling.
aesthetics ➡️ rhato “i’m jason, these are the outlaws, and if anyone asks, that trashcan was on fire before we got here.” (bob morley as jason todd | lorraine ward as koriand’r | keith longhorn as roy harper)
In Kevin Kwan’s China Rich Girlfriend, the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians, lifestyle consultant Corinna Ko-Tung takes on the daunting task of transforming the scandalous former soap-opera star Kitty Pong into a high society darling. She doles out hilarious and scarily comprehensive advice for the social climbing Kitty, including which car she can drive, which church she should attend, what cosmetic procedures she’s allowed to have and how she must change everything about her wardrobe (“I know the average outfit in your wardrobe costs more than a semester of tuition at Princeton, but it makes you look like a community college during summertime: NO CLASS.”).
In the middle of her “Social Impact Assessment”, however, there’s a fun little Easter Egg: Corinna prepares a reading list for Kitty, telling her:
“In order to distinguish yourself, you must either have one
hell of a good stock tip or learn to become a scintillating conversationalist.
Beauty fades, but wit will keep you on the invitation lists to all the most
That’s sensible advice - however, if you’ve read enough interviews with Mr. Kwan, you may realize that Corinna’s reading list is also the list of authors and works that inspired and influenced the Crazy Rich Asians series. Not only is this a lovely treat for fans, it would probably make a really fun reading challenge (which I fully intend to do btw - I’m calling it the Kitty Pong reading challenge). I mean, is there a single book in this list that doesn’t sound completely awesome? Corinna even sets out the rules: you have to complete one book per fortnight, with the exception of Trollope, where you are allowed three weeks per book. The books are to be read in the following order:
Snobs, by Julian Fellowes
The Piano Teacher, by Janice Y. K. Lee
People Like Us, by Dominick Dunne
The Power of Style, by Annette Tapert and Diana Edkins*
Pride and Avarice, by Nicholas Coleridge
The Soong Dynasty, by Sterling Seagrave
Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen [SIC]
D.V., by Diana Vreeland
A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur,
by Gayatri Devi
Jane Austen – complete Works beginning with Pride and
Edith Wharton – The Custom of the Country, The Age of
Innocence, The Buccaneers, The House of Mirth (must be read in strict order –
you will understand why when you finish the last one)
Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
Anthony Trollope – all the books in the Palliser series,
beginning with Can You Forgive Her?
* The Power of Style is indeed out of print, just like Corinna says, but isn’t hard to find in second hand bookshops and websites like Abebooks. (I just ordered a copy from a second hand bookshop in São Paulo).
Modern AU Lucius x Narcissa; in which she’s the golden girl, sweet and a daddy’s girl and she’d get what she wants, in the end, and he’s proper and a society darling and so what if, when they talk about him in whispers, it’s always with a hint of controversy?she can deny it, but he knows how it ends - everything else is a triviality.
“Ah, you’ve got me,” he grins easily. // “Have I?“ She’s not sure this is the sort of boy she wants to get. […] "I think so, yes.” He holds out a hand. - red lip classic by @takeupserpents
Men in Petticoats: Selection of Letters from Victorian Newspapers,
Edited by Peter Farrer.
Culled from long-defunct publications, most of them from
male readers extolling the virtues of tight lacing, boasting of their slim
waists and the comfort they derive from the support provided. Many others go
further, saying how much they enjoy wearing women’s clothes and high-heeled
boots and shoes. The terms “cross dressing” and
“transvestite” were not known at the time and the general attitude
seems to have been one of mild surprise without any sort of condemnation.
These ideas of dress were not apparently confined to this
country; other letters tell of young male “ballerinas” in France and
America who were greatly admired (by women especially) and, in fact, were not
only made much of but treated as darlings of society.
The 17 photographs of graceful young ladies date from the
mid-1860s and amongst them may be found the famous Ernest Boulton and Frederick
Park. Their arrest and eventual acquittal were a “cause celebrity”
for Victorian England.
They were involved in amateur theatricals, sometimes
arranged for charitable purposes, which were extremely popular with the young
men in society, who organized the productions solely; it would appear, for the
pleasure of playing the ladies’ parts.