Hye St. Press™

Merits and Mercenaries

Merits and Mercenaries/ The Bath Novels of Lady A~’s ‘Classic Companion I’

Treachery, seduction, deceit and every scandalous betrayal fathomable pit a formidable cast of mercenaries against a very worthy set of meritocrats in this rich Regency drama, set against a Hampshire-country and metropolitan-London backdrop.

Pivoting upon the tender, though precarious, attachment between the nobly restrained William Halford and the artless romantic Katherine Huntley, the couple’s passionate conflict grows greater still under the burden of a mysterious obligation, which sees William pledged to marry the redoubtable Maria Beckett.

Harboring secrets of her own, the arch-speculator Maria joins forces with another competitor for William’s hand and fortune, Elizabeth Devon, to annul Katherine’s bewitching influence over their common prize. Persuaded to join their artful scheme, Elizabeth’s well-favored, though thoroughly stupid brother, Charles Devon, falls for the shining Miss Beckett, but soon discovers that all that glitters is not gold. When both Devons find they have been duped by the scheming enchantress, and only after the object of thwarting Katherine in Hampshire is achieved, the drama—and comedy—moves fleetly to London. There, as in Hampshire, encouraged by the ongoing support and romance of a worthy brother and an estimable friend, Edward Halford and Edwina Westwood respectively, Katherine and William enter their second and most decisive phase of mutual self-discovery.

With the help of Katherine’s vigorous guardian Lady Myriam Rostings, and her son’s wife Eleanor Rostings, the beleaguered couple is to face their greatest challenge yet. Through the machinations of John Danbury, William Halford’s erstwhile troublesome country guest and Katherine’s persistently brazen suitor, the most ominous mercenary of the piece finally makes his awful debut—and much to Maria Beckett’s implausible horror. As Francis Pope looms largely in the merciless metropolitan picture, his manipulation of Danbury and Susan Osborne (a supreme quizzer notoriously linked to both rogues), sets a volatile and risky intrigue afoot. Together with the vengeful Devons—and the surprise counteraction of their diffident but highly observant sister, Margaret Devon—the malicious collaboration finally brings this captivating tale to its incredible and arresting climax.


The Bath Novels of Lady A~ 
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Scene depicting the Halford party’s journey to Steventon (Merits and Mercenaries, Volume 1, Chapter 8).


Merits and Mercenaries by Lady A~

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To sample but a measure of our fine wares, we invite you to read and peruse a smattering of our dashing first ‘Classic Companion’, Merits and Mercenaries. Feel at liberty to dispatch these small delights to your comfortable coterie of friends pray, and make Merits and Mercenaries your—and their—fondest companion yet!

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Complimentary Wallpaper: The Dashing & the Dastardly

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Gallery of Fame and Infamy: Meet Merits and Mercenaries’ ‘Protagonists and Antagonists’