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The Earl of Fennington has a secret identity—that of Mr. Pepperidge, editor of London’s premiere gossip rag, The Tattler. While attending a garden party as Fennington, he meets and falls in love with an earl’s daughter. The attraction is mutual, for despite knowing better, Lady Emelia allows him to kiss her behind a hedgerow. Who will know but them?
When the earl asks permission to marry Emelia, her father denies him, requiring him instead to court Emelia for eight weeks. He’s only allowed to see her once each week, however. Desperate to spend more time with her, Fennington devises a scheme in which he’ll be able to do just that, but in disguise. Emelia will have to meet Mr. Pepperidge in the park once a week to provide him the on-dit she hears whilst paying calls in Mayfair parlors. That, or he’ll print the news of her kiss with Fennington in The Tattler!
Meanwhile, Jane Vandermeer, Dowager Countess of Stoneleigh, is considering a move to the Continent—a year of mourning after a loveless marriage has left her wanting something more. When her long lost love, Andrew Burroughs, appears at Lord Weatherstone’s ball and informs her he’ll be spending the evening—and hopefully the rest of his life—with her in London, the future is suddenly looking bright. That is, until The Tattler prints a report of Andrew kissing Lady Jane in the gardens during the ball.
A different Jane.
Hurt and angered, Jane goes about trying to discover the truth while Andrew is seeing to the restoration of the childhood home he hopes to share with Jane.
With mistaken identities ruling the reports in The Tattler and a new Gossip Goddess sharing news of obscure aristocrats, is it any wonder the members of the ton love to hate gossip? Or do they really love The Gossip of an Earl? The Tattler knows!