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The Jewelled Snuff Box by Alice Chetwynd Ley
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The Jewelled Snuff Box (1959)

by Alice Chetwynd Ley

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471383,284 (2.75)1
Eighteenth-century England. Jane Spencer is amongst a group of travellers who are forced to delay their journey due to a snowstorm. Their stage coach is unable to continue its journey through the storm and its passengers are forced to get out and walk to a nearby inn. Jane comes across a unconscious man, the victim of highwaymen, lying half dead in the snow. The man awakes not knowing who he is and is unable to recognize his only possession: a magnificent jewel-encrusted snuff box. Jane nurses him and helps him return to London. But, just as she starts to care for him, he disappears just as suddenly as he appeared in her life, leaving only his snuff box in her possession. On discovering a letter hidden in a secret compartment in the snuff box, she entrusts her lawyer to the care of it. Little does she know that this letter holds the key to a growing mystery. Jane takes up employment as a companion for an Earl's wife. Unaware of her acquaintance with his wife, Lady Celia, she is shocked to discover the lady is none other than the girl who caused endless trouble during their schooldays. As the days unfold in her new employment, Jane comes face to face again with the unknown man, who she comes to identify as being Sir Richard Carisbrooke. Her feelings for him continue to grow, yet she is forced to hide them as it appears Sir Richard is enamoured by Celia herself. As they mystery unfolds, Jane's employment as a companion becomes unbearable. She is placed in an awkward situation and is forced to make decisions - ones that may affect the rest of life.... 'The Jewelled Snuff Box' is an intriguing regency romance, perfect for fans of Georgette Heyer and Jane Aiken Hodge. 'A memorable, page-turning read.' - Robert Foster, best-selling author of 'The Lunar Code'. Alice Chetwynd Ley is the author of several historical and contemporary romances, including 'A Season at Brighton', 'The Toast of the Town', 'The Georgian Rake' and 'The Guinea Stamp'. Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.… (more)

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A Regency romance from an author I used to read many years ago. Although I remember seeing the title in the 70s/80s, I don't recall actually reading it. I started it on the train this morning, and finished it after supper this evening and found it an absorbing read (no, I didn't miss my stop!)

Orphaned Jane Spenser Tarrant is on her way to London to take up a new position as companion to Lady Bordesley as she has been unable to obtain a new position as a governess. On the way, the coach is caught in a blizzard in Kent, and on the way to a wayside inn for shelter, the passengers stumble across a gentleman unconscious in the ditch. It seems he was attacked and robbed, and the attack left him without his memory. Jane looks after him and takes him to London with her to see her lawyer. While she is transacting her business, the stranger recovers his memory of who he is but forgets the attack and the aftermath. He promptly heads for his home.

Jane then joins the Bordesley household and makes the unwelcome discovery that Lady Bordesley is an old schoolmate of hers who cordially disliked her. Lady B is also no better than she should be and is carrying on a clandestine liaison with another gentleman under the nose of her husband. The other gentleman had obtained a compromising letter of hers and was blackmailing her. The first gentleman had gone to Kent to pay him off and retrieve the letter...

The usual piece of froth but very enjoyable - I found myself resenting stopping reading. Recommended.
  Maddz | Mar 6, 2019 |
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Lady helps a man with amnesia, whose only clue to his identity is a jewelled snuff box.
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