In which we serialize Society Patroness Rachel Hyland’s first book in her Reading Heyer series, Reading Heyer: The Black Moth. Called “delicious” by Heyer expert Jennifer Kloester, it is a reading guide, critique and loving homage all in one. But mostly, it’s just a lot of fun. We hope you enjoy. Check back every Sunday for another installment, or buy the book here.
Tracy receives a letter. It is from his sister Lavinia, and filled with news from home (Tracy is abroad, you see). Jack and Diana are married, and while Lavinia’s vanity is threatened by the new bride’s loveliness, she seems resigned to the competition her new sister-in-law poses for the admiration of London’s gentlemen. She and Dick are, embarrassingly, very much in love, as are Jack and Diana—she hopes to “sett Fashion”—and also people hardly even care that it was Dick who cheated at cards all those years ago, and not Jack at all. So much angst over it, and for nothing! Isn’t that always the way?
Tracy passes the letter to his friend, Frank Fortescue (remember Frank Fortescue? We love Frank Fortescue!), and puts on a brave face, saying that when he returns to London he hopes to greet the Countess of Wyncham with every sign of indifference. Frank is concerned: Tracy’s not planning on, like, abducting her again, is he? But no, Tracy would never do such a thing! He loves her too well, you see. (Unlike the other two times he kidnapped her.)
Frank is positively Molly-like in his told you so-ing, reminding Tracy of how: “I once told you, when love came you would count yourself as nought, and her happiness as everything.” Which is a lovely sentiment, but it is Tracy, of course, who gets the last word, passing off this deep piece of wisdom with a quip and leaving us with a smile on our faces as our story comes to a close, despite all of his wrongdoing in the preceding chapters.
“How very pleasant it must be, Frank, to have one’s prophecies so happily verified!” he purred. “Allow me to felicitate you!”
Damn it, Tracy. Damn it all.
The final chapter of Reading Heyer: The Black Moth will be posted here at Heyer Society next Sunday. Or buy it here.