The School for Heiresses
And How it All Began…
After heiress Charlotte elopes with a dashing soldier named Jimmy Harris, who runs through her entire inheritance before having the good sense to get himself killed in a duel, she vows to keep other young women from making her mistake. So, with the help of a mysterious and anonymous benefactor whom she knows only as Cousin Michael, she establishes Mrs. Harris’s School for Young Ladies that caters to… you guessed it… heiresses! Not blatantly, of course. That would be gauche. But her private Lessons for Heiresses are quite informative, and before long wealthy parents are scrambling to have their daughters admitted to what the gossips deem “Mrs. Harris’s School for Heiresses.” The only trouble is, they probably wouldn’t approve of everything their daughters are learning!
Note: These books are a series in the sense that they are set in a shared world and some characters make appearances in later books. They can, however, easily be standalones. Feel free to jump in wherever you like.
In Ten Reasons to Stay, previously published in the anthology The School for Heiresses, lessons go far beyond etiquette and needlepoint for a young woman who discovers that you can’t learn about love from a textbook. Read more
Lady Amelia Plume has many admirers; too bad they’re all fortune hunters and fops who can’t provide the exotic adventures she seeks. The ballrooms of Mayfair have become more appealing, though, since the arrival of Major Lucas Winter—an American major…. Read more
Marry? Never! It would end Louisa North’s work with her ladies reform group—and truth be told, she likes her independence very much (despite her royal father’s protests). So when Simon Tremaine—the dashing Duke of Foxmoor, her former beloved and… Read more
“Ten Reasons to Stay” novella
Sabrina Jeffries joins forces with fellow romance authors Liz Carlyle, Julia London, and Renee Bernard in this holiday multi-author anthology set in Jeffries’ School for Heiresses series. Each author tackles what happens when Mrs. Charlotte Harris… Read more
Lady Venetia Campbell makes a visit to her childhood home of Scotland, only to be kidnapped at pistol-point by her father’s sworn enemy. Sir Lachlan Ross is widely feared in his guise as “The Scottish Scourge,” but Venetia can’t help but remember… Read more
When Madeline Prescott took a teaching position at Mrs. Harris’s School for Young Ladies, it was to help restore her father’s reputation. Instead, she’s in danger of ruining her own. The devilishly handsome Anthony Dalton, Viscount Norcourt, has agreed to provide… Read more
“When Sparks Fly” novella
A carriage mishap on the way home to Sheffield for the holidays leaves Ellie Bancroft, the wealthiest heiress in North England, and her party stranded at the remote manor of the notorious Black Baron… Read more
Valiantly ignoring his wicked flirtations, outspoken Lucinda Seton vows to derail his plans and save the school, unaware that Diego’s true mission is to spirit the long-lost heiress away to Spain for a handsome reward… Read more
At eighteen, Charlotte Page made a life-altering mistake. She wronged a man in an impulsive act that she came to deeply regret, though it led her to her present life as Mrs. Charlotte Harris, owner of Mrs. Harris’s School for Young Ladies… Read more
Interview on Let Sleeping Rogues Lie
From New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries comes the fourth book in her dazzling and sensual School for Heiresses series.
Advice from the Heiresses Themselves
How to Plague Your Scottish Kidnapper
by Lady Venetia Campbell
- Threaten to report him to the authorities. Do not become annoyed when he laughs.
- Bite him hard, but not when he has his pistol aimed at you.
- Sing ballads about the downfall of criminals at the top of your lungs.
- Run away, if possible. Avoid tangling with Highland wildcats while doing so.
- Kick him hard in the shins, but be prepared for a tussle in the bracken afterward.
- Flirt with his accomplice.
- Tell his friends you’re his wife. Be careful not to let that land you in even more trouble.
From Mrs. Harris
- Some men are like fresh croissants–delicious to look at, but filled with hot air.
- Elopements may be quick, but bad marriages last forever.
- A kiss does not obligate anyone to anything.
- Swooning is for old ladies and fools.
- Many a scandal lies behind a smooth smile.
- Never take a man at face value.
- Your duty to your family is to marry well; your duty to yourself is to marry happily.
- Take care what man you let across your moat.
- Too much honey can draw flies.
- Any man afraid to marry in England is not the man for you.
Advice from a Rakehell to the Heiresses
Courtesy of the Viscount Norcourt
All around you, ladies, lurk beasts masquerading as gentlemen, eager to steal either your virtue or your fortune or both. You can recognize them by these markers:
- A deplorable tendency to flatter with finesse.
- Excellent skills in the sensual arts.
- A love of nitrous oxide parties as a venue for seduction.
- Vehicles of the riskier sort, like phaetons or racing curricles.
- An oft-disguised penchant for strong spirits.
- Friends who are also rakehells.
- An ability to use anything, even scientific curiosity, to tempt you into wickedness.
Yes, I invented the harem tales book that the girls are always hiding or sneaking around to read. But it was based on a real book of the late Regency period called The Lustful Turk, which described in detail the deflowering of a woman in a harem and her subsequent sexual adventures. What can I say? When I was young, the whole woman in a harem thing fascinated me, so I am positive I would have been clamoring to read it along with all the others.
The school is located in Richmond, just outside of London (now part of London). Why? Because my brother lives in Richmond, Virginia. I couldn’t resist making that little connection.
I got the idea for Cousin Michael from, believe it or not, the TV show “Charlie’s Angels.” I always loved the anonymous Charlie, so I just had to do my version of him. Besides, one of the angels was named Sabrina, so how could I resist?
1. Who among the heiresses did NOT get to read the harem tales book?
a. Lucy Seton
b. Venetia Campbell
c. Elinor Bancroft
d. Amelia Plume
2. Which two of the following books had heroines who never attended Mrs. Harris’s school?
a. Never Seduce a Scoundrel
b. Only a Duke Will Do
c. Beware a Scot’s Revenge
d. Let Sleeping Rogues Lie
e. Don’t Bargain with the Devil
3. What river is the school situated on in Richmond?
A Letter from Charlotte
Welcome to my School for Young Ladies! My name is Charlotte Harris, and I founded this institution to help impressionable girls make wise decisions about their marital prospects. As a widow who traveled a rather rocky road in that area myself, I would like them to learn from my mistakes. My late husband, Jimmy Harris, wasn’t a bad man, mind you—he just had a way of spending all my inheritance that was rather annoying. And when he left me destitute after fighting some silly duel, I was forced to fend for myself. I would not want to see my girls suffer the same misfortune.
That is why my curriculum now emphasizes lessons for avoiding fortune-hunters. And yes, I know the more vulgar in society call my academy “The School for Heiresses” as a result of my success in that area of education, but we do offer other courses for young women. My ladies can dance, play the pianoforte, and sing with the best of them (just ask Lady Venetia–she once softened up a kidnapper by singing him ballads).
Fortunately, I’m not alone in my endeavor. I have a wonderful benefactor who ferrets out gossip about potential husbands for my girls and who advises me in matters concerning the school. Since he wishes to keep his anonymity, he will only say that he’s a distant cousin of my late husband. He goes by the name Michael, but between you and me, I doubt that he’s Jimmy’s cousin. No one in Jimmy’s family ever showed an ounce of the wit “Cousin Michael” shows in his letters.
Truth be told, I’d very much like to know who Cousin Michael is, but he’s not saying, and in exchange for his help I agreed not to pursue it. That grows more difficult by the day, however. Especially since I think I have a bit of crush on him (shhh, don’t tell my pupils).
Nonetheless, thanks to him, several of my young ladies have navigated the treacherous waters of society successfully to find husbands who not only suit them—but love them. I hope you’ll enjoy their stories!
Owner and Headmistress
Mrs. Harris’s School for Young Ladies