Following up on the success of last year’s Christmas anthology, Winter Wishes, we’ve put together another collection of holiday stories:
There’s no Christmas like a Regency Christmas spent under mistletoe! New York Times Bestselling author Cheryl Bolen and friends invite you to discover true love in an all-new collection of steamy romances this holiday collection.
Countess by Christmas by Cheryl Bolen
Silver Bells by Heather Boyd
Convincing the Countess by Alina K. Field
Rescued By A Rake by Wendy Vella
Unwise but not Dishonorable by Barbara Monajem
Meet Me at the Mistletoe by Donna Cummings
While You Were Roguish by Samantha Grace
Wedded to the Welsh Baron by Sasha Cottman
Once Upon a Kiss Gone Horribly Wrong by Bree Wolf
A Rogue and Some Mistletoe by Lana Williams
The Duke’s Christmas List by Bronwen Evans
My novella, Convincing the Countess, picks up from last year’s The Duke She Despised to tell the story of the duke’s friend, a seemingly stuffy business-minded fellow obsessed with building a railroad—until a widowed countess crosses his path. She’s the perfect match for this arrogant aristocrat!
I adored The Duke She Despised and I'm soooo excited to read about Mr. Lovelace. I loved him, as well, and I'm so glad you wrote him a story!
In this excerpt the hero questions the heroine about her plans to chaperone a young heiress all the while plotting a kiss—since she’s seated under a sprig of mistletoe!
“I intend for her to have every opportunity to meet worthy young men.”
“And young?” He scoffed. “I’m not sure you’ll find those two qualities combined in the gentlemen of the ton.” He smiled. “Present company excluded.”
Color rose in her cheeks and her lips moved up in an answering smile that didn’t reach her lovely eyes. “Perhaps. In any case, I’ve a good eye for fortune hunters of any age.”
“Her dowry will certainly draw interest.” He recalled his brother’s belief that Mother was matchmaking, and this lady’s sharp gaze at dinner when his arm brushed Miss Cartwright’s. “Do you think I’m a danger to her?” He drawled the question like one of the rakes who frequented White’s.
“I don’t know you well enough to say. However, you are engaged in a business endeavor, and business endeavors always require capital. You are undoubtedly looking for more funds to invest.”
“Or, the project may be fully vested.”
The gray gaze pinned him, intelligent and challenging, stirring him. This lady was not just a beautiful widow. She might be a sharp businesswoman, if she was ever allowed to engage in trade.
“So, you and your partners foresee no problems? No cost overruns? No unexpected expenses?”
There were always unforeseen matters arising. The solving of them was part of the fun. Crossing swords with this lady was fun as well.
One slim finger tapped the arm of her chair. “Building a railway is not like commissioning a shipload of goods, where a gentleman, on the expectation of great profits, might sink a fixed amount, perhaps all of his wealth and then some, and learn it has been lost to the Barbary pirates with every hand, every bottle, and every crate.” The tapping accelerated. The steady gaze darkened. “In such a case, one loses in one fell swoop. For example, as one might have, if one invested in the Matilda Rose.”
The Matilda Rose? Why bring that up? The ship had been lost years ago. Plenty of fellows had lost money, but not him. On his father’s advice, he’d withdrawn from the risky investment, and so had his brother Fitz.
He shoved down a nagging unease, gave into annoyance, and forced a laugh. “My dear Lady Glanford. It’s rare to meet a woman so well versed in business.” He leaned forward in his chair and lowered his voice. “Perhaps I’ll be a danger to you. Do you know, you are seated under the mistletoe?”
Her finger stilled. She stood and extended her hand.
No rings, no bracelets, no other adornments. He bent over white fingers and brought them firmly against his lips.
Her shiver shook him down to the soles of his boots.
“There.” Under the steady gray gaze, the pulse in her neck ticked. “I shall be more careful in the future, Mr. Lovelace.”
A penniless widowed countess with trade in her blood descends upon the country manor of her sons’ negligent guardian, intent on confronting him about her boys’ futures. Instead, she finds his younger brother, a business-minded aristocrat with a penchant for widows and a distaste for emotional entanglements. A man who once witnessed her greatest humiliation. A man offering enticing distractions that threaten to derail all her plans.
Called home at Christmas to bring his older brother to heel and sort out the family finances, a baron’s younger brother wishes nothing more than to finish the task and return to his railway project. But when he finds his mother entertaining a fetching widow he met many years earlier as the unfortunate bride of a ne’er-do-well earl, temptation steers him along a different track, one that may derail all his plans.
Can he convince the reluctant countess to set a course for her future that includes him?
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Award-winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring.
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