by Heather Hiestand
The sweetest gift is the hardest to unwrap. . .
Lady Victoria Allen-Hill never dreamed she’d be a widow at twenty-one--let alone a virgin. Her father insists that she attend a matchmaking house party in the snow-covered seaside town of Pevensey in hopes she’ll find a suitable husband. But for Victoria, it’s an opportunity to indulge in a passionate affair--and the handsome inventor she meets at the Christmas Eve masquerade ball may be just the man for the job. . .
Lewis Noble is the cousin of London’s famed Redcake sisters, so it almost stands to reason that he’s just as irresistible as one of their sugar-iced pastries. Lewis catches the eye of every woman at the party--but Victoria is the only one who catches his. He won’t be tied down in her father’s business, but watching other men court her amid a flurry of engagements ignites a jealousy he’s never felt before. A dose of honesty may be just the thing to mend their broken hearts--for many holidays to come. . .
"Before I realized it, the unusually strong and well-developed characters of The Kidnapped Bride had sneaked up on me and captured my full attention. This is one of the best shorter books I have ever read." --Delle Jacobs, author of Lady Wicked
"A delightful, sexy glimpse into Victorian life and loving with two wonderfully non-traditional lovers." --Jessa Slade, author of Dark Prince's Desire on His Wicked Smile
Up ahead, she could see a shadowy patch on the snow: a large bush perhaps, or a fallen tree. But then, as the carriage rattled closer, she saw some kind of strange, wheeled machine.
Two figures bent over it. One stood, then, blowing on his ungloved hands. She could see wide palms, long fingers. The cap he wore gusted off his head as wind rushed through a stand of alders, revealing a thick shock of blond hair, the same shade as Rose Redcake’s. He wore heavy clothes but gave the impression of solid strength and broad shoulders. The other figure was reed thin and tall, dressed similarly. A youth.
As the carriage drew alongside, the man turned and waved his arms over his head.
Did he need a rescue? Where had the horses gone? Only then did she notice the smoke curling up from the carriage: slow, sickly gray, and heavy. Maybe it was one of the new horseless carriages she’d read about in a magazine.
She tapped the roof of the carriage to make it stop, but it was slowing already. Penelope got to her knees on the cushion as Victoria opened a window and peered out.
The man didn’t come to talk to her, though she could hear voices. He was speaking to the Redcakes’ driver. She heard a chuckle, a responding male growl. Did they know one another?
A moment later, the carriage door opened and the man appeared, still hatless. “Hullo,” he said with a friendly grin.
The way his lips curled at the edges, the dimples that were exposed by his smile, stunned Victoria into speechlessness. When she had hoped to make this house party a sensual idyll, she hadn’t considered intimate relations with a servant, but perhaps she should have. Good heavens, did they make all the carriage drivers this pretty in Sussex? She’d been living in the wrong part of England.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois, but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period, and she continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the nineteenth century. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room.
For more information, visit Heather’s website at www.heatherhiestand.com. Heather loves to hear from readers! Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heather-HiestandAnh-Leod/24271017921?ref=br_tf
Christmas Delights buy links:
Heather will be awarding a $25 AMAZON or BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway