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
A scratch came at the door. Lewis swallowed his sandwich in one gulp and went to answer, but before he could turn the handle, he saw it start to move on its own. He stepped to the side as it opened into the shadows, and saw a ghostly figure in a billowing black wrapper and long dark curls step through.
The door shut gently, and the woman pressed herself against the back of it, as if frightened.
Lewis suddenly remembered he was at a house party, and hijinks were de rigueur. All he need do was lock his door to thwart the ladies, but then, he’d thought, who would come to him at this hour? Most of the women in the house were virgins.
Dear God. Surely no one was going to try to trap him into marriage with a nighttime tryst. He went to the mantelpiece and picked up a candlestick, then marched back to the door to see who she was, since she hadn’t spoken.
The candle first revealed a substantial bosom, behind a froth of delicate lace between the open lapels of her wrapper. The tantalizing view reminded him of the lusty grocer’s widow he’d sported with when he’d first moved to Battersea. But then he lifted his candle higher and saw a heart-shaped face. The frank humor he’d seen in it in the carriage earlier that day had not vanished. She lifted her brow and tilted her lips humorously yet provocatively.
“Lady Allen-Hill,” he said in a low voice, as if to speak in a normal tone might make her vanish back into through the doorway, a ghost only imagined.
She put her hands to her belt tie, which only served to throw his attention to the substantial curve of her hips. My, but she had a true hourglass figure, even uncorseted. He shifted as his lower body came to attention. His throat went dry and his hand shook just once, involuntarily. A drop of wax spattered onto his wrist.
About the Author
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.
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