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
December 22, 1889
I’ll tell you a story while we wait for the carriage,” said Victoria, Lady Allen-Hill. “Once upon a time, long ago, in the south of England, a princess was left behind to guard the family castle while her father was at war in France.”
“Is this the castle where we’re spending Christmas?” Penelope Courtnay asked from her seat against the wall in Redcake’s tearoom. Cutouts of Father Christmas dangled on green ribbons above her head, dancing against the wall as waitresses called cakies walked around briskly, serving customers.
“Yes. Though it was in sorry shape in those days.” Victoria had to bend over the table to be heard through the din of patrons clattering teacups against saucers and talking excitedly about holiday plans.
“Continue,” said Penelope.
Victoria thought her nine-year-old cousin sounded very grown-up, but then, she had little experience with children. “Very well. This princess, Everilda by name, had spent the beginning of winter stuffing herself with all sorts of game, every bird that could be slaughtered, bread, and frumenty. She’d made herself so ill that when a strange old serving woman approached the dais of her father’s great hall on Christmas Day, with the first mince pie of the Twelve Days, she refused to eat any of it.
“Her retainers looked nervous. The chamberlain bent over her shoulder and whispered, ‘Princess Everilda, it is bad luck to refuse mince pie.’
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.
Heather will be awarding a $25 AMAZON or BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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