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
An exclusive excerpt from Christmas Delights
“A cousin. He resides in Bath. I’ve never met him.”
“Such a pity,” the countess murmured. “I have done my best to deliver a selection of gentlemen to the holiday proceedings, my dear. My son is too involved in his projects to travel to London, and my daughters have not had much opportunity to be in society.”
Victoria brightened. If Lewis Noble was a sample of the men to be present, she ought to have a wonderful time. “Will your son be attending the house party?”
The countess sighed. “I expect he’ll be holed up in the stables with Mr. Noble. Now, there is a waste of a handsome gentleman.”
“A waste?” Victoria’s wrist wobbled as she lifted her teacup to her mouth.
“They say he is ever pining for some lost love. He never even looks at a woman. One of my daughters would be perfect for him. He could spend even more time with my son if he lived here with us.” The countess put a hand to her mouth to cover her emotional outburst.
“He looked at my cousin,” Penelope said, speaking for the first time.
Victoria slid her body into an angle on the seat to look at her cousin. The countess dropped her hand in shock.
“He did,” Penelope insisted. “You’d think she was displaying her bosom, the way his gaze fixed on her.”
“Penelope!” Victoria gasped.
“It’s true.” Penelope’s eyes were wide with childish innocence. “He did look at you, the entire drive here, at least when you weren’t looking at him.”
The countess pressed her lips together. “If you can capture Mr. Noble’s attentions, I assure you that you will be the envy of every young woman at the party. He’s considered quite untouchable.”
Despite my possession of an English Literature degree – which typically suggests an infatuation with Jane Austen – I’ve never been the type to swoon over ladies and gents of a bygone era. It’s something about their fussy clothing and even fussier manners, I think, that turns me off. After all, how can one truly get excited when there are approximately 19,000 layers of clothing that need to be removed by a maid before passionate embraces can commence?!
Thankfully, Victorian-era clothing proves no obstacle for the lovers in Heather Hiestand’s Christmas Delights. Indeed, our heroine Victoria even alludes to the issue before meeting up with Lewis Noble during a late-night tryst, which I found humorous. And it’s exactly this sort of playfulness with period-piece issues that drew me into Hiestand’s well-drawn imaginary world.
Plus, who wouldn’t want to seduce a sexy inventor away from his rude mechanicals for a little old-fashioned steam heat?
Although Victoria is truly a proper lady – complete with the title to prove it, thanks to her deceased husband – she’s also a modern gal at heart. Seeking out a little romance to liven things up before the new year brings another drab marriage, arranged by her all-too-practical father, she’s got her sights set on the one man none of the locals can tame. (Ain’t that always the way?) With her curves in all the right places, Lewis is sure to fall for this holiday hottie… but are they destined to be more than a 12th Night stand?
Whether you’re a Victorian romance newcomer or already an avid fan, Christmas Delights is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.
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 heatherhiestand.com. Heather loves to hear from readers! Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Heather will be awarding a $25 Amazon or BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Don’t forget to follow the rest of the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! All tour dates can be found here.