I know you will all join me in welcoming the fabulous Grace Burrowes back to the blog!! (curtseys please ladies, any gentlemen may bow) She is also gracious enough to offer up one copy of the book! You know the rules, in order to win leave a comment saying you want the book.
Give Grace a big hand, and look at this gorgeous cover!!
Naturally, we have a blurb.
Lady Joan Flynn has been sorely taken advantage of by an aristocratic scoundrel, and is now cast into the company of Mr. Dante Hartwell’s family as they travel into the Highlands. Mr. Hartwell owns the very train cars, and yet has been unsuccessful at finding a wife among Edinburgh’s polite society…
And here is the excerpt!
Mr. Hartwell put his flask away and patted Joan’s hand. “Tell me his name. I’ll pass along my compliments.”
The hand covering Joan’s knuckles would close into a delightfully formidable fist.
“That won’t help anything,” Joan said, “and it might try the gentleman’s meager store of discretion. I was exceedingly stupid.”
“Exceedingly stupid. You have an English way of making that sound dire indeed. I suppose the bastard kissed you?”
Bastard was such a hard word. Joan’s free hand went to her belly, which had calmed a bit, while her other hand remained in Mr. Hartwell’s warm grasp.
“I do recollect kissing.” Then had come struggling. Joan had struggled, and now recalled this for the first time.
“Doesn’t sound like he got the kissing bit right. You poor wee thing.”
Joan was skinny. She would never be wee. “Poor wee exceedingly stupid thing.”
“A spouse will probably expect some kissing, you know.” He gave her fingers a squeeze.
Mr. Hartwell had been married, and he was a father twice over. He was not a fussy, proper fellow who’d blush beet red at matters pragmatic and biological. Joan pushed out a question before the tattered remains of her dignity could stuff themselves into her mouth and silence her.
“How soon might a lady experience digestive upset upon conceiving a child?”
He reached into his coat for his flask, his hand stilling short of its goal.
“Some presuming twit needs killing. You must have menfolk who can see to the matter.”
Mr. Hartwell did not sound as if he were teasing.
“As heartening as the notion of justice for my partner in folly might be, that would not solve my problem.” Joan tossed her dignity out a figurative window, and seized her courage with both hands. “Such measures would not solve a child’s predicament either.”
The train swayed along through the cold darkness for a few moments, while Joan marveled that she’d confided in a man more stranger than friend.
“I like you,” Mr. Hartwell said, his pronouncement the sort of gruff, unpolished sentiment Joan suspected hadn’t aided his cause in the ballrooms. “You are honest, and you don’t put on airs. Do you suppose you might stand to kiss me?”
Then he went and said things like that. Joan withdrew her hand.
“I am not wanton, Mr. Hartwell. If I’ve said anything to make you think my favors might be available in the general case, then you’re sadly, severely mistaken. I made an egregious, imbecilic error—one misstep—which I sorely regret and have no intention—”
He put his hand over her mouth, gently. “I meant no insult, ye ken?”
Joan managed a nod.
“If you can’t abide my company, then all you have to do is say so. Before I offer you marriage, we’d best establish first that we can tolerate a shared kiss, aye?”
Buy links: http://graceburrowes.com/books/needs.php
Grace Burrowes started writing as an antidote to empty nest, and soon found it an antidote to much that makes life a challenge. She has written nearly thirty historical titles, spanning Georgian, Regency, and Victorian periods. Her books have won RT Reviewer’s Choice awards; been named Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and iBookstore Best Books; and nominated for the RWA RITA Award. She’s a practicing family law attorney living in rural Maryland, and she loves to hear from her readers.