Before I went on holiday, I turned in book #2 of The Worthingtons. As you know, I’m an not good with titles, although I did like Unscrambling the Marquis. My editor did not agree and suggested When a Marquis Choses a Bride. Which I have to admit is a better title than mine. Then again, he’s been thinking up titles a lot longer than I have. A few days later he sent me the line edits. Included in the package were several of these! Most of them are going to go to my assistant, because she is more easily able to send them out to people, but I’m going to give away one of them today. Leave a comment if you’d like it. And, naturally, since I have cover flats, I’ll also be receiving ARCs sometime before the book releases.
Here is a larger copy of the front cover.
In the first book of her dazzling new series, bestselling author Ella Quinn introduces the soon-to-be Earl and Countess of Worthington—lovers who have more in common than they yet know. The future promises to be far from boring…
Lady Grace Carpenter is ready to seize the day—or rather, the night—with the most compelling man she’s ever known. Marriage would mean losing guardianship of her beloved siblings, and surely no sane gentleman will take on seven children not his own. But if she can have one anonymous tryst with Mattheus, Earl of Worthington, Grace will be content to live out the rest of her life as a spinster.
Matt had almost given up hope of finding a wife who could engage his mind as well as his body. And now this sensual, intelligent woman is offering herself to him. What could be more perfect? Except that after one wanton night, the mysterious Grace refuses to have anything to do with him. Amid the distractions of the Season he must convince her, one delicious encounter at a time, that no obstacle—or family—is too much for a man who’s discovered his heart’s desire…
And an excerpt.
Dawn had still not broken when Matt awoke. Soon he would be an engaged man. He finally understood the looks of love and possession he’d seen in his friends’ faces when they glanced at their wives. That was exactly what he wanted with his lady. Later, after the sun had made an appearance, he’d discover her name and how soon they could wed. Reaching for her, his hand found nothing but a cold, empty sheet. He listened for any sign of her in the chamber, but there was nothing. Hmm, she must have gone to her room, but why? There was no one in the inn but them. Perhaps she was concerned about servants. Although none of them seemed to appear until called.
Rising, he donned his dressing gown, walked down the corridor, then opened the door to her chamber. Empty. Nothing to even indicate she’d been there.
The clock on the mantel showed five o’clock. He went back to his room and tugged the bell-pull. In a few minutes, the boots brought hot water for him to shave.
Matt waited until the water was poured into the basin. “The lady who was here last evening, is she downstairs?”
“I donno, my lord. Ain’t seen no lady,” the lad mumbled and left.
Matt finished dressing and descended the stairs. His groom, Mac, was in the common room eating. “Where are the others?”
Mac finished chewing and swallowed. “Gone, my lord. Their coach ain’t in the yard.”
Something wasn’t right. Why would she have left and not told him? “Be ready to leave in half an hour.”
He looked around for the landlord and, not finding him, entered the parlor. Covered dishes set on the table, with one place setting. He wished he was sharing the meal with her and conversing as they had the night before. Hell. He wanted to be in a warm bed with her next to him.
Mr. Brown knocked on the door before entering. “My lord, you was wishful of seeing me?”
Finally, Matt would get some answers. “Yes, I want to know the lady’s name.”
The innkeeper opened his eyes wide. “What lady, my lord?”
Matt bit the inside of his lip and tried to keep from losing his temper. “The lady that was here last night. The one I shared dinner with.”
The landlord started backing out of the parlor, shaking his head. “Weren’t no lady here, my lord.”
Matt choked back an angry response. Losing his temper would do him no good so he tried to reason with the innkeeper. “I can understand she would not want it known she was here alone and without her maid. But you may tell me who she is. I plan to marry her, and I need to know her direction.”
“I’d like to help you, my lord, but I can’t.” The man closed the door.
Matt stood so quickly his chair crashed to the floor, but by the time he got to the hall, the innkeeper had prudently taken himself off.
The young woman glanced at Matt wide-eyed. “Yes, sir?”
“Where is Brown?”
“Me Da had to go to the farm.”
“When will he return?”
She furrowed her brow. “No tell’n how long he’ll take.”
“Do you know the lady who was here?”
“I just got her, meself. I only work during the day and weren’t here at all yesterday.”
Matt stalked off. “Damn the man.”
He strode outside to find his curricle ready and Mac standing next to it. “Did any of the lady’s servants mention where they live?”
“No, my lord. One of the younger men said somat about a hall, but the others shut him up right quick.”
Matt clenched his fists. “Hall! Hall does me no good at all. Half the bloody houses in England are called the Hall. How the devil am I to find her?”
Mac closed one eye and stared at Matt. “You sure she weren’t married?”
He glared at his groom. “Yes, quite sure.”
Three Weeks to Wed releases on April 5th and is now on pre-order.
Stay tuned for several contests I have planned leading up to the release. Now a shameless plug for my newsletter. I’ve become much better at giving my newsletter readers the first shot at all the upcoming news, and I’ll be running some newsletter only contests.
On to boat news. When last I left you, we were heading to Mystic, CT for some sightseeing and to ride out a squall. All went well, and we were able to tour Old Mystic which is an open museum.
Having renovated an old house in England, one of my pet peeves is door hardware. This is what one would typically find an a house before the late 1840’s. In fact, a turning door knob was invented in 1847 in the USA.
From there we went to New London and Groton, where I indulged in a food memory and had a grinder. For those of you who have never lived in the CT region, it is sort of like a hoagie, but the bread is very important. It must be freshly made and not soft.
After that, we sailed over to Block Island, RI, where I ate fried clams and steamers. Another childhood memory. We also met up with friends we’d met elsewhere during our travels and formed a nice little boat neighborhood.
How has your summer been going? Do you have food memories from your childhood?