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Monday, December 3, 2018

A Historical Christmas Event with Lorraine Heath


USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards including RWA's RITA®, two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards, and a Pioneer of Romance Award.


Happy Holidays! I’m thrilled to once again join in the festivities here at Ramblings From This Chick’s Historical Christmas Event. I was torn between giving you an opportunity to visit with old friends or to tempt you with someone new. I decided to go with temptation. You’ve met Finn and his lady before in WHEN A DUKE LOVES A WOMAN. Their past is a bit of a mystery so I’m giving you a small hint regarding the reason Finn never speaks her name. The theme of this scene revolves around Christmas being a time for dreaming. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into a Christmas past!


Finn’s Christmas Folly

London
1863

She’d never looked more beautiful.

That was Finn Trewlove’s first thought as he wandered into the magnificent ballroom with its glittering chandeliers and saw her standing across the way surrounded by ladies and gentlemen who seemed to admire her as much as he did.

He’d never before attended a ball on Christmas Eve. Usually he spent the evening and the day that followed with his mum and five siblings in a small residence that would easily fit inside this grand parlor with space leftover for a garden. They’d sip warm apple cider laced with nutmeg and gin, dine on goose and mincemeat pies, exchange modest gifts, play charades, and enjoy each other’s company. Mick, who considered himself the oldest because he was the first brought to Ettie Trewlove’s door, would boss them around as he was wont to do. Aiden would tease and regal them with stories of men gambling away what they could ill afford to lose and others who tossed huge amounts onto tables for the thrill of a win, although their pockets were so full that even a loss wasn’t cause for worry. Beast would observe, occasionally offering unsolicited advice, which upon their sobering they generally found to be incredibly profound. Their shoulders were often slapped by Gillie when they got too rambunctious or inappropriate in their musings, because in spite of being a year younger, she tended to try to keep them in line. Every word they spoke, everything they did, fascinated Fancy, who was still a child, having come late into their mum’s life. And Ettie Trewlove would smile at their tales, give out hugs, and remind them how glad she was to have them under her wing.

In spite of them all having been born on the wrong side of the blanket. The Trewlove bastards. They were not invited nor welcomed into the homes of the nobility.

And yet here he stood. Because of her. Because of Lady Lavinia Kent who had dared him to make an appearance.

Who had dared him to love her.

And love her he did, with all that was in him.

No one announced his arrival, but she must have felt him studying her because her green gaze shifted away from the young lady to whom she’d been speaking and fell on him. He felt it like the first brush of spring after a hard winter—welcoming and warm, filled with the promise of better days. Her smile was soft, convivial, and reflected the barest hint of satisfaction. His presence pleased her, and so his being here—in spite of being isolated and aware he didn’t belong—pleased him.

People dressed in glorious finery, the cost of which would have fed a family for a year, milled about, occasionally blocking his view of her, and it took everything within him not to shove them aside for denying him the pleasure of gazing upon her for so much as a few seconds. But each time she was again revealed, she was a bit nearer, having left the group behind in order to stroll toward him.

She wore an enticing gown of the most vibrant red, her blond hair gathered up and decorated with pearl combs studded with diamonds. He had a strong urge to tangle his fingers in what he knew to be long, silky strands and send the combs and pins flying about the room until the heavy mass tumbled about her shoulders and he could bury his hands in the abundant tresses.

When she reached him, he was grateful for the sparkle in her eyes. It was like seeing all the candles lit on the tree on Christmas day. Dazzling.

“You arrived just in time,” she said tenderly. “This is our waltz.”

He noticed the music then, the orchestra seated in the balcony creating lilting tones that reminded him of her voice when they whispered secrets in the dark. Taking her in his arms, he swept her over the polished parquetry, her laughter floating around them, filling his heart with such unbridled joy that he wanted the dance to never come to an end. He became lost in her until no one else swirled about the floor, no one else stood about in the room, no one else even existed.

She encompassed the whole of his world.

The fragrance of expensive flowers, reminiscent of those grown in hot houses, wafted around him. The scent suited her: unique, sultry, tantalizing.

Her gaze never strayed from his, never wavered.

“I feel as though I’ve waited my entire life for you.” Her voice was filled with a wonder that mirrored his own feelings, his astonishment that she was his.

His brother Aiden had warned him about the dangers of falling for the daughter of an earl, the disappointments that awaited him, had referred to her as Finn’s Folly. But Finn had believed differently, had trusted that she’d look beyond the circumstances of his birth and see him as worthy of her love. On this Christmas eve, he understood there was no greater gift she could give him than her heart.

And reflected in her green, green eyes, he saw the truth of it: her heart belonged to him.

Which was only fair as he’d given her his long ago.

Their movements became slower and slower until they weren’t moving at all, but merely stood in the middle of the gleaming polished floor. When he glanced down, he saw their reflection. It was perfection. Her in his embrace, gazing up at him so adoringly. All he’d ever wanted was her love. And now he possessed it.

Lowering his mouth to hers, he claimed what he’d been too long without, kissing her with all his pent-up fervor and frustration, welcoming her arms circling his neck as she pressed herself against him. Her sighs filled his ears, sweeter than any music a violin could produce.

“I love you, Finn,” she rasped. “I love you so very—”

The rattling of a key in a lock tore him from the beautiful images that only visited now in dreams. The grating groaning of the iron door as it was opened vanquished any lingering sense of happiness and caused harsh reality to come thundering down around him.

“Let’s go three-one-six-one-seven. Time fer yer daily stroll in the yard.”

Finn shoved himself off the hard, unforgiving cot and onto his feet. Five Christmases he would spend away from his family in this hell-hole of a prison. Because of her.

When he was free, he would seek her out, and God have mercy on her then.

Because Finn Trewlove would not show her any.

**

If you want to find out how Finn and Lavinia find their happily ever after in spite of overwhelming odds, read THE SCOUNDREL IN HER BED, coming from AvonBooks on February 26, 2019 in eBook, paperback, hardback, and audio. Meanwhile, I wish you a holiday filled with the warmth and cheer of dear friends, family, and books. –Lorraine




The bastard son of a nobleman, Finn Trewlove was a shameful secret raised by a stranger. As Finn came of age, he had secrets, too—the clandestine nights spent with an earl’s daughter. But her promise of forever ended in betrayal.

Driven by a past that haunts her, Lady Lavinia Kent seeks redemption in London’s underworld, engaged in a daring cause inspired by the young man to whom she gave her innocence, and who then proved himself a scoundrel by abandoning her.

When their paths cross again, they can’t deny the yearning and desire that still burns. As they discover the truth behind the deceptions that tore them apart, Finn and Lavinia must fight to reclaim what they’ve lost, no matter how dangerous—because love is worth the risk . . .

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo |


 


Up For Grabs:
  • 1  $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Special thanks to Lorraine Heath for sponsoring this giveaway.
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44 comments :

  1. This sounds wonderful. Can't wait to read it when it comes out!
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  2. Ooh, that was dream! It was so fun! I can't wait to see how this story goes!

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  3. I am so excited, can't wait to get the book and read it.

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  4. So looking forward to this next book! Love all your books!

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  5. Sounds like my kind of read. Love your books on My kindle.

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  6. That excerpt packs quite a punch!

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  7. I loved the line "dared him to love her." That sounds so terrific.

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  8. Love your books!! Merry Christmas!!

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  9. I'm so looking forward to this book. I love a good second chance romance :D

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  10. What a teaser to wait till Feb. Happy holidays.

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  11. Love your books and this sounds wonderful!!

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  12. I've never read a book you wrote that I did not love! I just bought When a Duke Loves a Woman, so I'll be ready when this comes out.

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  13. Omg 😱 i can't believe you wrote training manuals ! You go from writing that to awesome love💗📖!😍 how does that happen?😂😁

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  14. It was so great to meet you in October at Buns and Roses! I'm a HUGE fan of your books!!

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  15. What a beautiful scene and my heart aches for them already. Thank you for the excerpt and the giveaway. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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  16. Thank you all for the lovely comments and for reading the holiday scene. I've been replying but they didn't show up. Seems that it's an issue with my browser so I'm giving this a go with a different browser. And I do hope you'll all enjoy reading Finn's story.

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  17. Thank you for the wonderful excerpt, looking forward to reading this.

    Mary

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  18. Sounds really good. Love the cover! I can't imagine going from writing code to romance. That must have been quite the change.

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  19. Hi Lorraine - I met you at Kim's tea party last year! Looking forward to this new book! Love the excerpt! Merry Christmas!

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  20. Sounds fascinating, can't wait to read it. It's on my list!��

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  21. OMG, February is too far away after reading that little tidbit! Thank you, Lorraine, for all the wonderful stories you've given readers and for those to come! Happy Holidays!

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  22. I'm looking forward to Finn's story. I've enjoyed so many of your books!

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  23. I was lucky enough to score an ARC and I fell so in love with Finn and Lavinia's romance! It was so good!

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  24. I am looking forward to reading this!!! Thanks for the chance to win!!

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  25. After reading this sneak peek, it'll be as goods as the first two in the series!

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  26. Thank you so much for the chance to win this Giveaway!! I love Lorraine's books.

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  27. I have read many of your books and always enjoyed them! I look forward to The Scoundrel in Her Bed!

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  28. Thanks for the chance! Happy Holidays!

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  29. Excellent-sounding tales of scoundrels, scandals, and dukes!

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  30. I can't wait for this latest installment!

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