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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Historical Christmas Event with Christy Carlyle

Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there's nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.

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Happy Holidays! I’m so excited to be part of Ramblings From This Chick’s Historical Christmas Event for another year. This time, I’m offering a story featuring secondary characters from How to Woo a Wallflower. Helen Fisk is a teacher at Fisk Academy for Girls and she’s recently realized that she’s smitten with her friend of many years, the young handsome Dr. Nathan Landau. When they’re both invited to the same Christmas Eve party, Helen fears her feelings might ruin their friendship.

Glittering snowflakes settled softly against Helen Fisk’s face as she stood in the back garden of her friend’s home. Cupping her gloved hands, she blew a bit of heat into them and then strode back and forth to work warmth into her legs.

“You can do this,” she said, desperately trying to convince herself. “You must do this.”

Through a back window, she could see the warm glow of candlelight and a stoked fire that should have been sufficient to lure her. Inside she’d find mulled wine and preparations for a Christmas Eve party that she should have been happy to attend. Instead, she found the frigid weather preferable to behaving like a smitten fool in front of the man who’d been her friend since childhood.

She couldn’t hide her wayward feelings for Nathan Landau anymore. Tonight, the moment he saw her, he’d know. And she’d be mortified.

“You’ll freeze out here.” Hostess of the evening’s festivities and Helen’s dearest friend, Clary Ruthven, stepped out into the garden, her boots crunching on the icy grass.

“I just needed a breath of fresh air.”

“Of course,” Clary said as if the twenty minutes Helen had spent turning her nose and fingers numb made perfect sense. “But I could use help inside. Last minute preparations.”

“Why didn’t you say so? I’d love to assist you.” Work and being busy would be a welcome distraction.
“Wonderful.” Clary hooked an arm through Helen’s and tugged her back into the house. “Only a handful of final tasks before the party is set to begin.”

Clary headed toward the end of the hall and returned with a roll of red satin ribbon. “We have some holly boughs in the library. What do you think of tying a bow around a few and placing them on the mantels?”

“Perfect.” Helen took the box and started toward the library. Voices drifted out from the drawing room down the hall, and she called back to Clary. “Have some guests arrived early?”

“A few.” Clary smiled as she collected a handful of candlesticks from a nearby table. “Which is why we need to finish with decorations soon.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll get it all done.” Helen approached the library but stopped short when she reached the threshold.

Warmth rushed across her cheeks, and her heartbeat began such a wild gallop she could hear blood pounding in her ears.

Nathan stood in the room, gaslight playing over the chocolate waves of his hair while he sorted boughs of holly on a table. He’d worn one of his usual black suits, but his waistcoat was a robin’s egg blue, almost the same shade as his eyes. When he noticed her in the doorway, his gaze widened.

“Good evening.” She was glad she could at least get the two words out, especially since her breath seemed determined to tangle in her throat.

“Mrs. Ruthven asked me to help with the decorations,” he said. “You look…” His gaze swept her from the hem of her emerald green gown to the fringe of light brown hair across her forehead. “Lovely,” he finally said.

“I brought ribbon,” Helen told him, holding up the spool of crimson satin.

She told herself that lovely was meant as a kindness, and she was a fool for hoping the glint in his eyes meant anything more. They were good friends. Why ruin that?

“We should get to work.” He shot her one of his lopsided grins.

It was an expression she’d seen a thousand times, but it set off a ridiculous flutter in her belly.
They worked in silence for a quarter of an hour, Nathan trimming boughs and helping her tie perfect ribbons around bunches of holly. They’d known each other so long that quiet moments were comfortable. Often no words were needed.

But Helen noticed everything tonight. His clean scent, every moment when his sleeve brushed hers, the way his breath quickened when their fingers touched as they reached for the scissors or a stretch of ribbon.



They spoke each other’s names in unison and then burst into nervous laughter. Seeing him smile had always been contagious, and Helen found she couldn’t stop grinning. At least until he turned serious, his brow furrowing and his dimples fading.

Had she given something away?

“Helen, we’ve been friends for a long while—”

“And we can go on being friends.”

“Of course,” he agreed after a moment. But when they resumed their work, a fresh tension filled the air.

“I think that’s all of them.” Helen wasn’t sure how to end the awkwardness between them. Her throat burned with all she wished to say.

“There’s one piece of holly left.” He lifted a single bough between them as he turned to her.

“I’m afraid we’re out of ribbon.”

“Would it shock you if I said I wish this holly was mistletoe?” Nathan was watching her intently, and she recognized the telltale flicker underneath his eye. He was nervous.

The meaning of his question dawned on her slowly, the realization making her pulse hum. But she was afraid to assume too much. Afraid she misunderstood.

“Do you not know?” he asked quietly. “Or is it that you do not wish to me to say more?”

“Say more.”

He chuckled and stepped closer, until he was near enough for her to feel the whisper of his breath against her face.

“I wish for us to be friends,” he said quietly. “Always. But I want more. Might I hope for more?”

Helen let out the breath she’d been holding, and something inside her came undone too. All the worry and fretting faded. All the uncertainty of whether her feeling would be returned fell away.

“Yes.” The word was just a single sibilant breath, but she felt it well up straight from her heart. The joy of it was almost too much.

He smiled, a blinding beautiful smile. “That single word feels like a gift, perhaps the best I’ve ever received.”

Helen reached for the stem of holly in his hands, laying her fingers over his. “I wish it were mistletoe too. If we both pretend, who’s to tell us it isn’t?”

Together they lifted the glossy holly leaves over their heads. Nathan bent closer, and Helen gazed up at eyes she’d looked into countless times, but never like this. Never when his gaze was filled with a warmth that answered all the questions she’d been wrestling with for weeks.

He kissed her tenderly, almost tentatively, and Helen curled a hand around his lapel to keep him close. To draw out the sweetness of having his lips on hers for as long as she could. He kissed her again, then pressed his forehead to hers.

“Thank you,” she whispered. “Now you’ve given me the best Christmas gift.”

In the first novel in Christy Carlyle’s sizzling Duke’s Den series, three men, intent on making a fortune, discover irresistible opportunities . . .

Nicholas Lyon gambled his way into a fortune and ownership of the most opulent, notorious gentlemen’s club in England. But when Nick’s cruel brother dies, he inherits a title he never wanted. The sooner Nick is rid of the estate that has always haunted him, the sooner he can return to the life he’s built in London. But there’s one obstacle—the exquisite Thomasina Thorne.

When the new heir to the Tremayne dukedom suddenly appears in Mina Thorne’s life, she’s flustered. Not only is he breathtakingly handsome, but he’s also determined to take away her home and position as steward of the Enderley estate. If Mina learns what makes the enigmatic duke tick, perhaps she can change his mind—as long as she doesn’t get too close to him.

With each day Nick spends with Mina, his resolve weakens as their colliding wills lead to explosive desire. Could she be the one woman who can help him finally bury the ghosts of his past?

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 $10 Amazon Gift Card + a signed copy of How to Woo a Wallflower

To Enter: 
  • Please leave a comment or question for the author.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter for entry.

**Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!

Good Luck! 

Special thanks to Christy Carlyle for sponsoring this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love the title, How to Woo a Wallflower. The cover for A Duke Changes Everything looks great. I love a good historical romance. This event is a lot of fun!

  2. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next installments on the series. How many books of this series you have planned for?

  3. I really enjoyed excerpt and am looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

  4. Enjoyed the excerpt. Have a Merry Christmas!!!

  5. What a beautiful excerpt! I'm glad they got their happy ending!

  6. Thank you for the chance to win your book.
    Wishing you and yours a very happy and blessed holiday season.

  7. Sounds good looking forward to reading this

  8. Oh So romantic! I love that excerpt. When you write historical romance do you have to do a lot of research?

  9. Can’t wait to read! I love headstrong alpha males and determined heroines.

  10. Historical romance is my favorite sub-genre. This looks like a good one. Thanks for visiting the blog today.

  11. Loved the first one, can't wait to read the next installment!

  12. Love the excerpt...I want more!����❤️

  13. That poor wallflower on the cover! So plain, so unappealing! It's sad, really!

  14. Hi Christy!
    Love the exerpt and would love to read anything you have written as you are a new author for me!
    Thank you for the chance for your book and the gift card.
    Merry Christmas!

  15. Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Hi Christy! Love your stories and this cover and excerpt is great! Happy Holidays!

  17. The book sounds interesting, thanks.

  18. Enjoyed the scene! Looking forward to reading the book.

  19. Very sweet story. Merry Christmas!

  20. I love that cover. Thanks for the chance to win!

  21. I can't wait to read it! thank you for the chance!

  22. Wonderful teaser!! Thank you so much for sharing it!!

  23. A Duke Changes Everything sounds amazing!

  24. I'm reading A Duke Changes Everything now. Love their chemistry!

  25. I so love historical romances that take place at Christmas time!! Thank you so much for the chance, Christy. Withing you and yours a very Merry Christmas. xo

  26. Awww I love the excerpt!😍 friends to lovers are so sweet!💗