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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Historical Christmas Event with Valerie Bowman

Valerie Bowman's debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction. Find her on the web at

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Kiss Me at Christmas features a Bow Street Runner and the lady he's hired to guard during Christmastide. Sparks fly when he takes her to her uncle's country house to keep her safe. In this scene she's just given him a Christmas present and is about to get a kiss in return. (wink)

Daffin moved closer to her and she breathed in his spicy cologne. He smelled like the wood in the fireplace, like balsam. She breathed him in, his heat and nearness. That alone was nearly enough to make her toes curl. She hadn’t been nervous before, but now her belly was jittery.

He bridged the space between them, took her hands in his and stroked her palms, rubbing the centers with his thumbs in tiny circles. Gooseflesh spread quickly up her spine. He leaned forward and breathed deeply near her ear. “You smell like apples. Do you know that?”

She blinked. “Apples?”

“Yes. Delicious, red apples.”

“Please don’t tell me you think of me like an apple.”

“No, I think much more highly of you than a common fruit.”

“I’m glad to hear that, I suppose, but I’m waiting, how do you feel about me?”

His lips hovered at her ear, his voice a husky whisper. “What if I told you I’ve thought about kissing you again all day?”

Her breath came in short pants. “You . . . you have?”



“Because you look like a goddess descended from Olympus?”

She couldn’t help but smile. “That’s not a very original thing to say.”

“My apologies. Seems your nearness makes me unoriginal.” His lips brushed against the soft skin beneath her ear. She shuddered and closed her eyes. Heat raced through her body and pooled in the private space between her legs. “Ooh, I . . .”

“What?” he whispered, his lips moving up her neck. His hands dropped away from hers and came up to cradle her cheeks. His mouth moved along the tender skin of her throat. He kissed the underside of her jaw, then moved to the corner of her lips. He slowly bit her bottom lip, sucking in its plump fullness while her eyes remained closed.

Then his tongue slowly parted her lips and moved deftly inside. His mouth boldly slanted across hers as his strong hands moved up to hold her head in place. It was an endless, drugging kiss, designed to seduce. When he finally dropped his hands from her cheeks and pulled his lips away, he was breathing heavily and so was she.

“Well?” he said, a triumphant smile on his lips.

“Well what?” she breathed, unable to process what he was asking her after that.

“Does that answer your question?”

“Not in the least!”

“Pardon?” This time he blinked.

“I want to know whether you’re not interested in me or if you simply think you shouldn’t be interested?”

Daffin scratched his cheek. “How much have you had to drink tonight?”

“Only a glass and a half of mulled wine. I’ve drunk more than that at boring dinner parties in London. Don’t worry, I’m entirely in my right mind.” She lifted her glass. “But you are trying to change the subject again, and I—”

“No. I promise I’m not.”

“Go ahead then. Answer the question.”

He leaned close to her and placed his hands on her hips. “The truth is I’m interested. Too interested. I thought perhaps my kissing you all these times may have given that away.” He grinned at her. “But you’re right. I think I shouldn’t.”

She tilted up her chin, a defiant look in her eye. “But why do you think you shouldn’t?”

He scrubbed a hand across his forehead. “Let’s see, your impending engagement, my friendship with your cousin, and—” He took a deep breath. “Suffice it to say I’m not who you think I am.”

She reached up and cupped his cheek. “I know who you are, Daffin. And I want you. Tell me you don’t want me too and I’ll never bring it up again.”

He tipped up her chin with his thumb and forefinger. “Love, you could tempt a saint. Of course I want you.”

A slow satisfied smile spread across her face. “What would you say if I said I wanted more?”

He pressed his forehead to hers. His common sense warned him, but his emotions ignored the warning. “I’d say meet me in my bedchamber after midnight.”

A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe. . .

Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…

Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?

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Up For Grabs:
  • 1  Signed copy of Kiss Me at Christmas

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  1. Thanks so much for having me today!

  2. Love all your books! Can’t wait to read this one also.

  3. I already read this book and it is wonderful! Regina is such a great heroine!

  4. I loved this book Valerie! Always love a paperback though!

  5. beautiful covers! will be exciting to see if Lady Regina goes to his bedchamber after midnight.

  6. Hi Valerie, I was wondering how much research goes into one of your books?

    1. Hi Suzannah, It depends on what I'm writing about. For this one I researched Bow Street Runners and Christmas in Regency England.

  7. You are new to me so I look forward to reading this book. Thank You

  8. Daffin? That's an interesting name? Where do you find the ideas for your names in your books?

    Can't wait to read!!!😁
    Happy Holidays 🎄💗

    1. HI Lilah, There was a guy I used to work with named Daffin and I always said, "If I write a book one day, I'm using that name." Of course that was YEARS before I actually planned to write a book. LOL

  9. Oh my goodness... Can't wait to read this!!

  10. Thanks for the excerpt! Can't wait to read the new book! Merry Christmas!

  11. I had so much fun with this one! I love the whole series but Daffin and Regina are among my favorites.

  12. Excellent cover art. Who is the artist?

  13. Sounds great!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  14. Sounds intriguing can't wait to get this book.

  15. Thanks for the story! Have a Merry Christmas!

  16. haven't read this one yet - can't wait. Merry Christmas!