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Sunday, December 22, 2019

A Historical Christmas Event with Amy Rose Bennett

Amy Rose Bennett is an Australian author who has a passion for penning emotion-packed historical romances. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.

A former speech pathologist, Amy is happily married to her very own romantic hero and has two lovely, very accomplished adult daughters. When she’s not creating stories, Amy loves to cook up a storm in the kitchen, lose herself in a good book or a witty rom-com, and when she can afford it, travel to all the places she writes about.

Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m so thrilled to be participating in this year’s fabulous Ramblings From This Chick’s Historical Christmas event. I’m sharing a sexy snippet from My Lady of Misrule, my erotic Regency holiday novella featuring a sizzling hot, friends-to-lovers romance. My novella’s heroine, Minerva, the widowed Countess of Harlow, has recently discovered a devastating secret—that her late husband, David, kept a mistress while they were married. This scene takes place at a Christmas Eve gathering in London, and her dear friend Sir Tristan King—who was also David’s best friend—is in attendance too. Minerva’s confidence as a woman has been shaken, but after a little champagne, who knows what might happen…

Minerva sent him a mock scowl. “Sir Tristan King, it sounds like you are trying to lead me astray.”

He leaned closer, his breath coasting along her ear. “Maybe. Just a little.”

Minerva felt a hot blush creep over her entire face. Her complexion probably matched the scarlet satin of her gown. But that wasn’t the worst of it. The mere suggestion of being ‘led astray’ by Tristan had also sent a torrent of lust rushing to her nether regions and elsewhere; her bodice and half-stays suddenly felt too tight and her nipples throbbed.

Heavens above she was a mess. A mess of foolish, aching need. She’d always thought the baronet was devilishly attractive, but since she’d emerged from mourning, it seemed a heretofore unknown libidinous side of her had suddenly woken up. And she didn’t want Tristan to suspect he now had the power to reduce her to a pile of quivering blancmange. Inveterate rakehell that he was, he might flirt with her on occasion, but it didn’t mean a thing. Not really.

He certainly didn’t desire her. How could he? Even her husband hadn’t really desired her...

Pushing aside her sour, self-pitying thoughts, Minerva plastered a smile on her face and gave Tristan’s arm a playful poke. “It’s Christmas Eve, not Twelfth Night, so you can’t assume the role of Lord of Misrule.”

Tristan’s mouth twitched with amusement. “Shame... I think I’d make a rather good Lord of Misrule. Enticing unsuspecting females toward temptation.”

“Hmmm. I think that’s the Prince of Darkness, Tristan.”

“Well I happen to believe there’s nothing wrong with being a little wicked on occasion.” Tristan’s sapphire blue eyes suddenly locked with hers. “In all the years we’ve known each other, Minerva, I’ve never once seen you do anything remotely indecorous. Aren’t you ever tempted to—” He broke off and then swore beneath his breath. “Please ignore what I just said. It was incredibly rude of me.” He dragged a hand through his thick, raven-black hair then gave a dramatic sigh, which had the annoying effect of drawing Minerva’s attention to the rise and fall of his wide shoulders and chest. “The wassail punch has befuddled my brain and I clearly don’t know what I’m saying.”

Minerva’s bitterness returned full force. “I don’t doubt that I’m as dull as ditchwater. It probably explains why David—” She shook her head and discarded her champagne glass on a nearby marble-topped occasional table. Even her favorite wine tasted sour now. “Never mind.”

Putting aside his own glass, Tristan then angled himself in front of her so that his large frame crowded her against the oak-paneled wall and blocked out the rest of the room. “Look at me, Minerva,” he said in a low voice, his tone rougher than gravel. “You are not, and have never been, boring. And don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. And that includes me. You’d be well within your rights to tell me to sod off.”

Minerva blinked away tears and offered a tremulous smile. “I would never do that—tell you to sod off. But thank you,” she whispered. “That means a lot to hear you say I’m not dull.” Then her breath quickened as she felt Tristan’s fingers tangle with hers, his thumb brushing across the sensitive flesh of her inner wrist. What was he doing, holding her hand in such an intimate fashion? And was that fleeting caress accidental or by design?

Frowning, she searched his gaze... which was a mistake. Tristan’s blue eyes trapped hers and for a moment her heart stopped. But when she pulled in a much needed breath, it took off again, pounding, racing so very fast. Too fast. The rowdy performance of Good King Wenceslas and accompanying laughter seemed to fade away and there was only Tristan commanding her attention, filling her senses.

In the flickering candlelight, Tristan’s pupils seemed to expand and the bright blue darkened to indigo. His nostrils flared as if scenting her desire and his gaze dipped to her parted lips. Good Lord, was Tristan going to kiss her? In front of everyone?

Before she could find her voice to protest, his grip firmed on her hand and then he was pulling her toward the double doors that led out of the drawing room, into the entry hall.

“Where are we going?” she asked, her voice an urgent whisper as she did her best to keep up with him. The polished parquetry floor was slippery and the soles of her new red slippers were too.

“Here.” Tristan stopped in the middle of the deserted chamber. There wasn’t even a footman in sight. “Right here.”

Minerva shook her head. “I don’t understand.”

Tristan smiled. “Look up, my dear Lady Harlow.”

Minerva tilted her head back. Above them hung an impressive chandelier, the delicate crystals twinkling like a thousand stars in the light of the candles. And suspended from that was the largest ball of mistletoe Minerva had ever seen. Threaded with crimson ribbon, the kissing bough’s white berries and dark green leaves gleamed in the candlelight.

Oh. How silly she hadn’t noticed it on her arrival. Her throat suddenly tight with a strange combination of nerves and longing, Minerva swallowed. Even though there could be no mistaking why Tristan had led her to this particular spot, she felt obliged to prevaricate. “What... What are you...? Why are we here exactly?” she stammered.

“Well, because it’s Christmas Eve, I think we should do something to celebrate. Something that’s not the slightest bit boring.” One of Tristan’s large hands cupped her cheek, and he angled her face in such a way, Minerva couldn’t avoid his gaze. He was so close, she could see the dark rim of navy around the edge of his sea-blue eyes. Breathe in his familiar masculine scent and spicy cologne—a potent mixture of cloves, and bergamot, and wintergreen.

“But. But we can’t,” she protested weakly even as her fingers curled around his superfine clad biceps and her hips swayed toward his. Her resistance was dissolving, disintegrating beneath a wave of desire so strong, she almost couldn’t breathe. Could one drown in desire?

He smiled. “Why not? It’s Christmas. And kisses between friends under the mistletoe are permitted, are they not?”

Minerva licked dry lips as temptation tugged her even closer to Tristan. Anticipation unfurled like dark velvet butterfly wings in her belly as his thumb lightly stroked her fevered cheek. If she ignored the niggling thought that this would be more than a friendly kiss—at least for her—he spoke perfect sense. What was wrong with following a harmless tradition? Her eyes fell to Tristan’s wide, perfectly chiseled mouth and when it tipped into his devastating rake’s smile, she knew the battle to say no was all but lost. “Yes. But just one kiss, mind you.”

“Very well.” Tristan’s hand slid to the nape of neck, his long fingers cradling the back of her head. “Just one.”

He drew her against his hard, muscular body and bent his dark head, his attention trained solely on her mouth. “Merry Christmas, Minerva,” he whispered, his breath a soft caress against her lips as her eyelids fluttered closed. And then he kissed her.

Anything can happen on Twelfth Night…

When widowed countess Minerva, Lady Harlow, discovers a devastating secret about her late husband just before Christmas, she turns to trusted friend, Sir Tristan King, for support. However, when a long-denied desire flares to life—and Minerva and Tristan agree to a Twelfth Night tryst—Tristan worries a secret of his own will ruin a treasured friendship. But then again, perhaps this shared night of wicked, unbridled passion will spark an everlasting love...

READER ADVISORY: This scorching hot, Regency romance novella has a ‘five flame’ heat level rating. It contains explicit language and sexual content including light kink elements.

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

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 $10 Amazon Gift Card + a kindle copy of How to Catch a Wicked Viscount
To Enter: 
  • US shipping ONLY.
  • Please leave a comment or question for the author.
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**Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!

Good Luck! 

Special thanks to Amy Rose Bennett for sponsoring this giveaway.
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  1. I adore unrequited love stories! Can’t wait to read what secrets they are hiding from each other.

    1. Thanks so much, K Angeles! I hope you enjoy Tristan and Minerva's story and finding out about their secrets. And Merry Christmas to you :) .

  2. Thank you for the giveaway. Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Rita! Good luck and Merry Christmas to you too :) .

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Amy! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading it! I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed it. :) And Merry Christmas!

  4. Love the cover! Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Pretty cover. The story sounds great too!

  6. Love the cover. Merry Christmas and New Year.

    1. Thanks so much, Robin! Merry Christmas and wishing you a very happy New Year too! :)

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Sue. I had such fun writing it too. And Merry Christmas :) .

    2. Merry Christmas to you too! :)

  8. What a great excerpt! Lovely cover too. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much, BookLady! I love the cover too. It reminds me of red velvet cake, lol. Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas :) .

  9. Love the name Minerva! Happy holidays to you and yours, Amy Rose!

    1. Thank you, Miranda. I'm pleased to hear you like my heroine's name! And Happy Holidays to you too :)

  10. Great excerpt. Love friends to lovers stories. Can't wait to read this. Happy Holidays.
    Ccarol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

    1. Hi Carol. It's a fun trope, isn't it? And thanks so much for trying my book. Happy Holidays to you too :) .

  11. I love this Christmas themed romance! <3 Happy Christmas!

  12. i really enjoyed this. thanks for sharing, Amy!

  13. Sometimes it only takes one kiss to change the outcome!

  14. I am so excited to discover your books. Can't wait to read them.

  15. I read My Lady of Misrule and loved it!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, Amy xo

  16. Ooooo secrets... My mind is just imagining just so many dirty deliciousness of what those secrets are... Yes, my mind lives in a gutter LOL 😂