The Viscount's Surprise

Damsels In Breeches Regency Series

Book 2
Anne Marie Novark Books
32
Free sample

Philomena Wheeler has been living a lie for the past twelve years. After her mother dies, she pretends to be a boy so she can work in Lady Hembrough's stables alongside her beloved papa. When she's promoted to the position of groom, her father thinks it's time to call a halt to the dangerous masquerade and wants to send Phil to his sister in York to learn to be a girl again.

Viscount Hembrough pays a rare visit to his mother in London. He's looking for a new groom and hires Phil for a one-month trial period before he returns to his horse-breeding estate in the wilds of Ireland. Under the mistaken belief that she's a he, the viscount takes Phil on a trip to inspect a promising stallion for his stables.

Will Phil be able to guard her secret while traveling with the handsome viscount? And more importantly, will she be able to guard her heart against a forbidden love?

EXCERPT:

Anthony held the door open for Phil to pass through. She kept her eyes downcast and her cheeks were pale. Her clothes had almost dried from the drenching she'd received in the rain, but she still had the look of a drowned kitten with her short auburn hair curling wildly about her head. Thank God, the innkeeper accepted her as the urchin she appeared to be.

Anthony placed his hat and gloves on the table in the middle of the room and waited.

Phil stood near the fire, and after the door closed behind the innkeeper, she turned to face him. "Well, my lord? You wished to speak to me?"

He had to admire the girl's courage. She'd successfully hidden her true identity for years, and she must suspect that he'd discovered her secret, yet seemed determined to play it through to the end.

"The game's up, my dear Phil. But your name is obviously not Phillip as I had supposed. What is it?"

Her green eyes widened and that damned chin lifted a notch. "Philomena, my lord."

Slowly, Anthony walked toward the fireplace. "Well then, Philomena--"

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, Traditional Regency romance, England, Britain, masquerade, secrets, historical romance, alpha male, disguises, historical

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When fate deals a cruel blow to Kelsey McCade, she returns home to the Diamondback Ranch to rebuild her life and heal her shattered heart. Unforeseen circumstances keep throwing her into the company of Pete Lafferty, the object of her teenaged fantasies. Against her will, Kelsey finds herself drawn to Pete—to the boy from her memories who kept her safe, and now to the strong and honorable man he’s become.

Pete Lafferty has known a lot of women, but he’s never fallen in love. When Kelsey McCade finally returns home, vulnerable but not broken, he quickly realizes she’s a threat to his carefree existence. He’s always had a soft spot for Kelsey, and seeing her grown up and beautiful stirs up emotions he's not sure he's ready to explore. He's never done a long-term relationship, and she deserves nothing less. He knows he’s not the right man for her, but how can he convince his heart?

EXCERPT: 

"Oh, honey," Pete said. "Please don't cry again. You don't know how bad it tears me up inside to see you so unhappy."

"I can't help it." She wiped her cheek with the back of her hand, blinking and sniffling as more tears fell. She raised soul-sad eyes to his. "Don't you think I'm tired of all this? Tired of crying? Tired of being sad?" Her voice broke on a sob. "Why did he have to die? Why? God, I feel so alone. So very much . . . alone."

Pete pushed back his chair and quickly walked around the desk. He pulled Kelsey from her seat and into his arms. "Shush now. You're not alone. You have a loving family and good friends to support you."

And me. But he didn't say that. They didn't belong together. He wasn't the right man for her. But that logical argument didn't seem to matter to his heart. He was constantly fighting an internal battle against wanting Kelsey with an urgency that nearly brought him to his knees and knowing he couldn't . . . shouldn't start anything with her, especially when she was in such a vulnerable state.

Hell, what was he thinking? He couldn't start anything with her ever.

He held her close while she sobbed her heart out. Poor kid. He rested his chin on the top of her head, the scent of strawberries and woman filling his nostrils. He rubbed her back with one hand, while hugging her to his body with the other. She wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned against him, her head tucked in the crook of his shoulder like when they'd danced together last week.

Only, now it was just the two of them. No family, no friends, no interested spectators.

Pete let her have her cry out. After several minutes, her tears finally stopped. She hiccoughed and stood frozen in place, plastered against him. Damn, why did her body have to fit him so perfectly? With a will of its own, his libido kicked into full throttle; he couldn't control the flash of heat hardening his body to almost painful intensity.

Kelsey slowly unwrapped her arms from around his waist and moved her hands to the front of his jacket. She patted the damp fabric right above his heart. "I got you all wet. I'm sorry." She tilted her head to look at him, her eyelashes spiked with tears.

He felt her stiffen in his embrace, her eyes widening, dilating with awareness. His body flexed in response to that primal signal of desire. Well, hell. How was he supposed to resist that? Resist her? He was only human after all.

"Pete?" Her voice was breathy, a whisper, bedroom soft.

Never before had his name sounded so good, so sexy on anyone's lips.

Her breath hitched, and before Pete could do something stupid like act on his inappropriate hunger for her, Kelsey took his choice away. She stood on tiptoe, draped her arms around his neck and pressed her mouth to his.

Instant sexual combustion blind-sided him. His mind went blank and instinct took over. She was female to his male. He wanted her in the most elemental way. He'd wanted her for weeks, months, years, and now she was in his arms, kissing him like there was no tomorrow.

KEYWORDS: alpha male, Texas romance, cowboy romance, ranch, contemporary western romance, small town romance, new adult romance, series romance

 

Trevor Callahan's long estranged grandfather is dead. As a kid, living with the stern old man had been pure hell. Trev returns to Stone Creek for one reason and one reason only: To sell the Rocking C Ranch. Maybe then he can put his past behind him and move on.

Beth Evans once confused lust for love and vows never to let it happen again. The bookmobile driver is trying to raise funds to build a new library. The late Hank Callahan bequeathed one million dollars for the project, but he attached one stipulation: Do not let his grandson sell the ranch.

EXCERPT:
 

He leaned across the desk.  “You know, we haven’t discussed the kiss the other night.”
 

She scooted the chair back.  “There’s nothing to discuss.”  
 

He stood and slowly came around the desk, reached for her hand and pulled her to her feet.  “I want to kiss you again.”
 

“That’s probably not a good idea.”  Oh, lord.  She was playing with fire and if she wasn’t careful, she was going to get burned.  Bad.
 

“Probably not.  I know you said we’d never kiss again.  But don’t you want to kiss me?  Can’t you feel the pull between us?”
 

“Yes . . . No!”  She jerked her hand free and started backing away.
 

He followed, closing in on her until she bumped against the library table.  

“Just one kiss, Beth.  One kiss can’t hurt.”
 

Before she could react, before she could reply, Trevor wrapped his arms around her, covered her mouth with his and God help her, she was a goner.

KEYWORDS: Texas romance, cowboy romance, single mom, librarian, small town, alpha male, tortured hero, secrets, steamy romance

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Additional Information

Publisher
Anne Marie Novark Books
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Published on
Feb 25, 2014
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Pages
79
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Romance / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / Regency
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Thankful for the chance to leave London and escape the unwelcome advances of an ardent suitor, Abigail Prescott accepts an invitation to Brydmoor Castle to paint the portrait of the reclusive Viscount Devlin and his small son. A young widow in straightened circumstances, she soon finds herself ensconced in his home and the object of his unwavering attention.

Nathan Holt vows never to marry again. He's done his duty and has an heir. But when Abigail Prescott comes into his vicinity, the daily presence of her in his home becomes a temptation too hard to resist. Unable to deny himself any longer, he begins his seduction of her in earnest, only to find that once will never be enough.

EXCERPT:

Candles flickered in their holders, the shadows dancing on the walls and across the massive stone hearth in the Great Hall. It was late. Abigail had been restless lying in bed and decided to come downstairs. Perhaps she could add some of the finishing touches to the nearly finished portrait of Nathan and William.

"Couldn't sleep?" The deep voice echoed in the vastness of the hall.

Abigail gasped and whirled around in time to see Nathan emerge from the shadows. "You frightened me," she said, her own voice breathless in her ears. Warily, she watched his approach; his firm tread loud in the hush of the night.

He walked straight toward her, his eyes holding hers in a look as old as time itself. Her stomach plummeted and her skin tingled against the silky fabric of her nightgown. Since she'd seen him last, he'd removed his coat and neckcloth and his shirt was unbuttoned at the throat. He'd obviously not gone to bed yet, late as it was.

Standing before her, he took the paintbrush from her limp fingers and set it on the table next to the easel. "I couldn't sleep either," he said, his voice low and rough. "All I could think about was . . . this."

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, historical romance, single father, second chance romance, widow, widower, alpha male, England

As children, Arabella Trent and Gilbert St. John were best of friends. Wherever he led, she happily followed. Their friendship held fast until Gilbert went off to fight Napoleon and Bella stayed home. Years passed and their youthful camaraderie faded to pleasant memory.

Now Gilbert is home from the wars and Bella needs his help. From the moment she climbs in his bedroom window, he knows he's in trouble. Can this beautiful desirable young lady be the same hoydenish friend from his childhood? Can Gilbert rescue Bella from her desperate circumstances even if it means . . . marriage?

EXCERPT:

With both hands on the broad shoulders, Arabella shook with all her might. "Gilbert St. John! Wake up this instant!"

Strong arms clasped around her middle and pulled her down on top of the hard body under the sheet. "I'm awake, love. How about a kiss?"

She tried to push away. "Let go of me, you big oaf! You don't want to kiss me. I'm not one of your bits of muslin." She wiggled and pushed, and wiggled again.

Gilbert grabbed hold of her wrists, and rolled over, reversing their positions. "Just one kiss. One kiss, love. That's all I want."

Before she could protest, Arabella found herself being passionately kissed like she'd never been kissed in her whole life. Of course, she'd never actually been kissed at all. It was a sad reflection, really. She was twenty-two years old and practically on the shelf.

She surrendered to the onslaught of Gilbert's kiss. Just a few seconds more, then she would call a halt. Maybe another second . . . the sensation was pleasurable. No, that didn't describe what she was feeling. She shouldn't be feeling anything, because this was Gilbert for goodness sakes.  The pressure of his mouth on hers was making her melt inside. And a warmth in her stomach began to flame into something bigger, stronger . . .

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, England, historical romance, novella, short story, heiress, marriage of convenience, second chances, reunion, kidnapping

If you enjoy fun, fast-paced Regency Romps, then this collection of Regency novellas might just be your cup of tea. Each novella has been published individually, but you get more bang for your buck when you buy the boxed set.

TO HIS LADY'S RESCUE (Novella 1)

As children, Arabella Trent and Gilbert St. John were best of friends. Wherever he led, she happily followed. Their friendship held fast until Gilbert went off to fight Napoleon and Bella stayed home. Years passed and their youthful camaraderie faded to pleasant memory.

Now Gilbert is home from the wars and Bella needs his help. From the moment she climbs in his bedroom window, he knows he's in trouble. Can this beautiful desirable young lady be the same hoydenish friend from his childhood? Can Gilbert rescue Bella from her desperate circumstances even if it means . . . marriage?

THE VISCOUNT'S SURPRISE (Novella 2)

Philomena Wheeler has been living a lie for the past twelve years. After her mother dies, she pretends to be a boy so she can work in Lady Hembrough's stables alongside her beloved papa. When she's promoted to the position of groom, her father thinks it's time to call a halt to the dangerous masquerade and wants to send Phil to his sister in York to learn to be a girl again.

Viscount Hembrough pays a rare visit to his mother in London. He's looking for a new groom and hires Phil for a one-month trial period before he returns to his horse-breeding estate in the wilds of Ireland. Under the mistaken belief that she's a he, the viscount takes Phil on a trip to inspect a promising stallion for his stables.

Will Phil be able to guard her secret while traveling with the handsome viscount? And more importantly, will she be able to guard her heart against a forbidden love?

PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN (Novella 3)

Thankful for the chance to leave London and escape the unwelcome advances of an ardent suitor, Abigail Prescott accepts an invitation to Brydmoor Castle to paint the portrait of the reclusive Viscount Devlin and his small son. A young widow in straightened circumstances, she soon finds herself ensconced in his home and the object of his unwavering attention.

Nathan Holt vows never to marry again. He's done his duty and has an heir. But when Abigail Prescott comes into his vicinity, the daily presence of her in his home becomes a temptation too hard to resist. Unable to deny himself any longer, he begins his seduction of her in earnest, only to find that once will never be enough.

KEYWORDS: Anthology, Regency boxed set, romance collection, bundle, ebook bundle, romance bundle, box set, boxed set, series romance

Fifteen years ago, a marriage of convenience was arranged between Quentin D'Arby and Vanessa Graham by their respective grandfathers. The union would unite the vast wealth and landholdings of the Graham Heiress and the Duke of Straithe. From a very early age, Vanessa has been trained and educated to be the duchess.

Now, as the wedding day fast approaches, she discovers she wants more than a marriage of convenience. Can she break through the barriers guarding the duke's impenetrable heart? Will she ever be able to win his love?

EXCERPT:

The duke approached the pianoforte and gave a little bow to Vanessa. "Please, be seated," he said, indicating the stool she'd just vacated. He searched through the stack of sheet music and handed her one. "Are you familiar with this piece?"

Vanessa sat down and nodded. Speech was impossible; the duke was standing extremely close, and she could feel the warmth of his big body. Her own body tingled in response. How was she ever going to accompany him on the piano without disgracing herself?

"Excellent." His arm brushed her shoulder when he reached over and arranged the sheet of music in front of her. Tiny slivers of awareness shot through her bloodstream, making it difficult to breathe.

"Are you ready?" The deep voice washed over her like a caress. Straithe gripped her shoulder, and she felt the hot imprint of his fingers through her thin muslin dress. He stayed but a moment, his touch lingering before moving away to stand at the side of the pianoforte.

Vanessa pressed her hands to her burning cheeks and tried to catch her breath. Goodness! What in the world was the matter with her? They were only going to perform together to entertain their grandparents. Vanessa scanned the music she was about to play, then glanced at the duke for the sign to begin.

He inclined his head, and she plunged into the introduction. As she ran her fingers over the keys, she speedily overcame her fidgets. Losing herself in the music, Vanessa listened as Straithe sang the old love ballad. How easy it would be to pretend the words were meant for her. She peeked at the duke and her eyes collided with his. He held her spellbound, and when he smiled, Vanessa blushed. For that one fleeting moment, she thought that maybe he was singing to her after all. A warm feeling floated through her as she broke eye contact.

When her fingers stumbled over several chords, she heard her grandfather harrumph in disapproval. Straithe slowly turned her way, inclined his head ever so slightly and smiled again, all the while continuing to sing.

Was the duke offering her encouragement? Could his heart be thawing toward her just a little?

 

KEYWORDS: alpha male, marriage of convenience, virgin, Regency romance, London Season

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