About The Book
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC ( Scandalous ) Imprint
Release Date: 10-14-13
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Entangled Publishing presents…
A Very Scandalous Holiday Anthology. Four very spirited vignettes of holidays past. Erin’s Gift by Nancy Fraser Chicago 1920 Widower, Seth Harrison, has no intention of falling in love again but will he be able to resist the sweetness of his son’s nanny, Erin O’Mara—his sister’s best friend?
An Eternity of You by Sophia Garrett England 1833 The Duke of Sharrington left Rebecca with more than a broken heart six years ago—he left her with a son. His return rekindles their passion, but only a Christmas miracle will convince the town surgeon to believe in his promises of eternity again.
Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin England, late Regency After three years at sea, Captain Hale Prescott has the means to marry the love of his life and his best friend’s sister, Sidony Harbeck. However, she might never speak to him again. Despite their whispered adolescent promises, he never wrote her a single letter…at least, none he ever sent.
Eight Tiny Flames by Crista McHugh 1944 Ardennes, WWII Lt. Ruth Mencher has always secretly admired Capt. Joseph Klein, but it takes the lighting of a Hanukkah candle to uncover the spark of mutual attraction. Each night awakens a new facet of their relationship, but as the Battle of the Bulge begins, the approaching Nazi forces threaten to tear them apart.
“What about you?” she inquired. “Was seafaring everything you had dreamed?”
“Everything and more.”
She allowed the wry note, the intriguing hint of regret in his voice to float away on the cool night air. Whatever had made him jaded—a swordfight with pirates, an exotic love affair, changeling prices for tea exports—he had clearly come out of it stronger, richer, better. He had no need of her, which was why she would never accept his proposal. Back then, he had worshipped her. Which was as it should have been, considering how much she’d exalted him. Now she was but an afterthought, a backhanded proposal.
And if she said yes? He would stash her in some over-architectured, under-gardened townhouse in London. Only take her out when he wanted to play, as if she was some pet, like one of his cats only without claws.
They lay in silence, neither willing to share the shadows of their time apart. Once, nothing had been secret between them, nothing sacred. Now they were strangers.
But she hadn’t let go of his hand. His fingers slid through hers with startling familiarity. Her mind made all sorts of claims about this intruder in her bedroom, but her fingertips—they knew him by touch. Bunched skin on his knuckles, and smooth, short-cropped nails. Coarse hair on the back of his hand that had appeared one day in their youth, as if by magic. That was the back of his hand, the known, well-mapped terrain. His palm was a different story, one of adventure and hardship, of darkness and secrets. Calluses had formed over calluses, her explorations told her. Mountains of thick skin, formed to protect him. Valleys in a man too young to wrinkle—it was experience that had aged him more than the years.
While she explored him, he explored her right back. Hands only. His thumb fanned the delta between her forefinger and thumb. Back and forth; she knew he’d found the scar.
His fingers tightened on her briefly before relaxing. “What did this?”
“A cat,” she admitted. “The dislike seems to be mutual.”
“Tell me what happened.”
“Well, it was a boating party. Only I hadn’t read it right in the invitation. I thought it was a picnic. So I arrived with a large basket filled with cold salads and Poppet.”
He tensed beside her, but she couldn’t credit that he was really worried. Like him, whatever social trials she had faced in the interim, she had clearly come out just fine. Aside from tree climbing mishaps.
“I couldn’t very well leave him on the shore, so I brought him on board with me. I thought it would be fine. He had his basket to stay in, and then his leash—”
“You have a leash. For your cat.”
“It’s more of a ribbon. A thick ribbon that ties around his neck and has a handle. So, yes, a leash. He doesn’t mind, usually. He likes to explore, on land. But we hit choppy waters, and he climbed up my neck. There was a bit of struggle. His nail jammed through the skin.” She shrugged. “I had to feed him bits of chicken until he relaxed enough to sheath his claws.”
He made a choking sound. Laughing, she supposed. Ah, well. A smile played at her lips. It had been funny, in a most painful and humiliating way. At some point, she had given up pretending to be a graceful, poised young lady, and accepted her growing reputation as a rather clumsy adventuress. She had even seemed to attract suitors that way. They wanted to protect her.
They wanted to imprison her.
All she’d wanted was someone to have adventures with.
“I got invited to all the boating parties after that,” she added. “But I never took Poppet again.”
“See? I always said you’d be the center of the party.”
“Yes, and I thought you meant that in a nice way.”
He laughed. “I did. I do.”
He tugged her closer between the linens. His face hovered next to hers. She could feel his breath mingling with hers, but the dark kept him hidden. She didn’t know where he was exactly, where his mouth was, until he kissed her.
His lips found hers unerringly, as if his vision was stronger than hers. He slanted his head to meet her more firmly, his warmth, his knowledge, impossibly intimate. For a moment, she panicked, the same way she had done for every terrace liberty and courtyard peck she’d ever allowed since him. But then the taste of him flooded her senses, memory Hale and this living, breathing stranger merging into one. Who are you? she thought, and then immediately, I know you, I feel you.
I love you.
How could the years fall away so quickly? But she found time had never really stood between them. It had been distance. And now that the miles were crossed, the air evaporated from the room, leaving her stunned with fatalistic joy.
He cupped the back of her neck and kissed down her jaw. She bared her throat to him, knowing, inviting. His lips were tender against the sensitive skin, caressing the hollow at the base of her throat. He reached for the hem of her nightgown, and she jerked in surprise, feeling shock at how fast they were moving…and wonder at how good it still felt.
Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher's pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it. In her time away from writing, Nancy dotes on her five grandchildren. She's currently happily single (let's face it, it's difficult to find a man who can live up to her sexy, fictitious heroes) and enjoying life as is for the time being.
Nancy's Author Links
Sophia Garrett always knew she wanted to be a writer, and more specifically, a historical romance writer. Her teenage years were spent rabidly gobbling up the newest books from romance icons such as Johanna Lindsey, Sabrina Jefferies, Julie Garwood, and Kathleen E. Woodiweiss. She composed her first romance novel about the American Revolution, in high school. When Sophia is not researching...well, she's always researching! But in her non-working hours she enjoys studying historical events (yes, she's one of those girls), watching documentaries, taking in action-packed dramas at the theatre, and spending as much time as possible with her two young sons collecting bugs, racing Hot Wheels, and smashing things in video games. Her second passion is animals, so much so that at one time she considered a career in veterinary medicine. Chemistry, however, waged war on her sanity, and she decided training horses was far less harmful than trying to manipulate miniscule objects that can't be seen. Setting her sweatshirt on fire in lab might have had something to do with that. She still has her horses but has added a chicken...or two. And a duck. And a (house) pig. And several dogs. And cats. And... who knows what might turn up next! Sophia frequently attends conferences and signing events that take her throughout the United States. In addition, she often presents for her local Romance Writers of America chapters and is available to present to additional authors' groups. She loves to connect with readers and writers alike, so be sure to say hello! Professional Affiliations: Romance Writers of America Heartland Romance Authors Midwest Romance Writers
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Amber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion. Her debut novel Giving It Up (Loose Id, 9781611188431) received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” The sequel is slated for release in early 2013. Her small town romance will be published by Carina Press in Fall 2013. Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good
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Crista McHugh is a multiple award-winning author of fantasy romance and paranormal romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends. Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she's had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant. And she's also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days) To be the first to know about her latest releases or to be entered into exclusive contests, please sign up for her newsletter using the contact form on her webpage, www.cristamchugh.com.
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