WELCOME BACK TO THE BLOG VANESSA!!!
Vanessa Kelly was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Vanessa also writes contemporary romance with her husband under the name of V.K. Sykes.
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By Vanessa Kelly
I want to thank Kati and Jamie for hosting me on the blog today. I’m excited to be here!
Men…they can be such a pain, can’t they? Oh, sure. They’re handsome and sexy and we love them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause a whole bunch of trouble—even when they don’t know they’re doing it!
In this excerpt from my new Regency-set historical romance, His Mistletoe Bride, my heroine—Phoebe Linville—has just had a fight with Lucas, my hero. Confused by what seems to be Lucas’s odd behavior, Phoebe turns to her married female cousins for advice.
“Men,” said Sophie, her voice dripping with contempt. Awkwardly, she pulled her chair half round to close off their group in a semicircle. “You mustn’t be too upset, Phoebe,” she said. “Lucas is behaving like a spoiled little boy, but it doesn’t really mean anything.”
Phoebe repressed a groan. “I am not upset in the least,” she answered, as calmly as she could. “Lucas is free to spend his time with whomever he wishes. I am just sorry his family should see him behaving so badly.” There. She sounded quite convincing.
“I can see you don’t care a whit,” Sophie replied in a dry voice. “Believe it or not, we’ve all been in your shoes. Not Annabel, of course. I’ll say one thing for my brother Robert. He’s always had a great deal of common sense when it comes to women.”
Annabel grinned, and the other two women smiled as if they knew the answer to some vexing puzzle. Only Phoebe felt completely at sea, which was not surprising given her lack of experience with the male of the species. And in spite of her reluctance to talk about Lucas—or even think about him—her curiosity was caught.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
Sophie glanced around to make sure no one was eavesdropping, then leaned in to their little circle. “Simon acted almost as badly as Lucas on the very night we became engaged. He arrived at a ball on the arm of the most notorious widow of the ton, and spent quite a bit of time flirting with her that evening. Needless to say, I was furious.”
Phoebe’s eyes widened. “I cannot believe it. His manners are so distinguished.”
“Believe it. We had quite a dustup later, as you can imagine. It turned out to be quite an interesting evening.”
To Phoebe’s surprise, the countess turned red and began vigorously fanning herself.
“I can just imagine,” interjected Meredith. “Silverton did the same thing to me before we were married. I was very annoyed at the time.”
Phoebe let out a little squeak of dismay. Not Lord Silverton, too! Were all her illusions to be shattered tonight? “How is that possible? He is devoted to you. Are all men so faithless before they are married?”
“Oh, some men are quite faithless even after they’re married,” said Annabel in a cheerful voice. “But you mustn’t think any of our husbands are. They’re all hopelessly in love with us.”
Phoebe let out a frustrated sigh. Sometimes it seemed her London cousins spoke in a foreign tongue. “Why are you telling me this?”
“Because,” said Meredith, “Lucas’s idiotic behavior doesn’t really mean anything. I know it feels horrible to you now, but it’s what men do when they’re upset with the women they really want. Sometimes they don’t know how to express it any other way.”
Phoebe gaped at her but before she could protest, Sophie picked up the thread of the
conversation. “And sometimes they don’t even know they’re doing it.”
Phoebe gave her head a shake, but it still did not clear the fog. “Doing what?”
“Flirting. Most men and women in the ton flirt as easily as they breathe.” Sophie tapped her chin with her fan, as if ruminating. “Although Lucas seems to know exactly what he’s doing, which I find interesting. He must like you very much indeed.”
Phoebe straightened her spine. “I am sure he does not. By any rational measure, his behavior would give the lie to that.”
Annabel waved her protest away. “Rational has nothing to do with it.”
Well, poor Phoebe is mystified, but I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that she and Lucas make up later in the evening—and quite passionately too! You see, Lucas is afraid Phoebe might reject his marriage proposal, and he’s determined to show her that he’s the only man for her.
But what about you, dear readers? Do the men in your life sometimes drive you crazy? In what silly ways do they act out, instead of just talking to you like a rational human being? One person who comments will win a copy of my first and third books, Mastering The Marquess and My Favorite Countess.
Excerpt from His Mistletoe Bride ©2012 by Vanessa Kelly. All rights reserved.
HIS MISTLETOE BRIDE:
Get Your Own Copy: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Nook | indiebound
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra Books (October 2, 2012)
BLAME IT ON THE MISTLETOE…
When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…
Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…
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