THE RAKE WHO LOVED CHRISTMAS

ISBN: 978-1517708672

October 2015

Grace Burrowes, Shana Galen, Carolyn Jewel, and I return with a new quartet of Christmas stories. This time we spend Christmas in Regency London.

CHRISTMAS IN DUKE STREET

Christmas in London is a busy time at the little bookshop in Duke Street, for love, literature, and shopping. Four couples come and go and discover that happy ever after makes the perfect Christmas gift. 

My story is 

THE RAKE WHO LOVED CHRISTMAS

He wants to save his brother from an unprincipled adventuress ... especially when he meets the lady and wants her for himself.

Sir Devlyn Stratton stays in London for Christmas to celebrate his brother’s engagement to an heiress—until Merrick gets cold feet because he fancies another woman. Dev will do anything to save his brother from a misalliance with a shopkeeper, even seduce the fascinating adventuress himself.

Oriel Sinclair is hanging on by her fingernails, with a sick father and an ailing business. She’s trying to make a living in her tiny shop, even if it means being nice to customers like the rich, leering Lord Frogmore. Despite her straits, she won’t take advantage of a young man’s infatuation. Especially once she meets his elder brother, who is everything she ever dreamed of in a man. Trouble is she doubts Dev’s  intentions are honorable and she won’t be reduced to a kept woman, by the the vile Frogmore or the delectable Dev.

 

 

 

EXCERPT

Christmas wasn’t fashionable. The languid denizens of the London beau monde cared little for the winter holiday. Oh, the tedium of having to prepare Christmas boxes for the servants and tenants. Such a bore to make merry with one’s relations. As for dragging around Yule logs and bringing in greenery, it did terrible things to the perfection of one’s garments.

This year Sir Devlyn Stratton didn’t have to worry about holly prickles snagging his coat or mud on his boots. His broad shoulders would not be put to the undignified task of hauling half a tree trunk. He was spending Christmas in London.

He dodged out of the emporium in High Holborn, keeping an eye open for anyone who might have strayed out of the more refined parts of town. At Noah’s Ark, famous as the best toy shop in London, he’d had his choice of rocking horses for his nephew, who at three was begging for a living pony, but would be satisfied, for now, with the splendid dapple gray on green rockers. He bought a set of carved wooden animals for four-year-old Maria, the cows, pigs, and horses so perfect he wanted to play with them himself. But his oldest sister and her family weren’t coming south this winter. Neither would he see seven-year-old Sally arrange the lavish doll’s house. His purchases would be packed and sent by carrier to Yorkshire by Mr. Hamley, the proprietor of the store.

 

 

HISTORICAL TIDBIT

Hamley's, the vast and famous toy store in London's Regent Street, was founded in 1760 by William Hamley. Originally called Noah's Ark, it was located in High Hoborn.