by Christina Brooke (aka Christine Wells)
Break out the cabana boys and get your dancing shoes on because it's time for a very special SURPRISE Release Party in the lair!
By the time you read this, I will be at RWA in New York, squeeing and hugging the Banditas and Bandita Buddies who are there, and missing the ones who aren't like crazy. Oh, and hopefully signing copies of my new book, HEIRESS IN LOVE!
Yes, it's a long time since I had a new book out and finally I can tell you the reason--I'm so thrilled to be writing a brand new Regency historical series for St. Martin's Press, called the Ministry of Marriage or M.O.M. for short. You can read more here.
The series is about six Westruther cousins, three boys and three girls, who have grown up under the guardianship of the Duke of Montford. In this first trilogy, we begin with the girls, Jane, Lady Roxdale in HEIRESS IN LOVE, Lady Rosamund Westruther (MAD ABOUT THE EARL, January 3, 2012) and Lady Cecily Westruther (A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER, July 2012).
Here is the official trailer, which gives you an idea of what HEIRESS IN LOVE is about. You can read more on my website.
Hope you were wearing flame-resistant glasses for that one! And I'm not talking about the candles:)
When Jane and Constantine first meet, they are immediately at loggerheads. Constantine has inherited the house Jane lives in but she doesn't realize at first who this disturbingly handsome stranger is...
JANE OPENED HER EYES and a large form filled her vision—or at least, he filled the doorway—dark hair tousled beyond any recognizable style, heavy-lidded eyes trained on her, and a cigarillo clamped between very white teeth.
She gasped. The rider she’d seen from the upstairs window.
Now, he was close enough to reach out and touch. He smiled at her around that horrible cigarillo, Jane realized with dismay. Her heart lurched into a frantic dance.
Jane’s mind fixed on the source of that smoke as a drowning woman might clutch at a rope. She shoved Rosamund’s handkerchief into her pocket and scowled up at him. “I hope you aren’t going to puff on that disgusting thing in here.”
The man’s green eyes narrowed, observing her for a moment. Then his lips closed around the repellant object. The hollows in his cheeks deepened; the end of the cigarillo glowed amber. Deliberately, he removed the cigarillo from his mouth, tilted his head and blew smoke upward. The stream of cloudy gray passed between his well-formed lips, lifting, clouding, curling in tendrils to caress the plasterwork.
In that attitude, the slightly stubborn jut of his chin became pronounced. Despite her annoyance at his studied disregard for her wishes, Jane’s fascinated gaze traced the strong lines of his throat as they disappeared into a stark white cravat.
The stranger turned and pitched the butt off the terrace in a sailing arc, into the rain.
As if the heavens resented this wanton act, they opened, hurling water down in sheets. The wind gave a ghostly howl. Blood red curtains billowed around him, and the fanciful image of a devil stepping out of hell popped into her head. The gentleman moved inside and closed the long window behind him, shutting out the storm.
Jane shot from her chair, which brought her within discomfiting distance of the stranger’s tall form. He smelled—not unpleasantly—of horse leathers and rain and the exotic hint of Spanish smoke.
They both moved at once, and she fetched up against him in a heady brush of palm to chest, side to muscular thigh. Two large, strong hands gripped her upper arms to steady her. “Whoa there.”
The heat from his palms and fingers seeped into her chilled skin. He seemed even larger than he’d appeared from beneath her window. She had to crane her neck to look up at him and his decided chin.
A sudden fire glinted beneath those lazy eyelids. She almost expected him to hold her longer, but he unhanded her almost before she’d regained her balance. She retreated a hasty step and the backs of her knees hit her chair.
The stranger smiled, another flash made brighter by the contrasting swarthiness of his face. “No, no! Don’t go on my account.” His voice, a husky tenor, plucked its way down her spine.
Jane frowned. Who did he think he was? A gentleman did not barge into private rooms without an invitation. “Oh, I’m not going anywhere. You’ll find the other mourners in the drawing room, sir.”
“I know. That’s why I’m in the library.” The corners of his eyes crinkled. “You don’t have the faintest idea who I am, do you?”
She was beginning to think she did.
As if a new series and a new name weren't exciting enough, I'm delighted to announce that Penguin Australia is releasing the Ministry of Marriage series in trade paperback at the same time as the mass market comes out in the U.S.
The Australian cover is slightly different from the U.S. one, although the beautiful girl in the pink gown is still there.
So to celebrate in style with my favourite people in Romancelandia, today I'm offering a signed copy of HEIRESS IN LOVE to FIVE readers who answer this question:
What's your favourite first meeting in a romance novel? Any cute true life first meeting stories to tell?
And just for today, in a shameless piece of bribery, I am offering a bonus prize of one HARDBACK edition of HEIRESS IN LOVE! All you have to do to go into the draw is sign up for my newsletter here and tell me in the comments that you've joined my mailing list! Let's party everyone!