Book Three of my Twelve Days for Christmas blog is the festive historical romance His Mistletoe Wager by popular author Virginia Heath. Don’t they look a gorgeous couple!
“Five berries equal the five separate kisses I challenge you to steal.”
Notorious rake Henry Stuart, Earl of Redbridge, is certain he’ll win his Christmas bet–until he learns he’ll be stealing Lady Elizabeth Wilding’s kisses. A woman who refuses to be charmed!
Once jilted, Lizzie must guard her heart, because the ton is unaware of her scandalous secret–her son! Despite their increasing attraction, she can’t risk the persistent Hal bringing down her defenses. But when her former fiancé returns, Lizzie realizes that perhaps Hal’s the one man she can trust–with her heart and her son…
‘A penny for your thoughts?’
The deep male voice from behind startled her, yet Lizzie hid it instinctively. Sometimes, particularly arrogant young bucks still attempted to flirt with her for sport. Something which was always ruthlessly nipped in the bud. A slow, calculated glance to the side revealed Henry Stuart, the newly minted Earl of Redbridge. Handsome as sin and with a sinful reputation to match. She did not bother hiding her irritation at recognising him.
‘Do not trouble yourself, my lord. I can assure you that whatever misguided impulse sent you my way, it was most assuredly futile. I am in no mood to engage in polite conversation or anything else this evening.’ She flicked her eyes back towards the dance floor and turned her body away from his, allowing the uncomfortable seconds to tick by. Men were like wasps. If you ignored them, they eventually went away.
She heard the slight creaking protest of wood and realised he had eased his big body into the chair alongside. She gave him her best unwelcoming frown and curtest tone. ‘I do not recall inviting you to sit.’ This insect clearly needed swatting.
Looking decidedly bored, the Earl glanced at the rows of empty chairs around them and shrugged. ‘These seats have been expressly placed here by our hostess to rest upon. I do not recall being told I needed anyone’s permission to sit in them. Please ignore me, Lady Elizabeth and, in turn, I shall ignore you as you have made it quite plain you would prefer me to. Believe me, there are a million places I would rather be as well.’
As she could think of no immediate retort to such blatant indifference, Lizzie stared resolutely at the dance floor and her unwelcome companion did the same. Neither spoke. After a full five minutes, she actively considered standing and moving to the opposite side of the room. His continued presence rattled her, although she could not say why. Men did not linger when they had been rejected. As a rule. But moving would alert him to her discomfort and that would never do. ‘You can sit there all night. I still will not talk to you.’
‘Yet here you are, talking regardless.’ He stifled a yawn. ‘Fear not, fair maiden, like you, I am hiding. I find these events tiresome.’
‘There are many other places to hide, my lord, perhaps you should retire to one of those and leave me in peace. I was here first and, in case I have not made it obvious enough, I am not desirous of either your company or your attentions.’
Only his eyes turned to look at her and they were inscrutable. Very green. Very bored. ‘Clearly you have an inflated sense of your own appeal if you have construed my sitting as evidence of my interest in you.’ Lizzie instantly smarted at the insult, yet quashed the urge to show it. She could hardly go around dismissing men curtly from her presence, then become offended when one was blessedly uninterested.
‘I should still prefer you to sit elsewhere.’
‘Believe me, under normal circumstances I would be only too happy to comply with your request. However, drastic times call for drastic measures. I find myself in the unpleasant position of having to endure your company and, as I have specifically chosen to sit with you, you might try to be a little honoured by the accolade.’
Want to read more? You can buy the book here:
Buy link: http://myBook.to/HisMistletoeWager
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin Mills & Boon took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep.
I asked Virginia to tell us about her Christmas traditions
Do you have any favourite family Christmas traditions? If so, what are they?
We always play a family board game on Christmas Eve. The game is always new, it is always noisy and thanks to the competitive nature of Mr H and my kids, usually deteriorates into all-out war. In a cheerful, festive way of course. Selecting the right game is a task in itself and usually takes months of consideration. Last year’s was hilarious as it involved saying phrases with a dentist’s mouthpiece stretching your lips apart.
It sounds like you have a lot of fun, Virginia. 🙂
When do you open your Christmas presents?
Always Christmas morning. I’m evil that way. The only concession I’ve ever allowed my kids is to feel the odd present on Christmas Eve.
If you could invite any author living or dead to share your Christmas lunch, who would it be?
Oscar Wilde. That man was hilarious, and would probably be very naughty around the table which I would actively encourage.
What book would you like to find in your Christmas stocking?
A first edition of Harry Potter! I hear they go for a lot of money nowadays.
You can find out more about Virginia here
Thanks for dropping by to talk to us, Virginia. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy, successful New Year!
Bring a little sunshine into your life with one of my sassy, feel good romances. From Amazon and other book stories. All books available as ebooks and print.