today’s 1st book: Helen of Castleford – Have Yourself A Marriage of Convenience
We are continuing this year’s blog series spotlighting (over 70 this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads! This is the 7th year for the Christmas Reads Giveaway series, and I think I get more excited about it every year 🙂 Christmas is only TWO DAYS away (are you panicking just a little yet? lol)! So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage (wassail anyone?) and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! And no doubt you know the drill by now – there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
HELEN OF CASTLEFORD: HAVE YOURSELF A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE by Blue Huxley & Jade Behr
GENRE: Historical/Regency Romance (Clean)
RELEASE DATE: December 4, 2023
Take one surly duke and a resourceful heiress, throw them together in an inconvenient marriage, and add a hearty dash of Yuletide magic…
Prepare to be swept away by a charming holiday tale of unexpected love and the power of Christmas! Helen Paxton is a clever young woman who must marry in order to save her birthright from her father. Enter Piers de Roquefort, a surly duke with his own agenda, who proposes a marriage of convenience. As they learn how to navigate their new relationship, Helen is also trying to keep a secret—one that could unlock an old family scandal. Can a winter storm, a kissing bough, and all twelve days of Christmastide convince these guarded newlyweds that they already have the ingredients for a perfect, life-changing holiday season?
If you enjoy the witty dialogue of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, you’ll love this closed-door Regency Romance full of swoony moments and unexpected twists.
My Lady Wife,
On this third day of Christmas, these things will keep you warm as you venture out to the stables. There you will find your gift; she anxiously awaits your arrival.
The path has been cleared, and a certain horse misses you, too.
I am also there, waiting for you no less impatiently than the other dumb beasts,
The duke’s note was pinned to a large box that contained a warm, beautiful gown made of red merino. There was a salmon-coloured pelisse with frogged closures on the front, and a gorgeous poppy-coquelicot-red cloak, lined with fur. Pale pink boots were underneath the clothes, and Helen stroked the buttery soft leather in appreciation. A hat box contained a bonnet trimmed in chartreuse, pink, and red velvet ribbons.
After she dressed, her maid passed her the last items in the tissue paper: dark red leather gloves.
Therefore, Helen was perfectly toasty from the top of her hooded head down to her booted toes as she walked out to the stables. Despite the chill in the air, the sun shone brightly, and the sky was mostly blue. An intrepid little robin followed her for a while, flying from tree to tree along the path, and she made a plan to liberate some of the grain from the stables on her way back.
When she reached her destination, she entered the building and paused for a moment to allow her eyes to adjust to the dim interior. While she was still half-blind, a large figure loomed into her space and caught both of her hands.
“Close your eyes,” her husband ordered, and she obeyed. He carefully lowered her hood and then untied the ribbons of her new bonnet. Her hat was removed, then smooth, cool silk slid across her temples.
“Interesting,” she said.
“Your gift is a surprise,” he answered, tying the scarf in a knot behind her head. “Too tight?”
“It’s fine. I am sceptical, however, that this present in the stables is going to surprise me.”
“O ye of little faith.” Again, he took both of her hands and began to pull her along.
“My bonnet?” she asked.
“I have it.”
“Excellent. It’s brand new, and I don’t want anything to happen to it.”
She heard amusement in his next exhalation. “It’s hanging on my arm by the ribbons.”
“Thank you for the beautiful clothes.”
He gave her hands a slight squeeze.
It felt strange and disquieting to walk without the ability to see, but he was a careful guide, and as he led her deeper into the warmth of the stable, her steps grew more confident and less hesitant. That is, until he stopped walking and said, “Ah, a trap.”
“What?” she demanded.
“This has Captain Ferris written all over it.”
She lifted one of her hands from his grasp and raised it to touch her blindfold. “Bellamy, I’m about to—”
“No, stop,” he said, grabbing her hand again. “There’s no danger. Somehow, the mistletoe has made it all the way out here to the stables. You’re standing directly under some.”
She raised an eyebrow—not that he could see it.
He brought both of her hands up to his waistcoat and said, “Hold on to this button.” Then she felt his fingers on her jaw. He was not wearing gloves, and his skin was warm on her face as he smoothed back a few strands of hair that had been caught by the scarf tied around her head. With the other hand, he tilted up her chin. “Hold very still,” he whispered.
Blue Huxley & Jade Behr are offering an ebook copy of Helen of Castleford: Have Yourself a Marriage of Convenience to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Helen of Castleford: Have Yourself a Marriage of Convenience by Blue Huxley & Jade Behr?