Travel to Somerset, England for your Holiday Season!
A Kiss at Christmastide
Genre: Regency Historical Romance, Christmas
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Length: 35k words
Lady Pippa Godfrey has suffered the most ruinous London Season. She escapes to her Somerset estate for a quiet Christmastide holiday with her family, away from society’s prying eyes. But before her parents can join her, a storm crashes down on Somerset to destroy any hope of Pippa’s white Christmas dream. The roads have flooded and travel is impossible, leaving her stranded and alone. But a muddied, angry and devilishly handsome lord appears at her door demanding shelter.
Lucas Hartfeld, the Earl of Maddox, has been summoned by his parents, the Marquis and Marchioness of Bowmont, to attend a holiday party in the wilds of the country, far from his London townhouse. He suspects they command his attendance for far different reasons than a simple country party. When a storm strands his carriage, he’s forced to seek shelter at the only home for miles around, a local manor called Helton House.
When Lady Pippa is reluctant to admit him, he does what he’s been raised to do—demand she provide him and his servants with shelter until the storm passes. But the beautiful woman draws his interest far more than he’s willing to admit. Can Lucas find a way out of the predicament his parents are planning?
As Lady Pippa scrutinizes another arrogant, demanding lord, she is bombarded with memories of betrayals in her past. Can she forget those difficult life lessons to claim a Christmastide kiss from a perfect stranger?
Pippa pushed her hair away to continue with instructing the servant to the nearest inn. “Your lord will be far more comfortable…”
The wind whipped the last of her hair from her face to reveal not the servant from before, but a tall, very tall, broad-shouldered, very broad-shouldered, man—that was all Pippa saw of him as her glance locked on his chest. He was drenched, with his shirt plastered to his enormous width. It hadn’t been the wind that had knocked the door from her hands and allowed the storm access to her home, but the man before her.
And he was fuming mad—his nostrils flared as water dripped from his hair and he stared at her pointedly—not bothering to mask his aggressive stance.
“Were you truly going to turn away a man in need of shelter?” his voice boomed.
Pippa gasped, taking yet another step back. She glanced quickly over her shoulder, hoping the noise had awoken one of her servants, abed on the third floor of the house. But none came running to aid her.
“I knew I was venturing to the depths of hell when I agreed to come all this way from London, but are manners not taught in the wilds of Somerset?” The man ran his hands down the front of his shirt, pushing the water from his body to pool on the floor beneath him. “My servants will need space in your stables. I thank you for…” he eyed her up and down before continuing. “…your hospitality, my lady.”
He bowed before Pippa with his last words and his breath caressed her body, making her acutely aware of two things; he smelled heavily of spirits and she was attired in a sheer nightshift that did not leave much to the imagination.
Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.
Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.