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A Sprig of Mistletoe by Katherine Bone is a Snuggle Up Event pick #historicalromance #giveaway



Title: A Sprig of Mistletoe


Author: Katherine Bone


Genre: Historical/Victorian Romance


Book Blurb:


London, December 1843


Bah…humbug!


Philanthropist Bartholomew Fernsby is by no means a Scrooge, working as he does to distribute his wealth amongst the poor. But there is one trait he shares with the character in Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol. He hates Christmas.


God bless us, every one!


Lady Catherine Egerton adores the Yuletide, and she and her brother are traveling to London to deliver some seasonal cheer to one of the city’s workhouses, and also purchase a copy of the newly published A Christmas Carol. Only a near accident at Euston Station brings a change of fortune when Kitty is saved by a handsome stranger—Mr Bartholomew Fernsby, her brother’s dearest friend.


Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.


When the Egertons invite Bart to spend the festive season at their country estate, he’s torn. He loathes all the merriment and mistletoe, and it’s this time of year when he mourns his mother’s passing. But the comfort of Lady Kitty’s spirit, and the joy he sees in her eyes, are just too tempting to ignore…


Excerpt:


Love and duty had brought her to London. She was only standing here now because Papa had ordered her to pry into her brother’s affairs, something she found terribly offensive. She’d agreed, if only to visit poorer sections of the city that called to her heart. Her brother was supposed to meet an old friend from Eton there—Bartholomew Fernsby. Mr. Fernsby and several investors were campaigning for a new Poor Law Union that would regulate education in London’s poorest areas, which meant he had connections her father could utilize. Papa desired to expand the Bridgewaters’ philanthropic efforts to the East End, and Mr. Fernsby’s connections would help make that possible. But could the man be trusted? He’d been a phantom, darting in and out of Ambrose’s life for the past fifteen years, which made Papa suspicious. If Papa was going to support the new Poor Law Union—and the schools it spawned—he wanted proof that Mr. Fernsby wasn’t a fraud. And if she suspected Mr. Fernsby misled Ambrose, Papa had ordered her to put an end to their relationship by whatever means necessary.


She took no pleasure in spying on Ambrose, and doing so weighed heavily on her. What right did she have to destroy Ambrose’s friendship—or his ambitions—when all she wanted to do was share them, to do likewise and take her philanthropic place in Society?


“All aboard!” a porter hailed from the platform.


“Thief!” another demanding bellow followed. “Get back here, boy!”


The engine whistled off more loudly than the previous time, preventing her from hearing more of the altercation as she dragged her attention away from the decorative ceiling to search the platform for its source. In London, or anywhere crowds gathered and innovation excelled, pickpockets roamed, and wherever there was a crush of people, thefts and accidents occurred.


Compressors for the brakes shifted, creating a chuffing sound. Steam and exhaust burst forth from the train, propelled with great force from a continuous line of pipe, giving Kitty hardly any time at all to respond before the little thief suddenly appeared out of the ether.


“Get out of me way!” he spat before barreling into her. Kitty lost her balance grappling for the child, their limbs intertwined, as she tried to prevent both of them from falling to their deaths. “I’m sorry, miss.” He broke free and ran off, leaving Kitty struggling to regain her balance.


Tangled in her skirts, she started to fall. “Help!” she shouted, her heart pounding so hard it might break out of her chest.


Two large, strong hands circled her waist, and she was yanked into a solid wall of muscle, the daring act sparing her from toppling between two cars and bludgeoning her head on the ironworks. “Oh!” she exclaimed at the impact.


“Are you hurt?”


She froze at the deep baritone voice. “No.” She blinked and dizzily raised her head, making out the buttons on a black greatcoat. She could hardly comprehend how this rock-hard form had connected with hers so readily. One minute, she was contemplating the architecture, and the next, a stranger was embracing her, a man. And one whose body felt surprisingly familiar yet instinctively thrilling.


How hard did I hit my head?


But Kitty wasn’t that daft . . . She hadn’t hit her head. Thanks to the man’s quick reaction, she hadn’t even made it to the ground.


Her senses jarred and mind spinning, blood heated Kitty’s cheeks. The stranger stood a head taller than she did, forcing her to lean her head back to meet his gaze. Steam swirled about them as the engine shrieked, the unwelcome mist enveloping them in secrecy. A peculiar world of sensation and folly encompassed them.


“You are shaking.” His voice eased over her like honey dripping from the comb, and her heartbeat kicked up to an even more unprecedented cadence. “Allow me to escort you to the ticket office.”


“N-No,” she insisted, despising how her body betrayed her. What had come over her? “You may unhand me now. I have found my footing.”


“But is it sound?” His face materialized before her, revealing the most rugged-looking visage in all of creation—masculine, formidable, tempered by time, and when combined with his touch, utterly intoxicating. “Forgive me,” he said. “I wouldn’t be a gentleman if I didn’t insist that you seek care until every possibility of injury has been dismissed. The railroad is accountable for—”


“No.” She stepped back, needing space and air, and she immediately regretted the chill that entered her bones.


Her rescuer was handsome and dark, and his eyes were a startling blue, contrasting their rustic surroundings. Expression lines etched his brows, and there was a minor scar slanting over his right eye. It was almost invisible in the shadows cast across his forehead by the brim of his hat. His cheekbones were defined, and an aquiline nose that slanted away from his face like granite appeared to have been broken before. A mustache adorned his upper lip, and his beard was neatly trimmed around his chin, a scant portion left untouched below his bottom lip.


“No harm has been done, I assure you,” she added.


Liar! He had undone her.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):






November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?


My family—without them, I don’t know where I’d be—and being able to tell the stories of my heart.


Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?


"WHAT A DELIGHTFUL READ! I'VE READ MANY NOVELLAS/FULL NOVELS TRYING TO CONVEY THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS, MOST MISS THE MARK. I'M PLEASED TO SAY THIS HAD IT ALL." —AMAZON REVIEWER


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card



Open internationally.


Runs November 1 – 30


Drawing will be held on December 1.



Author Biography:


Addicted to history and romance, Katherine spent the better part of her childhood roaming the globe as an Army brat. Then while attending college, she was swept off her feet by a military officer. Yes, reader, she married him, and they continued traveling the world. Four children, two Labradors, and three cats later, Katherine put down roots in the south. And there she pursued her lifelong passion of creating vivid stories that came calling with abandon. Adventure. Mayhem. Swashbuckling heroes. Her books are pure escapism at heart.


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2 Comments


andreadrake1
andreadrake1
Nov 08, 2023

I’m thankful for my family, my cats, and authors!

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Nov 07, 2023

Thank you, Katherine, for sharing your book in our Snuggle Up With These Books Readathon!

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