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A Very Merry Viscount by @JaneACharles is a Christmas in July Fete pick #historicalromance #giveaway
Title: A Very Merry Viscount
Author: Jane Charles
Genre: Historical Romance
The thought of spending Christmas at Danby Castle with her matchmaking great-uncle filled Lady Tabitha Storm’s heart with dread. She would love a match, of course, with the handsome horseman she’d spied in Hyde Park throughout the last season. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even know the gentleman’s name. But settling for anyone else is the last thing she’d ever do. Andrew Delaney, Viscount Straffan was determined to eat, drink and be merry surrounded by family and friends in Ireland, but when The Duke of Danby dangled the one thing he coveted among all others, he had no choice but to travel to Yorkshire for Christmas. Before Danby will agree to the deal, he required one final task. Thankfully, it involved the beauty Andrew had spied strolling in Hyde Park. Would Andrew gain more this holiday than he ever dreamed, or would his Irish heritage stand in his way?
Chetwick Manor, Cheshire, England, December 10, 1817
What more could a gentleman want than fine Irish whiskey and a peaceful afternoon at his brother’s estate before he returned home to Ireland. Andrew Delaney, Viscount Straffan, hadn’t had the opportunity to simply relax in some time and this was exactly what he needed after this last year of racing and managing stables. Now all he need concern himself with were newssheets and a daily brisk ride across the countryside. In fact, it was his intention to enjoy Christmas in the festive company of parents and younger sisters, and if he were so lucky, enjoy warm caresses of an Irish widow.
Andrew was determined to eat, drink and be marry for after Twelfth Night he must returned to England once more.
“The post,” the butler announced as he carried a tray to his brother, Patrick who frowned, noting the address “Tis not for me, but for yerself.”
“Who the blazes would track me here?” Andrew had left his estate in Suffolk a fortnight ago to spend time with his brother and sister-in-law before traveling on to Ireland. “Who is it from?”
Patrick turned it over and noted the seal. “Danby.”
“I wonder what he wants.” Andrew’s relaxed almost meditative state evaporated at that one name and he got up and crossed to the sideboard to pour a bit more the whiskey into his glass.
“There is only one way to find out.” Patrick waved the letter in the air. “And pour me a glass too.”
Andrew frowned. “I can think of no reason why Danby would write me instead of Father.”
“So ye’re not goin’ ta read it?”
Andrew eyed the missive as he put a glass in front of Patrick. There was only one thing Andrew wanted from Danby. It was the same thing his father wanted, and their grandfather before he died, though Andrew didn’t expect to have it given to him in a letter, or ever.
After settling in the leather chair, he took a sip of the Bushmills and studied the missive. If he took it from Patrick then he’d need to read it.
Or, would he? There was nothing to keep him from just tossing into the hearth. Then he could go about his plans for a very merry holiday.
Except, curiosity was getting the best of him. Why had Danby written him?
“Give it here.” Andrew held out his hand.
Instead of handing it over, Patrick waved it again. “Are ye certain? Nothin’ good can come of a letter from Danby.”
“I cannot imagine anythin’ bad either.” As much as he tried, Andrew could think of no reason why the Duke of Danby would write to him.
“Ye’re a viscount and future marquess,” Patrick stated as if Andrew needed a reminder.
“I don’t see what my title has to do with anythin’.”
Patrick chuckled. “Have ye not been payin’ attention to what His Grace has been about these last years? He’s been makin’ matches for his relatives who haven’t wed in a timely manner.”
“I don’t see what that has to do with me.”
“Ye’re a bachelor, gettin’ rather long in the tooth. He has more than one great-niece who…” Patrick trailed off with a shrug.
“I’m only thirty, hardly long in the tooth and I cannot imagine that Danby would want to marry one of his relatives into our family after so many years of animosity.”
“Well, he wants somethin’.”
“If ye hand it over, we’d find out now, wouldn’t we?” Andrew grabbed the letter from his brother’s hand and broke the seal.
The Right Honorable Viscount Straffan,
It is my hope that my correspondence found you at your brother’s home before you had the opportunity to return to Ireland to celebrate Christmas.
How the blazes did Danby know that he’d be here?
As you know, your grandfather had been one of my closest friends since Eton and why I found myself purchasing a piece of land that neighbored your family’s estate so that I too could establish a stud farm with the fastest and best racers available.
Andrew sat forward and took a drink, afraid to be hopeful that they’d finally be able to purchase the stud farm. If so, then his Christmas would be the merriest indeed.
We were such idealistic lads and thought to take the racing world by storm. Your grandfather did well and you continue in his legacy. However, I have no desire to continue with the sport. Therefore, I am now willing to part with the land, stables and horses as they serve no purpose to me or my family. I cannot imagine any of my relatives wishing to live in Ireland even if I forced the issue, which I easily could, as you well know.
Finally, it would all be theirs!
All you need do is attend me at Danby Castle to negotiate the terms before I sign the deed over to you. Once you inherit you can join the land with that of your future marquessate.
If you do not arrive on or before December 21, this offer will be withdrawn.
I look forward to your spending Christmas at Danby Castle.
Andrew passed the letter to Patrick and settled back in his seat as he contemplated his options. There had to be a catch, but for the life of him, he could not see one, other than his Christmas holiday no longer seemed so very merry.
“I knew it.” Patrick slammed the palm of his hand on the table.
“Ye’re about to marry.”
Andrew took a drink and shook his head. “Danby said nothing about marriage.”
“He wouldn’t dangle the property in front of ye to get you to the castle for Christmas otherwise.”
Suspicion settled into Andrew’s gut. Why now when an agreement could be reached at any time? It wasn’t like Danby to embrace the Christmas spirit or any other pleasant emotion so His Grace definitely had additional plans that Andrew was not aware of.
However, Andrew was also quite certain that marriage was not a part of Danby’s plans. An English duke would never marry a relation to an Irish gentleman, even if he was in possession of a title and fortune.
So, what exactly did the Duke of Danby want from Andrew in return besides the obvious purchase price?
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TXJ1VQW
Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-very-merry-viscount-jane-charles/1132307421
Apple Books – https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1471112702
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-very-merry-viscount
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51300121-a-very-merry-viscount
BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-very-merry-viscount-the-spirited-storms-4-by-jane-charles
What I love most about the holiday season:
I find the holidays romantic. Curling up before a fire, sipping wine, sharing secrets. Or a walk during a snowfall. Magic. The season is magical for children and adults.
Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?
It's a fun read for anyone who enjoys manipulative matchmakers. In this case, the culprit is the Duke of Danby.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs July 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on August 1.
USA Today Bestselling Author Jane Charles lives in the Midwest with her former marine, police officer husband. As a child she would more likely be found outside with a baseball than a book in her hand, until one day, out of boredom on a long road trip, she borrowed her sister’s romance novel and fell in love. Her life is filled with three amazing children, two dogs, two cats, community theatre, and traveling whenever possible. Jane may have begun her career writing romances set in the Regency era, but blames being a Gemini as to why she’s equally pulled toward writing Contemporary/New Adult as well as Historical romances.
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