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Kisses & Winter Wishes: A Historical Romance Anthology is a KU Event pick #historicalromance #ku
Title: Kisses & Winter Wishes: A Historical Romance Anthology
Authors: Angelina Jameson, Clyve Rose, Emma Brady, Godiva Glenn, Grace Hartwell, Heather Osborne, Rose Pearson, Shanti James, Tanya Wilde
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Join amorous rakes, shy wallflowers and a powerful maharani on a journey through the racy Regency to the turbulent 1940s.
Petticoats fly, cravats are crushed, and silk saris unravel in this collection of historical romances from USA Today best-selling and award-winning romance authors, curated by The New Romance Cafe. HEA guaranteed.
June, 18098, Bacton Hall, Norfolk
A damp, salty breeze rustled the skirt of Bridget’s lilac sprigged cotton dress as she looked out over the North Sea from her vantage point on the low-lying sandstone cliff. She watched the waves as they surged and receded against the shore. The sky was a somber mass of roiling gray clouds hanging low over the water, the darkening heavens a match for her current pensive mood.
“Fourteen is too old to run off to sea,” she said grumpily to her best friend Alexander, a toss of her head sending her auburn curls dancing. Her gaze was now on his wiry frame. “And you’re too small. I’m almost as tall as you, and I’m three years younger.”
Alexander put a hand through his longish brown hair, pulling it away from his face. Despite being dressed in cast off clothing and well-worn boots, her friend always held himself proudly.
He shrugged and replied, “I’m not running off. Mr. Fuller has found me a spot at the Royal Naval College in Portsmouth. I may be older than most of the other students at the college, but I have a place there.”
The two children had met last summer upon Bridget and her father’s arrival for a stay at Bacton Hall. The owner of the hall, Mr. David Fuller, was a close friend of her father’s from their school days in King’s Lynn.
Alexander was the housekeeper’s son. There were no other children in residence at the hall and neither her father nor Mr. Fuller appeared to take offence at the friendship between Bridget and the housekeeper’s boy.
She’d written to Alexander over the autumn and winter months, happily surprised to receive replies to her letters. On her arrival at the hall this summer, her friend had been excited to tell her his news of going off to Portsmouth when the autumn term commenced.
“My mother doesn’t want me to go. Mr. Fuller helped me to finally convince her I must away and make my fortune.”
Bridget couldn’t think of a good argument against Alexander’s plans for his future. In the short time she’d known him he had often spoken of his love of the sea, about his desire to visit far off lands.
“I will miss you,” she replied soberly, feeling tears threaten. Other than her father, she’d never felt as close to anyone as she did to Alexander. She took a deep breath as several large drops of rain fell on her bare head.
“Despite being busy with my studies, I imagine I will miss you as well.” He peered at her closely, his hazel gaze narrowing on her face, a mischievous grin on his lips. “You would not cry over me, Miss Bridget?”
“Never!” She glanced at the horizon once more, the ominous sky above and churning surf below heralding the impending arrival of a storm. Changes were coming. Changes she may not like. “Will you promise to write to me?”
He winked. “I will do my best.”
They had four months to play together before he left for Portsmouth. She would make the most of that time. A loud clap of thunder crashed overhead, and they both jumped.
Bridget grinned at her friend, turned, and called over her shoulder as she began to run along the narrow path back to the hall, “Last one back to the house has to help your mother clear up after luncheon!”
December 1820, Bacton Hall
The dinner gong was struck, the deep echo of the resulting crash filling the downstairs corridors of the hall. Alexander winced. The call to dinner was just one more thing he would have to become accustomed to if he chose to leave the navy and remain at Bacton Hall. That, and his newfound Aunt Clara and Cousin Abigail.
“Mr. Danby and his daughter have not yet arrived, Wilson?” Alexander asked the elderly butler as he passed the servant to enter the drawing room.
“No, sir. I will inform you when they do.”
His other guests were already in the drawing room, and Alexander proceeded to escort his aunt into dinner. His shipmate, Lieutenant Gray, took Cousin Abigail’s arm as Gray’s sister trailed behind them.
“The wonderful Miss Danby has yet to arrive?” his aunt asked softly as she took her chair. “My brother was very fond of her, I believe. I am most anxious to see why.”
“Oh yes! It will be nice to spend some time with another lady my age,” his cousin said too brightly, her bored expression reflecting no such desire. She evidently remembered there was another young woman present as she added hastily, “Of course, it has been lovely to meet you, Miss Gray.”
That lady merely mumbled a response. Alexander wasn’t quite sure how old Gray’s sister was. She had an unlined face that could be either twenty or thirty.
The company sampled their first course, white soup.
“I believe Miss Danby is over twenty, my dear,” his aunt said to her seventeen-year-old daughter with an exaggerated sigh. “Still unmarried, poor thing.”
Alexander cleared his throat. “Bridget is twenty-two years of age. I wouldn’t place her on the shelf quite yet.” He had known Bridget for years and did not hesitate to use her Christian name.
Lieutenant Gray came to his aid between sips of soup. “My sister is nearly twenty-five and I expect her to make an excellent match.”
Aunt Clara’s only reply was a frigid smile. Miss Gray did not look up from her soup.
Alexander hadn’t known Mr. Fuller, ahem, his father, had written to his relations about Bridget. He wondered why he would have done so.
Buy Links (including Goodreads):
Kisses and Winter Wishes by Emma Brady | Goodreads
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Angelina Jameson is a multi-published author of historical Regency romance. Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada, Angelina joined the US Air Force to see the world. Dreams of visiting the United Kingdom were fulfilled when she was stationed at RAF Lakenheath in the beautiful countryside of Suffolk, England. Five years later she returned to the states having acquired a love of not only all things British but also Regency and historical romance.
With the help of Romance Writers of America, the hobby of writing developed into a dream of sharing her stories with others. Angelina currently lives in the great state of Alaska with her supportive husband and two teenage sons. She loves to write with a steady supply of coffee nearby and one of three cats on her lap.
Social Media Links:
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