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Mistletoe Waltz by Alanna Lucas is a Christmas and Holiday Festival pick #holidayromance #giveaway



Title:

Mistletoe Waltz


Author:

Alanna Lucas


Genre:

Historical Romance- Regency


Book Blurb:


Dancing into the arms of love?


Marcus, Lord Hawthorne, vowed never to fall in love, the past having taught him that marriage can only ever lead to heartbreak. So, how has he allowed himself to be tricked into being leg-shackled to Faith Whitworth, the daughter of a scheming businessman who wants entry to the ton?


Marcus’s solution for dealing with his unwanted wife is to keep her at Deer Park, his country estate, while he stays in London. But when he returns at Christmastime, he is surprised to find that not only does Faith revel in her role as his marchioness, she is sweet and lovely—and he desires her. This was never part of his plan. However, the arrival of relatives means he won’t be able to escape until the yuletide festivities are over.


As Twelfth Night approaches, Faith’s gentleness and beauty are growing on Marcus more and more. He realizes he wants to dance with her forever, in a marriage that’s more than in name only. He knows he can protect her from her ruthless papa and make her happy—just as long as he doesn’t have to give her his heart…


Excerpt:


“My lord, my lord!” A panicked echo resonated from the front of the house.


Perhaps his wife had been found and the search could be called off, but something in his gut told him otherwise. Marcus looked up at the ceiling and closed his eyes. Please let her be safe.


“My lord!” He opened his eyes and hurried in the direction of the shouts, almost colliding with Thomas.


“Lady Hawthorne’s horse has returned,” the young man labored out, his face grave. Dread sank into the pit of Marcus’ stomach. “And Lady Hawthorne?”


Breathing heavily, Thomas shook his head.


Marcus did not wait a moment longer. He may not have wanted this marriage, but she was still his responsibility. “What direction did the horse come from?”


“South, my lord.”


Running to the stables, with Thomas following close behind, he reissued his orders. “I’ll go south. Tell the others to spread out in all directions. No one is to rest until she is found.”


His horse was already being saddled. Not wanting to delay his departure, he pushed the stable boy aside and took over finishing the task himself. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and there was no time to lose.


Almost an hour had passed and Marcus still had not found her. He had covered quite a distance. Although the rain was coming down in icy sheets, his horse sloshed through the mud at a quick and steady pace. He spotted a dilapidated barn in the distance and hoped his wife had sought shelter from the storm there. It took several minutes for him to reach the ragged old half-standing structure.


There was no sign of life. Damn.


He did not linger, but furthered his search. How far could she have gone on such a dreary night?


The heavy rain gave way to an eerie fog that crept over the land. A movement on the ground in the distance caught his attention. He squinted into the hazy mist and his breath caught in his throat, his breathing almost stopping altogether. “Bloody hell.” He kicked his horse into a gallop.


Seconds later, he reached the heap on the road. He jumped off his horse and rushed to his wife’s side. She was cold and wet, but still breathing. Relief washed through him. She was alive. Taking off his coat, he wrapped her in its warmth. Her eyes fluttered open. Instead of the expected relief, he saw a flash of terror before she tried to push herself away from him.


He was puzzled. For the second time in one evening, she had pulled away from him in fear.


“D…don’t h…hu…rt m…” Her words trailed off into a hoarse whisper. Her face was ashen, eyes still bright with fright. That look struck a chord with him.


He sat back on his haunches and stared at her, shaking his head with disbelief. Did she really believe he would search for her only to cause her harm? Not for the first time did he wonder what she was hiding. He was the one who’d sacrificed his own happiness so that she would not be ruined. He was the one who’d saved her—twice now.


A shiver rippled through her, forcing his attention to the present. Now was not the time or place to uncover those secrets. He needed to get her back to the house. The moment he ran his hands up her legs, her eyes opened wide. Ignoring her shock, he continued with his brief inspection of her body. Satisfied with the results, he informed her, “It doesn’t appear that you have broken anything.”


She did not respond to him with words, just nodded her head in agreement. He picked up her tiny, shivering frame. Remorse gnawed at his conscience as anger and confusion collided within, conflicting with reason. What have Idone?


He placed her atop his horse, Ameriko, and then mounted behind her. She tensed the moment their bodies touched and tried to edge away. “I…I can w…walk,” she stammered out.


Ignoring her protest, he brought her in close, wrapping his coat more securely about her form. He did not know what had possessed her to leave, but was certain it had something to do with their argument. Why else would the chit have left the warmth of Deer Park? Yes, he was upset over the decorations, but deep down, he knew it had nothing to do with them.


He did not like the emotions this unwanted wife stirred in him. He had buried those feelings for a reason, and every time he was near her, she chiseled away another fine layer. This would have to stop. He might be married to her, but he did not have to offer any affection.


I will not care.


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Share a holiday family tradition:


Even though our family can’t always be together (we’re spread out all over the world), Christmas Eve dinner is the same for all of us: fried fish, my Oma’s potato salad recipe, and bread.


Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood?


Love, letting go of the past, and embracing the future is a wonderful way to celebrate this special time of year.


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card



Open internationally.


Runs December 1 – 31


Drawing will be held on January 2, 2024.



Author Biography:


Bestselling, award-winning author, Alanna Lucas pens Regency-set historicals filled with romance, adventure, and of course, happily ever afters. When she is not daydreaming of her next travel destination, Alanna can be found researching, spending time with family, tending to her garden, or going for long walks. She makes her home in California with her husband and children, and too many books to count.


Just for the record, you can never have too many handbags or books. And travel is a must.


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