Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Going Courting?

This week marks the launch of The Courting Campaign, which should be on the shelves of bookstores near you as well as available at many online venues. Why is that exciting? For one, it's my 25th work of Regency-set romantic fiction, a fact that humbles me. For another, it's the first book in a new series, where downstairs servants play matchmaker for upstairs aristocracy. And for a third, the reviewers seem to really enjoy it. Huntress Reviews gave it a rare five stars; RT Book Reviews, romance's premiere industry magazine, gave it four and a half stars and a Top Pick; and an online reviewer says it's my best book yet. I hope you agree!

Emma Pyrmont has no designs on handsome Sir Nicholas Rotherford--at least not for herself. As his daughter's nanny, she sees how lonely little Alice has been. With the cook's help, Emma shows the workaholic scientist just what Alice needs. But making Nicholas a better father makes Emma wish her painful past didn't mar her own marriage chances.

Ever since scandal destroyed his career, Nicholas has devoted himself to his new invention. Now his daughter's sweet, quick-witted nanny is proving an unexpected distraction. All evidence suggests that happiness is within reach--if only a man of logic can trust in the deductions of his own heart.
Want more? Here's a short excerpt of when Emma and Nick first meet:

Out in his laboratory, Sir Nicholas Rotherford placed another damp cloth over the glowing wool and stepped back to cover his nose with the sleeve of his brown wool coat. Carbon always turned acrid. He knew that. He'd figured it out when he was eight and had burned his first piece of toast over the fire. He should have considered that fact before treating the wool and attempting to set it ablaze.

Now the smoke filled the space, and he could no longer even see the locks of black hair that tended to fall into his face when he bent over his work. His nose was stinging with the smell, and he shuddered to think what was happening inside his paisley waistcoat, where his lungs must be laboring.

But he had work to do, and nattering on about his health wasn't going to get it done.

Behind him, he heard footsteps on the marble floor he'd had installed in the old laundry outbuilding when he'd made it into his laboratory. No doubt his sister-in-law Charlotte had come to berate him again for missing some function at the Grange. She couldn't seem to understand that his work was more important than observing the social niceties.

Of course, it was possible she'd noticed the smoke pouring from the building and had come to investigate.

"It's all right," he called. "I have it under control."

"I'm certain the good Lord will be glad to hear that when you report to Him an hour from now in heaven," a bright female voice replied. "But if you prefer to continue carrying on this work here on earth, I suggest you breathe some fresh air. Now."

Nick turned. The smoke still billowed around him, made more visible by the light from the open doorway. He could just make out a slender female form and . . .a halo?

He blinked, and the figure put out a hand. "Come along. You've frightened the staff quite enough."

It was a kind tone, a gentle gesture, but he could tell she would brook no argument, and he was moving before he thought better of it.

Once outside, he felt supple fingers latching onto his arm and drawing him farther from the door. The air cleared, and he sucked in a breath as he stopped on the grass closer to the Grange.

It was sunny. He could see the house, the planted oak forests on either side, the sweep of fields that led down the dale toward the other houses that speckled the space. Odd. He was certain it had been pouring rain when he'd set out for the laboratory that morning, the mists obscuring the peaks behind the buildings.

How long had he been working?

"Take a deep breath," his rescuer said.

The advice seemed sound, so he did as she bid. The clean air sharpened his mind, cleared his senses. Somewhere nearby he thought he smelled lavender.

"Better?" she asked.

"Better," he agreed. His gaze traveled over her, from her sturdy black boots to her muddy brown eyes. She appeared to be shorter than he was, perhaps a little less than five and a half feet. What he'd taken as a halo was her pale blond hair, wound in a coronet braid around a face symmetrical enough to be pleasing. Her brown wool dress with its long sleeves and high neck hardly looked like heavenly apparel.

But then how could he be certain? He'd been avoiding thoughts of heaven and its Master for several months now.

"Who are you?" he asked.

She dipped a curtsey, but her pink lips compressed as if she found the question vexing. "Emma Pyrmont." When he continued to wait for clarification, she added, "Your daughter's nanny."
Be sure to come back Friday for a chance to win a free copy. If you simply cannot wait, here are links to some of the sales sites online:

Love Inspired
Barnes and Noble
An Independent Bookseller Near You
The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)


Leandra Wallace said...

I enjoyed her comment when he said he had it under control! =) Sounds really good, and Regency romance is some of the best, imho!

Regina Scott said...

Thanks, Leandra. Obviously, I'm a big fan of Regency romance too! It's one of my favorite genres to read as well as write.