Friday, January 4, 2019

Nice Way to Start the Year

I style myself as an award-winning author, but the number of awards is much smaller than that of some of my sister authors (cough, cough, Marissa). So, when I hear that my books have made some list, I get rather giddy. Allow me to share that giddiness with you.

For the third year in a row, I am honored to have one of my books on Kathy’s Review Corner’s Gems list, this time for Never Doubt a Duke, the first in my Fortune’s Brides series. Kathy is a voracious reader, and I appreciate how she works with authors to showcase great books. She chooses her favorite books of the year to include on the Gems list. You might drop by for a visit. 

Never Doubt a Duke also graced the Favorite 2018 Books list at Hope by the Book. My thanks to Alysha Worthen and her blog, For the Love of Christian Fiction, for the nomination.

If you’d like to catch up with the latest of my Fortune’s Brides series, Never Vie for a Viscount was launched on December 28. Lydia Villers wants to leave behind her life as a social butterfly and pursue a career in natural philosophy. A shame the only scientist available to assist her is the man she had once hoped to wed. Viscount Worthington has been betrayed once too often, including by the bubbly beauty who now wants to work at his side. How can he believe Lydia’s intentions are true this time? With the help of Miss Thorn and her beloved cat Fortune, an enthusiastic young lady and a wary lord might just discover that only together do they make the perfect chemistry.

Here’s a little taste:

As the rest of the team murmured their goodbyes, Lydia went to set the pincushion on the shelves. Irritating, impossible man. How was she to learn anything when Worth set her at meaningless tasks? Was he trying to force her to leave?

She gasped, whirling. “You are! You want me gone.”

His sister Charlotte frowned. “I’m sure I never said any such thing.”

Worth had his hands behind his back, as if intent on hiding something. “If the work displeases you, Miss Villers, we will not hold you to your agreement of employment.”

Charlotte stared at him. Lydia raised her chin and looked him in the eye. The grey seemed darker, as if his thoughts were as dismal.

“I came here to learn more about natural philosophy,” she told him. “Nothing you have done, nothing you can do, will change that, my lord.”

She thought he might look disappointed, perhaps chagrined that she had caught him at his game. Instead, he stepped forward and offered her his arm.

“In that case,” he said, “may I see you home, Miss Villers?”

She wanted to refuse. He had disappointed her too many times. But he obviously had a hypothesis about her. She should let him test it, offer him evidence that she was more capable than he knew. If he spent time with her, learned more about her, perhaps he would come to understand why she was here and be more inclined to let her help.

She put her arm on his. “Very well, my lord.”

He escorted her to where she’d left her things in her tiny room, then led her back through the house and out the front door.

“I apologize,” he said as they walked along the pavement at the edge of Clarendon Square.

“For humoring me or for failing to accept the results of my experiment?” Lydia asked, voice pleasant from long practice.

“For upsetting you,” he said. “I dislike seeing you unhappy.”

Lydia stopped, forcing him to stop as well. “How extraordinary. Do you dislike seeing Miss Pankhurst unhappy?”

He cocked his head as if considering the matter. “I would like to think so.”

“Then you would allow her to commandeer your time with useless experiments.”


He had always seemed so open, so obvious in his thoughts, until he had sent that horrid note dismissing her. Could she believe him now? How could she continue to work in that house if she didn’t?

“Then why,” she asked, “did you do that for me?”

Again, his answer was swift. “Every natural philosopher has a right to test a theory. My approval, the application to my research, appeared immaterial in that moment. I wanted to know how you would go about testing it, your response to the testing.”

“So, you did have a hypothesis about me,” Lydia said, “and you were testing it too. What was your hypothesis, my lord?”

He colored. Truly, it was an amazing sight. The red climbed in his cheeks until it clashed with his auburn hair. “I’m not entirely sure. Perhaps I was merely curious.”

Curious, or wondering whether she’d behave logically? Of course, on hearing what he’d done, she’d all but stomped her feet and called him names, so there was that.

“Apology accepted,” she said, starting forward at a brisk pace.

He hurried to fall into step beside her. “Thank you.”

“However,” Lydia said, skirts sweeping the pavement, “I believe reparations are in order.”

“I see.” He nodded thoughtfully. “Flowers perhaps?”

Lydia clucked her tongue. “Nothing so common, sir. You wounded me deeply.”

“Should I apologize again?”

He sounded so perplexed, hands going behind his back once more. Was that what he did when he was uncertain? She could not doubt that she had disquieted him.

But she did not intend to encourage him.

“No,” she said. “But you could give me a greater part in the work.”

She glanced at him to find his head down, his gaze on the stone at their feet. “Alas, it would be unfair to Miss Janssen and Miss Pankhurst to take their work from them.”

Lydia stopped at the bottom of the stairs leading up to Meredith’s door. “Surely there must be something. Perhaps if you told me what we are working toward, I might be able to propose a role.”

His face closed, and he took a step back from her. “I’m afraid that must remain quiet for now. Good afternoon, Miss Villers.”

He turned and strode back the way they had come, for all the world as if she were chasing him.

You can find Never Vie for a Viscount in ebook at many fine online retailers and in print from Amazon:


Here’s to a great year, my dears. You know it will be amazing because, it’s 19!


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