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Love for Christmas -- Denise Patrick

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Love for Christmas
Genre: Victorian Romance - Short Story

’Tis the season—for love.

Falling in love at first sight—with another man’s wife—was hell for Phillip Houghton. Never mind that he knew Julianna’s husband to be a thoroughly unsavory man, the ring on her finger meant she was off limits.

Even after the man’s untimely death, Phillip put even more distance between them, leaving the country to give her time to heal. Three years later he is back, and determined that nothing will let her slip through his fingers. Not even his status as a second son.

To all outward appearances, Julianna is content with her life as a widow with two small children. On the inside, the scars of her husband’s abuse feed her general distrust of men. Phillip makes her painfully aware of how lonely her life truly is, but why marry again when she has all the family, and security, she needs?

Yet as Phillip wins over her parents and children, she finds herself drawn to him. Dare she trust her mind—and her heart—for a second chance with forever written all over him?

Warning
Never underestimate a man who is willing to deal with a two-year-old in tantrum mode.

   

Family Scandals

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Family Scandals
Genre: Victorian Romance

Her family has a death wish. For her.

Lord Marcus Waring married Corinna Houghton with the best of intentions—to protect her should anything happen to her brother while both he and Marcus are serving in India. That the child bride is underage is but a small footnote in his family’s long history of scandal.

News that his wife has died in a carriage accident stabs him with regret, but with no reason to question the report, he extends his stay until another near-scandal brings him home—eight years after his secret marriage.

Corinna is in hiding. Alone in the world after her parents’ deaths, despised by her family, unwanted even by the husband who seems to have forgotten her. When she discovers her temporary governess position is in the home of Marcus’s brother, she holds out a secret hope that she will at last learn his whereabouts.

When wife and erstwhile husband meet again, it is as strangers. Gentle, fragile sparks of attraction and trust flicker to life, but their respective dark histories threaten to overshadow any possibility of happiness. Especially when it becomes clear that someone in her family still wishes her dead.

Warning: Marrying someone in the middle of the night, without a license, at age fourteen, might be a tad illegal, but love doesn’t care about legalities.

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The Scarred Heart

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The Scarred Heart
Genre: Regency Romance

Sometimes, the greatest casualty of war is trust.

Lionel Cantrell has all but given up hope of finding his missing wife and child. He left them in the care of his parents and older brother while he went abroad to fight the French, only to return to a marriage in shambles, a daughter that cannot possibly be his, and his wife and son fled to parts unknown.

Until now. At a former comrade’s house party, Lion comes face to face with the object of his five-year search. Emma, whose cold reception is keenly edged with barely concealed panic.

When Emma’s perfect marriage to her childhood sweetheart crumbled into an unendurable year  of humiliation and torment, she had no choice but to take their son—and her sanity—to build a new life under an assumed name. Her chance meeting with Lion threatens to expose long-buried emotional scars. And physical ones, the origins of which he must never know.

Emma’s stubborn refusal to explain why she won’t return home only fuels Lion’s relentless curiosity. So does their undeniable passion. Time is on his side, and his well of patience is deep. But Emma’s trauma runs far deeper…perhaps too deep for love to reach.

Warning: Contains a heroine caught in a treacherous web of deceit not of her making, two adorable children, and a hero determined enough to make things right

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The Scarred Heir

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The Scarred Heir
Genre: Regency Romance

Double trouble—with a twist.

Two months. Just two more months and Sarah Standish will be twenty-one and free to come out of hiding. Not long ago she was on the brink of marrying the man of her dreams—until she discovered his complicity with her uncle’s plan to gain control of her missing father’s substantial fortune.

A wounded man appears at the inn where she lives under an assumed name, and she’s shocked to discover it’s her would-be groom. He seems to have no memory of her, yet her traitorous heart remembers.

Max Dayton awakens from a fevered dream to find a vengeful angel hovering over him. When he realizes she’s mistaken him for his twin brother, his protective instincts kick in. There must be some reason his brother assumed Max’s identity…and some connection to this dazzling beauty and the father she insists is not dead.

In a quest to untangle the twisted trail of lies that threw them together, Sarah and Max journey to London, where the mystery grows darker and deeper. And the fragile beginnings of love are threatened by a secret someone would kill to keep.

Warning: Contains a war hero, runaway bride, jealous twin, greedy uncle, and a good reason to check names before proceeding. At least the dog knows who is who.

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theearl

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The Earl
Genre: Victorian Romance
ISBN: 978-1-60504-644-0

Book 3 in the Gypsy Legacy Series

A panther. A prince. A promise. Can destiny tie the knot?

During a magical childhood summer, a gypsy woman gave Lady Amanda Cookeson a black panther statuette, promising that the man who came to claim it would also claim her heart. Amanda believes the Earl of Wynton is the prince she has awaited. Yet his reluctance to declare them anything more than friends leaves her wondering if she waited in vain.

If he wasn’t the last of his line, Jon Kenton, Earl of Wynton, wouldn’t marry at all. Since leaving his inheritance to the Crown is out of the question, however, he is compelled to search for the statuette his great-grandmother promised him. His quest leaves him empty handed—and secretly relieved. Finding the statuette would mean embracing the gypsy roots he has long denied.

Amanda is perfect countess material: lovely, admirable and—he thinks—statueless. Their passion is unquenchable…until the gypsy magic Jon thought he’d buried nearly destroys his future with Amanda.

Warning: Trying to outrun your destiny is dangerous to your beloved’s health, but a little bit of the right drug goes a long way.

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theduke

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The Duke
Genre: Victorian Romance
ISBN: 978-1-60504-182-7

Book 2 in the Gypsy Legacy Series

He doesn’t need a wife. She doesn’t want a husband. Destiny’s not listening.

As children, Brand Waring, heir to the Duke of Warringham, and his brother were kidnapped and sold to a plantation in the West Indies. Now Brand is back to wreak vengeance on those responsible for his brother’s subsequent death. The last thing he wants, or needs, is to be distracted by an instant attraction to a flighty Society belle.

Felicia Collings has found it easy to refuse every marriage proposal, thanks to a ring left to her by her gypsy great-grandmother. Reportedly it will lead her to the man whom she is destined to marry. To her relief, the ring has been blessedly silent on this issue. Until Brand recognizes it, and sparks fly.

In spite of himself, Brand finds himself drawn to the beauty, and to the wounded soul reflected in her eyes. At his gentle hands, Felicia begins to learn what it means to be cherished and loved.

Then the past rears its head to threaten their fragile happiness. As Brand begins to doubt whether vengeance is as sweet as a lifetime with Felicia, he finds himself racing to save them both from not one cold-blooded killer—but two.

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themarquis
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The Marquis
Genre: Victorian Romance
ISBN: 978-1-59998-693-7

Book 1 in the Gypsy Legacy Series

One promise, two pendants…love that was destined to be.

Lady Christina Kenton’s life is turned upside down when her gypsy great-grandmother gives her a pendant, along with a deathbed request—Tina must promise to marry only the man wearing its mate. But Tina cannot bring herself to make the promise, for her late stepfather has already pledged her hand to his long-absent heir.

Jay Collings, now the Marquis of Thanet, returns to England after an eighteen-year absence to honor a promise to a gypsy who once aided him, only to discover he must break his vow in order to secure his inheritance. The last thing he wants is a wife chosen by the father he despised.

Tina’s gentle strength touches Jay in ways no other woman has. And, unknown to them both, she holds the key to Jay’s promise and his inheritance. But just as their fragile relationship begins to take root, the legacy of her gypsy blood brings danger to their doorstep.

Jay and Tina’s destinies may be entwined—but will they live long enough to fulfill them.

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The Importance of Almack's
Genre: Regency Romance
ISBN: 978-1-59998-795-8

Banished and disowned for saving a stranger’s life…

In Regency England, lineage and vouchers to Almack’s are everything, but Pamela Clarkdale has neither. After her father casts her out, she considers herself fortunate to have obtained a position as a companion to an elderly widow.

Kitt Covington has sworn off Almack’s and marriage. Why attend one when he has no interest in the other? Guilt, however, is a powerful motivator. Knowing he caused Pamela to be thrown out of her home, he proposes a sham betrothal between them to ease his conscience.

Kitt’s offer is tempting and Pamela agrees, with the caveat that the betrothal will disappear at the end of the season. But not only is Pamela refused vouchers to Almack’s, her family is scheming to destroy her to protect a secret she doesn’t realize she knows. When the twenty-year-old web of lies and deceit begins to unravel, will Pamela and Kitt discover that Almack’s isn’t really that important after all?

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