Thursday, December 31, 2015

One Christmas With the Earl by Bethany Sefchick - Book Blitz


One Christmas With The Earl 


(The Seldon Park Christmas Novellas Book 1)


By Bethany Sefchick


Book Blitz

December 23 – January 3


About the Book:
It's the Christmas season and Lady Amelia St.
Vincent, spinster sister of the Devil Duke of Enwright, finds herself in
something of a quandary. While attending Lord Raynecourt's annual holiday house
party she has been relentlessly pursued by a veritable army of men after her
hand in marriage. Not to mention her obscenely sizeable dowry. She is at her
wit's end when the dashing Lord Fitzherbert Frost, the current Earl of
Houghton, appears as if by magic and comes to her rescue, saving her from yet
another fortune hunter.

Now paired with Lord Frost during a rather absurd
treasure hunt through the manor house, Amelia must decide if she is willing to
trade one night in the earl's bed for a lifetime of ruination. Or whether the
magical power of love can melt even the frostiest of hearts before it is too
late.

This 36,300-word novella, which is a companion piece
to the "Tales From Seldon Park" series, is written in the modern,
Regency romance style for a slightly hotter and sexier read. It may not be
appropriate for younger audiences.




Excerpt:
He turned back to look at Mellie now, his blue eyes
dark like a stormy sea at night, so rich and vivid with color that she thought
she might drown in them.  "I was six
and twenty when she left me.  And she was
not the first to do so either, though she was the first to do so in such dramatic
fashion.  There is simply something
decidedly unlovable about me.  Women
might desire me, they might crave my body, but they do not love me.  There can be no other explanation."  Fitz knew he was being brutally honest -
perhaps too honest - but he knew of no other way to be.

To his shock, Mellie snorted in derision and
clutched her hand tighter around his arm.
"And that, my lord, is a lot of nonsense."

He raised an eyebrow, his expression dark.  "You think so?"  His voice was a whisper.

"I know so," she tossed back quietly as
she handed him the book of poetry once more.
"You were simply with the wrong women.  All of them.
When the right one appears, she will love you just as you are.  And you will love her in return.  There will be desire and passion, yes, but
there will be love as well.  And I also
feel certain that you will have no trouble conversing with her."
 
 "And Roslyn and the others?"

Mellie tossed her head.  "That was desire, Fitz.  Nothing more.
They were not the correct women for you."

"Yes, well forgive me my cynicism, but I am
getting rather on in years.  And I have
long since accepted that I will have to trade love in exchange for heirs.  And sooner rather than later."  He shrugged.
"My parents had an arranged marriage.  Many of my friends still do.  Perhaps that would not have been such a bad
thing."  He stroked the cover of the
book again gently and she saw a sad light creep into his eyes.  "But my father gave me free choice
before he passed.  For my siblings, he
arranged their marriages, but for me?  He
told me to select my bride on my own, that as the future earl, I deserved a
different sort of happiness considering the burdens I would be forced to
shoulder.  Perhaps he should not have
done so."

Mellie couldn't say why Fitz's father, the previous
Lord Houghton, had done such a thing.
She knew why her father had done so for her, however.  And it was that bit of wisdom that she
offered him.

"Or perhaps your father knew that a man like
you would never be satisfied with a bride he did not choose, just as my father
knew I would never be satisfied with such a husband.  There was far too much of my mother in me for
his liking at times."  She tugged
him away from the window and into the warmth of the room before leaning back
against one of the soft leather chairs that dotted the Raynecourt library.  She allowed the silence to float between them
for a long moment.  "Or perhaps he
knew the sting of a love forever lost because of duty and honor.  But whatever the reason, he gave you a choice,
and that is not something many men in your position are granted.  You should be glad of it.  You should use the opportunity to find
love.  Not run from it."

  In the quiet
stillness of the library, Fitz considered Mellie's words.  She was right, in a way.  He had been given a gift.  But his lack of social skills when it came to
women had held him back for so long.  In
fact, Mellie was the first woman he could converse with freely, though he had
no idea why that was.  Perhaps because he
felt comfortable with her.  Or maybe it
was simply because he was not trying so hard for once, partly because he did
not think he truly had a chance with her.
Though she was beautiful, she was also very different from the other
debutantes he had encountered over the years.
She, too, had seen a great deal of the world and no longer held the
wide-eyed innocence of unbridled youth.

To some men, that might seem like a detriment, but
to Fitz, it was an attraction that he could not deny.  And there was no denying that he was very,
very attracted to Mellie.  She must have
been attracted to him as well.  At least
a little.  After all, she had kissed him
the night before.

And just then, he had a burning need to see if that
kiss had been merely a gesture of gratitude or if had been something more.  He was hoping very much that it was something
more.  Something very much like passion.

Around them, time seemed to slow and he could tell
by the soft expression in Mellie's eyes that she was under the almost hypnotic
spell of the afternoon as well.  A fire
crackled and hissed merrily in the fireplace, spreading a delicious warmth
through the library.  Beyond the wavy
glass of the windows, the snow continued to fall quietly, blanketing the room
in a stillness.  In fact, nothing else
seemed to be moving within all of Fieldown.
It was almost like they were the last two people on earth.

"And what is love, Mellie?" Fitz finally
asked, his voice incredibly soft.
"Do you know?  For I am
certain that I do not.  I am not sure I
ever will.  Or is love merely a lie we
tell ourselves when all we have ever found is nothing more than fleeting
passion?  God knows, I have found passion
often enough.  But never love."

She shook her head.
"I don't know what love is.
And I, too, am uncertain that I ever will.  But I do know that your Lord Byron believed
it is something powerful enough to both live and die for.  And that it is something beyond ourselves and
this world.  It is more than
passion."  She shrugged one elegant
shoulder.  "It is love.  The beginning and end of all things.  What more can be said?"

"What more indeed," he whispered as he
closed the distance between them.  Then
without waiting for her reply, Fitz pulled Mellie to him and kissed her deeply.




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About the Author:


Making her home in the mountains of central Pennsylvania, Bethany Sefchick is a former Emmy-award winning television producer. She lives with her husband, Ed, and a plethora of Betta fish that she's constantly finding new ways to entertain. In addition to writing, Bethany owns a jewelry company, Easily Distracted Designs. When not penning romance novels or creating sparkly treasures, she enjoys cooking, scrapbooking, and lavishing attention on any stray cats who happen to be hanging around.




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