Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Jane Goodger's THE SPINSTER BRIDE & excerpt

Mr. Charles Norris needs help finding a wife…

For he has the unfortunate habit of falling for each Season's loveliest debutante, only to have his heart broken when she weds another. Surely Lady Marjorie Penwhistle can help him. She's sensible, clever, knows the ton, and must marry a peer, which he is not. Since she's decidedly out of his reach, Charles is free to enjoy her refreshing honesty—and her unexpectedly enticing kisses…

Lady Marjorie Penwhistle doesn't want a husband…

At least not the titled-but-unbearable suitors her mother is determined she wed. She'd rather stay unmarried and look after her eccentric brother. Still, advising Mr. Norris is a most exciting secret diversion. After all, how hard will it be to match-make someone so forthright, honorable, and downright handsome? It's not as if she's in danger of finding Charles all-too-irresistible herself…

Charles spun around from his spot by the fire where he’d stood, hoping the warmth of the flames would soothe the agonizing pain shooting through his leg. He muttered yet another curse, clenched his jaw, and forced a smile, which even he knew probably made him look like a madman.
Lady Marjorie, I apologize for the lateness of the hour, but I wanted this resolved as soon as possible.”
Through the haze of pain, he was aware the lady was dressed for a ball, and he had enough wits about him to realize she’d been pulled from said ball to attend him. “And I apologize again for taking you from what I imagine was a pleasant evening.”
Perhaps more pleasant than this,” she said, raising one brow in her lovely face.
Now that she was in front of him, he realized he remembered her quite well. It was rather difficult to meet Lady Marjorie Penwhistle and not remember her. She was, in fact, every Englishman’s fantasy of what an English woman should look like—if one preferred dark-haired beauties as opposed to blondes. Her complexion was near perfection, creamy and smooth with the slightest blush along her delicate cheekbones. Her nose was small, her chin perhaps a bit strong (a gift, no doubt, from her mother), but she was in no way mannish. Her eyes were dark, and in this light, he couldn’t tell if they were dark blue or perhaps brown. Her entire countenance gave her an air of authority and intelligence—and coldness. No, he wasn’t the least bit attracted to her.
She would be perfect for him.
Please sit down, Lady Marjorie.”
She hesitated, not wanting to be put at a disadvantage, but realized she was already so at a disadvantage she might as well do as he asked. Or rather demanded, even if politely. She sat and looked at him expectantly, fear trickling down her spine.
They were in a small room, crowded with furniture and books and things that had been collected, no doubt, from his travels. Foreign and frightening-looking things filled the room, things that would be fine for a museum but were a bit off-putting in a parlor. And at the center of this small room was a large man standing by the fire as if he were some sort of medieval king. His hair was an odd color—neither blond nor red nor brown, but somewhere in between and with shots of all of those colors streaking through it. At the moment, it was rather unkempt, tousled one might say. His eyes—a brooding dark brown—were staring at her. One hand was fisted tightly on the mantel, and when he saw her look curiously at that white-knuckled fist, he carefully loosened it and shoved it into one pocket.
Your brother has told you what happened this evening?”
Yes, he did. Though I’m not certain George fully understands the scope of his debt.”
He knows how much he owes me.”
Oh, yes, he does,” she said agreeably. “But he doesn’t fully understand the repercussions of accumulating such debt. My brother is frightfully smart about certain things. But he struggles with the intricacies of society.”
He’s a pleasant young man, but a bit of an odd duck. I did notice that.”
Marjorie smiled. “Yes, that’s about right. Why have you asked me here, sir? Surely you don’t think I can come up with the amount he owes.”
I need a wife.”
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The award-winning author of more than 15 historical romances, Jane Goodger lives in Rhode Island with her family, juggling three kids, a full-time job, a writing career, and a business. She’s gotten pretty good at juggling. In her free time (bwahaha) Jane likes to read, shop, and once in a great while cook a decent meal.

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