Sunday, September 24, 2017

His Mistletoe Wager

His Mistletoe Wager is released worldwide on 1st October 2017
In the middle of the summer heatwave of 2016, and halfway through writing my Wild Warriners series, my editor at Harlequin Mills and Boon asked me if I would like to do a Christmas book for them. I happily jumped at the chance but because I was already a third into A Warriner to Tempt Her and there was no way I was going to be able to turn a smallpox epidemic into a festive tale, I decided to write a standalone story for my publisher instead.
Sort of.

I say sort of because it is also a bit of a sequel to my second book, Her Enemy at the Altar although like all my books, you don't have to have read one to enjoy the others.
Thanks to several lovely messages from readers and quite a few comments from reviewers, I knew that some people, including me, wanted to see the tormented Aaron Wincanton and shrew-like Constance Stuart again. Fortunately, I gave Connie a younger brother in that book and so it was his story I decided to write as the sun singed my lawn and I melted at my computer.
Hal (Henry) Stuart, the newly minted Earl of Redbridge and notorious rake is a little out of sorts. Something is not quite right in his life but he can’t put his finger on what. His scandalous life has suddenly become very boring now that he has a title, largely because hunting for women has got too easy.
On a quest to find his missing vigour, he accepts a bet from his brother-in-law Aaron that he cannot steal five kisses in five separate places before Twelfth Night. One kiss for each of the berries on the sprig pinned to his lapel. Hal assumes he has to kiss five separate women, but Aaron decrees that all the kisses must be stolen from just the one woman.
Sullen Lizzie.
A committed spinster with a hatred for rakes and, unbeknownst to both Hal and the whole of the Ton, a very dirty secret she has kept hidden for five long years.
At times, these two characters had me laughing out loud as I wrote them and despite forming a fast and unlikely friendship, I couldn’t get Lizzie to allow herself to fall for Hal. Throw in a couple of meddling relatives, a menacing butler and three adorable and tenacious children and the end result, His Mistletoe Wager, was huge fun to write.
But in the end, a wager is a wager and it’s Christmas. And at Christmas there is always mistletoe…
Virginia Heath writes raunchy Regency romantic comedies for Harlequin Mills & Boon but her dog Trevor mostly writes her Facebook posts.


dstoutholcomb said...

sounds like a fun romance


Di said...

I love Regency Christmas stories!