A lucky man… How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride by @LyndiLamont #MFRWHooks # free @Smashwords

MFRW Authors BlogThis week’s Book Hook is from the beginning of my steamy Victorian novellette, How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, written under my Lyndi Lamont pseudonym. Book Hooks! is sponsored by Marketing For Romance Writers, a fabulous group of romance authors.
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How To Woo... A Reluctant BrideA marriage contract, nothing more…until darkly handsome Evan Channing and demure Lydia Blatchford meet. Yet the rules are simple for an arrangement such as theirs. There should be no misunderstanding, no illusions of anything more.

Lydia Blatchford wants the kind of love and romance she reads in books. Fortunately, she didn’t specify which book. And her darkly handsome groom has just the right one: the Kama Sutra.


London, June 1885

She wasn’t quite the perfect English rose but she’d do.

Evan Channing stood next to the fireplace in Lord Blatchford’s parlor and studied his fiancée as she sat on the settee talking to his mother. Lydia Blatchford wore blue tonight, bringing out the color of her pale eyes. She looked beautiful, yet untouchable, in her fashionable silk gown. The low-cut bodice revealed the smooth white skin of her shoulders and a hint of cleavage. The lines of the gown showed off her firm breasts and small waist, and the bustle emphasized her rounded hips.

When she looked up, he smiled at his intended across the room. Her lips curved slightly in answer and a blush stole up her face, adding color to her porcelain complexion before she turned away. Tonight her dark blonde hair had been curled into a fashionable upswept hairstyle, softening her appearance. When he’d met her before, her long mane had been pulled back into a bun. He wasn’t sure the curls suited her, but of course, he’d prefer to see her hair down, spread around her on his bed. His pulse raced at the thought she’d soon be his.

He could hardly wait to peel off her layers of clothing, revealing the woman underneath, her smooth skin and generous curves. Taller and larger boned than most women, she’d fit perfectly against his own lanky frame. Perhaps he’d find an opportunity to steal a kiss tonight. Surely that was allowed to an engaged couple.

“Stop staring.”

Evan started and turned to see Lydia’s brother Harry standing beside him. “Sorry.”

Harry raised a blond eyebrow. “You should be. If you weren’t already betrothed to my sister I’d have to call you out for the way you were undressing her with your eyes.”

Evan’s face grew warm and he tugged at his tight collar. “I’m glad it’s all settled, but let me tell you, once a man is determined to marry, the waiting becomes devilish hard.”

Harry laughed, his blue eyes twinkling. “I can only imagine.”

“Your turn will come,” Evan assured him.

“I know,” Harry grumbled. “Obligation to future generations, carry on the family name, all that rot.”

Evan chuckled and clapped the other man on the shoulder. “Buck up, you’ve time yet to sow a few more wild oats.”

“Not if Mama has anything to say about it. I’ll be expected to dance attendance on Phoebe when she makes her come out next spring.”

“Ah, yes,” Evan replied, glancing at Harry’s younger sister who truly was the perfect English rose. Small and petite, with flaxen hair, a rosy complexion, vivid blue eyes and a flirtatious manner.  “I expect you’ll be busy warding off hoards of beaus.”

“Don’t I know it,” Harry replied in a gloomy tone. “The sooner we get that one married, the better.”

Evan said nothing, just thanked his lucky stars he was marrying Lydia instead. He had no use for silly young chits who thought the world revolved around them just because they were pretty. Females like her were far too much trouble.

No, he much preferred a serious, intelligent, sensible girl. Like Lydia. He’d expected her to kick up a fuss about marrying a merchant, especially one with the taint of Indian blood. But so far as he knew, she hadn’t. He was a lucky man.

Disclaimer: This is a short 30 page romantic short story with bonus material** It is not a full-length novel. Contains scenes of Victorians breaking society’s rules, marital sex and ancient wisdom from the Kama Sutra.

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She Could Not Wait… Lady Elinor’s Escape #MFRWHooks #free @Smashwords

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Lady Elinor’s Escape is currently free
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Part of their July Summer/Winter Sale.
Use Coupon Code SS100!/a>

This #MFRWHooks excerpt from Lady Elinor’s Escape takes place right after her Aunt Sarah has accused her of spying, which I shared in my post on May 23rd of this year. I had skipped ahead to show Lady E. meeting her hero, Stephen Chaplin, but some commenters thought her behavior was rather fast, so I decided to share precisely why she decided to throw caution to the winds and escape to London.

Horses & Carriage


Fighting to keep her voice level, Elinor said, “That is merely a letter to mother’s former maid. She prefers I write in French as it is easier for her. Shall I read it aloud to you?” she asked, thankful Aunt Sarah had never learned the language.

Her aunt barked a humorless laugh. “As if you would read it true. No, you’d make up some innocuous nonsense about fashion.”

Elinor said nothing, for it was true. She could hardly read what she’d written about her aunt to her face. “As you suggested, nonsense about fashion is all. I do rely on Mimi to keep me up to date, in the event I am ever allowed a London season.”

“Oh, so that’s what this is about,” Lady Sarah said, her face red and blotchy with anger. “Hoping to get to London where you can meet with your Frenchy contacts? Well, not if I have something to say about it, missy.” She pulled a tiny pistol from her pocket and waved it under Elinor’s nose. “And if any of your friends show up here, I’ll take care of them myself, see if I don’t.”

When she put the pistol back in her pocket, Elinor let out the breath she’d been holding. “Please, Aunt Sarah. It is clear that we do not rub along well together. Let me go to my papa in Portugal.”

Her aunt’s eyes gleamed with malice. “So eager to ingratiate yourself into diplomatic circles, are you, girl? What better spot for a French agent?” She started pacing the room, gesticulating wildly. “No, you’ll get no help from me. I know your papa has been sending you secret information. Hard to believe my own brother a traitor.”

Elinor jumped up, her heart pounding. “Oh, no, Aunt. Papa is as loyal as any good Englishman. And, as I have not heard from him in months, how could you know what he tells me in his letters? Unless you have intercepted them, that is.”

When her aunt avoided her gaze, Elinor knew it was true. “You have kept his letters from me. How dare you?”

Without warning, Aunt Sarah raised her arm and swung, her fist connecting with Elinor’s left eye.

With a cry, Elinor stumbled backwards, her face throbbing. She tasted blood and knew she’d bitten her tongue.

“That will teach you to talk back to me,” her aunt said, satisfaction writ on her face. With the letter still clutched in her hand, she left the room.

Elinor rushed to the door and, with shaking hands, turned the key in the lock. Dear lord, her aunt was surely mad. Her stomach churned with fear. She could not wait for Mimi’s permission. She had to leave for London right away.

by Linda McLaughlin
Sweet Regency Romance

Lady Elinors Escape coverLady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a ‘rescuer’ of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.

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