This week’s theme of A Sexy Sleigh Ride fits perfectly with my latest release, a short story in the Exquisite Quills new winter Holiday Anthology, Volume 2. My story, A Kiss and a Promise, takes place on a wintry Yule afternoon in Victorian times, and features–you guessed it–a sleigh ride.
The younger Hammonds quickly donned their coats and mufflers, but Harry held Sophia’s coat for her. He rested a hand on her shoulder, before offering her his arm and leading her to the sleigh. The chill air stole her breath, though she felt oddly exhilarated.
“Pile in, everyone,” Harry ordered.
Gerald ushered Cora and Lydia into the back seat of the sleigh and squeezed in beside them. Little Phoebe climbed into his lap, leaving Sophia in the front between Harry and her brother. She leaned a little closer into Harry’s warmth, enjoying the closeness.
“Which way?” he asked.
Reggie gave directions to the best spot for gathering holly and mistletoe, and Harry steered the horses in that direction, bells attached to the harness jingling with each step. The weather had been beastly for the last month, but it had turned the estate into a winter fairyland. Silent snow-covered fields stretched as far as she could see, and each tree sported a layer of white, softening the stark look of the winter scene. The sky was overcast, and she suspected Harry was right to rush them along.
As soon as the sleigh stopped, Reggie jumped out, made a snowball and threw it at Cora as she exited the sleigh. She yelped and chased Reggie, Phoebe on her heels squealing with excitement. Sophia watched them with amusement. Oh, to be a child again.
But she was long past that sort of behavior. She’d had a season in London, after all. She glanced at Harry and caught a gleam in his eye. “Do not even think of joining those hooligans.”
A Kiss and a Promise takes place at Yule and is a prequel to How To Woo… a Reluctant Bride. You get a glimpse of Lydia and her brother Harry when they were young and carefree. The story also introduces two sisters, Sophia and Cora, who will have their own stories in the How To Woo series. The scene is a Victorian sleighing party with an excursion to collect holly and mistletoe to decorate the house. And provide a chance for a kiss under the mistletoe.
Best of all, the anthology is completely free. Consider it our present to you, the readers. You can pick up a free copy at Smashwords or Barnes and Noble,. Coming soon to iBooks and Kobo. (Kindle readers will have to get their copy through Smashwords. If you have any questions, ask in the comments below or fill out the contact form at the website.)
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Linda / Lyndi