Welcome to Day 2 of Let it Snow Books 2012, where for the next three weeks you have the chance to read some really fun holiday posts from some of your favorite authors, both here and at Ex Libris.
Today, we welcome Jillian Stone here at Books to Brighten your Mood with a festive post and you will have the chance to win a copy of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy, one of the best Historical Romances I have ever read and not just in 2012! Jillian Stone's voice is one of the freshest out there and believe me when I said that she's an author you should watch out for!
And here's a small taste of my review of An Affair with Mister Kennedy:
An Affair with Mister Kennedy surprised me quite pleasantly!I don't know why it surprised me so much, since so many reviewers have already stated that it was a really good book, but it did. Probably, because... Read the rest of the review here.
Jillian has decided to share with us a very special excerpt! So welcome Jillian and thank you for stopping by here today!
Thanks so much for inviting me to participate in your ‘Let it Snow Books!’ Blog Event. Merry
Christmas and Joyous Noel to all!
This excerpt is from the opening chapter of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard romantic
suspense adventure: A Dragon Kiss with Detective Rhys, a Christmas 2013 release.
Isle of Dogs, London 1887
Flynn Rhys adjusted the bi-ocular spyglass to afford the best possible view across Rabbit Row. A window had been left uncovered on the second floor of the boarding house–– one that rented by the hour. A prostitute working her customer tugged the pale yellow ribbon on her chemise. “Have a care Lizzy, and show us those rosy tips,” Flynn muttered to himself as an ample bosom sprang from its confines.
He made an adjustment to his trousers, causing the downward tilt of his binoculars. A bustle of pedestrians traipsed up and down Nightingale Lane, last minute shoppers laden with packages. A brawny dockworker hustled home clutching a porcelain doll under his arm. Flynn counted a half dozen oranges in an open weave sack flung over a sailor’s shoulder.
The fact that it was Saturday night and Christmas Eve, appeared to double the merriment. The brass buttoned jacket of the local Custom-house officer caught his eye. Ham Brady was a bloody bull of a man with plenty of cheek. Even Brady who never smiled, whistled a tune as he sauntered down the row.
“Officer Brady up to his usual three penny upright, sir?” Charlie raised the window shade on a dusky twilight. The lamplighters were about. On most Saturday nights, Ham Brady would be sampling a bit street quim in the alley below. But not tonight. Presumably, the man made his way home to a family who found something to love about him.
“You should go home, Charlie––it’s Christmas Eve, for God’s sake.” A street hawker by trade, Charlie Doyle was a strapping lad. Yard men in need of an extra hand, hired him for off the books operations. Flynn slipped a banknote into the young man’s jacket.
“Stores will be closed in another hour. Take home a pretty bauble for your sister and mum.”
Reluctant to leave, Charlie hesitated at the door. “I don’t mind staying, sir. We could take turns on watch––between a bit of card play.”
Flynn, grabbed the hearth poker and itched a toe. “Not likely Grey de Ruthyn will be engaged in any gun smuggling tonight.”
“I wager you’re looking forward to Tuesday, next.” Charlie nodded to the full leg cast.
“About time those plaster bandages were off.”
Flynn had been laid up for months nursing a compound fracture. To keep him from going barking mad, Zeno Kennedy, Chief Inspector, Special Branch, had arranged for work, something unofficial. Flynn had been tasked with observing the comings and goings of a storehouse in Wapping, and more recently a shipping office on the Isle of Dogs.
The very idea of an arms trafficker setting up shop not four doors away from the Board of Trade Office––well, it was a wicked clever ruse. And Simon Grey de Ruthyn was as cunning and bold as they come.
“Out of my sight, lad.” Flynn softened his gaze. “Save me some Christmas dinner.”
“That I will, sir.” Charlie, donned his cap, backing out of the flat. “Roast goose and plum pudd––” Rattled by loud thumps on the door, his helper jumped away.
Another series of thuds and a muffled cry. Flynn separated two voices. One of them was the boarding house proprietress, Mrs. Hardwick.
He and Charlie exchanged looks. One could never be too careful when surveilling Grey de Ruthyn. Flynn tossed the fire poker to Charlie with a nod. “Let’s see who it is.”
His apprentice Yard man had no sooner turned the lock––when the door burst open in a blur of red and white.
“Young ladies are not allowed to call on gentlemen borders––it’s strictly against the house rules.” Mrs. Hardwick followed after a flurry white lace under a red military-style coat.
“Certainly you can make allowances due to Mister Rhys condition?” The smartly
dressed intruder tossed the words over her shoulder.
Flynn sat up straight, as much as the cumbersome leg cast would allow. “Alice?”
“Surprised to see me, cousin?” She made big eyes at him and rolled them toward his sputtering landlady.
He ignored Mrs. Crosby’s protests and took a very long moment to admire everything about Miss Alice Millicent Armistead. Rich, tawny and wheat colored waves of hair blown wild from a horse race through the city. The young lady was even more breathtaking than he remembered––she was a force of nature. A sable fur hat haloed sparkling blue eyes framed by dark lashes. Her nose, as usual, was sprinkled with pale freckles. Cheeks flushed rosy pink from the crisp cold air added a touch of color to a smile that was as genuine and radiant as ever. Good Christ, she could arouse Saint Peter in his grave.
She carried a large basket, which she set beside his chair. “Please inform your landlady I am a relative.” She unbuttoned intricate braided closures. Looking up from her coat, she widened her eyes. “Please, Flynn.”
Reluctantly, he confronted his landlord. “I take it you haven’t been introduced. Mrs. Hardwick, it would be my pleasure––”
“Best not have anything to do with your pleasure, Mister Rhys––I hear any sound o’pleasure coming through these walls, and y’er out on the street.”
“Mrs. Hardwick, I’m shocked. A good Christian woman such as yourself, would toss me out on Christmas Eve––a poor servant of the citizenry with an infirmary?” Flynn tried for a stunned, bewildered expression. “The night our savior was born?”
Mrs. Hardwick’s eyes narrowed into suspicious slits. “A warning, Mister Rhys––
fornication is a sin against God.” Adding a grunt for emphasis, she eyeballed Alice on her way out the door.
“Charlie––head her off at the stairs and give her this.” Flynn slipped him a fiver. “For the Sisters of Mercy Night Home, on lower Seymour Street.”
Charlie tipped his hat and stole another fleeting glance at Alice. What red-blooded young bloke wouldn’t?
“Tell her the donation came from Miss Armistead,” Flynn paused for emphasis, “…my cousin.” He detected a grin as she tossed her coat over a chair back.
“Yes, sir. Very good, sir.” Flynn waited to hear the key turn the lock before shifting his gaze from the closed door to the beauty standing before him. The gown was simplicity itself. White, virginal, a sheer slip of a dress with delicate cap sleeves and bare shoulders.
And the plunging neckline was––most arresting. His eyes traveled down the slope of her breasts. Lovely globes jiggled ever so slightly when she moved, like now.
She sat down on the edge of the chaise that served as his chair and his bed. “All those months last year, when you were assigned to watch over me? All I ever wanted was for you to look at me like you are doing now.”
A smile tugged the edges of his mouth. “How am I looking at you?”
She leaned closer. “Like I’m a present…to be unwrapped.” Her wily Alice charms were on the job, tonight. Flynn’s gaze dropped to her extraordinary mouth––a bit wide with full lips. Dear God, a man could loose control of himself.
She caught her bottom lip between her teeth. He could feel the heat from her breath on his cheek. She moistened her lips and opened her mouth––just enough to be inviting.
So close, now…
Curling the tip of her tongue over the curve of his upper lip––she licked. “Happy
Christmas, Detective Rhys.”
About the author
Jillian Stone was born a storyteller. A skill that got her into considerable trouble as a youth until she solved the problem by becoming an advertising creative. And the career did seem to suit her as she won many national ad awards including the Clio and the New York Art Director’s Club Gold. What more could she ask for? Create her own worlds? Become goddess of her own universe? Yes! So, she began to write fiction. Her Victorian Romantic Suspense novel AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY won the 2010 Golden Heart and sold to Pocket Books. Her sexy, supernatural Steampunk novel, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, won the 2010 Romance Through The Ages Erotica category and sold to Kensington Brava. Jillian lives in California and is currently working on the next adventure for both series.
About the Book:
Title: An Affair with Mr. Kennedy
Author: Jillian Stone
Series:The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard #1)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Length: 392 pages
Release Date: January 31st 2012
Purchase Info: Book Depository, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads
London, 1887. Part stoic gentleman, part fearless Scotland Yard man, Zeno "Zak" Kennedy is an enigma of the first order. For years, the memory of a deadly bombing at King's Cross has haunted the brilliant Scotland Yard detective. His investigation has zeroed in on a ring of aristocratic rebels whose bloody campaign for Irish revolution is terrorizing the city. When he discovers one of the treacherous lords is acquainted with his free-spirited new tenant, Cassandra St. Cloud, his inquiry pulled him unexpectedly close to the hear of the conspiracy -- and into the arms of a most intriguing lady.
Cassie is no Victorian prude. An impressionist painter with very modern ideas about life and love, she is eager for a romantic escapade that is daring and discreet. She sets her sights on her dour but handsome landlord, but after she learns their meeting was not purely accidental, she hardly has a chance to forgive her lover before their passionate affair catapults them both into a perilous adventure.
Jillian has generously offered a copy (e-book or paperback, winner's choice) of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy and A Private Dual with Agent Gunn to TWO lucky commenters. (Open Internationally.) All giveaways end on January 5th.
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