It is pure joy to reveal this lovely cover. I’m dancing in my blue stockings with glee. This year’s offering is packed with super stories, eight original novellas, over 500 pages of diverse characters, complex plots and plenty of happily-ever-after, all centered on the Duchess of Haverford’s charity ball. Because her favorite charity—and ours—is education for women and girls, 25% of all proceeds this year will go to the Malala Fund.
About HOLLY AND HOPEFUL HEARTS
When the Duchess of Haverford sends out invitations to a Yuletide house party and a New Year’s Eve ball at her country estate, Hollystone Hall, those who respond know that Her Grace intends to raise money for her favorite cause and promote whatever marriages she can. Eight assorted heroes and heroines set out with their pocketbooks firmly clutched and hearts in protective custody. Or are they?
It is now available for pre-order at:
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About AN OPEN HEART
Esther Baumann longs for a loving husband who will help her create a home where they will teach their children to value the Judaic traditions of their people, but she wants a man who is also open to new ideas and happy to make friends outside their narrow circle. Is it so unreasonable to ask for toe curling passion as well?
Adam Halevy prospered under the tutelage of his distant cousin, powerful banker Nathaniel Baumann. He’s ready to find a suitable wife, someone who understands a woman’s role, and will make a traditional home. Why is Baumann’s outspoken, independent daughter the one woman who haunts his nights?
“Your father is sending gold to Wellington.” Adam replied, running a hand across the back of his neck. “The government is temporarily unable to fund their war in Spain.”
She rose on the balls of her feet. “Papa can arrange this?” Pride and excitement pushed other emotions away.
“With the help of his contacts in France, yes. We’re taking it across the Pyrenees.”
Esther knew better than to ask how they would arrange it. Cousins across Europe would be involved. One thought overrode all others. “It will be dangerous.”
He looked for a moment as if he wouldn’t answer. His face when he did touched her heart. “Probably, but the viscount and I will watch out for each other. You aren’t to worry about me, Esther.”
At the use of her name, Esther smiled. She ought to correct him for presuming, but in truth, it pleased her. For a moment, they looked at each other in perfect harmony.
“Be careful,” she whispered.
The moment grew awkward, and Esther thought she should say something. “You’re going to safeguard Papa’s interests?” she asked.
He nodded. “And the viscount will safeguard England’s.”
“They don’t trust you because you’re French.”
“They don’t trust me because I’m Jewish,” he replied bitterly.
“Viscount Rochlin looked friendly enough.”
“Looks can deceive, Miss Baumann. You shouldn’t trust them either. Your father should not be encouraging your association with these aristocrats.”
“Why ever not? The duchess is kindness itself, and a number of my schoolmates will be there. It is my first ball and—”
“—I don’t understand how your father could send you to that school. Your parents are entirely too secular in their outlook. The Talmud suggests—”
“I wouldn’t know what your precious books suggest. I’m excluded from that kind of learning.” There. She had given voice to her greatest resentment. Let him make what he would out of that.
“Leave my mother out of this. My mother taught me what I need to know about Shabbat and the holy days. And who are you to criticize?”
Adam colored, red blotches staining his cheeks. “Of course I have no right. I had hoped before I left—”
Esther felt light-headed for a moment. Had he spoken to Papa? Breath rushed back into her lungs, but she raised her chin. “What is it you hoped, Mr. Halevy?”
Adam’s eyes softened, and Ether found herself leaning slightly toward him. A moment later, he stiffened and took a step back.
“My wife will respect our traditions and keep a traditional home,” he announced.
“I wish you luck finding such a paragon, Mr. Halevy,” Esther responded, pulling herself up as tall as she could. “My home will respect tradition and the people we meet.” When he simply glared at her outburst, she went on, “And my daughters will know as much about our faith as you do!”
“Good luck to you in that endeavor, Miss Baumann,” he said with a jerky nod. He tapped his hat on his head with more force than needed.
What happens when they meet again at the duchess’s ball?
About the Each Novella
A Suitable Husband, by Jude Knight
As the Duchess of Haverford’s companion, Cedrica Grenford is not treated as a poor relation and is encouraged to mingle with Her Grace’s guests. Surely she can find a suitable husband amongst the gentlemen gathered for the duchess’s house party. Above stairs or possibly below.
Valuing Vanessa, by Susana Ellis
Facing a dim future as a spinster under her mother’s thumb, Vanessa Sedgely makes a practical decision to attach an amiable gentleman who will not try to rule her life.
A Kiss for Charity, by Sherry Ewing
Young widow Grace, Lady de Courtenay, has no idea how a close encounter with a rake at a masquerade ball would make her yearn for love again. Can she learn to forgive Lord Nicholas Lacey and set aside their differences to let love into her heart?
Artemis, by Jessica Cale
Actress Charlotte Halfpenny is in trouble. Pregnant, abandoned by her lover, and out of a job, Charlotte faces eviction two weeks before Christmas. When the reclusive Earl of Somerton makes her an outrageous offer, she has no choice but to accept. Could he be the man of her dreams, or is the nightmare just beginning?
The Bluestocking and the Barbarian, by Jude Knight
James must marry to please his grandfather, the duke, and to win social acceptance for himself and his father’s other foreign-born children. But only Lady Sophia Belvoir makes his heart sing, and to win her he must invite himself to spend Christmas at the home of his father’s greatest enemy.
Christmas Kisses, by Nicole Zoltack
Louisa Wycliff, Dowager Countess of Exeter wants only for her darling daughter, Anna, to find a man she can love and marry. Appallingly, Anna has her sights on a scoundrel of a duke who chases after every skirt he sees. Anna truly thinks the dashing duke cares for her, but her mother has her doubts.
An Open Heart, by Caroline Warfield
Esther Baumann longs for a loving husband who will help her create a home where they will teach their children to value the traditions of their people, but she wants a man who is also open to new ideas and happy to make friends outside their narrow circle. Is it so unreasonable to ask for toe curling passion as well?
Dashing Through the Snow, by Amy Rose Bennett
Headstrong bluestocking, Miss Kate Woodville, never thought her Christmas would be spent racing across England with a viscount hell-bent on vengeance. She certainly never expected to find love…
3 thoughts on “The 2016 Bluestocking Belles Holiday Anthology is Here”
I love this story. Both the hero and the heroine are delightful. I loved having them in my novella, too. The scene with Adam and James was a lot of fun to write.
Oh I agree. Your James is a gem; including him in my story strengthened it. It tickles me that the stories work so well together but still stand alone.