When the Duchess of Haverford organizes a house party, the staff faces many challenges. No one expected the housekeeper’s cat to give birth in a most inconvenient spot. Soon the guests arrive and the kittens make free with the house. You’ll find an opportunity to win one at the end of this post. For now, however, here’s a bit about the book and an excerpt from An Open Heart, my entry in Holly and Hopeful Hearts.
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 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?
The first 25% of proceeds from the sale of Holly and Hopeful Hearts will be donated to the Malala Fund.
An Excerpt With Kittens
She took his offered arm and allowed him to lead her out of the French doors under his mother’s pointed gaze. She hoped Adam saw them but didn’t dare look back.
“I believe he watched,” Gren said. “In fact, I’m sure of it.”
Heat reached Esther’s brows. “I don’t know what you mean,” she said primly.
“Don’t you just?” Gren grinned. “Halevy misses nothing that you do.”
“That’s because my father sent him to spy on me.”
Gren’s bark of laughter startled the sparrows. “Come now, Miss Baumann. I don’t believe you are so innocent that you don’t understand the look in his eyes.”
She frowned at the young man’s words. Even if Adam wants me, he is disagreeable and, and— She couldn’t think what.
“Let’s give him cause to worry, shall we?” he asked, tugging her toward the hedges.
She giggled when he pulled her by the hand and dashed for the stables once they were out of sight of the windows. In the gloom of the barn, he led her directly to a stall near the back.
“Ah, there they are. Visiting Mama, are you?” he asked. Five—no six—kittens of various colors wrestled in the straw while their snow-white mother looked on.
“Goodness! The one who haunts my aunt’s room is all gray. That one is tiger striped, and the one next to him is black. Do they have multiple mothers?”
“Multiple fathers more like.” Gren reached down to pick one up. “Cats have no morals.”
Like some men. Not Adam though. He will be a steadfast husband and always there when his wife needs him. Whoever she might be, some poor girl who lets a man run her life.
Lady Jane Grey may not have been an inspired choice. Esther’s notion to dress entirely in gray from slippers to headdress had proven to be depressing. The dress, though lovely, faded into the background next to the colorful gowns of the others. She had briefly considered snatching the gray kitten from Aunt Dinah’s room, the one her aunt called Muff, and tucking him in her sleeve but took pity on him in the end. The kitten might have helped.
Click below for a chance to win “Muff.” The contest will be open for one week. Winners will be announced at the Hopeful Hearts Ball on Facebook on November 13.
About the Bluestocking Belles
The Bluestocking Belles, the “BellesInBlue”, are seven very different writers united by a love of history and a history of writing about love. From sweet to steamy, from light-hearted fun to dark tortured tales full of angst, from London ballrooms to country cottages to the sultan’s seraglio, one or more of us will have a tale to suit your tastes and mood. Come visit us at http://bluestockingbelles.net and kick up your bluestockinged heels!
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The Bluestocking Belles proudly support the Malala Fund charity. You can find out more on our website: http://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/the-bellesinblue-support-the-malala-fund/