MISTLETOE, MISCHIEF, AND THE MARQUIS by Amelia Grey
E-Original published by Swerve Publication Date: November 29, 2016
ISBN: 9781250141170 Price: $1.99
The Marquis of Wythebury, is expecting an ordinary Christmastide at Hurst—until he is set upon by a beautiful miss who takes him to task for not allowing his young nephews to play outside. In his mind, a five and seven year old needn’t get chilled in the snow; better to plop them in front of the fire with a book. Few people have ever been brave enough to challenge him over anything, much less the rearing of his wards. The cheeky Miss Prim has no such compunction. No matter how fetching he finds her, he can’t give in to his attraction…for she is the sister of his best friend.
Growing up the middle child of five rambunctious girls, Lillian Prim doesn’t understand why two young boys visiting Hurst don’t know how to play until she meets their dashing guardian. The Marquis of Wythebury is commanding and intensely serious-minded. To her surprise, she’s captivated by him. It’s all she can do not to give into her feminine fantasies about her kissing him. Lillian has no intention of falling in love with the Marquis, but she will create Christmastide mischief and teach the boys and the handsome Marquis how to play, in Mistletoe, Mischief, and the Marquis, by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author AMELIA GREY read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she’s been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and most recently to Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of more than twenty-five books. She’s been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.
Read an Excerpt: Mistletoe, Mischief, and the Marquis
She retraced her steps down the dimly lit corridor. When she rounded the corner that went into the sitting room at the top of the stairs, she stopped. The Marquis leaned casually against one of the chairs. There were no lamps burning in the sitting area, just light from corridor that bridged one section of the house to the other, but she could see well enough to know he was staring at her. And, she’d swear to anyone that he was looking like he wanted to kiss her.
“My lord, what are you doing here?”
He straightened from the chair and stood before her. “I could ask you the same question.”
“I went to check on Fallon. I hope you don’t mind. I wanted to make sure he didn’t have a—“ She stopped and bit down on her bottom lip.
“You have a habit of not finishing your sentences, Lillian.”
“With you, I’m always afraid I will say something I’ll regret.”
He huffed a grunt. “You? Regret something you’ve said to me? I don’t believe that could happen.”
At times, he could make her smile without trying. “I might have regretted it if I’d told you what I wanted to this afternoon.”
“So you have no remorse for calling me a worrywart, and there’s something worse you could have said. Now, you have me curious. What is it you might regret?”
“You don’t want to know,” she said and started to walk past him, but he sidestepped and blocked her way.
“Oh, but I do.”
“If you insist.” She lifted her chin and said, “I was going to tell you that you are smothering the boys with your rigorous studies and your overly-cautious regimen of their play time. You will end up hurting them more than you help them if you continue.”
“Ah—smothering them, am I?” he said in a tone that held a tinge of humor. “And what exactly is it that you were doing when you came to check on Fallon tonight?”
“I only wanted to make sure he was all right. It’s not that I was particularly worried about him being sick once I knew his stomach was the problem and not a chill from his wet feet.”
“So you came up to look in on him because you weren’t worried. That makes no sense, Lillian.”
“You worry enough for both of us.”
He moved closer to her and lowered his voice even softer when he said, “You gave him a kiss.”
She gasped as he heart jumped up to her throat. “You saw me?”
He nodded. “I decided to pass on the card games tonight and check on him, too because I was worried and wanted to make sure he hadn’t turned sick again. I didn’t want to disturb your time with him so I waited here for you. Why did you kiss him?”
She nervously moistened her lips. “I don’t know other than it seemed the right thing to do. I know it was very forward of me and I shouldn’t have.”
“I thought it was a sweet comforting gesture.”
“You’re not upset with me?”
“I appreciate all kindness shown to my nephews.”
His light green gaze swept up and down her face so gently all she wanted to do was say, “kiss me.” She lowered her lashes so he couldn’t see her hunger for him and murmured, “I wish you hadn’t waited.”
Because she didn’t want to be alone with him. She didn’t want to think about how despite her efforts, she had fallen in love with him and wanted to be caught up in his arms and swept away by his stirring kisses and caresses.
Seth Wythebury, the Marquis of Wythebury, has become guardian to his two young nephews after their parents died. While he loves the boys, and is kind to them, the circumstances of their parents’ death has made Seth very over protective. He stresses lessons and learning and all but wraps them in cotton wool to keep them safe. Seth receives an invitation to a house party, which he is inclined to decline, but his friend insists that he come and bring the boys with hm. While en route, the boys’ governess becomes ill, and Seth, fearing that the boys may also become ill, leaves the governess at an inn to recover while they continue on.
When Lillian Prim finds two young boys looking glum and sitting in a hallway by themselves, she encourages them to come outside and play. When Seth returns to where he left the boys to wait for him, and finds them gone, he anxiously begins searching for them. The trail leads outside, where he is promptly hit smack in the face by a snowball thrown by Lillian.
After Lillian apologizes, and they introduce themselves, Seth is shocked to find that Lillian doesn’t fawn over him the way most women do. She is sister to two duchesses, which accounts for her lack of awe at Seth’s title. Though he’s intrigued by the lovely lady, Seth still insists on taking the boys inside, out of the cold, so they don’t become ill. Lillian disagrees with Seth’s coddling, and tries to encourage him to let the boys have fun.
MISTLETOE, MISCHIEF, AND THE MARQUIS is a delightful novella which has a lovely and fun loving young lady trying to loosen up the marquis, who has taken his guardianship very seriously. While Seth was never a stick in the mud, he’s so fearful of some illness or accident befalling one of the boys, that he’s smothering them. Although Lillian and Seth appear to be polar opposites, they have a definite attraction and affection. When they are caught in a compromising situation, can Seth convince Lillian that he’s the right man for her future? This sweet and short novella is guaranteed to fill a couple hours with plenty of smiles.