– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘His Unlikely Duchess’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)
She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections.
When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook.
Money can buy her marriage
But will it lead to love?
Miss Lily Wilkins hopes her American money will compensate for her lack of etiquette, as she needs a prestigious marriage to save her sisters’ prospects. Raised to believe wealth was her greatest attribute, she’s stunned when her unconventional ways catch the eye of the notorious Duke of Lennox. He’s far from the safe, sensible match she’d planned on—but Lily might just discover he’s the one she needs!
(On the frozen Neva, a festive skating party, entices Violet and her duke a bit closer—and then closer still…)
A brass band dressed in the red and gold imperial uniforms launched into a waltz, and Prince Alfred and his fiancee swooped and twirled around the ice, followed by other young couples.
“Shall we?” William asked, offering Violet his hand. He smiled at the dancers, but he seemed rather wistful, distant as he watched Aidan and Lily.
But Violet still felt that fizzing energy inside of her, that strange up-and-down exhilaration that being near him always brought. She didn’t want to give that up just yet, didn’t want to lose the lovely day. “Thank you, yes.”
His arm came close around her back, the other stretched out to clasp her gloved hand in his. He drew her much closer than they would be in any ballroom, and even through their heavy furs and velvets and woolens, she felt the length of his body against hers. Strong and warm and pliable, fitting against hers as if they had always been just like that.
They spun slowly at first, finding their footing under themselves, gentle, lazy circles that seemed to lift her higher and higher off the ice, made her float in his arms.
His touch tightened and he lifted her higher, spinning her around and around until she giggled. The swirling snow, the dazzling bright-white sunlight, the Easter egg-colored palaces, all blended and blended into a rainbow around her. She held onto him, her one still point in the crazy world. Her one reality.
“Oh, bravo, Vi!” Lily applauded. “You could join the Imperial Ballet while you’re here.”
“You’re just jealous at my grace and skill, Lily darling,” Violet answered with mock-haughtiness that gave way to helpless laughter.
“Oh, yes. I shall never know grace and elegance again, ungainly cow that I am now,” Lily sighed, patting her barely-there-yet stomach under her furs.
William slowly lowered Violet to her feet, holding onto her a moment until she was steady on her skates, and the bright blue sky still whirled above her. She held on tightly to his shoulders.
She glanced up into his face, shadowed by the brim of his hat, the dark fur of his collar blown by the breeze against his jaw. He was giving her that solemn, all-penetrating look again, the one where she was sure he saw everything about her, every secret she had ever held, and she could see nothing of him.
“What is it?” she whispered. “Have I made a cake of myself again?”
“Not at all. I just—you do have a nice family,” he said quietly, roughly.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds