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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Forsaken Love of a Lord



BLURB:
Olivia has one goal upon returning to London: Find Lord Langley and seduce him. 
It was no secret that her stepsister was a miserable excuse for a human being and the secrets shrouding her demise only added confirmation that even in death---she wasn't worthy of the handsome Lord. 
According to rumors, Lord Langley is after revenge, but she's after something far more dangerous. 
His heart. 
One masquerade aligns their paths in ways neither of them could have imagined. 
Will he succumb to the fair beauty? Or forever allow his heart to be entrenched by the beastly claws of her dead sister?

Available now for only .99!


Amazon Link


Only when the fruit's forbidden are you tempted to take one. Small. Bite.

Excerpt:

Edward Ashley, the Viscount Langley swirled his brandy and stared into the glowing fire that was burning low in his darkened study.   He knew this day would come, he felt it in his gut even as he had said the words four—though it felt more like forty—years earlier to his deceased wife’s father.
            Stepfather actually, if one was being particular.
             And Edward was one to be particular, which was why he still called himself ten kinds of fool for falling for such a treacherous woman.  How had he deluded himself to thinking he loved Marybelle? That she loved him? Ha! That was truly the rub. Marybelle; love someone else other than herself? Impossible.
 Yet hadn’t he thought that love made the impossible, possible? Yes. He had. Back when he was young, naive and foolish.
            But no more.
No, he had learned his lesson and paid for another person’s sins, over and over. Everything he had loved about Marybelle had been a lie—an elaborate game. One she had won till the night it had all come back to seek it’s bloody vengeance. That night more than one kind of poetic justice was served. It was too bad it was far to late to offer any redemption to his jaded heart.
            Or perhaps it was a blessing.
            If one cannot love, then one cannot hurt.
            Rather they are the lifeless, breathing shell he knew he had become. But the pain was less, the self-loathing, diminished in the balm of time…but he’d never heal.
            He didn’t want to.
            Notwithstanding, the Pierce family was back in London, Marybelle’s young sister in tow. The once young girl was now twenty.  Surely they were hoping to give her a season. He scoffed at the idea. Marriage mart, love; all words that held a bitter taste in his mouth; like over steeped tea that had grown cold.     Miserable.
            He detested cold tea, part of his particular nature.
            Well, he’d keep his part of the bargain as well. He’d not say a word to the ton about the truth of that night he found Marybelle.
            He’d not say what was lost.
            He’d not whisper a word of what was found.
            He’d turn and walk away the moment they walked into view, because everything they represented, he wanted to forget.
            And that was the very thing he was unable to ever do.
            “I take it you’ve heard the news, then?”
            Edward startled slightly at the sound of his friend’s voice. With an irritated glare, he turned to watch as Curtis Sheppard entered the room.
            “I take it you’ve forgotten how to knock again.” Edward shot back.
            “My, my we’re surly tonight. I’ll take your glower as a yes to my question.” His friend strode in with easy steps, a devil-may-care-grin on his face.
            Edward felt the uncharacteristic urge to beat it off of him.
            “You know…with all the venom coming from your expression one might get the impression that they weren’t welcome.” Curtis replied offhandedly as he helped himself to a crystal glass of brandy and sauntered over to a chair.
            “Then I’d have to change my original impression.” Edward replied, a slight grin bending his lips.
            “Of?” Curtis asked as he set the crystal glass of brandy down softly.
            “Your intelligence. I think you’re finally catching on.”
            “You wound me, old man. I know for a fact that I’m about the only one that bothers to stop by and at least attempt to cheer you up. Lord knows you’ve scared everyone else away.”
            “They were quicker to get the hint.”
            “They were cowards.” Curtis shot back, his eyebrows raised, daring him to refute his claim.
            Edward glanced down at the Abussion carpet, studying it but not seeing it. Damn the man, he had a point. But Curtis always did. He was one of the only friends that continued to endure Edward’s surly nature. Always cheerful, it was damn annoying as hell, but he broke up the monotony.  He was one of the only people in the world who knew the truth, and Edward trusted him to keep it.  That type of loyalty was rare as hen’s teeth.  For that, Curtis had his loyalty as well, though he had, through the years, forgotten how to display any other emotion other than anger…or remorse.
            Edward’s gaze lifted as he watched Curtis approach him. “Yes?”
            Curtis’ eyes were narrowed slightly and he took a position just to the side of Edward and began to study the ground. “Just wondering what you found so damn interesting about the carpet that’s been in this study since you were in short pants.”
            Edward shoved his friend good-naturedly, a grin breaking through.
            “And here I had thought you’d lost the ability to smile. My hope in your black soul is restored.” Curtis shrugged and sipped his brandy.
            “I’d not place so much faith in me.”
            “I’ll be sure to under estimate.” Curtis shot back and returned to his chair. “So, back to my original reason for gracing you with my company—“
            “I’d rather not talk about it.” Edward cut in, spearing his friend with a glare.
            “I’m sure you’d rather rot. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you’ll be seeing them at some point or another. What is your plan? After all, you’re Edward Ashley, Viscount Langley.” He raised his eyebrows. “You plan your life down to what you’ll dream about.”
            “Revenge.”
            “Bloody business. Best served cold, eh? You’re above that. I’ll not let you delude yourself.”      
            “What—“
            “I know enough. Leave it. It will only blacken your heart more, old friend. Besides, if you ruin the family, you’ll be going back on your word…which we both know will not happen. As much of a old stick you’ve become, you’re not dishonorable.”
            “Blast you, Curtis.”
            “Thank you, I’ll take that as a compliment simply assuring myself that you see my brilliant point.”
            “You are vexing beyond words.” Edward muttered.
            “I’ve been told I’m many things beyond words…however most of those comments from the lady population.” He grinned.        
            “Only you could find some way to make me actually want to discuss your sordid love life in efforts to escape the previous topic of conversation. How do you do it?” Edward asked in a wry tone.
            “I’m far more brilliant than you give me credit for. It’s the looks. Most people take one look at me and think ‘ah! All beauty, no brains.’ For honestly, it isn’t fair that I have a lions share of both.” Curtis sighed as if pained by it.
            “And humility, scads of that as well.” Edward shook his head.
            “I’m quite proud of that particular virtue, yes.” Curtis laughed. “Now, I’m going to attend the Bridgeton route tomorrow. Alaine will be there…” He let the name linger.
            Edward glanced heavenward, praying for deliverance to a God he wasn’t sure cared about him anymore.
            At one time he had been so sure.
            Now he was quite the opposite.
            “Alaine?” Edward repeated.
            “Yes, goddess of beauty herself.”
            “And voice of a minion.”
            “Do not say such things! Her voice is delightful…unique.” He added with a flourish of his hand.
            “Annoying, not unique…annoying. I swear I would rather listen to the screeching of fighting tom cats rather than hear her speak in that high pitched, nasal tone.”
            “You hide your true opinions so well.” Curtis replied dryly.
            Edward scowled.
            “At least I know I’ll have no competition from you, she’ll be mine for taking.” He rubbed his hands together.
            “I’d not dare stand in the way of true love.” Edward mocked.
            Curtis shook his head and chuckled. “ At least love for the moment.”
            “One day, you’ll find some lady that will turn your head in such a way you’ll not even be enticed by another…and I predict that very lady will not give you the time of day.  God’s way of punishing you for your many sins.” Edward spoke clearly as he strode to the wide chair behind his desk.
            “Love advice? From you? My, it is a night of miracles.” Curtis replied with a mocking grin.
            “Insolent—“
            “Don’t be irritated at my keen observation and ability to articulate it so clearly. Now, back to the Bridgeton route. You’ll attend, of course.” Curtis brushed some lint from his fine coat.
            “No.”
            “Yes.”
            “I’ll not repeat myself.”
            “Yes, you’ll attend! You gave your word two weeks ago. I knew you’d try to back out of our agreement since the arrival of Pierce family, but I shall not let you. I’ve been working on sweet Alaina for some time now, this is my chance.” He smacked his knee and stood. “You know I need you to attend if I’m to be allowed entrance.”
            “Bloody hell, why in the world do you wish to be part of the ton? Have you met any of them? Vipers, the lot of them.”
            “I’ve met you…” Curtis shot back.
            Edward rolled his eyes in exasperation.
            “You attended the Blackwood party without me—“
            “But that was far less exclusive than the Bridgton event. You know this.” Curtis all but whined.
            Edward frowned.
            He hated that his friend had a point. While Curtis was wealthier than Croesus, his money was made in trade.
            Not inherited from an age-old title.
            And his father, being the independent type, had refused to try and purchase a title on the sly, so their family was, while wealthy, still part of the blue-collar variety. And being part of that class eliminated them from receiving invitations from the exclusive parties of the ton.
            Lucky blackguard.
            So unless Edward brought him along, he’d not be able to attend. And as much as he wished it weren’t true, he had said he’d attend.
            “I loath you.” Edward ground out in defeat.
            “Its perfectly alright. I adore you enough for the both of us.” Curtis fanned himself like a lady.
            Edward snorted.
            Curtis grinned. “The lengths you push me to in order to lift your spirits. I’d think you be wise to thank the Good Lord for such a friend as I.” Curtis nodded and stood, draining his brandy. He sighed in satisfaction. “I’ll see you on the morrow. And…do try to smile. We wouldn’t want to frighten anyone.” He replied with an easy smile and left.
            Edward shook his head and stood to go and study the fire once more.
            But even for the warm heat from the fire’s soft glow, his heart will chilled knowing that tomorrow, he’d have to face the very people he never want to see again.

            Damn it all.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Romancing the Rogue

It's that time of year, where the air gets chilly and all you want to do is curl up with a warm cup of tea/coffee/cider and read a good book by the fire.
At least that's me.
How about you?
It's ALSO the time of year for us to start thinking about Holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas etc. And what better way to celebrate that reading?
Ok, at least in MY opinion. ;)
EsKape Press has been gracious enough to let me be a part of their huge holiday celebration by releasing "Redeeming the Deception of Grace" (A Christmas Regency Romance) in their Boxed Set: "Romancing the Rogue" ( sounds Delicious, doesn't it?"
Along with other amazing authors, this boxed set is only .99! Here's the cover:
And to celebrate this awesome release, they're doing a fun little contest. To play, you need to read my excerpt and yes, there WILL be a test ;) ;) so pay attention! Follow the instructions on the Blog hop and answer the question about the except and you'll be entered to win a prize from EsKape press! AND because its the season of giving ( and thanksgiving)  If you leave a comment on this post, telling me your favorite holiday book, I'll enter you to win a copy of my new release "To Tempt An Earl"! Ready? Set? Here we go!

"Redeeming the Deception of Grace"
Because sometimes all love needs is a little healthy competition...


Ewan was shocked when Grace stopped her much anticipated reply. Resisting the temptation of waving his hand in front of her face, he turned slightly to see what she was gawking at. Spencer Raleigh, Earl of Shiply. Anyone but Shiply! But of course Grace would find his angelic looks enticing. Hadn't scores of other debutantes believed the same? Eyeing Grace, he intended to set her straight but paused, noticing how she observed the gentleman from head to toe in a seductive fashion. Ewan doubted she even realized it.
I want her to look at me like that, he thought, feeling the fire of jealousy burn in his gut as he realized that it wasn't that Grace was immune to charm in general, she was simply immune to him. Disregarding the offensive thought, he focused on Shiply's advance. He had to think fast. Shiply had targeted her and was sauntering over in an effort to secure an introduction.
"Greys! I thought I saw you," Shiply said enthusiastically as he reached out to shake Ewan's hand.
Trying to think of a way to keep him away from Grace, he paused, stalling for time. "Shiply, didn't expect to see you here. In fact, I know of a gentleman who wanted to speak with you, if you'll just…" He hoped Shiply would take the hint and leave, but Shiply waved him off and began another thread of conversation, one that led to Grace.
"Why would I miss this crush? And who may I ask is this English flower?" he asked, turning toward Grace, offering her a seductive smile that made Ewan cringe.

****

His eyes held her captive, and Grace felt as though she had stopped breathing, she was so lightheaded. She marveled at how gentle he was when he reached out and grasped her hand before kissing the air above it. Though many gentlemen had done the same, his administration warmed her like hot tea after a cold walk through Hyde Park..
"Ah, yes, this is Lady Jarvais and her daughter, Lady Grace." Ewan made the introductions, mumbling slightly. With a questioning glance, she waited for Ewan to offer up the stranger's name.
When Ewan stared back stubbornly, challenging her with the slight squint of his eyes, she turned back to her new acquaintance. "You'll have to excuse Lord Greys, he tends to mumble and forget his manners when he's foxed."
She cut a glance to Ewan and then turned back to the handsome gentleman. "It's a pleasure to meet you, sir…" She waited for him to fill in the blank. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Ewan stiffen before settling on an unamused smirk.
"Spencer Raleigh, Earl of Shiply, at your service," he said with a smile, and he offered her a playful bow. His light hair brushed his brow as he leaned down, adding a boyish charm to the already handsome man.

****

"Excuse me, but I am not 'foxed', as you put it, Lady Grace," Ewan interrupted her conversation with Shiply. He tamped down the urge to get into fisticuffs with the flirting earl but barely. Why was Grace reacting in such a way? He disliked the emotions the arrival of Shiply had uncovered.
"My mistake," she quipped, but never took her eyes off of Shiply, which irritated Ewan even more.
"Care to dance, Lady Grace?" The honeyed words dripped from Shiply's mouth, causing Ewan to fight a gag reflex. Some people had no class.
"I'd be delighted." Grace's smile lit up her face, and Ewan found himself unable to look away. She truly had grown into a beautiful young woman, though when this had occurred was unknown to him.
Her perfectly straight teeth flashed against full lips that reminded him of the crimson-colored sheets currently covering his bed. Aroused at the thought, he imagined her kiss, with those passionate green eyes closed in rapture. She bit her lower lip as she took Shiply's hand. Ewan found himself licking his own lips, wondering how her kiss would taste.
Ewan mentally shook, pulling himself from his desirous thoughts, and focused on Grace's retreating form. He stood scowling and watching the pair dance and flirt, his mood darkening by the second.
"Wipe that scowl from your face, Ewan. It's not as if she's never danced with anyone but you before," Lady Jarvais chided, clicking her tongue.
Ewan started slightly. He had all but forgotten about her presence. He turned towards the dear woman and tried to act the unconcerned rogue. "Yes, well, he's unsuitable. A rake, rogue… whatever you call the unsavory characters that prowl about, these days." He lifted his hand in a dismissive gesture toward Shiply.
"Yes, and you yourself are nothing of the sort?" she asked as her eyebrows rose.
He understood his hypocrisy as she gave him a disbelieving look. No. He wasn't any better. However, he wasn't the one trying to woo Grace, attempting to seduce her to his bed, make love to her until the far reaches of the morning…
What am I thinking? His mind spun out of control imagining Grace in all those situations with him. The air was warmer, so he pulled on his collar. Then he also fought the urge to loosen his cravat.
His eyes never left her twirling body, and he physically responded to her curves. Cursing, he looked away, willing his body to calm and forbidding his mind to think of her tempting body pressed against his. As he searched for a distraction, he noticed Lady Jarvais watching him with a curious expression on her face before it lit up in an understanding smile.
"You're jealous." She spoke the words with awe. She looked thrilled.
Ewan felt his stomach drop. No, he couldn't be jealous. Could he? But admitting she was correct would require him to acknowledge all the twisting emotions within his gut, and he refused to do that.
No, he was not jealous. Annoyed, certainly. Straightening his collar, he faced Lady Jarvais. "I am nothing of the sort."
Glancing back at the dance floor, he saw Grace give Shiply a flirtatious smile. His insides burned with a hot rage. Perhaps he was jealous, although he would never admit it out loud. Ever.
"You are so. It's written across your face, clear as day," Lady Jarvais remarked, still marveling. "You know, I saw this coming," she added with an arrogant grin full of trouble. The way she tilted her chin reminded him of Grace.
"You most certainly did not, because it is not happening. I'm not jealous!" He glanced up and muttered, "Especially of that arrogant cad, Shiply."After a moment he added, "Lady Grace has far more sense than to fall for the likes of that sort." He huffed, hoping he sounded more convincing than he felt.
"Ah, and you'd be far better for her than Shiply." Lady Jarvais's green eyes twinkled as she challenged his claim.
"Of course. Anyone would," he replied with little patience. Hadn't he already said as much?
"Good. Then I trust you to make sure she'll be safe." She watched him expectantly.
"Excuse me?" He looked at her as if she had lost all sense. What could she mean? As an available gentleman, he couldn't act as chaperon, nor would he want to, but Lady Jarvais knew that. Trepidation seeped into his chest as he watched Lady Jarvais grin.
"Yes, Lord Jarvais is gone for business on our country estate in Sussex. He won't be back until a week before the Kringle Ball. Her brothers are all busy with their own families. There are only us two who can look out for poor Lady Grace."
With a touch of her fan on his shoulder, she continued, "I won't be able to be everywhere at once, so I'm enlisting your help. As a longtime family friend who has Lady Grace's best interests at heart, I trust you to make sure she is safe from this unsavory Shiply character." She said 'Shiply' with mock terror as she widened her grin, not enough to mock him openly, but enough to issue a challenge — a challenge he was sure to take on, regardless of how his head told him to walk away.



Friday, October 3, 2014

The Forsaken Love of a Lord

IT IS OCTOBER!!!!! Bring on the pumpkins, apple cider and trick-or-treating! Personally, I could eat my body weight in pumpkin pie. (YUM!) Just yesterday I bought a pumpkin pie from Costco. You know, the huge ones that just call your name as you walk by...I'm weak. I bought one and ALMOST bought two. I probably should have. The massive pie lasted only a few hours before it was nothing but crumbs and fond memories. Of course, I DID have help...five kids...remember? Needless to say they all played their part in devouring the delicious treat.

The end of this month I have a new book coming out, "The Forsaken Love of a Lord." Isn't the cover art AMAZING?! Thank you to Laura at P.S. Cover and designs. She rocks. The cover is truly a great translation of the book as well, a bit dark, a bit mysterious and a whole lot of romance! Here's a teaser made by a super awesome reader, Liza at I Dare You To Read.

The best part? It's only .99 AND up for pre-order.  Here's the link:
AMAZON

Also, if you're a member of the Kindle Unlimited program, you'll get to read it for FREE!
I'll try to post some excerpts here in a few days as the release date approaches, but as always, give me grace if I don't make it...remember, five kids...meaning a whole LOT of blessing and NO free time! Love you all and thanks!!!

Kristin Vayden

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

To Tempt An Earl

Who loved Lady Southridge in "What the Duke Wants" and "The Only Reason for the London Season"?  SHE'S BACK! And creating fiascos in the second book in the GreenFord Water's Series. "To Tempt An Earl" was just released this month, and is the story of the eldest ward, Bethanny Lamont.  And of course, it involves Lady's Southridge's devilishly handsome brother, Lord Graham.



Here's the Synopsis.

Tempting an Earl is not for the faint of heart. 
Thank heavens Bethanny is anything but faint! 
Now, honest, perhaps--too honest, but never faint! 
After all, why flirt when you can tempt? And why the devil would a woman choose to swoon when she could be kissed? 
Of course, she'd never try something so...honest, yes that was the word, honest on anyone but Lord Graham. 
He's the only one she wants. 
He alone has her heart. 
And, he hadn’t a clue. 
So it was only polite that she tell him. 
Now, if only her blasted guardian, the Duke of Clairmont, would see Graham as more of a suitor than his old friend. 
Because Graham is anything but old and most certainly not just a friend, not after that kiss, or that touch. 
Though, if she were to lay all her cards on the table--which any gently bred woman ought--he wasn't completely aware it was her mouth, her lips, or her touch. 
But that's beside the point now, isn't it? 

Even though "To Tempt An Earl" is part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone. And I guarantee you'll laugh out loud and swoon, because as much as I love the banter in this book ( Bethanny know's what she wants...let me just say that) I love the romance even more ( especially the charade's scene...)  




"To Tempt An Earl" 
Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00MUC655A
B&N: http://bit.ly/W4PqcF
iBooks: http://bit.ly/1rJSSse
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1tmoUce
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1w2RE9F

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"The Only Reason for the London Season"

I'm trying something new. (gasp) In a few short weeks I'll be releasing my third regency romance(which I'll tell you more about later) but just before that one releases, I'm going to put up a short regency romance for FREE. "The Reason for the London Season" is a cute story that is a prelude for the full length regency "What the Duke Wants"(which I might add, is hilariously funny) But "The Only Reason for the London Season" is also a stand alone story, however the readers will get a little sneak peek at my other regencies at the end of it.  I'm hoping to release it on February 10 or so, and I'll keep you posted.  Here's the blurb and a small excerpt.

Sometimes love needs a little push in the right direction.
Or a good and proper shove.
At least that’s what Dianna Trowl believes, profously, or else she’d never have done what she did.
It would have been foolish, it would have been a scandal, if…it hadn’t of worked.
But it did, and sometimes the price to pay for a gentleman’s attention is worth every penny.

And convincing Lord Southridge to believe in love at first sight? Priceless.

The Only Reason for the London Season
All Rights Reserved, Kristin Vayden 2014
Miss Dianna Trowl hated her name.
Hated it.
Because it reminded her of a troll, and that same similarity wasn’t missed by any of the other debutants that season. Five minutes couldn’t pass before some snide comment was made (just loudly enough for her to hear) that her last name was wildly appropriate for someone who looked like her.
            And for that same reason, she hated her hair, almost as much as she hated her name.
Red.
Why in heaven had she been the one to inherit her Scottish ancestor’s flaming color? No one, NO ONE else in her family even had a hint of the reddish hue. But of course, why would they when she clearly got all of it? It wasn’t fair.  As if her wrenched hair color wasn’t enough, she had freckles and green eyes. So, she was the antithesis of everything that was all the rage this season. No wheat colored tresses with bottomless blue eyes, no, she had a flame colored and unruly mane with muddy green eyes. It might not have been so miserable if the color of the season wasn’t pink.
            The absolute worst color for someone of, well, her color. 
            But what Dianna lacked in appealing colors, she made up for in spirit.  And so the season continued and as each ball ended without so much as one suitor paying her mind, she resolved to take matters into her own hands. Everyone noticed her, just for the wrong reasons. But…what if she could use that to her advantage? So Dianna thought, and planned and, rather decided that this season would be her trial run.  She’d listen, she’d learn and next season…she’d conquer.
            And that is precisely what she did.

Love Regency Romance? Don't miss my other Romances!
Emma has sworn off love.

After all, it is pointless to subject oneself to such torture when in the end, heartbreak is inevitable. Just like her sister had suffered. So, when Lord Daventry, the muddy brown-eyed boy from her childhood, returns to society she refuses to even look at him... well, maybe she'll look once.

Or twice.

But only because his eyes have changed into the most decadent color of dark chocolate. And his tanned skin from his travels is distracting, especially paired with his wide and devilish grin.

The stirring of her blood from his hot whisper in her ear is nothing... at least that's what she tells herself.

Lord Daventry has one response to marriage. Drink Brandy. Especially when his mother decides it is time for him to produce an heir. Reluctantly, he attends his first ball since returning from India, swearing to head to White's shortly after the first dance. However, he is pleasantly surprised to discover that Miss Emma Kingsly, the same girl he tried to kiss when she was nine, is still unmarried.

Her frigid demeanor should have warned him off... but unable to ignore a challenge, he plunges in head first... never expecting to fall in love with the one woman in the ton completely set against marriage.



Sometimes all love needs is a little healthy competition. 

Lady Grace Hashiver has perfected the art of hiding behind a sarcastic wit when it comes to dealing with the rakish Ewan Emmett Duke of Greys, her childhood tormentor. It’s her only weapon, for if she let her guard down even for a moment; surely he’d know just how much she loved him. A love she knew could never happen. 

Ewan Emmett, Duke of Greys is perfectly thrilled to torment Grace at every opportunity, until an old acquaintance begins an honest suit for Grace’s hand. When Ewan begins to feel the pangs of jealousy causing him to question his reasons for his constant teasing of Grace, he discovers a depth of emotion he didn’t know he harbored towards the golden haired beauty. Suddenly he is not longer the tease, but on the receiving end of the torment as he wonders if he‘s to late to fight for her love. 

Sometimes, all love needs is a little healthy competition. Wouldn’t you agree?