Kiss Me at Christmas Review & Excerpt Tour

St. Martins News BannerKISS ME AT CHRISTMAS

1128199700

Playful Brides, Book 10

by Valerie Bowman

Price: $7.99

Publication Date: October 30, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1-250-14752-3

St. Martin’s Paperbacks 

“Memorable characters, rich sensuality, and mystery will

entice readers from the very first page.” – Publishers Weekly

Buy It Now

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Not every leading lady finds love, gets married and sustains a domestic life. What about the
ladies who were never swept off their feet? Do they take matters into their own hands?

In the delightful addition to Valerie Bowman’s Regency-set Playful Brides series, Regina has written off the prospect of marriage, but she still would very much like a pleasurable distraction in her life. 
KISS ME AT CHRISTMAS (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, October 30, 2018, $7.99),connects a headstrong spinster and a noble Bow Street Runner tasked with protecting her during Christmas time in London.

Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Caroling and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…
Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks betweenthem ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s reserved heart?

MY THOUGHTS:

Another wonderful Playful Brides series book that is full of mystery, action, romance and risks taken.

A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe in Kiss Me At Christmas by Valerie Bowman….

We have another winner!

Valerie Bowman never disappoints this reader. This newest book in the wonderful Playful Brides series is full of mystery, action, romance and risks taken.

I love this hero and heroine.
Who is Daffin, the Bow Street Runner really? Will the truth be the end to Regina’s attraction to him when the secret is outed?
Regina and Daffin were meant for each other. We met them in a previous book in this series and now they get their own story.
Regina wants to have things her way and asks Daffin to be her lover for a night. She will be thirty years old on her next birthday and is considered to be firmly on the shelf.
Daffin is so taken aback by this request that he immediately refuses. Fate has other ideas and throws the two of them together when Regina’s life is threatened. Together they must find where this threat is coming from.
This book is a page turner with cameo appearances by characters from previous books. This is book ten of eleven and although that sounds like a lot of books for one series none have been a disappointment.
I gave this book 4.9 of 5.0 stars (rounded up to 5) for story line and character development. The sensual rating gets 4.0 of 5.0 flames with sizzling intimacy that burns up the pages.
I received a complimentary digital ARC of this book by invitation from the publisher to read.
This in no way affected my opinion of this title which I read and reviewed voluntarily.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Valerie BowmanVALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge
supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English

with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie
now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When
she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy
reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides series and the Playful Brides series.

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER ONE

London, December 1818

Lady Regina Haversham’s thirtieth birthday was precisely one month away, which didn’t leave her much time to lose her virginity. Not that she wanted it lost. She wanted to know where it went and choose to whom she gave the dratted thing.

Her coach came to a stop in front of the offices of the Bow Street Runners in central London, and she drew in a deep, unsteady breath. She pressed her hands deeper into the white fur muff that sat atop her lap and willed her pounding heart to slow its nervous beat. Christmastide was her favorite time of year. She was in high spirits, but she was also as nervous as a young lady making her debut on her way to see the queen. This particular outing had every chance to end in disaster.

She glanced out the window. She probably should have hired a hackney. It would have been less conspicuous than her uncle’s resplendent coach. There were already several onlookers staring up at the black-lacquered conveyance with the Duke of Colchester’s seal on the side. She glanced down at her clothing. No doubt her ensemble was too elegant for marching into the offices of the best private investigative team in London, but she had no other clothing to wear, and this particular message was best delivered in person. She didn’t know Daffin Oakleaf’’s home address, and she hardly thought a note to him for what she had in mind would be appropriate. No. Regardless of the stares, she had to see him in person.

Regina had settled on the perfect birthday gift to herself. She would spend the night with a man. Not just any man. The finest candidate. One who had the face and body of a Greek god. Thirty years old. Tall, fit, and handsome. Blond hair and green eyes that held a twinkle she found irresistible. She’d met him last summer at her uncle’s estate. Her family had been gathered there for the unfortunate purpose of her cousin, the marquess’s, funeral. John had been murdered, and inappropriate or not, the man Regina had come to covet was the Bow Street Runner who’d helped investigate his murder.

She hadn’t seen Daffin since he’d left the estate that hot July day taking away the two murderers in shackles. Rarely a day passed since that Regina didn’t think of him. She’d read about him in the paper, too. Lately, there’d been a series of articles in the Times focusing on his exploits. He’d caught criminal after criminal and, according to her cousin Nicole, made hefty bounties doing it. Now that Regina’s period of mourning was over and her uncle was forcing the issue of her marriage, Regina was here to ask Daffin Oakleaf, legendary Bow Street Runner, to make mad, passionate love to her.

Her stomach performed a somersault. Could nerves make one physically ill? She suspected they could. Suspected hers would. She winced. It wouldn’t do to cast up her accounts in front of the man. That certainly wouldn’t attract him.

She glanced at her maid, who sat on the seat facing her, back ramrod straight. If the proper young woman knew what Regina was thinking, no doubt she’d be scandalized. Precisely why Regina had said as little as possible about their outing today. Genevieve hadn’t asked many questions. Thank heavens.

The coachman opened the door and Regina took one more deep breath. “Wait here,” she said to Genevieve. “I shouldn’t be long.”

After all, how long could an indecent proposal possibly take?



St. Martins Press

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