Once Upon a Christmas Castle
by Virginia Barlow
Historical Holiday Romance
Lady Rosalind Chatham journeys with her family to Weston Castle to wed an ancient earl on Christmas day. Yearning for true love, she falls for the duke, her stepfather’s cousin, while preparing for her nuptials.
Lady Rosalind entrances the Duke of Weston. Concerned for her future with the tempestuous earl, he can’t afford to get involved. The fines and scandal will be too great for a man of his wealth and power.
When the truth comes to light, and he almost loses her forever, he finds he cannot afford to give less than his whole heart.
Careful not to make a sound, she sat on the window ledge and slipped her feet out the window. Turning to face the interior of the room, she inched her hips over the window ledge. She slipped on the ice, frozen to the brick outside the window, and slid down faster than she intended, cringing when the silk of her day gown ripped.
Panic gripped her like a cinched corset. She did not fear falling. No. The fine sheen of terror covering her brow appeared out of fear she might wake the earl.
Catching the edge of the brick where she lay against it halfway between her bosom and her waist, she sucked in a deep breath, conscious she must present a sight with her skirts bunched up and wedged between her and the window ledge. Her white pantalets and silk-stockinged legs dangled as she maneuvered her hands so she could drop to the ground. Thank the gods no one wandered the flower gardens beneath her to see her unladylike display.
Her prayer of gratitude stopped dead, and she received the shock of her life when a large pair of hands caught her about the waist!
She froze in terror, not daring to breathe.
“Lady Rosalind, how unexpected of you to drop by like this.” The duke’s deep voice laughed at her as he held her still.
She swallowed her cry of surprise and choked. God, what Cousin Lucius must be thinking about her right now.
I have always loved reading romance novels. I used to sneak into my mom’s room as a young girl and read them while she was gone. As I grew older, my reading and tastes expanded to sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal, and fantasy.
I considered becoming an author in my late twenties but as a busy mother with toddlers, I didn’t have the time nor the energy.
Later, in my fifties, I decided to give it a try and have enjoyed every moment of it since. I recently signed my fourteenth contract and am doing my happy dance as I type this. My husband of forty-one years is my greatest support as are all my kids. Most of them are grown and carving out lives for themselves. They are the beat of my heart and with every grandchild, the rhythm gets stronger. I enjoy every moment of my life.
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