Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stranded in a Carriage...with Robyn DeHart (+Giveaway)


Stranded in a Carriage
on Christmas Eve with Robyn Dehart

About the Author:

A life-long lover of stories and adventure, it was either become a stuntwoman for the movies or live out those adventures from the safety of her PJ’s and computer. Award-winning author,Robyn DeHart chose the latter and couldn’t be happier for doing so. Known for her unique plotlines and authentic characters, Robyn is a favorite among readers and reviewers. Publishers' Weekly claims her writing to be "comical and sexy" while the Chicago Tribune dubs her "wonderfully entertaining." Robyn is an award-winning author as well as being a four-time RT Bookclub Reviewers' Choice award nominee, and a three-time RomCon Reader’s Crown nominee. Look for Robyn’s new trilogy on forbidden love coming from Entangled. A Little Bit Wicked, A Little Bit Sinful (spring 2013) and A Little Bit Scandalous (summer 2013). Also in 2013 she'll launch her Jack the Ripper series with The Secrets of Mia Danvers (June 2013, NAL).Robyn lives in Texas with her brainy husband, two precocious little girls and two spoiled cats.

Find Robyn OnlineWebsite | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

One Scandalous Night
by Robyn DeHart


Miss Winifred Wilmington pulled her green velvet cloak tighter around her. She exhaled and a puff of air was visible in her breath so cold was it inside the carriage.
“We are going to die in here,” her maid, Polly, wailed.
Winifred rolled her eyes heavenward. “I seriously doubt that,” she said. “It is rather cold, but I suspect someone will be along soon enough and rescue us.”
“I could remind you that it was my suggestion that we leave earlier in the day. Or yesterday.” Polly grumbled. “It is the eve of Christmas, who else is traveling?”
The thought had crossed Winifred’s mind as well, but she certainly wouldn’t put voice to it. There was no need to panic, that would solve nothing. Of course therein lay one of the significant differences between herself and her long-time maid, Winifred was nothing if not practical. It was a skill she had learned out of necessity. One didn’t get jilted at the altar and not make some significant changes in one’s life. In any case, she was somewhat concerned about being stranded in this frigid carriage all night, though she was hopeful that someone would come along to save them.
Clearly she had a highly active imagination as she could swear she heard carriage wheels off in the distance. Would that it was true.
Polly sat up. “Do you hear that?”
Polly was so apt at creating drama, no doubt the woman thought she heard wolves outside. “What?” Winifred asked.
“A carriage is coming,” Polly said.
Perhaps it hadn’t been her imagination after all. Winifred listened and the wheels did sound as if they were drawing nearer. Hope bloomed in her chest. The wheels rumbled and the horse hooves clattered louder and louder until they were upon the, and they rolled to a stop.
“As long as it’s not a highwayman, I suppose we can consider ourselves rescued,” Winifred said.
A male voice spoke to their driver, then there was a rap at door.
Winifred leaned forward and opened it.
A tall gentleman stood there in a great coat with a top hat perched upon his head. He held a cane in his hand. "Madams," he said, the timbre in his voice deep and rich.
A chill skirted over Winifred’s arms despite the fact she was encased in her cloak. "Good evening, Sir," she said. "I should thank you for stopping to assist us. Can our carriage be repaired?"
"I do not know, nor am I inclined to look," he said. "I will offer you a ride."
Winifred considered his words. It wasn't a perfect solution, but it would do. "Yes, my grandmother's estate is not far from here. We would very much appreciate it."
"No," he said.
She frowned, shook her head. "I beg your pardon? What do you mean no, you just offered to give us a ride," she said.
"A ride. To where I'm going.” He tapped his cane against his chest. “In the morning you may have the carriage take you to your destination," he said. “But in this weather I am going nowhere else.”
"And where is it that you're going?" Winifred asked.
"Coventry Hall," he said.
Nerves prickled at her neck, standing the little hairs there on end. "You are?" Winifred asked.
"Alistair Devlin, Marquess of Coventry," he said with only a shadow of a bow.
"Oh good heavens," Polly said, finally breaking her silence. She shook her head violently. "Miss Wilmington, we mustn’t go with him."
"Don't be rude, Polly."
"Yes, don't be rude, Polly,” he repeated. “I don't believe you'll have any other options tonight.” His shoulders rose in a slight shrug. “Though you could certainly choose to stay here and freeze," he said. "I have made the offer." He turned on his heel and walked away.
"Miss Wilmington, you know what they say of him," Polly said. "Mary who works for Lord Garrick says she knows the housekeeper that used to work at Coventry. He is a killer,” she whispered. “Murdered his own wife, tossed her right off a cliff, they say."
"Don't be so dramatic, Polly." But of course Winifred had also heard those rumors and plenty more when it came to the Marquess of Coventry. He had a most interesting reputation. But the man was right, the odds of someone else coming along to rescue them were very slim. "It is a good offer," Winifred said. "Consider this, Polly, being tossed off a cliff should result in a rather quick death whereas freezing in this carriage would be slow and painful, I suspect.”
Polly did not look convinced.
“Pipkin, I should like to get down please," Winifred called to the driver. He was there in a breath to assist her to the ground.
The frigid air swirled around her, snow fell, soft as a whisper, covering her face and sticking to her eyelashes. She put her hands in her muff and walked toward the other carriage.
Polly raced up to meet her. "Miss Wilmington, think of your reputation."
Winifred shook her head. "Don't be silly. I am a spinster who was jilted; no one cares a whit about my reputation. Furthermore, my reputation certainly won't matter if I freeze to death now will it? Are you coming?"
"I shall not ride with that man," Polly said with a firm shake of her head.
"Suit yourself. Do try to stay warm," Winifred said.
"If you go with him, I shall resign," Polly warned.
"Don't bother, I shall simply dismiss you," Winifred said.
Polly made a growling noise, yet still followed behind. "I shall come with you to keep you safe, but I refuse to ride inside with him."
"Do whatever you wish, Polly, I am riding inside where it promises to be nice and warm." And with that a gloved hand reached out of the carriage. She took a deep breath and placed her hand in his and climbed into the carriage. A lantern hung from a hook on the other side of the carriage illuminating the interior. She took a seat on the plush bench across from where the marquess sat. “Thank you for your hospitality.”
“Your maid, she is going to ride outside?” he asked.
“She’s a stubborn lot,” Winifred said.
“You sacked her,” he said.
“Third time this week.” She waved her hand dismissively. “Polly and I have plenty of disagreements.”
He nodded, then picked up the book that had been sitting on the seat next to him. The carriage lurched forward.
She eyed her unlikely travel companion. He was tall and lean and formidable, but younger than she had expected. She’d heard of the Marquess of Coventry, but had never before seen him. He couldn’t be more than five and thirty. His cane leaned against the bench next to him and his gloved hand held onto the gold knob on top. She looked up at his face. An ugly scar slashed across his left cheek leading to his eye. He looked up from his reading as if he sensed her perusal. His eyes were a startling shade of green, like the first bloom of spring after a blistering winter.
“My name is Winifred Wilmington,” she said dumbly.
“I know who you are,” he said, then went back to his reading.
She frowned. How had he known who she was? Perhaps he’d merely inquired from her driver when he’d first stopped. “What are you reading?” she asked.
“Shakespeare. ‘As You Like it,’” he said.
She was quiet for a moment, trying to recall if she’d read that particular play. It seemed she must have, but at the moment she couldn’t recall a single thing about it. “You know I am not afraid of you,” she said. “I don’t think it’s very intelligent to believe everything you hear about a person.”
“Indeed,” he said, not bothering to look up from his book.
“Oh yes, people are quite hateful with the rumors they spread.” She forced herself to stop talking then as she was about to tell him about a particularly nasty rumor, but then that would be gossiping. She knew she became chatty when she was nervous and she certainly did not need to say something she would later regret.
“What is it that people say about me?” he asked, again not looking up from his book.
She eyed him for a moment, trying to gage if he was toying with her. He must know what people said. Even the servants gossiped about him. 
He looked up at her and once again she was caught in those unusual green eyes. His right brow rose expectedly.
She swallowed. “That you murdered your wife.” Her voice came out weak.
“But you do not believe that,” he said.
“No, I do not.” She shook her head. “You are obviously a responsible and kind gentleman.”
You do not know me,” he said. He set his book aside. His glove gripped the gold knob on his cane.
“No, but you stopped to assist a stranded lady, that says volumes about your character, my lord,” she said, quite pleased with her logic.
He leaned forward, his eyes narrowed. “How do you know I’m not taking you to my castle to ravish you?”
She sucked in her breath. “Are you?”
He crooked his finger at her, beckoning her forward.
She leaned toward him.
He grabbed her by the chin and pulled her closer, then caught her mouth in a kiss. So shocked by the touch, her lips parted, giving him a brazen invitation to deepen the kiss. His lips were soft and unfamiliar, yet seductive, intoxicating. Her eyes fluttered closed and her hands gripped the fabric of his great coat around his shoulders. And then the kiss was over, ending as quickly and abruptly as it had begun. He leaned back in his seat and she was left in the middle of the carriage with her eyes closed, no doubt looking very much the goose.
“You should not be so trusting,” he said.
“You never answered my question,” she shot back once she’d regained her senses.
“Which was?”
“If you were intending to ravish me once we arrived at your castle?”
His lips quirked up in a half smile. “I suppose you’ll have to wait and see.”
 ~*~*~*~

*Don't forget to stop by Ramblings From This Chick for Grace Burrowes' Scene*

Available Now:

Marcus Kincaid has returned to England after a ten-year absence as the Earl of Ashford after his brother’s untimely death. Unfortunately, his younger sister is embroiled in a potential scandal that could ruin her chance at marriage, and his aunt has already called in reinforcements—The Paragon.
Vivian March is known simply as The Paragon. She moves through every circle within Society, smoothing out scandals and stopping gossip in its tracks. Everyone in London knows that if she aligns herself with you, Society will forgive your sins. What they don’t know is that she uses their secrets to cover her own jaded past.
But with every kiss and every touch that Marcus thrusts upon her, Vivian comes to believe life is infinitely more fun when you can be just a little bit wicked…
Get Your Copy Today:

Robyn is giving away an ecopy of her first novel in the Forbidden Love series, A Little Bit Wicked, to one lucky commenter (Open to all with ereader capabilities)! Make sure to leave a meaningful comment below AND include your email!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway

47 comments:

  1. WHAT a marvelous teaser! Where were all the mysterious, gruff, titled, kissing gentlemen when I was stranded in my carriage for YEARS on end?

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  2. i've stoped to count teh new discoveries i made since this event started^^;;

    thank you a lot for sharing with us. i loved your work^^

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  3. Thanks for the preview! I'm looking forward to it!

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  4. Grace is right. That was a tease, but a nice short. Can't wait to read A Little Bit Wicked. It sounds fantastic.

    e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

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  5. Oooh! Tease....you'll have to write the rest of that now :)

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  6. That was a fantastic story! *new fan alert* :) Thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. Sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  8. swoon worthy little read, that does sound like one scandalous night ;) the artwork cover for your book is pretty gorgeous as well!

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  9. I'm so glad y'all are enjoying my scene. I had such fun writing it and really think Winifred and Alistair deserve their own book - what do y'all think?

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  10. Hi

    Wonderful post! I am excited to read A Little Bit Wicked.

    Thanks for the chance
    Pam
    tpibrew@msn.com

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  11. Hi Robyn! Your book sounds wonderful. I own several of your books already and looking forward to accumulating many more! Merry Christmas!

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    1. I forgot to leave my email - does this work?
      lvsgund at gmail dot come

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  12. Wonderful..I am hoping there will be more of this story one day.
    amandavmartin@bellsouth.net

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  13. Thank you for stopping by for the post and sharing that short with us. I'd really like to read a story behind this one day. :)

    I've heard really good things about your books and am looking forward to reading them.

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  14. Thanks for the preview! I'm looking forward to it!

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  15. I definitely LOVE the blurb! Thank you!

    BrittanyG@gmail.com

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  16. Yes, more please, don't leave me hanging too long I need to read more on Winifred and Alistair. Loved It.

    joylynne66(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  17. Wow, I'm really luvin' that book cover. You are a new author to me and I'm looking forward to learning more about this series. How many books are planned for this series? How did you pick the historical genre to write in?
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julianne. Right now there are three books planned in this series - the other two will be out next year. As far as how I picked historicals....I kinda feel like it picked me, I don't know it just felt like the right place for me to be.

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  18. I really want to read A Little Bit Wicked. The cover just screams at you, READ ME!

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  19. I'm so happy y'all enjoyed my scene. Sometimes characters just come alive and demand a story - I suspect I'll be writing theirs at some point. I hope you all love A Little Bit Wicked - Marcus is one of my top favorite heroes of mine and I just know you'll all fall in love with him too!

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  20. Winifred should thank Polly for riding outside.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

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  21. My favorite line: "How do you know I'm not taking you to my castle to ravish you?" Okay, that was swoon worthy line, or at least, a nice pick-up line. *g*

    Armenia
    armiefox at yahoo dot com

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  22. Loved the story One Scandalous Night. I'm looking forward to reading the Forbidden Love series as well, love Robyn DeHart's books. :D

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  23. Yes, please continue with the story.

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  24. Thanks for the story and the chance to win!

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  25. Hi Robyn! I've a couple of your books which i quite enjoyed n am looking forward to reading your new series. A Little Bit Wicked sounds really good.

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  26. wow.. love the cover and the blurb, I'm waiting for the print book then :)

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  27. Thanks for this excerpt, that really makes me want to read the book!
    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

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  28. More please! Ravish away!!!

    Thanks so much!

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  29. Hi, Robyn! Your excerpt left me wanting more. I love your books. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  30. Hi again! I forgot to leave my email.

    kscathy@yahoo.com

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  31. That was phenomenal!!! I wan to read the rest of the story~! Thanks so much.


    kp_kazamei(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  32. Thank you for the read. I loved it.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  33. Looking forward to reading your book

    Maryjo@maryjoburke.com

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  34. I love something wicked! And I do love the cover!
    Looking forward to read this one.
    Thank you for sharing, and for the giveaway. :)

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  35. loved the short story and definitely whets my interest in your other books! Thanks for sharing and happy holidays!
    ivegotmail8889(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  36. Thank you for the short story. I loved reading it. Hope you have a Merry Christmas!!!!
    readingdiva@ymail.com

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  37. Story sounds awesome. Haven't read any of your books before so look forward to reading them. Will add them to my wish list.
    lorih824@yahoo.com

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  38. After the teaser ( I hate being left hanging! LOL) I will read A LITTLE BIT WICKED with the hopes that it ends well. Have a Merry Christmas!



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  39. Mercy, you are a wicked author, how marvelous! I can't wait to read more! Thanks!
    smoofrog @gmail dot com

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  40. Margaret Murray-EvansDecember 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Hope this story becomes a book! Thanks for the tease.
    Merry Christmas!

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