This week I have a character post from Lady Jane Colebrooke, the heroine of Janice Preston‘s latest novel Christmas with His Wallflower Wife. I’ll let Jan tell you about it …
Thank you for inviting me to feature once again on your blog, Morton!
For those of your readers who don’t know me, I’ve been writing Regency romances for Harlequin / Mills & Boon since 2014, and my 13th title – Christmas With His Wallflower Wife – is out at the end of this month. I first met Morton on the steps of Birmingham library when we both turned up to our very first Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Chapter meeting – and we’ve been friends ever since 😊
Christmas With His Wallflower Wife is the 6th and final book featuring members of the Beauchamp family, but it is a standalone read. It is a friends to lovers story, and also a marriage of convenience, featuring the Duke of Cheriton’s troubled youngest son, Alex, and his childhood friend, the girl next door, Lady Jane Colebrooke.
To give you an insight into Jane, and the history of her friendship with Alex, I’m sharing with you an excerpt from her diary.
I must tell you my news because there is no one else I can tell. No one!
Alex is coming home!!!
Alex’s sister, Olivia, came over today, and she told me. And, oh, the news made my heart sing, even though I know it is hopeless, for I cannot help but love him – still, after all these years – even though I now accept he will never return my feelings.
He taught me to ride, you know. And I worshipped him from that moment on even though he embroiled me in more escapades than you can ever imagine! We got into such trouble. His father, the Duke, is a formidable man, especially when he is angry, but Alex always protected me and shouldered the blame. He was so brave! But that’s Alex – always willing to rebel against the Duke whereas Dominic, his older brother… he has always been the dutiful, responsible son, as behoves a duke’s heir.
Of course, Alex has good reason for that rebellious streak, after discovering his mother’s body when he was just 7 years old. He has never got over that, so his reluctance to come home to Cheriton Abbey is understandable, with such painful memories awaiting him. Besides, he has never been close to his father – in fact, he appears to actively dislike him, even though the rest of the Beauchamps are as close as any family can be.
And now, Alex will be here in just two days, for the first time since Olivia’s wedding to Hugo over four years ago! That was my debut year and, oh, I had such grand hopes that spring, so certain was I that Alex would finally see me as a young lady and not simply the annoying little neighbour who had dogged his footsteps throughout his boyhood.
And when Mr Romsley – a perfectly pleasant young man – offered for me, I turned him down, for how could I make my vows to another man when my heart belonged to Alex? But all my hopes and dreams came to nothing. London Alex treated me exactly as Devonshire Alex had always treated me—like another little sister. And how can I blame him, for I am too plain and too dull – just ask my stepmother if you don’t believe me – whereas Alex is so handsome, and charming (when he chooses to be!), and he is never short of ladies vying for his attention.
Alex never seems to notice me as a female, let alone a lady worthy of courting. To him, I am—as I have always been—good old Janey. And, of course, we all know fairy tales don’t come true, so I have lived to regret turning down Mr Romsley’s offer for I have never had another and it seems I am now destined to be a spinster, living at home with my father and the stepmother I loathe. Unless, of course, my stepmother’s latest scheme to get me off her hands works, for she is actively encouraging Sir Denzil Pikeford’s suit. And, I promise you, I can think of nothing worse, for he is disgusting!
But I shall not think about that man. Not when Alex will be here in two short days’ time!
Would it be wrong of me to pray for a miracle?
Oh, dear dairy, I know it is foolish! I am three-and-twenty… a grown woman… and still, deep inside me, there lurks that tiny spark of hope just waiting for its chance to blaze into true love.
A convenient bride
Can he be the groom she deserves?
Lord Alexander Beauchamp has protected Lady Jane Colebrooke since childhood. So seeing she’s about to be forced to wed, he steps in with a proposal of his own! But Alex underestimated the closeness that taking Jane as his bride demands— something he expected never to give. As Christmas approaches, he knows he must confront the dark secrets that shadow their marriage…
Christmas With His Wallflower Wife is due for publication on 28th November and is available for pre-order immediately from the following retailers
About Janice Preston
Janice Preston writes emotional and sensual historical romance. Although all her novels are standalone reads, she loves to write stories set in the same Regency world, and many of her books include book-hopping characters.
When Janice isn’t writing she enjoys reading, swimming, pottering about the garden when the sun is shining, and travelling whenever she can. She fuels her imagination with endless cups of coffee, is far too keen on unhealthy food, and is an expert procrastinator.
If you’d like to find out more about Janice and her stories, check her out at www.janicepreston.co.uk or follow her on www.facebook.com/Janice.preston.author, www.twitter.com/janicegpreston , https://www.instagram.com/janicegpreston or, for news of her latest releases, on Amazon at Author.to/JanicePreston
Thank you for this blog post, Jan. You’ve convinced me – I’m off to pre-order Christmas With His Wallflower Wife…