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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Nicholas" by Cheryl Holt ~ Spotlight on Romance Novel

When a haughty Lord meets a determined Miss the only winner is love.
Captain Nicholas Price is a man with a plan. As the newly minted Lord Stafford, he is determined to have the best of everything. Clothes, horses, women. He is well on his way with a well-born fiancée and an estate in the country.
Miss Emeline Wilson is a woman on a mission. Forced into penury by the cruel estate manager of the indifferent Lord Stafford, Emeline is determined to confront the new Lord with his callous ways.
When they finally meet, sparks fly, and Nicholas finds himself knocked for a loop by the feisty, intelligent, and definitely not high-born Miss. But what’s an already engaged Lord to do when the plans he’s so perfectly laid out for his future suddenly seem so wrong?
Warning: This book features an arrogant Lord, a determined Miss, and plenty of steamy moments between the two.

(Bookish Dame's Note:  I'm not usually one for bodice ripper covers, but...geez...this one is pretty cool...:P   I love a man in a uniform!)

About Cheryl Holt :

Cheryl Holt is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty-one novels.
She's also a lawyer and mom, and at age 40, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She'd hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn't sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance, where she was stunned to discover that she has an incredible knack for writing some of the world's greatest love stories.
Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is particularly proud to have been named "Best Storyteller of the Year," by the trade magazine, Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.
Her hot, sexy, dramatic stories of passion and illicit love have captivated fans around the world, and she's celebrated as the Queen of Erotic Romance, which is currently the fastest selling subgenre of women's fiction. Due to the ferociousness of some of her characters, she's also known as the International Queen of Villains.
She received degrees in music, languages, and education, from South Dakota State University, and her juris doctorate was obtained at the University of Wyoming. Her colorful and chaotic employment history includes such variety as public school teacher, cook, bartender, lobbyist, and political activist. She also did brief stints in metro-Denver as a deputy district attorney and administrative law judge.
Cheryl lives and writes in Hollywood, California.

Small Excerpt:    (See Ms Holt's website: http://cherylholt.com for full excerpt)

Nicholas & Emeline

Cheryl Holt

Chapter 1

London, May, 1814…

“Are you sure about this?”

“Very sure.”

Emeline Wilson forced a smile as she leaned across the wagon seat and patted

Mr. Templeton’s hand.

He was an older gentleman, an acquaintance from her rural village of Stafford.

He’d offered to drive her to London as he brought a load of hides to the tanner. Since

she hadn’t had the money to travel any other way, she’d accepted.

The trip had been bumpy and lengthy and fraught with uncertainties. She was

worried over whether she should proceed with her plan, and still hadn’t convinced

herself that she was doing the right thing.

Nervously, Mr. Templeton pointed to the ostentatious mansion that towered

over them. It belonged to Nicholas Price, the new Lord Stafford, a mysterious

personage who’d been earl for a year and who no one at the Stafford estate had ever

seen or met.

“The house is awfully grand, isn’t it?” he said.

“Not as grand as Stafford Manor.”

“How will you gain entrance?”

“I’ll simply knock on the door.”

“Do you think his staff will admit you?”

“Why wouldn’t they?” she firmly replied.

Nicholas & Emeline

Cheryl Holt

Chapter 1


Two days earlier, when they’d left home, she’d been brimming with indignation,

aggrieved on her neighbors’ behalves, and prepared to slay any dragon as she sought a

paltry crumb of justice for them.

But now, with their having arrived, her confidence was flagging.

Why had she assumed she could make a difference? Why was she always so

eager to carry the burdens of others? Perhaps she should have stayed in the country

and kept her mouth shut.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t her nature to be silent or submissive. She was forever

arguing when she shouldn’t, fighting unwinnable battles, and cheering on the less

fortunate. Usually to no avail. There were few rewards to be gleaned by heroics, but

she couldn’t stop herself.

Life was so unfair, catastrophe so random and typically heaped on those least

able to withstand the onslaught. If she didn’t comment on inequity, who would?

Her dear, departed father—the village school teacher and best man she’d ever

known—had educated her beyond her needs. She saw problems and the obvious

solutions too clearly, and she couldn’t comprehend why the easiest remedies were the

hardest to attain. Especially from someone as rich and powerful as Lord Stafford.

His tenants were suffering egregiously. Crops had failed and conditions were

desperate, yet he couldn’t care less. He’d never bothered to visit Stafford. Instead, he’d

installed Mr. Mason as his land agent. Mason was a bully and fiend who had been

given free rein and unfettered control.

His sole objective was to put the estate on a sound financial footing, by any

Nicholas & Emeline

Cheryl Holt

Chapter 1


means necessary. He implemented his draconian measures without regard to the

human cost. Families had been thrown out on the road. Acreage had been confiscated.

No one was safe from his harsh edicts, not even Emeline. Despite her father’s

three decades of loyal service, she—and her two sisters, ten-year-old twins, Nan and

Nell—were about to be evicted.

Mr. Mason had already forced them to relinquish their comfortable house,

located next to the manor, in which Emeline had been raised. They’d been relegated to

a dilapidated cottage in the woods, and they had to start paying rent or leave, her

dilemma being that she had no way of paying the rent and nowhere to live if she didn’t.

“Should I wait for you?” Mr. Templeton asked, yanking her out of her furious


“There’s no need,” Emeline said. “Go make your deliveries, then pick me up at

four o’clock as we planned.”

“It doesn’t seem as if anyone is at home.”

Emeline studied the mansion. The curtains were drawn. No stable boy had

rushed out to greet them. No butler had appeared.

“Someone will be here,” she asserted. “I have an appointment, remember?”

It was a small lie, but she told it anyway. She’d written to the earl three times,

requesting an audience, but hadn’t received a reply. Finally, in exasperation, she’d

written a fourth time to inform him that she was coming to London—whether he liked

it or not.

She couldn’t abide snobbery or conceit, and considering Lord Stafford’s

Nicholas & Emeline

Cheryl Holt

Chapter 1


antecedents, why would he exhibit any?

Twelve months ago, he’d simply been a captain in the army. When the old earl

had died without any children, it had been a huge shock to learn that title would pass to

Nicholas Price. In an instant, he’d gone from being a common soldier to a peer of the

realm. What reason had he to act superior?

“You asked for an appointment,” Mr. Templeton counseled, “but that doesn’t

mean the earl will keep it. His kind doesn’t have to be courteous.”

“Maybe he should recall that he’s not all that far above us.”

“Oh, Missy, be careful with your disparaging talk. If you’re not here at four

o’clock, I’ll likely be searching for you at the local jail.”

“Don’t be silly. He wouldn’t have me…
jailed merely for speaking out.”

“He’s dined at the palace with the king. That sort of experience tends to alter a

fellow. He might do anything to you.”

“He won’t. He’s an officer in the army. He wouldn’t harm an innocent woman.”

“You just never know,” he ominously warned.

“I’ll be fine,” she insisted as a shiver of dread slithered down her spine.

Afraid that her courage might fail her, she leapt to the ground before she could

change her mind.

“Good luck,” he said.

“I don’t need any luck,” she boldly retorted. “I have right on my side, and

will always prevail over injustice.”

She marched off, and he clicked the reins, his horses plodding away. As he
departed, she felt terribly alone, as if she’d lost her last friend.

You may want to find this book here:  Amazon

Thanks for stopping by today!!   Though this is not my normal fare, I thought it might be fun to mix it up for my readers.  I like the occasional romance and Cheryl Holt is one of the best writing them today. 

NOTE:  By the way,  if you haven't had a chance to enjoy it, yet, please go to your local Barnes & Noble and purchase a copy of  RT Book Reviews!  It's a magazine I can't wait to get every month because it has fabulous reviews and lots of ideas on books not just romances, but also in the paranormal, fantasy, syfy, historical fiction, mainstream and contemporary fiction categories...just to name a few.  This magazine has the best of the best rated and the reviewers are top drawer.




Hey, Deb, I have to admit I love a man in uniform too. Awesome excerpt! Loved it!

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