Friday, 30 April 2021

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Welcome to Romance Author - Victoria Cooke

I’m delighted to have romance author, Victoria Cooke on my blog.


Victoria Cooke - Author

Hi Victoria – It was lovely to connect with you via the Romantic Novelists’ Association and I’m pleased to hear you have a new book on the horizon. But before we discover more about The Single Mum’s Book Club, here are a few questions that will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.


Arabella: We all love the creativity of writing – otherwise we wouldn’t spend hours at a keyboard pounding away in the hope someone will read and enjoy our novels. But what do you like most about our craft?

The editing and proofreading, the author/reader relationship, promotional book signings, or is there something else that has you hooked to the world of books?

Victoria:  I love the mystery of writing the first draft. Terry Pratchett once said ‘writing the first draft is just you telling yourself the story’ and it’s true, that’s why I enjoy it so much. Even with the most in-depth planning, the story can evolve in the most surprising of ways and I love that. My second favourite part of the process is the line-editing phase. That’s the part where we can really hone in on how we say things; can that line be funnier, more vivid, sassier or more emotive etc. I also love it when a reader tells me they enjoyed one of my stories, it makes the hard work worthwhile.



Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest release, The Single Mum’s Book Club?

Victoria:  The Single Mum’s Book Club was inspired by my own experiences of being a working mum. I’m the disorganised mum who packs the PE bag at the last minute, forgets about the PTA bake sale and sends her children to school with their breakfast in their hands. A few of my friends once suggested we start a book club and we never got around to it (we got as far as setting up a Whatsapp group). You’ll see in the story that the characters are pretty terrible book-clubbers too.

 

Arabella:  You are out for a walk and see a twenty-pound note (or a twenty-dollar bill, etc.) lying on the road. What do you do with the unclaimed funds?

Victoria:  I’d ask around to try to reunite it with its owner. If that failed, I’d donate it to charity.

 

Arabella: Some authors cannot work without a business planner, others cannot write without an editing app…  Are there any “essentials” you need to help your writing move forward?

Victoria:  Coffee. I’m not a huge planner. I do plan but then I hardly ever refer back to it or I lose my notebook etc. I always have my copy of Save The Cat and The Emotional Thesaurus on hand though.



Arabella: An Indian Curry, Italian Paste Bake, Fish and Chips, or ______?

Victoria:  This is why I love those ‘buffets from around the world’ places — you can have all of the above! On a normal day, it would depend on what mood I’m in but there are very few foods I don’t like.

 

Arabella: If the person of your dreams, (husband/wife/partner/or superstar), were to take you out for the day, social distancing restrictions permitting, where would they take you and what would you do?

Victoria:  I love a trip to the seaside. Reading a book on a beach followed by fish and chips would be perfect.



Arabella: Do you have any great writing, publishing, or marketing tips you would like to share with “want-to-be” authors starting out on their writing journey?

Victoria:  It’s what everyone always says but you have to write. It doesn’t matter if you feel it’s terrible, it can be improved but you have to have something to work with. I’d also recommend signing up to a few writing courses (there are some free ones that are really useful). I did a couple and they really helped me to start out. Finally, you need to get used to letting people read your work. I used to blog about my writing journey. I’d write about time management, finding inspiration, editing, etc. as well as publishing short stories just to get used to people commenting on my work. It can feel like quite a big step at first but it’s good to get used to feedback early on.


Victoria, thank you for being a guest on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, today. A trip to the seaside and a walk along the beach as the waves hit the shore sounds lovely.

Wishing you the best for your latest release, The Single Mum’s Book Club

Arabella

www.arabellasheen.co.uk




 

About  Victoria Cooke

Victoria Cooke - Author

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she's not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she's always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers' courses before completing her first novel, 'The Secret to Falling in Love,' in 2016.

 

Book Blurb   The Single Mum’s Book Club



Three friends, three single mums, one quest to find love…

It’s 8:30am and I’m already utterly exhausted. My son has lost his football boots, my daughter is ready for school dressed only in her vest and knickers, and of course, my 1-year-old has filled his nappy for what feels like the tenth time this morning.

As for my husband? He’s decided marriage doesn’t suit him, and well… buggered off.

All hope of ‘me time’ has but dwindled to sipping half a glass of wine whilst shouting after the kids. But everything is about to change.

I’m taking control of my life! I’ve joined… a book club.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wow… live a little.’ But my fellow book clubbers, Amanda and Janey, are my lifelines. They understand the daily struggle because they’re mothers too.

And in between the prosecco, Doritos and googling everything about Mr Darcy on SparkNotes, they’ve convinced me to go on a date with my boss.

A single mum of three looking for romance… what could possibly go wrong?

BUY LINK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08Z7WM5P5/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0 

Friday, 23 April 2021

A Gentleman in Love - Arabella Sheen - Excerpt 3

 


A Gentleman in Love

by

Arabella Sheen


A Christmas wedding and a growing passion. Will a political scandal destroy their love?

Desperate to exonerate her family name of any wrongdoing, Shelby Chesterfield gate-crashes the Foreign Office Christmas party to ask her father’s accuser for help. When Ambassador Samuel Hardwick refuses to cooperate, Shelby is determined to ruin his diplomatic career any way she can, and a chance to do so arrives sooner than she expected.

Caught in a passionate embrace, Shelby puts Sam on the spot and tells journalists they’re engaged. But her plan backfires when Sam turns the tables on her.

Sam wants no commitment to anything or anyone except his career. But when his best friends are killed in a violent terrorist attack, leaving their daughter orphaned and in his care, he has the daunting task of finding a wife and substitute mother, or he will risk losing his newly acquired ward into the foster care system. With time running out, when Shelby asks for help to clear her father’s name in a political scandal, Sam offers support in exchange for a Christmas wedding.

The trouble is…Shelby knows about his ongoing affair with Lady Donna Ruston.

Can Shelby and Sam work together to achieve their goals, or is their winter romance fated to fail before it’s begun?

Content Warning: contains sensual love scenes



A Gentleman in Love - Chapter One - Excerpt 3

The discarded security ID Shelby was holding had been left at the back of a drawer in her father’s office. She had found it a few weeks ago and had put it to one side, thinking it might come in useful. It had. And so had the invitation card. Even though both the items had expired, they had got her through the security checks.

With her own photo superimposed over that of her father’s, the ID looked real. In fact, it looked so real that when she had reached the arched gateway at the front of the Foreign Office, no one had checked closely enough to spot the switch. Dressed in her finery, and looking the part of a guest, she was able to drive through the Foreign Office gates into an enclosed inner courtyard where guests could park vehicles without a hitch.

“Well, you’re obviously here under false pretenses,” Sam said. “What makes you think I won’t call the guards over and have you escorted to the door?”

Her lips had a fixed smile on them. “Because I know you’ll want to hear what I have to say.”

“What could you possibly say to me that I haven’t already heard when we went to court?” he asked.

For months, Shelby had fueled her hatred. She’d been thinking of the things she would do and say to Sam if she ever got the chance. But now that she was standing next to him, the words were stuck in her throat. They couldn’t be voiced, and to her annoyance, her frustration and anger were mounting.

“I think I’ve discovered the information leak came from America and not from my father’s department as you originally supposed.”

The double door opened at the far end of the room, and people began filtering into the vast banquet hall.

“It seems the master of ceremonies is about to announce dinner,” Shelby said. “We are being summoned to the table. Shall we go in?”

Shelby was going to make it impossible for Sam to refuse her request, and she intended to stick to him like glue until she got what she came for. Too much was at stake for her to simply walk away, and she was determined not to leave the Foreign Office until Sam had agreed to put her plan into action.

Hoping Sam would follow her, she was just about to make a move toward the banquet hall when Lady Donna approached. Shelby was compelled to stop. Sam had placed an arm around her waist and was forcefully holding her against his side.

But Lady Donna wasn’t alone. She had brought a man with her, and to Shelby’s surprise, Sam introduced Lady Donna and her husband, Lord James Ruston, with apparent unconcern for any awkwardness there might be between them. Perhaps the tabloids had it wrong, and Sam and Lady Donna were not having an affair. Or perhaps they were ending it.

Lady Donna smiled at Shelby. “I hadn’t realized Sam had a dinner date this evening. But it’s good to know the two of you have reconciled any differences there might have been. The court case involving your father was awful. Absolutely dreadful. But if you and Sam are now on speaking terms, I suppose that must mean everything is fine.”

Shelby didn’t know what was going on between Sam, Lady Donna, and Lord Ruston, and she didn’t really care. But there was certainly an electric tension buzzing between the three of them, and Shelby thought it to be of Lady Donna’s making. Lady Donna was jumpy, and emotions were strained and running high.

Shelby tried to distance herself from Sam, but he wasn’t letting go of her.

“Oh, I wouldn’t say Sam and I are together exactly. And Sam’s not really my dinner date. If you must know, I’m holding him hostage while we talk business. I want his full attention.” Shelby almost laughed at the irony of the situation, and glancing sideways at Sam, she said, “We have something that needs to be taken care of before Sam travels back to the States, and tonight might be the only chance we have to discuss it. Isn’t that right?”

Lady Donna smiled. “Ah…I know the feeling. James and I never have time to do anything together. Do we, darling?”

James gave a non-committal shrug and remained silent.

“My advice to you both would be to forget business tonight,” Lady Donna said. “Simply enjoy the evening. After all, this is supposed to be a Christmas party.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” Sam said.

Lady Donna rested her hand on Sam’s arm. “We must get together in the New Year. Just like old times. I’m trying to persuade James to travel to the States. He’s reluctant to go, but I love it there. Sam, perhaps we can meet up like we used to do, and we can—”

“Donna, come along. We have to go into dinner,” James said.

James took hold of his wife’s arm, and as the couple drifted off toward the banquet hall, Sam and Shelby were left alone, but not for long. The master of ceremonies approached, and noticing that they hadn’t made a move to join the other guests, he diplomatically said, “Dinner is about to be served, sir. If you and the lady would care to join the others…”

Sam gave a nod. “We’ll be right with you.” Then, looking pointedly at Shelby, he said, “Our talk will have to be postponed for a more convenient moment. And as everyone thinks you’re my guest for the evening, shall we go into dinner?”

Shelby had successfully backed Sam into a corner. She had left him with little choice but to offer his arm and lead her in to dinner, as any gentleman would. But she didn’t care about the niceties of etiquette. This was war, and she meant to win her battle.

She forced a smile. “As far as you’re concerned, it seems there never is a convenient moment to talk. However, I’m prepared to wait, but I’m warning you, Sam Hardwick, I’ll not wait for eternity.”

“Now, that’s strange, Miss Chesterfield, because given the right incentive, I might be persuaded to wait for you…forever.”


A Gentleman in Love
Copyright © 2020, Arabella Sheen
ISBN: 781949300642
Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Electronic Publication: September 2020
Editor: Pamela Tyner
Cover: Fantasia Frog Designs

eBooks are not transferable. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.



About Arabella Sheen


Arabella Sheen - Author


Arabella Sheen is a British author of contemporary romance and likes nothing more than the challenge of starting a new novel with fresh ideas and inspiring characters.
One of the many things Arabella loves to do is to read. And when she’s not researching or writing about romance, she is either on her allotment sowing and planting with the seasons or she is curled on the sofa with a book, while pandering to the demands of her attention-seeking cat.
Having lived and worked in the Netherlands as a theatre nurse for nearly twenty years, she now lives in the south-west of England with her family.
Arabella hopes her readers have as much pleasure from her romance stories as she has in writing them.

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BOOK BLURB                 A Gentleman in Love





A Christmas wedding and a growing passion. Will a political scandal destroy their love?

Desperate to exonerate her family name of any wrongdoing, Shelby Chesterfield gate-crashes the Foreign Office Christmas party to ask her father’s accuser for help. When Ambassador Samuel Hardwick refuses to cooperate, Shelby is determined to ruin his diplomatic career any way she can, and a chance to do so arrives sooner than she expected.

Caught in a passionate embrace, Shelby puts Sam on the spot and tells journalists they’re engaged. But her plan backfires when Sam turns the tables on her.

Sam wants no commitment to anything or anyone except his career. But when his best friends are killed in a violent terrorist attack, leaving their daughter orphaned and in his care, he has the daunting task of finding a wife and substitute mother, or he will risk losing his newly acquired ward into the foster care system. With time running out, when Shelby asks for help to clear her father’s name in a political scandal, Sam offers support in exchange for a Christmas wedding.

The trouble is…Shelby knows about his ongoing affair with Lady Donna Ruston.

Can Shelby and Sam work together to achieve their goals, or is their winter romance fated to fail before it’s begun?

Content Warning: contains sensual love scenes



Buy Links:

  Website  

 

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Welcome to Romance Author - Karen King

I’m delighted to welcome romance author Karen King to my blog.


Karen King - Author

Hello Karen – And thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat today. It was lovely to connect with you through the romantic Novelists’ association. Such a great group of authors and affiliates. But before we discover more about your latest release, One Summer in Cornwall. here are a few questions that will hopefully give your readers and followers and insight into some of the things that matter to you.

 

Arabella: You’ve got an idea for a story but it has yet to take shape. Where do you start? Do you concentrate on the location in the story, or developing the characters personalities and conflicts, or are there other key points you might consider?

Karen:  Hi Arabella, thank you for inviting me over to your blog. It’s lovely to chat with you and your readers. I always start my story by getting to know my characters.  Characters make stories has always been a mantra of mine and I need my characters in place before I can start writing up my story. I browse Pinterest for images of people similar to how I imagine my characters to be, print them out then write a character profile for each major character detailing their appearance, personality, background and any other things I need to know. I also make a Pinterest board with images connected to the theme and characters of my story. Here’s the link for the Pinterest board for One Summer in Cornwall. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/karenkingauthor/one-summer-in-cornwall/

 


Arabella: In your latest release One Summer in Cornwall what is the overall theme or premise, and what made you choose this topic?

Karen:  My latest book, One Summer in Cornwall, will be published by Headline on 29th April. It is a sequel to my bestselling romance The Cornish Hotel by the Sea and is set in the same little Cornish town of Port Medden. When Hattie becomes homeless and jobless within one week she decides to go and stay in Fisherman’s Rest, the cottage her uncle has just left to Hattie and her father in his will. She sets off on her motorbike, arriving late in the evening to discover that her uncle’s parrot, Buddy, is still resident in the cottage. Buddy curses like a sailor and is almost as cantankerous as the next door neighbour Marcus. As Hattie does up the cottage ready to sell she starts to fall in love with Port Medden and Buddy – and even becomes friendly with Marcus. This is a romance novel so the overall theme is of overcoming obstacles to find love, other themes are of forgiveness, the importance of family and not jumping to conclusions. I like my heroines to be feisty and loved the idea of Hattie riding a motorbike and being a bit wild. Lots of readers have asked for another book set in Port Medden, and I really wanted to return there myself so set One Summer in Cornwall there. We get to see some much-loved characters from The Cornish Hotel by the Sea, and some new ones.



 

Arabella: Roses, Lilies, or another flower of choice?

Karen:  Oooh, I love so many different types of flowers, roses, pansies, carnations, gerberas but my favourites are red geraniums and bougainvillea. They are both so vibrant and grow really well over here in Spain. I have several red geraniums growing either side the driveway of our house, and both purple and yellow bougainvillea growing up the balustrades and also up an archway. I love it when the petals fall over the ground, like large pieces of confetti, So pretty.


Image Provided by Karen King

 

Arabella: You’ve arranged to meet with friends and family for an afternoon of fun. In the present socially restricted climate, where do you go and what do you do?

Karen: Over here we are currently allowed to meet in groups of six outside in bar, restaurants and cafes (wearing face masks, of course). Some of the bars have shows on in the afternoon, a singer or a band, to try and support the artists. So I would meet my friends in a local bar/restaurant for a drink and to listen to music.


Arabella: All authors love and need to read. When choosing a book, do you:

a) pick off the shelf?

b) search online?

c) go with friends recommendations?

d) other…

Karen:  I usually buy online – it’s difficult to get books written in English here – and go by friend’s recommendations or an online search. The cover, title and blurb often draw me in. I read many different genres, romance, thrillers, non-fiction, autobiographies and, of course, books on writing.

 

Arabella: Italian, French or English. (I’ll leave it to you to decide if I mean a gourmet meal, a bottle of wine, or a partner!)

Karen:  English and Italian. I love traditional English meals such as roast beef and Yorkshire puds, toad in the hole and apple crumble, and Italian food such as spaghetti bolognaise or lasagne followed by tiramisu. I do like a quiche lorraine though, and French wine.

 


 

Arabella: The moment we are published, a career path is usually envisaged. Do you have any aspirations or ambitions for yourself and any future novels you might write?

Karen:  I’ve been published over thirty years now so have long given up any dream of being rich enough to buy a big country home and a yacht! Not that I had those ambitions. My ambition was to be in a position to write a full-length romance novel. However, being a ‘jobbing author’ and writing to commissions (teenage and children’s magazines and books), which I enjoyed and earned me a regular monthly income, left me no spare time to write a long novel. Now my family are all grown up I have the time to write what I want – which is romance and psychological thrillers.  I find that these two genres gel well together as I like to write about the light and dark of relationships. I’m happy to carry on writing more books in both genres for as long as my readers want to read them. 😊

 

Thank you for being a super guest on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Karen. I’m sure your readers have enjoyed discovering some of your writing secrets and a little bit more about your busy life in Spain. Sunbathing! Now that is what I call hard work! J

Wishing you all the best for your latest release - One Summer in Cornwall

Arabella

www.arabellasheen.co.uk


About    Karen King

 

Karen King - Author

Karen King is a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. She has had eight romantic novels published, one psychological thriller with another one out later this year, 120 children’s books, two young adult novels, and several short stories for women’s magazines. Her romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became an international bestseller, reaching the top one hundred in the Kindle charts in both the UK and Australia. Karen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. Karen now lives in Spain where she loves to spend her non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with her husband, Dave, when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is.

 

Contact links

Website

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

Bookbub

 

 

Book Blurb   One Summer in Cornwall



Escape to Cornwall this summer...

A gorgeous feel-good read, perfect for fans of CATHY BRAMLEY and PHILLIPA ASHLEY.

When Hattie is made redundant and evicted from her flat in one horrible week, she needs time to rethink. Her Uncle Albert left her and her father each half of Fisherman's Rest, his home in the Cornish town of Port Medden, so this seems the perfect place to escape to until she can figure things out.

As Hattie stays in the cottage, clearing it out, tidying it up and getting it ready to sell, she starts to find her feet in Port Medden and making a new home here begins to feel right. If only her dad didn't need a quick sale and things weren't complicated by her unwelcoming neighbour Marcus . . .

Buy Links

Preorder: https://t.co/cGO6wxrZMN?amp=1


Friday, 16 April 2021

A Gentleman in Love - Arabella Sheen - Excerpt 2



A Gentleman in Love

by

Arabella Sheen


A Christmas wedding and a growing passion. Will a political scandal destroy their love?

Desperate to exonerate her family name of any wrongdoing, Shelby Chesterfield gate-crashes the Foreign Office Christmas party to ask her father’s accuser for help. When Ambassador Samuel Hardwick refuses to cooperate, Shelby is determined to ruin his diplomatic career any way she can, and a chance to do so arrives sooner than she expected.

Caught in a passionate embrace, Shelby puts Sam on the spot and tells journalists they’re engaged. But her plan backfires when Sam turns the tables on her.

Sam wants no commitment to anything or anyone except his career. But when his best friends are killed in a violent terrorist attack, leaving their daughter orphaned and in his care, he has the daunting task of finding a wife and substitute mother, or he will risk losing his newly acquired ward into the foster care system. With time running out, when Shelby asks for help to clear her father’s name in a political scandal, Sam offers support in exchange for a Christmas wedding.

The trouble is…Shelby knows about his ongoing affair with Lady Donna Ruston.

Can Shelby and Sam work together to achieve their goals, or is their winter romance fated to fail before it’s begun?

Content Warning: contains sensual love scenes



A Gentleman in Love - Chapter One - Excerpt 2

Sam smiled, but it wasn’t exactly a smile of welcome. It was more a smile of polite caution. She waited, expecting a verbal backlash to come, or the disdainful flick of a finger to signal security to carry her off, but they didn’t.

Sam was obviously practiced in the art of maintaining a poker face, and Shelby supposed he had to be. Attending diplomatic events, he had to know what to do in dangerous situations when a stranger approached. As an ambassador, Sam always had to be on the alert, and Shelby knew he could handle himself without any problem, but she was surprised he hadn’t called for help.

She wasn’t supposed to be at the party, yet Sam was acting as if it was the most natural thing for her to be standing at his side.

“Oh…there could be no chance of us ever missing one another. And I’m sure that at some point during the evening our paths would have crossed.”

Shelby’s heart skipped another beat. The deep resonance in his voice stirred her, yet she knew she had to stay calm. She had to remain composed, and she couldn’t allow herself to succumb to his charm…that would be her undoing.

It was illogical, and even though she was still lamenting the loss of what might have been with Edgar, she couldn’t help her physical reaction to Sam. She was sexually drawn to him and always had been.

When she had first met Sam, she’d been an innocent teenager with a secret crush. She’d felt an instant attraction toward him and had admired him from afar. But any urges of desire she now felt were anything but innocent, and she had to banish them from her thoughts. She couldn’t allow her emotions and impulses to get out of control…especially tonight.

Sam Hardwick, at the age of thirty-two, was one of the most handsome specimens of manhood she had ever known. And this evening, dressed in a full tuxedo that showed his superb muscular physique to perfection, he could once again set her pulse rate soaring.

He radiated power and energy. The chiseled lines of his strong jaw, and the way his dark gray, piercing eyes looked directly into her very soul, commanded immediate attention and respect.

Even though Shelby had come to resent Sam, against her will, she had to admire him for who he was, and for what he had become. He had worked long and hard to get where he was, and she was in awe of the diplomatic accomplishments he’d achieved in such a short but eventful career.

Her father often spoke of Sam, saying that as a young student, he had studied relentlessly, and worked even harder to get where he was. She’d been told his education had been funded by scholarships and grants, and that although he’d had a tough start in life, he’d made it through the system with honors. Sam’s integrity and honesty had allowed him to reach heights in the diplomatic world that others could only dream of.

And now, after having climbed the social ladder, he was also accepted by society’s elite with open arms. The upper classes welcomed him into their homes, and into their lives. Some women even welcomed him into their hearts, and into their beds. And at the moment, a rumor was rife in the tabloids that it was Lady Donna Ruston who was his current mistress and held his interest.

With money and connections, it was possible to achieve anything and go anywhere, and Sam Hardwick had done those things in abundance, and Shelby hated him for it.

Excusing himself, Sam stepped away from Lady Donna and pulled Shelby to one side, and away from his group of friends.

“What are you doing here?” he whispered.

Sam had leaned down toward her. He was so close that she could smell the soft tang of his aftershave as his cheek brushed inadvertently against hers.

“I’m gate-crashing the party of course.” She forced a bright smile. “How else am I supposed to find an opportunity to talk with you? These days you’re an impossible man to reach. I’ve tried contacting you at your office, but your secretary keeps fobbing me off with some excuse. And I won’t allow you to walk away from the situation you’ve created. Not after the devastation you’ve caused.”

Several people were looking curiously in their direction, but they weren’t close enough to hear what she had whispered through clenched teeth. Shelby merely smiled and tried to look serene as she ignored the inquisitive stares.

Tonight, Shelby intended to demand the help she thought she deserved. Somehow, she had to get Sam to clear her father’s name and right an injustice that had been done before he left London and returned to the States.

The tight, steely grip of Sam’s fingers on her arm caught her unaware, and as he pulled her with dogged determination to one side of the crowded room, she wanted to protest but didn’t. His rough touch burned her arm. Branding her. But she didn’t care. At least she had managed to gain his full attention. She’d become a thorn in his flesh, and that was good, because now she couldn’t be ignored.

Sam was all of six-foot-two inches, and he towered above her. He was staring down with controlled anger etched on his face, and Shelby was aware that a feeling of unease was beginning to grow deep inside her. Perhaps she’d bitten off more than she could chew.

With her heart thumping hard against her ribcage, she was having second thoughts, wondering if this was the right time or place to confront him. It was a social event, a Christmas party, and not the best place to present her plan to him, but Shelby realized she had to at least make an attempt. She knew it was her only course of action if she were to save her father.

There was an inflexible, fiery glint of steel burning in Sam’s eyes, and his temper was showing.

“Is this some sort of joke?” Sam practically spat the words at her. “What’s this about? And why are you here…at the Foreign Office?”

Shelby could see the throb of his pulse beating along his jaw. He was fuming.

“We need to talk,” she said.

“About what?”

“About my father.”

“No, we don’t,” he replied. “That business was dealt with in the courts and judgement was passed. We sat in the courtroom and heard the verdict. Remember? The problem is over and done with.”

But for Shelby, it wasn’t over.

A few months ago, her father had worked as a senior official for the government, and his department, which he’d been head of, had been accused of leaking secret documents. Sam had led the internal investigation, and when the allegations were made official, and charges brought, the public humiliation her father had endured had taken its toll.

Henry Chesterfield had become a broken man.

Unable to cope with the dishonor and shame, her father had crumpled, and he’d become a shell of the man he’d once been. Over time he’d lost the will to challenge his accusers and fight for his name. But Shelby hadn’t lost hope. She was determined to clear her family’s name of the shame and scandal that had been wrongly inflicted upon them.

In Shelby’s eyes, Sam Hardwick—a man she had once greatly admired—was the villain. He was the arch-enemy. And if Sam wouldn’t help her, she was going to destroy him any way she could. If he refused to help, she was going to cause such a scandal that not only would it ruin Sam socially, it would also obliterate his diplomatic career—forever.

Right now, she had no idea how she would actually achieve this, but she was determined to find a way, whatever the cost.

“I don’t care what the courts’ judgement was,” she said. “It was wrong, and you know it. You worked for my father for years. He practically built your career. How could you doubt him? How could you question his honesty and loyalty to the crown?”

“Tell me—what means did you use to get past security? To my knowledge, you’re not on the guest list. And I should know, I had to review and approve the list before the invitations were sent out.”

“I have clearance. Although technically, the identification disk isn’t mine.” Shelby reached into her clutch bag and pulled out what looked to be a level-five ID pass. She also had an invitation card to the party. With a flicker of triumph, she flashed them before his eyes. “It’s an old security ID pass and last year’s invitation that belonged to my father,” she told him. “I suggest you tighten your security. It seems that even with all your bureaucratic red tape, I can still manage to get past your defense systems.”


A Gentleman in Love
Copyright © 2020, Arabella Sheen
ISBN: 781949300642
Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Electronic Publication: September 2020
Editor: Pamela Tyner
Cover: Fantasia Frog Designs

eBooks are not transferable. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.



About Arabella Sheen


Arabella Sheen - Author


Arabella Sheen is a British author of contemporary romance and likes nothing more than the challenge of starting a new novel with fresh ideas and inspiring characters.
One of the many things Arabella loves to do is to read. And when she’s not researching or writing about romance, she is either on her allotment sowing and planting with the seasons or she is curled on the sofa with a book, while pandering to the demands of her attention-seeking cat.
Having lived and worked in the Netherlands as a theatre nurse for nearly twenty years, she now lives in the south-west of England with her family.
Arabella hopes her readers have as much pleasure from her romance stories as she has in writing them.

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BOOK BLURB                 A Gentleman in Love





A Christmas wedding and a growing passion. Will a political scandal destroy their love?

Desperate to exonerate her family name of any wrongdoing, Shelby Chesterfield gate-crashes the Foreign Office Christmas party to ask her father’s accuser for help. When Ambassador Samuel Hardwick refuses to cooperate, Shelby is determined to ruin his diplomatic career any way she can, and a chance to do so arrives sooner than she expected.

Caught in a passionate embrace, Shelby puts Sam on the spot and tells journalists they’re engaged. But her plan backfires when Sam turns the tables on her.

Sam wants no commitment to anything or anyone except his career. But when his best friends are killed in a violent terrorist attack, leaving their daughter orphaned and in his care, he has the daunting task of finding a wife and substitute mother, or he will risk losing his newly acquired ward into the foster care system. With time running out, when Shelby asks for help to clear her father’s name in a political scandal, Sam offers support in exchange for a Christmas wedding.

The trouble is…Shelby knows about his ongoing affair with Lady Donna Ruston.

Can Shelby and Sam work together to achieve their goals, or is their winter romance fated to fail before it’s begun?

Content Warning: contains sensual love scenes



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