Aunt Gertrude’s Red Hot Christmas Beau

Christmas Belles, Book 6

Aunt Gertrude's Red Hot Christmas Beau


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Christmas Belles, Book 6

When The Countess of Marsden throws a house party, she expects to marry off her family and friends. Never herself. Not at her age!

At the Countess of Marsden’s house party, she plans to marry off her family and friends. But when the Duke of Harlow strides into her bedroom on Christmas Eve, Gertrude’s ready to continue the charming affair they began last summer. Even though she’s a lady of a certain age. Even though she’s never loved any man other then her dear departed husband!

Harlow’s enchanted by Gertrude. He’s done with mourning—and he’s ready to laugh again! But he wants more than a few nights with her. When he tells her, what will she say?

Can she love him? At his age? Imperfect as he is? Loving her as he does?

Other books in the Christmas Belles series

The Earl's Wagered Bride

Book 1

The Viscount's Only Love

Book 2

The Duke's Impetuous Darling

Book 3

The Marquess's Final Fling

Book 4

The Butler's Forbidden Fancy

Book 5

Christmas Belles Boxed Set

Books 1-6

Read an Excerpt


“You may go, Nan,” she told her lady’s maid. “I’ve no need of my wrapper. I go straight to bed. You should, too.”

The servant bobbed and turned for Gertrude’s sitting room door.

But when she opened it, Simms stood there. His hand in the air, ready to scratch the wood to ask for entry, he quickly recovered his aplomb. The butler was new to Gertrude’s employ, efficient, worldly and no more than thirty years of age. Intriguing for a butler of his extensive experience to be so less than fifty, but Gertrude had not debated his background. She’d hired the man. Handsome as sin with ink black hair and flashing silver eyes, he had an air of no nonsense, a bevy of friends at Prinny’s Royal Pavilion and an odd penchant for quoting Shakespeare. Gertrude valued him. A wise and interesting choice to head her household. Even if, at the moment, he appeared to be rather disheveled. Odd that.

“Yes, Simms.” She swished her long unbound silver hair over her shoulder and pulled her green velvet robe close to her throat. “What is it?”

“My lady, we have a new arrival. I knew you’d wish to greet him.”

Him? Her heart did a girlish pitter-patter. “I wish to welcome any guest, Simms. Who—?”

“The Duke of Harlow, Madam.”

She shivered in delight. “I will be right down, Simms.”

“No need, my dear Gertrude!” The bass voice was one of command, a man who knew his authority and seized it. Yes, it was Harlow! Expertly attired in a winter clawhammer and woolen breeches that hugged his sturdy frame, he glowed from the brisk winter air. His hair, black as sin with those devilish streaks of white at his temples, proclaimed his age more than the ruddiness of his cheeks. Most of all, what declared his youthful intentions were his turquoise eyes that twinkled in mischief.

Simms stepped aside.

And Harlow filled her doorway.

She grinned and extended both hands. “Your Grace. How wonderful to see you here.”

He walked right in, nodding in dismissal to Simms and her maid. Then he reached out to grasp the door and shut it upon them both. “How wonderful to be greeted. By a lady in her nightgown, too. Love the dishabille, my dear.”

“You rake!” She chuckled. And blushed. What a man to so commandeer the room! In front of her butler and her maid, too. My, my. “Harlow, I’m thrilled!”

“Are you, my darling?” He strode close, sent one hand up to capture the wealth of her hair and curled an arm around her waist. Crushing her against his rock-like form, he brushed his firm lips across hers and seized her mouth in a ravenous kiss. When he broke away, she was breathless . “I’m here to claim the joys of the Season—and you. Will you have me?”