Scandal’s Deception by Pamela Gibson
Publication Date: July 21, 2021 Soul Mate Publishing, LLC Series: Scandal Series, Book 4 Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Jane Stafford, raised in America, is shocked to learn she is a wealthy heiress, her late father was an earl, and her English mother is alive. Anxious to meet the woman she long-thought dead, she travels to London, only to be whisked away by her sinfully handsome guardian to a remote estate to be “schooled” in the ways of the ton. Gilbert Carmichael, Lord Ralston, chafes at having to make a rebellious young heiress acceptable to society, especially one who is impetuous and blatantly democratic. Because the instruction she needs is more than deportment and dancing. It’s also about how to spot a rake who might woo her for her fortune. When Ralston learns his ward is to be used as a pawn in an elaborate scheme involving a secret impersonation, he will move heaven and earth to keep her safe. Because proximity has brought the uncomfortable knowledge that his interest may be more than duty—it just might be love.
A hum of voices rose from the tavern’s main room. The dim interior light and the steady buzz of sound made Jane’s eyes droop. Lordy, she was tired. The tedious voyage, deep-seated apprehension, and memories that caused more inner turmoil than she’d expected had drained her energy. All she wanted to do was lie down somewhere soft and sleep.
“Jane.” A hand gripped her shoulder, startling her awake. Had she drifted off for a moment? She couldn’t be sure.
She turned toward Mrs. Murdock, blinking to clear her vision. “I do apologize. I believe fatigue has overcome my ability to focus. Did you say something I missed?”
“Your . . . er . . . guardian is here.”
“Oh.” She gazed toward the door where Mr. Murdock and his cousin blocked her view of the gentleman behind them. A lady had also entered, a very young one who gripped the edges of her cloak as she stood slightly behind the gentlemen. The woman appeared too young to be Mother.
“She’s right here,” said Murdock. The two older men stepped aside, and the man behind stood alone. Jane gaped—she couldn’t help herself. There must be some mistake. This man wasn’t Papa’s age. As far as she could tell, no grays glistened in his hair. No infirmities impeded his stance or ability to walk as he moved forward. He was tall, muscular, and handsome as sin and walked like a man who knew exactly who he was and what he wanted. His eyes, the color of damp straw, roamed over her as if searching for something he didn’t quite see.
As if remembering why he had come, he nodded and bowed.
“Miss Stafford. Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Earl of Ralston, come to escort you to your new home.” When she extended her gloved hand, he shook it quickly, instead of kissing the air, and then turned to greet Mrs. Murdock.
Jane released her pent-up breath and hoped her gawking hadn’t been too noticeable. This was Ralston? Had Papa already been in a delusional state, months prior to his death? This man did not fit the description Mr. Hornsby had given. Age alone decried his identity. Yet the Murdocks seemed satisfied that he was indeed her guardian.
She tensed as the man turned back to her.
“Are you ready? We have a journey that will take most of the day. I assure you my carriage is quite comfortable. You can doze if you like en route.”
“Where are we going?”
“To Painswick. Less than a day’s journey this time of year, pending no difficulties.”
“Is your father accompanying us?”
The widening of his eyes was followed by an almost imperceptible upward movement of his lips. “My father passed away years ago. If he were still alive, I would not be Ralston, would I?” He tilted his head as if waiting for her to acknowledge her understanding.
This was a puzzle, but why not? Wasn’t her life one tangled mess after another these days? Her mother should have been the one to greet her.
Oddly, she was not disappointed.
About the Author
Author of eight books on California history and sixteen romance novels, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who now lives in the Nevada desert. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in public administration, but her passion is and always has been writing. Having spent three years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of Ralph, her Siamese rescue cat. If you want to learn more about her activities go to https://www.pamelagibsonwrites.com and sign up for her blog and quarterly newsletter. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, and Goodreads.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, August 9 Guest Post at Novels AliveTuesday, August 10 Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and TeaWednesday, August 11 Review at Michelle the PA Lives to ReadThursday, August 12 Excerpt at Wishful EndingsFriday, August 13 Excerpt at Historical Fiction with SpiritSaturday, August 14 Review at Up Past My BedtimeMonday, August 16 Review at BookworlderTuesday, August 17 Interview at Books & BenchesWednesday, August 18 Excerpt at Reading is My RemedyThursday, August 19 Review at Novels AliveFriday, August 20 Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals Review & Interview at Bonnie Reads and WritesMonday, August 23 Review at Rajiv’s ReviewsTuesday, August 24 Excerpt at What Is That Book AboutWednesday, August 25 Guest Post at The Cozy Book BlogThursday, August 26 Review at Two Bookish BabesFriday, August 27 Excerpt at Coffee and Ink Review at The Enchanted Shelf Excerpt at Books Lattes & Tiaras
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