Isabella Kole has a new series out with Blushing Books, her first Regency, Loving the Nobleman. Book One released in April and in the first week ranked #2 in Erotic Historicals and #1 in Hot New Releases on Amazon. Remington’s Rules is a great introduction into the love story of Charles, the future Duke of Remington, and Emily, the red-haired, spitfire chambermaid he has known since the day she was born. Emily’s Emergence follows in June and Duchess’s Desire in August.
Available at Blushing Books, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, here are the buy links:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/remingtons-rules-isabella-kole/1123656873?ean=2940157837891
Blushing Books: http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3799
Now, let me share the blurb and an excerpt from Remington’s Rules with you.
Emily Crawley has lived in Remington House her entire life. Her parents have been in service to the Duke of Remington and his family for years, and now that Emily is of age, she has joined the staff, as well.
When the Marquess of Remington, the duke’s eldest son, Charles, returns after his years at school, Emily realizes her heart has always belonged to the handsome Lord. But, alas, he is to be wed to the rude and condescending Lady Caroline, a marriage that was arranged years ago.
Charles seems to enjoy bantering with Emily, though, and even turns her over his knees a few times for minor infractions. But when he refuses to go through with the arranged marriage and his younger brother steps in as the groom, will Emily have her chance? Or will the fact that she is a commoner keep them apart? A passion exists between the two that cannot be denied, but will it be enough if Charles is forced to relinquish his title to his brother in order to marry his Emily.
If that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, how about an excerpt?
Emily Crawley hurriedly swiped the cloth over the wardrobe. She was behind in her duties, due to the fact she’d spent the past ten minutes literally swooning over the pictures of Charles, Lord of Remington, that were displayed around his bedchamber. Pictures of the young marquess at Oxford, playing sports and accepting awards, adorned the walls of the chamber proudly. Lord Remington, next in line to be the Duke of Remington was a handsome lad, indeed. Of course, he could no longer be referred to as a lad, by any means, but having grown up in the house with him, Emily still remembered him as the rambunctious boy who had spent many a day teasing her and her sister when they were children.
Ah, the days when she was a carefree child with no duties to speak of. Emily’s parents had been in service at Remington House for as long as Emily could remember. She and her older sister, Amelia, had lived there with their parents all their lives, in the quarters provided for them behind the kitchen. Their mum was the cook and their dear father provided services to the Duke himself, as his valet. In an era when most of the more affluent families employed a male chef from France in their homes, the Remington family was quite happy with Mrs. Crawley and the meals she prepared for them and their guests. Amelia and Emily were free to enjoy their childhood until they reached the age of sixteen, at which time they joined their parents in service to the Remingtons. Mrs. Crawley also supervised the housekeeping staff, which consisted of her own two daughters and several other young women.
Charles, on the other hand, had gone away, first to Eton and later to Oxford, in order to receive an education befitting his title. His younger brother, Henry, followed suit just a few years later. But now, Charles had come home. His father, the duke, was ailing, and since Charles was the heir, his place was by his father’s side. Emily had caught a glimpse of him a few times since his return and was pleased to see what a handsome man he’d become. She was sure there were young ladies of stature just waiting for their chance to become his duchess, one in particular, if the rumors she had heard were true.
Emily had turned eighteen on her last birthday. Her sister, Amelia, was twenty and was very much in love with one of the young men who worked in the stables. The two of them planned to marry and remain in service with the Remington family. Emily, however, had always dreamed of something more. She knew the chances of her ever leaving Remington House were remote, at best, but she still had hope that she would meet the perfect young man, and he would take her away from a life of service.
“Ye are still here,” the booming voice brought Emily out of her thoughts and made her jump.
She turned and smiled shyly at Charles. “I must apologize, milord. I shall return to finish my duties.”
Charles Remington brushed a wayward lock of his dark brown hair from his forehead with his hand. “Stay, Emily. I shall only be but a moment. I forgot important papers for my appointment.”
“Yes, milord,” she replied, unused to addressing her childhood friend as such.
Charles turned to her and grinned. “Come now, Ems, it’s me, Charles. Must ye be so formal?”
“I believe so, milord.”
“If I wasn’t in shortage of time, I should turn you across my knee. First, for pretending we did not grow up in this very house together and secondly, for dawdling in your duties. But, alas, duty calls, and I must go. Carry on, Miss Crawley.” And he was gone, ending the conversation on an equally formal note.
Emily sighed. What it would be like to be turned over Lord Remington’s knee? And such fine knees, at that. Charles had grown into a robust, well-muscled man. From his unruly dark hair to his broad shoulders and muscular thighs and calves, all quite visible beneath his tight breeches, he was a sight that took the breath away. She remembered a time when they were teens, and she had picked flowers from the garden. Charles had unceremoniously turned her over his knee and administered a few slaps to her young bottom. She had been stunned, yet not entirely appalled by the action. He had been home on summer break. That was the last summer before she began her housekeeping duties. Although he was older than her, Charles had always made time for his young friend, Emily, whenever he came home.
Shaking her head to rid her mind of such dangerous thoughts, Emily returned to her work. If her duties were not completed by the time he returned, he might very well follow through with his threat.
By mid-afternoon, she was finished with her duties and went into the kitchen, where her mum was working.
“My dear, ye must be famished. I have some soup on the stove. Sit, child.”
“I worked through lunchtime,” Emily explained. “I was running behind and lost track of the time. I’m sorry, Mama.”
“No harm done, child. Her Grace would not be happy to know ye went without yer lunch. A fine lady, she is.”
Emily sat at the table in the massive kitchen and enjoyed the hot soup. “Where is Amelia?” she asked.
“Your sister has gone to the market. Her Grace asked that she accompany her to the shops, and while she is there, Amelia will pick up some things for the kitchen.”
“The duke’s wife asked Amelia to accompany her?” Emily asked in surprise.
Her mum smiled. “Yes, my dear. I’m sure she will invite ye one day. I’ve always admired the way the lady of the house treats her staff. She was asking me just this morning about Amelia’s marriage plans.”
“How is the duke today? Is he feeling any better?” she asked.
“The doctor stopped in and I saw His Grace in the library earlier. I delivered a tray with tea and cakes.”
“He is such a kindly man. I hope he feels better.”
“Kindly, yes, but not the type of man you should wish to cross. I believe Lord Charles will fill his father’s shoes nicely, when the time comes.”
Emily finished her soup in silence. When Charles became the Duke of Remington, he would require a duchess. Why did that thought suggest a void in the pit of her stomach?
When she finished her late lunch, Emily washed her bowl and spoon and asked her mum if she needed assistance with the supper preparations.
“No, child, ye have done your day’s work. Go and enjoy the sunshine while ye can. Winter is nearly upon us.”
She grabbed her cloak from her room and went out the staff entrance to walk in the beautiful gardens. Smiling at one of the other members of the staff as she hurried down the walk, she looked up to the sky. It was sunny, but the air was chilly. Her mum was right. Winter would be upon them soon. She walked briskly to the gardens and found her favorite bench. She sat down and took a rest, enjoying the beauty that surrounded her.
“Ah, I have caught ye dawdling again,” a deep voice said with a chuckle.
“I shall have ye know, milord, that my work for the day is done.” She turned and smiled sweetly at Charles, who was standing close by.
“A cheeky attitude to add to the list of offences, I see,” he replied as he sat down next to her on the bench.
Ignoring his remark, she said, “I presume your appointment went well.”
“It did at that.”
“Mama said yer father was up, in the library, today. That’s good news.”
“Ah, yes, he is beginning to get his strength back. I fear winter shall be hard for him.”
“He is lucky he has his eldest son to fill in for him.”
Charles sighed. “That may well be, but I am not ready to fill his shoes, I am afraid. I sincerely hope this illness to be short-lived.”
“The duke is still a young man. I am certain it shall not deter him.”
“If I could but share in yer faith that be true,” he replied. “My mother, the duchess, assures me my father will be around for quite some time to come. I sincerely hope both of ye are right.”
“My sister accompanied your mother into town this afternoon. I should go see if she has returned.”
“I have heard rumblings about a marriage between yer sister, the beautiful Amelia, and Thomas, one of our grooms. Is there truth to the rumor?” he asked.
“Ah, yes, ’tis true,” she answered as she stood up and prepared to leave.
“And what about the fair Emily, do ye have a beau?” he asked as he stood. He towered a full foot above her in height.
She craned her neck to look up at him. “Not as yet,” she replied simply. “I simply must be getting back. It’s been a pleasure visiting with you, milord.”
“Charles,” he reminded her.
“I do not think that to be proper, given the circumstances, milord. We are no longer children. I am in service to the House of Remington, and ye are the heir apparent. Things have changed.”
He reached out and touched her cheek lightly. “Ye will always be my little Emily, the carefree little girl I spent my summers with, climbing trees and running around the grounds.”
“Ah, but good memories, ’tis all, milord,” she said. She turned and ran quickly back to the house, away from the man who had set her heart to racing with one simple touch to her cheek. Her face flamed as she thought of his hand upon her face.
She walked into the kitchen and saw that her sister had returned. As she walked to her quarters to hang her cloak, Amelia said, “Where have ye been, sister? Ye look flushed. Are ye coming down with something?”
“I am fine, ’tis a bit chilly. I had a brisk walk in the cool air, ’tis all.”
“Well, I am glad of that. Come; see what Her Grace purchased for my wedding.”
“Her Grace bought something for yer wedding?” Emily asked in surprise.
“Why, yes, silly,” her sister said. “She always helps the staff when there is a wedding afoot. I have heard the lady of the house loves weddings and anything romantic.”
Emily joined her mum and her sister at the table to admire the lovely lace fabric. “‘Tis for my wedding gown,” Amelia explained.
“Mama, are you going to make the gown?” Emily asked.
“Yes, child, I shall make the gown, as I shall make yers when the time comes.”
Emily ran her slender fingers over the delicate fabric. “‘Tis truly beautiful,” she remarked wistfully.
“There is white satin for under the lace,” Amelia explained. “Her Grace was most insistent upon the fabric she chose.”
“We are most fortunate to be in the employ of the Remington family,” her mum said. “The duke and duchess are truly appreciative of their staff.”
Her two young daughters shook their head in agreement.
“Now, ’tis time for supper to be served. Put this away, Amelia. After I have served the family, we shall meet with the rest of the staff for our evening meal.”
Amelia carefully wrapped the fine fabric and retreated to the room she shared with Emily. Emily stayed behind to assist her mum in serving supper to the family. She carried steaming bowls of vegetables to the great dining room while her mum followed with a platter of succulent meat.
As she placed a bowl of food on the table, she caught the eye of Lord Remington. He winked at her, which she promptly ignored. Why did he insist on teasing her so?
When the family had been served, the Crawley women joined the rest of the staff in their own dining room and enjoyed a pleasant supper. The evening meal was a time of reflection upon the day’s work among the staff, along with discussion about the goings on in their private lives. Tonight’s discussion centered upon the upcoming nuptials of Amelia and Thomas, much to Amelia’s obvious delight.
“Have ye set a date for the ceremony?” one of the maids asked.
“We shall do that very soon,” Thomas replied as he cast a smile in the direction of his blushing bride-to-be.
“With the holidays fast approaching, a Christmas wedding would be so romantic,” one of the other maids added.
“Oh, that is too soon. I don’t think we can be ready,” Amelia said.
“‘Tis true, that would be soon. Perhaps a spring wedding?” Emily asked.
“Will ye be getting married here, at Remington House?” another asked.
The conversation continued throughout the meal. Emily excused herself to clear the table in the family dining room and to deliver their dessert. “Sit, Mama, I’ll take care of it. I’m sure you want to take part in the wedding planning.”
Glad to be away from the constant talk of her sister’s upcoming marriage, Emily set about with her task. It wasn’t that she wasn’t happy for Amelia, she was. It was just that she, too, dreamed of becoming a bride. The problem with that was that she hadn’t yet found anyone worthy to be her groom. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. There was one man who had been invading her dreams for years, but he was the man she would never be allowed to share her life with. The man who was sitting in the dining room winking at her at that very moment, the same man who had threatened to turn her over his knee, the one who had joined her in the garden earlier, yes, Charles, Lord of Remington, the next Duke of Remington, was the only man who had ever excited young Emily Crawley.
But, alas, it was not to be. They may have spent their childhood frolicking about the grounds of his family home, but now they were adults, with adult responsibilities. Men like Charles didn’t marry girls like Emily. It was unheard of. The future duke would be expected to marry a lady of nobility. The daughter of the cook and the duke’s valet would certainly not fit in that category. The sooner she forgot her childhood dreams, the better off she would be.
After serving dessert to the family, she carried the remainder to the staff dining room for the others to enjoy. She excused herself and began the task of cleaning up. One of the other maids joined her, and soon, the kitchen was again spotless, ready for her mum to begin another day of cooking the next morning. Emily said goodnight and retired to her room, where Amelia soon joined her.
“No evening walk with Thomas tonight?” she asked when her sister entered the room.
“No, he had to return to the stables. One of the mares is about to give birth.”
“So, how are the plans coming along? Did ye come up with anything tonight?”
“I know that the Remingtons open their home for staff weddings, but Thomas will have to ask the duke for permission. I guess we shan’t make official plans until that task is done.”
“Are ye scared?” Emily asked.
“Scared to ask the duke?” her sister asked in reply.
“No, silly, scared to get married.”
“I am a bit nervous about the wedding night, if truth be told. But not scared about becoming a wife to Thomas. I love him, and I think he will be a fine husband.”
“Have ye not ever wanted something more? Something outside of Remington House?” Emily asked.
“Ah, ye are such a dreamer, little sister. I suppose, at times, I have wondered about a life away from here. But, the Remington family is one of the finest in the nobility to be employed by. They are fair and kind. I have found my love here, so I believe it is my destiny to remain here.”
“Yes, we are fortunate. I just cannot help but think of a life different from this, though.”
“I doubt ye will have a prince or a duke to rescue ye from a life of service. ‘Tis not the way of the land. ‘Twould be a scandal for sure.”
“Only in yer dreams, little sister, only in yer dreams. Now, I suggest we get some sleep. Good night, Emily.”
“Good night, Amelia.”
That night, Emily’s dreams took her to a place far away. She was a lady of nobility, dressed in the finest gown, dancing with a handsome man. His face was not clear to her in the dream, but when his hand gently caressed her face, she knew. She knew the touch of his hand as well as the touch of her own. Her heart was beating rapidly when, in the dream, the man leaned his head down to touch her lips with his.
She awoke, soaked with sweat, flushed from the thoughts her dream had planted in her head. Someday…her dream would come true. She just knew it. There was no other acceptable outcome for her life. Nothing else would do, nothing else at all.
And there you have it! Watch soon for the blurb and an excerpt from Emily’s Emergence, Book Two in Isabella Kole’s hot, new regency series, Loving the Nobleman.