[12 Days of Romance Countdown] Courting the Countess by Donna Hatch @lovingthebook

12 Days of Romance with @lovingthebook Day 2
Courting the Countess by @donnahatch

Donna Hatch is the author of the
best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The
Golden Quill and the International Digital Award.
 A hopeless romantic and
adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8
and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a
sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple
volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her
A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific
Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there
really is a happily ever after.

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When charming rake Tristan Barrett sweeps Lady Elizabeth off her
feet, stealing both her heart and a kiss in a secluded garden, her brother
challenges Tristan to a duel. The only way to save her brother and Tristan from
harm—not to mention preserve her reputation—is to get married.
But her father, the Duke of Pemberton, refuses to allow his
daughter to marry anyone but a titled lord. The duke demands that Elizabeth
marry Tristan’s older brother, Richard, the Earl of Averston. Now Elizabeth
must give up Tristan to marry a man who despises her, a man who loves another,
a man she’ll never love. 
Richard fears Elizabeth is as untrustworthy as his
mother, who ran off with another man. However, to protect his brother from a
duel and their family name from further scandal, he agrees to the wedding,
certain his new bride will betray him. Yet when Elizabeth turns his house
upside down and worms her way into his reluctant heart, Richard suspects he
can’t live without his new countess. Will she stay with him or is it too
little, too late?






“Get your hands off my sister!” a
voice snarled.
Tristan snapped his head back and
stepped away. Alone, Elizabeth wobbled on her feet. Her brother, Martindale,
stalked into view, bristling like an angry dog.
With his hands held out, Tristan
faced Martindale. “My lord, we were merely—”
“None of your lies, Barrett.”
Other voices made exclamations of
delighted horror. Elizabeth faced a nightmare; most of the houseguests stared
at her, including one of London’s worst gossip, Lady Einsburgh. Naturally they
would assume the worst. Heat crawled up Elizabeth’s neck and burned her cheeks.
She’d never live down the humiliation. Closing her eyes, she clamped her mouth
shut to avoid screaming at the injustice of it all. She’d only desired a few
moments alone with the man she loved. Instead, she’d been caught in an intimate
embrace in a dark garden. Gossipers would spread an exaggeratedly sordid tale
all over England. She’d be utterly ruined.
Immersed in his role of haughty
marquis, Martindale snarled, “Consider your second, Barrett. Tomorrow you shall
receive my challenge.”
Elizabeth’s heart stalled. A duel?
“No, Martindale. You can’t do this.” Elizabeth’s protest died on her lips as
her brother rounded on her.
“Silence! You’ve behaved like a
common whore.”
Elizabeth recoiled as if he’d slapped
Tristan stiffened. “Hear now, that’s
no way to speak to the lady. I give you my word, it was merely a kiss.”
Martindale let out a scoff. “And I
should trust the word of a known rake?” He turned to Elizabeth, his eyes boring
into hers. “You’ve brought disgrace upon the family.”
Tears burned Elizabeth’s eyes.
Martindale was right. Only Tristan could save her from shame. She turned to
him, silently pleading for rescue.
Tristan glanced at her, his
expression unreadable, before returning his attention to Martindale. He lowered
his voice. “Let us go inside and discuss this in private.”
“There’s nothing to discuss. You’ve
compromised my sister. Choose your weapon.”
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I am Fee, a 30 -something SAHM bookworm! I love to read, and will read almost anything and everything. I am not afraid to try new genres of books and my main genre is horror, thriller.

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