Regency Christmas Liaisons is an anthology of three sexy short stories, all set at Christmas time! All three authors, Christine Merrill, Sophia James and Marguerite Kaye share their inspiration behind their story…
Unwrapped Under the Mistletoe by Christine Merrill
I always imagine Christmas in the Regency as the best party ever. A blow out lasting twelve days with food and drink and games, and all the diversions people had to come up with before the invention of TV and the internet.
Of course, lately at least, I have trouble imagining anything without cat hair on it. My own two cats insist on being involved in anything I am writing. One of them has even learned to hop up on the desk and step on the keyboard to make the screen saver come on.
This is my fault. I let them watch small animal videos on YouTube and now they expect to be able to find cat TV whenever they want. In the actual Regency, they would not be happy entertaining themselves with plain old mice.
But in writing this story, I decided to give them each a part. The grey cat with the question mark tail that eats Christmas decorations in my cat Mayhem. The black and white cat with the expensive tastes is my cat Chaos.
One Night with the Earl by Sophia James
For me Christmas has always centred around children and it was children who were my inspiration for this story in the Regency Christmas Liaisons anthology.
This is the last-chance Christmas for a child whose mother and twin brother have fallen upon hard times and who have journeyed to a new country in a cold winter to try to heal. Eleven-year-old Jennifer takes to writing notes and leaving them everywhere, notes beseeching whoever finds them to make this coming Christmas their most joyous yet.
I could just see this young girl tying her handmade note onto a prickly Hawthorn bush in the middle of a snowy landscape, the red ribbons she’s used blowing in the wind. I could imagine the man who would find it, too, a solitary honourable lord who was every bit as needing of a wonderful Christmas as Jennifer’s family was.
Often my books begin with a small scene that is intertwined with all the big emotions; hope, loss, grief, loneliness. Christmas magnifies these things because there is such a pressure to be happy.
I hope you enjoy reading this story and Merry Christmas everyone from our family to yours. Xx
A Most Scandalous Christmas by Marguerite Kaye
Even if you are perfectly content in your own company, or don’t particularly enjoy celebrating Christmas, it’s the one time of the year when it is very difficult to be on your own. The television shows endless commercials of large family get-togethers, happy smiley faces gathered round a table groaning with food and drink.
Christmas 2020 was very different for most of us, thanks to the pandemic. In the UK, Christmas was, at the very last minute, cancelled. We all had to spend the day within the confines of our own household – alone, as a couple or as a family. It was really, really tough, and telling ourselves it was just another day didn’t make it any easier.
It was this most recent Christmas that occupied my thinking when I started to write Sylvia and Ellis’s story. Sylvia is an outcast, and she’s happy to be so every day of the year but one, and it doesn’t help that she knows what her family will be doing at every point of the day. A Most Scandalous Christmas is my Regency version of a lockdown Christmas. We all made the most of ours in 2020. I hope you’ll agree that Sylvia and Ellis did too, in 1825.
Regency Christmas Liaisons is available in Mills & Boon Historical, from October 28th! Pre-order here.