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A PERFECT PLAN
Wiltshire Chronicles Book 1
BY ALYSSA DRAKE
An opinionated tomboy must navigate the dangers of society, unaware her brother’s killer is lurking in her midst.
When her brother’s ship sinks off the coast of France, Miss Samantha Hastings surrenders her quiet, country life to manage his affairs. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and the unnerving green eyes of Lord Westwood-her brother’s best friend and her new guardian.
Benjamin, Lord Westwood, never intended on following through with his rash promise to act as guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister. Upon learning of his best friend’s death, Benjamin’s intention was to marry her off to the first acceptable suitor. When he finds himself falling for Samantha instead, Benjamin alights upon the perfect plan; a marriage of convenience.
The plan, however, quickly unravels when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized and Benjamin is running out of time. Can he save the woman he loves or will murder ruin his perfect plan?
If you enjoy the mystery and intrigue of Amanda Quick and Lisa Kleypas, dive into this spellbinding series filled with history, romance, and suspense.
About the Book
A Perfect Plan
by Alyssa Drake
Wiltshire Chronicles Book One
April 2, 2019
“Thomas, I am appalled by your language.” Lord Westwood chastised him, a grin hovered just on his lips. “There are ladies present.”
“I am not offended gentlemen, Edward has said worse.” Wilhelmina nodded at Sam. “In truth, Miss Hastings has also said much worse.”
Sam’s jaw popped open. She blushed deep red. “I was provoked.”
“What were the two of you discussing so intently before we arrived?” Mr. Reid asked, winking at Sam as he abruptly changed the subject.
“Mrs. Hastings and I were just discussing Miss Hastings’ future,” Lord Westwood answered blithely. His green eyes flared with a whisper of something dark.
“My future?” questioned Sam with a suspicious glance in Wilhelmina’s direction. “Is this regarding the discussion we had earlier this evening where I explained I had no intention of marrying any suitor?”
Wilhelmina looked away at that exact moment, suddenly interested in the empty glass in her hand. Sam glared at her forehead, however Wilhelmina refused to meet Sam’s irate stare. Incensed, Sam puffed out her chest, preparing to unleash a barrage of inappropriate comments. The atmosphere surrounding the tiny circle crackled with Sam’s fury.
“Mrs. Hastings.” Mr. Reid flashed an impish grin, interrupting the impending dispute. He bowed elegantly toward Wilhelmina. “I do believe good manners require me to ask you for the next dance.”
“Good manners must always be observed Mr. Reid,” agreed Wilhelmina. She placed her empty cup on the silver tray of a passing servant.
Dismay crossed Sam’s face as Wilhelmina lightly grasped Mr. Reid’s offered arm. Sam’s heart hammered at the thought of being left alone with Lord Westwood. This reaction concerned her greatly. Even in a crowded room his close proximity caused her brain to malfunction.
“Wilhelmina.” Her voice cracked unnaturally. “I must insist, as your chaperone.”
Sam’s voice faltered as she floundered for the words to complete her nonsensical argument. Three pairs of eyes stared–each with some degree of bewilderment–at her obvious discomfort. She wondered if they realized how much Lord Westwood affected her.
“Sam, I doubt Mr. Reid will try to ravish me on the dance floor,” laughed Wilhelmina, allowing him to lead her among the swaying couples.
“It is not thatbrother I am concerned about,” muttered Sam to their retreating backs.
“Does that mean you are worried about me?” a velvety voice whispered in her ear.
Sam spun to confront the voice with a resounding “No,” but the word died on her lips. She stared at his jacket, unable to meet his blazing stare. Mentally she berated herself. She could speak to a man–this man–without fawning over his charming smile and deep, rumbling voice. She could look into his eyes without fear of drowning. Sam looked up, past his chin, past his full lips and her knees gave way. His hand flew to grab her elbow, sending warm shivers through her skin.
“I am fine,” she murmured, partially dazed. “The heat of the ballroom must be bothering me.”
“Of course,” he agreed amiably, his hand still holding her arm. “Would you like to move closer to an open window?”
“Yes, thank you,” Sam nodded. She felt her strength gather as they walked side by side. No longer captivated by his mesmerizing eyes, Sam felt silly. She blamed her over-reaction on nerves.
“I am used to the cool air of country living,” Sam explained unconvincingly.
“To be certain,” replied Lord Westwood, his lips twitching.
Sam took a deep breath and turned, stopping near a window. “Thank you.”
“What have I done to earn your gratitude?” He arched an eyebrow.
“You did not tell Wilhelmina about our first meeting.”
“You do remember,” confirmed Lord Westwood softly.
Sam nodded. “Wilhelmina witnesses my every social failure. It is exhausting to be continually compared to someone so perfect.”
“Mrs. Hastings is not perfect,” answered Lord Westwood. His quiet insult barely reached Sam’s ears.
She scoffed. “Apparently, you do not spend much time in society.”
“I try to avoid it.”
“We have that in common.” Sam’s eyes landed on Wilhelmina and Mr. Reid as they twirled past. Wilhelmina waved merrily, her face split into a wide grin.
“May I ask you one question?” Lord Westwood gazed at her with a peculiar expression.
“Certainly,” answered Sam, tearing her eyes away from Wilhelmina’s glee.
“What were you concentrating on with such intensity when I threatened to tell the story of our first meeting?”
Sam glanced down, a red tinge crawling up the back of her neck; she indicated the balcony with a slight jerk of her head. “Whether or not I could make it over the railing before Wilhelmina realized I was missing.”
“What did you intend to do once you climbed over the balcony?” asked Lord Westwood.
“I was planning to shimmy down the column, using the ivy as a rope.” Sam lifted her head, a tiny smile pulling at her lips. “She would never catch me once I reached the drive.”
Lord Westwood struggled to keep his face neutral. “Do you think about escaping ballrooms often?”
“More often than I would care to admit,” she stated.
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Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of A PERFECT PLAN by Alyssa Drake, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Alyssa Drake. Giveaway ends 4/6/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Alyssa Drake
USA Today Bestselling Author ALYSSA DRAKE has been creating stories since she could hold a crayon, preferring to construct her own bedtime tales instead of reading the titles in her bookshelves. A multi-genre author, Alyssa currently writes Historical romance, Paranormal romance, Contemporary romance, and Cozy mystery. She thoroughly enjoys strong heroines and often laughs aloud when imagining conversations between her characters.
Alyssa graduated from the University of the Pacific, with a B.S. in business and a concentration in French literature. Currently she resides in Northern California with her blended family, where she works full-time at a chocolate factory.
She believes everyone is motivated by love of someone or something. One of her favorite diversions is fabricating stories about strangers surrounding her on public transportation. Alyssa can often be found madly scribbling notes on a train or daydreaming out the window as the scenery whips past.