Wicked Christmas - Blackhaven Brides, Book 10
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A Blackhaven Brides novella.
Light, fun Regency romance novella from Mary Lancaster. Formerly published in the Christmas multi-author collection, A Night of Angels.
Mystery, murder and the miracle of new love – it’s Christmas in Blackhaven!
Widower Nicholas Lampton, Blackhaven’s dour and sharp-tongued doctor, is oblivious to the Christmas season. Not best pleased to be called out late at night for nothing more than a child’s tantrum, he is nevertheless curiously drawn to the child’s beautiful mother, the visiting Princess Elizabeth of Rheinwald.
Elizabeth is more than a match for his acerbic wit, but when another woman claiming to be the princess is discovered murdered in a nearby town, he wonders if Elizabeth is not who she seems, and determines to discover her secrets.
During a magical Christmas, Blackhaven welcomes a new birth and catches a murderer – and Dr. Lampton encounters the wonder and pain of an impossible new love.
Read an excerpt below
"A lovely bit of danger and suspense... I loved it."
"I absolutely love Mary Lancaster's Blackhaven Brides Series and just love the chance to revisit Blackhaven"
"Great addition to the series."
"A welcome addition to the Blackhaven series... A story of hope and redemption. Worth your time."
- Amazon reviewers
A few moments later, the princess closed the bedchamber door over and stalked up to Lampton, her brilliant green eyes blazing.
“Is that the full extent of your examination?” she demanded. “Could you not even tell that my son has a fever?”
“No he hasn’t,” Lampton said. “His temperature was certainly elevated when I first arrived, but I gather I caught the tail end of a tantrum—no doubt caused by being wakened in the middle of the night and fussed over when he needed to sleep. His body temperature is now quite normal again.”
The princess’s face flushed with outrage. “Tantrum? That is what you put it down to when a child is discovered unconscious on the floor?”
Lampton picked up his hat. “No. To begin with, he wasn’t unconscious. He was merely asleep. Lots of children fall out of bed without waking. Your son is whole and healthy, madam. Rejoice.”
The princess’s eyes spat fury. “I find your flippancy offensive, sir. Likewise your arrogance, rudeness and sheer incompetence. I shall most certainly get another opinion.”
“Actually, I meant it,” he interrupted.
Caught in mid-stream when she had only paused for breath, she frowned with confusion. “Meant what?”
“Rejoice,” he said mildly. “You have a healthy, spirited son, which is something to celebrate. As for the rest, you are at perfect liberty, although I would advise you to let your son sleep peacefully until the morning before you disturb him with any more annoying doctors and examinations. Either way, I shall send over my account tomorrow.” He inclined his head and donned his hat. “Good night.”
He got as far as the door before she caught up with him. “Account?” she raged. “For what? You did nothing! I shall not pay.”
“Then don’t, madam,” he said wearily. “It is Christmas, and I am quite used to being roused in the middle of the night by the wealthy for no reason. At this point, a good night’s sleep is all I want. Let us look on both as gifts.”
She frowned up at him, the anger dying from her eyes along with the anxiety. “You are a very strange physician. Do you retain much patronage among the nobility?”
“Why? Because you tell them nothing is wrong and that is just what they want to hear?”
“No. Because I never lie to them.”
Her eyes searched his. To his surprise, a rueful little smile curved her sculpted lips. “And you would not deign to feed a mother’s unnecessary anxieties just to earn a fatter fee.”
“That is the other reason the nobility tolerates me. I am not vulgar.”
“I cannot recall being rude to you. If I was, then I apologize.”
Her perfectly arched eyebrow twitched once. “No. It was I who was rude.” Her gaze fell to the table beside the door. She lifted a card from the little pile there and held it out to him. “For your account,” she said. “Which I shall not pay.”
Lampton laughed. He couldn’t help it. His reward was the answering smile in her eyes before she turned and walked back across the room. He was still smiling as he closed the door behind him.