Welcome Mary. I’m such a fan of your and it’s my pleasure to feature your new book Wicked Wager today.
Release date: May 6th
When hardened gamester Marcus Revington wins Horngate Manor in a card game, he is delighted to finally own property. Even discovering he must marry the heiress of the estate doesn’t deter him. The heiress, Penny Montgomery, is happy with her life raising horses at Horngate and has no desire to wed anyone. When she learns about her guardian’s Wicked Wager, she schemes to convince Marcus she’s unsuitable as a wife so he’ll forget his plan to marry her. Who will win this battle of wits and wills? Or will they both discover the name of the game is love?
Both men turned at the sound of hoof beats. A huge stallion came barreling down the drive, its rider bent low over the withers. Halfway to the house, the rider reined in the magnificent animal. Blowing and snorting, the beast slowed to a trot and, finally, a walk. As horse and rider approached, Marcus couldn’t help gaping at the young woman controlling the stallion. He’d never seen a female ride like that before!
She halted the stallion, and before either of them could assist her, leapt down and faced them. The woman was dressed in soiled men’s clothing and her brown hair hung down in messy wisps around her face. “So, which one of you is the London bloke I’m supposed to wed?”
James gestured to Marcus. “This is Mr. Revington. I’m James Ludingham, his solicitor.”
The woman extended a grimy hand to Marcus. “Pleased to meet you.”
Marcus stared at her in astonishment “You’re Miss Montgomery?”
“Yes, but you can call me Penny, everyone does. The house is there, see.” She pointed. “Mrs. Foxworthy will offer you something if you knock. I really can’t be bothered with playing hostess. I’ve got to get back to the stables. We’re gelding the colts today and they need me to do the cauterizing. Good meeting you though, Mr. Revington, Mr. Ludingham.”
She turned and mounted the stallion, then cantered back down the lane.
“Hmmm,” James said. “What were you saying about marrying the woman sight unseen?”
Marcus swallowed, trying to get over his shock. “I’ll allow she is a bit eccentric, but that hardly matters. It’s really quite simple. She’ll go her way and I’ll go mine.” His words belied the uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Gads! The chit was an utter hoyden. He’d encountered Covent Garden orange girls who had more polish than Miss Montgomery. But at least she wasn’t unattractive. Despite the dirt and her disheveled hair, she had huge blue eyes and pert, pretty features, and the masculine clothing she wore only served to emphasize her leggy but clearly feminine form.
“There is the small matter of the marriage ceremony,” James reminded him. “Unless you think to get a clergyman to perform the rites in the barn, you may have a problem.”
“Well, she’s bound to come back to the house sometime. We’ll discuss the details then. Meanwhile, I’m starved. Let’s hope this Mrs. Foxworthy is a bit more hospitable than her mistress.”
Mary Gillgannon writes historical and paranormal romance and fantasy. She’s worked in a public library for over twenty-five years and as part of her job, has the enviable task of ordering fiction. She’s married and has two children. Now that they’re grown, she indulges her nurturing tendencies on four very spoiled cats and a moderately spoiled dog. When not working or writing, she enjoys gardening—a real challenge in Wyoming—reading and travel. She loves history, which may explain why her favorite places to visit are Ireland and Wales.
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