‘The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl’ [EXCERPT]

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An adventurer and a writer learn a lesson in love in Victoria Alexander’s third Lady Travelers novel. (Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com)

You could call me a sucker for romantic comedy. I know, I know, it’s not the manliest thing to admit to, but there it is. And few writers can knock it out of the park like Victoria Alexander. She has a knack for throwing men and women together who are looking for anything but love, pitting them against a wild adventure, and spinning hilarious banter between everyone involved. The result is comic genius along the lines of Romancing the Stone, except placed in a historical setting. Read the following excerpt from Alexander’s latest novel, The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl, and you’ll see what I mean. Enjoy! —J.R. 


EXCERPT

“This Mrs. Gordon is a fraud, I tell you.” Harold Arm­strong, the new Earl of Brenton, paced the impressive width of the private parlor his predecessors had used as an office in the grand Mayfair house that was now his. Harry was not prone to pacing, or at least he never had been, but everything about his life had changed in recent months and he had a great deal on his mind. In addition, the events of today failed to provide the satis­faction he had expected which cast an unfamiliar sense of doubt over his actions. Harold Armstrong was not used to doubt. “And I intend to expose her for the complete and utter fake she is.”

Victoria Alexander's THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO DECEPTION WITH AN UNLIKELY EARL

HQN

“Try not to restrain yourself, Harry.” Lord Benjamin Deane, who had been Harry’s friend since their days at Cambridge, lounged in one of the wingback chairs posi­tioned in front of the fireplace. “Tell me what you really think about her.”

Harry paused. “This is not the least bit humorous, Ben.”

“On the contrary, Harry old boy, it may well be the funniest thing I’ve run into in a long time.”

“Exactly what do you find so amusing?”

“First and foremost the fact that you can’t see the humor in it is in itself most amusing. You do seem to be wound tighter than a watch spring these days.”

“Nonsense.”

“But I suppose when one has abruptly become an earl—an eligible and eminently marriageable earl—without realizing it was even a remote possibility, one does tend to lose one’s sense of humor.”

“Rubbish, I haven’t lost anything.” Harry denied it but he was indeed more serious of late. Although, as he’d never been particularly serious about anything in his life until recently, it was perhaps past time. “Indeed, I find the convoluted manner in which I came into this title to be damn amusing.”

And completely unexpected. Harry had always known the man he considered his father, Sir Arthur Armstrong, was his mother’s second husband and a distant cousin of his natural father, who had died before Harry was born. Harry had heard the story any number of times growing up of how Arthur had fallen head over heels for Harry’s mother the moment he met the lovely young widow. Unfortunately, they had only a few years together before she succumbed to influenza. Harry scarcely re­membered her and had long suspected the stories of his mother Arthur told were meant to keep her close to both Harry and Arthur.

Both men were aware that they each shared an ances­tral link to the tenth Earl of Brenton although it had never seemed of particular importance. Arthur was a scholar of history and long-dead civilizations and a highly regarded expert on ancient Egypt and its artifacts, knighted several years ago in acknowledgment of his scholarly work as well as his efforts in furthering the reputation and collec­tions of the British Museum. He had not raised Harry as a man who would one day be an earl but rather as the son of a man with his nose perpetually in a book and his head more often than not in a long past century. It was only due to fate, death and the fact that there were more females than males in the earl’s direct lineage that Harry became the fourteenth Earl of Brenton some eleven months ago.

“And—” Harry flashed his friend an unrepentant grin and, for a moment, felt like the Harry Armstrong of old “—the money doesn’t hurt.”

“A definite benefit.” Ben laughed. As the youngest son of a wealthy marquess, Ben had never been without funds and had in fact financed their first excursion to Egypt nearly twenty years ago.

Arthur had a respectable family fortune of his own although finances had never been particularly important to him, and Harry had grown up in modest surroundings. Now, in addition to the country estate that accompa­nied Harry’s title, he had inherited a large London man­sion and had, after much debate, convinced his father to change residences. While Arthur was initially reluctant to uproot his life, he had been lured to the Mayfair house by its grand library and spacious rooms. Arthur’s domi­cile was close to bursting with books, relics and various collections he had accumulated over the years. Besides, Harry had argued, even though he was thirty-eight years of age, a man could always use the company and wis­dom of his father.

“Although that entire business about my being eligible and eminently marriageable is somewhat bothersome.” Harry was far more used to being the pursuer than the pursued. He pinned his friend with an accusing look. “You could have warned me.”

“Where would be the fun in that?”

“I had no idea the mothers of unwed daughters could be quite so determined.” Harry shuddered.

“This is just the beginning,” Ben said, “and you may consider that your warning. Heed it well. When you were merely the son of a scholar, those fearsome mothers look­ing for an excellent match paid you no attention what­soever. Now that you have a title and fortune, you have become a highly sought after commodity.”

“I’m not sure I like being a commodity, no matter how highly sought.”

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ABOUT THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO DECEPTION WITH AN UNLIKELY EARL

Set sail for love in this sparkling new adventure in #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander’s Lady Travelers Society series.

Harry Armstrong has spent years in Egypt, recovering relics and disregarding rules. Now he’s back in England with a new title and a new purpose: penning his exploits. But his efforts are overshadowed by London’s favorite writer about Egypt—a woman they call The Queen of the Desert, of all things. Worse, her stories—serialized in newspapers and reprinted in books—are complete rubbish.

Miss Sidney Honeywell didn’t set out to deceive anyone. It’s not her fault readers assumed her Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt were real! Admitting her inadvertent deception now would destroy her reputation and her livelihood. But when the Earl of Brenton challenges her to travel to Egypt to prove her expertise, accompanied by his dashing, arrogant nephew, what choice does she have but to pack her bags?

With the matchmaking founders of the Lady Travelers Society in tow, Harry is determined to expose Sidney’s secret. But the truth might not be as great a revelation as discovering that love can strike even the most stubborn of hearts.

Victoria Alexander

Victoria Alexander

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victoria Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other GentlemenThe Daring Exploits of a Runaway HeiressThe Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding, and The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride

Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written 41 full-length novels and eight novellas. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and she has readers around the world.

Before writing fiction full-time, she worked as a broadcast journalist in Nebraska and West Virginia. A former president of the Omaha Press Club, she was named an OPC Face of the Barroom Floor in 2009.

Victoria grew up traveling the world as an Air Force brat. Today, she lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and two bearded collies—Louie and Reggie. They all live in a house under constant renovation and never ending chaos.

Visit her home on the Web at VictoriaAlexander.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO DECEPTION WITH AN UNLIKELY EARL
By Victoria Alexander
384 pp. HQN. $7.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Harlequin, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About J.R. Wallace
J.R. Wallace is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys cooking, reading, travel and fitness. He lives in Ohio with his family, two cats and a ferret named Igor.

3 Responses to ‘The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl’ [EXCERPT]

  1. Sara at TLC Book Tours says:

    Thanks for being a part of this tour! -Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. Thanks for being on the tour!

  3. Pingback: Victoria Alexander, author of The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception With an Unlikely Earl on tour November/December, 2018 | TLC Book Tours

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