Excerpt & Giveaway: Finding Miss McFarland by Vivienne Lorret

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Finding Miss McFarland
Wallflower Weddings Book Three
By: Vivienne Lorret
Releasing August 5th, 2014
Avon Romance
Fans of historical romance authors Lorraine Heath and Sophie Jordan will adore Vivienne Lorret's latest Wallflower Wedding novel.

Delaney McFarland is on the hunt for a husband—preferably one who needs her embarrassingly large dowry more than a dutiful wife. After the unspeakable incident at her debut, Delaney knows marrying for love is off the table, but a marriage of convenience—one that leaves her free to live the life she chooses—is the next best thing, never mind what that arrogant, devilishly handsome Mr. Croft thinks. Delaney plans to marry for money … or not at all.

Ever since the fiery redhead burst into his life—in a most memorable way—Griffin Croft hasn't been able to get Miss McFarland out of his mind. Now, with the maddening woman determined to hand over her fortune to a rake, Griffin knows he must step in. He must help her. He must not kiss her. But when Griffin's noble intentions flee in a moment of unexpected passion, his true course becomes clear: tame Delaney's wild heart and save her from a fate worse than death … a life without love.
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The instant Delaney saw Griffin Croft turn onto the path ahead of her, she stopped cold. Buckley, she scolded silently, you assured me he would be at Tattersalls! She wasn’t prepared to see Mr. Croft so soon. This was her first glimpse of him in months, since last Season. Not that she gave him much thought. “Why have you stopped?” Bree asked with an exasperated huff. Even frowning did not detract from her ever-annoying beauty. “If you’ll recall, this walk was your idea, not mine.” “I think we’ve gone far enough for today.” Fortunately, Bree had turned just enough not to notice the gentleman approaching, along with those who were most likely his sisters. Equally as fortunate, the man himself had his head turned in conversation and therefore had not seen Delaney. At least, not yet. She hadn’t a moment to lose. Bree huffed again, as if it took every ounce of strength simply to stand upright. “I’d much rather return home and perhaps drop by the sweet shop for a peppermint stick.” “You’d waste your pin money on sweets?” Delaney always looked for a way to turn her money into something of value. Of purpose. When it came to store credit, however, she had no trouble spending her father’s money. Because, when she spent enough of it, he would call her into his study, demanding to know what items she’d bought. This was the only time he listened to her. The only time she had the chance to discuss the importance of a proper wardrobe. And if the argument didn’t escalate to window-shattering proportions, she might even have the opportunity to talk to him about the children of Warthall Place and Mr. Harrison’s mission. She hoped her tenacity would wear him down eventually. After all, she had convinced him to hire Buckley. “Not my money,” Bree answered with a smirk. “I was hoping you’d waste yours, since your allowance is far greater.” “Fine,” she agreed, but only because they must hurry. Delaney most definitely could notbe seen with Mr. Croft. Prepared to head back the way they’d come, they turned on the path. Yet in the same instant, a sudden gust of wind whipped around the tree line. Delaney’s bonnet went flying. With a startled exclamation, she reached for it but was too late. Caught by another gust, it rolled away. Ribbons flailing, it continued down the path like a spinning top on a slanted table. “Your hat!” Bree began to turn, but Delaney grabbed her arm. “No. Leave it. I . . . I’ll get a new one. We’ll stop by the milliner’s on the way. And I saw a lovely shade of cerise ribbon at Haversham’s the other day. Perhaps . . .” Her maniacal ramblings were to no avail. Bree turned on the path anyway. “Oh, look it’s Mr. . . .” Awareness dawned on a gasp. “Oh, dear.” “Precisely,” Delaney whispered. Now, it was no use. They’d been spotted. First, her bonnet had betrayed her, and then her sister. She expected it of the latter, but not so much the former. It was a heavy blow. “Miss Pursglove is forever warning you about tying your ribbons,” Bree admonished. Delaney gritted her teeth. “Which is precisely why I never do.” Appalled, she watched her bonnet finally stop directly—of all places—at Mr. Croft’s feet. She looked up to the heavens and prayed for a sudden deluge or something that would make fleeing the scene a necessity. Unfortunately, the sky was uncommonly clear and bright. More’s the pity. At least when he stood erect, she was rewarded with his look of utter dread upon seeing the owner of the bonnet, now in his grasp. Oh, yes. Hullo. You might not remember me, but I’m the young woman who cast up her accounts and her dignity all over your shoes on the night we met. And just like that night, all she could do was stand there and gape in horror. “It’s like the story of Mother’s fan,” she heard one of the girls say as they approached. Whatever it meant, the alarm in Mr. Croft’s expression took on a new dimension. His steps slowed as if he were approaching the gallows. She, on the other hand, would rather hurry him along. Best to get this over with sooner rather than later. She took a step and then two, her chest feeling suddenly tight, her heart close to bursting under the pressure. “Thank you, Mr. Croft,” she said when they were at a close enough distance for conversation. “You didn’t have to go out of your way for my bonnet.” Anyone else’s but mine.

Author Info:

I fell in love with fairy tales and the romance behind happily ever after at a very young age. Like a lot of you, I tweaked the fables bit by bit in my imagination until they suited me perfectly. By the time I was eleven, a teacher encouraged me to start writing.

Throughout the years that followed, my teachers remained my most fervent supporters, giving me the tools I needed to continue my journey as a writer.

My husband and I have two teenage boys, who are heroes in their own right. For now, we live in a small Midwestern town near Lake Michigan…until a time in the future when a new adventure calls us to other shores.

I am currently working on my next novel, but I always enjoy hearing from my readers. Feel free to email me at vivienne@vivlorret.net

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SAHM to four rowdy kids. Avid reader and blogger.

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