#GuestPost & #Giveaway ~ The Disgraceful Lord Gray by Virginia Heath #HistFic #Romance @rararesources @VirginiaHeath_

I’m delighted to welcome Virginia Heath with her guest post all about the Subtle Art of the Meet Cute. Over to you Virginia…

Thea plunged into the trees following the sound, then skidded to a halt at the top of the bank at the unexpected sight of an exceedingly pert pair of male buttocks.

Very nice and very naked male buttocks.

A pathetic squeak of shock popped out of her mouth before she covered it with her hands and the buttocks disappeared beneath the water a second before the owner of them turned around, his own hands covering the most important part of his modesty. Which was now quite submerged, but leaving little else to her imagination. Her eyes travelled upwards from those hands to the flat abdomen bisected by an arrow of intriguing dark hair which widened over a broad chest. Muscled shoulders. A gloriously strong set of biceps. Twinkling blue-grey eyes stared cockily right back at her, clearly amused and set in one of the most outrageously ruggedly handsome faces she had ever seen.

‘Good morning, ladies.’

‘Er…’ For the first time in her life, Thea had no words at all. Her cheeks were glowing scarlet and it took all her strength to stop her eyes wandering back to where they had just feasted, making her blink and gape like a hooked fished. ‘Put some clothes on, sir! You are a disgrace. What do you think you are about, cavorting naked in my uncle’s stream!’

These are the first words Miss Theodora Cranford, my heroine in The Disgraceful Lord Gray, utters to the hero and I love them. I love the whole scene. From the moment my outspoken and feisty red-head inadvertently collides with him skinny dipping naked to the moment she finds herself unexpectedly in the stream with him, it is one of my favourite meet-cutes that I have ever written.

The meet-cute is what we writers call the quirky first meeting between the two lead characters in a romance. The best ones are always memorable and the chemistry between them instant and unexpected. Like a drunken Bridget Jones making a fool of herself at her parent’s Christmas party in front of the staid Mark Darcy in his incongruous Reindeer sweater then overhears him telling his mother in no uncertain terms the last thing he needs is a blind date with “a verbally incontinent spinster who smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish and dresses like her mother” when we all know he does. Or when Sally first meets Harry and the two vastly different strangers set off together on an epic road trip and the first words he says to her are “Men and women can never be friends. The sex part always gets in the way.” Then they become friends and the sex part gets in the way.

The meet-cute sets up the story. In Thea and Lord Gray’s case, it is a meeting they both bitterly regret but cannot seem to get over. She, because she cannot get the sight of him naked out of her mind and he because he quickly discovers it is her uncle he has been sent on a mission to expose. I should probably mention here that Lord Gray is a Regency spy on the hunt for the ruthless and callous mastermind behind a very dangerous smuggling ring and to do that he needs to make a good first impression on the suspect in order to weasel his way into his inner circle. Shocking and scandalising the suspect’s niece because he had been a hot day and he could resist the water was not the best start.

He tries to make amends, she thinks he’s a total scoundrel, the supporting characters seem to be on a mission to indulge in a little unwelcome matchmaking and the pair of them fight the instantaneous attraction tooth and nail- although both for very different reasons. The Disgraceful Lord Gray was, as you can imagine, great fun to write…

~~ About the Book ~~

A spy on a mission…Until he meets this heiress!

Miss Theodora Cranford’s learned to keep her impetuous nature locked away. She won’t be deceived by another man who can’t see past her fortune. She wants an honourable, sensible sort – not a self-assured scoundrel like her new neighbour, Lord Gray. Although she’s sure there’s more to him than meets the eye… But after that first captivating kiss, she’s certainly left wanting more!

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

~~ Giveaway ~~

To be in with a chance of winning one of 3 x e-copies of The Disgraceful Lord Gray (Open INT) please click the Rafflecopter link

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

~~ About the Author ~~

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin Mills & Boon took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

Social Media Links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook

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