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Today on First Kiss Friday I’d like to welcome Bluestocking Belle Nicole Zoltack and her characters from Christmas Kisses, her novella within our holiday box set Holly and Hopeful Hearts currently available for pre-order. Enjoy the following excerpt!


Anna has fancied Benjamin Huxley, the Duke of Barnet, for quite some time now, seeing beyond his skirt-chasing ways. Her mother, of course, is scandalized and wishes Anna would consider another option. Thus far, Anna has not given into her mother’s wishes…

Anna didn’t know what to think. For so long, she had wanted Benjamin to look at her as he was staring at her right now, had wanted to hear what he was saying, had wanted him to kiss her.

But now that he was kissing her, she wanted to kiss someone else.

She put a hand to his chest and shifted back. “I am sorry, Benjamin, that things did not work out for you and Florentina—”

He captured her hand and held it there against him. “If you are willing—”


His smile died. “It’s Pershore, isn’t it.” His nostrils flared. “I see how he looks at you. You would rather have him than me? I thought…”

“I’m sorry. I… I don’t know what to say.”

“Then this conversation is over.” Tight-lipped, Benjamin walked off.

Only then did Anna come back to reality and realized how many others were in the parlor, and she flushed. So many prying eyes, so many wagging tongues. Why, someone might send in a bit about her and the duke to The Teatime Tattler!

And if one of the gossipers were to find Jasper…

About Holly and Hopeful Hearts

When the Duchess of Haverford sends out invitations to a Yuletide house party and a New Year’s Eve ball at her country estate, Hollystone Hall, those who respond know that Her Grace intends to raise money for her favorite cause and promote whatever love-matches she can. Seven assorted heroes and heroines set out with their pocketbooks firmly clutched and hearts in protective custody. Or are they?

A Suitable Husband, by Jude Knight

As the Duchess of Haverford’s companion, Cedrica Grenford is not treated as a poor relation and is encouraged to mingle with Her Grace’s guests. Surely she can find a suitable husband amongst the gentlemen gathered for the duchess’s house party. Above stairs or possibly below.

Valuing Vanessa, by Susana Ellis

Facing a dim future as a spinster under her mother’s thumb, Vanessa Sedgely makes a practical decision to attach an amiable gentleman who will not try to rule her life.

A Kiss for Charity, by Sherry Ewing

Young widow Grace, Lady de Courtenay, has no idea how a close encounter with a rake at a masquerade ball would make her yearn for love again. Can she learn to forgive Lord Nicholas Lacey and set aside their differences to let love into her heart?

Artemis, by Jessica Cale

Actress Charlotte Halfpenny is in trouble. Pregnant, abandoned by her lover, and out of a job, Charlotte faces eviction two weeks before Christmas. When the reclusive Earl of Somerton makes her an outrageous offer, she has no choice but to accept. Could he be the man of her dreams, or is the nightmare just beginning?

The Bluestocking and the Barbarian, by Jude Knight

James must marry to please his grandfather, the duke, and to win social acceptance for himself and his father’s other foreign-born children. But only Lady Sophia Belvoir makes his heart sing, and to win her he must invite himself to spend Christmas at the home of his father’s greatest enemy.

Christmas Kisses, by Nicole Zoltack

Louisa Wycliff, Dowager Countess of Exeter wants only for her darling daughter, Anna, to find a man she can love and marry. Appallingly, Anna has her sights on a scoundrel of a duke who chases after every skirt he sees. Anna truly thinks the dashing duke cares for her, but her mother has her doubts.

An Open Heart, by Caroline Warfield

Esther Baumann longs for a loving husband who will help her create a home where they will teach their children to value the traditions of their people, but she wants a man who is also open to new ideas and happy to make friends outside their narrow circle. Is it so unreasonable to ask for toe curling passion as well?

Dashing Through the Snow, by Amy Rose Bennett

Headstrong bluestocking, Miss Kate Woodville, never thought her Christmas would be spent racing across England with a viscount hell-bent on vengeance. She certainly never expected to find love…

Holly and Hopeful Hearts is a Bluestocking Belles Christmas collection, with a novella from each Belle and a bonus novelette. For more than 800 pages of holiday reading, preorder now. The Belles support the Malala Fund, with 25% of proceeds from this publication.

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

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Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranormal, time travels or regency. She’s also a freelance editor and a ghostwriter. When she’s not writing about ladies and their gentlemen, superheroes, or witches, she enjoys spending time with her loving husband, three energetic young boys, and precious baby girl. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV shows are The Walking Dead and Gotham.