Monday, February 23, 2015


Time and distance have changed them both…

Quiet and obliging, Mary Fleming and John Bexley marry to please their families and John immediately leaves on a two-year diplomatic mission. Now John is back, and everything they thought they knew about each other was wrong…

It’s disconcerting, irritating—and somehow all very exciting…


Today we are pleased to have a cozy chat with John and Mary Bexley, the protagonists from Jane Ashford’s Married to a Perfect Stranger (March 2015). From February 23rd through March 20th the Bexleys will be answering questions about their relationship at each stop in their tour!

Complete this sentence: I knew I had found the love of my life when she/he ______.

Mary: Wanted to punch Fordyce for being rude to me. But didn’t do so.

John: Ignored the spilled peas and shattered tarts and re-introduced herself to me.

Mary: You did not know so soon!

John: Oh, I think I did.

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. Her romances have been published all over the world. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Jane offers an excerpt from MARRIED TO A PERFECT STRANGER

John Bexley reined in his hired horse on a slight rise and gazed down at the red brick manor, somnolent under the August sun. Eager as he was to get to London, he’d felt he must detour west into Somerset to fetch Mary. Her family’s decision to put her under the care of a great-aunt while he was away just showed he was right to fear that such a shy, quiet girl couldn’t arrange a journey on her own. And now that he was here, the sight of this place soothed him; it looked the very essence of English country comfort and peace.

John’s knock was answered by an aged butler. He gave his name, stepped in, and inhaled the familiar scents of beeswax polish and potpourri. The place reminded him of his own home farther north. Golden light pooled on the wooden floor and gleamed on the stair rail. In the rooms on either side of the entry, the furnishings were classic and inviting. Mary had certainly had a beautiful and serene spot in which to wait for him. “Mary’s husband,” he added when it seemed as if the old man didn’t know what to do with him. “I believe I am expected.”

“Yes, si…”

A filthy, hysterical chicken shot through the rear door of the dining parlor on his left, skidded in a turn around the table, and raced past him, neck extended, screeching, flapping its mottled wings. A little boy slathered with mud came racing after it, careened off the doorjamb, and staggered across the entryway, leaving streaks and globs of dirt in his wake. The old butler stiffened in horror.

The bird hopped across a flowered sofa in the front parlor, stitching it with muddy tracks, circled the delicate carpet, and looped back toward John. The boy in pursuit slipped, fell, jumped up, and turned to follow. He flapped muddy hands at the fowl in an inept attempt to trap it.

What seemed like a herd of adults jostled into the dining parlor, then surged forward. “Arthur!” snapped a young woman, her voice crackling with authority.

“It isn’t my fault,” the boy shouted over the wild squawking. “I pulled her from the mire. Fox was after her. I never shot her or nothing.”

As the crazed chicken surged past him, John bent, reached, and snatched hold of its legs. When he straightened, he held the muddy bird upside down, at arm’s length, well away from his clothing. It flapped and protested; flakes of dirt dropped to the floor.

“Good!” said the managing female, striding from the dining room into the hall. “Take it from him, Alice, and put it outside at once.”

The middle-aged maid jumped to obey like a subaltern responding to a commanding general. The butler relaxed. The boy stood to attention. “It wasn’t me, I swear,” he repeated. “I rescued ’er. I killed three rats as well. Would have been four, but I…”

“Very well, Arthur,” the woman replied. “Go now and get cleaned up.”

The boy finally noticed the mud sliding from his clothes to the polished floor. His face shifted from defensive to horrified, and he slunk out. In the same moment, John realized that the woman with a voice like a sergeant major was his meek little sparrow of a wife.


  1. What beautiful tea settings! And a lovely interview, congrats to the author!

  2. I would have to pick some of the first romance couples I read, all Julie Garwood historical couples. Royce and Nicholaa from THE PRIZE, the first romance I read and Lady Johanna and Gabriel MacBain from her SAVING GRACE are my two favorites.
    Thank you for the excerpt. Reunion stories can be such fun and this one sounds like it will be. Nothing like finding something totally unexpected when you return.

  3. I recently read Cloudy with a Chance of Marriage & immediatly fell in love with the couple : Jilly Jones en Stephen Arrow. They are my current fav!

  4. I have more than one but for me it would be Georgina and James from Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey.

  5. A far cry from Regency romances ... Eve Dallas & Roarke from JD Robb's In Death series!

  6. Scarlett and Rhett, Lizzie and Darcy, just to name a few...

  7. This sounds very good love the cover too, thanks for the review,

  8. Adrian and Sophia from Shana Galen's Lord and Lady Spy :) thanks for sharing!

  9. This sounds like a great read!! I would LOVE to win a copy. TY for the opportunity.

  10. My favorite fictional married couple is Jamie and Claire Fraser of Outlander.....HOT!!

  11. I don't have favorites - I totally get enmeshed in the characters that I'm currently reading.

  12. My favorite fictional couple? Really? It's like choosing who's your favorite child! Gosh this is tough.... Hmmm Sebastian, Viscount Iverley And Diana from Miranda Neville's A Dangerous Viscount. But I so love Adrian and Sophia Smythe from Shana Galen's Lord and Lady Spy too!

  13. I love that tea set up, that's so pretty.

  14. I love reading about Eve & Roarke in JD Robb's In Death series - they got married in the 3rd or 4th book and now there are 40, so we've visited with them a lot!

  15. I loved the Mackenzie's from Jennifer Ashley's series. Lord Ian was my favorite. What a beautiful setting for tea.

  16. I don't know if I can pick a favorite couple however I did really like Leona and Christian in The Sins of Lord Easterbrook by Madeline Hunter. I also liked Annabel and Christian in Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke :)

  17. I love this excerpt!

    I honestly don't have one favorite couple - there are SO many wonderful ones to choose from!!

  18. Molly and Harry from Kieran Kramer's Impossible Bachelor series.

  19. There are so many! Today, I'll go with Outlander's Jamie and Claire.