Christie Kelley’s Vexing the Viscount

My guest today is a familiar face we haven’t seen lately.  Thanks to a chance encounter, Christie Kelley returns to the Lair to give us a look at her newest book.

Welcome, Christie! What have you been doing since you were here last? 

GHPicture1Unfortunately, most of my time has been spent with the day job and not writing. The company I work for bought their third biggest competitor, so my team has been stuck with the job of integrating their data to our system. Which, by the way, is how I ran into Nancy at BWI airport as we were both waiting for our plane to Charlotte. She was heading home while I was heading to the corporate headquarters of the company we’d bought out.

That was so cool.  My phone buzzed for a text.  When I pulled it out, the message said something like “Christie here.  Are you sitting in BWI Airport?  Because if you’re not, your twin is.”  I looked around, and there she was.  We made good use of the flight delay catching up.

But back to business…Please tell us about Vexing the Viscount.

Vexing the Viscount is the third book in my Bewitched series. Here’s the back cover blurb as a tease for you all:

As the reluctant new Viscount Middleton, Braden Tavers already has several reputations to save–including his own. So it’s imperative he rescue his estate’s healer Tia Featherstone from her impetuous plan to find his rakehell brother Jonathon. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her determined spirit and unworldly charms at arm’s length. But protecting this stubborn beauty from himself is only stoking an irresistible desire–and an insidious danger threatening them both . . .

Tia must get Jonathon back under her care before his unforgiving brother discovers how ill he truly is. But searching London’s most scandalous hellholes and staying two steps ahead of Braden is uncovering the viscount’s deepest secrets–and a longing to make his wounded heart her own. To save him, she must risk a deception that could put his past to rest–or separate them forever . . .

What were the challenges and rewards of writing brothers who keep secrets from each other?

The rewards were many because I do love to write about relatives. The fact that they were not terribly close but Middleton insisted on doing the best he could for his brother endeared me even more to him.

The challenges were how to divulge to the reader and Tia, Jonathon’s issues and why he was keeping away from Middleton. It was a balancing act to leave some suspense until the closer to the end.

What makes Tia special to you?

I really loved writing Tia because she is so full of passion. She is healer and until something happens with one of the Viscount’s tenants, she is content to continue in her position. She uses Jonathon’s departure from the estate as an excuse to leave her position at Middleton Hall. It’s only when she is forced to assist Braden multiple times (I was very cruel to him), she realizing how much she has missed the estate and helping people.

Vexing_The_Viscount_(eBook)Would you like to share an excerpt?

“Miss Featherstone, you must wake up.”

Tia glanced over at the clock on her nightstand. It was barely three in the morning. They couldn’t be leaving for Middleton Hall at this hour. “What is wrong?”

“You must come quickly. His lordship wants you.”

Tia blinked in confusion. Middleton wanted her? “Where is he?”

“In his bedchamber,” the footman replied from behind the closed door. “You mustn’t keep him waiting.”

She had no idea why she couldn’t keep him waiting. Instead of arguing with the servant, Tia grabbed the dressing gown and wrapped it around her. She wished he’d given her a shift to wear under it or she’d had the sense to ask for one.

Tia followed the young man down the hall. There had to be a good reason Middleton would demand her presence at this hour. As she walked into the room, she noticed him lying on his bed with only his trousers on. The footman quietly closed the door as he left.

“Absolutely not,” she exclaimed and turned toward the door.

“Miss Featherstone, get yourself back here this instant.”

Tia stopped. Turning slowly, she faced him. She stepped into his bedroom with her hands on her hips. A tremor of fear slid down her back.

“Where do you think you’re going?” he drawled.

“I am returning to my bedroom. If you think for one moment…” her voice trailed off as he crooked a finger.

“Come here.”

What was it about the sound of his voice that made her do things she had no desire to do? “I am leaving.” But even as she said that, she moved closer to the bed.

“I did not ask you here to warm my bed.” A slow smile drew his full lips upward. “At least, not right now.”

Tia seemed unable to look away from his mouth. “Th—then why am I here?”

He cocked his head toward his right arm. Seeing the handkerchief with bloodstains, she gasped.

“Why didn’t you just tell me you were injured?” Years of her mother’s training came back to her. “Where is your brandy?”

“You’re going to drink before you stitch me?”

She rolled her eyes. “No. Now, where is it?”

He nodded toward the salon. “Corner table. Your bag is in there too.”

Tia strode to the salon, picked up her bag, and then the brandy decanter. She walked back into the room and set to work on him. As she neared him, the smell of cheap perfume, cheap liquor, and cheap cigars overwhelmed her, making her gag. “You are disgusting. Let me guess… you were cheating at cards and someone called you out.”


“Whoring and cheated her out of her money, so she took a shot at you?”

He chuckled in his low, husky voice. “Hardly.”

“Then how?”

One black brow lifted. “No idea. I was leaving a gaming hell with a friend and someone took a shot. My friend had won a substantial amount so we assume the shot was meant for him.”

“Disgusting,” she muttered again.

What’s next for you?

I am slowly working on the next series but don’t have a date for that yet since I have been so crazy with work.

For more information on Christie and her books, check out her website.  You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Christie is giving one commenter today an ebook of Vexing the Viscount.  So tell us some of your favorite books, movies or TV shows about people keeping personal secrets. (Christie will be in and out today, but no matter what comes up along the way, she’ll check in at the end of the day and wind things up.)









Posted in , ,



  • Amy Conley says:

    Looks like I’m going to have help cleaning today. 🙂

  • Deanna says:

    Secrets, huh? The only ones I can think of recently was in the TV series 24 where Jack Bauer had to go undercover in a drug cartel and he ended up having to prove himself by taking heroine. After he came back from the assignment, unfortunately, he was addicted to the heroine and he had to keep it a secret from his team and superiors so that they would let him keep doing his job. Another TV show that I have watched recently is Marvel Agents of SHIELD. In this show, there are a ton of secrets. The lead agent had been brought back from the dead but his “cure” was kept a secret from him. Then one of his subordinates was tasked with keeping an eye on him and reporting any inconsistent and erratic behavior but that was kept a secret from him and she was secretly reporting to his boss. Then another agent was a secret double agent, who was actually part of an evil organization out to take over the world. Plus another agent had an ulterior motive about why she joined the team and she had a secret she was keeping from everyone. So yeah, Marvel, full of secrets. 🙂

  • Jane says:

    Congrats on the new release, Christie. I do enjoy all those superhero secret identities in comics and movies like Batman(Bruce Wayne) and Catwoman(Selina Kyle.)

  • Amy Conley says:

    Well first thing to come to mind is OUTLANDER. With the series on tv, it is a perfect choice. Here is Claire, a woman from the 20th century sent back to the 18th century, and Jamie hiding his identity since there is a price on his head. But there are lots of other secrets with many other characters also.

    • Amy, I’ve been hearing good things about that series. What do you think about it overall?

      • Amy Conley says:

        The series is awesome! They have the absolute perfect Jamie in Sam Haugin (I don’t think I spelled his last name correctly).The chick playing Claire is doing a good job, but I saw an interview with her someplace, and she turned me off so much I’m having a problem with her.
        The story is following the book pretty closely. Next Saturday js Jamie and Claire’s wedding, can’t wait. And of course the scenery is spectacular. Well worth the $10 maybe less, it costs to have STARZ.

  • flchen1 says:

    Keeping secrets is such an interesting theme in stories–some of the most memorable involve secret babies, although I have to admit that I tend to avoid that plot because it’s often such a hurtful/damaging secret to be keeping! The fun ones are say where one of the characters is filthy rich but hides that because s/he doesn’t want to be loved for his or her finances 😉 One of the subplots in Robyn Carr’s Summer in Sonoma includes that theme, and I loved that whole book 🙂

  • Helen says:

    Hi Christie

    Firstly let me say I have read this one and the series and really enjoyed them all they are great stories and Tia was so good with Braden and Jonathon loved that they kept their secrets so well.
    I ham sure I have read lots of books where secrets are kept but for the life of me I can’t remember the names of them but I too have been watching Outlander and that is a big secret Claire is keeping 🙂

    Congrats on the release

    Have Fun

    • Thanks, Helen! I’m so glad you enjoyed the series!

    • Hi, Helen–

      I’m guessing you’re a serious Outlander fan, then?

      • Helen says:

        Hi Nancy

        Well I haven’t read the books but decided to give the TV show a go and I am enjoying it 🙂

        Have Fun

        • Amy Conley says:

          Helen, you need to read the books! I tell people who haven’t read the entire series, you really don’t need to because Diand doez a great jib if filling In without making you feel like you reading one of the books again. Read OUTLANDER, DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, DRUMS OF AUTUMN, A. BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, and because there is a major cliff-hanger in ABOSAA, you have to read WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD.

        • That might be a way for me to get into it, Helen. I’m sure the series will be out on video at some point.

  • Shannon says:

    I have enjoyed this series, and I look forward to the latest!

    I cannot remember the author or the title, but the book’s big secret is the father wants to kill the son. But the hero is hiding from the heroine just how awful his father is. At one point, he reveals that his father presented him with puppies, and told him to pick one. He’s so excited that he finally will have a pet. The father then gave the hero the awful choice of drowning the puppy he’d chosen or his father would kill all the puppies and their mothers. I think I can not imagine revealing what he did when face with such a choice.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Just read a contemporary by Naima Simone called Gabriel. There are four close friends, Gabe, Rafe, Malachim and Choyot, who have a huge secret to keep. Each one, in his own way, has been deeply affected by it. There’s murder and mayhem that takes place as they meet their true loves and have to fight for their HEA. Didn’t want to put the book down. I love a good secret, makes the reading so much more interesting. Like in Donna MacMeans’ Bound by Moonlight where the heroine becomes invisible in the moonlight. There’s an interesting twist for you! Loved that book too. I’m sure I could think of lots more like the heroine hiding from an abusive ex or someone having witnessed a murder but is afraid to tell anyone, maybe because the murderer was a cop. At any rate, would love to read your book as well. Sounds wonderful.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Christie, it’s so great to have you here with us again! Much empathy on the crazy job, too. Mine has been far too demanding of my time this year, with no end in sight. Pffft on that!

    I love the premise of this book and can’t wait to read it. Secrets make for such great story fodder! My newest book, Tiara Wars is all about the uncovering of a family secret. Such fun to deal with the fallout! Of course, only a writer would think tormenting people is fun. LOL

    I have to say, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander sprang to mind, not only because of the secrets but also because Claire, like Tia, is a healer. I am re-reading the books right now, prompted by the TV series.

    I think they’re doing a good job so far, although they are doing a bit too much time-mashing for me, taking bits from later books and slapping them in the first episodes for no good reason. Still, it’s more or less the same story (unlike Game of Thrones, which is barely recognizable as the same story these days). We’ll see how it goes!

    I hope things calm down with the DDJ and you can carve out time to write. We need more Christie Kelley books!

    • Caren, I’m glad you’re enjoying Outlander on TV since you love the books os much. I’ve noticed that the release of a film or TV tie-in seems to ramp up book sales.

    • Thanks, Caren. I miss this group so much. I do hope the DDJ settles down soon. I’m down your way today in Wadesboro, NC for work. Looking forward to getting back to the lovely fall weather Baltimore is having.

  • Laurie G says:

    THE PRINCE & THE PAUPER- Mark Twain Twins switch places

    HOW TO TREAT A LADY-Karen Hawkins
    Make believe fake fiance

    A PERFECT HERO Samantha James Hero is a spy , secret identity, Magpie

    Judith Michael-DECEPTIONS twin sisters trade places

    Samantha James The heroine runs a book store and writes thrillers under a male pen name
    Book name?

    Old shows- Dark Angel genetic mutants and Alias spies

  • sandyg265 says:

    My favorite is Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands. The hero is a vampire and of course he’s trying to keep the woman he’s traveling with from finding out.

  • Hey Christie! Huge hand wave!

    So good to hear from you and especially to learn of a new Christie Kelley book! Woohoo! Let us have no secret about that.

    I think every book or show has a secret somewhere in the plot – else there would be no drama. 🙂 Ha! Here’s a secret for you – Did you know that the Outlander series is not being shown in Scotland? I imagine it’s because of the upcoming election to determine Scotland’s independence from the United Kingdom. Not the best time to air a program that highlights past injustices. LOL.

    Best of luck with the new release, Christie.

  • LilMissMolly says:

    I really enjoyed Alias when it was on TV. It was nothing but secrets!

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Just popping into the Lair briefly to squeal – Yay! Great to see you Christie! V envious of Nancy. We missed you at conference.

    So good to see another of your books out too!

    My favourite show with a secret right now is Blacklist. I love the James Spader character – such a complex creation!

  • Minna says:

    Favourite books, movies or TV shows about people keeping personal secrets? Well, Miranda’s Viking by Maggie Shayne comes to mind. The heroine has a painful past she doesn’t want to reveal and both hero and heroine need to keep the hero’s big secret: he’s a 900 years old Viking. Films… I guess this came to mind, since I’m watching Robin Williams’s stand up comedy on Youtube: Birdcage.
    TV show: Murdoch Mysteries!

  • Cassondra says:

    Hello Christie! So great to see you back here in the Lair!

    I loved Enticing The Earl and have been waiting for this book. Love the thread of the healing women who run through this series.

    Seems like everybody has some kind of skeletons in the closet–or secrets they’re embarrassed about. Hard to find a book without them I think. Though I have to say, in Mia’s story, you did a much better job with the secrets than most I’ve read. Can’t wait to read this one!

    Love it that you and Nancy met at the airport. Doesn’t that prove it’s a small world now? And air travel –and of course the internet–have made it that way, more than anything else I think.

    • Thanks, Cassondra! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the series. Funny thing about Nancy and I meeting at the airport is we were supposed to in the aisle seats across from each other. She kindly gave up her seat so a dad and child could sit next to each other. Very small world.

    • Cassondra, I’m looking forward to this book, too. It was so great to meet up in the airport. As our flight got pushed back further and further, it gave us a great chance to chat.

  • bn100 says:

    James Bond

  • Christie, so good to see you here back in the Lair! I’m glad you and Nancy were able to catch up. And congrats on the new book.

    Hmm, secrets — probably because I just watched a trailer for the second season, I’m thinking about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. There were lots of big secrets kept and then revealed last season.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Seems as though a lot of people are listing some heavy hitters for tv shows with secrets, but many comedies have secrets too. Just watch I LOVE LUCY, shd was always trying to hide something frlm Ricky.

  • Kim says:

    Once Upon a Time will return in 2 weeks and Mr. Gold is keeping a huge secret from Belle. Also, the old TV series Remington Steele had a big secret: there was no Remington Steele. Laura Holt made him up.

  • Cathy P says:

    Hi Christie! I know there are lots of secrets out there, but the only one I can think of is a Mel Gibson-Goldie Hawn movie where he is relocated and tries to keep it a secret from her.