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Shop Like a Duchess – Guest Post by Carly Carson, author of Duke of Devonwood

Side entrance to Fortnum & Mason, photo by Carly Carson London is one of the world’s great cities, with something for everyone. Do you like to shop? Do you like all things British? Since my story in the Summer Lovin’ Anthology takes place in England (modern day, not historical) I wanted to share a few unique British shopping experiences.

The picture above is the side entrance of  Fortnum & Mason, a well-known store with exquisite windows and food displays.

Wedding Cake, photo by Carly Carson
This is one of their wedding cakes. Divine! Just the kind of cake a duke’s bride might order.

Fortnum & Mason Window Display, photo by Carly Carson
It’s hard to take a picture of a window display, but this gives you an idea of the intricate detail in all of their displays. You can order your picnic baskets from Fortnum’s, just like the nobility do. The royal family also does business with this store.

Next up: Harrods, the most amazing department store. Their food markets are awesome in a different way. Escalator at Harrod's-Egyptian wing, photo by Carly Carson Take a look at the Egyptian escalator. You won’t find this in Macy’s.

The decorations in the foodhall are exquisite. Harrod's Foodhall-birds, photo by Carly Carson

And this is Harrods’ version of a pizzeria. The chefs actually sing opera while they work.
Harrod's pizza, photo by Carly Carson

Here’s my favorite shop in Harrods. Harrod's pet store, photo by Carly Carson

A different type of shopping experience awaits you at the Borough Market, a recently revitalized food showroom where farmers hawk their homemade wares at individual stalls. This is where you buy local. Each vendor has only one type of food, but there is tremendous variety of that one type.

Olives. Olives, photo by Carly Carson

Bread. Bread store, photo by Carly Carson

You walk around, shop for food to bring home or just sit at the tables and eat. It’s so much fun.

Who likes England? What’s your favorite location in England, or your favorite thing about the country?

I’ll give away one ecopy of my story in the antho, which is called Duke of Devonwood to one lucky commenter.

Summer Lovin' Anthology
Summer Lovin’ Anthology

Blurb: Summer is heating up with 14 traditional romances from USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors, brought to you by Book Boyfriends Cafe. Foreword by USA Today bestselling author, Leanne Banks. These novels and novellas are all summer romances. The following authors are included: Mel Curtis, Raine English, Donna Fasano, Patti Forsythe, Mona Risk, Ari Thatcher, Carly Carson, Rachelle Ayala, Kelly Collins, Suz deMello, Keta Diablo, Cheryl Harper, Lyssa Layne, Susan Ann Wall.

Duke of Devonwood, a contemporary romance by Carly CarsonExcerpt – This is from my novel in the antho, the Duke of Devonwood, a contemporary romance about the British nobility. Sparks fly as Miranda plots to gain control of her inheritance from a modern day Duke who tries his best to resist her wiles. Can both of them win?

“Our lawyer explained that you were the person who could petition the court for these requests,” Miranda said.

“I suppose I could.” Mr. Yummy, the Duke of Devonwood, leaned back in his chair. “But why would I?”

“Why wouldn’t you? It’s not your money.” Miranda placed her laptop on his desk. “I’ve drawn up a plan to show you that we can cut back on our living expenses in the future if we get the advance we need now.”

“You know,” he said, “most people prefer to spend today and save tomorrow. Such a plan cannot recommend itself to me.”

She pressed her lips together to force herself to think before blurting out a rude retort. How would he know anything about saving money?

“I understand,” she said carefully, “that you might find our need for money to be frivolous, but it’s important to us.”

“What is this important need? I seemed to have missed that.”

“I told you right from the beginning when I first contacted you.”

“Yes, well, it’s possible I missed it. There were rather a lot of emails from you.”

“Did you read any of them?”

“A few,” he admitted. “Once I knew that all you wanted was money,” he added, “I had to curtail the exercise.”

She stiffened in outrage. “We are an exercise to you?”

He sighed. “We’re straying from the point here. Why do you need this money?”

“Sharmie, my step-mother, is getting married.”

“So soon?” He shifted his gaze to Sharmie and lifted his dark brows.

Miranda sprang to her feet and leaned over the desk. “Don’t you dare criticize her! My father had Alzheimer’s for six long years, during which time Sharmie stood by him, took care of his every need, and raised his two children. Have you ever done the like?”

“As I am unmarried, and unlikely to bear children, the issue is moot.”

“Don’t pretend to misunderstand me. Whom do you care for? An expensive mistress? A pack of bloodhounds? A princely inheritance bequeathed to you as an accident of birth?”

His brows rose higher. This time, she thought his mouth was curling up in amusement.

“A tigress,” he said. “Reversing the natural order.”

“Do not make a step-mother joke,” she warned. “Sharmie and I are—are—” What were they? She wanted to say as close as sisters.

She glanced over. Maybe Sharmie didn’t feel the same way. Yes, they spent a lot of time together. They got along well. But maybe—Miranda tried to banish the thought. It was too frightening. Maybe, now that her father, the man who’d brought them together and turned them into relatives was dead, maybe Sharmie would move on. She could take the twins and disappear from Miranda’s life.

Miranda couldn’t bear the thought. And it would be all this man’s fault for refusing to give her the money that would glue them all together. Cement them as a family.

Miranda pressed a hand to her thumping heart. She couldn’t let it happen. If she did, she’d be all alone in the world. Unthinkable.

“Sharmie and I,” she said fiercely, “are family.” She hoped he didn’t notice the quiver of her lip.

His gaze was uncomfortably acute, though. “No step-mother jokes,” he said. “I apologize.”

Drat the man. Why did he have to keep her so off-balance?

“Thank you,” she muttered. “The point is that we need the money for her wedding.”

The chair he’d been leaning back on crashed to the floor. One of the dogs yipped.

“A wedding?” He stared at Miranda.

She’d finally managed to shake him out of his calm.

“Yes,” she answered. “A wedding is required in order to get married.”

“Perhaps some kind of ceremony is required, although I believe a justice of the peace could handle the matter for a negligible sum. But you can’t seriously be considering spending one hundred thousand dollars on a wedding.”

“Not only am I considering it, I intend to do so.”

“Not with any funds under my control.”

Miranda stared at her adversary. His chiseled mouth had a stubborn set to it, as did his strong chin.

“Fine then,” she snapped. “Plan B.”

“How many plans are there?” he asked. His eyes had a certain wariness in them now.

“As many as it takes.”

He raised a hand. “I think Plan A was enough for me for today.”

“No, please listen.” She leaned forward. “You don’t want to have to bother with us and we don’t want to have to keep pestering you.”

“Finally,” he muttered, “we’re in agreement.”

Buy Summer Lovin’ Anthology at:

Kindle US | Kindle UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Bio: Carly Carson is a contemporary romance author with a collection of unusual awards, including: Romance Junkies Debut Author Award, Red Sage Publishing Readers contest winner, and eFestival of Words nominee for Best Romance. Carly will probably never marry into the British nobility, as she is already happily married to Traveling Man. But there’s nothing wrong with a little fantasy in one’s life, right? She has three children, who provide a daily dose of reality, even though they are almost perfect (just ask them!).  Carly loves traveling, outdoor sports, reading, and visiting with friends and her large extended family.

You can find Carly at:

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