Read an excerpt from Lisa Kleypas' new novel 'Devil in Disguise'

GMA TEAM
·7 min read

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas spoke with "Good Morning America" about her book "Devil in Disguise" and "GMA" got an exclusive first look at the cover of the upcoming novel.

This novel is a Victorian-era romance that "Bridgerton" bingers won't be able to put down.

"If you like all the twists and turns and intrigue of 'Bridgerton', hopefully you'll like this," Kleypas said. "I think of the pleasures and the excitement and the interest that 'Bridgerton' offers is a good example of what you can find in a lot of romance novels like this one, 'Devil in Disguise.'"

Romance is Kleypas' favorite genre to write and she said in the wake of a difficult year, people can use a love story.

"Sometimes you just want a guaranteed happy ending, you want your positive feelings to be reaffirmed. You want to feel hope," Kleypas said. "This past year has been so challenging. It's so difficult for so many people that I think there are times when we all just want to turn off the bad news and just enjoy ourselves and find something that makes us feel great."

"Devil in Disguise" will be released in July. Kleypas said she anticipates it will be the perfect summer read.

"I think summer is a nice time to enjoy a sexy, happy, funny romance," Kleypas said. "The sense of summer leisure time is perfect for a romance novel."

By clicking on these shopping links, visitors will leave Goodmorningamerica.com. These eCommerce sites are operated under different terms and privacy policies than Goodmorningamerica.com. ABC will receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Get a sneak peek of the novel by reading this excerpt below.

Chapter OneLondon, 1880

"MacRae is as angry as a baited bear," Luke Marsden warned as he entered the office. "If you've never been around a Scotsman in a temper, you'd better brace yourself for the language."

Lady Merritt Sterling looked up from her desk with a wry grin. "I've spent nearly three years managing a shipping firm. After all the time I've spent around longshoremen, nothing could shock me now."

"Maybe not," Luke conceded. "But Scotsmen have a special gift for cursing. I had a friend at Cambridge who knew at least a dozen different words for testicles."

Merritt grinned. One of the things she enjoyed most about Luke, the youngest of her three brothers, was that he never shielded her from vulgarity or treated her like a delicate flower. That, among other reasons, was why she'd asked him to take over the management of her late husband's shipping company, once she'd taught him the ropes.

"Before you show Mr. MacRae in," she said, "you might tell me why he's angry.""To start with, the ship he chartered was supposed to deliver his cargo directly to our warehouse. But the dock authorities turned it away because all the berths were full. So it was just unloaded four miles inland, at Deptford Buoys."

"That's the usual procedure," Merritt said.

"Yes, but this isn't the usual cargo."

She frowned. "It's not the timber shipment?"

Luke shook his head. "Whisky. Twenty-five thousand gallons of extremely valuable single malt from Islay, still under bond. They've started the process of bringing it here in barges, but they say it will take three days for all of it to reach the warehouse."

Merritt's frown deepened. "Good Lord, all that bonded whisky can't sit at Deptford Buoys for three days!"

"To make matters worse," Luke continued, "there was an accident."

Her eyes widened. "What kind of accident?"

"A cask of whiskey slipped from the hoisting gear, broke on the roof of a transit shed, and poured all over MacRae. He's ready to murder someone—which is why I brought him up here to you."

Despite her concern, Merritt let out a snort of laughter. "Luke Marsden, are you planning to hide behind my skirts while I confront the big, mean Scotsman?"

"Absolutely," he said without hesitation. "You like them big and mean."

Her brows lifted. "What in heaven's name are you talking about?""You love soothing difficult people. You're the human equivalent of table syrup."

Amused, Merritt leaned her chin on her hand. "Show him in, then, and I'll start pouring."

It wasn't that she loved soothing difficult people. But she definitely liked to smooth things over when she could. As the oldest of six children, she'd always been the one to settle quarrels among her brothers and sisters, or come up with indoor games on rainy days. More than once, she'd orchestrated midnight raids on the kitchen pantry, group undertakings that had brought them all closer together.

She sorted through the neat stack of files on her desk and found the one labeled MacRae Distillery.

Not long before her husband Joshua had died, he'd struck a deal to provide warehousing for MacRae in England. He'd told her about his meeting with the Scotsman, who'd been visiting London for the first time.

"Oh, but you must ask him to dinner," Merritt had exclaimed, unable to bear the thought of a stranger traveling alone in an unfamiliar place.

"I did," Joshua had replied in his flat American accent. "He thanked me for the invitation but turned it down."

"Why?"

"MacRae is a bit rough-mannered, having been raised on a remote island off the west coast of Scotland. I suspect he finds the prospect of meeting the daughter of an earl somewhat overwhelming."

"He needn't worry about that," Merritt had protested. "You know my family is barely civilized!"

But Joshua had replied that her definition of "barely civilized" was different from a rural Scotsman's, and MacRae would be far more comfortable left to his own devices.

Merritt had never dreamed that when she and Keir MacRae finally met, Joshua would be gone, and she would be the one managing Sterling Enterprises.

Her brother came to the doorway. Before he could introduce MacRae, the Scotsman burst in like a force of nature, radiating energy and suppressed wrath.Merritt blinked in bemusement as the stranger came to a stop on the other side of the desk.

Keir MacRae was an extraordinary sight, more than six feet of muscle and brawn dressed in a thin wet shirt and trousers that clung as if they'd been glued to his skin. An irritable shiver from the chill of evaporating alcohol ran over him as he stood before her. "I want to speak to someone in charge," MacRae said brusquely.

"That would be me," Merritt said, coming around the desk to greet him. "Lady Merritt Sterling."

With a scowl, MacRae reached up to remove his flat cap, revealing a shaggy mop of hair, several months past a good cut. But the thick locks were a beautiful cool shade of amber, shot with streaks of light gold.

He was handsome despite his unkempt state. Very handsome. His eyes, the glinting blue of winter ice, were alert with the devil's own intelligence, the cheekbones high, the nose straight and strong. A tawny beard obscured the line of his jaw—perhaps concealing a weak chin?—she couldn't tell. Regardless . . . he was something.

Merritt wouldn't have thought there was a man alive who could fluster her like this. She was no unfledged girl—she was a confident and worldly woman. But she couldn't ignore the flush rising from the high buttoned neck of her dress. Or the way her heart had begun to pound like a clumsy burglar trampling the flower bed.

Wordlessly she extended her hand.

MacRae was slow to respond. His fingers closed over hers, his touch cool and slightly rough.

The sensation raised the hairs on the back of her neck, and she felt something uncoil pleasantly at the pit of her stomach.

Excerpt from DEVIL IN DISGUISE by Lisa Kleypas. Copyright © 2021 by Lisa Kleypas. Used with permission by Avon Romance, an imprint of HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

Read an excerpt from Lisa Kleypas' new novel 'Devil in Disguise' originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com