Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘excerpts’ Category

Happy Sunday!!

Let’s begin with this past week’s winner.

Eileen Dandashi won a copy of Madeline’s Christmas Wish!Madeline's Christmas Wish_ebook

And Julia Tagen won Liza’s The Troublesome Apprentice!!

XnV Troubled Apprentice 400 x 640

Congratulations ladies!!

For the better part of the week, I was buried in the writing cave finishing the first draft of book #7 in The Marriage Game, Lady Beresford’s Lover. That is done, but there is still a great deal of editing to do.

I’ll give you a short excerpt to read:

End of August 1817 Beresford Abby, England

Vivian, the widowed Countess of Beresford, sat at her desk in the morning room of the dower house in which she’d been living for the past year, plotting her escape. A beam of bright afternoon sunshine shot along the gold and blue Turkey carpet, interrupted only by supine form of her gray cat, Gisila.

In truth, plotting was probably too strong a word, though Vivian liked how it sounded, and she did feel as if she was escaping; not only the dower house, but Beresford Abby itself. In less than one week, her period of mourning would end. Her hand clenched as if she could strike her dead husband and everyone else in this hellish place. Soon she would leave and vowed never to return.

 

As soon as I was ready to leave the apartment, our car broke down, so we are walking to a small country market about a half a mile away. Late yesterday afternoon, Hubby and I took a shopping bag and set out to buy dinner and wine. He had been pooh-poohing the idea of a folding wagon for the boat to do things like haul groceries back from stores we had to walk to. After carrying the bag back, he is much more amenable to the idea.

Without the car, I was unable to get more boxes to pack, so that has stalled for the next day or so.

I did have a lovely luncheon with my friend and fellow historical author, Jenna Jaxon. She drove.

The weather here has been really strange, and I find myself missing my island,

Magen's Aug 14

and counting down the days until we move up to Annapolis.

Annapolis

I’d love to hear how your week went!

Ella

Read Full Post »

Please welcome Liza O’Connor back to the blog! Today she’s talking about automobiles and her latest book, The Missing Partner,  not on pre-order.

Because we like book giveaways, she will give a copy of The Troublesome Apprentice to someone who tells her you want the book!

Liza Investigates

Why it took years for England to get its first car.

In 1895, the Honorable Evelyn Ellis purchased and brought the first automobile in England. It was a Panhard-Levassor from France.

URL: http://datchethistory.org.uk/Link%20Articles/Ellis/ellis.JPG

The Panhard-Levassor had been available for sale since 1890 in France. Thus, in my story, I have my character, Mr. Robinson buy the car in 1894 upon hearing the Hon. Ellis planned to buy one.

The reason why wealthy Englishmen weren’t importing cars as their latest amusement since 1890 was because the 1865 Locomotive Act stated that self-propelled vehicles could not travel faster than 4 mph. (Egads! A horse can canter at 12-17 miles. This restriction would be like trading in a horse for a pregnant cow.)

Originally a man with a red flag had to walk before the vehicle, but that was revoked by the time Ellis bought his auto. But the speed restriction continued to thwart the auto industry in England.

Weary of waiting for Parliament to act, Ellis boldly engaged the French company to build a car to his specifications (steering device on the left, Daimler engine), which was brought by boat to England and train to Hampshire. Then the Honorable Evelyn Ellis drove his new toy home, sometimes at 5 times the legal speed limit. No officer of the law stopped him on the well promoted journey.

Mr. Fredrick Simms was Mr. Ellis’s companion on this maiden passage and he wrote a journal which was published for all to read. Here is a bit of what the fellow had to say:

We were not without anxiety as to how the horses we might meet would behave towards their new rivals, but they took it very well and out of 133 horses we passed only two little ponies did not seem to appreciate the innovation.

On our way we passed a great many (horse drawn) vehicles of all kinds as well as cyclists. It was a very pleasing sensation to go along the delightful roads towards Virginia Water at speeds varying from three to twenty miles per hour, and our iron horse behaved splendidly. There we took our luncheon and fed our engine with a little oil.

 

The trip was completed in 5 hours and 32 minutes (not including stops) at an avg. speed of 9.84 mph.

Ellis loved to give his friends rides in his car, and one passenger was Edward, the Prince of Wales, later to be King Edward the VII. Ellis’ speed terrified the poor fellow. (He was about 54 yrs old when he took this ride. While I can find no evidence that he rode with Ellis again, he did ride with other drivers and became a strong supporter of the automobile industry.)

To stop the honorable Ellis and many other high gentry from constantly breaking the law, Parliament attempted to fix the problem in the Locomotive Act in 1895, but sadly the standing Parliament fell and the bill was delayed until November of 1896, when a new Parliament allowed automobiles to drive 8 to 16 mph (local authority’s discretion).

So why did my character not get credit for having the first car in England?

Because the man turned out to be a white slaver and was sent to prison. His car was sold to reimburse the poor servants he’d abused. He didn’t deserve historical mention. Also, he’s fictional and history mostly ignores those type of people.

Here is a rare color photo of the actual car that Ellis drove.

http://datchethistory.org.uk/Link%20Articles/Ellis/br%20run.JPG

Did I time-travel to take this pic? No. It’s a staged shot with modern people dressed up as Victorians. But the car is actually the one Ellis drove. The lady is a descendant of Ellis’ and the gentleman is the Director of the Science Museum….hmmm, perhaps there was some time traveling involved.

I’ll investigate at a later date why, if the first car had the steering wheel on the left, how Britain ended up being a right sided driving country.

xnv The Missing partner Xavierfinal3400x640

 

The Adventures of

Xavier & Vic

Book 2

The Missing Partner

By Liza O’Connor

Cases to be Resolved:

The ‘New Woman’ Who Lost Her Old Mind

The Lost Servant of Dante’s Hell

The Disappearance of a Very Important Man

The Abduction of Sneaky Snake by a Grand Elephant

The Cat Who Wore Too Much

 

blurb

 

Vic Hamilton takes the reins of the investigation office, while Xavier Thorn disappears on an assignment for the British government. Her caseload is entirely ‘lost and recovery’ cases. In the midst of solving all her client’s problems, she learns that the government has lost Xavier. With the help of the gypsy pirate Jacko, and her driver Davy, Vic rushes against time to rescue everyone.

Most alarming, she befriends and hires a dangerous criminal as an employee of Xavier Thorn’s Private Inquiries—without Xavier’s permission.

An Excerpt

Despite Mr. Robinson’s instructions to his butler to assist Victor, she sensed Jonston did not relish his assignment. He sat stiff and rigid on the edge of the chair with an expression of stoic suffering.

Victor studied him, wondering how to penetrate his armored shield. She decided to sneak in, using the unreasonable employer card. “How many people work here?”

“Thirty-two in total. Eleven in the gardens, nineteen in the house and two in the auto shed.”

“The what?”

Jonston sniffed as if a foul odor assailed him. “Mr. Robinson has purchased an automobile.”

“Really?”

“Ever since he’d heard the Honorable Evelyn Ellis intended to acquire a Panhard-Levassour, Master Robinson wanted to buy one, as well. A month ago, he purchased the contraption and hired two men to keep it running.”

“Where does he drive it?”

“Wherever there are horses to frighten,” Jonston replied in aggravation. “It’s an ugly thing. A little dogcart with giant wheels. Makes a ghastly noise.”

 

lINKS

Book 1

The Troublesome Apprentice

Amazon

Don’t forget

Book 1 is free 9/15-9/21

Want a free copy of The Troublesome Apprentice?

Leave me a humorous comment with your email address below.

  

Book 2

The Missing Partner

Amazon

Available for Pre-order

 

 

About the author

 

First, I got tired of telling my proper blog. Now, I’m tired of telling my improper bio. So what’s left?

Liza O’Connor was born, raised badly, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast…and employment, there were no jobs in the Mid-west. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved normally. All those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. And given her past, they will likely traumatize you.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)

Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)

Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.

Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.

Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.

Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.

The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.

 

Social Networking

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR, XAVIER & VIC:

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

Read Full Post »

This is Loreen’s first time on the blog so please give her a warm welcome!! Loreen is going give us a peek at her release, Lost Honor!! She’ll also be giving away a copy to one of you who tells her she wants the book!

 

As always, let’s start with the cover.

LostHonor_w7482_300
Now for the blurb:
 
Captain Morgan Danvers sets sail to rescue his brother, kidnapped by pirates. Fearing he will become like his father who abandoned him, he has cut himself off from his emotions. Then a willful stowaway crashes into his life, awakening dormant feelings and firing his lust. Soon he finds his all-important honor threatened, for even though he is betrothed to another, he is drawn to her against his will.Arianna Pemberton hides in a barrel she thinks will be loaded on her brother’s ship but lands on Morgan’s brig. Her father has forbidden her to sail, and this is her only course of action. Unwilling to allow a man to control her, she is determined to make her way as a seaman, a profession she knows and loves. But when Captain Danvers discovers her deception, he refuses to permit her to prove herself. As she struggles to convince him, unwanted passion emerges, jeopardizing her plans for independence.

And an excerpt.
Throwing open the door to his cabin, he pushed her inside, entered, and slammed it shut. He remembered doing this once already today. He hoped this time would be the last.
Morgan folded his arms across his chest and leaned against the door.
 
She stood defiantly before him as her perfect, seductive chest rose and fell in a swift rhythm. From the quick trip down here, fear, or anger, he couldn’t tell. She acted the opposite of every female he had ever encountered.
 
“Now, let’s get a few things straight. I run this ship. I am the captain. I am king on the Sea Dragon. You obey my rules. And the first one is, you go where I tell you and stay there until I command otherwise.” A paper from the top of his desk floated to the floor, reminding him of her other infraction and possible spying. “And you never, ever, touch my belongings.” He swung his arm in a wide arc. “This is not how I left my cabin. Return it to its previous condition.”
 
“But—”
 
“Quiet!” he roared. “I am not finished. You will remove those clothes and dress as a female should.” He stalked toward her.
 
She instinctively stepped back.
 
He snatched the cap off her head, and sunshine spilled out. Ensnared by her golden beauty, he stilled and pictured her hair unbound, enveloping her curves, enveloping him. He shook himself. Her allure would not save her. He was immune to feminine charms. Morgan shoved the wool cap at her, and she caught it in her hands. “Women do not wear these.”
 
“Are you finished?” She stood straight and tall. All five feet of her.
 
He nodded.
 
“I’m sorry I made a mess of your cabin, but you left me no choice. I needed to find a way out.”
 
“Why? I explicitly stated you were to remain. I even locked you in.” His gaze searched the cabin. “How did you escape?”
 
“I used the key.”
 
“How did you get it?” A sudden thought struck. “From Mark? Is he the one who let you out?” Morgan spun toward the door to summon the boy. She grabbed his arm to stop him, and a shocking sizzle shot through him.
 
An indrawn breath escaped her. She immediately released him and clasped her hands together in front of her, the knuckles white, her arms tense. “He had nothing to do with me leaving the cabin. It was all my idea.” The words tumbled from her mouth.
 
Morgan strove to ignore the tingling sensation running up and down his arm and to summon back the anger that had seeped from him. He held out his hand palm up. “Give me the key.”
 
She brushed blonde wisps of hair from her face. “I don’t have it.”
 
“Where is it?”
 
She hesitated. “At the bottom of the ocean.”
 
Lost Honor is available in e-book and paperback from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble online. Buy links can be found on my website www.loreenaugeri.com
 
 
 
About Loreen:
 
Loreen3 pictureLoreen Augeri has always liked to read and write. As a young child, she created stories featuring a young girl and her loyal horse. Riding was her favorite pastime.
 
She started reading historical romances when her children were babies. When her youngest daughter started school, she decided she wanted to write a novel. At first, to see if she could, later as a hobby, and then seeking publication. Joining Romance Writers of America and her local chapter helped in the process.

Loreen lives in Massachusetts with her husband of 33 years and her two adult daughters. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys walking, dancing, and spending time at the beach.

Read Full Post »

Please welcome Jenna Jaxon back to the blog!! Today she has her medieval romance, Time Enough to Love. She’ll be giving away a signed print copy to one of you!!  Just tell her you want it!

Look at this lovely cover!

TETL front

Now the blurb.

When Lady Alyse de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best friend.

From the first, Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them, Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in love with her himself.

As the three courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?

And an excerpt.

“Lady Alyse de Courcy!” King Edward called out again, bringing Alyse’s head up like a startled deer. “Present yourself before the court.”

Alyse shot off her seat. Oh, Lord! She had kept King Edward waiting.

“I beg pardon, sire.” She hurried from behind the table, too aware of all the eyes now on her. As she moved to stand before the king, the low drone of many voices rose around the room.

“Impudent girl.”

“I’d not want to be in her place.”

“Do you think the king will…”

Each snatch of conversation made her heart beat faster.

What will he do to me?

Her normal embarrassment at being the center of attention tripled at the thought of this blatant lapse of protocol. She stopped several feet from the dais and the room hushed as though everyone held their breath.

“What do you require of me, Majesty?” Her mouth so dry she could taste sand, Alyse fought to speak in a normal tone. With a sigh of relief, she dropped into a deep curtsy, hiding her face in the folds of her skirt. If only she could remain bowed thus before His Majesty for the remainder of the evening.

King Edward laughed. “Obedience, Lady Alyse, as I require of all my subjects. As your father requires of his daughter.”

Her heart thumped wildly in her breast. That could mean but one thing.

“Rise, my lady.”

She did so on unsteady feet. “I am ready, as always, Your Majesty, to obey my father as I would you.”

Holy Mary, let it be Lord Braeton.

King Edward lifted an eyebrow toward Alyse. “A very pretty answer, my lady. And are you ready to accept your father’s decree for your betrothal? His messenger has today reached me with the contract, as I am to stand in his stead in this matter.”

Alyse took a deep breath and hoped her voice did not tremble. “Yea, Majesty, I will obey my father.”

King Edward nodded and leaned over to whisper something to Queen Phillipa, who sat beside him, heavy with their twelfth child.

Mere seconds before she learned her fate. She could scarce affect an indifferent pose before the court when inside every inch of her quivered with anticipation of the name. His name, pray God, on the king’s lips.

  1. Thomas.

In her mind, she heard the word.

The king straightened, glanced at her then at the man by her side.

“What say you then, Sir Geoffrey? Does the lady not speak fair? I vow she will make you a proper wife and a dutiful one as well.”

Alyse turned, until that moment unaware that Geoffrey Longford stood beside her. Chills coursed down her body as the king’s words echoed in her mind. The sensation of falling backward assailed her, as though she rushed away from the tall man at her side even as his figure loomed larger and larger in her sight.

Not Lord Braeton.

Her numbed brain repeated the phrase, trying to comprehend that instead he would be her husband. Geoffrey Longford.

God have mercy on me, for by the look of him, this man will not.

Buy Links: Amazon

About Jenna.

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance.  She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as a member of Chesapeake Romance Writers. Her debut novel, Only Scandal Will Do, is the first in her House of Pleasure series, set in Georgian London.  Her medieval novel, Time Enough to Love, is a Romeo & Juliet-esque tale, set at the time of the Black Death.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Last week we did heroes. Today we’ll show off our heroines. Please post the first page of your heroine’s POV from your latest release, a next release, or your WIP!!

Here is mine from Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret.

Enticing Miss Eugenie VillaretJuly 1816, St. Thomas, Danish West Indies

Miss Eugénie Villaret de Joyeuse followed Gunna, an old black slave, down a narrow back street lined with long houses in Crown Prince’s Quarter. Her maid, Marisole, stood watch as Eugénie and the woman entered the building.

“He be here, miss.”

A baby, not older than one year, sat in the corner of the room playing with a rag doll. His only clothing was a clout, which, by the strong scent of urine, needed to be changed.

She and Gunna and the boy were the only occupants of the cramped, dark room. She crouched down next to the child. “What happened to his mother?”

“Sold.”

Naturally; why did she even bother to ask? It was cruel to separate a mother and child, but there was no law against it here.

“When?”

“A few days ago.” Gunna glanced at the child. “He be gone to a plantation soon.”

Even worse. He’d likely die before he was grown. Eugénie placed the small bag she carried on the floor. “Help me change him. He can’t go outside like this.”

A few minutes later the baby’s face and hands were clean, his linen was changed, and he wore a fresh gown.

She handed the woman two gold coins. “Thank you for calling me.” Gunna tried to give the money back, but Eugénie shook her head. “Use it to help someone else. Our fight is not finished until everyone is free.”

One tear made its way down the woman’s withered cheek. “You go now, before the wrong person sees you.”

Eugénie pulled a thin blanket around the babe’s head, thankful her wide-brimmed hat would help hide his face as well as hers, and stepped out into the bright sunshine.

“That’s her!” a male voice shouted.

She shoved the babe at Marisole. “Take him and run! I’ll catch up.”

Amazon US ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Amazon CA ~ Amazon DE ~ Amazon FR ~ Amazon UK

Now it’s your turn!! I can’t wait to read them!

 

Read Full Post »

Happy Sunday to you!! Let’s start with winners! This is the first time all the books won are signed print copies!!

Drum roll please!! Congratulations to:

Enticing Miss Eugenie VillaretEli Yanti who won a copy of Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret.

 

 

 

 

Merri Williams who won a copy of Grace Burrowes’s laird_4501Laird.

 

 

 

 

 

Murder In Retribution coverKi Pha who won a copy of Anne Cleeland’s Murder in Retribution.

 

 

 

 

 

This week has been crazy. I’m still neck deep in moving plans and, for the first time, under a real deadline for a book I haven’t finished. Maddie, my husband’s new kitty, has decided pouncing on Raphaella, my older cat, is a fun thing to do. Raphaella begs to differ. Raphaella not happy

Maddie also likes shopping bags. As you can see, we only use non-plastic.Maddie bag good

She is having to learn office etiquette, such as no paws on the computer, or the iPhone. One of her major fascinations is the printer. We have a new one that opens and closes itself, better for a boat environment. Every time it turns on, she rushes over to see what’s going to happen next.

Maddie printer

Next weekend we’ll be in southern Illinois at my mother-in-law’s house. Our son and granddaughter are meeting us there. It will be the first time we’ve all been together since he got back from Afghanistan.  What are your plans for Labor Day?

Have a great week!

Ella

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

I’m so happy Grace Burrowes is back with us again. She is not only a fabulous author, but a wonderful friend and mentor as well. She has graciously offered to give away a copy of her latest release to one of you who take the time to tell her you want it. Now, without further to do, here is the cover!!

Tell me you wouldn’t buy the book on the cover alone!

laird_4501

 

The blurb because you like them.

After years at war, Michael Brodie, Baron Strathdee, comes home to his Scottish estate to find his clan expects him to set aside Brenna, the arranged bride he left behind nearly a decade ago. To make matters worse, Michael’s Uncle Angus, whom Michael relied on to manage estate matters, is also impatient with Brenna’s independence and contrariness, though the clansmen and tenants loathe Angus, too.
 
Michael will not abandon a wife who has loyally—if angrily—waited for his return, but he soon realizes the resentments stirring among his family have deep, shameful roots, and the war he left behind was paltry compared to the battle he must fight to win his wife’s heart, and keep her in her rightful place at his side.

After all, why else to you buy a book, other than for the cover.

Michael and Brenna finally have the time, privacy and most of the trust necessary to consummate the marriage vows they took nearly a decade earlier. For Michael, the stakes for this campaign eclipse those of any he’s fought before… 

 

“Shall you undress me, Wife?” Michael asked.

Brenna set her footwear tidily beside the bed and scooted back against the pillows.

“I think not. A grown man can undress himself if he’s properly motivated.”

Michael considered her suggestion as he arranged his boots beside hers. Brenna wasn’t being entirely shy, though she was being entirely Brenna.

Making him work for his pleasures, which he was more than happy to do.

“Watch, then, and plan our afternoon while you do,” he said, unbuttoning his waistcoat. The better to entertain his wife—and the better to stop himself from falling upon her like a beast—he moved away from the bed, making a proscenium of the hearth rug.

The waistcoat he tossed in the direction of the privacy screen.

“Michael Brodie, for shame.”

Brenna wasn’t teasing, though she was watching, so Michael hung the blasted waistcoat on the back of the rocker and got busy with his neck cloth. The knot had become Gordian at some point in the day’s rambles, but he managed to wrench it open without strangling himself.

When he would have whipped the damned thing out the window, Brenna arched one fine, eloquent eyebrow.

That eyebrow promised that husbands who were cavalier with their clothing would suffer retribution at the hands of their wives. Michael folded his neckcloth and laid it tidily over the back of the rocker as well.

“Am I to be the only one sporting about unclad?” Michael asked as he took a seat on the hearth and started on his cuffs.

“The breeze is fresh. When you’re done dawdling, I’ll consider your question. One doesn’t want to suffer an avoidable chill.”

Because his head was bent toward his wrist, Michael permitted himself a smile.

“I am available to assist my wife,” he said, which was, at last, the blessed, blasted truth. He pulled his shirt over his head, draped it neatly over the waistcoat, then rose, clad only in his kilt.

Brenna remained on the bed, crossed-legged and barefoot, but otherwise fully clothed. She gave nothing of her mood away, not in her expression, not in her posture, not in her silence.

“Brenna, have you changed your mind?” Asking the question nigh killed Michael, but never, never, even by persuasion or innuendo would he prevail on his wife for favors she was reluctant to grant.

She regarded his chest, her brows knitting at a particularly bewildered angle, and that’s when insight struck: Brenna wanted to be in charge of this situation, but had no idea how to go on. She needed to be in charge, in fact, but had never traveled the path they would follow.

Whoever had betrayed her youthful trust, whoever had trespassed against her person, had left scars where a woman’s natural sense of her own urges and pleasures should lie.

Michael would deal with the rage such a conclusion provoked—later. For now, he had a wife to please. Wearing his kilt and what he hoped was a reassuring smile, he climbed onto the bed and took her hand.

“Brenna, I love you. I want very much to please you, and right now, I’m a bit nervous of my prospects.” More than a bit, though determined, nonetheless. “Can you meet me halfway?”

“Meet you halfway?”

“I am your willing slave in all that might transpire in this bed, but a slave needs instructions, hints, the occasional command. A husband needs them even more.” A husband needed them desperately, because so much that was wondrous, sweet, and nourishing to the soul might be lost if Michael misread his wife in the moments that followed.

Those delicate, lovely brows rose on the word husband.

“You are not my slave, Michael Brodie, and I will never be yours. Not your slave, your plaything, your wee pleasure, your little secret—”

She closed her eyes, as if willing herself to put aside the ire gathering in her words.

“I am your husband,” Michael said, kissing her knuckles. “I would like to become your lover, and I would adore having you for mine.” He would like to be so much more to her, too—her friend, champion, partner, confidant, most loyal opposition, lady’s maid, companion, and favorite pest, for starters.

Brenna took the hem of his kilt between her fingers and thumb and rubbed the wool slowly back and forth. “I know nothing of being a lover.”

She spoke with regret and rubbed the wool the way a child grasps a favorite blanket for reassurance.

Perhaps Michael should have waited for the dark of night, not to spare Brenna’s sensibilities, but to spare himself the sight of her bewilderment. He spun a half-truth as delicate as the dust motes wafting about on the afternoon sunbeams.

“This part of being married is not complicated, Brenna Maureen. We touch, we kiss, we pleasure each other, and pleasure each other yet more. If God is generous, we conceive a child, the first of many, and then we sigh and hold each other and wonder at all the loveliness we’ve shared.”

And Michael would wonder, too, at all the years they’d missed. For as surely as desire hummed softly through his veins, so to, did regret. He’d made decisions any soldier would be proud of, and served in a difficult position loyally and well.

Those same decisions were something any husband—any lover—would regret for all his days and nights.

“So kiss me,” Brenna said. “We’ve kissed before, and I think I have the knack of that much.”

Her posture was wary, her eyes downcast, and yet she still stroked her fingers over the hem of Michael’s kilt. Michael kissed her palm, and without giving up her hand, stretched out on his back.

“Let the kissing begin,” he said. Let the loving begin, for Brenna did love him. She had to have some form of tender regard for him, or she would not take these steps with him.

He’d amused her, though, and that was good. “I’m to do the work?”

“A little guidance to your husband shouldn’t be too much to ask.” Brenna had been guiding the entire castle for years, navigating past financial difficulties, clan jealousies, Angus’s backward notions, and Highland winters. Appealing to her sense of responsibility earned Michael a considering look that turned into a shy grin.

Brenna swung a leg over his thighs and straddled him. “Fine, then. Here’s a place to start.”

You can find the link to all the buy links here.

About Grace:

graceburrowes-headshot-01

Grace Burrowes grew up in central Pennsylvania and is the sixth out of seven children. She discovered romance novels when in junior high (back when there was such a thing), and has been reading them voraciously ever since. Grace has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a Bachelor of Music in Music History, (both from The Pennsylvania State University); a Master’s Degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University; and a Juris Doctor from The National Law Center at The George Washington University.

Grace writes Georgian, Regency, Scottish Victorian and contemporary romances in both novella and novel lengths. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Novelist, Inc. and enjoys giving workshops and speaking at writer’s conferences. If you’d like Grace to speak or present at your conference, contact her here. Giving back to the industry is a large part of the fun of being published!

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,178 other followers

%d bloggers like this: