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!
The blurb because you like them.
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.
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!