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Sunday News!

I’m sorry, but there will be no more Sunday News posts until I reach landfall in about a week.

Please welcome guest author Sheri Cobb-South back to the blog. Sheri will be giving away one copy of her latest book, Baroness in Buckskins! Which, I will tell you, has my attention! All you have to do is leave a comment telling her you want the book.

First we start with the cover!

Baroness in Buckskin postcard

 

Now the blurb.

Richard, Lord Ramsay, has been brought up from the cradle with a consciousness of his duty to his family and his name. His sense of responsibility has led him to install two elderly aunts in the Dower House; educate his cousin Peter Ramsay and employ him as a steward; and provide a home for poor relation Jane Hawthorne, who once served as his mother’s companion.

When a letter arrives from America informing him that the death of a relative has left eighteen-year-old Susannah Ramsay not only an orphan, but heiress to a Kentucky plantation as well, Lord Ramsay considers making an offer of marriage to his American cousin to be a practical solution: besides providing for the young woman, such a match would give the Ramsays extensive holdings on two continents.

Then Susannah arrives from America, and Richard suddenly finds his well-ordered life set end over end. With her wild red hair, unfashionable clothes, and frontier ways, Susannah appears to be an unlikely Lady Ramsay. Appalled at the prospect of marriage to the girl, yet determined to honor his commitment, Richard turns her over to Jane and Peter to educate her in the ways of British society. But her transformation into a lady is the least of the surprises Susannah has in store for her strait-laced British relations . . .

 

And an excerpt.

The lake was beautiful, but its banks were quite steep in places, and it was deeper than the unwary might suppose. Sure enough, as Peter drew nearer, he saw a dark head bobbing just above the surface of the water. Flinging himself from the saddle, he ran the last few steps, shedding his coat and waistcoat and tossing them aside as he slid down the bank.

“Susannah, I’m coming! I’m—”

She turned at the sound of his voice, and the words died on his lips. Far from drowning, she stood at a depth of about four feet, her head and shoulders breaking the surface of the lake. Streams of water ran from her hair, trembling in diamond-like drops from the ends of each curl, spilling over bare shoulders, and running in rivulets down the slight indentation that narrowed into the crevice between her—

Crimson faced, Peter fixed his gaze determinedly on her face. “What the devil are you doing?” His breath came in laboured gasps that had little to do with his recent exertions.

“I’m taking a bath,” she explained, as if bathing naked in an ornamental lake were the most natural thing in the world.

“Are you aware that the whole household is searching for you?” he demanded with less than perfect truth. “Come out of there at once! No, wait! Don’t!”

Buy link: Amazon

About Sheri.

At the age of sixteen, Sheri Cobb South discovered Georgette Heyer, and came to the startling realization that she had been born into the wrong century. Although she doubtless would have been a chambermaid had she actually lived in Regency England, that didn’t stop her from fantasizing about waltzing the night away in the arms of a handsome, wealthy, and titled gentleman.

scs1Since Georgette Heyer was dead and could not write any more Regencies, Ms. South came to the conclusion she would simply have to do it herself. In addition to her popular series of Regency mysteries featuring idealistic young Bow Street Runner John Pickett (described by All About Romance as “a little young, but wholly delectable”), she is the award-winning author of several Regency romances, including the critically acclaimed The Weaver Takes a Wife.

A native and long-time resident of Alabama, Ms. South recently moved to Loveland, Colorado, where she has a stunning view of Long’s Peak from her office window.

 

ellaquinnauthor:

I really love Angelyn’s posts!!

Originally posted on Angelyn's Blog:

Not limited to the role of confessor, the Listener (whose real name, it should be repeated, is Timothy Hearwell) heard cautionary tales of advice to Regency-era readers.

The following letter he received from “Prosper” on the “vexations attendant on wealth:”

From the October 1818 issue of the Magazine--a round dress of fine cambric with muslin flounces richly embroidered in Clarence blue.  A Clarence bonnet trimmed with larkspur flowers and a Clarence spencer besides, with lapels of white satin. From the October 1818 issue of the Magazine–a round half-dress of fine cambric with muslin flounces richly embroidered in Clarence blue. A Clarence bonnet trimmed with larkspur flowers and a Clarence spencer besides, with lapels of white satin.

“..after having ardently desired riches and honour, I am almost tempted to curse the chance that led to them.”

— La Belle Assemblee, January, 1818

What follows is a detailed explanation on the bother and mind-numbing exhaustion that comes from being wealthy in the Regency, particularly when one is not accustomed it.

For instance, one rolls about town in an elegant carriage, foregoing the exercise of walking that had been of such benefit to the constitution. At…

View original 221 more words

Monday Excerpts!

Today is a free for all. Post any excerpt of up to 600 words as well as your buy links or social media information.

lady beresford's lover_ebookHere is mine from Lady Beresford’s Lover which just went on pre-order.

Rupert tried not to grin as Wigman, his valet, plucked an invisible piece of lint from Rupert’s jacket. It was a ritual they had gone through every day since he was sixteen, when his grandfather Stanstead had insisted Rupert have a valet. Some gentlemen would probably become annoyed with such fussiness, but he believed in encouraging everyone to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. If that meant a few moments’ delay in dressing, so be it. “Am I presentable, Wigman?”

“None more so, my lord.” Wigman gave a small sigh. “I do regret that Mr. Brummell was allowed to hold sway over gentlemen’s clothing. There was nothing like a nice lace cuff or velvet jacket to show a gentleman to perfection.”

“I have no doubt you are correct.” Truth be told, Rupert thought the previous styles had some merit. “Though, I do have an aversion to wigs and hair powder.”

“I must agree with you regarding that particular affectation, my lord.” He handed Rupert his watch fob and quizzing glass. “You are fortunate that you do not require padding. One could more easily disguise additions to a gentleman’s physique before the styles changed so drastically.”

“Fortunate indeed.” Rupert clamped his lips together. If he didn’t depart immediately, he’d be subject to the litany of faults in Wigman’s previous employers. “I have no idea when I’ll return.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Rupert strode out of his Grosvenor Square town house to the waiting town coach. He’d considered walking to Robert’s home on Berkeley Square, but dark clouds had hung low all afternoon, and the scent of rain was in the air. Not to mention arriving at his cousin’s house for their first ball, soaked, was not a wonderful idea. Rupert settled on the soft brown leather seat, a footman closed the door, and his coachman started forward.

He attempted to tamp down the feeling that something momentous was about to happen. His parents and Robert were most likely correct that he wouldn’t meet anyone he didn’t already know. Still, he couldn’t help a surge of excitement when the carriage came to a stop. Somewhere the perfect lady was out there waiting for him. All he had to do was find her.

The coach door opened, and he caught a glimpse of pale blue skirts moving up the steps before they disappeared into the house. The urge to chase after her, whoever she was, was almost too strong to resist. Rupert could feel his pulse beating a tattoo against his cravat; still, he forced himself to calmly take his place in the line. What were the chances it was the same woman who had watched him as he traversed the Mount Street Gardens? Surely she wouldn’t wear the same gown to a ball, yet he had noticed that when a lady favored a certain color, she wore it more often than she did others.

He was being absurd. Even a bit mad. Rupert knew absolutely nothing about the woman, not how old she was, or if she was married, or what she looked like, or if it was indeed the same female. In addition, there were a great many people between him and the lady in blue. Yet there was some force pushing him forward, necessitating that he follow her.

Buy Links: Amazon ~ B&N

 

Happy Sunday!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and a great rest of the week!

We have a lot of book winners, so let’s start there.

 

Congratulations

Congratulations to bn100 for winning a copy of Cara Elliott’s book, Liette for wining a copy of Collette Cameron’s book, Beverly for winning a copy of Jenna Jaxon’s book, Patricia for winning Jacki’s Delecki’s book, and Anna for winning a copy of Christi Caldwell’s book!!

We’ve been on the move, but I’ve been making sure to carve out time to write the first novella in The Worthingtons, and do some thinking about the third book in the series. This is a very rough draft from the third book.

Measles?” Lady Louisa Vivers exclaimed. “All three of them?”

Lady Charlotte Carpenter sank onto the sofa in the parlor they shared. “Yes, Theo, Mary and Philip. According to Jane and your mama, the others have already had them.”

“Will that put off Grace and Matt’s trip to Worthington?” Grace, Charlotte’s sister had recently married Louisa’s brother, the Earl of Worthington. All ten children, except Charlie who was at Eton,  and Louisa’s mother, were living in the Carpenter family townhouse across Berkeley Square from their house while it was being renovated.

Charlotte grimaced. “There is no choice. Renovations must be started in the schoolroom there as well.”

Both she and Charlotte were half way through their first Season. Louisa chewed her lip. “Well, I suppose we should write notes excusing ourselves from the entertainments we’d planned to attend.” Rubbing her forehead, she glanced at the writing table. “What a bother. Why did they have to choose now to fall ill?”

Charlotte let out a peel of laughter. “That is almost exactly what Matt said.”

lady beresford's lover_ebookIn other book news. Lady Beresford’s Lover has finally come out on pre-order. I haven’t done a pre-order celebration in a while, so it is past time. The first person who posts any of the buy links from anywhere in the world, will receive a copy of Lady Beresford’s Lover when it releases.

Ella Quinn’s bachelors are quite sure of what they want in life—and love—until the right woman opens their eyes…

After a painful heartbreak, Rupert, the handsome young Earl of Stanstead, has decided that when it comes to love, avoidance is best. Until he meets a woman who makes him forget his plan—and remember his longing for a wife and family. Yet he senses that she too has been hurt, though she attempts to hide her feelings—and more—in the most baffling and alluring way. Intrigued, Rupert is willing to play along, if winning her is the prize…

Crushed by her late husband’s scorn, Vivian, Countess of Beresford, believes she is monstrously undesirable. Sadly childless, she has moved to London resigned to a solitary life. Still, when she encounters Rupert at a masquerade ball, her disguise as Cleopatra emboldens her. Convinced he doesn’t recognize her, she begins an after-hours affair with him, always in costume—while allowing him to innocently court the real her by day. But when Rupert makes a shocking choice, will Vivian be able to handle the truth?…

I also have a couple of  favors to ask of you. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please do. I’d also love it if you could like my author page, provided, of course, that you haven’t done it already. http://www.facebook.com/ellaquinnauthor.

Sadly, we had to leave St. Martin for a while, but we did stock up on wine, cheese, and a couple of baguettes. Leaving St. Martinla boulangerie et patisserie 2015-03-28

We arrived fourteen hours later in St. John, but only stayed two nights.

Little Lamesure Bay, St. John

 

We’re now at Christmas Cover awaiting our enclosures.

Christmas Cove 2015-04-12

By next weekend we will be in Culebra, Puerto Rico for a very short stay before sailing up to the Bahamas.

What have you been up to this week?

 

Please welcome USA Today Bestselling author Christi Caldwell back to the blog! Christi is here with her latest release, The Love of a Rogue!  She will give away one copy to one of you. All you have to do is tell her you want it.

We begin with the cover.

ChristiCaldwell_TheLoveOfARogue28

Next the blurb.

Lady Imogen Moore hasn’t had an easy time of it since she made her come out three Seasons ago. With her betrothed, a powerful duke breaking it off to wed her sister, she’s become the tons favorite piece of gossip. Never again wanting to experience the pain of a broken heart, she’s resolved to make a match with a polite, respectable gentleman. The last thing she wants is another reckless rogue.

Lord Alex Edgerton has a problem. His brother, tired of Alex’s carousing has charged him with chaperoning their remaining, unwed sister about ton events. Shopping? No, thank you. Attending the theatre? He’d rather be at Forbidden Pleasures with a scantily clad beauty upon his lap. The task of chaperone becomes even more of a bother when his sister drags along her dearest friend, Lady Imogen to social functions. The last thing he wants in his life is a young, innocent English miss.
Except, as Alex and Imogen are thrown together, passions flare and Alex comes to find he not only wants Imogen in his bed, but also in his heart. Yet now he must convince Imogen to risk all, on the heart of a rogue

And an excerpt.

Alex leaned close. His breath tickled her ear. “See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O, that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might caress that cheek.”

Her heart fluttered and she dropped her hand to her lap, clutching the fabric. “T-touch,” she corrected. “That you m-might touch that cheek.”

“Yes, and yet a caress is so much more meaningful than a mere touch, wouldn’t you say, Imogen?” Alex slid his gloved hand over hers, staying her distracted movement.

Yes, oh goodness, she quite agreed. His touch coupled with his knowledge of Shakespeare was heady stuff, indeed. “You read Shakespeare,” she said, unable to keep the shock from her statement.

He turned the very question she’d put to him that last week, on her. “Are you surprised?” Suddenly, he stopped that gentle stroking and she mourned the loss of that seductive little movement. She bit the inside of her lip to keep from begging him to continue.

“N-not at all.” She was however, surprised he read the romantic words of William Shakespeare. Nor did she care for this side of Alex. This shared love and fascination of The Bard’s works that made him more human than rake.

“I find myself surprised by you.” He slipped his fingers into hers, intertwining the digits. His hand strong and powerful, hers fragile and delicate against it, and yet somehow perfectly paired. “You intrigue me.”

“Why would that be?” Her heart thumped erratically at his touch, his words. With the exception of her broken betrothal and flaming-red hair, nothing had earned the notice of anyone—until Alex. “There is nothing unordinary about me.” William’s fickle interest had proven testament to that.

“There is everything extraordinary about you,” His lips nearly brushed her ear and when he spoke in that husky, mellifluous whisper, she could almost believe it. “You quote Shakespeare, sweet Imogen?” His strong, powerful fingers tightened about hers in a seductively possessive grip.

Here in the midst of polite Society with a theatre full of lords and ladies looking for the next piece of gossip, he’d enthralled her. “I do.” Not always intentionally. Imogen swallowed and stole a glance about, but Chloe sat perched at the edge of the box, engrossed in the show below. She looked about the theatre. How could anyone not see that with each stroke of his hand over hers, Alex threw her world into greater tumult?

“You hate shopping, but you enjoy the theatre.” With infinite slowness, he rolled her satin theatre glove slowly down her arm and then freed each finger from the restrictive confines. Imogen darted her gaze about. Surely someone knew the seductive game Alex now played. Yet even two seats apart, her friend remained engrossed in the production below. Wholly uncaring of who might observe his bold touch, Alex whispered, “What manner of woman are you?” He rested her glove upon his lap

She sucked in a breath at his intimate caress. “Wh-what are—?”

“Shh,” he whispered. Alex stroked his thumb in small, soothing circles about her palm eliciting all manner of delicious shivers that radiated at the point of contact and spread through her.

Her chest heaved up and down with slow, shallow breaths. His was just a hand and his fingers moved in a really innocuous movement, except… Imogen bit her lower lip as he rubbed his thumb over the wildly fluttering pulse at her wrist. The small, seductive grin upon his lips indicated he knew he’d roused her senses.

“Romeo had the wrong of it, Imogen.” His husky murmur stirred her belly

She shouldn’t engage in this seductive game with him. It was outrageous and meant nothing to him. “I-in what way do you believe?” She could no sooner quell the question on her lips than she could stop the beating of her own heart.

He studied her through thick, black lashes. “I’d not feel your gloved hand upon me. I’d have your naked palm caressing me, touching me.”

God forgive her. Her lids fluttered madly. She still was the same weak, romantic fool she’d always been. Alex had only opened her eyes to the passion she carried inside, made all the more dangerous by the shred of hope she clung to—to love and be loved.

Buy Links.


 

About Christi.

HeadshotUSA Today Bestselling author, Christi Caldwell blames Judith McNaught’s “Whitney, My Love,” for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and try her hand at writing romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections and she rather enjoys tormenting them before crafting a well-deserved happily ever after!

 
Christi makes her home in Southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing, chasing around her feisty six-year old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!

 

Please welcome Jacki back to the blog!! She has a boxes set for us today!

Let’s start with the cover!

JackiDelecki_TheCodebreakersSeries_3DBundle1400[1]

 

Now the blurbs.

The Code Breaker Series Box Set

Men and women from the class of privilege and rank risk their lives to defend England against the treacherous designs of Napoleon. They confront disaster, scandal, and passion as they pursue their code of honor and love.

Book One: A CODE OF LOVE

Threatened by French spies, assassins, and calculating suitors, can Lady Henrietta Harcourt trust the infamous rake, Lord Cordelier Rathbourne, with her carefully guarded family secrets?

Book Two: A CHRISTMAS CODE

Lady Gwyneth Beaumont has long awaited the opportunity to show Viscount James Ashworth that she is no longer the impetuous child who dogged his footsteps. Now a much sought-after debutante, she is determined to prove to the hard-headed rake that she is a grown woman and a worthy participant in both the spy game and the game of love.

Book THREE: A CODE OF THE HEART

When Miss Amelia Bonnington unwittingly stumbles upon a smuggling ring in the modiste shop of her good friend, it is up to Lord Derrick Brinsley to save her. Can the disreputable rake and undercover agent prevent the French from stealing the Royal Navy’s deadly weapon and find love with the only woman capable of redeeming him?

And the excerpts!

A Code of Love:

Prologue

1802, Paris

Lord Michael Ormond Harcourt crept along the darkened passageway. He had earned his reputation as a brilliant code breaker, but never before had he ventured into the realm of housebreaker. Henrietta was going to be furious not to be part of tonight’s exciting intrigue.

He strained to listen for the sounds of the house in the wee hours of the morning. He heard nothing but his heartbeat pounding in his ears. Reassured he was the only one about, he allowed himself to release the breath he had been holding since he sneaked into Gaston Le Chiffre’s house. He moved down the narrow corridor to his French colleague’s office.

He had only been in Paris a fortnight when he developed suspicions about Gaston–a series of sensations, hushed silences when he walked into a room, the papers on his desk seeming to have been moved, and the persistent feeling he was being followed.

The final impetus to search Gaston’s office came yesterday with the arrival of an anonymous note: “Something’s afoot.”

He gingerly opened the office door, inspecting the darkened corners before he entered. The dying fire cast shadows on the book-lined walls. A log shifted. The small crash startled him, causing his heart to thump against his chest.

He closed the door and moved to the center of the room, lit a taper, and placed it in the holder on the desk, then shuffled through the neat stacks of papers. He opened drawers, searching the contents.

He ran his hand across the smooth mahogany surface of the desk then passed his fingers along the rough underside. There he found a slightly recessed area in the far corner. His fingers

returned to the uneven surface. Applying pressure, there was a sudden give, followed by a compartment popping open on the top of the desk.

The secret compartment contained a leather book. He scanned the room before he removed the worn volume. He had never seen a code quite like this one: French scrawl preceded by endless rows of numbers. This French puzzle was better than a wrapped Christmas present. He stuffed the incredible find into his waistband. He would crack the code in the safety of his room, then return the book to its hiding place, all before Gaston awoke.

He blew out the taper and left the office. He backtracked through Gaston’s garden. Carefully closing the garden gate, he entered the alley. The mixture of fog and smoke from the city’s coal fires blanketed the city. He could see no more than a few feet ahead. The cloying darkness muffled the distant voices, the clatter of carriage wheels, and horses’ hooves.

Approaching the street, he slowed his pace. Hanging lanterns illuminated the walkway where he emerged from the unlit alley.

He turned and walked toward his house. In the thick fog, the sound of his footsteps resonated, booming with each step.

The hairs on his neck prickled when he heard another set of footsteps shuffling behind him. With only a few yards to reach home, he ran, never pausing to look back.

With his right hand, he reached into his greatcoat for his pistol; with his left, he lunged for the doorknob.

The report of a pistol echoed down the street. An intense heat penetrated his awareness. He stumbled forward.

The door opened from the inside. The lights around Denby, his manservant, gave him an angelic halo.

“Close the door, man.”

“My lord, what is it?”

“I’ve been shot.” The room grew dimmer. “Get this book to Hen.”

A Christmas Code:

Chapter One

Hot and breathless from performing the newly imported French dance steps of the quadrille, Gwyneth paused during the break in the music. She fanned her heated cheeks repeatedly, attempting to cool herself. Lord Henley glanced down at her. His lips were tight, his eyes dark with need. She had seen the same look on the faces of many men, but never on the face of the only man who mattered.

She wanted to see the same burning desire and possessiveness in the eyes of her childhood infatuation as she knew blazed in her eyes when she looked at the impossible but dazzling Viscount Ashworth.

The gentleman, newly arrived, had barely glanced at her despite the new gown made especially to entice the hard-headed rake. Her friend and dress designer, Amelia, obsessed with the simplicity of Greek togas, had crisscrossed sky blue silk across Gwyneth’s ample chest with a dramatic décolletage. The back of the gown was draped in the same manner with a revealing V. It was a simple design, but sensual in the way the fabric clung to her body.

She felt alluring and hopeful that tonight Ash would finally throw off all the restraints. She had felt his eyes on her back, knowing he watched her as she gaily danced the intricate pattern she had recently learned from her French dance master.

Lord Henley offered his arm as the quadrille ended. “May I take you to the refreshment table for a glass of punch? This new French dance is very demanding.”

“Thank you. I’m not thirsty. Can you please take me to my dear friend, Miss Bonnington?”

Lord Henley’s eyes clouded with emotion. Gwyneth couldn’t refuse the dance, but she needed to escape the gentleman before he embarrassed himself. She wanted to spare him the pain of rejection. After five marriage proposals this season, she had become somewhat of an expert in recognizing the signs of imminent declaration.

Lord Henley escorted Gwyneth to Amelia, who had also finished dancing and now stood alone.

“Thank you, sir, for the dance.” Gwyneth did a brief curtsy.

Lord Henley bowed. “It was my pleasure.” He hesitated, then sharply nodded his head. She didn’t want to be unkind, but there was no reason to pretend interest and encourage hope when there was none.

They watched Lord Henley circle to the other side of the room.

Amelia hid her face behind her fan, her bright eyes dancing in merriment. “Another stricken gentleman.”

“I believe he was about to ask if he could call on my brother tomorrow. I think I did an excellent job of extricating myself before Lord Henley declared his feelings.”

“Lord Henley is quite a catch. He’s heir to a vast fortune. His interest can’t be limited only to your dowry.”

“Thank you. I’m glad it isn’t only money that makes me attractive.” Gwyneth liked to believe it was her wit, her sparkling eyes, but she knew her position as sister to an earl and heiress to a hefty inheritance gave her a definite cache with the gentleman. And it was just like Amelia to tease her.

“Your following of swains has nothing to do with your luscious figure, your dramatic looks, or your amiable personality. My unique skill as a designer has brought all these gentleman to swoon at your feet.” Amelia snickered, which made Gwyneth laugh.

Tears were running down Gwyneth’s cheeks. “You do know how to level a woman’s confidence.”

The comment drove both to louder laughter.

Gwyneth noticed that Ash had turned in her direction. He smiled.

Lost in the merriment, she smiled back before she remembered her resolution not to appear as a puppy, waiting at his feet for a pat on the head. She could hide her feelings as well as he did. Forbidden by some unwritten gentleman’s code, Ash considered her off limits. She wasn’t sure if it was the age difference of eight years, his rakish past, or her position as his best friend’s younger sister.

He still kept her at a distance, maintaining that she was a mere youngster and they were simply childhood friends. She had spent the entire season trying to convince him otherwise, but she was tiring of the game.

A Code of the Heart:

Prologue

Edworth House Party

Christmas Eve, 1802

 

Amelia Bonnington braced herself as the crowd bumped and pushed, straining to get close to His Highness. The crème of society shoved and elbowed, politely-of-course, since one would never want to be accused of bad manners.

The Prince of Wales stood on a small platform elaborately decorated with heavy boughs of greenery and red velvet, matching the Christmas décor of the massive ballroom. Hundreds of beeswax candles burned. No expense had been spared for the house party celebrating his royal visit.

Amelia had no desire to be part of the prince’s circle; they were a ghastly group who were only interested in themselves and their own pleasure.

She sucked in the little air left in the room and pushed, courteously-of-course, toward the door. The crowd and the heat were unbearable. She wasn’t one to swoon, but with the thick mix of perfume and the hot bodies, she felt tonight might be her first. She, one of the steadiest women, felt unsteady and unsafe. The last days of upheaval must have had a greater effect on her than she had wanted to believe.

Her whole world had been turned upside down and twisted sideways at this house party. In the last two days, her friends had been poisoned and kidnapped, and she had been ensnared in the French villain’s trap. But the deadly crisis had to be kept secret. Nothing must look out of the ordinary. No one outside the intelligence world ever know about the enemy’s threat to the prince’s life. The ball must go on.

Amelia looked over her shoulder for the closest exit, but the throng pushed her forward. She needed to escape from the packed room.

A gentleman used the chaos in the crowded room, to crash into her, to take liberties with her person. After spending the last four years in congested ballrooms, she fully recognized the scoundrel’s ploy. His heavy eyelids didn’t conceal his hungry eyes, focused down her décolletage. As his eyes remained fixated on her breasts, he grabbed her elbow, pretending to help her when in fact he intended to pull her close against his hefty, malodorous body.

His reek of stale alcohol and sour sweat constricted her stomach and burned her throat. She pulled her arm away from his grasp, repulsed by the wetness seeping through his gloves. “Sir, release me this instant.”

She was about to dig her heel into the supposed gentleman’s fat toe when suddenly a space opened around her and a smell of fresh lime soap surrounded her.

The perspiring man stared behind her. His slack mouth and his blood-shot eyes widened in fear.

She recognized Lord Brinsley’s scent without needing to turn; he was an impossibly difficult, yet irresistibly appealing man. His deep, velvety voice flitted down her skin like a caress. “Miss Amelia, may I escort you away from this mob?”

Relief and something much more potent buzzed all her nerve endings. She turned quickly and found herself pressed against the broad chest of the man she had been forced to conspire with to save her friends.

She hastily straightened herself. “I never thought I’d be happy to see you.” She refused to be like all the other women who fawned for his slightest glance.

He lifted an eyebrow and the corner of his mouth in that sardonic way she always found irritating. He was too big, too handsome, and too confident for her to find him irresistible. She’d never let him have the satisfaction of knowing she found him…almost irresistible.

 

 

Buy links: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

 

About Jacki:

HeadShot_SmallJacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. Both acclaimed series are available for purchase at http://www.JackiDelecki.com.

To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB—Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.

 

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