I’m so pleased to have award-winning author Tracey Devlyn join me today for a spotlight on her latest release, A Lady’s Secret Weapon and a Q & A. Tracey is also giving away a copy of the book. All you have to do is say you want it in your comment for a chance to win.
Let’s start with her gorgeous cover.
Next the blurb.
Seduction is His Duty to King and Country
Ethan deBeau has charmed his way into the beds of countless women, enticing them to whisper their husbands’ and lovers’ state secrets in his ear. But his latest assignment is completely different: find a missing young boy. It’s practically child’s play for a master spy such as Ethan. Until Miss Sydney Hunt threatens to unravel all his carefully laid plans. Who in the world is this woman?
But Tempting Her is All for Pleasure
Sydney has worked hard to maintain a façade of respectability—all while keeping a network of contacts among London’s underground world. When she hears of strange activities at a local home for orphans, she’s determined to find out what’s really going on. Until she runs headlong into a notorious rake eager to expose every inch of her…
Sounds like a great read to me, but let’s read an excerpt.
Ethan prowled around the edge of the crowd, stopping at different intervals to speak with the marchioness’s guests. He did not fool himself, though. His destination was clear. It probably had been from the moment he first saw her, two hours ago.
Miss Hunt stood with her sister in front of an open door that led out to a small terrace. The proprietress bent her dark head toward her sister’s lighter one. He hesitated to interrupt their private conversation, but as with most things concerning his nemesis, he could no more stop his progression toward her than he could stop the sudden rush of heated awareness.
“Ladies, do you mind if I join you?”
“Not at all, my lord,” Miss Hunt said. “Miranda was mentioning how much she enjoyed your company at dinner.”
“Do not sound so surprised. I’m quite capable of pleasant conversation.”
“Perhaps my surprise comes from never having witnessed such an event.”
Miss Pratt sent her sister a sidelong glance. “You are acquainted with Lord Danforth?”
“Did he not tell you? The Hunt Agency is to locate several new servants for his lordship.”
“Is that so?”
“My butler and housekeeper are aging and could use additional help,” Ethan said. “As for the valet, I’m not convinced of the need, but your sister believes my wardrobe is in need of attention. Who am I to argue with one so fashionable?”
Eyeing his clothing, Miss Pratt said, “Sydney, did you truly criticize Lord Danforth’s attire?”
Miss Hunt’s gaze followed the same line down his body, though his reaction to her scrutiny was quite different from her younger sister’s.
The corner of Miss Hunt’s mouth curled. “His lordship was not put together quite so nicely when last we met.”
Sensing she was missing something important, Miss Pratt decided to retreat. “Jules looks to be on the verge of revolt. If you’ll excuse me, my lord?”
Once Miss Pratt was no longer within earshot, he asked, “Jules?”
“My younger brother.” Her eyes narrowed briefly, no doubt recalling his comment about her not having any humor in her bones. “He detests such sedate gatherings, especially when there are no young men his age present.”
“Quite understandable.” He caught and held her gaze. “It’s a shame our conversation was cut short yesterday.”
“That’s a matter of opinion, I suppose.”
“Indeed.” After his parting words on Friday, he knew she expected him to ask her about the warehouse incident. But he had no intention of doing so tonight, even though the delay might kill him. He preferred to leave her suspended in a state of anticipation, always wondering when he would pounce. Not very noble of him, of course. But there you have it. He changed the subject. “How are your selection efforts progressing?”
She studied him warily for a long while before answering. “They would be much further along had we not spent valuable time searching for an unnecessary butler.”
“Time you will be well compensated for, I assure you.”
“There was never any doubt in my mind.” She glanced around the room. “I don’t recall ever seeing you at one of Lady Shevington’s dinners before.”
“I’ve only attended a few others, where she needed me to fill a chair,” he said. “You were not among her guests.”
“You sound quite sure of that fact.”
He dropped his voice. “I am.”
“To answer your previous question.” All humor drained from her features. “We are on schedule. Amelia will bring the candidates on Monday for your and Tanner’s approval.”
“And where will you be Monday?”
“Working, my lord.”
He stepped closer. “Have I finally managed to scare you away, Miss Hunt?”
“My not coming to your residence has nothing to do with you. On any given day, there are dozens of tasks to accomplish at the agency. I simply cannot do them all.”
Even though her gaze remained unflinching, Ethan detected the small note of deception in her voice. “Ah, but I’m not just any client. I’m your partner.”
Her mask slipped. “Pardon?”
“Partner. We both have money to give away and tomorrow we embark on our journey to find the most appropriate recipient.”
“A single-stop journey. I have already chosen Abbingale as the beneficiary of my charitable donation. You, on the other hand, have only just begun the process. After our tour at Abbingale, I will wish you luck on the rest.”
The more she wanted to be quit of him, the more determined he was to discover everything about her. Never in his life had he worked so hard to keep a woman’s attention. Thankfully, he was not opposed to the use of blackmail. “I do hope I remember to refer to you as Mrs. Henshaw, rather than Miss Hunt, during our tour tomorrow. A slip like that would cause quite the stir, wouldn’t you say?”
Her pretty eyes narrowed; calculation sparkled in their depths.
“And if, by chance, you happen to forget to collect me tomorrow at eleven, I’m more than happy to meet you at Abbingale’s. To tour the facility with you is a rare opportunity I would not want to miss.”
A rather unfortunate and wholly dishonorable side of his character enjoyed following the play of emotions on her face—triumphant to calculating to cornered. Somehow she managed to remain lovely during each stage of her transformation.
The direction of his thoughts made him cringe. He was becoming a damned romantic like the poet William Blake, spouting lyrical nonsense about a woman who would rather shuffle paperwork than spend time in his company.
“You could save us both a good deal of trouble,” she said, “if you would state clearly what it is you want from me. I have no patience for such mental manipulation.”
Mental manipulation? Why was it that he could not seduce her with words in the same manner he could other women? Her resistance challenged him. Incited him to slither beneath her skin until she could no longer recall the stack of paperwork needing her attention. Until she thought of nothing but the warmth of his breath and the caress of his hand and the glide of his flesh against hers.
William Blake be damned.
Tracey Devlyn is an award-winning author who writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey Toward the heroine’s happy ending). She’s a co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers of romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.
An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at: www.TraceyDevlyn.com.