Please welcome historical author, Jane Lark, to the blog. Jane has given me her latest book, THE SCANDALOUS LOVE OF A DUKE, book three in Jane Lark’s Kindle best-selling Regency romance series! to spotlight. She will also give a signed paperback copy of The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, the first book in the series, to one of you who tells her she wants the book!
Let’s have a look at the cover!
Now the blurb:
Isolated by life and choice, John Harding, the Duke of Pembroke, sees an angel in a pale mauve dress across a room and is drawn closer as lust grips firm and hard in his stomach. The wheat-blonde hair escaping her dull dove-grey bonnet and caressing her neck lures his eyes to a spot he’d like to kiss. She speaks with animation her hands moving. Then as if she senses his gaze the stranger turns and looks at him.
A rush of pain and longing spilled from Katherine’s heart into her limbs. It was so long since she’d seen John but her reaction was the same as it had been more than half-a-dozen years before. She loved him, secretly, without hope, but a chasm of years and status stood between them.
Katherine picked up the Bibles the children had been working with and set them aside. Then she turned towards the small altar in the chancel chapel where she’d led the Sunday school.
She was looking for something to do to pass the time while the congregation dispersed and she waited for Revered Barker to drive her home. Her gaze caught on the open side door. John stood there watching her, his athletic silhouette framed in the arch of sunlight.
She had not forgiven him for kissing her, nor for forcing her to admit she had wished him to do it. Neither was a gentlemanly act. He had changed.
Ignoring him, she turned to the storage cupboard. She felt his presence so keenly she could sense him smiling behind her. She’d heard him singing amidst the congregation as she’d worked with the children. He had a beautiful voice. It rose above that of everyone else with perfect clarity.
How could a man who was now so steely hard and disgracefully arrogant still sing like an angel?
She pressed a palm against the slates to make them straight when they were already perfectly aligned.
“Are you hiding, Katherine?”
Her heart thumped. “Working, John.”
His boot heels rang on the glazed medieval tiles and she spun about when she heard him get too close.
He was two feet away, his pale eyes gleaming yet unfathomable. “I was waiting to speak with you, your parents have left. I thought… You are not hiding from me, are you?”
“No,” she breathed, knowing she coloured.
His gaze swept across her face clearly assessing her as she had not been able to assess him because his features were set like marble.
“There is no need for you to fear me, Katherine.”
She lifted her chin. “I am not afraid of you, John.” I am afraid of myself.
“I would never hurt you.”
Her chin lifted another notch. She hurt for him anyway. She had ached for him for seven years. Hiding was the only way to escape more pain.
He did not move, his pale gaze holding hers as though he could hear the words she did not speak.
“I have thought about you since the funeral.” His voice whispered back off the cold bare stone. “I know I said sorry to you yesterday, Katherine, but I really do not think I am. I wanted to kiss you, too. Why should either of us feel regret?”
She dragged a deep breath into her lungs. “John, do not do this.” She stepped back and hit the shelves.
He caught her arm to stop her fall, but did not let go.
“Do what? Admit I am attracted to you. I am, as you are to me.” His head was bowing before he’d even finished speaking.
Their lips touched.
It was different than yesterday, it was gentle, hesitant and reassuring, and without conscious thought her hands slid over his shoulders, one settling behind his neck, half holding his mouth to hers.
When his lips opened and his tongue slid across the seam of hers, she could not help but part hers and kiss him back as he was kissing her.
Their tongues weaved an intricate dance and she felt her body press against his, as the shelves dug into her back.
His hand supported her, slipping to the first curve of her lower back and her shoulder, but then his kiss became more ardent and his tongue pressed deep into her mouth.
They flew apart and she knew she must be crimson. The back of her hand pressed to her mouth wondering how swollen her lips must look and then her palms pressed to her hot cheeks before trying to tuck wisps of her hair back beneath her bonnet.
Reverend Barker’s long, confident footsteps could be heard as he walked briskly up the aisle.
Her hands ran quickly over her gown, smoothing out creases which were not there. She felt dishevelled but it was not an outward turmoil, it was an inward one.
She looked at John. He did not look contrite at all.
Oh John, what are you trying to do to me?
Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romance and author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel,’The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, as well as a Kindle overall Top 25, bestselling author.
She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.
Now Jane is writing a Regency series as well as contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.
You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality.
Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses these to create more realistic plots.
‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’
Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.