Please welcome historical author Judith Laik to the blog!! Judith is here today with her latest book, The Lady in Question, Book Two of her The Unsuitable Brides series. She will also be giving away a copy of the book!! All you have to do is tell her you want it.
Now for the gorgeous cover.
“An unusual journey to historical Regency England coupled with a moving romance” Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today website
A fateful toss of the dice
Charlotte Treadwell is outraged when she learns her gaming-mad papa has just forfeited her in a game of hazard. Suddenly she is the “property” of Hugh Brooks, Earl of Rayfield, a rake and a gambler who couldn’t possibly understand that her passionate heart is taken up with helping those less fortunate than she.
A perilous game of chance
Rayfield must stop an aristocratic spy from inflicting the horrors of revolution upon England. How can he keep his mind on his duties when the tempting woman he has just won is the fiery daughter of his prime suspect?
Love is the most dangerous gamble of all . . .
“With a little matchmaking from Charlotte’s former servants, Charlotte and Rayfield find themselves embroiled in a much more dangerous game – that of love, and then the sparks really fly.” Valarie Pelissero, Rakehell
And an excerpt:
Even in the dimness of the theater, Charlotte looked alarmingly pale. Hugh could not count how many people had packed into the Adairs’ theater box. Sylvia should have known better than to invite the Vernons to make up their party. The mass of young men trying to get near Miss Vernon during the interval seemed to suck away all the available air.
“Would you like to escape for a bit, Miss Treadwell?”
“Indeed, I would, but we cannot reach the door.”
“I’ll get us through the crowd.” He placed his hand under her elbow and assisted her to stand. Then, with his left arm around her, he put his right shoulder forward and pushed against the nearest body. “Let us through, please. Miss Treadwell is unwell.” He repeated his words and shoved aside any who did not make way, and finally gained the corridor.
The air felt heavenly cool and fresh, although a crush of people milled about there also. He found a place away from the path of the mob, setting Charlotte against the wall where she would not be jostled. Looking down at her, he brushed a lock of hair that had come undone from its coiffeur. “How are you now?”
“Much better, thanks. I fear I am not intended for the rigors of the Season. Large crowds are most unpleasant for me. Miss Vernon seems to thrive upon it.”
Her color was better. He had a mad impulse to carry her far away from any crowd and make love to her. He could not, but surely a few stolen kisses. . .he looked around and saw he could not risk even that without their being seen. He drew back a safe step to lessen temptation. “How does your ‘lady’ patient?”
“She is improving.” At mention of the dog, animation came into her face. “Have you not yet seen her for yourself?”
“I have not the privilege of visiting Flea’s domicile.” He lost the battle to refrain from touching her and took her gloved hand in his, lifting it just short of his lips and caressing it.
“Not at all?” She tugged on her hand, but when he resisted letting loose of it, she left him in possession.
He smiled at this small triumph. “I do not even know where it is. He has been remarkably reticent about the place, and I have not forced the matter. I can always find Flea when I need him, through Pearl or his friends, and I know his usual haunts.”
“I did not realize Flea had granted me such a rare privilege.” She made another effort to free her hand, but this time he not only hung on, he upped the level of his caresses, slowing the tempo and rubbing his gloved fingers over each of hers in turn.
God, this was incredibly erotic. He could stand like this all evening. Perhaps not, on second thought. He would lose control. “He was worried about that dog. You made an impression on him when you treated Ned’s cold.”
High color crept into her face, and she moistened her lips. “Yes, I suppose that’s true.”
“I think the play is about to resume. The box must have emptied by now. Shall we go back?”
Her eyes widened in relief. “Yes, that is a good idea.”
Our vintage farmhouse needs constant upkeep, which we can barely keep up with, since it always needs new paint or new fences or…Luckily the most recent thing we repaired is the plumbing, so that’s working pretty well these days. With us living out in the country, we experience frequent power outages. There’s nothing more romantic than huddling under blankets in front of a cozy fire in the fireplace, with more blankets blocking the drafts from the other rooms in the house. The downside is that without power the well doesn’t work, either.
My husband and I like to get away as often as we can, taking off for a few days at the ocean or the lake. I usually bring my laptop with me on these excursions, working on whatever my current writing project is. I love to travel to more faraway places also. Our most recent adventure took us to the Amazon. The river, not the online book-and-everything seller, though I do confess I spend a lot of time there also, and anyplace else that has books. You can tell that by the stacks and boxes of books all around the house.
My favorite destination, though, is England. My most recent trips there, in 2003 and 2005, were with groups equally fascinated with the Regency period, and we visited many sites with associations to that time. Heaven! There’s nothing like actually seeing the locations where my stories took place, even if altered to varying degrees by the 200-some years since those events happened. As a bonus, the gift shops at many of the museums and historic sites have more lovely books that I would never have come across at home!