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Archive for January, 2015

Please welcome historical author, Jacki Delecki to the blog. This is Jacki’s first time visiting, and she’ll be giving away an ebook copy of her latest book, A Code of the Heart, and an audio copy of one of her other books. All you have to do is tell her you want it.

First the cover. I love that purple.

A Code of the Heart

Now the blurb.

Miss Amelia Bonnington has been in love with her childhood hero since she was nine years old… or so she thought until a not-so proper impassioned and unyielding kiss from the not-so honorable and equally disreputable Lord Derrick Brinsley, gave her reason to question the feelings of the heart.

Lord Brinsley, shunned from society for running off with his brother’s fiancée, hasn’t cared about or questioned his lack of acceptance until meeting the beguiling Amelia Bonnington. One passionate moment with the fiery Miss Bonnington has him more than willing to play by society’s rules to possess the breathtaking, red-haired woman.

Amelia unwittingly becomes embroiled in espionage when she stumbles upon a smuggling ring in the modiste shop of her good friend. To prove her French friend’s innocence, she dangerously jumps into the fray, jeopardizing more than her life.

On undercover assignment to prevent the French from stealing the Royal Navy’s deadly weapon, Derrick must fight to protect British secrets from falling into the hands of foreign agents, and the chance at love with the only woman capable of redeeming him.

 

And last, but not least, an excerpt.

Edworth’s Christmas Ball

December, 1803

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 Regent stood on a small platform at the front of the ballroom, elaborately decorated for Christmas. Heavy bows of greenery and bells hung on red velvet throughout the room. Hundreds of beeswax candles burned. No expense had been spared for the house party celebrating His Royalty’s visit.

Amelia had no desire to be part of the Prince’s retinue, 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, politely, of course, toward the door. The crowd and the heat were unbearable. She never swooned, but with the strong smell of perfume and the hot pressing bodies, she felt tonight might be her first. A maelstrom of sensations and emotions enveloped her. 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.

She needed to escape from this crowded room. She needed fresh air and open space. A gentleman used the chaos in crowded room to take liberties with her person. After spending years in congested ballrooms, she fully recognized the scoundrel’s ploy to press against her. His heavy eyelids didn’t conceal his roving 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 closer against his heavy, malodorous body.

A sick sensation started in her stomach and crawled to her throat. She pulled her arm away from his grasp, repulsive with sweat 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 air and lime soap surrounded her.

The perspiring man stared behind her. His slack mouth and the look of fear on his face were priceless.

She recognized Derrick Brinsley’s scent and heat—the impossible, difficult, yet appealing man. His deep, dark voice flitted down her skin like a caress. “Miss Amelia, may I escort you away from this crowd?”

Relief and something much more potent tingled along her skin. She turned quickly and found herself pressed against the broad chest of the man she had been forced to conspire with to save her friend.

“I’ve never thought I’d be happy to see you.” She refused to be like all the other women who’d be grateful to have his attention.

His lifted one eyebrow in a sardonic way that she always found irritating. He was too big, too handsome, and too confident that she’d find him irresistible. She’d never let him have the satisfaction that she did find him…almost irresistible.

A CODE OF THE HEART coming February 2015!

About Jacki.

HeadShot_SmallDescended from a long line of storytellers, Jacki spins adventures filled with mystery, healing and romance.

Jacki’s love affair with the arts began at a young age and inspired her to train as a jazz singer and dancer. She has performed many acting roles with Seattle Opera Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Her travels to London and Paris ignited a deep-seated passion to write the Regency Code Breaker Series. Jacki is certain she spent at least one lifetime dancing in the Moulin Rouge.

Jacki has set her Grayce Walters Mystery Series in Seattle, her long-time home. The city’s unique and colorful locations are a backdrop for her thrilling romantic suspense. Although writing now fills much of her day, she continues to volunteer for Seattle’s Ballet and Opera Companies and leads children’s tours of Pike Street Market. Her volunteer work with Seattle’s homeless shelters influenced one of her main characters in An Inner Fire and Women Under Fire.

Jacki’s two Golden Labs, Gus and Talley, were her constant companions. Their years of devotion and intuition inspired her to write dogs as main characters alongside her strong heroines. A geek at heart, Jacki loves superhero movies—a hero’s battle against insurmountable odds. But her heroines don’t have to wear a unitard to fight injustice and battle for the underdog.

Look for more heart-pounding adventure, intrigue, and romance in Jacki’s Code Breakers Series. A Code of Love is the first book in the series. A Christmas CodeA Regency Novella, is now available at all retail sites.  A Code of the Heart will be released on Valentine’s Day 2015.

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

 

 

 

 

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I’m back! First we have lots of winners today, so we’ll start there.

Congratulations to Lisa Myers who won a copy of Christi Caldwell’s book More Than a Duke!! ChristiCaldwell_MoreThanaDuke_1400

Give a hand to Lori Patterson for winning Miranda Neville’s book, The Duke of Dark Desires!Cover

And to Jennifer Lowery for winning Marina Gabrielle’s book Royal Regard!! Royal-Regard-cover-500x750

Last, but certainly not least, Barbara Monajem picked three winners for her boxed set, Captivated by a Kiss!! They are Linda Thumb, Pat Walker Pinkston, and Patricia Wissore!!Captivated by His Kiss 3-D cover on transparent @ 72 dpi  low res- 800px

As you know, we had been in Ft. Lauderdale waiting for a weather window.

Las Olas mooring

The morning we were supposed to leave, squalls developed in the Bahamas. So we resigned ourselves to depart the next morning and did some last minute shopping. When we returned, the squalls had dissipated. It was already after 3PM, but we decided to go and finally left Ft. Lauderdale, after being held up by a cruise ship, around 5PM.

Off shore sunset

 

We passed out of the Bahamas late the next day, and were in open water for the rest of the nine day trip.  This is our first sunrise at sea.

First morning off shore

My seasickness passed on the third day, just like everyone said it would. For the first few days we ate the passage meals I’d prepared, navy been soup and Boeuf Bourguignon. After that, we cooked. Which worked well until our wind indicator stopped working. That was the night Hubby decided to grill. All of a sudden the winds and seas kicked up, and we had to reef the mainsail. But because it was already dark, and we had no idea what the winds were, he wanted to take the sail down and motor. He no sooner put the chicken on the counter than a swell hit us broadside, and the chicken went flying. Fortunately, I had just cleaned the floor. Unfortunately, that was the end of it. We ended up just putting the rice, green beans, and chicken in one pot. It was a very uncomfortable night.

Next the outhaul (the thing that holds the sail on the boom) broke, and damaged the wind generator. So we ended up completing the trip with the sail reefed.

Days on end with nothing but water can be pretty boring, but I was able to get a lot of writing done.

We stopped by Puerto Rico for fuel and had our first experience anchoring in the dark. This is what we woke up to.

Anchorage in PR 2

 

This guy was bound and determined that we weren’t kicking him off the fuel dock.

Getting gas

We are now home on our mooring at least for a little while.

Home at Magens

Now I just need to finish the last few chapters of the book and edit it, complete the copy-edits on Lady Beresford’s Lover, and the galleys on A Kiss for Lady Mary.

What were you doing while I was gone?

 

Ella

 

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Please welcome historical author Mariana Gabrielle to the blog. Mariana is here to tell you about her new book, Royal Regard! And she is giving a way a copy to one of you. All you have to do is tell her you want it.

As always, we’ll start with the lovely cover.

Royal-Regard-cover-500x750

 

Then the blurb.

After fifteen years roaming the globe, the Countess of Huntleigh returns to England with her dying husband. She soon finds herself plagued by terrible troubles: a new title, estate, and sizable fortune; marked attentions from the marriage mart; the long-awaited reunion with her loving family; and a growing friendship with King George IV.

Settling into her new life, this shy-but-not-timid, not-so-young lady faces society’s censure, the Earl’s decline, false friends with wicked agendas, and the singular sufferings of a world-wise wallflower. Guided by her well-meaning husband, subject to interference by a meddlesome monarch, she must now choose the dastardly rogue who says he loves her, the charming French devil with a silver tongue, or the quiet country life she has traveled the world to find.

And an excerpt.

“I think you are making a mockery of me, Sir. You are flirting shamelessly at every party, and now right in front of my husband. You must desist.”

“Nick, please—Wellbridge, if you prefer—and you are entirely correct. I would much rather flirt with you behind his back.” He leaned in closer to her ear, “When we are in front of him, I am afraid your sweet blushes will give us away.” The scent of flowers rose from her hair. Lavender. Maybe lilacs. Maybe both. He breathed deeply. Definitely both. “I cannot allow you to expose our secret, Lady Huntleigh, for I have sinful designs on you.”

Bella’s slipper caught on the waxed floor, throwing her off-balance. Taking advantage of the opportunity, he caressed her barely bared collarbone. She nearly fell, pulling away, so he held her waist more firmly, drawing her closer to encourage her shivers and gooseflesh.

“You said you had no designs on me! You swore by the Knight’s Creed!”

He leaned in to murmur, “I am not a knight, my sweet.”

With a bit less wallflower and a bit more worldly woman, she laughed, “Sir Satyr, I’m sure, charter member of the Order of Rakehells, pledged to lead me down the path to depravity.”

“You’ve caught me.”

He stared down at her ripe mouth, wishing they weren’t in the middle of a crowded ballroom.

Buy Links:

Amazon ~ iTunes ~ Smashwords ~ B&N ~ Kobo

 

About Mariana.

Mari Pic2Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym for Mari Christie, a mainstream historical and Regency romance writer. She is also a professional writer, editor, and graphic designer with twenty years’ experience and a Bachelor’s in Writing from the University of Colorado Denver, summa cum laude. She lives in Denver, Colorado with two kittens who have no respect at all for writing time.

 

 

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Please welcome the amazing Regency author Barbara Monajem back to the blog!! Barbara is here to tell you about her latest book which is part of a boxed set!! She is giving away a copy to one of you who tells her you want it!

Let’s start with the cover!

Captivated by His Kiss 3-D cover on transparent @ 72 dpi  low res- 800px

Now the blurb.

Wanted: respectable, fearless widow to serve as governess to two children in remote Lancashire location. Spartan conditions, haunted house, fair pay. Inquire at the Duck’s Head, Rawden.

How desperate would you have to be to answer an ad like that?

It’s the early 1800s. You’re an out-of-work governess living in the south of England, and Lancashire is in the north, which means a long journey which you can’t afford. The advertisement doesn’t tell you who your employer will be. You just have to show up at an inn called the Duck’s Head in a remote village, and inquire about the job—which may or may not be available by the time you get there. Judging by the ad, your prospective employer is a bit crazy. (Haunted house? What nonsense!) On the other hand, the ad is up front about the Spartan conditions, and maybe ‘fair pay’ really will be fair. And you haven’t found anything else, so this is your last hope.

On top of that, it’s less than a month to Christmas, which is usually your favorite time of year. This year definitely won’t be the best Christmas ever…or will it?

(If you’re done with Christmas—it’s January, after all—I apologize, but take heart! The Christmas Knot is only one of seven novellas in the boxed set, Captivated By His Kiss, and only two of them are about Christmas. At 99 cents for the whole set, it’s a great deal, and you can always save the Christmas stories for later.)

Here’s a blurb:

Widowed and destitute, Edwina White takes a position as governess in a remote village in the north of England—in a haunted house. She’s so desperate that she’ll take anything, and besides, she doesn’t believe in ghosts. Little does she know that her new employer is the seducer who lied and deceived her many years ago.

Sir Richard Ballister inherited an estate with a ghost and a curse, and every governess he hires leaves within a week. Finally, a woman desperate enough to stay arrives on his doorstep—but she’s the seductress who dropped him many years earlier for a richer man.

The last thing Richard and Edwina want is to work together, but they have no choice. Can they overcome the bitterness of the past in time to unravel a centuries-old knot and end the Christmas curse?

And here’s an excerpt. Edwina has just arrived at her new employer’s house.

Her employer was Richard Ballister?

Edwina could do nothing but stare, aghast. Richard looked as appalled as she felt. She gazed about her hopelessly, shivering in the gathering dusk. If she returned to the inn, if she…

Richard recovered himself and handed the waiting man a coin. “Thank you, Joseph. Off you go before it starts to pour.” He grabbed Edwina’s valise and with a curt motion of the head, indicated that she should follow him indoors.

She hesitated. Death from exposure to the elements―for the first fat drops had already begun to fall―or from mortification?

“For God’s sake, Edwina, come indoors before I have to drag you.”

A wave of nostalgia rolled over her. Typical, no-nonsense Richard Ballister—one thing she had always loved about him. She didn’t love him anymore—that went without saying; one couldn’t love a liar and a jilt—but a few good memories lingered amongst the utterly miserable ones.

She went inside, and he slammed the door behind her. Before she could move, he loomed over her, large and threatening, trapping her between himself and the door, and another shudder of memory went through her. He hadn’t changed much: tall and darkly handsome, with a sensual curl of the lips and half-hooded, appraising eyes.

Why must desire rear its foolish head at such a time?

“What the devil are you doing here?” he said.

Desire and nostalgia dissipated at once. “Perhaps you should have identified yourself in that advertisement, if you didn’t want an unpleasant surprise,” she snapped. “Believe me, if I’d known you were my prospective employer, I wouldn’t have come.”

“Wise of you,” he drawled.

She wanted to hit him. “If you had any consideration at all, you would have arranged for the governess to apply to an agent in London, rather than spend her every last farthing traveling to the middle of nowhere.” To find the one man she loathed most in the entire world.

“Every last farthing?” He rolled his eyes.

“Not quite,” she retorted, spitting with fury. He retreated a few inches. Good. “I have a ha’penny in my reticule.”

“You can’t possibly be down to your last ha’penny,” he scoffed. “Your husband is a very rich man. I ask again—why in God’s name are you here?”

“My husband is dead,” she said flatly. “Didn’t you advertise for a widow?”

“My condolences,” he said unpleasantly. “But that doesn’t make you a governess, Edwina. Surely you can find some worthy charity or other to occupy your time. Succoring the flower girls in Covent Garden or some such.”

Oh, how she longed to hit him. “My husband died penniless. Therefore I am penniless, too.”

He blinked, taking it in. She didn’t blame him for being surprised. At the time of her marriage, her late husband had indeed been wealthy. Richard’s lips curled into an evil smile. “Well, but you’ve got a ha’penny left, didn’t you say?” He threw his head back and laughed.

It wasn’t a choice after all—she would perish of both mortification and the cold and wet. She whirled and wrenched open the door. Rain lashed in, soaking her skirts. She grabbed her valise, which Richard had dropped—he was still laughing, the disgusting brute―and marched out into the downpour.

Buy Links: Amazon Kindle ~ Amazon Paperback ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Kobo
About Barbara:

BarbaraMonajem300x400

Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she’s writing historical and paranormal romance for grownups. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays. Learn more about her books at http://www.BarbaraMonajem.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please welcome the amazing Regency author, Miranda Neville to the blog!! Miranda is giving away a copy of her latest book, The Duke of Dark Desires, to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment saying you want it.

Without further to do, let’s get to the fabulous cover!!

Cover

 

Now the blurb.

Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours . . .

Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified–to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation . . . without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn’t seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke’s relatives is responsible for the death of her family–and take her revenge. She certainly can’t afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her.

But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she’s faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she’s sworn to kill?

An excerpt.

“Your Grace,” Jane said. “I have a request if you can spare me a few minutes.”

“I do hope it’s one I’ll enjoy fulfilling. If so, I’ll agree to anything.”

“I doubt this matter will affect your pleasure either way.”

“You disappoint me again. Oliver, just this once do what I ask and leave. Go up to the Blue Saloon to prepare for your pupils. I need to speak to Miss Grey.”

“My request is not a private one.”

“You’ve made that perfectly clear, alas. Go, Oliver.”

“You will be coming, Jane, won’t you?”

“Of course, Mr. Bream. I won’t be long. The young ladies will be down soon with their drawing materials.”

She watched him go with some trepidation, leaving her alone with Denford. He took a place at the table and, as though he had all the time in the world, poured himself some coffee. She ought to be safe from her unruly desires at nine o’clock in the morning with the humdrum accouterments of breakfast spread on the table; nevertheless she averted her eyes from his lips on the rim of the china cup.

“Oliver doesn’t always show such good taste,” he remarked. “The array of women he has loved in the five or six years I’ve known him is positively dizzying. They have only one trait in common: that of being unattainable. Women always seem able to resist him.”

“What makes you think I could? Mr. Bream is a very agreeable young man. For all you know he could be the kind of man I prefer.”

“No, he isn’t.”

“What kind of man do you think I prefer?”

She peeked at him from lowered eyelids and found him staring at her with a wolfish smile. “The matter is still under investigation but I am making progress. You are flirting with me.”

“I am not!” But she was, of course. Dalliance should be the last thing on her mind, especially with a member of the Fortescue family. She stiffened her spine and tried to think like a governess. “Last night,” she began, “I was up late.”

“Do go on. Your bedtime habits interest me greatly.”

And the buy links:

Amazon ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Google Play

About Miranda:

NevilleColorSmallestMiranda Neville grew up in England, loving the books of Georgette Heyer and other Regency romances. Her historical romances include the Burgundy Club series, about Regency book collectors, and The Wild Quartet. She lives in Vermont with her daughter, her cat, and a ridiculously large collection of Christmas tree ornaments.

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Please welcome the wonderful Christi Caldwell back to the blog! Christi is giving away a copy of her latest book, More Than A Duke , to one of you. If you want to be included in the drawing, leave a comment telling her you want the book. How easy is that?

As always, we’ll begin with the lovely cover.

ChristiCaldwell_MoreThanaDuke_1400

Now the blurb.

Polite Society doesn’t take Lady Anne Adamson seriously. However, Anne isn’t just another pretty young miss. When she discovers her father betrayed her mother’s love and caused her family descent into poverty, Anne comes up with a plan to marry a respectable, powerful, and honorable gentleman— a man nothing like her philandering father.

Armed with the heart of a duke pendant, fabled to land the wearer a duke’s heart, she decides to enlist the aid of the notorious Harry, 6th Earl of Stanhope. A scoundrel with a scandalous past, he is the last gentleman she’d ever wed…however, his reputation marks him the perfect man to school her in the art of seduction so she might ensnare the illustrious Duke of Crawford.

Harry, the Earl of Stanhope is a jaded, cynical rogue who lives for his own pleasures. Having been thrown over by the only woman he ever loved so she could wed a duke, he’s not at all surprised when Lady Anne approaches him with her scheme to capture another duke’s affection. He’s come to appreciate that all women are in fact greedy, title-grasping, self-indulgent creatures. And with Anne’s history of grating on his every last nerve, she is the last woman he’d ever agree to school in the art of seduction. Only his friendship with Anne’s sister compels him to help.

What begins as a pretend courtship, born of lessons on seduction, becomes something more leaving Anne to decide if she can give her heart to a reckless rogue, and Harry must decide if he’s willing to again trust in a lady’s love.

And an excerpt.

A lock toppled free from the collection of ringlets artfully arranged by Anne’s maid. She brushed the strand back. It fell promptly back over her brow.

The earl collected that single curl between his fingers and studied the strand bemusedly. “A ringlet,” he murmured. His lips twitched as though he found something of the utmost hilarity in her gold ringlet, immediately snapping her from whatever momentary spell he’d cast.

She swatted at his fingers. “What is wrong with my ringlets?” She knew there was a more pressing matter to attend. But really, what was wrong with her ringlets?

He tweaked her nose. “There is everything wrong with them.”

Well! Anne gave a flounce of those ringlets he seemed so condescending of. “I’ve not come to speak to you about my hair.”

The earl narrowed his gaze as he seemed to remember that: one, they were shut away in their host’s conservatory one step from ruin and two, that she was the sister of the twin he’d once tried to seduce. And more specifically, the sister of the twin who’d looked down a pointed nose at him whenever he was near.

With trembling fingers, she righted the upended flute. “I require but a moment of your time.”

“You’ve already had at least five moments.”

Distractedly, she picked up the crystal flute still filled to the brim and eyed the nearly clear contents of the glass. It really did look quite delicious. “Do you mean five minutes?” Because there really wasn’t such a thing as five moments. Or was there? She raised the glass to her lips.

With a growl, he snatched it from her fingers with such ferocity the exquisite liquor splashed her lips.

“What are you doing, Lady Anne?” he asked, his voice garbled.

She sighed. She really should have tried the bubbly drink before he’d arrived and gone all serious, disapproving-lord on her. “If you must know, I’d intended to sample—”

“You are not sampling anything, my lady.” He set the flute down so hard liquid droplets sprayed the table.

Yes, it seemed the roguish earl had gone all stodgy. She released a pent up sigh of regret. What a waste of perfectly forbidden champagne.

Footsteps sounded outside the door and her head snapped up as suddenly, the ramifications of being discovered here with the earl slammed into her. She felt the color drain from her cheeks and frantically searched around.

The earl cursed and taking her by the hand, tugged her to the back of the conservatory. His hasty, yet sure movements bore evidence of a man who’d made many a number of quick escapes. He opened the door and shoved her outside into the marquess’ walled garden.

“You really needn’t—”

“Hush,” he whispered and propelled her further into the gardens. From behind the marquess’ prize-winning gardens, the moon’s glow shone through the clear crystal panes and briefly cast the earl’s partner in a soft light. The tall, voluptuous lady walked about the conservatory.

“The Viscountess of Kendricks?” Shock underscored her question. “But she is recently widowed.” Granted she’d come out of mourning, but that was neither here nor there. Oh, he had no shame.

Lord Stanhope clamped his hand over her mouth. He glowered her into silence and pulled her back, before the viscountess caught sight of them.

Oh, the highhandedness! She’d never been handled thusly in her entire life. She glared up at him.

At long last he drew his fingers back. She continued to study the lush creature, a recent widow with a hopelessly curvaceous figure.

Anne frowned. Mother said gentlemen didn’t desire ladies with well-rounded figures but Anne quite disagreed. All the well-rounded ladies seemed to, for some unknown reason, earn the favor of all manner of gentlemen. The respectable ones. The less respectable ones. Even the old ones with monocles.

A sly smile played about the viscountess’ lips as she paused beside the table. Even with the space between them, Anne detected the viscountess’ lazy yet graceful movements as she picked up the still full glass and took a slow taste of the bubbling champagne.

Envy tugged at Anne. He really should have allowed her just a small sip. Surely there was no harm in a mere taste of the French liquor. And now this blousy creature with her… She wrinkled her brow. “Has she dampened her gown?”

The widow froze mid-sip and glanced around.

Lord Stanhope cursed softly, clapped his hand across Anne’s mouth yet again and whispered harshly against her ear. “Hush, you silly brat, or you’ll see the both of us ruined.”

Anne pointed her gaze to the moon above. As if a rogue, especially this particular rogue, could be ruined. She, on the other hand… She swallowed hard. She, on the other hand, danced with disaster.

With good reason, of course. But still, disaster nonetheless.

“Hullo, my lord,” the woman called into the quiet. A smile played on her too-full lips. “Are you teasing me, Lord Stanhope? I’m eager to see you. Will you not come and see how eager I am?”

Anne glanced up the more than a foot distance between her and the earl to gauge the gentleman’s, er…eagerness. He appeared wholly unmoved by the woman’s none-too-subtle attempt at seduction. His narrow-eyed gaze remained fixed on Anne. Annoyance glinted within the hazel-green irises of his eyes.

“Lord Stanhope?” the woman called again.

Oh, really. She tapped a foot and wished the bothersome baggage would be on her way already. As charming as the Earl of Stanhope seemed to most ladies, she was quite confident that no gentleman could manage to lure her away from polite Society—for any reason.

Lord Stanhope reached down between them and through the ivory fabric of her satin skirts, wrapped his hard hand about the upper portion of her leg, effectively stilling her moments.

Anne’s breath froze and she looked at him.

Be still, he mouthed.

Her throat convulsed. Odd, they were just fingers on just a hand, so very uninteresting, something possessed by everyone. And yet, her skin thrummed with awareness of his touch. She swallowed again. There was nothing uninteresting about his fingers upon her person.

“Stop tapping your foot,” he whispered against her temple. His words had the same affect of a bucket of water being tossed over her foolish head.

“She’s not going to hear my foot,” she shot back. “It is more likely she’ll hear your constant haranguing.”

He closed his eyes and his lips moved as if he were uttering a silent prayer. Which was peculiar, because she’d not ever taken him as the religious sort.

“Lord Stanhope?” the woman called again, impatience coating her words.

Anne sighed. She’d had this all planned out. She’d speak to the earl. Enlist his help and be gone before his trysting partner had arrived. That had been the plan. Then again, a lifetime of scrapes that had gone awry should have prepared her for how this evening would likely turn out. “Oh, for goodness sake, will she not go already?” she muttered. “Whyever is she so insistent on seeing y—”

The earl cursed under his breath. “For the love of all that is holy.” And then, he kissed her. Hard.

Buy link: Amazon

About Christi:

ChristiChristi Caldwell is the USA Today Bestselling author of historical romance novels set in the Regency era. Christi 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 rather enjoys tormenting them before crafting a well-deserved happily ever after!
When she isn’t writing the stories of flawed heroes and heroines, she can be found in her Southern Connecticut home chasing around her feisty six-year-old son, and caring for twin princesses-in-training!
Visit www.christicaldwellauthor.com to learn more about what Christi is working on, or join her on Facebook at Christi Caldwell Author (for frequent updates, excerpts, and posts about her fun as a fulltime mom and writer) and Twitter @ChristiCaldwell (which she is still quite dreadful with).
 

 

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Yes, I was not supposed to be here. I’ll tell you all about it after we congratulate Glenda who won Susanna Fraser’s book, Freedom to Love!

Now for the boat drama. While we were in the Gulf Stream coming up from the Keys, we started taking on water. Not a thing you want to have happen. I made a quick call. We sailed overnight and put into a boat yard that morning. The problem was fixed, as well as several other items that we had not gotten done.

We were at the boat yard for a week and were fortunate to meet some other cruising couples who have become friends. Alicianna and I both went to groomers.

Alicianna at groomer 2

I bought some much needed prescription sunglasses, and green bags to help keep fresh vegetables longer, as well as a new bilge pump. Part of the reason we had so much water in the boat was that it had stopped working. Unfortunately, we missed our weather window. So we’re in Ft. Lauderdale until late Tuesday or Wednesday morning. If anyone wants to stop by, just let me know.

Here are some pictures of our anchorage in the Las Olas mooring field.

Las Olas Jan 14

Las Olas night view

I also got to make a quick stop at the Elbo Room. I hadn’t been there since around 1974. Elbo Room

In the meantime, I have been writing the last book in The Marriage Game series. To say it’s been slow going, would be putting it mildly. I wrote a few scenes out of order. One of which I got to, the other I’m still slogging my way towards.

The book doesn’t have a name yet. I’ve been playing with Miss Featherton’s Christmas Marquis. If you have any ideas, I will submit them to my editor, and if he picks it, you’ll get a copy of the book.

I had to give my editor an idea of what Damon, Marquis of Hawksworth looks like.

Damon

As well as Miss Featherton. Meg

The premise of the book is that after experiencing two betrayals and heartbreak, Meg has decided to marry a man she cannot fall in love with. Damon, however, has other ideas. Here is an unedited excerpt.

Damon swallowed his frustration. “Have you never even considered being the Marchioness of Hawksworth, and future Duchess of Somerset?”

Her head jerked up. Her eyes resembling a startled dear. “Marry you?”

“Why not.” He captured her lips, and this time she opened her mouth, allowing him to plunder. A few moments later, he grinned. “We at least have passion. I’ll wait for you to fall in love with me.”

“Fall in love?” Her jaw dropped, but she quickly recovered. “Are you telling me that you love me?”

“Yes, but I must admit that I have sworn not to marry unless the lady loves me in return.”

Once more she attempted to break loose, but apparently settled for glaring at him. “You cannot be serious.”

On Thursday Christi Caldwell will be back visiting, and on Friday Miranda Neville is here. Please make sure to stop by and welcome them. Also, be patient if you get stuck in moderation. If the wind and sea gods are good, I will be underway and on my sat phone wifi. Not the speediest of things.

What have you all been up to?

Ella

 

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