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I am so addicted to Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series that, whenever a new book is released, I’m like a child at Christmas excitedly waiting to open that special present. I’ve always had lots of questions buzzing about in my head that I wanted to ask Elizabeth about this amazing series. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when she agreed to do this interview. I was literally jumping up and down and, if you have never seen a 67 year old jumping up and down, it is not a pretty sight!

Welcome to Rakes and Rascals, Elizabeth. It is such a pleasure to have you join me here today.

Thank you for inviting me, Carol!

 

R&R: First of all, I’ve always wanted to know how the idea for the Maiden Lane series came about?

Elizabeth: It was several things coming together at once: I wanted to write books in a more complex world—one that readers would want to stay in for more than just a trilogy. I wanted the time to develop characters and plotlines over several books while at the same time keeping each book squarely focused on the romance of the couple in that book.

Then I read about the gin craze in early eighteenth century London. That gave me a time and place. I started thinking about swashbucklers such as Scaramouche by Rafael Sabini and Dr. Syn the Scarecrow (a Disney movie from the 1970s about a hero who disguises himself with a scarecrow’s mask.) I wanted that same sense of sweeping adventure and intrigue. That got me the Ghost of St. Giles and I suppose everything evolved from there.

R&R: Why did you choose the early 18th century as the setting for the series and what aspects of that period particularly appealed to you?

Elizabeth: Swords. Basically swords, wigs, big dresses and swashbuckling. Also, London was really rich in change and upheaval at this time period. It was the largest city in Europe with a lot of people coming into it from all over Britain and beyond. There was a huge gulf between the very rich and very poor. And it was the time of the Enlightenment—the ushering in of modern thought and civilization. I find it endlessly fascinating.

R&R: The notorious St. Giles area of London features predominantly in the books and you have always brought it so vividly to life.  I’ve often wondered if you consulted any contemporary documents in your research and whether William Hogarth’s etchings might have been a useful resource?

Elizabeth: I’ve read some stuff from the time period—newspapers articles, death and birth records, diaries, etc, but I have to confess that I love visual documents like Hogarth’s engravings. I have several books of his engravings and I can spend hours examining them—his artwork, especially his crowd scenes, are so very rich in information.

R&R: When you started writing the series what was foremost in your mind, the story or the characters?

Elizabeth: I always start with character and then work outward: what makes this person the way they are? Who would challenge them most?

R&R: Do you work with any sort of storyboard to keep track of all the different threads and characters running throughout the series?

Elizabeth: No, not really. I have a spread sheet with statistics for each character—eye and hair color, which books they appeared in—very simple, and I have a timeline I keep for significant events like birth and deaths, but most of it is in my head.

R&R: Did you always have in mind which hero and heroine would be paired together or have there been some surprises along the way?

Elizabeth: Usually I know, sometimes for a long time in advance. And sometimes things change at the very last minute. I sent an email to my editor a month ago, telling her I had a new idea for Asa Makepeace’s heroine (two books after DARLING BEAST.) The heroine I had picked for him was just too close in personality to him—and also a new character suddenly popped into my head. ;-)

R&R: Is there any line you would not cross when writing a love scene?

Elizabeth: LOL! Well, I’m writing mass market romances and as my editor, the very, very smart Amy Pierpont once said to me, the point of mass market is that it appeals to a large pool of people. It’s not niche. So, while I have nothing against the sex that would appear in erotica, that’s not the type of book I write.

R&R: What has been the most challenging aspect of writing the series?

Elizabeth: Keeping each book interesting and different and as good as I can make it. Actually, that kind of pertains to any book I write. ;-)

R&R: What has been the most fun aspect of writing the series?

Elizabeth: I really like setting up a long plotline—one that plays out over several books. It’s intellectually stimulating. And some characters are just fun to write. The Duke of Montgomery in Darling Beast is an example.

R&R: In the latest book, DARLING BEAST, I think Apollo is possibly the most tortured hero so far in the series. What aspects of writing his character did you find the most rewarding?

Elizabeth: You know, aside from his tortured past, Apollo is kind of a regular guy. A really nice guy. But he’s also pretty self-aware (which not all my heroes are) which was kind of refreshing. I liked writing about him working through who he was now after years of enduring Bedlam. Because at the beginning of the book I’m not sure he knows who or what he is.

R&R: Lily, the heroine, is a comedy actress and very different from your other heroines. Did you base her on any real actress of the time?

Elizabeth: I’m glad you asked that! I did quite a bit of research into theatre, playwrights, and actresses of the time period–I was surprised at how many female playwrights there were. I didn’t base Lily on any one actress—although she’s a breeches role actress like Nell Gwyn.

Her writing process, however, is quite similar to mine (although I don’t act out my dialogue) and I have cursed trying to write wittily on several occasions. ;-)

R&R: Finally, I’m dying to know whether the intriguing Valentine Napier, Duke of Montgomery will be getting his own book.

Elizabeth: I hope so! I am having problems trying to figure out his heroine though. And he’s going to be one of those characters with a bit of a long arc…

 

Elizabeth, it has been a privilege to have you on Rakes and Rascals today and thank you so much for answering all my questions.

Thank you, Carol—it’s been fun!

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About DARLING BEAST

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(Maiden Lane, #7)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian)

Cover Blurb

A MAN CONDEMNED . . .

Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown’s soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he’s quickly driven to distraction . . .

A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .

London’s premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she’s forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren’t the only inhabitants-a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there’s more to this man than meets the eye.

OUT OF ASH, DESIRE FLARES

Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he’s forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free.

BUY LINKS

.  Amazon
· Barnes & Noble
· Books·A·Million
· Blackwell’s (UK)
· Chapters (Canada)
· IndieBound
· The Book Depository

· BAM!
· eBooks.com
· iBooks
· Kobo
· Nook

 

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EXCERPT

Caliban—no, Lord Kilbourne—was coming toward her and Lily wasn’t entirely certain what to do. She’d been aware of him this entire time, for his eyes seemed to burn into her back no matter where she moved in the room. It really wasn’t fair: it was he who had disappeared into thin air without so much as an explanation or word to her whether he was all right or not. And now he’d turned up at a house party of all things, still using that ridiculous name, Mr. Smith. Had he even invented an appropriate Christian name to go with Smith? A thought struck her, low and terrible. Dear God, she didn’t even know his proper Christian name! She’d let him kiss her and yet didn’t know the first thing about him. The realization made her bitter and a little unwise.

“What’s your real name?” she demanded as he made her side, and if she had to blink back wetness from her eyes, she told herself it was tears of anger.

He glanced around, presumably making sure no one could overhear him. Fortunately, Mr. Phillip Warner had moved away to flirt with his own wife and no one was within earshot.

He replied in a very low voice, “Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne.”

Apollo? Apollo? She nearly goggled.

Well, he certainly couldn’t use Apollo with Smith—what an entirely inane name. Almost as bad as Caliban when one considered it. What mother looked down at an infant son and thought, god of light? No one could live up to a name like that. Especially since he had a twin sister…

Lily’s brain stuttered to a stop and she realized simultaneously both who Apollo-the-god’s twin sister was and who Apollo-the-man’s twin sister must be.

“Your sister is Artemis Batten, the Duchess of Wakefield,” she hissed.

“Hush,” he muttered.

“Your sister’s a bloody duchess.”

“Yes?” He looked at her oddly, as if everyone had a duchess as a sister.

“Which means the duke is your brother-in-law.”

“He’s rather an ass, if that makes any difference.”

“It doesn’t,” she said decisively. “It truly doesn’t. Why are you even talking to me? I’m the blasted help.”

“You are not and you know it,” he said impatiently. “I need to talk to you. To explain—”

“I’m paid to be here,” she said with as much dignity as possible under the circumstances. “And you’re born to all this”—she waved her hand at the room, which, ill-lit though it was, still had a gold ceiling—“and more. You and I have nothing—absolutely nothing in common. I don’t know why you’re here, but I’ll thank you to stay away from me.”

She pasted a smile on her face and moved away from him as gracefully as she could. There was no need to cause a scene, just because her heart was breaking. Ridiculous, really. When he’d been a penniless workman in a garden, shabby and mute, he’d been well within her reach. Now that he was cleaned up and dazzling in his expensive clothes—that waistcoat alone must have cost more than she’d make in a half a year—he was as high above her as the sun itself.

Apollo, indeed. Perhaps his name really did fit him.

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About ELIZABETH

The author of the New York Times bestselling Maiden Lane series and the Legend of Four Soldiers series as well as the Prince Trilogy, Elizabeth Hoyt writes “mesmerizing” (Publishers Weekly) historical romances. She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with three untrained dogs, two angelic but bickering children, and one long-suffering husband. Central Illinois can be less than exciting, and Elizabeth is always more than happy to receive missives from her readers. You can write to her at: P.O. Box 17134, Urbana, IL 61873.

Connect with Elizabeth:

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I will be picking THREE winners and each winnerwill receive a signed copy of DARLING BEAST together with a copy of Elizabeth’s contemporary romance HOT, written under her alternative name, Julia Harper .

 

For four years, play-by-the-rules bank teller Turner Hastings has brooded over her uncle’s wrongful imprisonment. But when two bumbling crooks stumble into her branch (barely disguised in Yoda and Sponge Bob masks) and hold up the place, she sees a chance to do something she’s never thought possible: get revenge. She takes advantage of the melee to pull a heist of her own, seizing info from a security box that will exonerate her uncle.

Sent to investigate a bank robbery in small town Wisconsin, Special Agent John MacKinnon discovers the robbers were two not-quite-so-bright thugs and one woman. Now, Turner is on the run. With SA MacKinnon on her trail, she’s breaking into the bank president Calvin’s house, kidnapping his Great Dane, and for the first time in her life, setting out to break a few rules. But when Calvin hires a hit-man, MacKinnon will have to decide between his career–and saving Turner.


The Giveaway is open Internationally and to enter just leave a comment or a question for Elizabeth. The Giveaway will run until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 9th November and I will announce the winners on Monday 10th November.

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(Maiden Lane, # 7)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian -18th Century)

Cover Blurb:

A MAN CONDEMNED . . .

Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown’s soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he’s quickly driven to distraction . . .

A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .

London’s premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she’s forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren’t the only inhabitants—a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there’s more to this man than meets the eye.

OUT OF ASH, DESIRE FLARES

Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he’s forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free.

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I love Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series and was over the moon when she announced that she had signed a contract for a further three books. In this series, she always creates dark, edgy stories; compelling, unique characters; sensual romance and smouldering love scenes. This is the seventh book in the series and continues the story of Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne who was introduced in the previous book, DUKE OF MIDNIGHT.

At first what she saw looked like an enormous, moving, mud-covered mound, and then it straightened, revealing an endlessly broad back, huge shoulders and shaggy head.

From his first appearance, it’s obvious Apollo is not going to be your stereotypical hero. I adore those arrogant, handsome rakes but there was something very appealing about this gentle giant of a man, especially knowing how much he had suffered during his four years incarcerated in Bedlam for a crime he did not commit. After the brutal, inhuman treatment he suffered, it was hard to imagine that he could have retained even an ounce of humanity but he did. His kindness and compassion is so clearly revealed in his relationship with Lily’s son, Indio. I love their scenes together, seeing the trust and affection growing between them.

Apollo’s palm engulfed the boy’s but he shook Indio’s hand as if he were a duke in velvet instead of a seven-year-old in damp linen and bare feet.

The scene where they play ‘hit that knot’ (if you want to know what sort of game it is, I’m afraid you’ll have to read the book!) was so funny!

Apollo is unable to speak for a proportion of the book because of an injury sustained in Bedlam. I have never come across a mute hero before but I’m sure it must be difficult for an author to convey the hero’s thoughts without using dialogue. Ms Hoyt handled this aspect so well and it definitely added a different element to the story.

I’m not a gardener but I was totally captivated by Apollo’s genuine enthusiasm for his ideas and designs. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and I loved that about him.

Lily is a famous comedy actress…bold, intelligent, caring, independent and experienced in the ways of the world. Life isn’t exactly easy for her because, in the aftermath of the fire that destroyed Harte’s Folly, she is out of work. I admired her efforts to keep her little family, son Indio and maid Maude, together. Lily is a devoted and protective mother to Indio but she hides a secret that could be a threat to him. I like Maude who isn’t afraid to speak her mind where Lily is concerned. She seems more of a surrogate mother than a maid. They are such a charming little family group and I love their interactions:

Indio did not see the Devil – or a monster, for that matter.”

“I did,” Indio said. “But he hasn’t horns. He has shoulders as big as this.” And he demonstrated by throwing his arms as far apart as he could, nearly knocking his bowl of carrot soup to the floor in the process.

Lily caught the bowl deftly – much to the disappointment of Daffodil. “Do eat your soup, please, Indio, before it ends on the floor.”

“Tisn’t a dunnie, then, Maude said decisively as she took her own chair. “Quite small they are, ‘cepting when they turn into a horse. Did it turn into a horse, deary?.”

Lily is not only a famous actress but also a talented playwright although, because of the conventions of the day, her plays are published under her brother’s name. There is a delightful scene when Apollo comes upon her acting out one of her comedy plays. It was easy to visualise all her varied facial expressions and hear the different inflections in her voice….so funny.

In this series, Ms Hoyt has paired the most unlikely couples but the romance has always worked beautifully as it does here. I love how Lily looks beyond Apollo’s outward appearance to see the gentle, honourable man beneath. Even when she believes him to be a simpleton, she treats him with compassion. Apollo isn’t afraid to tell Lily that he loves her and doesn’t give a damn about bloodlines. While Ms Hoyt writes super steamy love scenes, it was the intimate moments of tenderness and understanding that I really enjoyed.

She’d looked at him with such wonder before, as if he might be something special, almost lovely. No one had ever looked at him in such a way, especially no woman.

There is a strong supporting cast of characters that add extra vibrancy to the story. Indio and Daffodil are complete scene stealers while, at long last, I have an explanation for Asa Makepeace’s mysterious disappearances in the earlier books. The obvious tension between Lady Phoebe Batten and Captain Trevillion bodes well for their book, DEAREST ROGUE, and I’m hoping the mysterious, scheming, manipulative Duke of Montgomery gets his own book too.

I love Ms Hoyt’s ability to paint such vivid images with her words and this is one of my absolute favourites, describing Asa Makepeace’s lodging room.

The room was swarming, teeming, breeding with things: towers of stacked books stood on the floor, a table, and even a four-poster bed in the corner, a life-size portrait of a bearded man leaned against one wall, next to a stuffed raven which stood next to a teetering pile of chipped, dirty dishes, and next to that was a four foot-tall model of a ship, rigging and all.

There is plenty of danger and suspense as Apollo keeps one step ahead of the Crown’s men and attempts to track down the person responsible for his friends’ murders. It builds to an exciting climax in which Apollo receives some rather unexpected help.

Apollo -

…the mist swirled amber over the surface of the water, adorning his gleaming skin as if he were the tributary god of this ruined garden.

Lily -

Her dark hair slipped from a messy knot at the back of her neck, waving strands blowing against her pinkened cheeks.

Daffodil -

What can I say, other than another wonderful addition to a fabulous series.


REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT!

Read August 2014

The Maiden Lane series so far (click the book cover for more details):

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1) by Elizabeth HoytNotorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane, #2) by Elizabeth HoytScandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3) by Elizabeth HoytThief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4) by Elizabeth HoytLord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5) by Elizabeth HoytDuke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6) by Elizabeth HoytDarling Beast (Maiden Lane, #7) by Elizabeth Hoyt

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

(Playful Brides, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

CAN A SCANDALOUS CHARADE

For seven long years, Lady Cassandra Monroe has waited for the man of her dreams to return from the war. Unfortunately, he happens to be engaged to her flighty cousin. What Cass wouldn’t give to take her cousin’s place! When he mistakes Cass for Patience Bunbury, a fictitious friend her cousin has invented to escape social obligations…even with her future husband, Cass thinks this is her chance.

LEAD TO TRUE AND LASTING LOVE?

After defeating Napoleon at Waterloo, Captain Julian Swift is not quite ready to settle down and enter into his unwanted arranged marriage—especially when the real object of his affection turns out to be a beguiling beauty he meets at a party. Patience Bunbury is witty, independent, passionate…and, unbeknownst to him, the cousin of his current fiancée. When the truth about Cass comes out—and Julian discovers that their courtship is anything but accidental—will he surrender his heart to a woman who really is too good to be true?

 

Buy Links:

PRINT
EBOOK
AUDIOBOOK

 

(The Marriage Game, #5.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The bachelors in Ella Quinn’s Marriage Game series make a habit of resisting the irresistible. But during the season for giving, surrendering to temptation may be the greatest gift of all…

A French spy, Georges, Marquis Cruzy-le-Châtel, has lived in England for years, sacrificing his life for his country—but not his heart. For he’s never been able to forget his childhood friend, Madeleine. And now, in her hour of need, he is there to rescue her…

The victim of a ruthless statesman, Madeleine, Comtesse du Beaune, has been abducted and sent to England to work in a brothel. Her greatest wish is to return home for Christmas, and her only hope of it is to marry Georges—though she will be his wife in name alone. Yet as they steal across the snowy countryside, Georges decides to woo her—with kisses that melt the winter’s frost and leave her longing for a holiday miracle…

 

BUY LINKS:

Buy for the KindleBuy for the NookBuy from Kensington

iBooks

I love Anna’s books and snapped up this novella  to add to my seasonal December reading.  Only 99cents/77p!

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

No good deed goes unpunished…

To save her hen-witted sister from scandal, Philippa Sanders ventures into a rake’s bedroom—and into his power. Now her reputation hangs by a thread and only a hurried marriage can rescue her. Is the Earl of Erskine the heartless libertine the world believes? Or will Philippa discover unexpected honor in a man notorious for his wild ways?

Blair Hume, the dissolute Earl of Erskine, has had his eye on the intriguing Miss Sanders since he arrived at this deadly dull house party. Now a reckless act delivers this beguiling woman into his hands as a delightful Christmas gift. Is fate offering him a fleeting Yuletide diversion? Or will this Christmas Eve encounter spark a passion that lasts a lifetime?

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com.au

Amazon.ca  Smashwords

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EXCERPT


The Boar’s Head, Salisbury, Christmas 1823

   Philippa was his, however undeserving he was. Erskine had a piece of paper to prove it. And it was time he introduced her to some of the benefits of married life.
   He unlaced her fingers from her wineglass and placed it on the nightstand. She’d nearly emptied the glass, thank goodness. He leaned in and placed his lips softly on hers. She released a little huff of surprise, but didn’t draw away.
   Because her mother had told her to submit? Or because she wanted him to kiss her? He prayed it was the latter.
   Exquisitely aware of her innocence, he kissed her chastely, rediscovering the satiny texture of her lips and her tart, intriguing taste. To support his weight, he splayed his hands on the counterpane. With encouragement from the claret, she’d stopped acting as if he was about to devour her, but he knew he hadn’t banished her fears.
   After an interval both delightful and frustrating, she pressed forward with a breathy sigh. Reluctantly he withdrew. He lifted one hand to brush his thumb across her plump, glistening lips, pulling the lower one down to reveal a glimpse of straight white teeth. Her eyes were as dark as a starless night. He could dive into her gaze and never come up for air.
   Puzzlement creased her forehead. “You kissed me.”
   She didn’t sound entirely pleased. A tender smile curved his lips. “I promised I would, remember?”
   “After I married you.”
   He said what he must, although every word cut like a razor. “I’m prepared to wait.”
   The faint line remained between her dark brows. “You don’t have to.”
   He bit back a sigh and cupped her cheek. “We’re strangers, Philippa. I want you, but I’m not a barbarian. If you’re not ready, I can give you more time.”
   For a prickling interval, she studied his face in silence. He struggled to convey patience and understanding, although she must also see his barely contained hunger.
   He steeled himself to retreat to the room next door. Or perhaps she’d relent and let him sleep beside her. Holding her in his arms without possessing her would be torture, but still it seemed preferable to the lonely hell of a night without her.
   Reluctantly Erskine withdrew his hand and straightened. He told himself that this was for the best. No man of honor could expect his wife to welcome him tonight, whatever rights this morning’s ceremony had conferred.
   Which wasn’t much consolation when he faced a cold bed.
   “Sleep well, Philippa.”
   In the light of candles and fire, her eyes turned even darker. He shifted away slowly like a man going to his execution. He knew he did the right thing, but the knowledge offered no satisfaction.
   His wife remained very still, watching him, although her hands curled slowly into the sheets at her waist. He expected Philippa to look relieved or, best of all, grateful. He’d like her to be grateful. A grateful wife was likely to invite him to consummate their union sooner rather than later. Hopefully before he went completely mad wanting her.
   He’d risen to his feet before she spoke. “I trusted you yesterday.”
   Because of that, he’d lay down his life for her. “Yes, you did. Thank you.”
   Without lowering her gaze, she bit her lip. He wasn’t sure where she was going with this, but he’d much rather stay than leave, even if she only wanted to talk.
   “You’ve always been kind to me.”
   It was his turn to frown. “You make me sound like an aged uncle.”
   A rueful smile twisted her lips. “You’re nicer to me than Uncle Theodore ever was.”
   He didn’t smile back and his voice emerged with a bite that he regretted but couldn’t contain. “Philippa, let me be frank-I don’t feel remotely avuncular when I look at you.” He sucked in a breath and spoke the words likely to terrify her into running back to her unpleasant mother. “The first time I saw you hovering in the shadows like a little ghost, I wanted you. I wanted you when we were trapped in the dressing room. That’s why I kissed you. Every hour since then, I’ve wanted you more. Tonight I’m offering you a postponement, but I don’t… I can’t let you think that I’ll accept a chaste marriage.”
   He waited for an appalled reaction, but she didn’t flinch away. Neither, confound it, did she leap into his arms declaring overwhelming desire.
   “I…see,” she said slowly after a tense interval.
   He stepped closer to the bed, even if it was a step he’d need to retrace when he left her. “Have I shocked you?”
   “A little.” She paused. “You have a husband’s rights.”
   “I’m not a bully.”
   “No, you’re not.”
   He should go. This awkward conversation just extended the torture.
   Her eyes flickered away and her hands stopped twisting at the sheets. Instead, she began to pluck nervously at them. Not much of an improvement.
   Why the deuce was the chit nervous? Hadn’t he just given her a reprieve? Surely that saintly act alone must cancel out a few of his sins in the heavenly register.
   “It’s late,” he said regretfully, starting to feel like a fool standing in the middle of the room, gazing at Philippa like a dog slavering at a butcher shop window. He turned to leave.
   “Don’t go.”
   Erskine stopped, wondering if he’d heard her aright. Slowly he faced her. He couldn’t read her expression. “What did you say?”
   Her deep breath made her breasts swell voluptuously against her nightgown. He closed his eyes. God give him strength. She wasn’t doing this to get him excited. Although he was undoubtedly getting excited.
   She licked her lips. How he wished she wouldn’t.
   Philippa swallowed and spoke in a rusty whisper. “I said… don’t go.”
   He braced his shoulders and told himself he could be strong. They had years to get this right. A wedding night was just another date on the calendar. “You don’t want to sleep alone in a strange place? I can understand that.”
   Her eyes flashed with annoyance, surprising him. “No, I don’t want to sleep alone. But that’s not what I mean.”
   “What do you mean?”
   Her lips tightened with displeasure. “You’re the blasted rake. You work it out.”
   His heart kicking into an excited gallop, he stared at her without moving. It took him far too long to realize that while she looked uncertain, she also looked… interested.
   He could work with interested, by God.
   On an astonished laugh, he dived across the floor and onto the bed, dragging her into his arms. “Prepare to be ravished, lassie!”
   Before Philippa could reply or, heaven forfend, change her mind, he captured her lips with his in a kiss that wasn’t chaste at all.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Meet ANNA CAMPBELL

ANNA CAMPBELL has written nine multi award-winning historical romances for Grand Central Publishing and Avon HarperCollins and her work is published in sixteen languages. Anna has won numerous awards for her Regency-set stories including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill (three times), the Heart of Excellence (twice), the Aspen Gold (twice) and the Australian Romance Readers Association’s favorite historical romance (five times). Anna is currently engaged in writing the “Sons of Sin” series, which started in 2012 with SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED and now continues with book 3, WHAT A DUKE DARES. Anna lives on the beautiful east coast of Australia where she writes full-time.

You can find Anna online at:

Website  Facebook Fan Page  Twitter: @AnnaCampbellOz  Goodreads

I love Victoria Vane’s Historical Romances and I’m excited about reading her new Contemporary ‘Hot Cowboy Nights’ series.

Slow Hand

By Victoria Vane

Sourcebooks Casablanca

November 4, 2014

$7.99/£5.99

Summary:

In rural Montana…

Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who’s torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He’s on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She’s a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots…

Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds—until her father’s death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can’t resist a cowboy with a slow hand…

Buy Links:

Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound

 

Excerpt:

He went to work on his shirt buttons. His collar was soon wide open revealing a generous show of muscular chest that make her hands itch to rip it off him. She diverted her gaze and curled her itchy hands by her sides.

“Have no fear, cowboy,” Nikki replied in a tone meant to disguise the warm flush that had come over her. “I corralled all my wild impulses long ago.”

“Did you, now?” He still stood in doorway, head cocked. “Somehow, I think you may have missed a few strays.”

“Maybe I need to make myself clearer. I have an aversion to cocky cowboys.”

Just keep telling yourself that, Nikki. Maybe if you repeat it often enough it’ll become true.

“Is that so?” His brows flew upward. “I can’t say I ever met a woman with an actual aversion to me.”

“Don’t take it personally. It’s nothing against you in particular, but to your type.”

“And what do you think you know about my type?”

“Since I don’t have a pole handy, enough to keep you at arms-length. Besides that, this whole line of conversation is entirely inappropriate in light of professional ethics, don’t you think? You are my attorney, after all.”

“Well, darlin’,” he scratched his unshaven jaw, “there’s a little hitch to that.”

“What do you mean? You said you’d help me.”

“And I will, but you can’t engage my professional services until I know who you are.”

“I’ve told you who I am!” she insisted.

“Sweetheart, I’m a lawyer, and according to the law, your claim don’t weigh without authentication.”

“Authentication?”

“Proof.”

“So what are you saying? That you don’t believe me?”

“I’m not saying that at all. Only that our professional relationship will commence once you get your I.D. In the interim,” His gaze slid over her in a way that threatened to melt her insides, “you’d best find yourself a nice, long, sturdy pole.”


About the Author:

Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

Social Media:

Website | Facebook | @AuthorVictoriaV | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

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