Cover Reveal Splash for Tracey Devlyn’s …

‘Latymer’

L TDBOOK BLURB: Traitor or savior…or something far more devastating?

William Townsend, Lord Latymer, lost the woman he loved because of his greed and his ultimate deception of two powerful countries. Now, he must protect his nine-year-old son from the same fate. Latymer has only one chance to escape his enemies—board a ship that would carry them both to America and a new life. But first he must find his missing son, elude a vengeful grieving brother, and kill a beautiful French assassin. Time is slipping through his fingers and Latymer has twelve hours before his ship and his future sail away.

Have a Kindle and want to be notified when LATYMER releases? Go to Tracey’s Amazon Author Page and click on the “Email me when there are new releases by Tracey Devlyn” link under the Stay Up To Date section.

Amazon will send you an email reminder on January 7, 2014!

EXCERPT: 

Releasing a breath, Latymer moved from room to room, floor to floor, sifting through the evening shadows with painstaking precision. White linens draped every piece of furniture, making the once-happy atmosphere feel more like that of a dreary mausoleum.

He saved Lydia’s bedchamber for last. Had he been stronger, he would have gone there first, knowing if Giles had managed to find his way home, he would’ve sought the comfort of his mother’s chamber. An instinctual response for any child, especially one who’d suffered so much.

But Latymer’s courage began to flag the moment he placed his boot on the first stair. Although he could ignore the grief, he hadn’t been able to control the longing. After the French had kidnapped Giles and forced Lydia to spy on Somerton for them, he’d come here often. This house, their possessions, her bedchamber—the only links he had left to his lover and his son. Once he’d learned of her death, he’d stopped coming.

He stared at Lydia’s bedchamber door now, praying Giles was within. If he lost his son to the French, as he’d lost the woman he loved, not even Bonaparte would be safe from his vengeance.

Turning the handle, he eased the door open and slipped inside. Low, flickering light caught his eye. “Giles?”

“No, darling, not Giles.”

Collette. His heart sank like a bag of tarnished coins into his gut.

How had she known to come here? Had she followed Giles? His gaze slashed around the chamber, searching for his son.

Nothing, nothing, nothing.

The lamplight grew stronger. “Looking for someone?” Collette’s bloodred lips tipped up into a taunting smile.

“Where is he?”

Sitting at Lydia’s dressing room table, Collette reached for a silver comb that lay next to a small pistol. She slid the hairpiece into her mass of dark locks, twisting her head one way, then the other, inspecting her handiwork. He’d given the comb to Lydia on her birthday five years ago. Seeing the special piece in his enemy’s possession sent fire streaking through his veins.

She met his gaze in the looking glass. “He?”

“Don’t play games with me, Collette. What have you done with my son?”

“We will get to him later.” She rose and turned to face him. “First, let us discuss the unfinished business you have yet to attend to.”

“There is no later. If you know where my son is, tell me now.” The steel in his voice drew forth two new bodyguards—one from the corridor and one from the dressing room—both as large as the last two he’d dispatched. “It appears you purchase your brawn in bulk.”

Her eyes twinkled. “So much more convenient that way. Now, about that unfinished business . . .”

“Oh, for God’s sake.” He threw up his hands. “The damned list does not exist. When will your superiors listen?”

She reached for the pistol. “We’re no longer interested in the piece of paper.”

“Then what?”

“Give it some thought, darling. I’m sure that brilliant mind of yours will come up with the answer.”

Latymer considered the last few weeks and the various attempts the French had made to raze the Nexus organization. They had been unsuccessful thus far, but that would not stop them. There could be only one individual they wanted more than a list of agents. “Somerton.”

She sent him an appreciative smile. “Very good, my lord. Bring him to me.”

He and Somerton had a long history of working together at the Alien Office—until Somerton realized Latymer was aiding the French. Even though Somerton was now his enemy, he was the one person Latymer trusted. To betray Somerton once again would be difficult, though not impossible. To save Giles, he would do whatever it took. But first, he had to uncover what Collette knew about his son’s whereabouts—if anything. “Show me my son first.”

“That’s not how this works, Latymer, and you know it,” Collette purred, clearly enjoying having the upper hand.

When he’d met Collette many years ago in London, fresh out of the schoolroom, she’d exuded a raw, untamed sensuality. Four days after meeting her, Latymer had taken her to bed and had spent several hours tutoring her in the carnal arts. She had been a quick and enthusiastic pupil.

Although extraordinary, her beauty had not been the reason for his interest. No, he had enticed Collette into his bed to coax from her information about her new husband and his associates within the French government. Two months into their affair, she discovered his duplicity. Undeterred, she’d asked questions . . . a lot of questions. And then she’d disappeared. Their paths crossed a few more times over the years, and every time he saw her he had been fascinated by her transformation—from innocent to victim, to predator, to killer.

“You expect me to bring one of the most dangerous men in Britain to you without any assurance that my son is even alive?”

Nodding, she lifted the pistol in his direction. “Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying.” She began to move toward him, one provocative step at a time. “You have a perfect understanding of the situation.”

“If I do what you want, I’m free of further harassment from your emperor?”

“Harassment? I do not recall you being so harsh last time we worked together.” Her gaze roamed down his frame leisurely, thoroughly, seductively.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Latymer’s body took notice. One sultry look. That’s all it had taken to awaken memories of their brief affair. She knew how to pleasure a man and how to take a man’s pleasure. How to make him feel like a king.

“Last time we met you weren’t after my son.”

“You’re becoming quite soft on me, Latymer. So much emotional bother over a bastard.”

“Careful, Collette,” he said in a quiet, dangerous voice.

“A man with your aspirations should know better than to become attached to anyone or anything.”

“Let’s stop wasting time. Do we have an understanding or not?”

She approached him with a confident stride, though caution rode beside her like a battalion of loyal guards. Her pistol never wavered. She continued forward until the end of the barrel rested against his temple. He dared not move. If nothing else, he understood one thing about her—she would not hesitate to pull the trigger if he made any attempt to overcome her. This woman never hesitated, nor did she waste her time and energy on regrets.

Her familiar exotic scent reached his nostrils, and he could not stop his slow intake of breath—nor the hardening of his body. Whether his physical reaction was due to the threat, or to the temptation, she presented, he couldn’t be sure. Given his peccadilloes, it could be both.

A flush of pink highlighted her sculpted cheeks, and a sheen of perspiration peppered the delicate hollow of her throat. Her gaze never left his.

“Still enjoy the thrill of danger, Collette?” He dropped his voice, careful to keep himself motionless. “Is that the thunder of your heart beating? Does your womb weep for me?”

She caressed the steel barrel against his temple. “Feel free to indulge in your curiosity.”

“Is your trigger finger steady?”

Something close to a genuine smile appeared. “You’re good, darling,” she responded. “But not that deliciously good.”

“We’ll see.” All he needed was a split second of inattention. Enough time for him to wrench her weapon away and force her to reveal what she knew about Giles. “Send your dogs away.”

Her erotic gaze roamed his face, finally resting on his mouth. “I think not.” She smiled. “Etienne and Philippe won’t mind.”

Latymer clenched his jaw. Having her two guards in the room complicated things.

“Do not move your head without my permission,” she said, “or it won’t go well for you.”

“Then you’re going to have to come closer.”

“You wouldn’t be foolish enough to underestimate me, would you?”

He lowered his lids and expanded his chest. “Do I look foolish?”

She pressed the pistol against his flesh and moved close enough for the tip of her boots to touch his.

Accepting her challenge, he caressed the backs of his fingers over her silken cheek and down her long, slender neck. Her breasts rose to meet his touch, and the soft, exposed skin above her neckline invited him to linger. He did.

Copyright by Tracey Devlyn

‘Latymer’:

A Nexus Novella

Genre:  Historical Romantic Thriller

Length:  71 pages

ISBN:  9781940677002

Release Date:  January 7, 2014

Publisher: TDC Creations, Inc.

***   ***   ***

Tracy’s GIVEAWAY:

An Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC (winner’s choice) 

for $15 during her Cover Reveal Splash.

Click on Rafflecopter to enter!

***   ***   ***

TraceyDevlynSmAUTHOR BIO: 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.

Social Media: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads /

 

‘Lady’s Secret Weapon’ by Tracey Devlyn

ALSW TDSTORY: Seduction is His Duty to King and Country

Ethan deBeau has charmed his way into the beds of countless women, enticing them to whisper all kinds of 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 facade 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…

REVIEW: This is a third story of secret agents of Nexus series, and personally, my favorite.

Before I give you my thoughts on it, let me make it clear that in order for you to get the greatest enjoyment of this story, you need to read the other two, #1 is ‘A Lady’s Revenge’ and #2 is ‘Checkmate, My Lord’. The reason behind it is the back-story and the dynamic of the Nexus group and who they are.

In this third installment, we’re in for a treat as we find out more about Ethan as he falls for Sydney Hunt, who runs the Hunt Employment Agency, and is ‘under his foot’ as they both are working separately, on the same case. Soon, it becomes obvious that they should change that fact, but trusting one another isn’t that easy.

What I liked best was the tension and the chemistry these two had when together. Unlike the first book, which was a bit too dark for me, and the second a tad predictable, this one had just the right amount of everything I love in my romance: filled with action, adventure and spies. And finally the bad guy Specter is reveled.

I also liked the plot, pace and complexity of this story. All of those have contributed greatly to the authenticity of the journey our couple had taken to their happily ever after. I like it when the story throws you a few surprises, never lagging and feeling predictable.

Bottom line: If Napoleonic wars, spies, adventure and mystery filled romance is your thing, this one will be a book not to be missed, but be warned, read the other two first.

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

‘Checkmate, My Lord’ by Tracey Devlyn

CML TDSTORY: A desperate mother falls in love with the spymaster she’s sent to betray.

Spymaster Sebastian Danvers, Lord Somerton, has spent the last decade protecting England’s shores against a French invasion. Known for his cold logic and ability to sacrifice anything for the greater good, few can outwit him, and even fewer dare challenge him. Until now.

After being exiled to his country estate, Sebastian is surprised when his beautiful, no-nonsense neighbor turns her seductive wiles on him. But years of intrigue have left him wondering why a respectable widow would risk scandal for a few nights in his bed. Sebastian takes his time unraveling the widow’s secrets, for he quickly realizes she might be the one sacrifice he is unwilling to make.

Living a quiet existence at Winter’s Hollow, Catherine Ashcroft spends her days doing little more than caring for her precocious six-year-old daughter and negotiating her neighbors’ various complaints against their absentee landowner, the enigmatic Earl of Somerton. But, all her boredom comes to a searing halt after learning her newly returned neighbor might have had something to do with her husband’s murder.

Catherine’s orderly existence soon upends and she now finds herself in a desperate bid to save her daughter’s life. But she must betray the earl to do so, even though she no longer suspects him of foul play. Lauren succumbs to the earl’s passionate kisses and recognizes the same loneliness she has felt for years lurking in his hard, crystalline eyes. As her lover’s enemies close in, will Catherine be able to save both her beloved daughter and the handsome spy who has stolen her heart?

REVIEW: This is the second book of the spies of Nexus series and I liked it better than the first.

If you decide to read it, please do so in order, so that you’ll get the greatest enjoyment out of this story, and the entire series. Here’s the order of the series: #1 is A Lady’s Revenge’ followed by #2 here  ‘Checkmate, My Lord’ and ending with #3 ‘Lady’s Secret Weapon’. The reason behind it is the back-story and the dynamic of the Nexus group and who they are and what their mission is.

And now let me tell you why this story impressed and delighted my little ol’ self. The reason behind it is Catherine and Sebastian. They were solid, three-dimensional and very complex characters that fascinated and at times boggled the mind.

Catherine is forced to deal with a personal loss of her husband and is ready to do anything it takes to discover who’s behind it, even if it means a personal sacrifice.

Sebastian is a Chief of Nexus, a spymaster whose enemies are widely spread and as advanced as their own organization and while he might seem calm, cool and collected on the outside, he is anything but.

Even though the storyline was a tad predictable, I enjoyed the plot and its fast pace. Those combined with two very headstrong characters, such as Sebastian and Catherine, make this a very compelling story.

Tracey Devlyn had managed to create a fascinating, exciting and intriguing world of good guys and bad; love stories with passion and chemistry that jumps off the pages; characters that have gone through betrayals and heartbreak only to realize that they’re just human and therefore flawed, yet still capable to give and receive deep and abiding love.

Bottom line my bookworms? If you’re a history buff, you’ll like this story; if you like your romance with seduction, sensuality and suspense, you’ll love this story very much.

Melanie for b2b.

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

‘A Lady’s Revenge’ by Tracey Devlyn

BOOK BLURB: Nothing Gets Between a Lady and Her Vengence…
In a daring rescue, beautiful and wily secret operative Cora deBeau is reunited with her childhood friend Guy Trevelyan, who wants so much more from her now than friendship …

He’ll Stoke the Fire Until They Both Go Up In Flames…
But Cora’s mission against the French has become personal, and even the fire between her and Guy won’t deter her. When it comes to getting sweet, cruel revenge, nothing will stand in a lady’s way…

EXCERPT: (Setup: The year is 1804, England. Miss Cora deBeau and Guy Trevelyan, Earl of Helsford, just finished a Tai Chi session in a meadow near the woods. Up to this point, Cora has resisted touching Guy because of the atrocities she endured while in a French dungeon. This scene is a major turning point in their relationship.)

“Guy grasped her hand and led her to a large, fallen tree. Atop the lichen-crusted trunk sat her red leather slippers. “Do you wear these so you can find them in the woods?”

She sat next to them, slanting him a cross look. “Noooo. I wear them because they make me happy.” As you do. At that moment, she wished she had worn a pretty dress rather than her pai jamahs.

He knelt beside her and patted his knee, a request for her foot.

“I’m not so fragile, Guy. I can manage my own shoes.”

“I know. Now give me your foot.”

Reminiscent of his demand in the library, she knew he wouldn’t budge until she complied. “Stubborn man.” She extended her leg and couldn’t help but smile when he dusted dirt and debris from her bare soles like a father would a recalcitrant child.

“We make a good pair.”

Did they? She had always felt a connection to him. Something deeper than a mere friendship, something that had unfolded petal by fragile petal over the years.

A realization made all the more acute when her young girl’s admiration had transformed into a woman’s awakening. Her discernment of his masculine charms had gradually surfaced. She had noticedsmall things, like the magnificent length of his ebony eyelashes, the adorable dimple in his right cheek, and the fine hairs that peppered the backs of his hands.

She had felt awkward and guilty, especially once her focus shifted to admiring the breadth of his shoulders, the musculature of his thighs, and the beauty of his angular face. This was Guy, for goodness sake—practically her brother. Her thoughts had seemed immoral, wrong somehow, or at least that’s how she had felt at the time.

Her preoccupation with her friend grew to a degree that had kept her insides in a quivering knot any time he drew near, and her normally easy quips would lodge in her throat with just one of his teasing winks.

When she began imagining all her days spent in his company and her lifelong quest to avenge her parents’ murders began to fade, she started avoiding his company and eventually set off for France. She had hoped distance and the distraction of her mission would rid her of the unbearable longing he had stirred in her young heart.

She hoped in vain.

She stared down at his bent head. Sunlight sheened off his black hair, creating an illusion of moonlight dancing over dark waters. Long waves cradled his massive shoulders while he guided her foot into an awaiting red slipper. Without thought, she combed her fingers through his thick strands, taming their wild disarray, and wishing—no, longing—for the courage to bury her nose amidst all that luxury.

He stilled, as if fearing any movement would make her stop. He worried for naught. She loved feeling the silky texture of his midnight locks against her skin. Had dreamt of running her fingers through their length for days. Years.

He sat back on his heels and met her gaze, his internal struggle obvious. He, no doubt, wanted to give her some time to absorb the intimacy they had shared, but the demands of his body were at war with his strong mind. A situation she knew all too well.

In a near whisper, she said, “Turn around, if you please.”

His gaze sharpened, fired hot like a glowing cauldron. But he said nothing, simply maneuvered his body around until he faced the opposite direction, spine erect, senses alert.

She glanced down at the leather thong still wrapped around her middle finger. Its worn appearance was a testament to the many hours spent taming his gorgeous mane. She clamped the tie between her teeth while her hands smoothed over his hair.

“’Tis beautiful.”

He tilted his head back, his eyes closed.“Nonsense. Men don’t have beautiful hair.”

Leaning forward, she swept the tail she had created over her face, inhaling the faint scent of sandalwood mixed with the fresh country air. “You do.”

FEATURED AUTHOR: Tracy Devlyn

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‘A Lady’s Revenge’ by Tracey Devlyn

Let me start off by saying that I might be one of those readers that appreciates a tortured hero story more often than not. Tracey Devlyn’s debut without a doubt qualifies as one of the darker stories I’ve read, and it leaves me conflicted as to why, in the end I didn’t connect to the heroine as much as I should have…

From the first page, I had the feeling that I was missing something of great importance…like the start of the story. Don’t misunderstand. The story’s beginning is great. The hero is in France with his friend looking to rescue a fellow spy, this infamous Raven and they’re in this dark place; the heart of the enemy’s torture chambers and you can smell the stench of the place as the author is very good at conveying it to us, and the suspense is in itself tortures to the readers. The author was well on her way of telling me a great story, yet I felt like I was dropped in the middle of it, and not taking the journey from the start.

Guy Trevelyan in rescuing Raven finds that the woman he loved ever since his childhood has become a spy and is now laying hurt and broken in this chamber of hrrors.

As the story develops, we find out the reason behind our heroines choice to become a spy and why she is reluctant to surrender to her feelings for Guy. We also get introduced to some nasty characters and one in particular, the nefarious French agent who is obsessed with Cora and as long as he’s alive, our heroine will never have peace.

Again, I’m not sure what kept me from enjoying this story, as much as I should. It had all the right ingredients. It was set in 1804 Regency and my favorite era; it had a hero to die for and a tortured heroine; passion and love were great so what went wrong?

Was it too much of reality even for me? The scenes in which the author portrays the brutality and pain were very real and Cora goes through much of physical abuse and that just might have been a bit too much even for me to read through. Or was it her stubbornness that was off putting to me? It has been a month now since I’ve read it and after all this time, I can remember the characters, the scenes and the places yet I still feel disconnect and I can’t really blame the author as she has written a good story. It moved at a slower pace than I would have liked, but the plot as predictable as it was, kept me interested and reading.

If you’re looking for a light read, this one is not for you. However, if you’re looking for something that’s dark and deep with lots of shades of gray, this just might be a read for you. In the end I’m giving this read my four quills for its writing alone.

*This review posted on Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine*