‘Midnight’s Wild Passion’
The dashing, licentious Marquess of Ranelaw can never forgive Godfrey Demarest for ruining his sister—now the time has come to repay the villain in the same coin. But one formidably intriguing impediment stands in the way of Nicholas’s vengeance: Miss Antonia Smith, companion to his foe’s unsuspecting daughter.
Having herself been deceived and disgraced by a rogue—banished by her privileged family as a result and forced to live a lie—Antonia vows to protect her charge from the same cruel fate. She recognizes Ranelaw for the shameless blackguard he is and will devote every ounce of her intelligence and resolve to thwarting him.
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Hi Melanie, Leah and Connie! Thank you so much for having me as your guest today on bookworm2bookworm and a big mushy mwah on your third birthday! Congratulations! What a fabulous achievement!
Book pushing is something I love to do. I do reviews once a month over at the Romance Dish of older books that might have gone under people’s radar. I was originally going to do that here, but then I decided to talk about a book of my own that I’ve always had a particular soft spot for.
MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION came out in 2011 as my take on the classic Regency romance that I’d grown up reading, most memorably from Georgette Heyer. It has elopements and glamorous Regency parties and duels and frumpy companions with shady pasts to hide and a hero who tries very hard to be a wicked man, but can’t quite manage it once he falls, very much against his will, in love.
Here’s a short excerpt from the scene where ruined lady in disguise Antonia is very close to succumbing to the rakish Lord Ranelaw, much against her better judgement.
Bascombe Hailey, Surrey, Spring 1827
When she rounded the side of the building, Antonia glanced across the silent lake. Stars shimmered on the still blackness, turning it into an inverted sky.
“Good evening, Antonia.”
She wasn’t surprised to look back at the summerhouse and see Lord Ranelaw watching from the shallow flight of steps. His presence seemed part of the enchantment. Or perhaps she was so tired, she drifted in a blur where nothing seemed quite real.
“Lord Ranelaw,” she said softly. A breeze across the lake ruffled her loosely arranged hair.
“Nicholas,” he said equally softly. He leaned against one of the four Corinthian columns that supported the portico and folded his arms.
“Nicholas.” His name signaled a concession they both recognized.
Starlight glimmered on his white shirt—did the man never go decently dressed in coat and neckcloth?—but she discerned few other details. She didn’t need to see him. His image was etched on her heart. Handsome, careless, wicked.
“I knew you’d come.” He sounded calm, sure.
The darkness sharpened senses other than sight. She heard the rustle of the trees, smelled the slight dankness of the lake behind her, felt the evening breeze cool against her skin. Skin flushed with awareness.
“You waited three days.”
“I can be patient,” he responded steadily.
She bit her lip. Had she expected to see him? Did her presence mean they’d make love? Somewhere she’d already said yes.
“Are you going to run?” he asked in a casual voice, as if consent or refusal were all the same to him. But even in the shadows, she saw he tautened with anticipation.
He straightened and prowled down to the bottom step. She knew he waited for her to flee like a frightened bird. Like a woman with an ounce of self-preservation.
He became preternaturally still. His voice was low, coaxing, thick and deep as velvet. “What’s it to be, Antonia?”
“Don’t bully me, Ranelaw,” she said sharply.
“Are you pretending you’re just out for an evening walk?”
That’s what she’d told herself. Not even she believed it.
She’d left the house, wandered toward the summerhouse, because she knew Ranelaw waited. She admitted that to herself. She wasn’t quite ready to admit it to him. “I didn’t realize you’d be here.”
Her eyes had adjusted enough to see the glint of his teeth as he smiled. “Yes, you did.”
What use struggling to preserve her pride? He’d soon know she was helpless to resist him. He knew already.
“Yes, I did,” she answered almost soundlessly.
The words lay between them like a challenge.
She poised in breathless suspense for him to sweep her into his arms. Across the several yards separating them, she couldn’t mistake his urgency. The silence developed a vibrating quality. Even the breeze dropped in expectation.
Why hadn’t he touched her yet? They both knew she wouldn’t fight.
He turned his face to the glittering sky then he stared directly at her. Through darkness, that regard burned.
“Why?” The question cut through the night like a blade.
You can read another excerpt on my website.
I’d love to give away a copy of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION (print or e-book, international) today. Just leave a comment! I’d love to know what was the book that got you hooked on reading historical romance.
AUTHOR INFO: Australian ANNA CAMPBELL has written eight 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 romances. Anna’s latest release is Book 2 in the Sons of Sin series, A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS, which has just been nominated as best sensual historical romance of 2013 in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Awards.