Spotlight on Amanda Scott and ‘Devil’s Moon’!

Today we are spotlighting one of my favorite authors and asking her to tell us her Top 5 book to film/series adaptations.

I’m not a movie fan, so this one is hard, but I’m assuming that you’re asking what favorite books I have that have been made into great movies. I’ll give it a shot. 

1. Actually, the first movie that comes to mind is Into the Woods because I was utterly fascinated by the way all my favorite fairy tales were woven into the story.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird. I knew when the first scene of the movie opened which house belonged to Atticus Finch, and I thought the movie brought that so-excellent book alive.

3. American Sniper

4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

5. And I loved all the Sean Connery James Bond movies

dm asSTORY: A Warrior’s Promise

The last place Sir David “Devil” Ormiston expected his moonlight chase of a horse thief to end was in a lady’s bedchamber. He is shocked to find that the raider he has pursued is no man, but a defiant beauty in disguise-and the woman he’s vowed to protect at all costs. Face to face with a girl Dev thought he knew, the ever confident, marriage-resistant knight may learn that he is defenseless against the desirable woman she has become.

A Lady’s Secret

Lady Robina Gledstanes will do anything to keep her family’s land out of the hands of her greedy kinsmen-except willingly submit to the handsome, cocksure Devil Ormiston. Dev’s help may be just as dangerous as the threats lurking outside her castle. But when enemies scheme to steal the castle’s treasure, Robina must risk losing something even more precious-her heart.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / BAM / B&N / IndieBound / GooglePlay / iTunes / Kobo

TEASER:

Prologue

Coklaw Castle, the Scottish Borders, July 1403

The night was black. Not a star shone, and the damp, clinging mist was as cold as mid-November. The castle’s tall, square keep rose above its outer wall, although the two appeared as one solid density against the night sky.

Armed with a shovel and dirk, the thickset man known as Shetland Jamie felt his way to the crest of a low rise thirty yards southeast of the wall. He thanked God for the darkness and blessed the mist that hid him. He heard no sound from the wall walk above.

The siege laid by Henry Percy, the powerful English Earl of Northumberland, had been in effect for fifteen days, but his men had not attacked for a sennight, so the Scots inside the castle no longer feared an assault. Doubtless, the earl meant to starve them out.

Jamie had worried about his shovel making noise, but yesterday’s misery-making rain had softened the ground, so the rain had been good for something beyond easing the siege army’s stink. Moreover, the heavy mist had muffled the night bird’s call he’d heard a short while ago, so it would doubtless muffle any sounds he made.

Jamie had studied the rise from the day he’d first recognized the stunning opportunity that had presented itself to him. Now, following an image in his head of what he had seen earlier, he soon found the pile of rocks he’d left to mark his spot.

Cautiously resting his shovel on a shrub, he gently set down the crockery jar that held the most precious part of his burden, out of the way but where he could find it again.

Dawn remained distant, and the English tents and siege fires lay to the south, beyond the crest of a nearby hill. Northumberland’s tent was the finest, of course. The Percys were wealthier than God, and Shetland Jamie’s family was poorer than dust.

But God knew all and willed all, did He not?

Jamie believed that God had provided this chance and had willed the idea into his head. A wise man recognized opportunity when it came his way, and he knew that he’d have had to be blind not to see this one. The others had left him alone, guarding that fine tent for just a few minutes, but that had been enough.

It would mean hanging if they caught him, but if they didn’t, he’d be far better off than he was now. God had paved the way for him tonight, too, with the darkness and mist.

As he pictured numerous possibilities that the future might hold for him, he quietly shifted the pile of rocks out of his way. He would bury his treasure for the nonce and take good care that no one suspected what he’d done.

To continue reading more of Prologue & the entire Chapter 1, go here.

Amanda ScottAUTHOR BIO: Amanda Scott is the author of over 62 romance novels and the recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award.  She lives in Folsom, California, outside of Sacramento.

Amanda is a fourth-generation Californian, who was born and raised in Salinas and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Mills College in Oakland. She did graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in British History, before obtaining her Master’s in History from California State University at San Jose. She now lives with her husband and son in northern California.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook /Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest /

‘Devil’s Moon’ by Amanda Scott

dm asSTORY: A Warrior’s Promise

The last place Sir David “Devil” Ormiston expected his moonlight chase of a horse thief to end was in a lady’s bedchamber. He is shocked to find that the raider he has pursued is no man, but a defiant beauty in disguise—and the woman he’s vowed to protect at all costs. Face to face with a girl Dev thought he knew, the ever confident, marriage-resistant knight may learn that he is defenseless against the desirable woman she has become.

A Lady’s Secret

Lady Robina Gledstanes will do anything to keep her family’s land out of the hands of her greedy kinsmen—except willingly submit to the handsome, cocksure Devil Ormiston. Dev’s help may be just as dangerous as the threats lurking outside her castle. But when enemies scheme to steal the castle’s treasure, Robina must risk losing something even more precious—her heart.

REVIEW: With this second book, Paula Quinn continues her Border Nights series and once more takes me back in time of Scotland of long ago.

It’s worth repeating and reminding my bookworms that reading Ms. Scott’s stories are an adventure in itself. She never fails to have me immersed into her world so much so, that I’m having a hard time coming out of it. The reason behind it is her immaculate research of the world she creates for me and for my pleasure. And trust me. It is pure bliss to let myself go and for a few hours a day just be one of the clansmen.

My heart went out to our heroine, Lady Robina Gledstanes who had such strength, such courage after she had to step up and be the “Laird”, only until her younger brother can reach his majority, of her clan after the deaths of her parents and her twin brother. I can’t even imagine how hard this was for this young woman, especially for the time that she was living in.

The hero, Sir David “Devil” Ormiston, had been in a battle and his best friend saves his life and dies. That is something he feels guilty about and is having a hard time with, especially because that friend is none other than Lady Robina’s twin brother. He gave his word to his friend that he’ll protect the two and now he must do it no matter the cost to his heart.

I loved the way both of them had to adjust their opinion of each other as they slowly realize that no matter how long they’ve known each other, they never really “saw” one another for what they were.

As usual, the plotting is intriguing, the action rampant, and romance sensual and sweet.
This story is one shop-stop when it comes to romance, historical events and fiction. It’s all here and masterfully woven together, just like the tartan’s of old.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Spotlight on Shana Galen and ‘While You Were Spying’!

This is a special Birthday treat for me! Having Shana Galen stop by is always fun and today we have five questions I’m dying to hear the answers to, so…here we go…

Which scenes were easy/hard to write in this story?

The easiest (if any scenes are easy) were those with Francesca and her mother. Her mother was fun to write. The hardest scenes were those where Francesca has to talk about the abuse she suffered in the past.

You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?

I rarely read magazines, but I’d probably get Writer’s Digest, Publisher’s Weekly, and Romantic Times Bookreviews. Then I’d know how to write better and what new books are out!

If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?

Outlander, Downton Abbey and Sprout (for my daughter)

What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?

11

Skinny Cow Chocolate filled with Caramel, Skinny Pop Popcorn and Emerald Cocoa Roasted Almonds

What’s a movie that you can watch over and over again?

Sliding Doors

How about you? Can you answer some of these?

Galen, Shana- While You Were Spying (final) 300 px @ 72   dpi low resBOOK BLURB: Francesca Dashing would like to forget that Ethan Caxton, the Marquess of Winterbourne, exists. He humiliated her in front of all of London Society—and he doesn’t even remember it! But when Ethan shows up in her sleepy Hampshire town, he’s hard to overlook, and his presence stirs up long-buried feelings. Francesca tries to keep her distance…until her life is threatened and the mysterious and handsome marquess comes to her rescue, in more ways than she ever thought possible.

Winterbourne has traveled to Hampshire on orders from the Foreign Office—he’s investigating an arms smuggling ring and is determined to find its leader. Miss Dashing stumbles into his way—literally—and derails both Ethan’s assignment and his ordered country life. Ethan knows he needs to ignore the distraction, but when Francesca is the victim of a vicious attack, he’s compelled to put aside his mission to protect her. Guarding the viscount’s daughter is work, nothing more, and Ethan has no plans to let down his guard…until Francesca’s chocolate-brown eyes and endless compassion melt the ice in his heart and lay siege to his defenses.

BUY LINKS: Kindle  / iTunes  / Kobo  / Nook  / Google Play 

EXCEPT:

Ethan never saw the web, didn’t even realize he’d been caught, held fast in its silky, glittering strands.

“Cara! My darling, darling Francesca! Mia figlia preziosa!” A tall, slim woman with a cap of short platinum curls seized upon the girl as soon as the majordomo shut the door behind them. It clanked like the door to a prison cell.

“Mamma,” the girl choked out. The force of the woman’s embrace was such that the girl stumbled backward, and Ethan barely had time to step aside in order to avoid a collision.

“Mia figlia!” Her mother, who from her horrendous accent was obviously not Italian, pulled back, grasping her daughter’s shoulders. The woman’s voice echoed through the gray-and-white marble entrance hall, bouncing off the busts and marble statues lining the walls.

“Impossible!” She bodily turned her small daughter by the shoulders. “Look at you. Dov’è stato? I have been so worried.”

“You have?” The girl blinked. “Why?”

But Ethan doubted the woman heard her daughter’s breathy reply. The lady’s dark blue eyes, sharp as fangs, sunk into him.

“And—mamma mia—can this be—? Is this gallant gentiluomo Lord Winterbourne?” She released her daughter and gave a deep curtsy. “An honor, your lordship.” She spread her dun-colored skirts, fluttering her eyelashes at him.

Over her mother’s bowed form, the girl struggled to refrain from rolling her eyes.

“Lord Winterbourne,” she continued, when her mother had risen. “Lady Brigham. My mother.” The last was said with a sigh. The woman offered her hand to Ethan.

He shook off his daze, took her hand, and kissed the woman’s gloved knuckles. “A pleasure to renew your acquaintance, Lady Brigham.”

“Non, Signore. The pleasure is all mine.”

Ethan stepped back, and Lady Brigham appeared to study him. The hair on the back of his neck prickled. She pressed one finger to her lip with slow, exaggerated taps then held it there and narrowed her eyes. “And what, pray tell, is your business in Hampshire, my lord?”

Ethan was only too familiar with the woman’s tone of voice. It oozed matrimonial insinuation. Lady Brigham raised her eyebrows and looked sidelong at her daughter. Miss Dashing appeared to have shrunk six inches.

“I’m visiting my brother at Grayson Park.”

“Ah, the earl.” Lady Brigham drew in a breath, her white gauzy fichu swelling like a sail.

“I see.” The finger tapped at her lips again as she exhaled. “But surely Francesca did not wander as far as the Park?” The unasked question hovered in the air, and he was thankful the girl snatched at it.

“No, Mamma. Lord Winterbourne was riding, and we met purely by chance. He offered to escort me home.” She spoke quickly, obviously hoping to move the conversation along.

Lady Brigham’s eyes widened. Ethan swore he saw them glitter.

“I see.”

Damn. This was why he avoided Society. Spend ten minutes with an unmarried miss, and you were suddenly betrothed. “Is Lord Brigham at home? I’d like to speak with him.”

The woman inhaled sharply, her eyes almost popping from their sockets. “Oh! I see!”

Ethan frowned. Beside him, the girl closed her eyes, looking mortified. The devil take him if he hadn’t inadvertently confirmed her mother’s matrimonial hopes. He had no patience for this. “If the viscount is not at home,” Ethan plowed on, “I’ll wait in the library—”

“You will do no such thing!” Lady Brigham clapped her hands three times in rapid suggestion. “You must join us in the drawing room.” She gestured to the dark, formidable doors at the end of the entrance hall.

“Thank you, Lady Brigham, but—”

“Call me Signora, per favore.”

Ethan took a deep breath. “Signora. When do you expect—”

She turned and walked away, shoes clicking loudly on the floor as she passed the numerous Roman statues adorning the niches in the echoing hall.

Ethan didn’t move for a long moment. Had the woman actually cut him off and walked away from him? Him? A marquess. Who the devil did she think—?

“I must warn you I am determined to at least offer you some refreshment.” Lady Brigham held up a hand, stopping in front of a bust of some Caesar or other. “There is no use arguing, I’m afraid.” She gave him a sly smile. “It’s the very least I can do for a gentiluomo who’s asked to see Francesca’s father.” She opened the door to the drawing room and glided inside.

Ethan ground his teeth, then watched as the girl plodded after her mother.

His every instinct told him entering that room would be a mistake. He’d be trapped, alone with the crazed, Italian-squawking woman. He looked back along the entryway toward the door.

The majordomo stepped behind him, cutting off his exit. “My lord.” The man indicated the drawing room with a graceful gesture.

Damn. Outmaneuvered, Ethan took a step forward. He could almost feel the invisible silk strands tighten around him.

shana-galenAUTHOR BIO: Shana Galen is the author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the Lord and Lady Spy Series, the Jewels of the Ton Series, as well as the Sons of the Revolution Trilogy. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time, and is working on more regency romance novels! She’s happily married to the Ultimate Sportsfan and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers so feel free to talk to her on any of her social media sites.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website  / Facebook  / Twitter  / Tsu  / Google +  / Pinterest 

‘While You Were Spying’ by Shana Galen

Galen, Shana- While You Were Spying (final) 300 px @ 72   dpi low resSTORY: Francesca Dashing would like to forget that Ethan Caxton, the Marquess of Winterbourne, exists. He humiliated her in front of all of London Society—and he doesn’t even remember it! But when Ethan shows up in her sleepy Hampshire town, he’s hard to overlook, and his presence stirs up long-buried feelings. Francesca tries to keep her distance…until her life is threatened and the mysterious and handsome marquess comes to her rescue, in more ways than she ever thought possible.

Winterbourne has traveled to Hampshire on orders from the Foreign Office—he’s investigating an arms smuggling ring and is determined to find its leader. Miss Dashing stumbles into his way—literally—and derails both Ethan’s assignment and his ordered country life. Ethan knows he needs to ignore the distraction, but when Francesca is the victim of a vicious attack, he’s compelled to put aside his mission to protect her. Guarding the viscount’s daughter is work, nothing more, and Ethan has no plans to let down his guard…until Francesca’s chocolate-brown eyes and endless compassion melt the ice in his heart and lay siege to his defenses.

REVIEW: This little novella is a prequel to the Regency Spies series and it hits the shelves [although you can pre-order anytime before] on April 7th.

As a long time fan of this author [until recently I was only five books short away from having ALL of her books!] I am always happy to find out she’s got a new book for me to devour.

She never fails to capture my imagination with her well written/plotted, fast-paced and always intriguing and complex characters. If an author manages to make you care for her hero and heroine, she has done her job well, and Shana does this to me with each story she tells.

Our heroine, Francesca, was such a breath of fresh air! Every time she pops in, I picture a “Pied Piper” [think stray animals] and just can’t help but smile. Her kindness and loyalty surprised me only because she was put through so much pain and I thought a lesser woman would have been bitter, but not this woman. Despite her vulnerability, she displayed strength that was second to none.

And then there is Ethan… sigh… This man was one of the dreamiest heroes I’ve come across lately. No joke! He’s not just handsome and dashing, seductive and appealing, but he’s a spy too! But what I loved about him too, was his vulnerability as well. His past prevented him to trust Francesca at the beginning, but once that obstacle was gone, watch out!

It comes as no surprise to me that I loved this tale. Shana Galen has a knack for telling spy stories that are intriguing, interesting and vastly entertaining. They are action and humor filled with a sensual romance at its core. But none of that would have mattered to me if I wasn’t connecting to the hero and heroine. It’s Shana’s characters that keep me yearning for more of her stories.

If your tastes run close to mine, and if you like to laugh and cry while rooting for the villains to get their just deserts, than you must read this story.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

‘After a Fashion’ by Jen Turano

aaf jtSTORY: Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can’t make her fashionable. She’ll never truly fit into Oliver’s world, but just as she’s ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

REVIEW: Miss Harriet Peabody is a young woman working hard making hats.  Her dream is to someday be able to take older gowns donated by wealthy women and refashion them into easily affordable gowns for women of lesser means to afford to purchase.  When her boss requests that she deliver some millinery to a very spoiled and rude young woman, it is with great trepidation that she agrees to do so. Unfortunately, the spoiled woman turns out to be as difficult as feared and after a mishmash of events that leaves much of the merchandise damaged, Harriet finds herself without a job.

However, all is not lost as ‘Karma’ steps in to save the day…for now.  The spoiled young woman has fancied herself engaged to for the very wealthy Mr. Oliver Addleshaw who soon set her straight on the matter and told her in no uncertain terms that they are not engaged and never have been engaged. Seeing how well Harriet handled herself with the difficult woman, Oliver offers her a job.  Not just any job though.  He wants her to act as his wife for a brief time as he meets and seeks to impress his new business partner, the Duke of Westmoore.  Harriet is quite taken aback by his offer and is ready to refuse until the amount of money he offers her is simply too much to resist.  She decides that if she can do this for a short period, she will have the funds to open her own shop.

The whirlwind of beautiful clothes, homes, and delicious food is like a dream come true for Harriet.  Her friends, Oliver’s grandfather and a very wealthy and kind woman steps in to guide her along in the ways of the upper class so she can truly impress Oliver’s new partner.

But danger lurks in the form of Harriet’s Aunt Jane who raised her and never treated her well.  Jane was known as a confidence woman who always managed to stay just one step ahead of the law.  Harriet has worked to get Jane out of her life but she seems to always turn up like a bad penny.  Will she manage to destroy Harriet’s and Oliver’s plans?

This novel is very clever and has a good storyline.  I was impressed with the author’s descriptions of beautiful fabrics and hats which clearly demonstrates her background in clothing and textiles.

Connie for b2b

Sam Heughan’s Q&A on Facebook!

shqafb

Couple of days ago STARZ announced that they’ll have Sam Heughan over at their Outlander FB page answering our questions …

And here he is …

sh

Hi Sam! Have you done any screen tests with possible Brees or Rogers?

Sam Heughan Not yet but do know a few actors who are auditioning! Exciting times!

Hey Sam! Can you pass along a suggestion to the Starz team? Forget the opening credits; how about every episode opens with Jamie kilting up, as in The Reckoning?? Just sayin…

Outlander haha will do…. – Sam

WILL YOU MARRY ME!!??? (p.s. don’t tell my husband…)

Outlander YES to all – Sam

Boxers or briefs?

Outlander neither. – Sam

Hello from Indiana! Where do YOU call home Mr. Heughan?

Outlander Scotland beginning to feel a lot like home – Sam

Do you speak French or are you having to learn it for Dragonfly in Amber? Es to prest?

Outlander I failed my french exam! Yes, in lessons as we speak.. – Sam

Hi Sam, how did you mentally prepare for the Wentworth scenes?

Sam Heughan Great writing and challenging stuff, hope you “enjoy”…

Have you read book 2 (Dragonfly in Amber) yet?

Outlander better question would be how MANY times?! Yes! – Sam

Hi Sam…… Since you’ve already been Batman and worked with Roger Moore, would you ever like to play James Bond???

Outlander Next James Bond should be a Scot…! – Sam

You have been traveling so much. Do you like to fly? Have you thought about borrowing the #BatPlane?

Outlander air miles are adding up. I love to travel. – Sam

Can I scratch your scruff?

Outlander long as I can stroke your scruff – Sam

Coffee or tea?

Outlander coffee!!!!! – Sam

Hi Sam! While you and Caitriona were shooting hot scenes have you ever felt really excited? Have you ever tried to flirt with her? Kisses from Italy

Outlander it’s all there on screen… – Sam

Hey Sam – have you ‘bagged’ any 14ers during your time off? 

Outlander I’m hoping to travel to Denver and bag at least one… – Sam

Sam, where in Scotland is your favourite place to visit?

Outlander Isle of Skye, as in opening music. – Sam

Did you, or any of the cast members, have any costume/wardrobe challenges for the upcoming series?

Outlander Parisien Court will be fabulous, Terry is a genius so I imagine the costumes will be terrific. – Sam

What’s your middle name? You told that’s bad, but you haven’t told what is it! May I ask?

Outlander named after a famous 1980’s puppet rat….??? – Sam

Admit it, you were the mystery Highlander from episode 1.

Outlander you’ll have to read the latest book! – Sam

Sam, are you planning any more charitable events involving endurance activities!! I am doing my first Ironman and would love to raise money to donate in your charities name!

Outlander watch this space, several in the pipeline – Sam

Wondering about the scar on right cheekbone . . . sword fighting?

Outlander chopping wood… – Sam

Are you single?

Sam Heughan Maybe…

Was it a trauma to cut across that beautiful beard? P.S I love Sam bearded

Sam Heughan Me too! Beards rock!

Sam Heughan Hey guys, thanks for all the questions!! Wow, sorry didn’t have time to answer more. (Whisky this morning certainly helped) Thank you all and enjoy second half of season 1! X

Spotlight on Cara Elliott and ‘Scandalously Yours’!

Scandalously-Yours-Release-Week-Blitz

My ‘Scandalously Yours’ heroine’s Top 5 Favorite Historical Movie Heroes would be:

[If Olivia had Netflix, that is!]

1. Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride

2. Matthew Macfadyen in Pride & Prejudice

3. Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock

4. Ioan Gruffuld as Horatio in the Hornblower series

5. Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia

What are yours?

Elliott_Scandalously Yours_MMBOOK BLURB: The eldest of the three Sloane sisters, Olivia is unafraid to question the boundaries of Society-even if it does frequently land her in trouble. Disdaining the glittery world of balls and courtship, Olivia prefers to spend her time writing fiery political essays under a pseudonym for London’s leading newspaper. But when her columns attract the attention of the oh-so-proper Earl of Wrexham, Olivia suddenly finds herself dancing on the razor’s edge of scandal. With the help of her sisters, she tries to stay one step ahead of trouble . . .

However, after a series of madcap misadventures, Wrexham, a former military hero who is fighting for social reform in Parliament, discovers Olivia’s secret. To her surprise, he proposes a temporary alliance to help win passage of his bill. Passion flares between them, but when a political enemy kidnaps the earl’s young son, they must make some dangerous decisions . . . and trust that love will conquer all.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / GooglePlay / BAM / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“How dare you spy on me, sir!” demanded Olivia, once she had mastered her emotions enough to speak.
He fixed her with a commanding stare, the one that had set many a seasoned soldiers to quaking in their boots. “I would not have had to resort to such tactics if you had shown me the courtesy of answering my letters.”
Olivia refused to be intimidated. Lifting her chin, she scowled back at him. “I did answer them.”
“With a single word—no.”
“And what,” she asked with excruciating politeness, “did you not understand about such a simple syllable?”
John couldn’t help but admire her grit. It took courage and resourcefulness to play in a man’s world. And she played well, he conceded.
Expelling a harried sigh, he felt his anger dissipate just as quickly as it had come. She had no choice but to guard her secret very carefully. “Look, at least hear me out, Miss Sloane. Tracking down The Beacon has led me on a merry dance throughout Town.”
Olivia paled at the mention of the nom de plume. Turning abruptly, she plunged off the path and darted around a tangle of holly.
“Wait!” John ducked under the prickly branches, losing his hat in the process.
“Go away!” Her voice was muffled by the overhanging leaves.
“Not until we talk!”
“I’ve nothing to say to you.”
The Devil take it. All but a last little flutter of her skirts disappeared behind a shaggy yew hedge. Swearing under his breath, John cut through a patch of lavender. He hadn’t come this far to be rebuffed. She would damn well listen. Or else…
Several long strides brought him within arm’s reach of her. “Confound it, Miss Sloane, stop and listen,” he called, lunging for her sleeve.
As his fingers seized the fabric, his boot snagged on a twist of morning glory. Pitched off-balance, he stumbled and fell, taking her with him. Tangled together, they hit the ground hard, their momentum rolling them into a patch of pachysandra.
“Ooof!” Olivia’s flailing kick caught him square in the shin.
Flat on his back, John got a momentary glimpse of Olivia’s irrepressible curls dancing in the breeze before another half turn landed him on his stomach. Burning with embarrassment, he tried to right himself, only to find that she was sprawled across his…posterior.
Bloody hell, he had never felt like a bigger arse in all his life.
They both started wriggling at the same time. He managed to twist face-up just as she slipped on the glossy leaves and fell back down atop him.
“Miss Sloane,” he gasped.
“Lord Wrexham,” wheezed Olivia, an odd little burr roughening her already throaty voice.
For an instant, he feared she was going to burst into tears.
Instead, she began to laugh.
And laugh.
Scottie was right. It was a delightful sound, its top notes shaded with a rich, sensual echo that seemed to stroke over his skin like a moon-dappled midnight breeze.
A twitch tugged at his lips. His dignity—as well as his coat—was in tatters, his pride was bruised, and though he should not find it at all funny, John felt a rumble vibrate deep in his throat.
Olivia tried to get up again, but her limbs were too weak with mirth. “Good Lord, what a ridiculous picture we must make!” she wheezed in between burbles of laughter.
“Here, let me help you.” Levering to his feet, John lifted her up and as she seemed a bit shaky, he kept his hands on her waist.
“Well, it’s not every day I take a tumble in the hay with an earl,” she quipped.
“Please don’t think that I make a habit of ruining a young lady’s reputation,” he answered.
Her cheeks, already pink from the breeze, turned a lusher shade of red as she looked up and wet her lips.
John felt his body clench. His legendary sang froid began to bubble…His steely self-control went up in smoke…
Olivia flinched as his mouth possessed hers. She was like summer rain against his tongue. So soft, so sweet.
Her hands came up around his neck.
Hell, it would serve him right if she throttled him on the spot.
But then, all of a sudden, she was kissing him back.
In a daze, John twisted around and braced her back against the ivy-covered wall, the glossy leaves crackling under the crush of silk. He was dimly aware of a roaring like cannonfire in his ears, and as his hands slid down to cup her breasts he realized it was the pounding of his own heart.
Knocking all reason to flinders.
A gust of air ruffled his hair, stirring wild, wicked thoughts of her waltzing naked through the trees. In response, his own privy parts began dancing to their own drummer. Thump. Thump. Thump. His pulse was pounding a military tattoo, commanding all soldiers to stand erect.
And Dear God, his Major Organ was responding with unabashed enthusiasm.
Olivia didn’t seem disgusted by his display of primitive lust. With a tiny moan, she tightened her hold and hitched her hips into him.
Lud, it felt good. No, better than good.
Exquisite.

REVIEW: here.

Cara ElliottAUTHOR BIO: Cara Elliott started creating books at the age of five, or so her mother tells her. And Mom has the proof preserved in a family scrapbook—a neatly penciled story, the pages lavishly illustrated with full color crayon drawings of horses. Cara has since moved on from Westerns to writing about Regency England, a time and place that has captured her imagination ever since she opened the covers of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”

A graduate of Yale University, Cara has garnered numerous accolades for her writing, including two Daphne Du Maurier Awards for Historical Mystery /Suspense and two RITAs nominations for Regency Romance. (She also writes a historical mystery series under the nom de plume Andrea Penrose.)

Cara loves to travel to interesting destinations around the world—however, her favorite spot is London, where the funky antique markets, used book stores and specialty museums offer a wealth of inspiration for her stories.

Cara also writes under the pen names Andrea Pickens (Traditional Regencies and swashbuckling Spy Regencies) and Andrea Penrose (A Regency-set mystery series)

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