Hi, everyone! Let’s play a game! Since deception is a key ingredient in THE REBEL HEIR, the second book in the Spare Heirs series, I thought it would be fun to play two truths and a lie. Do you know how this game works? Lady Evangeline Green is here to tell you three things about herself, but one of them is a lie. Can you guess which fact isn’t true about Evie? Good Luck!
- Last year I slipped off into the night with my sister, Sue, and my two cousins, Isabelle and Victoria. We climbed through a window into the neighbor’s home the night of their annual masquerade ball. We were caught up in the moment. The candlelight, the flowers, the champagne…
My sister met her husband that night when she broke his nose while dancing down a flight of stairs. I twirled around the floor without considering the steps I took. I laughed without thought of the sound it made. Then I saw my mother across the room and I ran. That is the only time in my life I can recall moving at an unladylike pace. I escaped her wrath, but my sister didn’t.
- Last night I saw a man I knew across the ballroom. It was only for a second, but I saw him. I made my excuses and slipped out the door at once. I needed to see him once more, even if I he was headed into the dark library away from the crowded ballroom. I had no choice, really. I’ve been searching for this man since he disappeared last season. There was something, some undefinable something, between us a year ago. I’d been certain of it. The memory of our time together, and his lips on mine still haunts my dreams.
But last night… I discovered my memories of this charming man were entirely false. He didn’t even remember my name. Evangeline! Is that so terribly difficult? Apparently it is for him. Then he attempted to steal a document from our host’s library. Of course I took it away from him, but he caught up with me in no time. That’s when he kissed me again. And I let him, encouraged it even. Heaven help me, it was everything I remembered from last season. Then, just like last year, he was gone and I was left staring after him.
- I adore a rousing discussion of the weather. Every morning I wake early so that I might practice my banter about rain and sun with my dear mother. I cherish this time I spend daily, honing my conversational skills and improving myself with my mother’s guidance. My favorite phrase is, “I do so enjoy the outdoors. The trees provide nice shade in the park.” Isn’t it lovely?
Soon I will wear the right fashionable gown with the perfect jewelry and remark in the proper fashion about the cloudy weather in London to some high born gentleman. And in that moment he will know my heart. He’ll offer for me. We will marry and discuss only the weather and my fine sense of fashion for the rest of our days. What more could I wish for than that?
BOOK BLURB:The Spare Heirs Society Cordially Invites You to Meet Ash Claughbane: The Imposter
Lady Evangeline Green is living a lie. To please her family, she masquerades as the perfect debutante…until she meets the wickedly charming Lord Crosby. With him, there are no rules. She’s finally free to do as she desires—but freedom comes with a price, and Lord Crosby is not what he seems…
Ash is not Lord Crosby. He’s a con artist, a noble Spare Heir living off his silver tongue. When the Greens ruined his family, he swore he’d make them pay, and he never doubted his devotion to revenge…until he met Evangeline. Now, caught in a web of lies, torn between duty and desire, what’s a con to do but deceive all of London and steal the one lady who dared match wits with the devil himself?
>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<
His heart beat beneath Evangeline’s hand.
“Ash, this is dangerous— whatever is happening here…”
“I know.” He grinned the wicked grin of a swindler about to steal the prize. “Say that you enjoy it as much as I do, Evie. Admit that you like breaking your rules with me.”
“They aren’t my rules,” she said.
“Then why follow them?”
She swallowed and looked up at him. “I make poor decisions on my own.”
“I disagree,” he said, still holding her close. He toyed with the hair that fell over her shoulder.
“I haven’t thrown you from my bedchamber. I’m certain that’s a poor decision.”
“That’s a matter of opinion,” he said with a grin. “What’s your opinion? What do you want, Evie?”
You, her heart screamed, but her mouth refused to form the word. Her gaze dropped back from the depths of his eyes to his lips. He was so close, and yet he only touched her hair and held her hand to his chest. It would be so easy to rise to her toes and show him what she wanted. And yet it wasn’t easy at all.
“You think I haven’t noticed that you’ve been staring at my mouth since I arrived?”
“I have not…” She began to disagree, but it would have been a lie and he knew it.
“Say that you want me to kiss you, Evie.”
“I would never…” she began, but fell silent.
“Tell me you want me. Say the words and I’ll kiss you.”
Evangeline’s lips parted, but she said nothing.
“Say, ‘I want your lips on mine, Ash.’ That’s all you have to do. I could show you so many things, Evie. Do you want me to? Say the words.”
Her breathing came out harsh as her heart pounded in her chest. How was he making her so unsettled simply with words?
“I could bring you so much pleasure, Evie. Do you want me to touch you? To truly touch you? If you asked me, I would fit your breasts into the palms of my hands just like this.” His hand hung in the air over her breast, close enough that she could feel the heat of his skin through her night rail. “Then I would lower my mouth to take your nipple between my teeth, tugging at your polished exterior until the real Evie pulled me closer. I would take your breast into my mouth and with my tongue…” He sighed, dropping his hand away from her. “But you have to tell me you want it.”
“Ash,” she whispered, already missing the heat of him close to her skin.
“There’s a world out there that you could experience. All you have to do is stop hiding and tell me what you want.”
It wasn’t that simple, was it? She opened her mouth, unsure how to speak of her own desires. She never talked that way, not like Ash was able to do. But the truth was, she did want him to kiss her. She wanted everything about this man. That was also the trouble. She couldn’t be trusted to speak— not just now. “I…”
He grinned and brushed a strand of hair from her face, placing a kiss on the top of her head as he did. “You’re almost there. Just a few more words. Perhaps you need more encouragement.”
“No.” She took two steps backward until her heels bumped the wall. “I- I’m quite…”
“Evie, has anyone ever spoken to you this way?” He took slow steps to close the gap between them.
“No,” she breathed.
“Do you like it when I do?” He grinned down at her as if he could hear all the thoughts she was too afraid to voice aloud. “I think you do. Do you want me to continue?”
“Do I have to say that as well?” she asked.
“No. I’ve learned in my line of work that it’s sometimes necessary to give someone a taste of what they want before they’ll pay the price.”
“Is that what you’re doing to me? Is this a taste of what’s to come?” Heaven help her, she hoped it was.
“Only if you want it. That’s my price.” He shifted her hair from her shoulder as he spoke, letting it fall down her back.
“That seems…” Whispers of his touch brushed down the side of her neck as he moved her hair. She worked not to lean into his palm and feel the full force of his hand on her skin. “…reasonable.”
“I thought so as well.” He shifted even closer to her, leaning his arm on the wall above her head and surrounding her without the benefit of his embrace to steady her. “If you tell me you want me to kiss you, I’ll kiss you here.” He spoke the words against the sensitive skin beneath her ear before moving down her neck, not touching her, but close enough that she could feel the warmth of his lips.
She splayed her hands on the wall behind her to keep from tipping sideways. He wasn’t even touching her, and still she struggled to breathe.
“I would kiss my way down your neck to just here where I can see your pulse beating rather fast. Is it beating fast because you want me to kiss you, Evie?” he asked against her skin. “You know my terms. Say the words. This is only the beginning…”
REVIEW: Berkshire, England – 1817
Ashley (Ash) Claughbane, is the 4th son in a newly titled family. He and his valet, Stapleton, are on the run. Ash has spent the last 7 years honing his skills as a huckster, While Stapleton would like to settle in some place like Hampshire for awhile and rest, Ash knows that’s impossible considering all of the people on their trail. But, they agree to head to London.
Lady Evangeline (Evie) Green, daughter of Lord and Lady Rightworth, has prepared to perfection for the upcoming Season. Her mother has groomed, lectured, and literally starved her so she will be able to catch a titled man. She enjoys the company of her cousins, Victoria and Isabelle. Her sister, Sue, was recently wed to Lord Steelings and is on her wedding trip.
At a ball, Evie sees Lord Basnish whom she saw a year ago. But now he calls himself Lord Crosby. Incensed that he does not remember her from the year before, she grabs a paper that his is about to steal from their host’s library. Ash wants the paper back so he kisses her soundly and escapes with the paper. Oh, how she enjoyed his kiss. Even though he calls upon her, she realizes that he is not the man she should marry but she cannot stop thinking about him.
Ian Culpepper, Lord Braxton, is off to catch the man who swindled his grandmother. Yet another person on Ash’s trail.
Ash is after Evie’s father, Lord Rightworth, who took all of Ash’s family money to pay his father’s debt and Ash wants it back. To accomplish this, he is trying to get Rightworth and others to invest in a company he calls Crosby Steam Works.
As Evie and Ash become better acquainted, their attraction grows. How can he let himself fall for the daughter of his enemy?
Come follow the adventures of Evie and Ash and you will be vastly entertained.
This is another book in The Spare Heirs Society series. I did enjoy the novel but I did find it a bit frustrating that unless the reader knows characters from earlier books in the series, it can be quite confusing.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
AUTHORS BIO: Elizabeth Michels is the award-winning author of the Tricks of the Ton series. This romance author lives in a lake-side town in North Carolina with her husband and son.
She’s a fan of shoes, coffee, mimosas, laughter, hugs, things that are sparkly, and tater tots. Oh, and she likes her readers a lot too. Dive into her latest series about the members of a secret club in London, The Spare Heirs Society, today! Connect with Elizabeth on her website: http://www.elizabethmichels.com/