Rakes Rogues and Romance

Historical Romance-Because Passion Lives Forever

It’s Freezing Outside, but you can Still Whip Out Those Excerpts!

39 Comments

Yes I know it is cold outside, but here it sometimes gets all warm and fuzzy from our heartwarming excerpts. So come on! Let’s warm our hearts with an excerpt from your release, 500 words or less and suitable for work viewing, please!!  Show us your beautiful covers, and buy links as well!

Today I will share the opening for my WIP, which was my NaNoWriMo story. It’s still in it’s early stages yet.

 

Cassie Reynolds was not quite certain whether to mourn her deceased husband, or to celebrate his untimely demise. The one thing which she was blessedly aware of was that Edgar Reynolds was dead and he could never, ever hurt her again. She realized, she was in far more danger from the man in front of her than she’d ever been in from her drunken, dissolute husband. Standing in the darkened rooms of their mean, chill home, the rooms silent and execrabley empty of all their possessions, she shivered as the flinty, ice blue eyes of Baron Hartwell flicked over her with undisguised lust.

The tall, lean man leaned in negligent disdain against the doorway, a thin brown cheerot clamped between his teeth. Cassie knew the acrid smell of its smoke would forever remain with her. “What can I do for you, my lord?” She despised how breathless and shaky her voice sounded to her own ears.

Hartwell removed the thin cigarette from between his thin lips and regarded it before deliberately flicking the ashes at her feet. “Your husband owed me money, Mrs. Reynolds. Quite a bit as a matter of fact.”

Cassie tried to swallow past the lump in her throat but was unsuccessful the first time. “How-how much,” she managed to choke out, fearing the worst.

His smile chilled her to the bone. “One thousand pounds.”

She scrabbled against the wall behind her, to steady herself. “I don’t have that kind of money, my lord. I could try and sell whatever I have left. I am proficient with a needle and can get a job–“

“Silence, Mrs. Reynolds.” He continued to stare at her, his gaze now fastened on her chest, where her breasts strained against the too-tight dress she wore. Edgar had never any coin left for her to purchase clothes for herself, or fabric to make any. Her skin crawled as a smile curled his lips.

“I do not wish to wait any longer. The debt has been open far too long. I want my money now.” His predatory smile sent gooseflesh prickling up her arms.

She licked her dry lips and shuddered as his icy blue stare locked on her mouth. “But I don’t have that kind of money,” she whispered.

The air barely moved, as without warning, he pinned her up against the wall, the muscles of his hard chest pressing into hers. His mouth hovered over her ear, as his fingers dug cruelly into her shoulders rendering her unable to move. “Then I will take it in services rendered, Mrs. Reynolds.”

39 thoughts on “It’s Freezing Outside, but you can Still Whip Out Those Excerpts!

  1. Thanks for the opportunity Nancy! Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming debut novel Wicked Designs from Samhain Publishing. It’s about Godric, a duke and his wicked friends the League of Rogues who kidnap Emily, a debutante in order to get revenge on her uncle who stole money from the duke.

    She wrenched her body free. “How dare you!” Her feet tangled in the covers and she tripped onto the floor, trying to escape the bed.
    Godric blinked at her. “What the—Miss Parr? What in God’s name are you doing in my bedchamber?” He shot up but fell back down against the pillows, slinging his forearm over his eyes with a groan.
    Emily fled to the far corner of the room, heart beating against her ribs like a caged bird. His muscles flexed as he moved, like a large, sleek panther. For a second, she imagined the protection he could offer—his body cast before her as a shield, his muscles taut and forearms tense. Then she remembered how he’d taken her from the coach and the violence of the battle between them.
    “Let me go at once!”
    “I’m not holding you,” he said in an irritated growl.
    “I meant, let me leave. My chamber is locked.” She stamped her slippered foot and glared, but the force was lost on him because he remained flat on his back, his eyes shut. “I demand to be released!”
    “I demand peace and quiet in the morning,” Godric muttered under his breath.
    “Well?” Emily stamped the ground again, rather annoyed that she had no other means to get his attention. She didn’t dare go closer. The memory of his body overpowering hers the previous night left her quaking anew with fear, but she was determined to maintain a brave front.
    He cast off his bed sheet and sat up. She nearly swooned upon the glimpse of his bare chest. He smiled and took his time reaching for the sheet to recover himself. Emily struggled to breathe, her face afire. Was that what a half-clothed man looked like? He looked…fierce. Every strip of muscle and corded steel beneath his flesh whispered of violence and danger. Her throat went dry and she licked her lips as she tried to calm her racing heart.
    “Care to join me, Miss Parr?” He patted the bed.
    Emily took an involuntary step back, her shoulder blades hitting the door behind her.
    “I was only joking.” A slight frown wilted his lips, as though her reaction unsettled him.
    “A joke? Please, Your Grace, enlighten me as to how this situation is remotely amusing. I must get back to London immediately and try to repair the damage you’ve wrought to my reputation.” To my life. She wrung her hands together, trying anything to ease the anxiety that rippled just beneath her skin.
    “I’m afraid that’s not possible.” His reply didn’t make sense at first, because she hadn’t expected him to deny her the right to leave.
    “What? Why not?”
    “Because I brought you here to ruin you.”
    She studied the stubborn angle of his chin and his frosted-green eyes, looking for any signs of his intentions.
    “Well, at least you are direct. Or is this another joke?” She couldn’t imagine how she’d save her reputation, even if this was a joke.

    Available for pre-order on amazon

  2. Nancy,
    I like your WIP! Looking forward to reading more. :)

  3. Very nice, Nancy. I can’t wait to read this one.

  4. Great excerpts!! I’m still on The Temptation of Lady Serena which releases on January 2d.

    Robert arrived at his estate on the outskirts of Newmarket the day after the disastrous theater visit. He’d pushed his horses so hard, he’d had to change them. But no matter how fast he drove, he was unable to outrun his growing attraction to Lady Serena.

    The minute his hand touched hers, he’d felt the connection and, what was worse, his customary aloofness began to slip. He’d loved once and chosen badly. Robert bore no desire to travel to those depths of misery with any lady again. Just the thought strengthened his resolve. His marriage would be one of convenience, where he could control the outcome.

    He needed an heir, not another broken heart.

    All he had to do was to stay out of London for a week or two and regain his wits. By the time he returned, Lady Serena would have chosen the highest title that offered for her, or the one with the most money. She might even be betrothed.

    For some reason, that thought didn’t comfort him.

    Robert stalked out to the stable determined to erase her from his mind, but he couldn’t stop thinking about her. Lady Serena haunted his dreams, coming to him and offering her lips, then fading away when he tried to touch her. Last night, he’d awoken trying to stroke his pillow.

    If that wasn’t bad enough, no one appreciated his help. His trainer said to Robert if he came to the track once more, the man would quit. And his housekeeper had the gall to tell him to stop giving everyone orders without consulting with her first.

  5. Here’s my excerpt from my latest Regency, A GIFT FROM THE STARS, a sweet romance with a touch of science fiction. A spaceship lands near the heroine’s house, and the man from the vehicle drops a small crystal as he leaves, one which has amazing properties.

    The Regency Star Travelers–Where the Regency and outer space meet with romance.

    The universe is closer than you think…

    BLURB:
    A gift from the stars can change your life.

    Miss Elizabeth Ashby loves astronomy. She especially enjoys her once-in-a-lifetime chance to observe the Great Comet of 1811. However, her excitement vanishes the night an odd-looking meteor proves to be a sky craft which lands nearby. The man who emerges from the vehicle doesn’t see her, but as he reenters his craft to fly away, he drops a small red stone.

    The stone from the stars glows and sends waves of warmth and something else through Elizabeth. Her incipient cold disappears, her illness-prone mother shakes off her maladies, and everyone else who comes near the stone, which Elizabeth wears as a pendant, feels in the pink of health.

    Including Mr. Jonathan Markham, who also saw the strange meteor but was too far away to determine what the object was. Gored by a bull, Jon has been slow to mend until he meets the enchanting Elizabeth. Does his sudden speedy recovery emanate from his fascination with the desirable lady? Or something else?

    A sweet, traditional Regency romance novel with science fiction elements. 71,000 words. A clean romance.

    EXCERPT:
    Lower and lower the shooting star descended, much too slowly to Elizabeth’s way of thinking. From the angle and rate of its motion, the object would likely strike the earth close by. If she could distinguish some landmarks by its glow, perhaps she could find the stone.

    She craned her neck back as the meteor soared across the firmament. The unearthly rock blazed with the colors of the rainbow from friction with the air.

    Coldness pricked her spine. A meteor that enormous should race through the heavens, shrieking in outrage as its surface pounded through the atmosphere. This one was silent. And the stone—or was it a stone?—sloped down in a leisurely, graceful curve, as gently as a feather floating in a light breeze.

    With eerie stillness, the object continued its glide across the ebony sky, looming ever immense as its bulk neared the ground.

    She could even make out features. In her experience, meteors were dark, pitted lumps of rock or metal. This one was white, its pointed nose flaring out behind to form a stretched-out triangle, almost like a bird with unfurled wings.

    And its size! Her heart in her throat, she jumped up. The thing was larger than a mail coach. And it would fall onto Sentinel Moor beside her house!

    Continually slowing, the peculiar entity descended. The object slipped below the level of the high Sentinel Oak across the field, and then behind the top of the six-foot hawthorn hedge separating her garden from the meadow.

    Elizabeth took a step to run around the tall shrub. Blinding whiteness exploded on the moor. She threw up her hands to shield her eyes and then tumbled to the ground.

    At Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Stars-Regency-Star-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00GR18F6C/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386782512&sr=1-4&keywords=linda+banche

    Thanks,
    Linda
    http://www.lindabanche.com

  6. Great excerpts everyone. Thank you Nancy for this opportunity. Here’s mine from The Garnet Dagger – fantasy / paranormal romance:

    I’ve known death. For over half a millennia, I escorted many to death at the end of my sword. In the eyes of the dying, I watched it shroud them. Foolishly, I thought many more eras would pass before death came for me. It came so swiftly that I could not run; I could not escape. At a village, dressed in human clothes, I took in everything.
    I delayed my return to my people as I watched human jugglers bounce torches and knifes. It was autumn equinox and the festivities would continue well into the night. Children laughed as they chased each other. A trail of leaves from their costumes twirled after them. It was dark when I reached the forest.
    A gasp rustled through the trees. The roots shot a warning through to me with stifled caution. In the distance, I heard a groan. Curious, I spun in the direction of the sound. The autumn wind breezed through my worn human clothes, chilling me. But someone needed help. I turned in the direction of the sounds. Whatever made the noise should be a few yards ahead.
    My night vision picked up the sight of a human. His sallow face seemed to glow in the moonlight. Poking out from rags lay his arms and legs, which resembled skin stretched over sticks. So cadaverous was his face, I’d have thought him dead if he hadn’t moved.

    “Please,” he said and his voice sounded like cicada’s vibrations, “help me.”

    “What ails you in this troubled place?” I wondered if my voice, foreign to my ears in speaking the human’s language, revealed my nature.

    “I am lost.” His dark eyes crinkled around the corners. “Without strength to rise. If you would but assist me up, I’ll be on my way.”

    I’d never touched a human on purpose before. Was it that that gave me pause, or dread that stilled my heart? My feet itched to flee. As soon as I helped him, then I’d leave. I gritted my teeth and reached a hand down.
    His gnarled fingers snapped on my arm, making me wince. Jerking me forward, his face contorted. Surprised by his strength, I fell beside him. Blackness curled around me. Teeth, fangs, broke through the skin on my neck. Then I knew him for what he was, a vampyre.

    The Garnet Dagger Amazon: http://goo.gl/rMEJ59
    The Garnet Dagger B & N: http://goo.gl/Qp5i6A

  7. I apologize if this comes through twice, but I can’t see my original comment, so here we go again.

    Here’s my excerpt from my latest Regency, A GIFT FROM THE STARS, a sweet romance with a touch of science fiction. A spaceship lands near the heroine’s house, and the man from the vehicle drops a small crystal as he leaves, one which has amazing properties.

    The Regency Star Travelers–Where the Regency and outer space meet with romance.

    The universe is closer than you think…

    BLURB:
    A gift from the stars can change your life.

    Miss Elizabeth Ashby loves astronomy. She especially enjoys her once-in-a-lifetime chance to observe the Great Comet of 1811. However, her excitement vanishes the night an odd-looking meteor proves to be a sky craft which lands nearby. The man who emerges from the vehicle doesn’t see her, but as he reenters his craft to fly away, he drops a small red stone.

    The stone from the stars glows and sends waves of warmth and something else through Elizabeth. Her incipient cold disappears, her illness-prone mother shakes off her maladies, and everyone else who comes near the stone, which Elizabeth wears as a pendant, feels in the pink of health.

    Including Mr. Jonathan Markham, who also saw the strange meteor but was too far away to determine what the object was. Gored by a bull, Jon has been slow to mend until he meets the enchanting Elizabeth. Does his sudden speedy recovery emanate from his fascination with the desirable lady? Or something else?

    A sweet, traditional Regency romance novel with science fiction elements. 71,000 words. A clean romance.

    EXCERPT:
    Lower and lower the shooting star descended, much too slowly to Elizabeth’s way of thinking. From the angle and rate of its motion, the object would likely strike the earth close by. If she could distinguish some landmarks by its glow, perhaps she could find the stone.

    She craned her neck back as the meteor soared across the firmament. The unearthly rock blazed with the colors of the rainbow from friction with the air.

    Coldness pricked her spine. A meteor that enormous should race through the heavens, shrieking in outrage as its surface pounded through the atmosphere. This one was silent. And the stone—or was it a stone?—sloped down in a leisurely, graceful curve, as gently as a feather floating in a light breeze.

    With eerie stillness, the object continued its glide across the ebony sky, looming ever immense as its bulk neared the ground.

    She could even make out features. In her experience, meteors were dark, pitted lumps of rock or metal. This one was white, its pointed nose flaring out behind to form a stretched-out triangle, almost like a bird with unfurled wings.

    And its size! Her heart in her throat, she jumped up. The thing was larger than a mail coach. And it would fall onto Sentinel Moor beside her house!

    Continually slowing, the peculiar entity descended. The object slipped below the level of the high Sentinel Oak across the field, and then behind the top of the six-foot hawthorn hedge separating her garden from the meadow.

    Elizabeth took a step to run around the tall shrub. Blinding whiteness exploded on the moor. She threw up her hands to shield her eyes and then tumbled to the ground.

    At Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Stars-Regency-Star-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00GR18F6C/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386782512&sr=1-4&keywords=linda+banche

    Thanks,
    Linda
    http://www.lindabanche.com

  8. THE TWELFTH NIGHT WAGER by Regan Walker

    London, January 5, 1819
    Twelfth Night

    It never would have happened if he hadn’t been so terribly bored that night at White’s. Staring into the crackling fire in the parlour on this frosty night and reflecting back on the last several months, Christopher St. Ives, Viscount Eustace, recalled the evening well; the deep leather chair he sat in, the lit cheroot dangling from one hand and a brandy in the other. He had only been half listening as Hugh Redgrave, the very married Marquess of Ormond, droned on about the virtues of the leg-shackled state. Happily married men could be so tiresome. Looking back on it now, it seemed years not months since they’d traded quips in the conversation that led to the wager:

    “I say, Ormond, just where are you going with this praise for the wedded state? You know me too well to believe I’m convinced.”
    “You might at least consider taking a wife, Eustace. There’s much to be said for the change it would bring about in your otherwise tawdry existence of late. After all, thirty-five is past the age where dissipation wears well, don’t you think?”
    Tawdry existence? Dissipation? “Surely you cannot mean those words, Ormond. I’m just after a bit of fun.”
    “You go after women like you go after the fox. It’s all in the chase for you.”
    “And that is wrong? Just because you have your heir and a spare at thirty-two does not mean I wish to accumulate the same baggage.” At the frown that appeared on Ormond’s face, Christopher, Lord Eustace, hastened to add, “No offense meant toward the beautiful Lady Ormond, whom I admire above all women, but I am not ready for such a change, as my recent indulgences confirm. Besides, I like women and have my own way of handling them, which suits me quite well. I see no reason for change.”
    “As far as I can see, your way of ‘handling’ them is not to have one at all.”
    “Ho, now that ain’t so, and well you know it! Though, being a gentleman, I’ll not disclose the number ‘had’ even if I could recall. My method, I assure you, works perfectly for me.”
    “You have a method?” Ormond asked, incredulous.
    “Well, perhaps not a method as you would count it. I seduce ’em, bed ’em and—”
    “Leave them. Yes, I know. But not always smiling, I’ve heard.”
    Christopher looked up at the chandelier above and back to his friend as he let out a sigh. “Perhaps not, but none complain till the end is in sight. Then, well…I admit things have on occasion become a bit sticky. But they are all willing players in the game.”
    “Your way of handling women cannot work with all. You must have failed with some.”
    “Quite the contrary, my good man. I’ve succeeded with every lady I’ve gone after.” Christopher held back a grin. He did not lack confidence when it came to his success with women. And a worthy adversary made every game more exciting.
    “I would wager there is one you cannot seduce.”
    “Ho! Wager? Do I hear a challenge being laid down?” Snuffing out his cheroot, Christopher leaned forward. “Who might this unassailable paragon be?”
    Ormond glanced about the sparsely populated club room filled with tables and chairs. Christopher’s eyes followed, noting the small group of men at a round table engaged in muted conversation some distance away. None appeared to be eavesdropping.
    Leaning forward, Ormond whispered, “Grace, the Lady Leisterfield.”
    Christopher leaned back in his chair and took a sip of brandy. In his mind’s eye he saw a slim blonde in a rather modest gray gown standing next to the elderly Lady Claremont. “Yes, I recall her from the last ball of the Season. The young widow lives like a nun, or so I’ve heard.”
    Ormond grinned. “That, old man, is the challenge.”

    See the cover, read the blurb: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com

    Buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Twelfth-Night-Wager-Regan-Walker-ebook/dp/B00GG2DALC

  9. Thanks Nancy, I hope you’re snug and warm. It’s summer here in Australia. Here’s an excerpt from my new release Taming a Gentleman Spy – The Spies of Mayfair.
    Linden Hall Yorkshire, 1818
    “I trust we’ll bag a few birds on the moor tomorrow, Chaloner.” John Haldane, the 4th Earl of Strathairn, glanced at the guests enjoying the Hunt Ball in his ballroom. Bright chatter rose in the warm smoky air as decorative ladies mingled with the more soberly dressed gentlemen. “My chef plans a grouse dish flavored with juniper berries for our dinner.”
    “Excellent.” The Marquess of Brandreth raised his glass. “We will be out at the crack of dawn, I daresay.” He took Strathairn’s arm and drew him into a quiet corner. “I don’t wish to strain a friendship I value, John, but I must offer a word of advice.”
    “Oh?” Strathairn eyed him warily. He had liked Chaloner better before his father died. The man seemed to lose his sense of humor after inheriting the title.
    “You are often seen in Sibella’s company. Don’t get too fond of her.”
    Strathairn moved his shoulders in a shrug of anger. He glanced over at Sibella in her white muslin, talking earnestly to Mrs. Bickerstaff. “Your sister is intelligent and good company. I enjoy our conversations. Nothing strange about that.”
    “I struggle to believe it is just that. I may not be privy to the details of the work you perform for the military, but rumors do float about the House of Lords. You must admit that due to those circumstances alone, you would not make her a good husband.”
    Chaloner’s determination put him in mind of a robin with a worm. Useless to argue. With a sigh, Strathairn acknowledged that he only strove to protect his sister from possible hurt. “No need for concern,” he said. “I have no wish to marry your sister, or anyone else for that matter. I do intend to ask Lady Sibella to dance, though. Unless you think my waltzing with her will ruin her reputation.”
    Chaloner huffed out a laugh and rubbed the back of his neck. “Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t enjoy having to say this to you, John, but it befalls me as head of the family. Sib has a love of home and hearth. She looks for a husband who will sit by the fire with her at night. That isn’t you, is it?”
    “She deserves the best, and no, it isn’t me, Chaloner.”
    Cover and blurb on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Taming-Gentleman-Spy-Spies-Mayfair-ebook/dp/B00FG9MTGI/ref=la_B003MJXQVG_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386790909&sr=1-1

  10. Ah, really enjoyed your NaNo-project Nancy. My NaNo was a contemporary and unfortunately not so Rake or Rougish. So here’s an excerpt from my debut novel A Family Affair.

    ***

    “I’m so sorry, my darling,” he said softly, his fingers stroking her peachy cheek. “I never meant to hurt you as I did.”
    She bent her head and leaned closer to his hand until her cheek rested in the palm of his hand. She closed her eyes, and a single tear ran down her cheek and landed on the tip of his finger.
    He withdrew his hand and gave her a sad smile, before he slowly planted a soft kiss on her lips.
    “How are you doing?” he asked, as his warm eyes melted the last of her resistance.
    “Not fine,” she whispered. “My husband left me.”
    “What a bastard,” he replied with a wry smile.
    “He’s not a bastard. He’s just a bit simpleminded.”
    “Simpleminded? What if all he wants is for his wife to be happy?”
    “By staying away?”
    “Sometimes staying away is better than staying put.”
    She snorted, this time accompanied with a roll of her eyes, and he had no doubts about her having another opinion.
    Not that it mattered to him.
    He knew what his father had been like, and she didn’t, so there was no way she ever could understand his point of view, especially as she was surrounded by her large, loving family.
    He looked down at her, absorbing every piece of her for the last time, to keep it deep inside of his heart forever. “I’ll try to stay out of your way,” he whispered hoarsely. “Meeting like this isn’t good for any of us, and I thank the Lord the season is almost over.”
    Fanny grabbed his arm. “Devlin, don’t,” she cried openly, with her face again covered with tears.
    He tensed and felt a pain in his chest he’d never felt before. Before he could change his mind, he gently removed her hands and, with a small bow, turned and left her standing there alone.
    “Please…”
    Her deep sobs cut through his heart and for a last time he hesitated, but the image of his father flashed before his eyes, and he took one ragged breath before he continued on his way.

    ***

    To find out more about the book and the romantic cover, please visit my website at http://jenniferwenn.wordpress.com/books/

  11. Love reading all the excerpts, ladies!

  12. I’m not sure if I like Hartwell in this scene… So forceful and scary.

  13. Here’s mine – the Swimming Lesson — from LORD OF THE SEA by Danelle Harmon:

    “You only have to reach me. Throw yourself toward me, and then use your arms to keep yourself afloat.”
    “And if I do that, Captain? Will you end this lesson, bring me back to the house, and leave on the morrow, never to return?”
    “If I knew what was good for me, that is precisely what I would do.”
    “Given your actions in the short time since I’ve met you, I’m not convinced you know what is good for you.”
    “And you would be right. Now try it, Miss Evans. If you can traverse the several feet that separates us, you’ll be able to call yourself a swimmer.”
    She nodded and took a deep, steadying breath, suddenly afraid all over again.
    He stood there, silhouetted and unmoving against the night sky, his arms stretched encouragingly toward her . . . .
    So close.
    With a little gasp, Rhiannon half-fell, half-threw herself forward, felt the sea close around her, trying to come up over her head—and panicked. Water sloshed into her eyes and up her nose, burning her sinuses, and suddenly his hands were there beneath her, holding her once more, supporting her, as she splashed and panted in fear and tried to get her pounding heart back under control.
    “I sank,” she cried, in despair. “I am not made to swim!”
    “You sank because you panicked,” he said with quiet firmness. “You must try it again, Miss Evans, otherwise you’ll never find the courage to make another attempt, and that would be a pity.”
    “Oh,” she said, trying to quell her rising hysteria. “Oh, I don’t think that I can.”
    “Really? I think that you can. And I think that you will.”
    She would have protested further but he had set her back down again, retreated a little ways closer into shore, and once again had his hands outstretched, beckoning, encouraging her forward.
    To trust him.
    Once again, Rhiannon took a deep breath, let herself fall, and this time her hands came up to automatically break her fall—
    “Stroke!” he urged, with a grin splitting his handsome face, and suddenly it all came together and Rhiannon, propelled by the momentum of her frightened plunge toward him, held afloat by her desperate arms, was swimming.
    Swimming.
    It was only a couple of feet but she did it on her own, and suddenly he had caught her arms and pulled her joyously out of the water, laughing in delight at her triumph.
    “You did it!”
    “I did it!”
    “I’m proud of you, Miss Evans!”
    “I’m proud of me, too! Thank you, Captain! Oh, God help me, I swam! I swam!”
    He laughed, still holding her by both arms, and then the sudden, frenzied triumph stilled in her blood and she was aware of only his eyes, the sudden fading of his smile, the height and strength and feel of his big, wet body in the moonlight.
    Time stilled for both of them.
    “You’re going to kiss me again,” she breathed.
    He merely smiled.
    “Aren’t you?”
    He didn’t answer, but just drew her forward by her arms, pulled her up and off the sea floor, and raising his leg, set her down atop his bare, wet thigh so that she straddled it, the hard muscle pushing against that burning area between her legs. Oh, dear God! Her suddenly desperate arms groped blindly for something to hold onto, and found only his wet torso as his mouth came down on hers once more.
    –copyright, Danelle Harmon

  14. Nancy,
    This is from Embracing Scandal and the first in my Scandalous Siblings series.

    Lady Rebecca Jamison watched Cayle. Under the rules of etiquette, she must remember to address him as Your Grace or Sherwyn in public, despite knowing he’d abhorred the bowing and scraping expected by dukes, including his father.

    Becca tried to judge his level of inebriation and his reaction to her news, though she was wise enough to stay out of arm’s reach. In the past, her knight in shining armour had constantly overreacted if he thought her adventures, or misadventures, placed her in harm’s way.

    “Please, my dear.” The new duke’s fists unfurled as he flung his arms wide in a dramatic gesture. “Go ahead and clarify that terrifying statement.” His voice lifted another octave. “Before my hair turns completely white. Or my legs give out.”

    Neither Cayle’s fury nor his towering size frightened Becca. But she was terrified that the city would awaken and the streets fill with people before he became calm and rational and listened to her plea for his help in collecting the final proof that would send at least a dozen of their peers to prison for illegal trading practices.

    “Or even worse.” He voice was a low snarl as he pointed at the floor. “I misplace the contents of my heaving stomach all over the duchess’s prized carpet.”

    Becca winced. For the tenth time she listed to herself the reasons she’d bravely bearded this particular panther in his lair.

    To protect her family.

    To secure the nest eggs saved by the fallen women at the shelter.

    To save her own life.

    As the new Duke of Sherwyn, Cayle was her best, or possibly only, chance to do all that and to keep her promise to Scotland Yard. She hoped he’d listen with an open mind. Hoped he’d comprehend how much danger her family and friends were in without realising how close she had come to also being murdered.
     
    “I’d gone to Peggy’s cottage to collect some letters she’d written on behalf of our Women’s Society. The door was ajar. I knocked but Peggy didn’t answer so I went inside.”

    Peggy had been sprawled across the floor, her sturdy legs protruding at odd angles from her yellowing nightgown. Her hair had been matted with blood and tangled in the strings of her dislodged nightcap and her plait had been a rusty red mess instead of a neat tail of plain brown.

    “I can’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes, I see the murderer standing over Peggy’s battered body. But he runs towards me. Not away.” She shuddered and closed her eyes.

    Fingers brushed her cheek. “Becca, I’ll not let anyone harm you.”

    “If I’d only arrived at Peggy’s cottage a few minutes earlier.”

    “Stop it. You mustn’t blame yourself.”

    “How can I not? One life has already been destroyed because of me. My friend was killed. Her body discarded like a tattered rag doll.”

    His bloodshot gaze narrowed on her face. “So, knowing how your mind works, you’ll try to focus the consortium on yourself, and thereby keep everyone else out of danger.” He raised a brow. “Am I correct?”

    Damned man was still a mind reading menace. “You’re wrong. I’ve little wish to confront those men by myself. But neither will I allow anyone else to be hurt.”

    “And who protects you from the current set of fire–breathing dragons?”

    She raised her chin. “ I’ve outgrown such childishness.” She lowered herself to the closest settee, a demonstration of ladylike maturity and a reprieve for her trembling knees.

    Amazon USA:

  15. I had a blast reading everyone’s excerpts — Nancy, your new hero is HOT!

  16. Ok Ki, Next Wednesday I’ll post my hero!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,965 other followers