The election results are in…. and so is the winner of my latest release – Suzi Love…
Gosh, here in New Zealand I’m watching the developing ‘Sandy’ perfect storm with trepidation. I can’t imagine what that must be like if you live in it’s path. We’re lucky here in New Zealand. We don’t get hurricanes, but we do have a lot of very strong winds. It’s not unusual for planes at Wellington airport to have to land in 120kph winds. So I cannot imagine what 90 mph winds are like! Please take care…
To take your mind off the storm, I thought I’d share a snippet of my latest Wicked Wagers trilogy release, TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD, book#3 in the trilogy. I’m really sad the wagers have finished. They were great fun to write.
Here’s the blurb-
To live happily ever after…
Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood, longs to find his soul mate. Now that his two best friends, both reformed rakes, are happily married, the need becomes an obsession. When they challenge him to find a wife by the end of the season or marry his neighbor, the innocently alluring Lady Amy Shipton, he can’t believe his luck. He wins, either way. But a darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt. He knows the woman he held in his arms could be the one he’s searched for all his life. He just has to find her.
Lady Amy Shipton is determined to marry for love instead of sharing her husband like her mother did. So why did she let her handsome neighbor and romantic fantasy, the Sinful Saint as he’s called for his bedroom prowess, seduce her in his garden? And what can she do when in the middle of their passionate encounter; he whispers another woman’s name. Now Henry is hunting the owner of the earring Amy left behind, and she’s determined to retrieve it before her identity is revealed. She’s not about to give her father the ammunition he desperately wants to force her down the aisle.
Want a taste of Henry’s story?
“Do you ride, Lady Amy?”
Turning to look up at Henry, Any froze as she met his intense gaze. He stood looking at her in a manner he’d never used before. Like a starving man at a feast. Just like Marcus sometimes looked at Sabine. Her heart stuttered as did her mouth.
Today had altered the balance between them. They’d shared something special. Witnessed something personal and unique, and she was having difficulty keeping her feelings for him in check. She had to move their relationship back to formality in order to keep her distance. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust Henry, she didn’t trust herself.
He looked utterly gorgeous. Speaking of starving… He looked good enough to eat. She put her hand on her chest and felt her heart begin to race wildly.
His tawny fringe was pushed to the side highlighting long sweeping lashes, which lowered slowly as his gaze swept down her figure, then lifted again so that his stare captured hers. One perfect eyebrow lifted.
Amy licked her lips in order to pry them open. Her mouth suddenly dry. “Yes, my lord. I do ride.”
“Then perhaps you’d like to accompany me on a ride in the morning. The Roman city ruins near Silchester are said to be worth investigating, and it’s only a half-hour’s ride from here.”
Breathe. “I’d like that, thank you.”
Amy found his continued perusal disconcerting. He’d never paid her this much attention before. From a distance he’d been enchanting, but up close he hummed with vibrancy, heat radiating from his body in waves.
“I haven’t had the occasion to formally thank you for helping Sabine. You’ve made my good friend, Lord Wolverstone, very happy.”
Her face began to heat. “It was nothing that anyone else would not have done. Marcus was the hero. He got to Sabine in time to save her.”
His smile momentarily slipped, why she was not sure.
“I’m not sure many young ladies would have helped as you did. Not when they could become Countess Wolverstone by remaining silent.”
There seemed to be some hidden meaning behind his words. His face was alert, searching for…what?
“Marcus did not love me.”
Henry laughed. “That has not stopped women before. The ranks of nobility are full of marriages void of any love or real affection.”
Amy promptly scolded herself. Of course he would laugh at her notion. Yet it hurt. After listening to his late night discussions with his dead brother, she thought Henry wanted what she did—love.
Perhaps not. He was looking for the owner of the earring even when he’d whispered another’s name. Men. They were all alike. Love was convenient when required to gain what they most desired. Trouble was love lasted only as long as the pleasure.
She rolled the stem of her empty glass between her fingers and wished Sabine would call them all into super.
She risked a glance at him. She wished she could think of something clever to say. Instead she burbled forth quite forcefully, “I will only ever marry for love.”
“Very wise,” he replied.
Was he teasing? She was saved from further conversation by a servant. Henry stepped aside to let the man refill her glass. As soon as he’d left, Henry took the seat beside her on the settee. She gulped back a moan. She should have invited him to sit, but his presence was throwing her off-kilter.
A gleam entered his eyes. He leaned close, his thigh touching her leg through the silk. “Did you have anyone in mind?”
Amy glanced at him uncertainly, wondering if he were making fun of her, but his countenance screamed seriousness. “I beg your pardon?”
“Are you in love? Come, it’s a simple enough question.”
Amy looked quickly around the room, was he serious? As if she would tell him such personal information. She looked across to Marcus and caught his eye, pleading for help. He simply lifted his glass and smiled back at her.
“Marcus is considered to be an extremely handsome man. He has broken many hearts in his time. Not intentionally, of course.”
She tried to repress her flush of embarrassment. “I’m sure you’re right, but I think of Marcus as purely a friend.” She had not meant to have her words come out so sharp but really! “Why are the secrets of my heart so important to you, Lord Cravenswood? Perhaps you’d like to share who your heart belongs to?”
There, that will put him in his place. Who is Millicent? But to her horror he picked up her hand and brought it to his lips. They scorched her skin even through her glove. Suddenly he gave her a slow, charming, devilish grin that seared all her nerve endings. “There are many secrets I’d like to share with you, my sweet.”
She opened her mouth to reply, then shut it again, deciding it wiser to halt this conversation before she got herself into real trouble.
At her muteness, the gleam in Henry’s eyes intensified. “For instance, did you know men find the thrill of the hunt very exciting?”
Hunt? Amy’s eyes flared and she stifled a gasp. Was he indicating his hunt for the owner of her earring? Did he know it was hers or was he simply ferreting for information?
At her confusion he leaned further toward her and whispered, “However, it’s what we do once we’ve caught our pray that is pleasurable.”
Scandalous. His words were scandalous.
Tell me where the ancient ruins Henry wants to visit with Amy are located, and one lucky commenter will WIN a eBook copy of To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood. Open internationally. Closes 31 October.