Tag: Book Promo

Book Spotlight: Taking a Chance by Maggie McGinnis (+Giveaway)

Posted November 2, 2017 by Rowena in Giveaways, Promotions | 4 Comments

Taking a Chance by Maggie McGinnis is the sixth book in her Whisper Creek series. The story features a hard working heroine who was expecting a promotion and was instead sent to Montana to work at a nursing home and the local hottie that loves getting under her skin. This book promises much fun and a sweet romance that you won’t want to miss.

Taking a Chance by Maggie McGinnis
Series: Whisper Creek #6
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Lovesept
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

A fun-loving troublemaker gives a workaholic Southern gal a real taste of Montana magic at the one and only Whisper Creek Ranch.

A rising star in the corporate world, Emma Winthrop enjoys the view from her cubicle in sunny Florida. But when she’s dispatched to a nursing home in Whisper Creek for three months of field experience, she discovers a slice of heaven made of mountains and mayhem—mostly in the form of rugged, drop-dead gorgeous Jasper Stone, who grinds his specialty beans at the town’s best coffee shop in between organizing dodge-ball games and wheelchair races in Emma’s hallways.

When Jasper walks in on this beautiful angel in silky purple underwear trying to rinse out her blouse, it’s a breathtaking view—even for a Montana native. Wreaking havoc here at Shady Acres keeps his dad in good spirits, but getting under Emma’s skin is proving to be even more fun. Jasper knows that he’s falling faster than a man with his past has any right to, but his body and his heart have a mind of their own. And Emma appears to be claiming both.

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Excerpt

He snapped off a long blade of grass. “Did you ever learn how to play a grass whistle?”

“Um, no. Didn’t know that was a thing.”

“Totally is.” He pressed his thumbs together with the grass between them, then lifted his hands to his mouth and blew. The sound that came out made Emma laugh out loud.

“That sounds like a dying bird.”

“Does not.” He blew again, and it was even worse. “I have it on good authority that it actually sounds like a hippopotamus’s mating call.”

She laughed again as she sat up. “Who in your circle of weirdos even knows what a hippo’s mating call sound like?”

“Not important.”

“Well, if I hear hooves coming our way, I’m getting on Honeydrop there and leaving you at the hippos’ mercy. Just saying.”

“Here.” He picked her a blade of grass. “You try it.”

“I have no desire to call in a herd of hippos, thanks.”

“They’re not native. No worries. Worst thing you’ll do is tick off the resident moose population.”

Her eyes popped open. “No desire to meet those, either, thanks.”

“Just try it.”

“Fine.” She sighed, trying to position the grass the way she’d seen him do it. She raised her hands to her mouth and blew, but no sound came out besides her own air.

“Harder than it looks to call in a hippo, isn’t it?”

“I can do it.” She inhaled, then blew again. Nothing. “Huh. My grass is defective.”

He smiled. “Try another piece.”

She picked one, lifted it, and tried again. Still nothing. “Must be a country-boy skill.”

“I’m from L.A.”

“Details.”

“Want some help?”

“Nope.” She blew again. “Fine. Yes, please. Because now it’s a thing. I didn’t even know it was a thing I didn’t know how to do, but now it is. So I need to know. Now.”

Her words faded as she realized he was watching her lips, and the way he was watching her lips—oh, hell—was sending streaks of liquid longing straight to all the places.

“It’s all in the lips,” he finally said, and was it her imagination, or did his voice sound a little strangled?

“All in the lips.” She took a deep breath. “Okay. What do I do with the lips?”

“May I?” He reached toward her mouth with one hand, touching her top lip with his index finger,then sliding it slowly around to the bottom. “Here and . . . here. Tighten those up, and you’ll be good to go.”

It was all she could do not to kiss his finger, all she could do not to wrap her lips around it and pull it into her mouth . . . all she could do not to close her eyes and beg him to kiss her.

“Okay,” she said. “Got it.”

He pulled his hand away, but his eyes stayed focused on her lips, and she knew it was because he was checking to see if she did it correctly, but holy hell. The heat in those eyes!

She pulled her hands up to her mouth and took a deep breath, blowing as hard as she could. A strangled-duck sort of sound came out, but hey. It was a sound.

He laughed. “See? All in the lips.”

Teasers

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About the Author

Maggie McGinnis

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Maggie McGinnis is a USA Today® Bestselling author and Golden Heart® Finalist who writes heart-tugging, humorous contemporary romance for Random House and St. Martin’s Press.

She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, and is agented by the fabulous Courtney Miller-Callihan of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

Maggie’s Whisper Creek series is set in Montana and features a cast of characters who (accidentally) find their happily-ever-afters on a Montana dude ranch. Her Echo Lake series is set in a charming Vermont village filled with big-hearted people, maple creemees, and second chances.

Want to connect? Great!! You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook. Thus far she’s avoided Pinterest and Instagram because she knows herself, and there is no coming back from those places.


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Book Spotlight: Ride Wild by Laura Kaye

Posted October 30, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 3 Comments

Ride Wild by Laura Kaye comes out tomorrow and it’s the third book in the Raven Rider’s series. It’s a pretty popular series that features characters from a motorcycle club and I’ve been hearing good things about it. We’re excited to share an excerpt of the first chapter with you lovely readers today.

Check it out.

Ride Wild by Laura Kaye
Series: Raven Riders #3
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders…

Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.

Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her…

Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feel too much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late.

Order the Book:

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Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

It was their normal routine, and it was awkward as crap.

Cora Campbell bit back a smile as she sat in the passenger seat of the beat-up pickup truck. She didn’t think Sam Evans, her boss-of-sorts, would appreciate her humor. Or, like, any humor. He filled the driver’s seat beside her, his big hands on the wheel and black tattoos snaking all down his lean, muscled arms. From the corner of her eye, she sneaked a glance at his face, and one word came to mind.

Wild.

Longish wild brown hair, like he couldn’t keep from raking at it in frustration. Wild brown beard that Cora sometimes imagined chopping off just so she could better see the face it seemed like he purposefully hid beneath it. Pale green eyes, mesmerizing in their uniqueness, but also wild with emotions at which she could only guess . . .

“So, um, Slider,” she said, her use of the nickname his motorcycle club had given him slicing through the uneasy silence, “anything special I need to know about Sam and Ben for tonight?”

That pale gaze slashed her way, and she felt the chill of it into her bones. Slider didn’t scare her—he was too good to his boys for that. But it was entirely possible that his glances appeared in the dictionary next to Intimidating as Fuck. And maybe even If Looks Could Kill. And definitely Like, Whoa. It was a good thing he paid her so well to babysit his sons. In truth, he was doing her a pretty big favor giving her a part-time job while she figured out her life, so she put up with his… moodiness.

He huffed out a breath, as if mustering the energy to reply sucked vital life force from his soul or something. “Sam has homework he wants your help with,” he said, his tone almost apologetic. “And Ben… is Ben.”

Cora nodded. Having babysat the kids four or five days a week for the past three months, she had a decent idea what Slider meant. At six, Ben was a sweetheart of a boy, but nightmares and monsters under the bed gave him more than a little difficulty sleeping. “Okay.”

They came upon the two-story white farmhouse where Slider lived and Cora sometimes worked. Empty, overgrown flower beds. A misshapen wreath on the door, so bleached from the sun Cora could no longer tell what color it’d originally been. Shutters hanging at odd angles from years of neglect. The house had an abandoned, decaying feel about it, and Cora didn’t really have to wonder why that was.

Slider hadn’t even parked when the front door exploded open, the creaky screen door wobbling like it might just give up and fall off its hinges. A little boy darted out next to the gravel driveway, hopping excitedly as if the grass hid a trampoline. Except for the lighter brown hair and happiness shaping his face, there was no denying Ben was Slider’s kid.

Cora stepped out of the truck into the warm early September evening wearing a smile. “Hey, jumping bean.”

“Name’s Ben, not Bean,” he said, his grin all the cuter for the big gap where his front teeth should’ve been.

“You sure? I could’ve sworn it was Bean.” She hugged him as he threw his arms around her waist. Where Slider was a walking, talking wall that kept all his emotions barricaded, his younger son wore every single emotion on his sleeve.

“No.” He laughed. “It’s Ben!”

“Okay, Bean.” Hiking up the backpack that served as an overnight bag, she glanced at Slider and found him watching her through narrowed eyes, like maybe she was a foreign language he couldn’t decipher. Tall and broad-shouldered, he had a ranginess about him that, like the house, spoke of neglect. She’d seen him sit with the kids at meals, sometimes even with a plate of food in front of him. But it was possible she’d eaten more watching movies in bed with her friends Haven and Alexa last weekend than she’d seen Slider eat in the past three months combined.

The youngest Evans let loose a long-suffering groan. “No, Cora, it’s Ben,” he said, pronouncing her name more like Coowa. It was so cute it almost killed her.

“Finally, you’re here,” Sam called from the front door. At ten going on eleven going on thirty-five, the kid was the definition of an old soul. It was in his eyes, the seriousness of his personality, the way he took care of his little brother, as if, without being asked, he was trying to relieve some of the burden of being a single parent from his father’s shoulders.

“I am, in fact, here. Now the party can begin,” Cora said, ruffling the older boy’s hair as she stepped into the neat but shabby living room. Sam tried to hold back his smile as he dodged her hand, but didn’t quite manage.

“Wait. We’re having a party?” Ben asked as she dropped her bag on the couch.

Sam rolled his eyes. “No, doofus, it’s an expression.”

Ben’s shoulders fell, and now Cora was the one holding back a smile. “If two certain someones I know take their showers without any complaints, maybe, just maybe, we can have a party.” The littler boy’s grin was immediate, but what really caught her attention was the way that Sam’s attention perked up, even though he tried to hide it. “Deal?” she asked.

Just as both boys agreed, Slider cleared his throat. Cora turned to find him shrugging into his button- up uniform shirt with its Frederick Auto Body and Repair logo, the movement causing his T-shirt to ride up his side. Just a momentary glance. Just of one small part of his body. But it revealed two things that stole her breath—more ink, and a frame that was all raw muscle and sinew.

Like a wild animal.

The comparison should’ve been alarming, but for some reason, that wasn’t how her body interpreted it if the flutter in her belly was any indication. Never in a million years would she have described Slider as attractive, but there was something unquestionably attracting about him, even if she couldn’t quite articulate what that was.

“Leaving?” she managed.

He nodded. “On seven to seven,” he said. “You have my cell.”

“We’ll be fine,” she said, bracing her hands on Ben’s shoulders. “Won’t we?” she asked, hugging him against her as she peered down into his little face.

“Yeah,” he said. “Don’t worry, Dad.”

Slider gave a single nod as his gaze skated between Cora and his sons. “See ya later, alligators.”
Sam rolled his eyes, but Ben grinned and said, “After while, crocodile.”

Slider winked at his youngest. Just a single little wink. But, together with the way he said good-bye to the kids every time he left, it proved to Cora that there was a sweet, playful man in there somewhere. Or at least there used to be.

Either way, it was clear that what Slider had left of himself to give, he gave to his boys. And given what a miserable piece of crap both her dad and her best friend’s father had been, Cora knew how much having a good father mattered. It mattered a lot. She had to respect that much about Slider, whatever else his faults might be.

From RIDE WILD by Laura Kaye. Used with permission of Avon. Copyright © 2017 by Laura Kaye.

Raven Riders Series

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About the Author

Laura Kaye

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink, Raven Riders, Blasphemy, Heroes, and Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura also writes historical fiction as Laura Kamoie, and lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


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Cover Reveal: The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 9, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 4 Comments

Cover Reveal

Lauren Blakely has a new book coming out in the summer and today, we are fortunate enough to share the cover reveal for you lovely readers. You guys know how much I love contemporary romances and this one, The Real Deal, sounds like my cup of tea. I’m pretty stoked about it.

Check out the cover and blurb.

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely
Series: N/A
Releases on July 10, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Sophie Kinsella meets Jennifer Crusie in your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family’s summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau — the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

I’m loving the colors, the picture and the font used so all in all, I’m a big fan of this cover. I’m stoked about this release.

Pre-Order the Book:

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About the Author

Lauren Blakely

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In October, she’ll release HARD WOOD, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!

laurenblakely.com/newsletter


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Excerpt Reveal: Hot Stuff by Kim Karr

Posted September 22, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 0 Comments

Kim Karr‘s Hot Stuff releases this coming week and we’ve got an excerpt of the hot contemporary romance to share with you lovely readers.

Check it out!

Hot Stuff by Kim Karr
Release Date: September 27, 2017
Publisher: Self Published, Kim Karr
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Get ready to fall in love with this new standalone sports romance from New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr.

He’s the newly drafted quarterback.
Hot. Arrogant. Too sexy for words.
Ready to score.

I’m an athletic intern, and the coach’s daughter.
Driven. Determined. Prepared to conquer the world.
Completely off-limits.

The NFL is full of rules. Rules I’ve never broken. Never challenged. Never even scratched–until the day Lucas Carrington crashes into my life with his hard body and I-don’t-give-a-f*ck attitude.

After I almost injure my father’s star player, I volunteer to make sure he’s in top shape. At first, it’s hell. I don’t like his cockiness, his easy smile. Don’t like the way he oozes sex. Or how his penetrating eyes follow me everywhere.

That doesn’t stop me from wanting him. He’s meant to be a distraction–something to occupy my mind for these precious few remaining hot summer nights before I’m forced to leave football behind forever.

I know what we’re doing will lead nowhere good. I know we’re crossing the line. And I know my father will never understand.

None of that matters.

But maybe it should.

Rules aren’t meant to be broken.

Or are they?

Order the Book:

AMAZON

Excerpt

Gillian Whitney

I wasn’t in a hurry.

Yet I walked as fast as I could across the grounds.

When I found myself inside the large brick building and heading down the hall to the training room, my palms began to sweat. After I wiped them on my gym shorts, I unlocked the door and scolded myself for being nervous.

I could do this.

I could absolutely be in the same room as a hot guy with ripped abs, sinewy muscles, and broad shoulders.

I’d been around men like him my entire life.

So what made him different?

I had no idea. All I knew was my pulse raced when I thought of his strong arms. His firm pecks. His hard body. His rugged good looks.

It was dark inside the room, no one was here yet, and I took a moment to breathe deep before flicking on the lights and then emptying my bag.

This room was about half the size of the Bear’s Training Room in Chicago, but it was still state-of-the-art. Remodeled a few years ago, it had been designed with the Bears’ needs in mind.

“Hey,” a deep voice said. “I’m reporting for duty as ordered.”

I jumped, turning to see Lucas in the doorway.

His blue gaze practically drank me in and instantly I felt my nipples harden. I was wearing a tank top and feared their protrusion was more than evident. It was just so hard not to notice how gorgeous he was. Even in his grungy state, there was so much raw power emanating from him. Unshaved, and his hair a sexy mess, he wore sweatpants and a Bears T-shirt. A duffle hung from his shoulder in a lopsided way, and it was the first thing I noticed about his condition.

Something about it wasn’t right, and I snapped right back into work mode.

“Good morning,” I said. “How do you feel today?”

He dropped his duffle to the ground. “Terrific.”

“No headaches, nausea, or dizziness?”

“Nope,” he said. “How long is this going to take?”

Grabbing a water bottle from the refrigerator and a heart rate monitor from the drawer, I slowly started toward him. “Less than thirty minutes, as long as everything checks out.”

His expression grew pensive. “Great. Then let’s get this over with so I can get back to what’s important.”

There was something in his tone that was off. Sure, he was being a smart-ass, but I was used to dealing with that from disgruntled players. It was their coping mechanism. There was something else going on. “This is important, Lucas.”

“Yeah, right, of course it is.” His voice was cool.

I strode past him and went directly across the hall to the weight room, where I flicked on the lights.

Lucas was obviously in a hurry because he was on my heels.

I tossed him the monitor and then pointed to the treadmill. “Strap that around your chest and then hop on.”

Okay, it sounded a little dirty.

At that, he shot me a glance, and I tossed one right back. But then I was momentarily stunned when he stripped his T-shirt off to affix the monitor to his chest. Lucas had the body of a god, and by the smug look he wore, he not only knew it, but he also knew I knew it.

Climbing onto the treadmill, he tossed his shirt over the rail. Then he pushed the speed button, and the machine roared to life.

I placed the water bottle in the cup holder in front of him. “Get to a pace you’re comfortable with, one you can sustain, and if you start to experience any dizziness or headaches, tell me right away and we’ll stop.”

“And if I have none?”

With the monitoring device in my hand, I watched his heart rate increase and his blood pressure remain steady. “Then we go for the full twenty minutes.”

“And then what, I get a prize?”

I ignored his comment. “No, then, although I can’t diagnosis you, I would say you are non-symptomatic.”

Giving me a nod, he drank some water from the bottle and after he’d put it back in its place, he programmed the timer. From beside him, I noticed he still appeared to have some lingering neck spasms. Not that unusual after what happened.

About ten minutes later he looked over at me. He didn’t speak around his huffing and puffing. That was fine by me because every time his abs and pecs rippled, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about how his sweat would taste if I ran my tongue along the ridge of his ribs or around the concave cup of his belly button.

It was wrong on so many levels.

By the time eighteen minutes passed, his mouth had set into a tight, hard line of determination. Sweat had also coated his entire upper body, but it was far from disgusting.

Ridiculous as it was, I couldn’t stop flicking my gaze from the monitor to his muscled thighs and occasionally to the incredibly mesmerizing set of dimples on his back.

God was he sexy.

“Everything cool?” he asked.

No, everything was not cool.

It was hot.

He was hot.

And I was in so much trouble.

Teasers

About the Author

Kim Karr

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Reader * Chocolate Lover * Writer * Coffee Lover * Romantic * Beach Lover * Yoga Beginner

Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eighteen novels. Best known for writing sexy contemporary love stories, she enjoys bringing flawed characters to life.

Her romances are raw, real, and explosive.
Her characters will make you laugh, make you cry, make you feel.
And her happily-ever-afters are always swoon worthy.

From the brooding rock star to the arrogant millionaire. From the witty damsel-in-distress to the sassy high-powered business woman. No two storylines are ever alike.

Get ready to fall in love.


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Teaser Blitz: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted September 20, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

In just a short couple of weeks, Elizabeth Hoyt will be releasing the twelfth book in her Maiden Lane series. The book follows Lady Iris Jordan and Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore as they make that adventurous journey to true love.

You won’t want to miss out!

Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lanes #12
Also in this Series:
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genres: Historical Romance

A LADY OF LIGHT

Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and-nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him…only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS

Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER…AND DESIRE

Much to Raphael’s irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involes herself in his life—and bed. Soon he’s drawn to both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael’s past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael’s own demons?

Order the Book:

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Excerpt

Iris tasted of red wine—the red wine she must have drunk at dinner—and all the reasons he shouldn’t do this fled his mind. A vital chain broke in his psyche and everything he’d held back, everything he’d restrained with all his might, was suddenly set free. He surged into her mouth, desperate for the feel, for the taste of her, his wife, his duchess, his Iris. She was soft and sweet and warm and he wanted to devour her. To seize her and hold her and never let her go. The deep unfathomable well of his urges toward her frightened him, and he knew that if she became aware of them, they would frighten her as well.

But that was the thing—she wasn’t aware of them. She thought she was simply consummating their marriage or some such rot, God help them both.

She gripped his naked arms and the beast within him shuddered and stretched, claws scraping against the ground.

Dear God, he wanted this woman.

But he had to remember—to keep that human part of his mind awake and alive—that he mustn’t seed her.
Must never do as his cursed father had done.

He broke from her mouth, feeling the pulse of his cock against his breeches, and trailed his lips across her cheek to her ear. “Come with me, sweet girl.”

She blinked up at him, wide blue-gray eyes a little dazed.

He covered her mouth again before she could speak—either to consent or decline—and drew her slowly backward, step by step, toward the bed, until he hit it with the backs of his legs. He broke the kiss, looking down at her, her wet ruby lips parted, her cheeks flushed pink.

She looked edible.

“Raphael,” she whispered, his name on her lips like a plea, and something within him broke.

This wasn’t what he wanted. This wasn’t right. But it was the only thing possible and it would have to suffice because it was all he could do.

And trying to resist was killing him.

He traced a hand up her arm, over her shoulder, to her neck, and from there touched her bound golden hair. “Will you take down your hair for me?”

She gasped—a small, quick inhalation—and nodded.

He watched as she raised her arms, her stormy eyes locked on his, and withdrew the pins from her hair one by one until the heavy mass fell like a curtain around her shoulders. He bent then and gathered the locks in his hands, burying his face in her neck, inhaling her.

His woman.

He felt her tremble against him and then her fingers speared through his hair. “Raphael.”

He lifted his head.

Her hands fell away and she began undressing, her head bent down as she unhooked her bodice. He saw that her fingers fumbled and he knew that a better man would turn aside. Would give her privacy to collect herself and disrobe with modesty.

But he wasn’t such a man. He wanted all of her—her mistakes and her private moments, her shame and her worries—everything she held back from the rest of the world. As he wanted this. This moment of fumbling.

This moment of intimacy.

She pulled the bodice from her arms. Untied her skirts and let them pool around her feet before kicking them aside. Glanced up at him and then worked at the laces to her stays.

Her unbound hair fell over her shoulders, nearly to her waist, thick and swaying gently as she moved.

Beautiful.

She was beautiful.

She pulled her loosened stays off over her head and stood in chemise, stockings, and shoes. The tips of her breasts peeked out from beneath the thin cloth.

She began to bend for her shoes, but he stopped her. “No. Let me.”

He grasped her by the waist and lifted her to the bed.

Carefully he drew off her slippers, letting them drop to the hardwood floor before running his hand up her left calf. The room was so quiet he could hear each breath she drew. She watched him as he reached under her chemise, into that warm spot behind her knee, tugging at the ribbon of her garter.

Her breath hitched.

He glanced up at her as he found bare skin. Hot, so hot under her skirt. He could almost imagine he smelled her, standing between her bent legs. He pulled the first stocking off and moved to her other foot, smoothing his thumb over her arch, over that high instep, that sweet, delicate ankle. The curve of her calf—one of the loveliest curves in nature—elegant and perfect. Someday he’d like to draw her nude.

The faint, almost inaudible whisper as he pulled the ribbon off raised the hairs on the back of his neck. His nostrils flared and he couldn’t wait any longer. He lifted her bodily, moving her farther up on the bed, placing her head and shoulders against the pillows, and then pushed up her chemise, crawling between her spread thighs and settling to enjoy what he’d found.

There. There she was, her pretty, pretty pink cunny, all coral lips and wispy dark-blond curls. He hiked her trembling legs over his arms, ignoring her gasp of shocked surprise. He glanced up once and saw wide, wondering eyes gazing back at him. Her gentlemanly first husband had evidently never done this to her.

More fool he.

Maiden Lane

About the Author

Elizabeth Hoyt

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Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.


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