Thursday, December 1, 2016

Today's Special - - Suzanne Ferrell


It's my pleasure to welcome Suzanne Ferrell back to The Romance Dish. I'm a fan of Ferrell's small town, contemporary Westen series, with its strong cast of characters and intriguing thread of suspense as well as her Edgars family romantic suspense stories with their determined fight for justice, even if they have to sidestep the rules to achieve it.  

Suzanne discovered romance novels in her aunt's hidden stash one summer as a teenager. From that moment on she knew two things: she loved romance stories and someday she'd be writing her own. Her love for romances has only grown over the years. It took her a number of years and a second career as a nurse to finally reach her dream but she now has a full-time career writing heartwarming - and heartstopping - romances I love to read. 

Suzanne joins us today to blog about her three Christmas novellas, set within her fictional Westen, Ohio community, including her newest: Close to Santa's Heart


The Sideways Christmas In Westen


One of my favorite things about Christmas is all the Christmas romances that are published in the late fall. I mean, seriously, is there anything more romantic than finding love at Christmas? I’ve always loved reading Christmas romances and wanted to write one of my own. And I love reading novellas this time of year, because they’re quick and I can get my reading fix in and still have time for shopping, baking, decorating…oh yeah, and writing.

Now, I had two series to choose from to write my Christmas story. There was the Edgars Family novels and the Westen Series. The Edgars Family novels are darker and edgier.  The Westen Series books, while each has some element of suspense in them, are more laid back with the stories about a small town and things that occur in it. (Can I help it if dead bodies turn up and fires sometimes break out?) So, when looking at the two series, it made more sense to me to set my first Christmas novella in Westen.

So I did. It was titled Close To Christmas and centered around the wedding of the sheriff and one of his deputies. Problem was, at the end of the book, I sort of leave…okay, I really leave a budding relationship between two secondary characters and a mystery hanging in the wind. But that’s okay, because I planned to give those characters the next big book in the series. First I had to jump back over and write the next Edgars book to keep those readers happy.

Before I could get to that big Westen book, I was asked to be part
of a Christmas book bundle last year. I was thrilled and honored to be included, so the big book was put on hold and back to Westen we went for another Christmas novella. I didn’t want to imply that a year had taken place in the timeline, because I really do have my two characters for the big book with a big problem to solve, so I decided that I’d make the second Westen Christmas novella, Close To The Mistletoe, taking place at the exact same time as Close To Christmas. Which meant I had to read and re-read the first novella so I could include some details from it in the second book. It was fun and I got to envision more of how much Christmas means to the residents of Westen.

And this year I was again asked to be part of a Christmas book bundle, Under The Kissing Bough. Once more I visited the folks in Westen and decided to place this third novella, Close To Santa’s Heart, in the same timeline as the previous two. This time I focused on the romance between another of the town’s deputies, Cleetus Junkins and the little hair dresser, Sylvie Gillis.

Yes, I know Cleetus isn’t a very heroic name. He popped up as a secondary character in Close To Home, the first book in the series, rescuing twin boys and their grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s when they were out wandering on a highway near town. (Heroic, huh?) And then he got injured trying to help the sheriff stop a dangerous criminal in Close To The Edge. (More quiet hero stuff.) Then all of a sudden people were writing me emails and messaging me asking when he was going to get a romance. Here’s the blurb for his and Sylvie’s story:

As Westen’s resident Santa, Deputy Cleetus Junkins brings the magic of Christmas to his beloved home town each year.  He oversees lighting the tree in the square and raising the huge mistletoe kissing bough in the gazebo. At the parties he visits with children and the elderly. Amid all this joy even Santa can be lonely. Or he used to be. This year, Cleetus has a helper. 

Sylvie Gillis came to Westen for a fresh start only to have her heart immediately melted by a shy gentle giant of a deputy. Her childhood was short on happiness but playing elf to Cleetus’ Santa makes her want to believe in Christmas miracles.

As Cleetus and Sylvie help bring Christmas joy to the citizens of Westen, the holiday magic weaves its way into their hearts. Will the reason Sylvie left home come between them or can she stay Close To Santa’s Heart?

Again, I had to read through the other two novellas, pick out scenes Sylvie and Cleetus were in for those books and find a way to weave them in among the romance, Christmas celebration and little mystery in the book. Oh yeah…all on a limited word count. Woohoo! Nothing like a challenge!

Then it occurred to me. From a timeline perspective, I’d written the whole thing sideways. I started with the final story on the timeline, wrote the first one second and finished up with the middle story. Confused? Yeah, me too. How’d I do that?

So, if you’ve never read any of the Christmas novellas, the reading order is this:
1. Close To The Mistletoe
2. Close To Santa’s Heart
3. Close To Christmas




If you have been reading them, I’m sorry I wrote them out of order, but hope you’ll love Cleetus and Sylvie’s story in the Under The Kissing Bough book bundle with 15 new Christmas novellas in it. (Oh, and by the way, I’m finally getting to those two characters and their big story!)

Merry Christmas and Happy reading everyone!
Suzanne


Are you reading Suzanne's Westen series?  

Do you read mostly novellas over the busy holidays (I do!) or do you still indulge in full-length books?

Do you enjoy a quiet, thoughtful hero or do you go for the macho, alpha type? 

Suzanne is giving away an e-book set of her first two Westen Christmas novellas: Close to Christmas and Close to the Mistletoe (Thank you, Suzanne!) to three randomly chosen people who leave a comment by 11:00 pm (EST), December 2, 2016.

Find more information about Suzanne and her books at her website.
Connect with her online at:


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Coming Attractions





I don't know about the rest of you but, to me, it feels like we were just celebrating the New Year a couple months ago and here it is, December again. Would somebody please slow things down? I have too many books to read and not nearly enough days to do it in! We have a festive month planned here at the Romance Dish. I hope you will all join us as we count down the final days of 2016.





Suzanne Ferrell kicks off the month with a guest blog on Thursday, December 1. Suzanne's newest Westen series novella, "Close to Santa's Heart" can be found in the multi-author holiday anthology, Under the Kissing Bough.










Susanna Craig will join me for a Q&A on Thursday, December 8. Susanna's second book, To Tempt an Heiress will be released December 6 and her debut, To Kiss a Thief is currently on sale in e-book format for only $0.99. This new historical romance author is one to watch!









Friday, December 9 brings Janga's review of FALL: A Rock Solid Romance by Karina Bliss and an Q&A with the author. This book follows last year's RISE which was one of Janga's top books of 2015.













Deb Marlowe will blog with us on Monday, December 12. Deb has a new novella, The Earl's Hired Bride (Nov. 21) and a holiday novella, Lady It's Cold Outside (July 2016), both stories in her Half Moon House series.










Miranda Liasson returns to Mirror Lake, Connecticut with her emotional, second chance, contemporary romance, Can't Stop Loving You (Dec. 6). Miranda will be blogging with us on Tuesday, December 13.








Have you been keeping a list of favorite books this year? Be sure to stop by on Wednesday, December 14 when we share the titles that made our Best of 2016!





Don't miss Janga's On Second Thought review on Thursday, December 15.








On Friday, December 16, we're turning our spotlight on Gena Showalter's The Darkest Torment tour. The 12th book in Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series, The Darkest Torment was reprinted in Mass Market Paperback on November 22.











Looking for a few new recipes to try this Christmas? B.J. Daniels and the Harlequin Winter Holiday Recipes (+ reads!) tour stops by on Monday, December 19 to tempt your taste buds and Western romance appetite. Daniels' brings readers intrigue for the holidays with Cardwell Christmas Crime Scene, the newest addition to her Harlequin Intrigue Cardwell family saga.






Enjoy the upcoming holidays and happy reading! 


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Blitz Review - - Duke of Pleasure





Duke of Pleasure
By Elizabeth Hoyt
Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: November 29, 2016







The Duke of Kyle is on the hunt for the Lords of Chaos, a secret society of lords who dress in masquerade and live in excess, known for raping, killing, and pedophilia; and his interest has earned him a price on his head. Kyle hires the enterprising St. Giles urchin, Alf, for his expertise in finding out information, namely who tried to kill him and nearly succeeded. In fact if it wasn’t for the timely rescue of the Ghost of St. Giles—a woman!—he wouldn’t be able to hire anyone to find out anything. 

Alf, also known as the Ghost of St. Giles, is nervous when Kyle approaches her for her assistance. After all, after she rescued him, she kissed him—a kiss she can’t forget—did he know? It soon becomes apparent he is unaware she’s a woman, let alone the Ghost. She agrees to his request to find the men who tried to kill him; however, her questions soon bring down the same men on her and she barely escapes for her life and runs to Kyle’s house.

Kyle takes her in, feeling guilty he put a child in danger, and soon after, he discovers Alf is the St. Giles Ghost…and more importantly, a woman. He cannot keep her out of his mind or his bed as they work together to find out all the men who belong to the Lords of Chaos. The problem is can he let go of his past and allow himself to fall in love with the one woman most perfect for him?

This novel in the Maiden Lane series is welcomingly lighter than its predecessor. Although the arc regarding the Lords of Chaos is a dark one and has been featured in a book or two already—and is going to feature in the book coming after this one (Duke of Desire), the action scenes felt much lighter than in previous books. It is also refreshing to have a woman action-hero whom the hero trusts to do the kind of work that is ultimately dangerous, but that he knows she is capable of handling. The hero and heroine felt very much like equals, even though he is the illegitimate son of the king and she is a guttersnipe; and the reasons for keeping them apart do not have to do with her believing she is not good enough for him (or vise versa).

I love this series. Ms. Hoyt always keeps this series fresh and sexy, dark and emotional. As always, I want to go back and reread all the books in the series and fall in love with all the characters again. (I’m not sure who inspired Kyle for this story I know Tom Hiddleston—squee!—was the inspiration for the Duke of Sin; and I believe Jason Isaacs was the inspiration for Lord Caire, the first hero of the series. But I wonder if Ms. Hoyt has been watching some episodes of Poldark with the rest of us, because Kyle’s black hair, black eyes, and smiles remind me of Aiden Turner. A reader can dream, yes?)

~Hellie

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2cPHXtb



************SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT*****************

The ebook edition of WICKED INTENTIONS, the first book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s bestselling Maiden Lane series will be FREE from November 28th through December 12th. On December 13th the price returns to $5.99.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Kate Noble Winner





The winner of a full set of Kate Noble's

Winner Takes All series (three books) is:

librarypat

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!







Wishing all of our U.S. readers a very 

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your holiday be filled with

love, blessings, good food, and great books.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Today's Special - - Kate Noble Review & Giveaway Tour


The Dare and the Doctor
By Kate Noble
Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: November 22, 2016
 

   



The Dare and the Doctor, the third novel in Kate Noble’s Winner Takes All series, appears to be an epistolary novel in the first chapter as the reader shares in letters between Miss Margaret Babcock, the socially awkward daughter of Sir Barty Babcock, and Dr. Rhys Gray. Margaret grew up helping her mother make things grow in the garden and in the greenhouse. Her mother died when Margaret was sixteen, and four years later Margaret finds making things grow is both rewarding for its own sake and as a way of feeling connected to her mother. A skilled amateur horticulturalist, Margaret is particularly pleased with the results of hybridizing her mother’s cherished China rose with a sturdier English variety. Her excitement increases when Rhys writes to tell her that he has shared the news of her hybrid rose with a member of the Horticultural Society of London who extended an invitation to Margaret to present her hybrid to the society. Margaret is leery of change and of society beyond her limited circle, but the chance to present her rose and to see Rhys prove temptation enough to lure her from her Lincolnshire greenhouse to London for a visit.

Rhys is delighted that Margaret has agreed to visit London. Even as he assures himself and his friends Phoebe and Ned, the Earl and Countess of Ashby (The Game and the Governess), that his correspondence with Margaret had been academic in nature and that their relationship is strictly platonic, Rhys is making plans to spend as much time as possible with Margaret. He has all but forgotten his mother’s scheme for a marriage between Rhys, her dependable doctor son, and Sylvia Morton, the pretty daughter of a neighbor, a marriage that will end a feud and restore the reputations of Rhys’s father and elder brother sufficiently to allow them to return to England from their exile on the Continent. Despite Rhys’s repeated insistence that he has not agreed to the marriage, everyone else acts as if the betrothal is a certainty.

As Margaret and Rhys spend more time together, a growing attraction adds to their firm friendship, but a romance between them seems hopeless. Rhys may be reluctant to do his duty to redeem his family’s standing in society, but clearly he cares for them and cannot ignore the problem that is within his power to remedy. Margaret understands his dilemma and is eager to return to her father’s estate and the safety of her greenhouse. When Rhys continues to postpone acting, someone else acts for him. Has his own indecision separated him and Margaret forever, or will he find a way to free himself from a deceiver’s trap?

I am one of the readers of The Lie and the Lady (Book 2, Winner Takes All) who longed for Margaret and Rhys’s story. I loved both these characters in that book and believed that the relationship between these two science-obsessed introverts contained the seeds of an HEA. The Dare and the Doctor satisfied all my expectations and offered a friends-to-lovers tale in which both the friendship and the romance are persuasively developed. The opening chapter shows a year in the lives of Margaret and Rhys through the letters they exchange. The growth of their friendship is documented through these letters, moving from genuine liking and respect based on mutual interests to the intimacy of deep friendship. The reader is prepared to see the friendship progress to romantic love when the two are reunited in London. The elation both Margaret and Rhys experience at the thought of seeing one another reveals that feelings other than friendship are present even if they are too shy to admit to them.

This is a quiet book, and some readers may find Rhys and to a lesser degree, Margaret too passive. However, if you prefer your romances character-driven and appreciate a story in which the protagonists are more at home in environs related to professional interests than in ballrooms and other sites of social gatherings and if you have an affection for romances that are more tender than tempestuous, I think you will like this book as much as I did. As a Kate Noble fan since her first historical romance, I recommend the full series, but The Dare and the Doctor can be read as a standalone. I recommend you add this one to your TBR list.

~Janga


WINNER TAKES ALL GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the third in the Winner Takes All series, The Dare and the Doctor, we are hosting a giveaway and the WINNER will TAKE ALL books in the series: The Game and the Governess, The Lie and the Lady and The Dare and the Doctor

Please note, you can enter at all participating blogs but you can only win once. The Romance Dish winner will be announced November 26th from all comments posted before 11:00 PM, November 25th. (US addresses only)

Do you enjoy stories that are, as Janga notes in her review, "more tender than tempestuous?" 

Are you reading Kate Noble's Winner Takes All series?





THE DARE AND THE DOCTOR
Kate Noble
Pocket Books
Pub date: November 22, 2016
ISBN: 9781476749402
Price: $7.99
Mass Market Paperbound
A Winner Takes All Novel (#3)

National bestselling author Kate Noble’s THE DARE AND THE DOCTOR lures readers back to the dazzling, irresistible Winner Takes All Regency Romance series. Margaret Babcock has always been content with her quiet life in the country. But every now and then, she feels the urge to spread her wings. Her late mother used to whisper, “What’s the worst that could happen?” at the start of an adventure, and now Margaret’s continuing the tradition. So when Dr. Rhys Gray, her longtime correspondent on matters botanical, invites her to speak to the London Horticultural Society about her new rose hybrid, she accepts. She’s excited about her first visit to London, but even more so about getting to see her friend Dr. Gray. When she arrives, Rhys is eager to show her the wonders of the city, and the two spend many happy hours together just as friends, of course! But would friends miss each other quite as fiercely when they’re apart; or feel such a spark when they’re together? Margaret finds that friendship with Rhys is much more complicated than she’d imagined…especially when it turns out her friend has forgotten that he may be promised to another woman.





Kate Noble is the national bestselling author of The Lie and the Lady, The Game and the Governess, third in the witty, sexy Winner Takes All Regency Series, and the critically acclaimed, RITA Award-nominated Blue Raven series. Under the name Kate Rorick, she writes for television, as well as novels based on the Emmy Award-winning web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, for which she is also a writer and producer. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit Kate at katenoble.comFacebook, and Twitter.






Monday, November 21, 2016

Theresa Romain Winner






The randomly chosen winner of copies of

A Gentleman's Game and Fortune Favors the Wicked 

by Theresa Romain is:

Natali

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address along with your choice of print or Kindle to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Sabrina Jeffries Winner





The randomly chosen winner of an autographed copy of

The Danger of Desire by Sabrina Jeffries is:

Sarah

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address to us at:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Friday, November 18, 2016

Review - - The 24 Days of Christmas

The 24 Days of Christmas
By Linda Lael Miller
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Release Date: November 8, 2016
(originally published in
Jingle All the Way, Zebra, 2004)
 

   


Once upon a time Addie Hutton was the daughter of a wealthy, widowed judge, and the two most important people in her world were Eliza, the Huttons’ housekeeper, and Frank Raynor, the lost, young boy whom Eliza invited into her heart and her home. Addie and Frank grew up together, fell in love, and planned to marry. But when Addie went away to college, they grew apart, and Addie broke the engagement. She and Frank went on to build separate lives and to marry other people.

More than a decade later, Frank, now chief of police in Pine Crossing, Colorado and a widower, owns the big house where he lives with his seven-year-old daughter, Lissie. Her goal in life is to be an angel in the Christmas pageant at St. Mary’s Episcopal School. Divorced after her husband left her for a younger woman, Addie is broke and jobless, blacklisted as a journalist because she trusted a lying source. The day after Thanksgiving, she returns to Pine Crossing, but this time she will be renting the garage apartment where Eliza and Frank lived all those years ago. Addie has hardly arrived when she is joined by Henry, the six-year-old step-son whom she loves as if he were her own. Henry has been placed on a bus by his irresponsible father and sent to live with Addie for an indefinite period.

Lissie and Henry bond over an old, homemade matchbox Advent calendar, the same calendar that Addie and Frank once shared many holidays ago. What follows is a bit of history repeating itself as a motherless girl and a lost, frightened boy become fast friends and a man and a woman, battered by the slings and arrows of grown-up lives, renew the tie of friendship that once bound them together. Amid Christmas decorations, children’s dreams, and a caring (mostly) community, Addie and Frank fall in love again. With a little seasonal spirit, their story could end not only with a happy Christmas but with a happy ever after for all--including Floyd, the chubby beagle.

This Christmas novella is a digital reissue, so it is not a new book. Nevertheless, it is one of my favorites among this year’s holiday offerings. I have a soft spot for reunion romances, I love believable kids in Christmas stories, and I am always looking for a new Christmas keeper that offers more than tinsel and frolics under the mistletoe or elsewhere. This one met all criteria, and it even has a tiny redemption story for a mean teacher. It is a gentle, sweet, heartwarming story with a home-for-Christmas theme that works on multiple levels. I think it’s just what Santa ordered for readers who love a sentimental, feel-good Christmas romance as much as I do.

 ~Janga

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Today's Special - - Theresa Romain



I'm delighted to welcome Theresa Romain back to The Romance Dish today to blog about her charming, witty, and thoroughly sigh-worthy new historical romance novella, My Scandalous Duke. This story is another winner from one of my favorite authors.    

Theresa Romain is the bestselling author of historical romances, including the Matchmaker trilogy, the Holiday Pleasures series, the Royal Rewards series, and the Romance of the Turf trilogy. Praised as “one of the rising stars of Regency historical romance” (Booklist), she has received a starred review from Booklist and was a 2016 RITA® finalist. A member of Romance Writers of America® and its Regency specialty chapter The Beau Monde, Theresa is hard at work on her next novel from her home in the Midwest. To keep up with all her book-release news, please visit her online at theresaromain.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter.

Twitter: @TheresaRomain



“I want to be loved. I don’t think there could ever be too many people in the world who love me. Certainly there are not too many now.”

So says our heroine to our hero in my new historical romance novella, My Scandalous Duke. In this friends to lovers romance, young widow Lady Eleanor Palmer is giving an earful to Nicholas, Duke of Hampshire. It’s not the first time. Spoiler: it’s not the last, either.

Nicholas is one of her oldest friends, a rock on whom she can lean, and who leans right back when he needs someone to put his head on straight. Eleanor wants to remarry; Nicholas is prepared to wed for the first time. With her first marriage an adventurous disaster, Eleanor is looking for a calm and sensible husband. Nicholas, a warmhearted but careless duke, does what he wants to and worries about the consequences later. To him, the perfect wife would leave him alone to pursue his own interests in Parliament—which, in 1801, was going through the growing pains of unifying the Irish government with Great Britain’s.

Being friends of such long standing, Nicholas and Eleanor agree to help each other find the perfect
spouse. But an unusual card party, a surprise pianoforte, a punching bag and a slippery slope later, they both realize that what they thought they wanted isn’t what will truly make them happy. They’ll both have to change and grow before they can reach their HEA together. Spoiler part 2: they will. :)

In this contentious election year, I’ve drawn great comfort from reading and writing romance. In romance novels, HEAs are for everyone, and love wins. To paraphrase Eleanor, I don’t think there could ever be too much love in the world. Writing a friends to lovers story was particularly fun, because characters who already know each other well get to know each other in an entirely new way. Neither of them is perfect, but they always find something new to love in each other anyway.

Today I’m curious to know: do you have a favorite romance plot, like friends to lovers? Or have you ever gotten to know someone in an unexpected way—friend, family, or significant other? Or if those questions don’t float your boat, just tell me about your favorite dessert. I’m eager to get to know all of you a bit better.


One random commenter will receive print or Kindle copies of two of my backlist books: A Gentleman’s Game and Fortune Favors the Wicked. (Winner gets to choose format.) International entries welcome.




One good friend deserves a lover…

Lady Eleanor Palmer, a practical young widow, wants a family of her own. Her first marriage was an adventurous disaster, so this time, nothing but the most proper sort of man will do. Absolutely not who she’s looking for? The impulsive, roguish Duke of Hampshire…even though she has secretly loved him as long as she can remember.

Nicholas Langford, the Duke of Hampshire, has always relied on Eleanor’s humor and good sense. Who else would guide him through a scandal with laughter and grace? He would do anything to ensure his old friend’s happiness—even help Eleanor find a suitable new husband.

As Eleanor makes plans for a new life without him at its center, Nicholas realizes the depth of his own feelings. But he can offer Eleanor nothing that she thinks she wants. How can he convince her that he is everything she truly desires?

Book order links:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Today's Special - - Sabrina Jeffries' The Danger of Desire Excerpt and Giveaway


The third book in Sabrina Jeffries' The Sinful Suitors series releases on November 22nd and I am counting the days! The first two books, The Art of Sinning and The Study of Seduction (read my review) were keepers for me and have me eagerly anticipating Warren's story in the upcoming The Danger of Desire. To celebrate her new book, Sabrina Jeffries is sharing an excerpt of The Danger of Desire and giving away an autographed copy to one lucky Dish reader. (details at the end of this post)


The Danger of Desire
By Sabrina Jeffries
The Sinful Suitors - Book 3
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: November 22, 2016




To root out the card cheat responsible for her brother's death, Miss Delia Trevor spends her evenings dancing her way through high society balls, and her late nights disguised as a young man gambling her way through London's gaming hells. Then one night, handsome Warren Corry, the Marquess of Knightford, a notorious member of St. George's Club, recognizes her. When he threatens to reveal her secret, she's determined to keep him from ruining her plans, even if it means playing a cat-and-mouse game with the enigmatic rakehell.

Warren knows the danger of her game, and he refuses to watch her lose everything while gaining justice for her late brother. But when she starts to delve beneath his carefully crafted fa‡├žade, can he keep her at arm's length while still protecting her? Or will their hot desires explode into a love that transcends the secrets of their pasts?




The Danger of Desire
Excerpt


Luncheon was nearly finished, and Warren had done what he’d come to do. So after a few more moments of polite conversation, during which Delia glared at him rather fetchingly, he told them he regretted that he had more calls to make.
When he rose to leave, Delia stood, too. “I’ll see his lordship out.”
“Why, thank you, dear girl,” her aunt said. “I’m sure he would get lost otherwise.”
Ignoring her aunt’s tart remark, Delia led him from the room. As soon as they were in the hall and out of earshot, she muttered, “That was a dirty trick.”
“You mean, like the dirty trick you played last night by dumping a bottle of wine into my lap? You ruined a perfectly good shirt, you know.”
“Is that why you’re tormenting me today? I can pay you for the shirt.”
“I don’t doubt you can. Given the rumors I heard at Dickson’s, you must have acquired a tidy sum by now. You ought to quit before you’re caught.” He shot her a quelling glance.
Judging from her scowl, she wasn’t the least bit quelled. “Is that a threat? If I don’t quit, you’ll tell my aunt?”
“Don’t tempt me.”
She glanced about, saw no one near, and tugged him into the parlor they were passing. “What do I have to do to ensure that you allow me to continue my activities? I’m sure I have something you want.”
He raked his gaze down her fetching form. “Oh, you have plenty I want, but nothing I can have.”
Though she colored at the innuendo, she met his gaze evenly. “That’s not true.” There was a hint of desperation in her tone. “I know you probably don’t find me that pretty, but you did seem to enjoy our kisses in the garden and . . . well . . . I would be willing . . . that is . . .”
God help him. “I do hope you’re not implying what I think you are,” he clipped out.
Her cheeks shone scarlet now. “I’m just pointing out that if you wanted to, as you put it, ‘satisfy’ your desires ‘without marrying’—”
“I would go to a bloody brothel.” Anger roared up in him that she would even consider selling herself to keep him quiet. Or think him the sort to gleefully accept such an offer. “You may not believe this, but I am a respectable gentleman. I do not blackmail young women into giving me their virtue. Good day, Miss Trevor.”
When he turned for the door, she caught his arm. “It wouldn’t be like that. I’d offer myself freely.”
He glared down at her. “Would you, indeed?” She clearly actually believed that nonsense. Either that, or their dalliance in the garden had filled her head with moonbeams. Time to shatter that delusion.

Giving her no warning, he pushed her against the wall behind the open door and crushed her lips under his. This time he took her mouth with merciless disregard for her stunned response. And when, to his mingled shock and delight, she let him, he went a step further . . . 

Do you enjoy books where the heroine infiltrates male-only establishments in disguise?

I'm looking forward to the release of The Danger of Desire. What upcoming books are you looking forward to?

Have you started reading Sabrina Jeffries' Sinful Suitors series yet?

One randomly chosen person leaving a comment will receive an autographed print copy of The Danger of Desire
US/Canada addresses only.
Deadline to enter giveaway is 11:00 PM (EST), November 20, 2016.