Do you like long, emotionally-satisfying, in-depth and sexy romances? Like your rogues redeemable? Your heroines independent and fiercely willful? Then this will be your series. Since I have neglected my dear readers for so long, I will tease you with a sample of my work-in-progress.
The set-up: scientifically-minded Devlina Howard is an heiress on a mission. She must capture the heart of Lord Clayton, the season's most eligible bachelor or be doomed to marrying (in her words), "a milky-eyed viscount."
Her problem? She is far too innocent in the ways of the bedchamber, and has overheard her intended comment that he wants an experienced bride.
Her solution? Ask the season's least eligible and most notorious rake for lessons in seduction.
Jared Vickers has a reputation he is quite happy to nurture, if it keeps spoiled, grasping heiresses out of his purse and heart. He agrees to Devlina's absurd proposal but makes one of his own: she must come to his family's home for two weeks and pose as his fiancee, so his grandmother won't cut him out of her will.
Devlina agrees. After all, her heart is securely devoted to Lord Clayton, and Jared has sworn off love forever. But two weeks should surely be enough to meet both their goals, and then they can go their separate ways.
Here is a scene for your enjoyment. Jared and Devlina have stopped at an inn, and begin their first lesson.
“We can skip the embracing and kissing and go onto something else.”
Oh, dear. “Yes?” She tried to act as if he were talking about a chess lesson. He stood close and took her wine glass from her. A tremor ran through her and she gave a soft gasp.
“Ah, that’s exactly what I was talking about. You startle and then sort of tremble when I’m too close to you. Not in the coach, but like this. When we’re alone.”
“Believe me, sir, it is your manners, or lack thereof, that elicit such a reaction, and not your legendary prowess.”
“Legendary? Hmm…well, I was discussing the trembling in relation to Lord Clayton and how you may react when he is near you. Such reactions smack highly of immaturity and inexperience. Your ideal is a confident Frenchwoman, is it not? You’d want to rid yourself of it right away.”
She nodded in relief. “I understand. How do I do it?”
“By constant contact with me.” When she stared at him in stunned silence, he shook his head. “I mean during our lesson times. Throughout the rest of the day, you can keep as far from me as you please.”
“When I’m not playing the adoring fiancée, you mean.”
He crooked his finger at her and indicated she should come nearer. She took one step and then another, inching toward him until he held up his hand.
“This is nothing. I stood closer to you at the ball, and closer still in your carriage.”
“We were surrounded by many people at the ball, and Mrs. Kendrick was in the carriage. Now, we are alone, as you will be with the dapper Clayton one glorious night in the future.” He reached for her hands and she took his reluctantly. A small gasp popped from between her closed lips. His hands were warm and big and broad. His fingers covered hers completely. A shiver tickled through her. He sighed.
“No trembling, Miss Howard.”
“I didn’t mean to.” She drew a deep breath and gave her head a shake. “I’ll do better.”
“Good. Now, as your trembling ceases, move closer to me until you feel as comfortable with me as your village parson.”
“I didn’t grow up in a village.”
“Use your imagination, you confounded creature.” He gave her hands a little tug, and she moved closer one step. “Now, look into my eyes. No, don’t allow your eyes to flit all over my face, or that annoying scar above my brow, which mars my otherwise spotless visage. My eyes, Miss Howard.”
“I like that little scar. It makes you look rather….dangerous.” She’d been about to say dashing, but changed her mind at the last minute.
“I received it during a very unadventurous moment. I was climbing out of my bath and slipped on the wet floor.” His eyebrow arched. “Before you assume something risqué, I may add that I was still in the nursery, and not escaping from a paramour’s boudoir.”
“It still makes you look dangerous.”
“My eyes, Miss Howard.”She gulped and feared he heard it. She slowly raised her gaze to lock onto his. “I’m looking, Mr. Vickers.”
To be continued....
My anticipated completion date will be September 1st. I hope you enjoyed reading this sample as greatly as I am enjoying writing it. For readers of my other books, Jared is less a rogue than Jack Waverley ever was, but has a broken heart he struggles to hide. Devlina is not as worldly as Georgiana Lockewood is, but fans of Georgie will appreciate Devlina's self-assured air and intelligence.
More to come later! Hope you enjoy my other books in the meantime.