What a summer this has been!
I’ve been busy juggling family obligations, service to my two local chapters of Romance Writers of America, and writing.
I’m excited to share that Avenging the Earl’s Lady, the fifth book in my Sons of the Spy Lord Regency Romantic Suspense series is back again from the editor. Formatting and cover design is in process for the November 12, 2018 release.
Here’s a peek…
at a possible background image for the cover:
Last April, I blogged about my research into dueling because a scene in this book involves a duel that takes place outdoors, thus this lovely forest scene.
And here’s the current version of the blurb:
He’s the most irritating, inscrutable, insufferable lord in the kingdom.
Also nosy, managing, and manipulative, and a man who’s made an art of revenge.
She ought to know better than to encourage his attentions. But…he’s rich, and when an impossible debt from her past comes due, theft seems the only solution.
What had he missed about her?
She’s nobly born, and proper. If he wanted a wife, she’d be perfect. Not to mention, he’d very much like her in his bed.
But, he’s sired his heir and his spare and put his work for the Crown behind him.
Except that his honor requires vanquishing one last enemy. And when the priceless painting he needs for his revenge goes missing, that enemy strikes at the lady he lusts after.
Avenging his own honor is everything—until that of his lady is threatened.
Find out what happens when the invincible Spy Lord meets his match!
And here’s a short excerpt
She drew a fingertip along the crease of the canvas where it had been tightened against the wooden stretchers, marveling that such a fragile thing should hold up so well. Along one edge, dark marks, ink perhaps, had bled through from the underside. Lifting the edge and peering closer, she could make out a series of numbers.
The work was much smaller than the Caravaggio she’d seen. It was about the size of the small landscape that hung in the bedroom she shared with Lady Perry. She spread her hands wide, taking its measure.
Rolled up, it would fit nicely in the gold-painted rolling pin.
“Where is my daughter?”
Alarm pounded through her. She dropped her hands to her side and froze, eyes shut tight against the flare of panic.
Bloody Shaldon tracked her everywhere.
Warmth touched her waist like a bolt from on high, sending hot desire wriggling inside her. Since his turn with the laudanum, Shaldon wouldn’t stop touching her.
When this was over, she would think seriously about taking a lover, if she could find some gentleman as appealing as Shaldon who would have her, as old and poor as she was.
She glanced over her shoulder, seeing only his beard-shadowed jaw. “I couldn’t resist the temptation.” Her voice shook and she eased in a breath. “I’ve never seen a real masterpiece.”
“It is remarkable, I suppose.”
Unlike many of his peers, Shaldon didn’t collect art. Shaldon House boasted only family portraits and a few paintings of favorite horses and landscapes. His interest lay in collecting and squashing his enemies.
Her heart pounded wildly. If all went right, she would soon be in that number.
“Have you seen Lady Perry, my dear?”
His breath tickled her ear, and the hand at the back of her waist slid a bit further around, bending her to him.
She lifted his hand away and turned to face him.
Dark eyes sparkled in the candlelight, completely unreadable. She rooted her feet resisting the urge to step away, risking the nearness. She could see the pulse in his temple and—
“You are bleeding, Shaldon.”
A bead of blood sparkled and threatened to roll down his cheek. His neckcloth was loose and stained red where he must have mopped at his wound. Under the neckcloth, his shirt flapped, more blood coloring the white linen there.
She dug in her pocket for her handkerchief and pressed it to his head. His hand wrapped hers and his gaze softened, setting her insides melting again.
When this was over, she was definitely seeking a lover. Not Shaldon, of course. Not him. She must not fall any further into his enticements.
She drew her hand away and studied the wound. “Sit down, my lord.” She nudged him into a chair, pressing the cloth to his head again. “We’ll hold this here for a few moments. Do close your eyes.”
His lip quirked. “Why?”
“I can see the pulse in your temple pounding. You must take deep breaths and calm yourself.”
“Must I?” he asked, lifting a corner of his mouth in a half-smile. “I find that difficult to do when I’m around you, Jane.”
To all my U.S. friends, have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!
P.S.: I’m always open to suggestions on blurbs! Share your critique in the comments.
Image: forest photo courtesy of Depositphotos.com; question mark is from Canva.com