We’re getting closer to the release date of Restless Rake! Book 5 in the Heart’s Temptation series, Restless Rake is the story of the notorious Earl of Ravenscroft and Clara Whitney, who find it increasingly impossible to resist each other after they agree to a marriage in name only. It releases February 6th but is available for pre-order now. (Stay tuned for more details on the release of Her Reformed Rake, which will be available for pre-order soon as well, not to mention the fabulous new series I have in the works that will start releasing this summer! See? Aren’t you glad you stopped by? I’m telling you all my secrets.) And now, without further preamble, I give you a sneak peek of Restless Rake…
A lone woman hurried along the street, head down, dressed in the first stare of fashion though she clearly sought to be unnoticed, a large hat tilted to conceal her face. He recognized that form, even though he’d held those lush curves in his arms but once. She turned and he saw her face.
Damn it all to hell, she was a troublesome one.
He instructed his driver to stop and alighted, closing the distance between them with easy strides. “Miss Whitney, can it be you?” he kept his voice carefully low and intimate as he drew alongside her, touching her elbow lightly.
“Lord in heaven,” she exclaimed in her airy drawl. Surprise mingled with alarm on her beautiful, expressive face. “You gave me a fright, sir.”
What the devil was she thinking, sneaking away from her home with no chaperone, in the midst of the day? Did she truly believe no one would see and recognize her, that she wouldn’t ruin herself? That there wouldn’t be hell to pay? The girl’s temerity knew no bounds. She was either slow-witted or possessed of tremendous audacity. Though, to be fair, she had stolen her way into his study at midnight and proposed to him—that alone suggested audacity of a most unbecoming and tremendous sort. The sort he quite admired, in fact.
But none of that meant that he was going to allow her to ruin his plans to wallow in her dowry and thoroughly debauch her after she’d become his countess.
“Come,” he said in his most authoritative tone. Clearly, she needed his aid before she committed any more egregious sins. And wasn’t that a laugh, the Earl of Ravenscroft looking after a lady’s reputation? “Into the carriage with you.”
“I can’t go anywhere with you.” Her eyes were wide and bluer than the clearest country sky.
“You can and you will.” He cast a glance around the busy street. It was only a matter of time before they were both recognized. “For your sake, little dove, get into the carriage. I’ll take you safely back home.”
“I’m safe enough.” She cast a pointed look toward her reticule, which bulged in most peculiar fashion. “I carry a pistol with me always. I’ve done this many times before.”
Damnation. He had no doubt that she had, the minx. Perhaps she was as much of a cutthroat at heart as her dear papa. “Into the carriage. You cannot run about the streets of London unchaperoned. Mr. Whitney was most firm in his stipulations.”
She frowned at him, her eyes sparkling with mulish heat and her chin tilting in the air. “What business is it of yours whether I run about the streets? I’m my own person, my lord.”
“Of course you are, little dove, but you are also to be my wife. You’re under my protection now.” As he said the words, he couldn’t resist touching the tip of her stubborn chin.
Don’t forget, you can one-click Restless Rake now. I’ll be back with more excerpts and information about Her Reformed Rake and my top-secret new series in the upcoming weeks. Until then, happy reading!