A sneak peek of Darling Duke

Take an icy duke with scars on the inside and add one feisty heroine who isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo. What do you get? A whole lot of steamy encounters. While Spencer and Bo are busy burning up my laptop screen, I’m emerging from my writing cave to give you an unedited snippet of their story, Darling Duke. Available for pre-order now, releasing July 10th.

What had she done?

She’d fallen down the rabbit hole, just like Alice, that’s what. Perhaps next, a mouse would appear and begin to explain William the Conqueror to her. It seemed every bit as likely as marrying the haughty man at her side.

Yes, surely that was the explanation for her inability to steel herself against the persuasive kisses of a man who had derided her as a tart masquerading as a lady. A man who thought she wasn’t good enough to marry his brother.

Her skin went entirely numb as realization assailed her. She hadn’t been worthy of the matrimonial prize of his brother, but he’d had no compunction about touching her himself. Because he imagined her the sort of lady he could trifle with. He thought her fast. He thought he could offer her a furtive coupling in his private library—after mocking her—with no repercussions.

And she had proven him correct.

She would not marry such an oaf, a man who believed himself her better because he’d been born the heir of a duchy and she hailed from a family laden with scandal and eccentricities. She would be her husband’s equal, or she would have no marriage at all.

Not to mention the matter of Lord Harry, who was a dear friend. She was aware that he imagined he harbored tender feelings for her, even as what she felt for him was decidedly platonic. Still, she wouldn’t hurt him for the world by suddenly marrying his brother.

“No,” she said to the room at large. Three sets of eyes swung her way. So she said it louder, this time with more force, holding her head high with a dignity she certainly didn’t feel. “I must decline any such offer.”

Bainbridge was first to react, his lip curling in what was either amusement or a sneer—she couldn’t be certain. “You must decline.”

She inclined her head. “Regrettably.” And then she smiled, her brightest and most entrancing smile, because the part of her that waved the flag of her tattered pride wanted him to know that she didn’t feel a single dram of regret at turning him down.

Want more? Don’t forget to one-click, and I’ll be back with more sneak peeks in the weeks ahead.

P.S. So many of you are eagerly awaiting Kit and Georgiana’s story. I hear you, and I’m working to bring it to you as soon as possible! I can’t thank you all enough for your support and for reading my books.

Until next time, don’t behave.

XO,

Scarlett

 

 

 

Darling Duke is on pre-order

Once upon a country house party, an icy duke discovered a hellion reading a bawdy book in his library…

That’s how the story of Spencer, Duke of Bainbridge and Lady Boadicea Harrington begins. He’s cold, jaded, and arrogant, with a dark past. She’s feisty, stubborn, opinionated, and unapologetically outspoken. They’re all wrong for each other.

Or are they?

Darling Duke officially has a release date of July 10th! I hope you’re looking forward to finding out how Bo and Spencer’s happily ever after unfolds. It isn’t going to be easy—a marriage of convenience, a duke with a scarred heart, a fierce heroine, a dowager duchess you may long to throttle, and much more awaits.

Official Blurb:

An untamable hellion

Lady Boadicea Harrington is a scandal waiting to happen. She’s too outspoken, too opinionated, and far too much of a flirt to ever land a good match. But that doesn’t concern her. The last of her sisters on the marriage mart, she isn’t about to settle down. In fact, she doesn’t plan to marry at all. If only she could tone down her wild streak and force herself to behave…

A rigidly proper man

The Duke of Bainbridge is one of the most powerful men in England, so frigid that it’s rumored his own wife committed suicide to escape him. When Spencer learns his madcap younger brother is pursuing the unsuitable Lady Boadicea, he’s determined to put an end to their ill-advised flirtation. But his best intentions go awry when he discovers his own baffling inability to resist her.

Ice meets fire

Spencer never meant to so thoroughly compromise her that he’s duty-bound to wed her. Bo certainly never intended to enjoy being in his arms or to find him so wickedly tempting. Can her passionate fire prove enough to melt his icy heart, or are they forever doomed to a cold marriage of convenience?

Pre-order here.

Sneak peeks to follow. Want to join my reader’s group? I promise to be mildly witty. Do join in the fun. And as always, thank you so much for all of your emails, reviews, and support! I’m so thankful to have readers like you.

Until next time, don’t behave.

XO,

Scarlett

 

Restless Rake is here!

Julian and Clara’s story is officially live!

His dark reputation precedes him, but she thinks he’s the perfect candidate for a marriage of convenience. And while she has no intention of remaining his wife, he isn’t planning on letting her go.

Are you in the mood for a notorious earl who meets his match in a feisty American heiress and loses his heart along the way? Read it free in Kindle Unlimited, or get your e-book or paperback right here.

Now, how about another snippet for the road?

Suddenly, the brougham felt very small. His cologne teased her senses. Her gaze settled on his muscled thigh, brushing against her skirts. A reckless urge to touch him struck her. He was her husband. She could press her palm to him, absorb his heat through the fabric of his trousers. Such a foreign notion, the liberty to do as she wished. But no, she would not touch him. She had no desire to touch him. It must be the newness of her status that prompted her wayward compulsions.

Clara turned to the window. The gathering of well-wishers still stood in a half-circle, watching their departure with grim expressions. She waved one last time as the brougham lurched into motion. It was done. She’d gained her freedom.

“‘O mistress mine where are you roaming’?”

The soft, low words skittered over her skin, leaving a trail of goose bumps in their wake. She looked away from the family and friends growing smaller and farther away with each clop of the horses’ hooves. The earl watched her, his eyes probing, his expression unreadable as he removed his gloves. She hadn’t expected him to recite Shakespeare, but then he seemed to have an innate skill for surprising her.

She wouldn’t speak the next line to him. O stay and hear, your true love’s coming. Clara swallowed, collecting her jumbled emotions, tamping down the unwanted warmth that threatened to steal over her. “Soon enough, I’ll be roaming to Virginia.”

“Newly wed and already prepared to flee, little dove? I can’t be as bad as all that, can I?” He took her hand in his, bringing it to his lips for a kiss that was hot as a brand, even through her glove.

She would have tugged her hand from his grasp but he held fast. “Your reputation precedes you, my lord.”

He grinned, his touch sliding to her wrist. He caught her glove with his teeth, and removed it in one fluid motion. “Call me Julian. I’m your husband now, after all.”

Julian. It suited him. A strong name, equal parts bold and leonine. Becoming more familiar with him than necessary would not be wise. She’d already allowed him far too many liberties.

“Not truly,” she insisted. He must not be allowed to forget the nature of their union. “Ours is a temporary joining, my lord.”

“It needn’t be.” His bare fingers tangled with hers. “You could remain my countess, little dove.”

The contact and the solemnity with which he undermined all her intentions jolted her. “I have no wish to be your countess.”

But her breathless tone belied her words. Even she had to admit to herself that she was not entirely immune to him, for here she sat, watching as he took the tip of her index finger and gave her a wicked little nip. And the thoughts swirling through her mind had nothing to do with boarding a vessel bound for her homeland and everything to do with the debauched things he would do to her body if she but allowed him.

Want more? Don’t forget to clickety click, dear readers.

And as always, thank you so much to all of you for your support. You make this crazy job of mine worth every minute!

Till next time, don’t behave.

XO,

Scarlett

Another sneak peek of Restless Rake

Are you looking for another snippet from Restless Rake? As the countdown to February 6th and release day continues, I’m back with another excerpt for you:

It didn’t take him long to locate Clara. She leaned against the faded damask in the main hall, looking as if she held up the entire weight of the wall with her small shoulders. How young she appeared suddenly. How defeated. Her eyes had been closed, but they flew open when she heard him approach.

“Clara.” An odd sensation settled heavily upon his chest. Surely not remorse?

“What do you want, Lord Ravenscroft?” Resignation underscored her words.

She was asking about more than just this moment in the hall. She didn’t merely wonder why he’d followed her. She wondered why he’d married her. Why he’d allowed her to believe he’d load her aboard the first Virginia-bound vessel she could find after they wed. Why he’d never once corrected her when she reminded him their marriage would be in name only. Why he had her dowry in his coffers but no intention of letting her go.

It was simple.

He wanted her.

From the moment she’d appeared in his study wearing that monstrosity of a hat, blustering and offering herself to him like a feast for a starved man, he’d been drawn to her. She was a beauty, but it was more than that. She was innocent, sharp-witted, brave to a fault. She smelled of summer and her body was meant for sin. Meant for him. But Clara Whitney was not the sort of lady he could have. At least, not if he’d been entirely truthful with her.

And so, he hadn’t bothered to disillusion her. He’d made clear to her that he desired her. His intention to seduce her had never been a secret. The rest, however, had been facilitated by his silence. He wouldn’t regret his actions now, but neither did he like the defeated wariness in her expression.

He closed the last of the distance between them. “Need you ask, little dove? I want you.”

When he would have stroked her cheek, she flinched away from his touch. “You cannot have me.”

Stubborn woman. Julian braced a hand on the wall above her head, trapping her. “I already have you.”

Want more? Don’t forget to one-click it now if you haven’t already!

In the mean time, I put together a little collection of my inspirations for this book on Pinterest right here. Check it out if you want to see some beautiful Victorian fashion and an insidious looking Victorian medical instrument used to drill into the skull.

And psst. Don’t forget that Her Reformed Rake is up for pre-order. There’s a sexy spy duke, a marriage of convenience, a fierce American heiress, and a whole lot of sizzle awaiting you.

In the interest of fairness, I will also direct you to my compilation of hot men with beards. You’re welcome.

Another sneak peek of Restless Rake

What happens when a wild American heiress hell-bent on returning to her homeland strikes a bargain with the most notorious earl in London? A wicked carriage ride, many persuasive kisses, and oodles of temptation. Here’s another snippet from Restless Rake, releasing February 6, 2018 and available for pre-order now:

“Perhaps I was remiss in my efforts.” He allowed his gaze to dip to her lips. “Next time I shall use my tongue.”

Her eyes flew open wide. He’d shocked her again. Such an innocent, his future countess. But just as quickly, she schooled her features into unaffected elegance once more. “For what purpose, Lord Ravenscroft? I’m sure you’ve already wielded your tongue upon me with your verbal prowess on each occasion of our meeting. Sometimes with manners, but usually without.”

Ah, she wanted to play the game? He hoped to hell that Lady Bella wasn’t about to swoop down upon them and put an end to their invigorating tête-à-tête, for he was enjoying himself immensely. “Sweet, innocent darling, you cannot think I meant to use my tongue for something as boring as speaking.”

She swallowed. “My lord, this conversation is quickly becoming improper.”

“If you wanted proper, you sought out the wrong earl, little dove,” he reminded her with a touch more bitterness than he intended. “Proper is for clergymen and maiden aunts. Proper is dull as hell. Improper, however, is infinitely more rewarding. Do you want to know what I’d do to you with my tongue?”

She did. Her expression, her sparkling, intelligent gaze, all clamored with curiosity. “Perhaps you ought to bite your tongue, my lord,” she suggested airily, refusing to give in to that inquisitiveness. “That seems to be the wisest course of action for all concerned.”

“Wisdom and desire so rarely go hand in hand,” he returned, smiling at her rejoinder before bemusement overtook him.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of Julian and Clara’s story. Happy New Year, and thank you so much to each and every one of you for being so kind, supportive, and all-around wonderful to me and my little books in 2017! I’m incredibly grateful for you all!

XO,

Scarlett

 

A sneak peek of Restless Rake

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!

The Wicked Husbands have arrived and a scandalously seductive earl is on his way!

The first two books in the Wicked Husbands series, Her Errant Earl and Her Lovestruck Lord, are now available! A huge thank you and an even bigger virtual hug to everyone who has read and supported these books! I can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear from readers who love these stories! The response has been overwhelming, and I’ve been grinning like a lunatic for the past two weeks.

I’m also happy to announce that Book 5 in the Heart’s Temptation series, Restless Rake, is now available for pre-order!

(⇐And have a gander at the sizzling cover for it right over here, you guys. Sigh.)

Those of you who have been waiting for the notorious Earl of Ravenscroft to meet his match don’t have much longer to wait. This one has been so much fun to write and it’s one of my steamiest books yet. Naturally, I blame this on the earl.

For inquiring minds, here’s the blurb:

She wants her freedom…
Clara Whitney is desperate to leave London and return to her native Virginia. She’ll do anything, even if it means striking a deal with the most notorious earl in England, to get what she wants. How could she anticipate just how much his melting kisses and knowing hands would tempt her?

He wants her…
The Earl of Ravenscroft is infamous for his prowess in the bedchamber and for earning his living by entertaining bored society widows and wives. When the innocent and lovely Miss Whitney seeks him out with the daring proposition of a marriage in name only in return for a generous share of her dowry, Julian accepts. After the vows, however, he isn’t ready to part with his prickly Southern belle. At least not without taking her to bed.

A restless rake no more…
Julian knows the game of seduction all too well, but this time, the rules are different, and he just may lose the one thing he thought he no longer had to give. His heart.

I hope you’ll love Julian and Clara’s happily ever after! Until next time, happy reading!

XO,

Scarlett

August FREE for All & Giveaway

Grab some free reads and enter to win!
My Victorian historical romance Rebel Love (Book 2 in the Heart’s Temptation series) is free starting 8/7 through 8/11! If you don’t already own a copy, grab it now gratis. And if you do grab it, I’d be especially tickled if you’d take the time to leave a review on Amazon. Poor Rebel Love is like a wallflower on the outskirts of the ballroom, just waiting for someone to notice her. In other words, no reviews yet. Help a girl out and post a review?

But that’s not all, I say, feeling a bit like an infomercial. I’m teaming up with Love Kissed Book Bargains and some fellow authors as part of their August FREE for All & Giveaway!

Together, we are offering over 50 books…Most of them are FREE for a limited time. It’s just our way of thanking our loyal readers.


 

Even better, we’ve pooled our funds to offer an awesome giveaway! Enter to win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards just for subscribing to our newsletters or following us on social media.

Here’s the link to the August FREE for All & Giveaway: http://lovekissedbookbargains.com/2017/08/04/august-free-for-all-giveaway/

Book Tour Starts 6/19 (Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!)

Next week, I’ll be celebrating the release of Sweet Scandal with a virtual book tour. Up for grabs is a $20 Amazon gift card, so get thee to all the sites next week for your chance to win.

Here is the tour schedule (tour run by the fabulous Tasty Book Tours):
June 19th

Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog -Rev/Exc
OMGReads -Rev/Exc
Buried Under Romance -Exc
born to read books -Exc
Ramblings From This Chick -Exc
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm -Exc
Jojo the bookaholic -P

June 20th

Romance Book Review For You -Rev/Exc
Celtic Dragon Book Reviews -Rev/Exc
Red Wine & Books -Rev/Exc
Books & Spoons -Exc
A Bluestocking’s Place -Exc
Books,Dreams,Life -P
Eskimo Princess Book Reviews -P

June 21st

Mommaleena’s Blog -Rev/Exc
Happy Ever After Romance Book Reviews  -Rev/Exc
What Is That Book About -Exc
Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions -Exc
Those Crazy Book Chicks -Exc
Teatime and Books -P

June 22nd

Unquietly Me -Rev/Exc
The Book Junkie Reads -Rev/Exc

I;m A Book Shark -Exc
underneath the covers -Exc
Cat’s Guilty Pleasure -P
deal sharing aunt -P

June 23rd

Lady Muslin Myst’s Mysterious Hodgepodge  -Rev
Ever After Book Reviews -Exc
Paranormal Romance and Beyond -Exc
Laura Lu’s Book Reviews -P
Evermore Books -P

E-Romance News -Exc

My thanks in advance to all the tour hosts! Until next week, darlings, I’ll be dividing my scribbling time between Her Errant Earl and Restless Rake. I’m aiming to get 3 more historical romances out in 2017 and maintain my sanity all at the same time. Wish me luck!

Sweet Scandal releases 5/9

Sweet Scandal, the little book that could, is available for pre-order now on Amazon! Release day is May 9th, (insert huge squee here) and yours truly could not be happier to finally load this book into the carriage and send it on its way to the ball. Helen and Levi’s story required a small mountain of research, and that pair led me on a merry chase on their way to happily ever after, I’ll tell you. I’m quite proud of them, however, and I hope you’ll fall in love with their story as much as I did.

Oh, and in case you missed it, I’m on Instagram. See exhibit, stage right. Plus, I have a newsletter. If you want release updates from moi—with the promise that I won’t clutter up your inbox with endless emails, naturellementsign up right here.

In the mean time, what’s next? Well, I could use a nap. And  a vacation. But sadly, neither of those two things seem likely. So, I’ve got 2 book tours in the works, and up next on my docket is re-releasing the first two books in my Wicked Husbands series, writing Book Five in the Heart’s Temptation series (hello, Earl of Ravenscroft lovers, this one is for you!), and writing Book Two in the Coastal Heat series. Just typing this makes me tired, but nobody likes a complainer, so…

Want an excerpt of Sweet Scandal? Of course you do, and I shall happily oblige:

Helen didn’t know if it was the dance or the champagne or the heat in the ballroom generated by the crush of guests, but as Mr. Storm led her from the floor at the quadrille’s completion, steeped in formal politeness, she felt suddenly faint and unsteady. He noticed instantly, for she felt a staying hand on her waist. Her vision blurred around the edges like a watercolor painting.

“Oh dear,” she said. “I fear I may swoon.”

It wasn’t like her. She was made of much sterner stuff, but she didn’t wish to embarrass herself. She needed some air. Her corset seemed too tight. Her entire body was flushed and heated. If she didn’t get away from this clamor at once, she didn’t know what would happen. It would have been the perfect moment for one of her sisters to accompany her to the retiring room where she could regain her composure as they gossiped about all the lords and ladies in attendance. But her sisters weren’t here, and she was alone with Mr. Storm in a sea of people.

How she missed Cleo, Tia, and Bo in that moment.

Everything sounded as if it were very far away, carried to her on a lush summer breeze. Maybe she should not have consumed quite so much champagne. She’d lost count of how many flutes she’d drained over the course of the ball. Good heavens, had it been more than five? A fresh wave of dizziness assailed her and she stumbled against his powerful, lean frame. He smelled divine, she thought fuzzily.

“Come,” he ordered, ushering her hastily away.

She collected her thoughts enough to protest. “Where are you taking me?”

He couldn’t simply escort her out of the ballroom and into a private room. Propriety certainly didn’t allow such a thing. She ought not to allow such a thing. Would not if it weren’t for the spinning of her head. As it stood, she was ineffectual as a fly at the moment.

“Hush.” He steered her around a tittering countess and a footman bearing a tray of champagne flutes.

“But—”

“My lady, hush.”

“Someone will see.”

“No one will notice. Everyone here is either far too inebriated or preoccupied.”

Casting a quick look about, he led her from the ballroom, down the hall, and into another chamber. As the door closed at their backs, stifling the cacophony of sound from the ballroom beyond, Helen realized they were in Jesse’s study. Alone. Still dizzied, she clutched Mr. Storm’s arm. “We are in our host’s private study. We cannot be here together.”

“Jesse won’t mind,” he assured her, guiding her to an overstuffed chair and easing her into it. He sank to his knees before her, his expression for once unguarded. “Are you unwell, my lady?”

He was concerned. A strange, new warmth stole over her. The world came back into crisp focus but her heart hammered furiously against her breast. She still felt off-kilter, almost as though she were out of her own skin, almost as if she were giddy.

Oh dear. He was before her like a knight of old, so striking and elegant, so unlike the arrogant stranger who had unceremoniously removed her from his offices the day they’d met. This Mr. Storm was different. Or maybe she was different. Or the night was different. Or she was hopelessly, thoroughly in her cups. She didn’t know which.

“I am fine,” she forced herself to say. “I daresay I sampled too much of the champagne this evening and that is all.”

“You don’t seem fine, my lady.” He frowned. His hands bracketed her skirts, near enough to her that he almost touched her, and the thought of those big hands of his on her made her quite weak. “Can I fetch you something? Some water, perhaps? Some ice?”

She licked lips that had suddenly gone dry. “There is nothing I need other than for you to return me to the ball. This is quite scandalous, sir. If someone should come upon us, it would cause us no end of trouble.”

“No one will come upon us. I’ve locked the door.”

His casual pronouncement did wicked things to her body that she was sure had everything to do with the blasted champagne. The door was locked. No one could disturb them or happen upon them. They were free to do what they chose.

Yes, she was in her cups alright, she had to be. There was no other reason for her to lean forward, set her palms upon Mr. Storm’s shoulders, and press her mouth to his. No other reason save for the fact that she had been thinking about him all day, about how he had touched and kissed her, how he had made her feel, how he had wanted her in his bed. She kissed him just for the feeling of his mouth upon hers once more, because she couldn’t help herself, because she couldn’t not.

Want more? May 9th is just around the corner.

Until next time darlings, I direct you to the hotness that is my Men with Beards Pinterest board. Not to mention my always inspiring Manspiration board. Because Poldark! You’re welcome.