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

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!

Books 1 & 2 in the Wicked Husbands series are available for pre-order now!

The Wicked Husbands series is officially on its way. What is that, you ask? I like to think of it as Downton Abbey meets the 1870s. But if you want to get all official and everything, here is the rundown:

Fiercely independent, dazzlingly beautiful, and married to handsome scoundrels, these American heiresses are ready to turn the tables on the insufferable English lords they’ve wed. What happens when their wicked husbands start falling for the wives they never thought they wanted? Corsets come off, bed chambers ignite, the passion sizzles, and more than one stubborn English rake gets reformed by love.

A note about the series: I began Wicked Husbands with my former publisher but wasn’t able to complete it while my rights were in limbo. Since I regained my rights to the series, I worked hard to rewrite Her Errant Earl and Her Lovestruck Lord, the first two books in the series, and they’re finally available for pre-order now. Book 3 is in the works as well. I’m thrilled to be able to continue this series at last!

One click Her Errant Earl here.
One click Her Lovestruck Lord here.

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/

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.

 

 

Welcome to my shiny new blog

In more ways than one, I’m starting fresh in 2016. So why not start out with a new blog too? This is the year I get to do things my way (you’ve been warned), and I’m very happy to say that doing things my way means re-releasing my books with better-than-ever covers and well, just generally speaking, better everything. This means that series that were never finished can now be completed and stories that were released as novellas will (in some cases) be further developed. It means a lot of other things too, but we have plenty of time to get to that later on.

In the mean time, allow me to unveil the very first series I’ll be re-releasing, the Heart’s Temptation Series. Set in 1880s Victorian England, it’s all about love, corsets, and sexy heroes. Or, more formally:

In the gilded world of late Victorian England, passion burns, scandals abound and love triumphs. From a wicked embrace in a country house maze to a kiss in the rain to a stolen moment in a carriage, these distinctive men and women aren’t afraid to give in to the temptation of following where their hearts lead them. Nothing can keep them from a love that lasts forever.

This has always been my pet project, and I’m thrilled to be able to bring these stories to you (and eventually the 2 stories that complete this 5 part series). Have a gander at one of the luscious covers created for me by the amazing Dar Albert at Wicked Smart Designs:

One of my gorgeous, new covers. Feast your gaze upon this.
One of my gorgeous new covers. Feast your gaze upon this.

As we get closer to official release day, I’ll be posting more information but in the mean time, my hiatus is officially over.