4 Days Until Darling Duke releases…

Darling Duke is almost here! I can’t wait for you to read Spencer and Bo’s story! This story is emotional, steamy, and not without its lighthearted moments, and I hope you’ll fall in love with it. Here’s one more sneak peek to tide you over until release day…

The landing took her by surprise, hard and bone-jarring. Her teeth gnashed together, her rump taking the brunt of her fall. Pain, sharp and angry, split through her from her bottom upward. She gasped for air, stars swirling in her vision.

“Lady Boadicea!”

Perhaps she had hit her head as well. That was the reason why, in this moment of anguish as she lay on the hard, cool ground, unable to catch her breath, she heard the voice of the Duke of Bainbridge, accompanied by hooves pounding on the earth.

Or she had gone to her reward, which was clearly not heaven as one would have hoped. She’d landed in one of Dante’s circles of hell, where she was to be tortured by a contemptuous duke for all eternity. Was it the second circle or was it the eighth? Each seemed likely. She coughed out a groan as her lungs seemed to work at last, once more taking in air.

Hands touched her shoulders. A dark shadow fell over her. A voice again. His. And that familiar, decadent scent of pine and musk and soap.

“Lady Boadicea, speak to me.”

She blinked, and he was there, his handsome face hovering over hers. His jaw was rigid, his expression severe. Unless she was addled, she detected concern in his emerald eyes and the frown lines bracketing his sullen mouth. Was it just a puzzling side effect of the fall she’d taken, or was he even more lovely to behold out of doors than he was within them?

If she hadn’t gotten there already, the second circle, she decided, was where she was bound. How could she be capable of feeling such wicked warmth deep inside her at his proximity even when she could scarcely breathe? Why did she feel so drawn to a man who was as cold as ice?

He isn’t always cold, a depraved voice inside her reminded. No, he was not. And that most decidedly was the trouble, wasn’t it?

“Lady Boadicea.” He gave her a shake. “Are you hurt?”

Of course she was hurt. Every bone in her body seemed to ache. Her breath was coming in fast, uneven gulps. She didn’t think she could manage a coherent word. She stared at him, mute, wondering at the misfortune that should have led him of all people upon her in this moment of supreme ignominy.

His grip on her upper arms tightened, and she realized belatedly that he was on his knees before her. If she hadn’t just suffered the horse fall of the century, she would have taken great pleasure in the sight, which seemed to have become a habit of sorts for him. Yes indeed, some perverse part of her rather rallied to the notion of the Duke of Bainbridge as her loyal vassal, even shaken and sore as she was.

The duke, however, was not struck by the same sense of whimsy clouding her fogged mind. His frown was severe enough for a funeral. “Damn it, say something. What in the hell were you doing, riding Damask Rose hell for leather on your own? She’s a hellion. You could have been killed, you bloody fool.”

Want more? One-click here! And until next time–as always–don’t behave!

XO,

Scarlett

 

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

 

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.

Get your Reformed Rake while he’s hot. Pre-order now!

Lovely readers,

Wicked Husbands Book 3, Her Reformed Rake, is officially up for pre-order. Release day is April 10th! Can you tell I’m excited for Sebastian and Daisy’s story? I hope you are too! This one has all the sizzle and a healthy dose of intrigue. Not to mention a sexy duke with a big secret and a bad-ass heiress who finds out she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

I’m not a math person, but I have the oddest urge to sum up Her Reformed Rake like this: a spy duke + the feisty heiress he suspects of treason = swoon! Is that called an equation? I haven’t had a math class since college, so this girl right here’s a tad rusty on the math lingo. (Also, I think I’ve forgotten some of the multiplication tables. But don’t tell anyone. That’s totally what calculators are for, right?)

Enough already, you’re saying. Give us an excerpt. Okay, okay. Here you go, with the warning that it’s unedited just in case there’s something my brain missed:

She stopped when she reached a statue that loomed over her, tall and eerie in the silvery night. Zeus perhaps? In the darkness, she couldn’t be sure. She was far enough that she could no longer hear the conversations of the guests on the terrace. Far enough for what she needed to do.

A pang of guilt struck her then, for entrapping any man into marriage, let alone the insufferable duke, was the last thing she wanted to do. But when her only other option was accepting the grim fate her father had selected for her, she knew what she needed to do. Save herself.

“I confess, I’m quite curious to hear why you have such a peculiar fondness for disappearing at balls, Miss Vanreid.”

The voice, low and clipped in perfect born-in-the-purple English, sent a fresh wave of longing through her. She knew without bothering to turn that it was him. How neatly he’d fallen into her trap.

She searched for the bravado that seemed to have suddenly fled her as she slowly spun about. He stood a scant few steps away, gorgeous even in the dim light. Daisy offered him a full, perfect curtsy, for she could behave whenever the need arose. It was simply that she didn’t prefer to behave. “Your Grace. You seem to have a similar, peculiar fondness for following me at balls. Perhaps I too should inquire as to the reason?”

“Inquire all you like, darling.”

There was something about the way he uttered the term of endearment that made the otherwise ordinary word ‘darling’ into a caress that she felt all over her body. Especially in her belly and…lower.

She could play the role of flirt quite well by now, but he had a patent way of disarming her, throwing her off kilter. Daisy took a step toward him, willing herself to keep her goal foremost in her mind. The urge to trade wits and verbally spar with him was strong. But clashing with the Duke of Trent would not compromise her, and so she needed to resort to different tactics.

Well, there you go. I ended it right before a kissing scene. Because I’m evil.

That’s all for now, my dears. Don’t forget about Restless Rake, which will be out in less than a month. Pre-order it here now or read it free in Kindle Unlimited on release day! Julian will be happy to steam up your e-reader or your paperback either way.

Come back for more excerpts soon! Until next time, happy reading and try not to behave.

P.S. Sometimes, I forget to moderate my blog comments for months at a time. And I miss wonderful comments that have been waiting for me, comments that I love so much. I promise to try to get better at this. If only the spammers would kindly stop leaving me a boatload of filth that I need to wade through to find the gems…#goals.