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

 

 

 

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.