Hello and welcome...
(that's the grown up posh bit done)
Chair swivel jiggle, dance around the table, and shimmy across the study... Okay shattered and the resident squirrel, robins and pheasant family have all retreated to the bottom of the garden. It was a bit OTT, even for me.
It's #MidWeekTease, and yesterday I had a book out.
The Deception Game... A rollicky Regency romance with a hot as hades, drop dead gorgeous hero, and a feisty, no holds barred take no prisoners heroine.
Even they have problems wondering just whom is leading whom where...
Jack, Lord Trevithan, is about to offer marriage to Beatrice’s sister Louisa. For Beatrice it’s personal: Jack is the reason she’s been banished from polite society. His interest in her sister is the perfect opportunity for some swift and merciless revenge – and keeping Jack away from Louisa will all but guarantee her sister’s happiness, for Louisa loves another.
But Jack isn’t a man to take a challenge lying down, and Beatrice’s desire for retribution ignites a fire in him, a burning need to possess the woman whose downfall he so unwittingly engineered several years before. Can Beatrice stifle her attraction to him long enough to get the job done? Or will Jack’s overwhelming physical presence conquer her affections?
and a wee tease....
Jack moved his eyes carefully so as not to increase the pounding in his head and saw a tiny window outlined in the gloom. The silhouettes of trees appeared and disappeared as the carriage—a barouche or a landau he suspected, his aching head wasn’t up to deciding which, if either—trundled onward. So it’s now past dusk. How long I wonder, have I been unwell. Unwell? Jack put out his hand to lever himself upward, but it didn’t happen. His brain was only partially aware of the fact that his hand didn’t move. He shook one arm in an experimental manner to find it was secured via a short chain to a large metal ring on the side of the carriage. With a tremendous effort he lifted his head from the rock-like squab it rested on, to realize his other hand was also immobile, and his feet were fastened together at the ankles, and then by a long rope to his waist. He was in effect, trussed up like a turkey for the pot.
What the…. Ah, the filly. He grit his teeth. Evidently he’d been gulled and she was no simple country wench. What this abduction was all about he couldn’t hazard a guess. He ran his mind back over his actions of the last few months. Almost as pure as the driven snow. You couldn’t count the curricle race across the Heath; after all, that was just about legal. If it hadn’t been for Jolyon, his longtime friend egging him on, he’d have cried off, citing old age or scurvy. At the age of three and thirty, Jack felt he was past such follies. His penchant for mischief had died along with his wife. Except… He remembered one occasion when he’d outdone himself. It was the last time ever.
Now with his usual philosophical attitude of what couldn’t be changed must just be endured, Jack closed his eyes and willed the headache to go away—or at least retreat to an acceptable level. The apologies he would need to make to his host could wait—if he ever got the chance to make them? If he did, he would think of them at the appropriate time. If not? Then there was no reason to worry. He might instead think of fifty ways to give his abductors their comeuppance.
Why? Why am I here? For the past three years he’d nigh on lived the life, if not as a monk, at least as a sober and almost upright pillar of society. No dalliances with married women, not even those who knew the score. No ladybirds and no mistresses. His pego might well have forgotten how to perform. It bothered him not a jot. Once Patience—his sweet, gentle, well-named Patience—died, he had no interest in women. She was all the woman he could have asked for.
Lately his life had been unblemished. Jack could honestly think of no reason to be abducted, so he stopped trying to fathom things out. He either would or wouldn’t be told the whys and wherefores later.
The sway of the coach lulled him into a semi doze. Therefore he was thankful of his tethers when the vehicle stopped abruptly, and he shot to the edge of the bench and back again. Without them he would have ended up an ignominious heap on the floor. As it was he merely jarred every bone in his body.
Someone will pay. Jack gathered his wits and waited. The door to the carriage opened and pale moonlight filtered in. The silhouette he saw outlined in the doorway surprised him. Slight, and he would swear, feminine. Jack had enough dealings with the female form in the past to recognize it, even disguised as it was by a thick cloak and a hat pulled low. He chose not to open the dialogue, but instead waited to see what might happen. A soft hand touched his forehead and he was unable to stop the involuntary jerk he gave.
“My dear Lord Trevithan, I apologize for any hurt that has befallen you.”
So his captor knew who he was. No accidental abduction then. Jack’s usually even temper began to simmer.
“However it was, I assure you, necessary. As are your shackles. It won’t be for much longer.” The voice, although low and disguised was definitely female. “I trust you will bear with me?” She laughed. It was soft and melodious, and to his annoyance it interested him. It reminded him of soft breasts that he caressed, and a warm body pressed close to him, and he strained forward, to try and catch her perfume. A hint of roses wafted toward him, and his body responded accordingly. All of a sudden Jack was glad of the darkness. Was there anything more mortifying than a pego like a sword, and all because of a voice? And after so long?
“Or not, ‘tis of no consequence.” She checked his arms were still held fast, and then did the same to his feet. Her movements were sure and swift, and gave him no time to respond.
Jack thought ruefully that she had the advantage. In truth what could he say? He said nothing.
“Sulking, my lord? I would have thought more of you if you had a retort or damned my eyes.” The tone was humorous. He stared at her and tried to see any feature he could recognize. She had, Jack allowed, been very clever, and all she showed up as was a dark outline within the doorway.
“I could damn your female eyes if you wish?” He made sure his tone was one of boredom and disinterest. Her indrawn breath was balm to his senses. Was this the way to rile her? “However I prefer to know just whom I’m cursing. It works better that way.”
Her giggle was unexpected and wholly feminine. It sent even more interesting messages to his rapidly hardening pego. Jack cursed under this breath. That was the last thing he wanted. He needed to be alert, not aroused.
“Shall we say I’m your nemesis?” she asked him. “The person who was waiting for you in the shadows. The one who decides your future?”
In spite of himself, Jack found he was becoming amused. It was true he had no option but to let her decide the immediate future. Whoever she was, she had a perfect command of knots and ties. There was no give in them at all. But all his future? He thought not. Unless in my bed. Now where had that thought come from?
“No clever retort?” She stepped out of the carriage. “Ah well my lord, I’ll leave you to sulk. I fear you’ll have to be morose and alone for a while longer.” The mystery lady shut the door with a definite click, and within seconds the coach lurched and moved forward once more.
The Deception game, buy links
The other #MidWeekTeases