Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets of new and past releases and works-in-progress, and sometime twist the arms of author buddies to do the same.
If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know I’ve been in for eye surgery and because I wasn’t sure how it would go or how having one eye operated on at a time would affect my ability to work, I’ve been writing and scheduling these blogs in advance. That means no up-to-the-moment news but never fear, I’ll make up for it next week, I promise.
Tomorrow is operation number two, after which I’m hoping I’ll finally be able to see the world in all its bright glory instead of the fuzzy and dull way I see it now. SO EXCITING!!
Speaking of exciting (see what I did there?), we have a guest today. A guest and a giveaway.
Yes, my lovelies, it is none other than the lovely and generous Anna Campbell. Rah!!
Anna’s has a new book in her terrific Lairds Most Likely series and she’s here today to tell us about it and share a fab excerpt.
You’ll love this, oh yes you will!
Make sure you read all the way through because there may be good things at the end.
Thanks so much for having me back as your guest on Teaser Tuesday. It’s always so much fun to be here. I’m going to keep my comments short today because my excerpt is a little longer than usual. My new book, The Highlander’s Forbidden Mistress, is book 7 in my Lairds Most Likely series but it can be read as a standalone if you haven’t caught up with the rest of the series yet. It’s definitely the steamiest entry so far!
Selina Martin is a mere fortnight away from marrying rich boofhead Cecil Canley-Smythe for duty’s sake, when she agrees to a discreet week-long affair with the notorious rake Brock Drummond, Earl of Drummond. This scene takes place in the first chapter when Brock and Selina are playing a cat and mouse game, while they decide quite how far they intend to take their mutual attraction.
Derwent Hall, Essex, December 1823
Selina was too aware that it was late and that she was alone with a man whose reputation was bad enough to send respectable virgins shrieking for their mammas. Lord Bruard’s company was the closest thing to satanic temptation that she was ever likely to experience.
She swallowed to moisten a dry throat and set the book on the mantel. “I must go,” she said, and cursed the squeak in her voice.
“Must you?” Bruard didn’t sound as if he cared whether she stayed or went. He continued as if they were in the middle of a friendly conversation. “You shouldn’t let Canley-Smythe bully you, you know. If he bullies you now, before he gets his ring on your finger, he’ll turn into a domestic tyrant when you marry.”
Unfortunately, it was also a perfectly accurate assessment of her future. Selina was no fool, and she had few illusions about what life with Cecil was going to be. But what choice did she have?
With a leisurely grace that made Selina’s foolish heart skip around inside her tight chest, Bruard sat up on the settle. She thought she’d committed her whole self to marrying Cecil, but now it turned out that her heart hadn’t signed up to the arrangement. Her heart cried out that she was still young and at last she had the chance to flirt with an attractive man. It insisted that if she ran away now, she was a filthy coward.
“Oh, that’s true.” Again no shame. “But I’m telling you this out of pure altruism. Stand up for yourself now, or he’ll crush every ounce of spirit out of you.”
“Pure altruism?” She gave a snort of amusement that would have shocked Cecil. “It seems the world is completely wrong about you, Lord Bruard.”
The half-smile reappeared, deepening the creases around Bruard’s deep-set eyes. The breath jammed in her lungs. Lord above, no wonder the ladies went insane for him. He truly was extraordinarily attractive. He should have warning signs posted all over him.
Because he was right about her avoiding him, this was closer than she’d ever ventured to the wicked Lord Bruard. This was certainly the longest she’d spent talking to him.
And danger bristled in the air.
So remaining in this room made no sense. Yet remain Selina did.
His gaze fixed on her. “No, my lovely little ghost, the world isn’t wrong about me.”
The power of his attraction made her stomach cramp with nerves, as she remembered all those depraved fantasies that wore Lord Bruard’s intense dark face. Did he know she’d thought of him in the privacy of the night? She had a sick feeling that he must.
“G-ghost?” she stammered.
He shrugged. How could such a prosaic movement make her heart somersault? Except his shoulders were broad and hard, and she ached to run her hands along them and down those strong arms, displayed to advantage in the best of London tailoring.
He wore black. But then didn’t the devil always come in black?
“That’s how I think of you. With your neat little gray frocks, and the way you watch everything you say, and never miss anything that goes on around you.”
This time, genuine fear spurred her unsteady pulse. She hadn’t thought she’d be of the slightest interest to such a famous libertine. It turned out she was wrong. Just as she’d watched him, he’d watched her.
She gulped for air to clear a swimming head and raised a shaking hand to her bosom, before she realized how revealing the gesture was. “You shouldn’t think of me at all.”
His expression grew more intent, and she faltered back a step. She should flee, pride or no pride, but it was as if her feet were tacked to the parquetry floor.
“Nor should you think of me, when you’re marrying that ponderous oaf in a fortnight, and you’re obviously a woman who guards her chastity the way a miser guards his gold.”
Heat blazed in her cheeks, and she avoided his eyes. How could he make her virtue sound like the worst of sins? “I don’t think of you. I…”
Oh, what was the use? Coyness suddenly seemed too shabby to countenance. As Bruard uncoiled and rose to his feet, Selina made a helpless gesture. “I don’t want to think of you,” she mumbled.
Grab your copy of The Highlander’s Forbidden Mistress today from these stores:
But that’s not all. As hinted at earlier, we have a…
As you can probably gather, Lord B is tall, dark, handsome, and wicked, definitely wicked. So if you were making a movie of this story, who would you cast as the hero? Personally I think a young Sean Connery might have been great in the part! He’s lean and rangy and he has that air of danger that the role requires – not to mention he’s got that lovely Scottish burr, too!
I’ve got a download of The Highlander’s Forbidden Mistress to give away to someone who leaves a comment on this post. No geographical restrictions.
Fabulous, Anna! You’re always so generous when you come on Teaser Tuesday and as for Lord B, he sounds haaaawt!
Who would I cast as him? Hmm. Tricky. Perhaps Henry Cavill. I’m rather partial to his dishiness.
What about you, my friends? Who would you cast in the role of Lord B if you were a movie producer? Leave your answer in the comments section and we’ll pop you into the draw to win an ebook copy of The Highlander’s Forbidden Mistress.
Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10th July 2020. Open worldwide. Yay!
If you’d like to learn more about Anna and her wonderful historical novels, please visit her website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. And I highly recommend her My Favourite Things posts every month, in which Anna shares all the things she loves, like books, movies, locations and more. Check them out on her website.