WHAT A ROGUE WANTS releases today and I just have to slap myself to make sure it’s true. (Cue hard slap!) Yep, it’s true.
This book has literally been years in the making. Does that mean it will be a bestseller? I hope so! Seems like I often hear producers and authors talk about books or movies that took them years to write or produce and then said books and movies went on to be huge hits.
I’ve been working on WHAT A ROGUE WANTS for as long as I can remember. No lie. This book was my second baby I ever wrote. Back then it was called DECODING DECEPTION. The idea for WHAT A ROGUE WANTS was born one day when I read an article about King George the III and how a strand of his hair had tested positive for poisoning. Immediately, I was intrigued. Here was a King everyone had thought was crazy who may have been made that way by poison. I knew there was a story there!
After month of research and writing I sent the finished book out to contests and agents. At the time, my book was embraced lovingly by the writing and publishing community at large. It won several coveted contests, received tons of requests from agents, but the stars didn't align for my book. Why? I couldn't answer the question back then because I was too close to the project. It took putting the book away and forgetting about it for several years to be able to go back to it and see what the problem was.
When I picked the wip (work in progress) up again in December of 2012, I realized it wasn't going to be a simple fix, but I was instantly drawn back into the main concept of the story. I was also particularly taken with the idea of writing a book set in King George III’s court.
I worked the next five months on rewriting and editing the book. The result is WHAT A ROGUE WANTS, which is actually the first book in a new series called LORDS OF DECEPTION. I am so excited to bring this series to readers! This is more than a romance. WHAT A ROGUE WANTS is passion, intrigue, romance and deceit all wrapped into one plot twisting book. I hope you guys love it!
And without further delays here is the blurb:
Lady Madelaine Aldridge might be the worst lady-in-waiting to ever grace King George III’s court. An oddball who prefers archery to knitting and honesty to deception, she earns the dislike of the Queen, the cruelty of the other ladies-in-waiting and the advances of a lecherous fiend who wants to make her his whore. Her father demands she find a proper husband―a task that seems hopeless until Lord Grey Adlard rides into court.
Grey Adlard lives up to his reputation as a dangerously handsome rake when he proposes Madelaine meet him in the stables for a tumble. Yet when she needs a protector the most, Grey offers his services and vows he wants to court her. Wary yet intrigued by the mystery he presents, Madelaine slowly allows Grey to capture her confidence and then her heart.
Things seem perfect until her father is imprisoned for plotting against the King and Madelaine learns Grey is not who he pretends. As King George III sinks deeper into insanity, Madelaine must prove her father’s innocence in order to save his life. With the future of England hanging in the balance and a ruthless murderer hunting them Grey and Madelaine engage in a clash of wills and a battle fraught with suspicion, secrets, betrayal and two hearts that cannot deny the impossible, irresistible love between them.
And for a little taste of the book:
“THIS TRIP HAS BEEN A bloody waste,” Grey growled as they made their way out of Marie Vallendri’s townhome and into the bright sunshine of Golden Square. “Who am I going to shock my father with at dinner tonight since Miss Vallendri already has a lover?”
“How about that chit right there.” Gravenhurst pointed toward a band of gypsies who’d set up a shooting booth.
“I said I wanted to shock my father, not give him a death fit.”
Gravenhurst chuckled at Grey’s side. “Look closer. See the tall, pretty brunette? From my experience women with curly hair have rousing personalities to match, and the chit may be dressed as a proper lady, but she wouldn’t be in the art district if she was. She’s ripe for adventure. I say go pluck her.”
“I like your thinking.” Grey studied the woman. “She’s pretty enough but see how her mouth is puckered in disapproval. She’s not here of her choosing. Likely she’d faint if I propositioned her.”
“You may be right. Perhaps you should select a new mistress from Madame Landry’s women.”
“I think not,” Grey said, distracted by the sudden shouting from the group of gypsies. As he moved across the square and closer to the group he could hear wagers being bantered back and forth between the men and women alike. The excited buzz of the crowd was like a drug. He stopped by a sleek-haired gypsy with keen black eyes who struggled to take the money shoved at him while scribbling wagers in a little book.
“What’s the wager?”
The gypsy acknowledged Grey with an upward flick of his eyebrows and a sardonic smile. Grey instantly liked him. “The lady claims she can split the arrow lodged in the target over there.” The man pointed to a target so far away Grey had to squint to see it.
“Impossible. Unless the lady is built like a man. Which lady?” He glanced at the women gathered around the group. A few of them were thick in arm and might be able to do it if they’d been shooting all their lives.
“There. That fair ghel with the sun on her head.”
“The fair what with what on her head?” Grey reached into his coat and brought out a bag of coin.
“Come, I’ll show you.” The gypsy eyed Grey’s coin and then wound through the throng of people. “You going to wager?”
Was he ever. No need to go showing his excitement and get taken advantage of. “Yes, but I’ll see the lady before I decide for or against.”
“And your friend?”
Gravenhurst shook his head. “I’ll keep my funds in my pocket where they belong.”
Leave it to Gravenhurst to try to spoil the fun. Nothing could spoil this novelty though. Grey shrugged. “Sorry―?”
“Romany.” The gypsy stuck out his hand. Grey shook the man’s hand with enthusiasm. His wasted trip was just about to become profitable and entertaining. Toward the inner circle the man stopped behind a woman whose waves of flaxen hair tumbled invitingly down her back and marked her as the woman with the sun on her head. He chortled at the description. What a preposterous idea to imagine the petite creature standing in front of him had the strength to wield the bow and shoot the arrow true enough to split the one already lodged in the target.
She had a right lovely round backside, he’d give her that, but he’d not give her his confidence. He jingled the bag of money with a grin and held it toward Romany who’d begun taking bets again from the people around him. “I’ll put the whole lot on the lady’s failure.”
With a gasp, the woman whirled around and speared him with a dark look as well as nearly stabbing him with her arrow. “You’re mistaken to wager against me, sir.”
There was something invitingly erotic about the pale-skinned, bronze-eyed beauty wrapped in delicate, lilac silk. She looked dainty and helpless yet she wielded a weapon that could kill and boasted of skills no proper lady would dream of admitting. His lust awoke in a heartbeat. This was the woman he needed to prickle his father and push him toward agreeing to secure a commission. “I’ll be happy if you prove me wrong, yet your stature does make me question your abilities, Lady…?”
“Miss Prattle,” she responded with a conspiratorial look at the curly-headed brunette.
“What an unusual name.” He winked to prod her and was rewarded when her eyes rounded.
“Yes, well, Lord…?”
“Drivel.” He could barely contain his amusement.
She burst out laughing, the merry sound making him smile. “Your laugh is lovely,” he said. Instantly, she sobered, eyed him warily and turned her attention downward on her arrow. She was right to be guarded. His blood hummed in his ears with his desire. Forget his parent’s boring dinner. By tonight he’d have this chit in his bed. The contradiction she presented was irresistible. “I’ll put my money on you and give you all my winnings to make up for offending you, but if you lose, you must accompany me to my townhouse.”
“She’ll not!” her friend exclaimed before the lady herself could reply. When the lady gave her friend a cool look, Grey had to work not to show his satisfaction. She was just as interested in him as he was in her. Today was turning out to be splendid, indeed.
“I’ll take your offer.”
“Excellent.” He ignored her friend’s outraged huff and Gravenhurst’s indiscreet snickering into his hands. “There’s much I want to show you.” Grey imagined her excited expression when she saw his collection of archery sets. Her mouth dropped open. By God, the chit thought he was referring to something sexual. Her expression of barely contained outrage was priceless and intrigued him all the more.
“What precisely do you think to show me? Are you a collector of art?”
Her tone was brittle as glass. The challenge of making her pliable in his hands was going to be quite enjoyable. For now, it might do her good to wonder what he was about. “I only have one piece of art that’s worth your seeing.”
I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek. If you did, you can purchase WHAT A ROGUE WANTS AT amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, smashwords.com, and soon at all other major e book retailers.
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