This is Day 3 of Publisher Week featuring Boroughs Publishing Group. For the next few days, Romance Lives Forever will showcase this publisher and its authors.
Publisher's Week – Boroughs Publishing Group
Yesterday we visited with our 'Naughty Boys' and let's be honest, wouldn't we all like to take a crack at breaking their shells? Today we're visiting with the bad boys of yesteryear, the Lords of Regency – Rakes, Rogues, Scoundrels and Libertines. Good breeding cannot disguise their wicked ways, but under all that bluster beats the heart of a man yearning to be ensconced in the arms of that certain woman - and it is she who will whisk him away to rusticate happily in the country.
A Spy's Honor
Embroiled in a scheme to catch an assassin, Lady Claire Talbot will soon learn all that His Majesty's spy Lord John Reyburn has to hide—and all that his heart is dying to reveal.
He studied her profile as she concentrated on her embroidery. Her coffee-colored tresses were piled on top of her head, a few tendrils slipping down the golden skin of her neck to her full, rising breasts. Her dark lashes swept down intermittently, shading those soulful brown eyes.
At one time, Claire's every emotion had seemed to show on her face. John couldn't read her now. Seeing her again, though, he knew he still wanted her. Wanted her physically, yes, and more than that. He wanted to be part of her life if she'd have him. Wanted to fulfill the promise that had been cut short all those years ago.
He bent at the knees and uttered her name again, wanting her to look at him, wanting her to see how he had never forgotten her, to see what he'd become for her.
She looked away, her brown eyes blazing. "Perhaps I was a little infatuated. Certainly I was caught up in the danger of the moment, and how could I have been anything but grateful for the heroic assistance you offered in keeping me out of that awful man's clutches? Thank goodness my maturity and current circumstances now allow me to see that any emotion I felt at the time wasn't about you but the adventure we were sharing."
With intense effort John kept from wincing, and before he could even think Claire's gaze refocused over his shoulder. Someone else had entered the room.
A smile broke upon her face.
"I beg your pardon."
The voice behind John was deep, slightly mistrustful, and did not belong to his brother.
He tore his eyes away from the pretty vision of Claire and rose to greet the man who sauntered into the room, young, blond and absurdly muscular, like a Viking warlord trapped in a finely-tailored coat, striped waistcoat, and fawn trousers.
"I don't believe we are acquainted," the man said.
Claire sat, speechless, her smile now a bit dazed. The Norse god-like creature sidled nearer to her in a presumptuous sort of way. A chill ran down John's spine.
"No," he replied, "we are not acquainted." He swept a glance over the man, who was definitely brawnier than John but of the same height, gave a decent bow, and said, "Lord John Reyburn."
The man's stiffened posture eased as he returned the bow. "Of course. The duke's mysterious brother. My pleasure."
The youngest of six sisters, Mercy Ackerly has known since thirteen what everyone else is about to learn: She'll marry the elusive Duke of Blackthorne.
On the dance floor, blissfully unaware that they were being scrutinized and discussed in at least two areas of the ballroom, Mercy and Sebastian danced silently. The half-smile remained on Sebastian's face while Mercy frantically dug through her brain for the hundreds of interesting facts she'd memorized in order to keep their conversations engaging and easy and fresh. Nothing surfaced, so she finally just blurted, "You are a matador without a bull, Your Grace."
His smiled widened. "It seemed inappropriate to bring one."
Mercy colored hotly in sublime embarrassment. "I can't believe I just said that."
The blush chased away the chill of the polite young woman she had become and brought back the laughing young girl he'd once known. "That is a circumstance with which I am entirely unfamiliar where you're concerned, Miss Ackerly."
She wrinkled her nose. "It sounds so strange to hear you refer to me as Miss Ackerly. I keep feeling as though I should look around to find Patience."
"It feels even stranger to actually say it," Sebastian agreed. "But you've grown up now, haven't you?"
Mercy nodded. They were the words she'd always wanted to hear from him, this acknowledgment that she was no longer a child, but they gave her an odd bereft feeling, as though something had irrevocably changed between them, an intangible something that had slipped right through her fingers and which she could never get back.
"What's going on in that pretty head of yours, urchin?"
His voice, so familiar, washed over her, deep and resonant and comforting, and Mercy smiled up at him. "Why do you call me that?"
He smiled back. "Because you were dressed like a boy in oversized and often mended clothes when we first met, and you reminded me of one of the street urchins who lived around my childhood home."
It was an uncommon glimpse into Sebastian's past, and Mercy felt warmth spread outward from her heart. She wanted to ask him a million questions about how he'd grown up, but instead just answered his question. "When I was a girl, I wanted to grow up so quickly, and it seemed as though it was taking forever." Her voice softened. "But now that I have, I find miss being that girl."
Sebastian's heart lurched a little at her wistful tone, and he sought to banish any sadness. "You mean you miss your threadbare breeches?" He was rewarded by her soft laugh. "There's no reason to miss those days. Just don't completely lose that girl." He caught her eyes with his. "I've always been rather fond of her, you see."
Face to Face
A masquerade, a chance meeting, and a kidnapping: Little did Miss Penelope Ashurst realize that breaking the rules would result in the adventure—and love—of a lifetime.
Ranulph was about to give Nigel his "you'd better not cause too much trouble, or else" look when he saw her, a veritable goddess in soft violet silk. He heard his brother bid farewell for the evening, but suddenly he did not care.
Standing not ten feet in front of him was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen.
Her elegant costume was draped about her form, emphasizing her womanly curves. She was neither too petite nor too tall. Her hair, pinned with small crepe roses sporadically adorning the soft tendrils, cascaded down her delicate neck. He watched her smile at the antics of a pair of dominoes who had disrupted the dance with their own version of a waltz. Even though the mask covered most of her face, it could not hide her sweet dimples peeking through.
She did not belong here, any more than he. Curious to know who she was, he pushed his way through the boisterous crowd. He meant to speak to her. However, when he reached her side, for the first time in his life, he struggled for words. Ranulph cleared his throat and stuttered, "May…I have the…" he swallowed hard before getting the rest of the words out, "pleasure of this waltz?"
Good lord, he was acting like a schoolboy attempting his first conquest. No woman had ever discomposed him so. Ranulph leaned in, waiting in agony. The seconds drew out in anticipation of her response.
Lowering her eyes, he thought she would refuse him. But when she glanced up at him with a mixture of uncertainty and excitement, her green eyes twinkled with delight. She did not speak, just nodded her acceptance, extending her gloved hand. The moment Ranulph took her hand, his pulse raced and a jolt careened through his body.
The music began, and he guided her with ease through the flowing, melodious sound. Her body was made to fit against his. Ranulph wondered if his goddess felt the same.
"You are a graceful dancer." He hoped his compliment would coax words from her delectable mouth. He wanted to know who she was and why she was here.
Her eyelids fluttered lower with a sweet shyness. "Thank you."
Ranulph knew without a doubt his initial thought was correct. This goddess was not meant to be here. The trouble was, it would appear that his little goddess was not one for conversation. "And who are you pretending to be this evening?" That question earned him a direct look. He noticed her eyes were not just green, but jade green with flecks of gold.
These guys give new meaning to debonair, huh?
Speaking of debonair, wanna spend some time with slick, tortured, sexy men? Just wait 'til you meet author Susan Mac Nicol's fantastic Male/Male Romances.
Are you an author? Fantastic. We adore authors. We're seeking submissions from writers who can deliver the emotional punch readers crave. Space cowboys, gargoyles, the hunk next-door and crusty cops welcome. Boroughs Publishing Group will not limit your imagination; we encourage creative freedom. Stick to the tropes of the genre or push the envelope, as long as you're providing well written incredible story-telling we're game. Read more: http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/submit