This month, Amazon is featuring my sexy Regency romance, Captain and Countess. It’s on sale for $1.99 for Kindle.
The book won the Washington Romance Writers Marlene Award for historical romance and was one of the first books selected for the Kindle Scout program. Here’s an excerpt:
Bess woke some time in the night to a strange sound. For a moment, she had to focus on where she was. Definitely not in her bedroom. In the dim light from the fire, she made out the interior of the gamekeeper’s cottage. Oh yes, the storm. She’d taken shelter here from wind and driving rain, both of which had died down. Not even a drip sounded on the roof above. So what was that noise?
Jason Northcross, of course. He was doing something in the chair by the fire. Could that be his teeth chattering?
“What are you doing over there?” she asked.
“Nothing. Go back to sleep.”
His voice displayed displeasure in the extreme. What did he have to be angry about? He’d intruded on her, not the other way around.
“Is that your jaw clattering?” she asked.
“I’m cold, if you must know the truth.”
“Throw some more wood on the fire.”
“We don’t have much left,” he said. “I’m saving it.”
“In heaven’s name, for what?”
“For later. If the fire goes out, we’ll both become very cold, indeed.”
He had a point. She’d planned to bank the fire and stay warm with her own body heat, nestled under two blankets. Because of him, she’d had to make do with one. She’d grown a bit chilly herself. They had a problem, and only one solution offered itself. He’d resist, but neither of them had any choice, really.
“You’d better come get in bed.” With me. Dear Lord, what was she saying?
“I can’t do that, and you know very well why.” Delightful. He’d gone from sounding angry to petulant.
“This is hardly the lap of luxury,” she said. “Do you honestly mean to tell me that you couldn’t control yourself, even under these circumstances?”
He didn’t answer. He didn’t even move. Somehow the chair still managed to creak.
“Neither of us will get warm and neither of us will get any sleep with you and your blanket over there,” she said.
He still didn’t utter a word. After a long moment, he sighed.
“Your brother and sister will be angry with me if you catch something dreadful,” she said.
“They wouldn’t approve of me making love with you, either.”
“They wouldn’t know if you didn’t tell them.”
He went back to silence, his body a rigid silhouette against the glow of the fire.
“Everyone’s going to be quite scandalized that we were out all night together, anyway,” she said.
“You’re giving me permission?” he whispered.
Now it was her turn for silence. He refused to take complete responsibility for what would happen next, if indeed she allowed it. In truth, she already had with her invitation. After their earlier encounters, neither he nor she could pretend any surprise that things would get out of hand if he got under the covers with her, especially as neither of them were fully dressed. And faced with the real possibility that she’d let him—no, ask him—to take the ultimate liberties with her, she finally had to admit the truth. She wanted him. She’d wanted him that first night after the opera. She’d wanted him in her rose garden and by the river. And she wanted him now, more than she wanted anything else in the world.
The fact that she’d protested the opposite for this long only spoke to a dishonesty she hadn’t thought herself capable of. She claimed she didn’t care what others thought of her, but she’d held him away for just that reason. As a widow taking a younger man to her bed, she could be the object of ridicule. Then, too, she had to face her fear that he’d find her less than perfect and might even regret dallying with her. And yet, if she turned him down, she’d always wonder what she’d missed.
“I am giving you permission,” she said. “Complete permission.”
For a moment, he still didn’t move. Then he let out a long breath, as if he’d been holding it. She might have been holding her own.
The chair creaked again as he rose. When he lifted the tails of his shirt and reached to the fastening of his pants, she looked away. She’d feel him soon enough. She could look later. His step came slowly as he approached the bed. He spread the second blanket on top of her and stood, looking down. He’d left his shirt on but was naked below. So big. So male. So absolutely beautiful.
“You’re sure about this?” he asked.
“For heaven’s sake, I was a married woman,” she said. “I’m not a virgin, Captain Northcross.”
“You’d better call me Jason, don’t you think?” With that, he lifted the blankets and slipped in beside her.
“Jason,” she said before he leaned over and kissed her.
His caresses had enflamed her before. Now only flimsy layers of linen separated them. The heat of his body surrounded her as he kissed her again and again. Tonight, she wouldn’t push him away. He wouldn’t stop himself, stating reluctance to harm her reputation or other such nonsense. Tonight, he’d show her what a healthy young man consumed with lust could do.
By the way, I’ll be raffling off more of my hand knitted items in July to celebrate the release of my contemporary romance, Just One Week, from Entangled Publishing. If you’d like to join my newsletter list to be entered to win, go to my blog http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com Here’s a picture of one of my past prizes.