Monday, April 8, 2013

Excerpt from 'The Runaway Duchess'

As the release date for my first full length historical romance draws closer and closer (May 10th to be precise) I suppose I should actually start spreading the word... And convincing people, starting with you, that you absolutely HAVE to read it! If you haven't yet added it to your Goodreads TBR list, just click right here. Super easy, right? 

If you have a book review blog and you are interested in recieving an ARC of The Runaway Duchess (it will be in PDF format) send me an e-mail at -- all of the advanced reader copies will be sent out ten days before publication. I'll also be doing a few giveaways. If you're interested in hosting one of them, shoot me an e-mail as well! Heck, even if you just want to say 'HI!' you can e-mail. 

But anyways, as promised by the title of this blog post, here is another excerpt from the novel. In this scene Charlotte is having afternoon tea with her fiancee, the yucky old Duke of Tarrow who she is being forced to marry against her will. Enjoy! 

Excerpt from The Runaway Duchess

They moved outside to the back lawn and sat across from each other at a wrought iron table that was shaded by a large mulberry tree. Plucking a fallen leaf from the ground, Charlotte twirled it absently between her fingers while she discreetly studied her new surroundings. Everything was manicured with ruthless precision. Not a single blade of grass grew out of line. There were no flowers. Dark green hedges higher than her head formed a barrier around the lawn, preventing anyone from looking out or, Charlotte thought with a shudder, stopping anyone from looking in. What monstrosities had happened here in this stale, stagnant place? How long had the Duke’s wives suffered in silence before they died? A chill ran down her spine as she imagined them trapped here, like pretty birds in a cage, unable to break free.
She jumped when she felt fingers close around her hand, and with a visible shudder she tried to pull free of the Duke’s grasp but he held on, his fat, fleshy fingers clinging with surprising strength to her wrist.
“You have very soft skin,” he murmured as he skimmed his thumb across her knuckles before his grip tightened, wringing a soft cry from Charlotte’s lips.
She had petted an iguana once. The lizard’s skin had been cold and dry, and even though its tongue had flicked in and out and its beady eyes had followed her every movement, she felt as though she were touching a dead thing. The Duke’s flesh reminded her of the same, and the bile she had suppressed earlier upon entering his house rose yet again. “Your Grace, I do not believe this is very proper—”
“We are engaged to be married,” he interrupted. “Surely a simple touch here…” – his fingers began to inch their way up her arm – “…or there would not hurt anything.”
Charlotte stood up so fast her chair was knocked sideways. The momentum pulled the Duke halfway across the table before he released her arm, leaving angry red marks on her skin from his bruising fingers. “You may not touch me without my permission,” she said sharply, feeling more assured of herself now that there was distance between them.
His cheeks flushing with color, the Duke heaved himself to his feet but remained on his side of the table. “Impertinent wench,” he growled, his top lip curling. “You would do well to address me with respect.”
“Why? You are an old, lecherous man and if you were the last person on earth I would not marry you. I will not marry you,” she declared, driving the heel of her boot into the soft ground. The sound of the Duke’s soft laughter set her teeth on edge, and she stared at him incredulously. “What is so amusing about that? Did you not hear what I said? I am not going to marry you! I refuse.” The moment the words were out of her mouth she felt as though a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders, and she sighed with relief. There would be no marriage. She should have put her foot down – both literally and figuratively – weeks ago.
Still chuckling under his breath, the Duke said, “You foolish, stupid girl. Did you think it would be as easy as that? Did you think once I had you I would let you go? No.” He shook his head. “No, once gained I do not let my possessions slip through my fingers. You are mine. You belong to me.”

The Runaway Duchess

Available on Amazon May 10th! 

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