from Mia Marlowe…
Update: We have a winner! Congrats to Connie Fischer, who’ll receive a copy of WAKING UP WITH A RAKE. Watch your inbox for a note from Mia so she can send your mailing info to Sourcebooks.
I’d love to introduce you to my writing partner, except that she needs no introduction. She’s Connie Mason, New York Times bestseller and Grand Dame of the historical romance world since the 1980′s. Her name comes up alongside romance luminaries like Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers and Bertrice Small. In 1995, she was featured on CBS’s 48 HOURS and likes to joke that she does her best work in bed–writing, of course.
Connie and I first met in 2006 when she gave my debut title MAIDENSONG its cover quote–the first one she’d ever given! We hit it off right away since we both love to travel and are hopelessly addicted to alpha heroes. It wasn’t too bit a surprise when our editor, Leah Hultenschmidt and agent, Natasha Kern decided we’d work well together.
LORD OF DEVIL ISLE, a swashbuckling tale set on pre-Revolutionary War Bermuda, was our first joint effort. Since then, we’ve collaborated on SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER, a Scottish tale of love and revenge, and LORD OF FIRE AND ICE, a Viking love story.
Now we’ve begun our most ambitious project to date–a Regency set series called The Royal Rakes. After Princess Charlotte died in 1817, the Prince Regent’s unmarried brothers realized they had an opportunity to wed, bed, and breed in order to present George III with a legitimate grandchild who would one day wear the crown. But not everyone wanted the royal dukes to succeed. And what better way to stop them than make sure a dedicated rake came between them and their intendeds?
Book One, WAKING UP WITH A RAKE, just hit the bookstore shelves. It’s the story of Lord Rhys Warrington, a former cavalry officer whose past is tormenting his present. He’s tasked with making sure Olivia Symon, a wealthy young heiress, doesn’t become a royal duchess. Seducing her should have been easy. He simply never counted on her seducing him! Here’s a little sample from WAKING UP WITH A RAKE:
Olivia started to untie his cravat but tugged the wrong end of the starched fabric. It tightened around his neck instead.
“Allow me,” he said, gentling her questing fingers away and quickly undoing the elegant waterfall of linen. “Before you garrote me with my own neckwear.”
She pulled a face at him. “Pardon me for not understanding the intricacies of a gentleman’s wardrobe.”
“Before tonight, I would have said there is no wrong way to undress a man. Apparently there are a few,” he said with a laugh. “But the ends justify the means, I suppose.”
“Are you making fun of me?”
“I’d never do that,” he assured her. “But I do want to have fun with you. If I teach you nothing else, I want you to know a man and woman should laugh together.”
She unfastened his shirt, frowning at each button in concentration. Then she smiled up at him. Blast, if it wasn’t as coquettish a smile as any courtesan’s. Where on earth had she learned that? Since Eden, he supposed, women had been gifted with the means to distract a man. Olivia had come fully into her birthright as a daughter of Eve.
He gathered her into his arms. “Not to complain, but it’s not often a man is greeted by a beautiful woman who seems intent on undressing him.”
“Surely, given your reputation, it must happen to you with regularity.”
“Not as often as you might think.” He smiled down at her. “And never as memorably as this time.”
“Really? And what makes this so memorable?”
“Because you’re doing it rather badly.”
She huffed and pulled away from him. “What do you mean I’m doing it badly?”
“That’s maybe not the best way to put it. If the goal is simply to see a man naked, you’ll accomplish it, but you could reach the same end by asking me to strip. It would save time. And my wardrobe,” he said with a grin. “However, if your aim is to seduce a man beyond bearing, there are other ways to go about it besides ripping off his buttons.” He cocked a brow at her. “Not that that can’t be fun on occasion.”
“I assumed the most direct route is best. What other ways are there?”
“So seduction is your aim?”
“To seduce you beyond bearing? You flatter yourself, sir,” she said as she flounced into one of the wing chairs. “But last night you showed me something about me. Tonight, I want to learn about you.” She tugged her sagging wrapper back up to cover her bare shoulder. “Or are you no longer interested in giving me lessons?”
Come here. Go away. Beg me to stay. Where had she learned those essential bits of the seductress’s art?
“I’m interested.” Definitely. His body was already primed and ready.
“Then how should I undress you?” she asked, innocently unaware that just those words dropping from her sweet mouth were blissful torture for him.
“You should undress a man in the same way you’d explore a pleasure garden. Slowly. Deliberately. Tarry to see the sights. Touch. Taste,” he said. “Take all the time you need.”
“All right.” She stood and walked over to him. “Let’s take it turn and turn about. I allowed you to disrobe me without interference last night. Will you trust me enough to stand perfectly still?”
“I’m at your command.”
“Good,” she said with a feline smile. “But I don’t think you need to stand before a mirror. You already know what a fine-looking fellow you are. Let’s see what you have hidden under your shirt.”
Connie and I hope you’ll enjoy the adventures of our rake and his adventurous virgin. If you’d like to start Waking Up with a Rake from the beginning, please pop over to my blog where I’ve posted two whole chapters!
What do you think women find appealing about the idea of reforming a rake?
Sourcebooks is giving away a copy of WAKING UP WITH A RAKE to one lucky commenter in the US or Canada. Leave a comment or question for Connie & Mia to enter!