Saturday, August 20, 2016

#excerpt from Deadly Alliance #romance #suspense #Tirgearr @RowlandKathleen

What’s a girl to do when she has a sudden need to use the facilities? 

Conference room scene from Deadly Alliance:
Amy entered the bathroom and faced a door opposite, the entrance to the Harp Hotel on the Lake. No wonder this bathroom was elegant. Waffle towels and an assortment of fragrance mists, lotions, and a milk-glass, soap pump sat on a green-marble counter next to a vintage-looking faucet. If she weren’t in a hurry, she’d spray herself with the cologne in the shamrock container.
There were two large stalls, and she peeked under the shiny white doors to make sure she wouldn’t intrude upon someone. After making sure it was empty, she headed in and hung her little handbag on a hook. About to use the toilet, she heard muffled voices. Wasn’t she alone?
Glancing upward, she spotted a vent. The voices came from a room in the hotel. Did she hear strong words?  She stepped onto the toilet seat and stood on tiptoes, straining to raise herself even higher. As she peered through the vent, she realized she was looking over a balcony and onto a large conference room. This bathroom, on the second level of the parking structure, was level with the hotel’s mezzanine.
About twenty feet below, the marble floor gleamed up at her, but the scene was far from friendly business. A half-dozen men wore turbans and black, body armor with the Takbir insignia embroidered on them. The symbol, hard to ignore this year, was white Arabic writing on their rolling-sand motif flag and displayed with every hostage crisis. Flowing robes extended half-way below their shins.
The robed men surrounded four men seated with their hands on a round table. These men were held captive, she was certain. The two facing her wearing Claddagh rings on their third fingers had visited Les. The rings married them, molded them into a brotherhood. Whether they wore suits or the Levis they’d worn on their visit, they bound together by a code of violence and silence.  For years the Waterfront Roached remained an impenetrable and unstoppable force. Until now.
The Irish Mafioso appearance was as easy to recognize as the Takbir terrorists. In her hometown of Long Beach, the Waterfront Roaches went about their business in match-match suits. The Irish Kings of Cocaine ruled the warehouse district. After scrutinizing the backs of the other two suits, one wore a fedora identical to the Irish mobster at the coffee shop. Next she zeroed in on the other man with slicked back, silver hair who’d visited Les at their condo.  Was  an Islamic gang taking over the Irish mob’s territory?
Fearing they’d see her, she cringed, but the thugs were far below. Concentrating, she tried to make out what was happening down there. She looked through the vent. They were talking again.
One of the robes said, “We are defenders of the Prophet. You failed our leader, Rourke.” Speaking with unaccented  English meant he was a recruit.
Where had she heard the name Rourke?
She concentrated on the leader in his white tunic. He jerked to a halt in front of Rourke and pulled his black bandanna down to speak. His accent was Middle Eastern, and his face contorted with anger.
“Let me impress upon you,” came rough words from Rourke, “we can both win.”
“You are not our brother,” the robed leader barked. “This is our territory now. Pledge your finances to us.”
“Wait! Hold on!” stammered a young, suited man facing her direction.
Hold onto what? When Amy watched the leader gesture toward his guard, she feared something bad was about to happen.
The guard raised his arms in the air. Coming from under his robe, light reflected on a long sword. He wrapped both hands around it and whipped it through the air. Like lightning, his arms and body made a complete circle.
Amy gasped at the sword, aimed for the seated guy’s neck.
Rourke whipped out a blade at thigh level and threw it, striking the robed man in the shoulder.
His sword thudded onto the floor, but his man brought out a pistol. With Rourke in its cross-hairs, the gun discharged and ripped through Rourke’s shoulder and out the other side.
Another robed man picked up the sword and swung it upward, but a suited man shot him twice in the chest. He crashed to the floor. A puddle of blood reddened his robe and seeped outward.
 In all her years, nothing prepared her for this horror. She shivered from fright but steadied herself against the stall wall. She froze as seconds passed but told herself to serve justice.
Take photos! Pulling out her iPhone, she touched the camera-button, took photos from various angles, and thanked God for the soft click-click-click.
Again, she glanced through the vent. Running his hand through his blood-spattered white hair, Rourke stumbled. Irish companions supported him through the room’s double doors.
The robed leader looked up in her direction.  She ducked. A second later, she snapped two more photos of the gruesome scene. Enough evidence. Time to scram. Leaping off the toilet, she darted out the door to the parking structure. Cold air brushed her skin.
She charged down the ramp. Around and around, she sped with all her might. She took a quick glance over her shoulder. A shadow from a careening SUV. Light blue. She dove behind a parked car. As the SUV passed, the windows rolled down. The barrel of a rifle appeared. Tires squealed. The SUV zoomed off.

Crouching motionless for a full minute, her heart thumped from the close call. She willed herself to get out of there. She sprinted through the exit. Coming onto the street, she spotted the open door of the Arrowbear Cafe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#amwriting Heroines with both strong and weak qualities #Tirgearr

As a reader do you prefer a heroine to be strong or weak?  One keeps going, no matter what.  The other deals with loss in her life and sinks into depression.  Both are realistic, and I write heroines who exhibit both characteristics.  In romantic suspense, Deadly Alliance, Amy wants to break free of her codependence tendencies, and in the beginning of the novel she overcompensates. On the other hand, she’s a kickass against bad guys.  In my work-in-progress, Unholy Alliance, Tori Morningstar (the daughter of the Rourke mobster) leaves prison when the hero lawyer appeals her case for a murder she did not committ. She survived prison for ten years and fights against retreating into herself.
Dual characteristics, strong and weak, give readers a picture of who they are.  My heroines overcome sorrow and disappointment. They can not be so damaged they can't fall in love. A romance has a happily ever after.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Spotlight on #Tirgearr author Christy Nicholas and her book, Legacy of Truth


Welcome Christy Nicholas! I'd like to introduce readers to Legacy of Truth.






Blurb:



Set in late 18th century Ireland, Esme must grow up quickly in small, isolated northwestern town. Her parents are leaving for America, abandoning her and her sister to fend for themselves. As she struggles to find her place, she finds it difficult to keep hold of what's left that's precious to her.

Once married and in a new town, Esme's only friend, Aisling, helps her through difficult times, as her Traveler husband stays away longer and longer plying his trade.

While Esme has had some comfort in her small family, she must now find comfort on her own, as her treacherous sister tries stealing the family heirloom to sell, a brooch reputed to have mystical powers, which had been left to her by her grandfather. Esme must learn to cope with her dwindling family and growing despair in order to keep the brooch safe.

 Excerpt below:


Ardara, County Donegal, Ireland

March, 1787



Éamonn Doherty eased onto the old rocking chair beside the crackling fire. As soon as he settled, he was bombarded with children, clamoring eagerly for a story from Grandfa.

Well, it was his fault. Whenever he returned from his wanderings around the country, he would give them a story, a tale of Ireland’s past or his own.

The bairns settled onto the ground at his feet. There were Esme and Eithne, the twins, looking stark and thin with shocks of wild red hair and too many freckles to count.

“That's my spot! I always sit there, Eithne, and you know it!”

Eithne looked at her sister and sniffed, saying nothing. She turned to Éamonn and blinked as if innocent.

Esme pushed at her sister, but Eithne was braced for it. She resisted the shove and looked back over her shoulder with disdain.

Fuming, Esme crossed her arms.

In the far corner, with her arms wrapped firmly around her knees, sat the youngest sister, wee Brighid. Everyone called her Bridey. Her solemn green eyes peered at him, owl-like. She must be about ten years old by now. And little Níaṁ wasn’t a sister, but a cousin, her parents having died of a fever. A brown wren, she was plump and sweet, still a toddler.

Éamonn would have preferred some grandsons to pass his stories to, but his son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Shona, had given him only granddaughters thus far. Still, he loved them dearly. His two other children were both dedicated to the church, so Brian was his last hope for grandsons. Éamonn looked at the girls and decided perhaps a story of a manly hero might do them for the night.

He fixed his eyes on wee Níaṁ until she giggled nervously. He tousled up his thick white hair until it looked like a lion and she laughed. Smiling, he began.

“Tonight our tale will begin with a hero of great fame, for who has never heard of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, leader of the Fianna, Warriors of Ireland?”

Timidly, Bridey raised her hand.

Interrupted, Éamonn cocked his head. “Yes, child? What is it, my dear?”

“I haven’t heard of him, Grandfa.”

Éamonn closed his eyes, reaching for patience. The children weren’t to know what a rhetorical question was.

“That’s all right, mo chuisle. I will be telling you now, so?”

The girl nodded and wrapped her hands more tightly around her knees until she was just a pair of feet, arms and a curly mass of red hair sparkling in the firelight. For a moment, Éamonn went back in time, to the memory of his dear, long-dead wife, Katie. She had hair such as that, wild and bright. The windows rattled as the wind outside picked up. The children all shifted uncomfortably.

“The Fianna were a band of warriors, pledged to protect the shores of Ireland from foreigners. Fionn’s father was the leader of the Fianna, so he had his son raised by a warrior woman. Have you ever seen a warrior woman, Eithne?”

“I have!” The girl was the boldest of the lot. “There is a woman who hunts up in Bunbeg. I heard Alan say she came into his dad’s bakery one day!”

“I heard that first! He told me first.” Esme said.

“Girls, that’s enough. Would you like to know about this warrior woman?”

It did the trick. All four children looked up at him, expectant.

He grinned and got back into the rhythm of his tale.

“This great woman was called Liath Luachra, and she was tall, with long muscles and longer hair. Her brown hair she kept in thin braids, which went all the way down to her knees. She was a fierce warrior, always clad in skins and furs, and she taught Fionn all her arts. When he had learned all he could from her, he left to join the Fianna.

“But the Fianna knew him for his father’s son and worried for his youth and safety. They told him he must leave, and they could not protect him from harm. This angered Fionn, so he left in a temper. After his temper had cooled, he sought out a Druid to learn wisdom. The Druid he found was named Finnegas. Finnegas spent seven years trying to catch the Salmon of Knowledge, and he had just caught the fish before Fionn found him. It roasted on the fire, and Finnegas told Fionn to watch it while he got more firewood.

“Fionn watched the fish, watched it bubble and pop, sizzle and squeak.”

Níaṁ let out a squeak of her own to help with the sound effects.

“He saw a great blister form on the skin of the salmon, growing larger and larger, about to pop. He pressed his thumb to it to push it back down so the skin wouldn’t be blemished. As he did so, his skin burned, so he stuck his thumb in his mouth.” Éamonn demonstrated with his finger and looked around until each child did the same.

“But he had done a terrible thing, now.”

“What was so horrible, Grandfa?” Bridey asked with wide eyes. “All he did was touch the fish!” She replaced the thumb in her mouth absent-mindedly.

“Ah, that is true. But, you see, Fionn was the first to taste of the flesh of the Salmon of Knowledge, and it meant he now had all the Salmon’s great wisdom. Finnegas was furious and chased him out with a club, but Fionn now had the knowledge and wisdom he needed to lead the Fianna fairly.”

All the girls watched him for the end of the tale.

“In the end, he controlled his own fate, and therefore could make himself happy. That's all that any one of us can do, aye?”

When Níaṁ realized the tale was over, she belatedly removed her thumbs from her mouth. As she did, he picked her up into his lap and rocked in front of the fire with her. She was a solid, warm little child. Brian might not be able to make his farm work well, but he at least kept his children fed.

He sang a sad, low song of lost love and broken promises until each child fell asleep on the soft, white wings of fantasy.


Author Christy Nicholas 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#RomanticIdea @AuthorTinaGayle spotlight on CFO's Affair!


Author Tina Gayle is sharing her summer Romantic Idea with us!


Young or old, we all enjoy a night out.

Instead of going to the same old place, try some place new. Maybe a place with music for dancing or a winery for a tasting.

There are all sorts of new things to try. Do it with your lover and make a new memory.

Let's take a look at Tina Gayle's book, CFO's Affair.





Blurb for CFO’s Affair

Sylvia Donovan is emotionally wounded from the unexpected death of her husband and still haunted by their last conversation: his request for a divorce and his confession of love for another woman.  Her husband gone, her only daughter off to college, Sylvia faces the challenges of learning to live alone and move on with her life.

Vince Wilshire, enchanted with Sylvia, is more than willing to do what it takes to capture the heart of the hurting and untrusting Sylvia.

Can he help her forget the past and make her believe in love again?









Excerpt for CFO’s Affair



            A knock sounded on the window beside her and she jumped. Her head swiveled around and she stared at the man looking at her through the window.

            Vince Wilshire's handsome face could make any woman melt with desire. With it so close to hers—the glass being the only thing separating them—a rush of adrenaline swept into her system. She leaned sideways in her seat and knocked her hand against the steering wheel. The horn beeped and she muttered, "Damn it, Knox, why did you..."

            The sound of his laughter sent anger flooding through her, the muscles in her arms tightening with the need to strike out. She lowered the phone and clicked the disconnect button in retaliation to his attempt to manipulate her.

            Vince opened the driver's side door and cold air rushed into the car. "Hey, beautiful, are you heading inside?"

            "What is this? Are you guys ganging up on me?" Sylvia ignored the man beside her and glanced in the rear view mirror, checking to make sure her tears hadn't caused any lasting effect.

            A warm hand landed on her shoulder and Vince toyed with her hair. "Not at all, I like the idea of entering the building with a gorgeous woman on my arm."

            "Right," she protested and stuffed her phone into her purse before turning to stare into his bedroom-brown eyes. The spark in their depths had her reevaluating her impression of the man. Yes, he had the face and body to rival every other Casanova in the world, but he also had a sense of humor. That alone sent a shiver of awareness through her.

            She fought the desire gathering in her stomach and waved her hand at him so he'd move out of the way, letting her exit the car. "Did Knox make you wait out here in the parking lot to make sure I would come inside?"

            Vince grinned and held her door open while she stepped onto the asphalt. His gaze fell to her legs.

            She stared at her new, high-heel, red pumps and silently prayed she wouldn't land face first in the dirt when she tried to walk across the pitted parking lot in them.

            A low whistled sounded beside her. "Man, are you ever hot."

            She ignored the comment and didn't turn until she heard the car door slamming closed. "And there's not a woman you've ever met you haven't wanted."



Read 1st chapter at http://www.tinagayle.net/CFO'sAffairChpt.htmlhttp://www.tinagayle.net/CFO'sAffairChpt.html







Author Bio:



Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loved to escape into the world of books.
After years of working in the business world doing a variety of jobs, she decided to try her hand at writing. Her books touch the heart and show the true joy of being a woman.



Read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website.



Find Tina Gayle everywhere



Home - www.tinagayle.net

Blog - www.tinagayle.blogspot.com

Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Tina-Gayle/e/B002BM9GR8

Google + - https://plus.google.com

Linkin - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-gayle/11/689/759

Monday, July 25, 2016

#Tirgearr #Romance Spotlight on talented Joyce Brennan and her book, Victoria


Let me tell you a bit about Joyce Brennan. The Brennan family transferred eight times during Joyce and Tom’s married life. She gathered ideas for plots from the different communities where they settled. Now retired and at home in Las Vegas, Nevada, she devotes full time to writing. Find her on facebook. www.facebook.com/joycewritesromance or on her blog www.joycebrennan.blogspot.com
Joyce Brennan's latest novel: VICTORIA! from Tirgearr Publishing.

 




VICTORIA

Victoria Gillette’s privileged life comes to a crashing halt when her mother tries to commit murder and is sent to a mental institution. Her late father, the Judge, had already been involved in criminal transgressions, and now Victoria discovers she is broke and homeless. She obtains employment at a local car dealership only to be caught in a web of illegal drugs. When she tries to help one of her co-workers, Victoria Gillette places her own life in danger. During the investigation, Sean Casey, an undercover narcotic agent, falls in love with Victoria, although he can’t reveal his true identity. During a crisis, will Sean reach Victoria in time to save her life? This fast-paced eBook has lots of twists and turns.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

#romanticidea and New Adult book Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush @victoriapinder

Welcome Victoria Pinder who is sharing some summertime romantic ideas with us today!
Romantic Ideas to spend this spring with your favorite guy…
  1. Visit an art museum
  2. Walk on the beach (I know cheesy but it’s what my husband likes to do when we’re bored)
  3. Go food shopping together and pick out something for each other to add to the cart
  4. Plan a vacation or a cruise for a year away and talk about what you want to see or do (sometimes the planning is the fun part.)
  5. Watch a movie together while snuggling
  6. Take a dance class and use a groupon coupon
  7. Visit a winery or local agriculture (perhaps apple picking)
  8. Rent a boat or a canoe or kayak and hit the water (Or water ski if you’re adventurous)
  9. Picnic in a local park somewhere
  10. Go online to one of those places where you get coupons, like groupon, and pick something together that you’ve both never done… in Florida they have everything from helicopter rides to hot air balloons!
Victoria Pinder's New Adult contemporary romance, Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush

 
Synopsis:


Penny moves back to Miami to start her new job. She must start on Monday, so she has a list of things to accomplish.
A: Find a place to live.
B: Avoid her mother.
C: Reconnect with old high school friends. There was her best friend, Sandra, the dramatic Eva, the dark Michael, her half-brother Wyatt, and her old high school crush Jay.
Jay had never looked twice at her except as a partner in math league, but at least these people respected her.
Jay spots Penny immediately and sets a plan in action. He needs her to pretend to be his date this week. She’s practical minded and stable, which is what he needs his investors to see in him.
Penny’s caught in a whirlwind of plots. Her gold digging mother, Jay’s, Jay’s mother whose out to stop him, and her own plans are being thrown off course. Worst of it is that she’s falling for Jay, all over again.
Excerpt:

“Home, sweet, err…coffee.”
Getting out of her car, Penelope brushed her worn jeans to get out a small wrinkle. Not that it mattered. She smelled the coffee drawing her to the door. The delicious aroma of freshly brewed java that could wake her up waited inside. Gainesville had coffee shops, but nothing that held her heart like this place. In high school, this place was her mecca. Her stomach grumbled for the familiar drink.
The coffee shop looked almost the same as it had years ago, except for the aluminum tables and wooden chairs with red cushions. She remembered the plaid chairs and brown tables, but the place still calmed her, like she was coming home.
She stepped up to the counter. “I’ll have a cinnamon dulce nonfat latte, please.”
Leaving Gainesville after college had always been the plan. Just never back to Miami, but she’d changed. She could live here now.
She checked her lip gloss while she waited for the latte at the counter.
When she accepted the promotion from part-time to full-time, she knew she would have to face her mother and the catch of the month, Lars, her mother’s plastic surgeon. What that woman would do for a free tummy tuck.
The job she’d accepted had offered to triple her salary, provided she moved to the Coral Gables office. Somehow, she’d avoid her mother until necessary. What was the man’s name with money this week? Penny ignored that last call, knowing the man with the largest wallet always took precedence over whatever Penelope needed. She watched the barista get the nonfat milk and finish her latte. She’d succeed here, now. She had to.
She’d call Sandra, Eva, John, and Michael later. Wyatt, her half-brother, was stationed overseas, so she’d wait for his weekly call. These people were her real family.
The man handed her the latte. The first sip gave her the strength to do this. The tightness of the ride dissipated while she tasted her liquid savior. Sighing, she tasted heaven, the wake-up to her day.
“Penelope.”
Though the unmistakable voice was deeper, she knew who it was without even turning. Her high school crush, who never noticed her beyond her brain. Pulling at her pink tank top, she wished she’d worn better clothes. “John Jay.”
His steely blue eyes and sandy blond hair were the same color, but his build had grown more muscular. The leanness of his youth had given way to broad shoulders and hard, muscular arms. He had a straight, faded scar on his left cheek that was new—probably a bar fight. Rich boy wore his fancy, perfectly fitted polo and jeans, and was definitely hotter with age. His million-dollar smile and devastating dimples sparked a warm flush that sped through her all the way to the tips of her toes.
“I’m going by Jay these days. It’s less formal.” He winked at her, turning off his tablet and pointing her to his table.
“It’s a good name, but I still prefer Dimples,” she teased. “It’s what I called you on online whenever I needed you.”
His rich, deep laugh sent that familiar spark through her.
Damn. Rich boy knew his effect on women, including her. He could manipulate her when she went quiet, but she’d learned a lot in college. She’d not let him weaken her.

Here's Victoria with a heart!


Contact Information

Author Bio:

Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.
During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.
She’s always been determined. She is amazing, adventurous and assured on a regular basis. Her website is  www.victoriapinder.com.
Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Celtic Hearts and Savvy Authors.

For a free novella of Returning for Valentine’s Please Click here: http://victoriapinder.com/returningforvalentineshorttimeoffer





Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pirate-style #RomanticIdea from @katherinelbone THE ROGUE'S SURRENDER


Welcome, Katherine Bone!  Can you share your Romantic Idea with us today?

Thanks for invitin’ me to sail into your home port, Lady Kathleen! I’m thrilled to be here to help celebrate the #RomanticIdea Summer Blog Exchange with you and your readers! Woot!




But before I share my recipe for summertime romance success, I’d like to share some great news! The final book in my Nelson’s Tea Series, THE ROGUE’S SURRENDER, is finally ready to launch into epic adventure near you on July 12th, me hearties! Garrick, Viscount Seaton, is back and after recovering from traumatic injuries, he’s met his match in a Spanish señorita, Mercedes Catalina Vasquez Claremont.



To celebrate THE ROGUE’S SURRENDER, I’m sharin’ a special way to include romance, pirate style, into your summer! There’s nothing more romantic to a pirate than a cool summer breeze and watching the sun set with a sassy significant other. Need extra ambiance to enhance the experience, you say? Celebrate your romantic union with a glass of Pirate’s Blood and say “ARRR!” Rum… it’s a good thing! Huzzah!!! (Pirate!)



Pirate’s Blood



1 oz. Rum, spiced (Captain Morgan’s)

1 splash Grenadine

1 oz. Pineapple Juice



Pour 1 oz. of Captain Morgan’s in a double bubbler shot glass, then pour 1 oz. pineapple juice on top and add a splash of grenadine.






Blurb:



The Rogue’s Surrender, Nelson’s Tea Book #3, Available July 12, 2016

He'd become a beast only she could tame.

Marked for death! Señorita Mercedes Vasquez has been betrayed by a member of Nelson’s Tea. Now her life is in the hands of the man she couldn’t save, a beast forged by Spanish hatred.

Lord Garrick Seaton, aka Captain Blade, is the only one who has a chance of pulling off a lifesaving mission. To do so, he must go to Spain and face memories of captivity and torture. But the fiery Spanish lady he seeks to rescue proves to be the greater threat. Can he protect his heart, or will she demand his complete surrender?





ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-rogues-surrender/id1131355453?mt=11



Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/647949









Katherine’s Bio:



National best-selling historical romance author Katherine Bone has been passionate about history since she had the opportunity to travel to various Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals as an Army brat turned officer’s wife. Who knew that an Army wife’s passion for romance novels would lead to pirates? Certainly not her rogue, whose Alma Mater’s adage is “Go Army. Beat Navy!” Now enjoying the best of both worlds, Katherine lives with her rogue in the south where she writes about rogues, rebels, and rakes—aka pirates, lords, captains, duty, honor, and country—and the happily-ever-afters that every alpha male and damsel deserve.





Social Media Links:

















~ Excerpt ~



Mercy’s gaze narrowed on the screened doorway with nerve-wracking precision.

The screen door handle jiggled slightly but stopped when it met grinding resistance. Muffled curses followed then a key grated in the lock.

She smothered a moment’s panic as the lock disengaged.

“Eddie?”

No response.

No. No. No, it isn’t him. Something is horribly wrong!

Her instincts sprang to life, and her senses climbed to extraordinary heights. She quickly retrieved her reticule, reaching inside to grab the small pistol she carried there. When her fingers grasped the gun, she exhaled in relief, and then aimed the weapon’s barrel at the cabin door.

Her heart thumped in her ears as the seconds dragged by.

She straightened her spine and cocked the trigger, widening her stance. No one enjoyed being backed into a corner, especially a spy. She’d shoot, if needed, with no regard as to who this man was. Too many lives depended on what she’d stored in her brain. If she wanted to make it to St. Mary’s in time to meet the vicar, she had to live.

The door squeaked on the hinge, opening with agonizing slowness like an ominous fog sweeping over a riverbank.

Que Dios le ayude. It was as if the invader wanted to increase her agony, making her anticipate the intrusion with paralyzing dread.

Her nerve endings shrieked like struggling, cornered rats as the door widened and a man’s long muscular leg prepared to step across the threshold. She held the gun steady, biting her lip in anticipation. Her trespasser wasn’t like anyone she’d ever seen before. His tall black boots and black breeches matched a fine woven linen shirt, over which he wore a dark draping broad-shouldered maroon jacket with intricate gold embroidery at the shoulders and sleeves. His shoulder-length black hair accentuated the distinguished lines of his high cheekbones and an aquiline nose. A black patch prevented her from looking into a pair of earth-shattering blue eyes.

Dios mio, he is formidably handsome. She was in true danger now. Her knees threatened to buckle. An impending swoon clouded her peripheral vision. She wasn’t afraid, per se, but paralyzed by an all-compassing innate awareness that awakened her body. This had never happened before.

She gasped.

He cocked his brow oddly in response, skin tugging cruelly above the left side of his mouth.

She immediately froze. Was the expression painful? Who had scarred the man?

Alarms sounded in her head. Lethal calm resonated from him as his stare left her to search the room with an odd familiarity. Her heart twinged. Was this Captain Blade, the notorious Lord Garrick Seaton? His comfortable stance, the way his gaze stroked the room like a loving caress, filled her with strange misgivings. It was as if he belonged here — not Eddie — not her.

She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out.

The devilish man moved his left hand across his chest and took a humble bow. “Señorita.”



Enjoy your romantic summer! Huzzah and Hoorah!!!