WELCOME TO THE BLOG ISOBEL!!!
Kalen Hughes) is a best-selling author of Georgian-set historicals for Grand Central. She formerly wrote the research column for RWA’s eNotes, and currently shares her research on the History Hoydens blog. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her Neapolitan Mastiff, Clancy, in a vintage bungalow that she has no time to restore. Her upcoming release, RIPE FOR SEDUCTION (Dec, 2012), is the third book in THE LEAGUE OF SECOND SONS series.
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The soft tread of someone in some not-too-distant room finally forced his eyes open. It sounded as though whoever it was were tiptoeing about in their stocking feet, but the soft creaks of the floorboards was almost more irritating than the birds. No, it was more irritating. Infinitely so, as it spoke to an awareness of his presence and condition.
Roland pushed himself upright, head pounding uncomfortably as he did so. His coat was bound up at the shoulders, nearly swaddling him. He yanked it about. He was still fully dressed save for his shoes, which lolled beneath a chair across from the settee he’d spent the night upon. His hair swung into his face, a dark, heavy curtain, and he shoved it back, hooking it behind his ears. A quick search of his pockets and the recesses of the settee failed to produce the black silk ribbon that normally contained his hair.
The last time he’d downed that much port he’d woken upstairs in one of the finer houses of the impure in Florence with a troupe of disgusting little puttee staring down at him from the bed’s canopy, their sly smiles and tiny pricks lurid in the morning light. Vaughn’s drawing room was an infinitely more welcoming sight.
Roland had a vague memory of Thane flirting with Lady Ligonier in the bow window just before his memory went black. Perhaps Thane had been lucky enough to accompany the lady home? Lucky devil if he had. For the life of him, Roland couldn’t remember anyone taking their leave, but he must have been in quite a state if they couldn’t even get him up the stairs and into one of the guest chambers.
Roland ran his hands down his chest, yanking them away as a pin dug painfully into his flesh. He glanced down. A thin, brass dress pin, the kind used to hold a lady’s gown closed, secured a slip of paper to his coat. Roland tore it free, sending the pin flying.
His own drunken handwriting crawled across the paper:
I, Roland Devere, bet Lord Leonidas Vaughn one guinea I can beat Anthony Thane into the bed of Lady Olivia Carlow.All three of their signatures were scrawled below the statement, Thane’s with an artful flourish that bespoke amusement and sobriety. Roland crumpled the note in his fist. How many witnesses had there been? Who’d been left by the time they’d degenerated in boasts and bets? Good Lord, Lady Olivia was, in some convoluted way, very nearly a relative of Vaughn’s, as his sister was married to Lady Olivia’s first husband’s brother. What the hell had they been thinking?
Lady Olivia had been through a lot in the last year. He ought to know, having borne witness to all the most humiliating details of the scandal that had ended her marriage. She didn’t need the gentlemen of the ton making sport of her, but it was inevitable that she would be pursued like a vixen by a pack of hounds now that she’d returned to town.
Guilt at being one of those selfsame hounds surged before dissipating amid the rush of undeniable anticipation. Lady Olivia Carlow wasn’t quite a widow, nor was she ruined in the traditional sense of the word. Her situation was, in a word, unique.
Excerpt from Ripe for Seduction ©2013 by Isobel Carr
RIPE FOR SEDUCTION:
A secret society of younger sons, sworn to aid and abet each other, no matter the scandal or cost . . .Pre-Order A Copy: Amazon(pb) | Kindle | B&N(pb)
After the scandalous demise of her marriage, Lady Olivia Carlow knows the rakes of the ton will believe her fair game. So when a letter arrives bearing an indecent offer from the incorrigible Roland Devere, she seizes the opportunity. Turning the tables on the notorious rouge, she blackmails him into playing her betrothed for the season. But no matter how broad his shoulders or chiseled his features, she will never fall prey to his suave charm.
When Roland boasted he’d be the first into Lady Olivia’s bed, he couldn’t have imagined that behind those brilliant blue eyes lurked a vixen with a scheme of her own. Still, Roland is not about to abandon his original wager. If anything, learning the lovely Olivia is as bold as she is beautiful makes him more determined to seduce her into never saying “never” again.
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A huge thank you to Isobel for sharing an excerpt from her 2013 release as well as donating the giveaway copies of the first two books in her League of Second Sons series.
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