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Escape with “Escape with a Rogue”
By Sharon Page
Thanks so much for having me here today. I’m a member of the Rock*It Reads group of authors, and am bringing out a brand new series of sensual Regency historical romances myself.
After writing fifteen books set in the Regency, I wanted to do something different in the era. I love dukes and earls, with their enormous mansions and estates, but I really wanted to create a different kind of rakish, Regency hero—a more dangerous man, my idea of a true Regency-era bad boy. At the same time, I loved the TV series Prison Break, so my Regency Prison Break series was born. The heroes are held in a 19th century prison, wrongfully convicted, and must escape.
The first book is Escape with a Rogue, and my first hero is Jack Travers. Born in London’s slums, he became a powerful gaming hell owner. After a tragedy, he gave up that world, escaped to the country, and took a job as a groom in the stables of Lady Madeline Ashby. Lady Madeline, an earl’s daughter, is untouchable for a scoundrel such as he, so he adores her from afar. When an awful crime is committed at Madeline’s estate, Jack is wrongfully committed. She thinks Jack was hanged, then she learns instead he was taken to forbidding Dartmoor Prison. Learning that he is innocent, and fearing it was her word that led to his conviction, Madeline is determined to set him free…even if she must sneak into the harsh prison and help him escape.
I chose Dartmoor Prison as the setting as I was fascinated by its history and isolated location on the moors, surrounded by treacherous bogs. While Dartmoor was a depot for prisoners of war during the Napoleonic Wars, I tweaked history a little to have my band of regular convicts held within its granite walls.
It is serendipitous how things happen. I wanted to make a research trip to London. Four writer friends of mine were also planning to go, so we traveled together, sharing apartments in the Vauxhall area for a week. I took my own side trip to Dartmoor Prison. Staying in the old prison governor’s house, now a bed and breakfast, I met my amazing hosts Mike and Sally Kinsey. Mike took time off his work as a counter terrorism police officer to give me a tour of the area.
The first photo shows how desolate the moors are—even now. Imagine them in the 19th century. The second picture is of the entrance to Dartmoor Prison. I was able to get up right to the exterior wall, but was not allowed inside. The third photo is of one of the prison blocks. Jack Travers would have been housed in there.
I hope you enjoy this except from Escape with a Rogue:“Got you,” the man said. Through a break in the fog, Jack saw the pistol arm straighten. The muzzle wasn’t pointing at him—it would be Lady Madeline the man took down in cold blood.
Desperate, Jack dove to the right. An explosion roared into the murky night from somewhere behind the cloaked man. The man’s arm—and his weapon—jerked suddenly downward.
Shot? No. The cloak waved through the mist like frantically beating wings. The man had taken flight on foot. The attacker jumped over the wall and vanished instantly in the fog-filled field.
Jack strained to see who had rescued him, but he couldn’t see a thing. No doubt it was the militia, who probably thought they’d just shot at an escapee.
Please, Lady M., run for your life. He couldn’t risk shouting to her. Couldn’t risk alerting guards that she was there.
Footsteps sounded again. Slow ones, muffled by the mist. But there was no masculine chuckle of triumph as the person approached him. Instead, a soft, shocked, feminine sob broke the stillness. It gave him a direction. Heart lodged low in his throat, Jack quickly found Lady Madeline standing in the road—her face leached of color, her eyes cold and grim.
Before he realized what he was doing, he roughly dragged her into his arms in the middle of the road. She collapsed against him. He’d never seen her swoon, never seen her lean on another person. Hades, he’d never seen Lady Madeline Ashby show any weakness whatsoever.
Now she was shaking as though she might explode into a thousand pieces.
“It’s all right, love.” He cradled her tightly. Her head, shrouded by a veil, tucked just below his chin. She smelled like violets and gunpowder. He gently pried the pistol’s handle from her tight grip.
“Jack. I—I had to. He was going to sh—shoot you.”
Reassurance. She needed it. He eased back from her, to gaze down into massive, horrified eyes. She blinked, fighting tears, and he knew he had to ease her pain. “I know,” he murmured. “You saved my life.”
“Don’t say it as though it’s enough to repay you for what I’ve put you through. Or as though you’re proud. Please—”
Her hands slid up to hold the ragged collar of his shirt. She pressed her body more tightly against his. “Do you think I—I hit him?”
Having her that close set his head reeling. Holding Lady Madeline was like staring at the sun during an eclipse—if he forgot his place he stood the chance of being burnt.
“He ran too nimbly to be wounded,” he said. “You just scared him off. You were magnificent, but we need to get off the road.” With his hand around her waist, he led her to the opposite side of the road to the field. Bushes gave him a place to draw her for privacy.
Once they were there, screened by leaves, he did the unthinkable—he embraced her again. He ran his hands down her slender back, brushed kisses to the
“Are you all right?” he asked, though it was a stupid question.
She wriggled against him. Her full bosom rubbed against his chest, against his tattered shirt and tensed muscles. She took a shaky breath. “Now. Yes.” Her hand went up to his chin, and she stroked him. Her touch felt like a flame held against his skin.
“Lady M—” He’d bent to her, swiftly, not aware she had pushed up onto her toes. At the exact instant his head dipped, hers lifted. Their lips collided. One brush of her soft velvety lips was like being struck by lightning.
Now he had her in his arms.
He had no right—
Her leg slid up and hooked around the backs of his knees, just like in his dream. She broke the kiss long enough to moan, “I want you.” Then she slanted her mouth over his and plunged her tongue into his mouth.
Excerpt from Escape with a Rogue ©2012 by Sharon Page
###Thanks so much for having me here! You can find out more about Escape with a Rogue at my website www.SharonPage.com. You can also find out more about my books and all the other fantastic authors who are a part of Rock*It Reads at our website: www.rockitreads.com Rock*It Reads is also on Facebook and Twitter.
ESCAPE WITH A ROGUE:
The Regency Prison Break Series by Sharon Page:Book Extras: Read an Excerpt
A group of men daringly break out of forbidding Dartmoor Prison and escape onto the moors. Racing to freedom, each man finds a woman who believes in him. But will love lead to the salvation or capture?
In Escape with a Rogue, can a gently bred young lady prove that a notorious gaming hell owner who escaped from prison is innocent of murder? Wrongfully convicted, Jack Travers has spent two years in jail, first on a dismal prison hulk, then in isolated Dartmoor Prison. Can Lady Madeline Ashby heal his wounded hear and troubled soul?
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A huge thank you to Sharon for sharing a bit about her latest book under the Rock*It Reads label as well as the giveaway copies of Escape With A Rogue. All excerpts are copyrighted by Sharon Page.
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