Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Spotlight: Excerpt from TRAITOR IN HER ARMS by Shana Galen (@shanagalen)


MEET SHANA GALEN


Shana Galen is a bestselling author of many passionate historical romps. A three-time RITA nominee, she taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full-time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.

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EXCERPT

Gabrielle smiled, knowing the lock was hers, and if the lock was hers, so was the necklace.

She swung open the door of the clothespress and stepped closer. Just as she had been told, the jewelry box sat on one of the shelves, beside a pile of white underthings. Gabrielle reached out and lifted the box's lid.

It opened easily and silently, revealing a treasure of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds. The Duke of Beaumont had been generous to his duchess. But Gabrielle's eyes scanned the gems quickly, ignoring them, seeing the drawing of Cleopatra's necklace in her mind. It was rough piece by current standards, with large rectangles of gold circling the neck, interspersed with beads of lapis lazuli and set off by a large lapis lazuli oval that would have rested in the cleft at the base of Cleopatra's throat. The pure blue of the mineral in the centerpiece was said to be remarkable.

The necklace was not on the box's top shelf, as she had been told it would be, but she did not allow the thought of failure to enter her mind. Instead, she lifted a few of the bulkier pieces and searched beneath them. When the necklace was still not to be found, she closed the lid and pulled open the top drawer. More gems glittered, as well as the opalescence of cameos and a collection of iridescent pearls. But no lapis lazuli.

She felt a bead of sweat trickle down her back as she slid the drawer closed and opened the bottom one. She already knew she would not find it.

"Disappointing, isn't it?" a deep voice murmured beside her.

Gabrielle's heart jumped, her nerves following, but by sheer force of will, she stilled her body. Blowing out a slow, measured breath, she turned ever so slowly toward the sound of the voice and saw only the door of the clothespress. As she watched—heart pounding so hard she feared it would burst—the door creaked closed, revealing a man on the other side.

"You," she whispered.

"Ah, Lady McCullough, you haven't forgotten me then." He cocked a brow in a gesture she had at one time found charming but now only served to irritate her. Her heart still pounded, beating in anger, not fear.

"What are you doing here?" she hissed, stepping back. She could smell him, that sweet scent of bergamot she associated only with him. She needed space to breathe, to think, to plan.

"I might ask you the same question, my lady."

She smiled stiffly. "Why, I'm fetching a piece of jewelry at Her Grace's request." She blinked innocently. "I'm certain that must be obvious."

He nodded at the hairpin, still clutched between her fingers. "And she mistakenly forgot to give you the key."

"Exactly."

He stepped closer, and she forced herself to breathe normally. She would not inhale his dizzying scent. She would not allow him to affect her.

"Do you know what I think?"

Her traitorous gaze dipped to his lips—full, soft lips with a hint of dark, rugged stubble around them. Her breath caught, and she forced her gaze back up again. But looking into his eyes—eyes she knew were as green as the emeralds in the jewelry box beside her—did not have the desired effect, and she found herself digging her nails into her palm. Blink, Gabrielle.

"I think," he continued, his lips so close she could feel his sweet breath on her cheek, "you are a thief."


TRAITOR IN HER ARMS©2017 SHANA GALEN


GENRE: Historical
SERIES: The Scarlet Chronicles #1
PAGE COUNT: 275
PUBLISHER: Loveswept
RELEASE DATE: August 22, 2017

Two morally compromised souls wage a battle of wits—and seduction—against the backdrop of the French Revolution in this thrilling romance from bestselling author Shana Galen.

After her late husband leaves her in debt to some dangerous people, Lady Gabrielle McCullough is forced to become a thief. In the intervening years, her skills have not gone unnoticed. After being recruited by the Scarlet Pimpernel, the mysterious do-gooder spiriting aristocrats out of revolutionary France, Gabrielle crosses the Channel for the most daring mission of her life. Accompanying her is the Earl of Sedgwick, a thief in his own right and an enticingly masculine presence. The man is not to be trusted—nor is Gabrielle’s body when he’s near.

Ramsey Barnes would not say he is an honorable man. His whole life has been based on a lie; why change now? Although it pains him to deceive the tantalizing Gabrielle, he’s working toward an altogether different objective: unmasking the Scarlet Pimpernel. If Ramsey fails, his blackmailer will ruin him. But when Ramsey’s confronted with the carnage of the Reign of Terror, he seeks refuge in Gabrielle’s heated embrace. Now he faces a terrible choice: betray the woman who’s stolen his heart—or risk losing everything.

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