Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday!
The rules are simple.
1. Post 6 paragraphs (no more, no less) from either a WIP or a published work.
2. Open to both un-published and published authors.
3. Post the link back to Sneak Peek Sunday so that others can hop along.
4. HAVE FUN!!
My Sneak Peek today comes from Mistress of Merrivale, my upcoming release from Samhain Publishing.
“Why are you entertaining marriage with me, given my history?” Jocelyn almost winced at her forthrightness. She caught the flash of surprise in him, the slight narrowing of his eyes then his slow smile. Her heart beat a little faster at his approval. It seemed devastating smiles were one trait borne by both cousins. She found it difficult to focus with his full attention directed at her, almost impossible not to gasp at her physical reaction to his potent masculinity.
“I have a young daughter and require help with her.”
“Forgive me, but surely there is no shortage of women willing to accept you as husband.” More candor. This was not the impression she wanted to present, yet she required answers. To her relief, he didn’t take umbrage and merely scrutinized her closely in return.
“My first marriage wasn’t an enjoyable experience. This time I seek a marriage where both parties know their duty from the beginning and are under no illusion as to how the liaison will proceed—the way I want.”
Well, he was blunt too. Jocelyn wrenched her gaze from his face and concentrated on her lightly clasped hands. The romantic part of her faded under reality. This wasn’t a love match. She had to remember that, yet the situation was strange. He hadn’t told her everything. There was more. She lifted her head. “Did you beat your wife?”
His dark brows shot upward. “I’m not a brute.” He half stood as if he intended to leave, and her hand shot out to grasp his forearm. Muscles flexed beneath her fingers, leading her thoughts directly to the marriage bed. Like a hot coal, his heat burned her palm, and she released her hold.
Jocelyn Townsend’s life as a courtesan bears no resemblance to the life she envisioned in girlish dreams. But it allows her and her eccentric mother to live in relative security—until her protector marries and no longer requires her services.
Desperate to find a new benefactor, one kind enough to accept her mother’s increasingly mad flights of fancy, Jocelyn is nearly overwhelmed with uncertainty when a lifeline comes from an unexpected source.
Leo Sherbourne’s requirements for a wife are few. She must mother his young daughter, run his household, and warm his bed. All in a calm, dignified manner with a full measure of common sense. After his late wife’s histrionics and infidelity, he craves a simpler, quieter life.
As they embark on their arrangement, Leo and Jocelyn discover an attraction that heats their bedroom and a mutual admiration that warms their days. But it isn’t long before gossip regarding the fate of Leo’s first wife, and his frequent, unexplained absences, make Jocelyn wonder if the secrets of Merrivale Manor are rooted in murder…
Warning: Contains mysterious incidents, a mad mother who screeches without provocation, scheming relatives, and a captivating husband who blows scorching hot and suspiciously cold. All is not as it seems…and isn’t that delicious?