Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mary Gramlich Is Blogging Along With Amanda Forester and THE HIGHLANDER'S BRIDE

Title: The Highlander’s Bride
Author: Amanda Forester
Series: Highland Trouble, #1
Pubdate: September 1st, 2015
ISBN: 9781492605430

Their attraction is forbidden...All Highland warrior Gavin Patrick wants is to get back to his native Scotland. But before he can leave the battlefield, he’s given a final mission—escort Lady Marie Colette to her fiancĂ©. Under no circumstances is he to lay hands on the beautiful, clever-tongued heiress…no matter how desperate the temptation.

Their desire, undeniable...Forced to pose as a married couple to make their escape from France, Gavin and Marie Colette find themselves thrown into peril…and each other’s arms. As the danger mounts, so does their forbidden passion. But it isn’t until Marie Colette is taken from him that Gavin is forced to decide—is he willing to lose the woman who stole his heart, or will he jeopardize his honor, defy his promise, and steal her in return?

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance was way more fun. A Publishers Weekly Top Ten author, her books have been given starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. You can visit her at www.amandaforester.com.

Buy Links:
Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1NcpKTO


Full Name: Sir Gavin Patrick
Nickname (if applicable): Gavin
Height: 6’1”
Hair Color: Dark brown
Eye Color: Brown
Age:  22
Originally from: born in 1337 near Balquidder, Scotland

Describe yourself in 200 words or less:  Hullo. I am Sir Gavin, pleased to make yer acquaintance. I hail from the Highlands, under the clan MacLaren, where my uncle is laird. I came to France several years ago on a quest, which remains undone. It grieves me to leave it unfinished, but I was ‘requested’ (neatly tricked, if ye care for the truth) to escort the spoiled Lady Mary Colette to the Highlands to her new husband. When I saved the life o’ the duc de Bergerac and he promised me a rich reward, escorting his brat of a daughter, wasna exactly what I had in mind. But, I am a man o’ my word, so the lady will be deposited wi’ her affianced husband as soon as may be. And trust me, it canna be too soon.

What matters the most to you in your life?  Beyond serving the Good Lord, as every knight is sworn to do, my family and my clan are the most important things in my life. That is why I sought this quest, to find the resting place o’ my father, who died in battle in France, and mark it wi’ the honor that is his due. I regret I have not been able to find this place. And yet, in my return, I ken my mither will be greatly pleased to see me, so I shall be content in that. Perhaps when I return to the Highlands I shall find a bonny lass o’ my own and start a family. As soon as I can rid myself o’ the Lady Colette, that is.

What is your favorite way to pass the time?  I have’na had much time to pass in leisure, truth be told. Since I have been in France I’ve been busy lending my sword to help the French fight against the increasing presence o’ the English. They are clever bastards they are, and they know how to fight, I’ll give them that. Back home, I did enjoy a bit o’ fishing. It shall be good to get back to the quiet life—if I can manage to sit still long enough to enjoy it!

If money was no object and you had 3 weeks free of responsibility what would you do with your time?  That is a question that is. I am looking forward to seeing my clan again. ‘Tis not easy being a Highlander in the French court, wi’ some little noble always looking down their nose at me, or actually looking up their nose at me for I am taller here than any other knight I’ve met. And yet, I’ve got a bit o’ the wanderers soul to me, and I would no’ mind travelling a bit to see the world. Though I prefer to travel alone and no’ saddled wi’ this French lady and all her ladies and all her belongings. Saints preserve me!

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An Excerpt:
France, 1359

Lady Marie Colette had one chance. She needed to secure the Highlander’s agreement to decline marrying her, and she needed to do it quickly, before her father returned. She had never before defied her father, but if he thought he could protect her by arranging a marriage with a Highland warrior and send her far away to Scotland of all places, he was much confused.
In truth, Sir Gavin was a fine specimen of a man. She was fair enough to admit it. He was a young man and built on a large scale, towering over most men. He had broad shoulders and a muscular chest, well-defined beneath the formfitting surcoat. His dark brown hair hung down to his square jaw and had a bit of a thick wave to it. He was clean shaven, a surprise considering he was a barbaric Highlander.
“I have heard rumors o’ yer beauty, but ye’re bonnier than anything I heard described.” Sir Gavin spoke in a rich tone with a lyrical accent, pleasing to her ears. However, if he thought he could win her over with compliments, he was much mistaken. She had been told so often she was beautiful that the words no longer had meaning.
“Please understand. It is impossible for me to marry you. But if you make an arrangement with me now, you will not leave empty-handed. Name your weight in gold to walk away.” Her heard pounded to make such a blunt offer. In truth, she would never have made such a crass offer to a French knight, whose honor would have been greatly impinged, but Sir Gavin was a foreigner. A Highlander. Were they not only here in France to profit off of the long war?
Sir Gavin’s eyebrows rose for a moment before falling back down in resignation. “I will no’ take the fortune of a lady, nor will I force anyone to marry me.” He spoke in a careless manner, as if what she offered was nothing to him.
Colette released a breath she had not realized she was holding. Had he just agreed not to marry her? Would he simply walk away? “So you will tell my father you will not marry me?”
A wry smile played about his lips and she had the distinct impression he was not taking the situation as seriously as she thought it deserved. “I am yers to command. If ye wish me to leave, I will go.”
Relief washed over her. She would not be banished to the wilds of Scotland with some strange, albeit attractive, man. “Thank you, Sir Knight. My father, he wished to protect me by sending me far, but I cannot see myself in such a wild, foreign place. We would be most unequally yoked.”
Gavin leaned a shoulder against the stone wall and stared out the dark window into the night. “The Highlands are a rugged place and my home is no’ nearly as grand as this fine castle. ’Tis a wild place, but in the evening, when the sun’s rays touch the high peaks, setting them aglow with the fiery light, ’tis so beautiful it robs yer breath. No finely decorated hall could ever compare.”
Colette opened her mouth but no words came.
He turned back to her, appraising her finery with a critical eye. “Someday, God willing, I shall take my bride there, a bride who chooses me above all men. We will no’ be surrounded by courtiers or pageantry or fancy clothes or ridiculous pointed shoes.”
Colette swallowed, heat creeping up the back of her neck. Had he seen the points of her shoes?
He stepped close to her, moving with a fluid grace that made her heart beat faster. “In the Highlands we dinna have all yer comforts, but what we do have we fiercely defend.”
“What do you have?” she asked in a voice barely above a whisper.
“Freedom. In the Highlands, m’lady, ye would be free.”
Free? She stared up at him. He dangled before her the one thing all her riches could never buy. He offered her freedom.
He leaned nearer and her eyes fell to his lips, which inexplicably appeared soft. She could not help but respond to the irresistible pull of his inviting mouth. He moved slowly, bending down so that their lips drew dangerously close. She breathed in the scent of him, an intoxicating mix of wood smoke, fine wine, and pure man.
The door creaked and her father strode back in the room as both Colette and Gavin jumped away from each other. The duc de Bergerac spread a scroll out on a table. “This is the marriage accord I have made with the Baron of Kintail.”
“Wait…who?” Colette tried to gather together her swirling thoughts in order to form speech. She glanced at Sir Gavin. The careless smile was gone. They had both made the wrong assumption.
Gavin wasn’t meant for Colette at all.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mary Gramlich Is Blogging Along With Joyce Meyer and The Mind Connection: How the Thoughts You Choose Affect Your Mood, Behavior, and Decisions

The Mind Connection: How the Thoughts You Choose Affect Your Mood, Behavior, and Decisions by Joyce Meyer


Joyce Meyer, #1 New York Times bestselling author, explores the power of positive thinking and the undeniable connection between the mind, mouth, moods, and attitudes. 
Thoughts can seem random and meaningless, but they impact your life every day. It's all connected. What you think affects your words, attitude, decisions, and emotions and influences how you relate to yourself, to other people, and to God.

In THE MIND CONNECTION, Joyce Meyer expands on the wisdom of her bestselling books Battlefield of the Mind and Power Thoughts to explain how to improve the quality of your thoughts and your life. She explores the undeniable connection between the mind, mouth, moods, and attitudes, so that you can develop and maintain the right mental position--no matter what challenges you face. Through practical advice and Scriptural insights, Joyce will help you learn to think with purpose, gain greater confidence, and claim the fulfilling life you were meant to lead.


THE MIND CONNECTION by Joyce Meyer

Always live your greatest life

The inspiration the Joyce Meyer shares is always a gift when she speaks from the pulpit or with the written words in her books.  Ms. Meyer provides deep insight to the most important person in your life, you and how we control our destiny and person decisions.  Only through prayer and thoughtful contemplation can we realize our true potential and act upon our God given gift to live every day to its fullest.

Through words of wisdom, personal experience, stories shared by others, and reminding us to be still and listen to the greatest voice of all.  As you move from chapter to chapter you realize that the person Joyce is speaking to is you and reminding that you need to do the right amount of living to be fulfilled.  Chasing after one more thing will not make you happy it will just keep you moving in the wrong direction.

Every book written by Joyce Meyer brings a new set of life lessons that every person should never stop learning.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mary Gramlich Is Blogging Along With Paula Brackston and LAMP BLACK, WOLF GREY

LAMP BLACK, WOLF GREY by Paula Brackston

Publication Date: 08-04-15
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Blurp… Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends that she is able to reach through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable.

She and her husband Dan have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she hopes that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art and will give her the baby they have longed for. But this high valley is also home to others, such as Rhys the charismatic loner who pursues Laura with fervor. And Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighboring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin.

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey tells both Laura's story and Merlin's. For once he too walked these hills, with his faithful grey wolf at his heel. It was here he fell in love with Megan, nurse-maid to the children of the hated local noble, Lord Geraint. Merlin was young, at the start of his renowned career as a magician, but when he refuses to help Lord Geraint it is Megan who may pay the price.

From New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston, Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is an enchanting tale of love and magic featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, an intriguing historical backdrop, and a relatable heroine that readers are sure to fall in love with.

Author Bio… Paula Brackston lives in a wild, mountainous part of Wales. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. Before becoming a writer, Paula tried her hand at various career paths, with mixed success. These included working as a groom on a racing yard, a travel agent, a secretary, an English teacher, and a goat herd. Everyone involved (particularly the goats) is very relieved that she has now found a job she is actually able to do properly.

When not hunched over her keyboard in her tiny office under the stairs, Paula is dragged outside by her children to play Swedish tennis on the vertiginous slopes which surround them. She also enjoys being walked by the dog, hacking through weeds in the vegetable patch, or sitting by the pond with a glass of wine. Most of the inspiration for her writing comes from stomping about on the mountains being serenaded by skylarks and buzzards.


In 2007 Paula was shortlisted in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book 'Nutters' (writing as PJ Davy) was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award. Last year she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mary Gramlich Is Blogging Along With Julie Ann Walker and TOO HARD TO HANDLE

Message from the Author...Hi everyone!  Julie Ann Walker here, delighted to be talking today about my mad love for men on motorcycles whose hearts happen to be as big as their... ehem... hogs.  (That's slang for their bikes!  Get your heads out of the gutter, you naughty readers! *wink, wink*) 

But seriously, from the King of Cool, Steve McQueen, to Marlon Brando in The Wild One, to Charlie Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy, there has always been something about a guy riding around with rolled steel and a V-Twin engine between his legs.  It sets our hearts aflutter.  And in my Black Knights Inc. series, I try to take those badass bikers to a whole new level by also making them covert government operators.  The series is all spies on bikes, leather and chrome, romance and redemption, action and adventure.  So, what's not to love?  Nothing!  I guarantee it. 

Read on for an excerpt of TOO HARD TO HANDLE.  You'll see the men of Black Knights Inc. have heart, humor, and everything a woman could want in a man...   

Excerpt: Too Hard To Handle by Julie Ann Walker   “Luke Winterfield,” Dan growled. “Under the authority granted to me by the government of the United States of America, I hereby inform you that you’re totally screwed. You made a choice to sell out your country and now you’re gonna face the consequences. Reap the whirlwind, asshole.”

“Nice,” Zoelner said. “Have you been holding on to that one for a while?”

“Came up with it in Bogotá,” Dan admitted, a definite grin in his tone.

“I like it.”

“Thought you might.”

“Really though,” Zoelner went on, “I was expecting some quote from Ted Nugent or Eminem.”

“I can come up with my own material, you know,” Dan insisted. “It’s just I like to give credit to my hometown whenever I can. To make up for the place getting such a bad rap.”

“Maybe it’s because so much bad rap has come out of there,” Zoelner mused. “Insane Clown Posse comes to mind.”

“Hey,” Dan whispered urgently, “don’t say that too loud. You’ll have groups of juggalos beating down your door.”

Zoelner snorted.

“And just so you know,” Dan went on, “what I’ve learned out of this lifetime is you should be proud of where you come from.”

“I’m waiting…”

“Kid Rock said that. Via his Twitter account.”

“And there it is.”

***

About the Book

Title: Too Hard To Handle
Author: Julie Ann Walker
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Summary...The Man" is back

Dan "The Man" Currington is back in fighting form with a mission that takes him four thousand miles south of BKI headquarters, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. He's hot on the trail of a rogue CIA agent selling classified government secrets to the highest bidder, when Penni DePaul arrives on the scene. Suddenly the stakes are higher, and keeping Penni safe becomes Dan's number one priority.

And this time she's ready...A lot has changed since former Secret Service Agent Penni DePaul last saw Dan. Now a civilian, she's excited about what the future might hold. But before she can grab onto that future with both hands, she has to tie up some loose ends-namely, Dan Currington, the man she just can't forget. And a secret that's going to change both their lives-if they can stay alive, that is.

Buy Links
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1Q5vXyc
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1OUhLZ0

Author Biography...Julie Ann Walker is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She'll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission. For more information, please visitwww.julieannwalker.com or follow her on Facebook www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor and/or Twitter @JAWalkerAuthor.



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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mary Gramlich Is Blogging Along With Marian Adair and A TASTE OF SUGAR



A TASTE OF SUGAR by Marina Adair (August 25, 2015; Forever Mass Market; Sugar, Georgia #3)
A blast from her past
Charlotte Holden, Sugar’s favorite pediatrician, knows better than anyone that love only leads to heartbreak. Instead, she’s focused on creating the Grow Clinic, an outpatient center for children. All she has to do now is to host the best Founder’s Day Parade in the history of Sugar, Georgia, to win over a big-city donor. Easy as peach pie. Then sexy Jace McGraw blows back into town and utters those three words every woman dreads: we’re still married.

…leads to tantalizing trouble
Jace McGraw was making an offer on his dream business in Atlanta when he was told that his wife had some credit issues. Wait, his wife? The annulment went through years ago—or so he thought.  He’d walked away only to keep his troublemaker reputation from ruining her dreams. But now that they have a second chance, Jace offers Charlotte a deal: he’ll grant a discreet divorce in exchange for 30 days and nights of marriage. Because this time he isn’t going to let her go without a fight.

Buy the book!

About the author...Marina Adair is a lifelong fan of romance novels. Along with the Sugar series, she is also the author of the St. Helena Vineyard series and the upcoming Shelter Cove series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter. As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive. She also loves to interact with readers and you can catch her on Twitter at @MarinaEAdair or visit her at www.MarinaAdair.com.

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A TASTE OF SUGAR by Marina Adair (August 25, 2015; Forever Mass Market; Sugar, Georgia #3)
A blast from her past
Charlotte Holden, Sugar’s favorite pediatrician, knows better than anyone that love only leads to heartbreak. Instead, she’s focused on creating the Grow Clinic, an outpatient center for children. All she has to do now is to host the best Founder’s Day Parade in the history of Sugar, Georgia, to win over a big-city donor. Easy as peach pie. Then sexy Jace McGraw blows back into town and utters those three words every woman dreads: we’re still married.

…leads to tantalizing trouble
Jace McGraw was making an offer on his dream business in Atlanta when he was told that his wife had some credit issues. Wait, his wife? The annulment went through years ago—or so he thought.  He’d walked away only to keep his troublemaker reputation from ruining her dreams. But now that they have a second chance, Jace offers Charlotte a deal: he’ll grant a discreet divorce in exchange for 30 days and nights of marriage. Because this time he isn’t going to let her go without a fight.

Buy the book!

SUGAR ON TOP by Marina Adair (April 28, 2015; Forever Mass Market; Sugar, Georgia Book #2)
She's sassy and sweet
The last thing Glory Mann wants is to become chairman of the Miss Peach Pageant in Sugar, Georgia. Spending months hearing nothing but the clinking of pearls and judgment? No thank you! But when Glory is forced to take the rap for a scandal she didn't commit, the judge sentences her to head the committee. Even worse, her co-chairman is rugged, ripped . . . and barely knows she's alive.

He's ready and willing
Single dad Cal McGraw can't take any more drama in his life. After a difficult divorce, his little girl became a boy-crazy teenager and his hands are full. The last thing he needs is to spend his down time with the town bad girl. Glory is pure trouble-tempting and tantalizing trouble. But he can't deny the strong chemistry between them-or how her touch turns him inside out. Now as squabbles threaten to blow up the contest and the town of Sugar itself, Cal must risk everything on the sexy wild card to get a second chance at love . . .

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SUGAR’S TWICE AS SWEET by Marina Adair (November 25, 2014; Forever Mass Market; Sugar, Georgia Book #1)
He’s trouble she doesn’t need
Thanks to a cheating fiance, Josephina Harrington’s perfect life just crashed and burned. Moving in with her overbearing parents is definitely not an option. No, she needs to prove she can make it on her own. And she will—by turning her great-aunt’s old plantation house into a destination getaway. She’s just not expecting her contractor to be so hands-on—and so totally irresistible. 

…but everything she wants
Bad-boy golf champion Brett McGraw figured his hometown of Sugar, Georgia, was the perfect place to lay low and get his life back up to par. The leggy blonde with a pint-sized pup is the kind of sweet ’n’ sassy trouble he never saw coming. She doesn’t know a nut from a bolt and before long, he’s renovating her house…as she steals his heart. Can he convince Josephina that his womanizing ways are in the past and he’s ready for forever?

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Mary Gramlich Is Blogging Along with Sue-Ellen Welfonder (TO DESIRE A HIGHLANDER) and Kelly Bowen (YOU'RE THE EARL THAT I WANT)






TO DESIRE A HIGHLANDER by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
About AN UNWILLING BRIDE…Proud, passionate Lady Gillian MacGuire is known as the Spitfire of the Isles. She can take care of herself and hasn't yet met a man who could impress her . . . especially not Donell MacDonnell, the man she was promised to five years ago. She's been dreading his return, but when her intended comes back to claim her, she's stunned at how different he seems. The man she swore she would spurn forever now invades her thoughts, her dreams, and her heart.

AN UNEXPECTED DESIRE…When Roag agrees to assume the identity of the recently deceased MacDonnell chieftain, no one warns him that the man was betrothed. As a member of the King's Fenris Guard, he is oath-bound to embark on whatever mission the crown gives him. Of course, he was expecting a battle-not a bride. Yet after sharing one kiss with Lady Gillian, the powerful Highlander becomes the one seduced and captivated. Now giving in to temptation could ruin them both

About the Author   Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a Scotophile whose burning wish to make frequent trips to the land of her dreams led her to a twenty-year career with the airlines.

Now a full-time writer, she's quick to admit that she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee. She makes annual visits to  Scotland, insisting they are a necessity, as each trip gives her inspiration for new books.

Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies: the MacFie Clan Society and the Clan MacAlpine Society. In addition to  Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, and dogs. She never watches television, loves haggis, and writes at a 450-year-old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.

Sue-Ellen is married and currently resides with her husband and Jack Russell terrier in  Florida. 

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The glint in his eye, the hard set of his jaw, made her forget every word he and her father had just exchanged.  Indeed, even her reason for standing here almost slipped from her mind.
     She saw only Donell, the slight narrowing of his dark, intense eyes.
     She held up a hand, hoping to halt him.
     He kept on, ignoring her objection.  “You needn’t assure me of her talents.”  He tossed the quip to her father, not breaking stride.  “Lady Gillian’s skills are renown, as is her beauty.”
     “See here….” Gillian couldn’t finish, needing a steadying breath more than arguments.  Sparks leapt between them, the very air shifting.  Heat rose around her, warming her skin despite the racing wind, the day’s bitter cold.
     He was almost upon her and she felt more than saw his displeasure.  He’d caught himself quickly, even before her father finished speaking.  If he’d been shocked by the implications behind praise of her housekeeping talent, he’d again seized the advantage.  He wore a wickedly devilish look that jellied her knees.
     She also bristled.
     He might be roguish, even wildly attractive, but she wouldn’t bat her eyelashes, allow him to fluster her.  There were surely enough women who did.  And she wasn’t about to join their ranks.
     She wasn’t so easily charmed.
     So she lifted her chin, willing a steely glint into her eyes.  She knew with feminine instinct that he wasn’t pleased by her father’s reminder of their betrothal.
     Perhaps he’d met another woman during his years away, wished to marry her?
     One could hope.
     She wouldn’t mind releasing him from their ties, freeing him to claim another.
     Unfortunately, the closer he came, the more she discerned an entirely different intent.  As he loomed before her, his towering presence blocking her family and even her view of the landing beach, she knew she wasn’t mistaken.  Especially when he set his hands on her shoulders, a slow smile spreading across his strong, bearded face.
     He meant to kiss her.
     She frowned, hoping to dissuade him.
     “It’s too late for posturing, sweetness.”  He shook his head, the thick raven silk of his hair teasing his broad, plaid-draped shoulders.
     “I did not expect to see you again.”  Gillian straightened, flicked at her sleeve.  “Not this day, not ever.  In truth, I scarce recognize you.”
     “Then I was gone too long, I’m thinking.”  He caught her hand, linking their fingers, bringing her wrist to his lips.  The warmth of his mouth against her skin and the light brush of his wind-chilled beard sent a rush of tingly sensation along her nerves.

YOUR’RE THE EARL THAT
I WANT by Kelly Bowen
About THE EARL DOTH PROTEST . . .For businessman Heath Hextall, inheriting an earldom has been a damnable nuisance. The answer: find a well-bred, biddable woman to keep his life in order and observe the required social niceties. But it's always been clear that Lady Josephine Somerhall is not that woman. Once a shy slip of a girl, Joss is now brilliant, beautiful chaos in a ball gown. 

. . . BUT THE LADY KNOWS BEST In her heart, Joss has always loved Heath, the one person she's always been able to count on. That doesn't mean she wants to marry him though. Without a husband, Joss can do as she pleases-and now, it pleases her to solve the mystery of an encoded file given to Heath by a dying man. It's put Heath in peril once, and Joss won't let that happen again. She'll do what she must to ensure the earl's safety. And to remind him that what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in passion.
About the Author   Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.  But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance.  When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields. Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process.  Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.
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Joss watched him, wanting to smooth the troubled lines from his forehead. “I once knew a boy who told me, when he was grown up, he would become a pirate king and sail his own ship to the four corners of the world in search of treasure,” she said quietly.
His mouth twisted but his eyes remained hard. “That boy grew up. And discovered that there were no such things as pirate kings, and no time to search for treasure.”
“Yet that boy now owns his own ships.”
“He does.”
“And what stops him from sailing them where he pleases? What stops him from doing and taking what he truly wants?”
His eyes caught hers and held them trapped within their brilliant blue heat. The remoteness was gone, replaced by a sudden predatory hunger that made Joss swallow convulsively. Her breath stuttered, anticipation and desire roaring to life and sending frissons of longing pulsing through her. The question she’d flung at Heath was swirling around in her brain now, demanding an honest answer from her own conscience.
What was stopping her from taking what she truly wanted? Because what she wanted was standing before her in perfectly tailored evening clothes, his hands clenched around a pile of newspapers, looking at her with such raw covetousness that it was making her nearly drunk with a reckless want.
“Perhaps one day I’ll take you there,” she said into the sudden silence.
Heath stilled. “To Bombay?”
“To start.” She’d meant it to sound like a jest, but it came out as an invitation. “I could take you a lot of places.” Holy hell, but what was she doing?
Heath seemed to have stopped breathing, though he took a step closer, his scent enveloping her. Instantly her mouth went dry, and a steady throb built in her belly. She squirmed, but she was backed against the desk and had nowhere to go. Sanity was rapidly disintegrating around her, crumbling beneath an overwhelming ache to touch this man. To have him touch her.
“Of course I don’t have my own ships, so I’d have to hitch a ride on one of yours.” She barely recognized herself.
There were reasons why she shouldn’t do this, she knew. She just couldn’t think of one right now.
Heath’s expression shifted suddenly, as if something within him had given way. He took another half step closer, close enough that he was pressed against her skirts now, the hard steel of his legs nudging hers apart so that he dominated her space and trapped her against him. He dropped the newspaper carelessly and braced his hands on the edge of the desk on either side of her waist, bringing his lips a breath away from hers.
“Would you take me?” she whispered, and neither of them could pretend she was still talking about ships.
“Yes,” Heath rasped.
And then he kissed her.