The Return of the Disappearing Duke written by Lara Temple, publisher Mills & Boon Historical, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.
A scarred mercenary…Or the Disappearing Duke of Greybourne?
Rafe has spent years running from his true identity. He’s a lone wolf, living far from aristocratic England and his violent father. Then unconventional Cleopatra Osbourne requests his protection as she crosses the Egyptian desert. In Cleo he discovers a fellow outcast—and a fierce desire! Cleo must return to London, and here lies Rafe’s dilemma—because following his heart means claiming the title he’s avoided for so long!
Amazon US paperback: https://bit.ly/RafeDuke1
Amazon UK: https://bit.ly/RafeDukeUK
I am so pleased to be involved in the Publication Day Push celebrating and promoting the launch of Lara Temple’s latest novel: The Return of the Disappearing Duke. I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt.
Rafe and Cleo have made it safely out of Egypt on a smuggler’s ship only to find themselves caught in an Atlantic storm which forces them to make the best of Cleo’s cabin…
Any moment now and the Captain’s prediction about them becoming a treat for the fish might very well come to pass. She clung to the polished wood, her heart slamming far faster and more brutally than the shrieks of wind and raging waves.
But her mind was amazingly quiet and clear. All she could think was—she did not want to die and she did not want Rafe to die.
She wanted him here, with her.
The door slammed open and something between a squawk and a shriek burst from her, but it wasn’t the ship being torn apart. Rafe stood braced in the doorway as the ship rolled back. His hair and face were slick with rain and the coat he was shrugging off fell with a wet thump to the floor.
I’ve conjured him, she thought. Her relief was so great it took quite a bit of restraint and common sense not to abandon her grip and throw herself at him precisely like a Haymarket heroine.
The ship gave another mighty effort to shake her off. She lost her hold on the shelf, but managed to grab one of the solid chairs that was grinding sluggishly back and forth across the floor, dragging her as she clung to it.
Rafe came towards her, using the shelves as anchors.
‘Stop dancing like a drunken goat and sit down.’
‘I am trying! It’s impossible to stay still.’
She was beginning to feel queasy. She couldn’t remember suffering from seasickness before, but there was a first time for everything. Her first relief at his entry was dissipating fast. It was bad enough she must look like a fright in the oversized nightshirt; casting up her accounts in front of him would add injury to injury.
‘I am perfectly fine. Go away,’ she said, trying not to sound desperate.
‘No. Not while you’re rolling around like a billiard ball.’
‘I’ll sit down.’ She aimed for the seat and promptly fell to the floor as the boat went the other way. The blow to her bottom was so sharp she lost her breath and sat gasping.
He helped her to her feet, planting his feet wide against the roll.
‘I think I am safer on the floor.’
He laughed, tucking her against him.
‘You’ll roll around the floor like a loose cannon, Queenie. Come.’
To her surprise he sat at the end of the bed and propped his boots against the cupboard. Before she could understand what he was doing he used the roll of the ship to pull her off her feet and on to his lap. His arm curved about her waist, his hand on her hip, flexing as he held her through the particularly enthusiastic roll.
‘See? Nice and snug. We roll with the ship, rather than try to battle it. You can’t win that one, sweetheart.’ His voice was a rumbling purr against her side and his breath warm on her temple.
His warmth radiated through the thin, damp cotton of their shirts and her hands began tingling at the memory of sliding her hands over his chest in the bathhouse. How his muscles had hardened under her touch, bunching and flexing in that strange dance of invitation and rejection. Her hand was so close to his waist, a simple tug could separate shirt from trouser and…
The ship gave another leap and dip and she grabbed at his shirt.
‘Ouch. Watch your nails, hellion.’
‘You’ve been stabbed more times than a roast ham. I hardly think my nails will have an impact on you.’
‘God, you’d be surprised.’ There was a laugh in his voice, but also a rawness, and she leaned back a little to look at him.
He was half smiling, but there was tension there and demons in his eyes.
She released his shirt, gently rubbing the spot she’d abused, still watching him.
His pupils widened, turning storm into thundery dusk, and under her thigh she felt him harden. It was definite, immediate, and so was her response.
All fear of the storm, the queasiness and embarrassment just…evaporated. Her body shimmered with heat, expanded and woke into awareness of every point of contact, of the tingling warmth between her legs, of the need to do something…
Oh, lord, she was in trouble.
Author Bio –
Lara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.
Social Media links
Amazon author page US: http://bit.ly/LaraTemple
Amazon author page UK: http://bit.ly/LaraTempleUK
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/LaraTempleAuthor
Giveaway to Win 3 x E-copies of The Return of the Disappearing Duke (Open INT)
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