A sneak peek of Restless Rake

We’re getting closer to the release date of Restless Rake! Book 5 in the Heart’s Temptation series, Restless Rake is the story of the notorious Earl of Ravenscroft and Clara Whitney, who find it increasingly impossible to resist each other after they agree to a marriage in name only. It releases February 6th but is available for pre-order now. (Stay tuned for more details on the release of Her Reformed Rake, which will be available for pre-order soon as well, not to mention the fabulous new series I have in the works that will start releasing this summer! See? Aren’t you glad you stopped by? I’m telling you all my secrets.) And now, without further preamble, I give you a sneak peek of Restless Rake

***

A lone woman hurried along the street, head down, dressed in the first stare of fashion though she clearly sought to be unnoticed, a large hat tilted to conceal her face. He recognized that form, even though he’d held those lush curves in his arms but once. She turned and he saw her face.

Damn it all to hell, she was a troublesome one.

He instructed his driver to stop and alighted, closing the distance between them with easy strides. “Miss Whitney, can it be you?” he kept his voice carefully low and intimate as he drew alongside her, touching her elbow lightly.

“Lord in heaven,” she exclaimed in her airy drawl. Surprise mingled with alarm on her beautiful, expressive face. “You gave me a fright, sir.”

What the devil was she thinking, sneaking away from her home with no chaperone, in the midst of the day? Did she truly believe no one would see and recognize her, that she wouldn’t ruin herself? That there wouldn’t be hell to pay? The girl’s temerity knew no bounds. She was either slow-witted or possessed of tremendous audacity. Though, to be fair, she had stolen her way into his study at midnight and proposed to him—that alone suggested audacity of a most unbecoming and tremendous sort. The sort he quite admired, in fact.

But none of that meant that he was going to allow her to ruin his plans to wallow in her dowry and thoroughly debauch her after she’d become his countess.

“Come,” he said in his most authoritative tone. Clearly, she needed his aid before she committed any more egregious sins. And wasn’t that a laugh, the Earl of Ravenscroft looking after a lady’s reputation? “Into the carriage with you.”

“I can’t go anywhere with you.” Her eyes were wide and bluer than the clearest country sky.

“You can and you will.” He cast a glance around the busy street. It was only a matter of time before they were both recognized. “For your sake, little dove, get into the carriage. I’ll take you safely back home.”

“I’m safe enough.” She cast a pointed look toward her reticule, which bulged in most peculiar fashion. “I carry a pistol with me always. I’ve done this many times before.”

Damnation. He had no doubt that she had, the minx. Perhaps she was as much of a cutthroat at heart as her dear papa. “Into the carriage. You cannot run about the streets of London unchaperoned. Mr. Whitney was most firm in his stipulations.”

She frowned at him, her eyes sparkling with mulish heat and her chin tilting in the air. “What business is it of yours whether I run about the streets? I’m my own person, my lord.”

“Of course you are, little dove, but you are also to be my wife. You’re under my protection now.” As he said the words, he couldn’t resist touching the tip of her stubborn chin.

***

Don’t forget, you can one-click Restless Rake now. I’ll be back with more excerpts and information about Her Reformed Rake and my top-secret new series in the upcoming weeks. Until then, happy reading!

The Wicked Husbands have arrived and a scandalously seductive earl is on his way!

The first two books in the Wicked Husbands series, Her Errant Earl and Her Lovestruck Lord, are now available! A huge thank you and an even bigger virtual hug to everyone who has read and supported these books! I can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear from readers who love these stories! The response has been overwhelming, and I’ve been grinning like a lunatic for the past two weeks.

I’m also happy to announce that Book 5 in the Heart’s Temptation series, Restless Rake, is now available for pre-order!

(⇐And have a gander at the sizzling cover for it right over here, you guys. Sigh.)

Those of you who have been waiting for the notorious Earl of Ravenscroft to meet his match don’t have much longer to wait. This one has been so much fun to write and it’s one of my steamiest books yet. Naturally, I blame this on the earl.

For inquiring minds, here’s the blurb:

She wants her freedom…
Clara Whitney is desperate to leave London and return to her native Virginia. She’ll do anything, even if it means striking a deal with the most notorious earl in England, to get what she wants. How could she anticipate just how much his melting kisses and knowing hands would tempt her?

He wants her…
The Earl of Ravenscroft is infamous for his prowess in the bedchamber and for earning his living by entertaining bored society widows and wives. When the innocent and lovely Miss Whitney seeks him out with the daring proposition of a marriage in name only in return for a generous share of her dowry, Julian accepts. After the vows, however, he isn’t ready to part with his prickly Southern belle. At least not without taking her to bed.

A restless rake no more…
Julian knows the game of seduction all too well, but this time, the rules are different, and he just may lose the one thing he thought he no longer had to give. His heart.

I hope you’ll love Julian and Clara’s happily ever after! Until next time, happy reading!

XO,

Scarlett

Books 1 & 2 in the Wicked Husbands series are available for pre-order now!

The Wicked Husbands series is officially on its way. What is that, you ask? I like to think of it as Downton Abbey meets the 1870s. But if you want to get all official and everything, here is the rundown:

Fiercely independent, dazzlingly beautiful, and married to handsome scoundrels, these American heiresses are ready to turn the tables on the insufferable English lords they’ve wed. What happens when their wicked husbands start falling for the wives they never thought they wanted? Corsets come off, bed chambers ignite, the passion sizzles, and more than one stubborn English rake gets reformed by love.

A note about the series: I began Wicked Husbands with my former publisher but wasn’t able to complete it while my rights were in limbo. Since I regained my rights to the series, I worked hard to rewrite Her Errant Earl and Her Lovestruck Lord, the first two books in the series, and they’re finally available for pre-order now. Book 3 is in the works as well. I’m thrilled to be able to continue this series at last!

One click Her Errant Earl here.
One click Her Lovestruck Lord here.

September Kindle Unlimited Giveaway

I’m busy getting the first 2 books in the Wicked Husbands series ready for release this fall and writing book 5 in the Heart’s Temptation series as well. Just in time for the weekend, here is a giveaway I’m participating in:

Check out the September KU Challenge & Giveaway! Enter to Win a Kindle or one of three $25 Amazon Gift Cards.

Over 50 Romance Authors are sharing KU Books. Read for FREE!

Even better, we’ve pooled our funds to offer an awesome giveaway! It’s just our way of thanking our loyal readers.

Here’s the link to the September KU Challenge & Giveaway:

September KU Giveaway

August FREE for All & Giveaway

Grab some free reads and enter to win!
My Victorian historical romance Rebel Love (Book 2 in the Heart’s Temptation series) is free starting 8/7 through 8/11! If you don’t already own a copy, grab it now gratis. And if you do grab it, I’d be especially tickled if you’d take the time to leave a review on Amazon. Poor Rebel Love is like a wallflower on the outskirts of the ballroom, just waiting for someone to notice her. In other words, no reviews yet. Help a girl out and post a review?

But that’s not all, I say, feeling a bit like an infomercial. I’m teaming up with Love Kissed Book Bargains and some fellow authors as part of their August FREE for All & Giveaway!

Together, we are offering over 50 books…Most of them are FREE for a limited time. It’s just our way of thanking our loyal readers.


 

Even better, we’ve pooled our funds to offer an awesome giveaway! Enter to win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards just for subscribing to our newsletters or following us on social media.

Here’s the link to the August FREE for All & Giveaway: http://lovekissedbookbargains.com/2017/08/04/august-free-for-all-giveaway/

Book Tour Starts 6/19 (Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!)

Next week, I’ll be celebrating the release of Sweet Scandal with a virtual book tour. Up for grabs is a $20 Amazon gift card, so get thee to all the sites next week for your chance to win.

Here is the tour schedule (tour run by the fabulous Tasty Book Tours):
June 19th

Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog -Rev/Exc
OMGReads -Rev/Exc
Buried Under Romance -Exc
born to read books -Exc
Ramblings From This Chick -Exc
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm -Exc
Jojo the bookaholic -P

June 20th

Romance Book Review For You -Rev/Exc
Celtic Dragon Book Reviews -Rev/Exc
Red Wine & Books -Rev/Exc
Books & Spoons -Exc
A Bluestocking’s Place -Exc
Books,Dreams,Life -P
Eskimo Princess Book Reviews -P

June 21st

Mommaleena’s Blog -Rev/Exc
Happy Ever After Romance Book Reviews  -Rev/Exc
What Is That Book About -Exc
Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions -Exc
Those Crazy Book Chicks -Exc
Teatime and Books -P

June 22nd

Unquietly Me -Rev/Exc
The Book Junkie Reads -Rev/Exc

I;m A Book Shark -Exc
underneath the covers -Exc
Cat’s Guilty Pleasure -P
deal sharing aunt -P

June 23rd

Lady Muslin Myst’s Mysterious Hodgepodge  -Rev
Ever After Book Reviews -Exc
Paranormal Romance and Beyond -Exc
Laura Lu’s Book Reviews -P
Evermore Books -P

E-Romance News -Exc

My thanks in advance to all the tour hosts! Until next week, darlings, I’ll be dividing my scribbling time between Her Errant Earl and Restless Rake. I’m aiming to get 3 more historical romances out in 2017 and maintain my sanity all at the same time. Wish me luck!

Sweet Scandal releases 5/9

Sweet Scandal, the little book that could, is available for pre-order now on Amazon! Release day is May 9th, (insert huge squee here) and yours truly could not be happier to finally load this book into the carriage and send it on its way to the ball. Helen and Levi’s story required a small mountain of research, and that pair led me on a merry chase on their way to happily ever after, I’ll tell you. I’m quite proud of them, however, and I hope you’ll fall in love with their story as much as I did.

Oh, and in case you missed it, I’m on Instagram. See exhibit, stage right. Plus, I have a newsletter. If you want release updates from moi—with the promise that I won’t clutter up your inbox with endless emails, naturellementsign up right here.

In the mean time, what’s next? Well, I could use a nap. And  a vacation. But sadly, neither of those two things seem likely. So, I’ve got 2 book tours in the works, and up next on my docket is re-releasing the first two books in my Wicked Husbands series, writing Book Five in the Heart’s Temptation series (hello, Earl of Ravenscroft lovers, this one is for you!), and writing Book Two in the Coastal Heat series. Just typing this makes me tired, but nobody likes a complainer, so…

Want an excerpt of Sweet Scandal? Of course you do, and I shall happily oblige:

Helen didn’t know if it was the dance or the champagne or the heat in the ballroom generated by the crush of guests, but as Mr. Storm led her from the floor at the quadrille’s completion, steeped in formal politeness, she felt suddenly faint and unsteady. He noticed instantly, for she felt a staying hand on her waist. Her vision blurred around the edges like a watercolor painting.

“Oh dear,” she said. “I fear I may swoon.”

It wasn’t like her. She was made of much sterner stuff, but she didn’t wish to embarrass herself. She needed some air. Her corset seemed too tight. Her entire body was flushed and heated. If she didn’t get away from this clamor at once, she didn’t know what would happen. It would have been the perfect moment for one of her sisters to accompany her to the retiring room where she could regain her composure as they gossiped about all the lords and ladies in attendance. But her sisters weren’t here, and she was alone with Mr. Storm in a sea of people.

How she missed Cleo, Tia, and Bo in that moment.

Everything sounded as if it were very far away, carried to her on a lush summer breeze. Maybe she should not have consumed quite so much champagne. She’d lost count of how many flutes she’d drained over the course of the ball. Good heavens, had it been more than five? A fresh wave of dizziness assailed her and she stumbled against his powerful, lean frame. He smelled divine, she thought fuzzily.

“Come,” he ordered, ushering her hastily away.

She collected her thoughts enough to protest. “Where are you taking me?”

He couldn’t simply escort her out of the ballroom and into a private room. Propriety certainly didn’t allow such a thing. She ought not to allow such a thing. Would not if it weren’t for the spinning of her head. As it stood, she was ineffectual as a fly at the moment.

“Hush.” He steered her around a tittering countess and a footman bearing a tray of champagne flutes.

“But—”

“My lady, hush.”

“Someone will see.”

“No one will notice. Everyone here is either far too inebriated or preoccupied.”

Casting a quick look about, he led her from the ballroom, down the hall, and into another chamber. As the door closed at their backs, stifling the cacophony of sound from the ballroom beyond, Helen realized they were in Jesse’s study. Alone. Still dizzied, she clutched Mr. Storm’s arm. “We are in our host’s private study. We cannot be here together.”

“Jesse won’t mind,” he assured her, guiding her to an overstuffed chair and easing her into it. He sank to his knees before her, his expression for once unguarded. “Are you unwell, my lady?”

He was concerned. A strange, new warmth stole over her. The world came back into crisp focus but her heart hammered furiously against her breast. She still felt off-kilter, almost as though she were out of her own skin, almost as if she were giddy.

Oh dear. He was before her like a knight of old, so striking and elegant, so unlike the arrogant stranger who had unceremoniously removed her from his offices the day they’d met. This Mr. Storm was different. Or maybe she was different. Or the night was different. Or she was hopelessly, thoroughly in her cups. She didn’t know which.

“I am fine,” she forced herself to say. “I daresay I sampled too much of the champagne this evening and that is all.”

“You don’t seem fine, my lady.” He frowned. His hands bracketed her skirts, near enough to her that he almost touched her, and the thought of those big hands of his on her made her quite weak. “Can I fetch you something? Some water, perhaps? Some ice?”

She licked lips that had suddenly gone dry. “There is nothing I need other than for you to return me to the ball. This is quite scandalous, sir. If someone should come upon us, it would cause us no end of trouble.”

“No one will come upon us. I’ve locked the door.”

His casual pronouncement did wicked things to her body that she was sure had everything to do with the blasted champagne. The door was locked. No one could disturb them or happen upon them. They were free to do what they chose.

Yes, she was in her cups alright, she had to be. There was no other reason for her to lean forward, set her palms upon Mr. Storm’s shoulders, and press her mouth to his. No other reason save for the fact that she had been thinking about him all day, about how he had touched and kissed her, how he had made her feel, how he had wanted her in his bed. She kissed him just for the feeling of his mouth upon hers once more, because she couldn’t help herself, because she couldn’t not.

Want more? May 9th is just around the corner.

Until next time darlings, I direct you to the hotness that is my Men with Beards Pinterest board. Not to mention my always inspiring Manspiration board. Because Poldark! You’re welcome.

 

 

A change of heart?

I know I said I was a social media curmudgeon and all, but I’m trying to give social media another shot. I’ve got a shiny new Instagram account.

And, I even figured out how to install this handy, dandy widget on my blog that allows me to dazzle you with the brilliance of both my witty blog posts and my witty visual posts all at the same time. Mind blown, right?

I like Instagram because I enjoy taking pictures and because it feels like Twitter’s sophisticated older sister.  You know, the smart one who always dresses perfectly and says all the right things and whose boyfriend looks like Jake Ryan but without the eighties hair? Also, it doesn’t make my brain hurt when I look at my feed the way Twitter does. Instagram is filled with pretty pictures and hearts, thought-provoking quotes and stacks of books neatly arranged with objet d’art and twigs and glittering things. You had me at the stacks of books, Instagram. Add the glitter, and it’s all over.

As I spend the next week finishing up Sweet Scandal so that I can send it off to my editor as scheduled—and generally being a miserable human being running on coffee and little sleep to achieve this feat—Instagram may be just the distraction I need to keep what remains of my sanity intact. That, and YouTube videos of phonograph demonstrations. And, of course, men with beards.

Until next time, darlings!

Free books, because I can

Happy weekend, darlings. The first books in each of my contemporary romance series will be free on Amazon this weekend. Reprieve and Loved Up are yours for zero bucks starting March 4, 2017 through the end of the day March 5th. Get them while they’re hot. And believe me, they’re hot.

What do you have to lose? Who doesn’t like free stuff? And free books? C’mon. Take the time to download, pretty please, and even better, give them a read. Better yet? Review them! Honest reviews are greatly appreciated and much swooned over by yours truly. Especially the three stars and up variety. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

A valentine for romance novels

I love romance novels. Of course, since I’m a romance author, this probably comes as no revelation. But it’s worth saying anyway.

I grew up on romance novels. As a teenager, I was allowed to read only sweet Regency novels that I devoured from the shelves of my local library’s Bookmobile each week. Still, my older sister’s bookshelves, lined with Kat Martin, Heather Graham, Johanna Lindsey, Lisa Kleypas, and the like, called to me. I wanted to know why I couldn’t read those novels, the kind with the covers with half-naked men holding swooning women in their arms (almost always with dubious hair, makeup, and prop choices, but who cares). What was inside those pages?

So I thieved my first romance novel from my sister’s collection—Sweet Vengeance by Kat Martin—and I never looked back. Yes, my mother eventually caught on. And yes, the parents of some of my friends also caught on, and some of them even confiscated the books I had happily supplied their daughters. (To this day, I’m still mourning my original copy of And One Wore Gray, which a friend’s step-mother robbed from her bedroom during one of her periodic raids. Yes, it’s about 17 years later and I’m still not over it—that’s how much I will always love Daniel Cameron. #BookBoyfriends)

I love romance novels. I always have, and I always will. In high school, before the days of the e-reader, I made homemade book jackets so that I could read in study hall unhampered by well-intentioned teachers. I tucked romance novels inside desks and read them during class. I hid them on my lap and in text books. Later on, I carried them in my purse and I read them in airplanes and on beaches. I stayed up till three in the morning just so that I could sigh with bliss and fall asleep knowing Emma and Prince Nikolas finally found their happily ever after. As a terrified mother-to-be trapped in a hospital bed trying to keep my twins from being born way too early, I went through 3 wonderful Sarah MacLean books.

I’m not entirely sure what it is about romance novels that makes me love them so much. Maybe it’s the steadfast knowledge that no matter what, the hero and the heroine will end up together where they belong. Maybe it’s the adventure of heading back to the Civil War or being romanced by a rakish duke. Maybe it’s that feeling I get when I read a truly awesome book and I’m wearing that sated I-just-read-the-best-romance smile, and my heart feels a little lighter and the world a tiny bit better of a place.

Whatever it is, all I know is that from the moment I started turning those pages years ago, I was hooked. And I still am.

Until next time, happy Valentine’s Day and happy reading, darlings!