Revisiting the Murder Mystery Romance: THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE (PG excerpt)


THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE--Book Four in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Murder Mystery Romance

Price: $1.99 electronically

Buy Link:
Available electronically at:


Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drlmBm27qIQto see a trailer of THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE.

Blurb:
Online serial dater turns out to be a serial killer. But when Death claims this murderer, why is Minx also in danger?

KISSES CAN BE DEADLY
The serial killer stalking Los Angeles will soon be served his just deserts. But that doesn’t mean Minx Tobin is out of danger. First, there’s a crank caller. Then her tire is slashed. Quite possibly, her throat is next. But if the throat-slashing murderer is out of the picture, then who has it in for Minx?

Gabe Harris works two full-time jobs. First is solving murders as homicide lieutenant for LAPD. Second is trying to keep his new girlfriend, Minx, out of danger. But this time, she isn’t to blame for her predicament. Gabe’s job is proving hazardous to her health.

Scene Set-Up:
Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris, protective of his new love, Minx, is annoyed that she doesn’t take his recommended advice concerning her safety.

Excerpt:
Gabe took the now-empty seat and folded his hands in front of him. “Am I to infer then that your promises are always meaningless, Minx?”

Her deep brown eyes reflected pain. “No, of course not. You’re making too much out of this, anyway. After you left my place this morning, the doctor’s office called. I have his blessing to return to work providing I shorten my day and take it slow.”

That she listened to her doctor and not him steamed him further. “I explained about the Thursday killer, Minx. We don’t have anything on this monster except that, in all probability, you’re a target.”

“I was going stir-crazy, Gabe. And there are lots of single ladies whose last name starts with the letters ‘To.’”

“Hell, woman!” He dug his fingers into his hair. “You’re going to give me more grey hair, you know that?”

Since he’d gone prematurely light and dark grey nearly fifteen years ago, his statement was more for effect than an actual prediction.

Maybe she realized that because she didn’t seem to take offense. Instead, she trailed her fingertips over the knuckles on his hand and then sensuously moved up his forearm. “Sounds like you’ve had a long, hard day. C’mon, let’s go get changed. I’m dying for a shower.”

She also ran the tip of her tongue over her lips in a way that made him salivate.

“I’ll wash your back, Gabe.”

While the day had indeed been difficult, now it was hard as well. He grabbed her hand and sandwiched it between his own. “Only if I can wash yours, too.”

Her slow smile caused him to sizzle. “Naturally, Lieutenant. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

His annoyance--which was really worry in disguise--suddenly vanished. In its place, sensations of sight, sounds, scents, tastes, and touches from the past week seared his memory. Making love to Minx was a multiplex experience; he savored every waking minute.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight

Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist

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New Release: Addicted to Love

Addicted to Love by Jennifer Wilck
Contemporary romance with Jewish characters
Published by The Wild Rose Press

Blurb: 
Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

Excerpt: 

“What are we looking at?” she whispered out of the side of her mouth, pursing her lips together and giving him an insane urge to kiss them.

“What?”
“I assumed since we’re standing here you must be looking at something, and I wanted to join in the fun. Or did you not realize we weren’t moving?”
Her nostrils flared and she bit her lip. Dan realized she was trying not to laugh. Now he really wanted to kiss her, to capture her mouth with his, to make her his own. Before he could act on it, his stomach growled. 
“Was that yours or mine?” She looked at him, an eyebrow raised. 
His lips twitched. His breath hitched. He couldn’t keep his amusement to himself any longer. It bubbled in his chest, and he let it out as he shook his head. 
“Okay, while I am older than you, I’m not old enough to be senile. Yet. So yes, I did know we weren’t moving. But thanks for that. And yes, my stomach growled, because I’m hungry. Except I think I need to put eating on hold for a moment, because what I need more than anything else right now, what I’ve needed all night long in fact, is to kiss you.”

Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5133-addicted-to-love.html?search_query=jennifer+wilck&results=2

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Love-Serendipity-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071HZQS4S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499096714&sr=8-1&keywords=jennifer+wilck

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/addicted-to-love-jennifer-wilck/1126454796?ean=2940157486310


Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/addicted-to-love-13

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Revisiting THE QUESTING BOX (PG excerpt)


A Regency Romance Family Favorite!

THE QUESTING BOX

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Time-Travel Regency Romance

Price: $4.99.

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Buy link:

TAKING A CHANCE--TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY STYLE--As the adult child of an alcoholic, Rae Santini struggles with unnecessary guilt. If only she was a better person. If only she could have helped her father. If only he hadn’t died. So when a Questing Box comes her way, she longs to turn back the clock to save him. But she had been just eight at the time of his death; she hadn’t been ready to embark upon a healing journey. Eighteen years later, the mysterious box is gifted to her. She figures she has nothing to lose so she opens the box...

TAKING A CHANCE--NINETEENTH CENTURY STYLE--James Bonnell, the Earl of Blackburne, dreads returning to his family’s estate for Christmas. His parents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Litchfield, not only belittle his political career, but most urgently insist that he marry to beget an heir. As it turns out, he had intended to bring home a bride, however the “lady” in question is too free with her favors. Disheartened, James is on his way to Litchfield when he encounters an unconscious Rae. He quickly bundles her up and takes her to a nearby Gypsy encampment. A risky idea then comes to mind. Perhaps this attractive wood nymph will consent to a masquerade and act as his countess... just for the holidays?

Scene Set-Up:
On his way to his parents’ estate for the Christmas holidays, James Bonnell, the Earl of Blackburne, discovers an unconventionally dressed, unconscious woman, Rae. He helped her, and now he “proposes” that she help him.

Excerpt:
Rae leaned in, rested her elbows against the table, and intently focused her gaze on him. In the candlelight, James noticed her brown eyes were flecked with gold.

“So tell me, please, Mr. Bonnell, what is this excessively tolerable idea that happens to benefit us both?”

Might as well take the bull by the horns. “I find I am in a devil of a fix. My mother, the Marchioness, is the most headstrong woman. For more years than I care to remember, she has been obsessed with me getting leg-shackled and producing an heir.”

Rae tucked a stray strand of hair back into her chignon. “Interesting,” was all she said.

James looked away from her unflinching gaze. “The fact of the matter is, I thought I had found my, er, future wife. Too hastily, as the situation turned out, I wrote m’mother of my intention, and then left to propose to the lady.”

There was no need to mention names. Not that Rae would be acquainted with Theodora, but even though Theodora was not a lady, James was a gentleman.

He compressed his lips, choosing his words carefully. “She... well, how do I put this delicately? I found she had at least one other suitor, so naturally, I changed my plans.”

“Oh!” Rae’s eyes widened. “Oh, I’m so sorry.”

The devil of it was, she was sorry. Her sympathy was genuine, he was certain of it.

How refreshing! “Not to worry, my heart had not been engaged.” He shrugged. “Nevertheless, I am now in a quandary. M’mother expects me to bring home a bride. Since I am empty-handed, I fear I shall be responsible for making the holidays unpleasant for all the houseguests.”

Rae sat with a disapproving frown on her face. “Wait a minute. You can’t mean that you actually want me to impersonate being your wife?”

Whatever this woman was, she was no slowtop.

She pulled back from the table and suddenly stood. He moved to stand, but she gestured for him to stay seated.

“So I’m right? That’s too crazy,” she continued as she paced in front of the fireplace. “And, quite frankly, something like that can backfire.”

She amazed him. Instead of jumping to secure his regard and eagerly applying for the position as his countess, she called his idea lunacy. She even comprehended that he wished for an impersonation.

What a plucky little thing she was. He admired her svelte form unfairly hidden in Mira’s shapeless dress. “Backfire, Miss Santini? I am unfamiliar with the word.”

“Something that produces an unexpected, undesired result.” Rae crossed her arms against her bosom and tapped an impatient toe in her borrowed half-boots. “You look like an intelligent man. I’m sure you don’t want to end up being married to me and I certainly don’t have any plans to stay here to get, how did you put it? Leg-shackled.”

How very unforeseen and delightful! This peculiar woman was taking him to task over his preposterous plan. Ringing a peal over his head. A singular situation, to be sure.

Smiling, he walked over to her. “Alas, it is the only plan I can think of to protect you. As you are aware, even now your reputation is ruined by being here, alone with me, behind closed doors.”

She inhaled sharply.

Perhaps she was not aware of that consequence. “However,” he spoke before she could. “If we were to arrive at Litchfield Hall as man and wife, as a masquerade, naturally then you would have the entrĂ©e in society that you require and m’mother would be in alt.”

Rae’s frown deepened. “So you would deceive your family just for a little peace?”

“The peace would be short-lived, but well worth it. A holiday season without histrionics.” He ran his hand through his hair and turned away. “I see no other solution, Miss Santini. My family will not accept you otherwise.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight

Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!

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A Howling Good Excerpt from Under the Midnight Sun

A Howling Good Excerpt from Under the Midnight Sun


Now available from eXtasy Books... 


Under the Midnight Sun
by Celine Chatillon
http://www.extasybooks.com/under-the-midnight-sun/ 
Penny's expedition goes pear-shaped, but her wilderness guide, Wolf, turns out to be a handsome shape-shifter with an animal magnetism she can't resist.

It's bad enough the entire archeology community thinks they're "crackpots," but after her professor suffers a medical emergency, Penny Redfern finds herself alone at the dig with their handsome wilderness guide. Suddenly she has a lot more on her mind than searching for a suspected Viking longship in the Far North  of Alaska. Wolf Weiss can't help but lust after the gorgeous Penny, but his sense of professionalism keeps him politely distant. Plus, it's a full moon, that time of the month for Wolf to howl with the pack. Not even the midnight sun will halt his urge to shift. He can't let Penny find out he's a shape-shifter—or can he? Will the free-spirited Penny find Wolf's animal magnetism too strong to resist?


An excerpt from Under the Midnight Sun:

The satellite imagery showed something boat-shaped located along this shoreline, but it couldn't possibly be an intact Viking sea vessel after all this time if it had been exposed to the elements. There was no way anyone could have buried a ship that size in the permafrost since it was just too tough to do so even in the perpetually sunny skies of July in the North. Had it been trapped in an iceberg all these centuries, only to be released from its icy prison in the recent climate warming trend? Just the thought of Viking explorers making it through the Northwest Passage and reaching the coast of Alaska would bring her the fame and attention she craved as an archeologist.

Penny quickly unbraided her hair and pulled a brush through its thick mass to clear it of some of the worst of the dust and flying debris. What she wouldn't do for a nice hot shower instead of a bath with some lukewarm water and a camp basin wash cloth. The sooner they finished surveying the area for artifacts and other signs of possible Viking activity, the sooner she could go back home to civilization as she knew it.

Before the paramedics landed, Bev had admonished her, "Cooperate with Wolf and finish our grid search. That's all you need to do, and you'll have plenty to write about for your paper. Promise."

Cooperate with Wolf.

It sounded simple enough, but something about the dark-eyed, introverted outdoorsman made her nervous. Not nervous exactly, but curious. He wasn't much older than her, she realized, but the striking silver streaks in his black beard and at his temples indicated he'd lived a stressful life or his heredity was a bit different from most. Wolf Weiss--white wolf? The translation of his name sounded like some of her Lakota cousins' names on her mother's side.

She had to admit, Wolf possessed something other males of her acquaintance lacked, a sort of animalmagnetism that had attracted her from their first meeting. While Dave was the more outspoken of the two, openly joking with her like her kid brother, Wolf had kept his distance and minded his manners. If anything, he was too damn polite. That made her nervous. How could anyone who lived in the wilderness have such refined manners? She supposed he hadn't always lived and worked in Alaska, but along with his good looks, self-assurance and few words, his mere presence intrigued her.

Better yet, he didn't wear a ring or talk about a lover back in Fairbanks or Nome or elsewhere. Penny had had enough of those two-timing types.

She wanted to know more about Wolf, but she dared not. They were both professionals. It wouldn't be professional of her to flirt with him, would it? But with the climatologists, Dave and Bev all departed, who would know they'd lapsed in their professionalism if they both kept quiet?

Penny put down her hairbrush and pulled off her hoodie, t-shirt, and bra. She soaked the washcloth in the basin and wrung it out and gave her upper torso a quick wash, taking care around her tender nipples. She was halfway through her cycle, and she knew what was happening—she was feeling extra horny because of ovulation. Any halfway decent-looking male would make her want to jump his bones and avail herself of his hard cock.

Penny realized she should be ashamed of herself, thinking of enjoying wild sex with their guide while her college advisor was deathly ill and on her way to the hospital, but she couldn't help her hormones. Poor Wolf was the only man around for miles. Her mind couldn't help spinning erotic fantasies about the shy guy. How would those whiskers feel rubbing against her skin? Would they tickle, or torment her with stimulation?

She dropped her jeans and wriggled out of her panties. Wetting the washcloth, she washed her legs and backside, slowing down as she approached her pubic area. Hmm…a little stimulation from her own hand felt good, and it would relieve the tension of being alone with the macho mountain man of few words for a few days. Penny stretched out across her camp bed and began to stroke her clit, slowly at first and then faster and harder. She tweaked her nipples with her other hand and arched her back into the rhythm of her strokes as she climaxed in a gasp of pleasure.

Relaxing for what seemed the first time in weeks, she stretched and yawned. "There are some advantages to having the yurt all to myself, after all." With that thought, she fell asleep.
Under the Midnight Sun now available from eXtasy Books!




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Promo: Revisiting ONE WIFE TOO MANY (PG excerpt)


What happens if you find you have... ONE WIFE TOO MANY?

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Uncial Press.

Price: $5.99

Buy link:


BLURB:

Wilson Struthers is an ambitious attorney who advances his career by marrying eighteen-year-old Andrea, the boss’ daughter. Things are going according to plan... until Andrea is lost at sea. Seven years later, Wilson marries again. Then the fun begins!

EXCERPT:

The shower’s jet of warm water couldn’t dispel the growing cold spreading throughout Andrea’s body. This man, this Will Struthers, was someone from her former life.

It was as if a missing puzzle piece had suddenly fit into place. His deep voice kindled a rush of feelings within her, shaking her to her very core.

The feelings swirling through her were neither good nor bad. Rather, she felt incredibly anxious.

Whatever her previous life had held, it couldn’t compare with her present one. She didn’t want to go back to being Andrea Last-Name-Unknown. More than anything, she needed to continue as Anakalia Lawai’a.

After turning off the shower faucet, she stepped out of the ball-and-claw-foot tub. She dried off, and slipped into her terrycloth bathrobe. Next she wound a towel around her wet head. Her actions were done by rote. Her mind was a million miles away.

Or rather, her thoughts were one floor below, in the kitchen, with Nathan’s handsome friend.

What if Will is my husband?

She shuddered. No. It’s impossible. It can’t be. It can’t be. She used the phrase as a mantra to shut out these disturbing thoughts and images.

Andrea hurried into her bedroom. She pulled off the towel and started to comb out her hair. What was most important right now was to concentrate on what she needed to do. Not to think about that man, about her past. She had to help Mama Kalala cook. So she had to dress. She had to focus on the little things.

The doorknob to the connecting bedroom jiggled. Without thinking, she unlocked the door. On the other side of the threshold stood the man she was trying to forget.

Him. Will Struthers.

He eyed her from head to toe and blinked rapidly. His tanned face turned rosy red. “I-I beg your pardon. I didn’t mean to intrude.”

His embarrassment made her grin. Nothing erotic here. She was completely covered. And just to make sure, she held the edges of her robe closed against her chest.

Andrea backed away from the paneled door so he could enter. “Not a problem, Will. I have three brothers. I’m used to sharing a bathroom.”

None of what she said was really true, but he wouldn’t know that.

She turned toward her bedroom. “Well, I’ll let you have your privacy.”

He tapped her on her shoulder. Even through the terrycloth, his touch seared her skin.

“Listen, I know this may sound odd, but I feel as if I know you from someplace.”

Oh great. He felt it too, then. Her long dormant memory started to bubble as if getting ready to boil. Soon the dam would burst.

She did not want that to happen.

She turned back around, her bare feet squeaking on the parquet wood flooring. She played innocent. “Really? You don’t look familiar to me. I rarely leave the Big Island. You said you work for the same company as my brother, Tomas. Sometimes I visit Oahu to see him and his wife.”

She believed Will to be an outsider, though. He didn’t have an island feel about him. Especially since he wore an expensive executive suit... in the bathroom.

And she absolutely itched to escape from his company.

He smoothed dark hair off his forehead and shook his head. His gaze never left her face. “No, that can’t be it. I work for the firm, but out of Richmond. I only visited Oahu once before.”

Richmond. As in Richmond, Virginia. That rang an unwanted bell.

She inched closer to her bedroom door. “I’ve got to get dressed and help with dinner.”

A haunted look came into his dark brown or black eyes. “I was on Oahu seven years ago.”

“Oh!” she inadvertently gasped. Seven years ago her new life began. This was no coincidence.

She shrugged as if his words were inconsequential. “That was a long time ago, wasn’t it? Well, I’ll see you downstairs.”

He held out his left hand as if to prevent her from leaving. The gold gleam on his ring finger caught her eye.

Married, but not to her.

Thank goodness. Her wedding ring had been made of white gold.

Andrea made a very hasty retreat and took great pleasure in shutting... and locking the connecting door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight

Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!

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Promo: Revisiting THE MAGIC TOKEN (PG excerpt)


2003 EPPIE Award Finalist for Best Historical Romance!

THE MAGIC TOKEN

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Regency Romance

Price: $6.99

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Uncial Press.

Buy link:

An old woman gives skeptical Amanda a magical coin. It couldn't possibly work, but then how else can she explain her sudden good fortune? The very man who captured her heart years ago appears, offering a position as governess. But how can she endure being near to a man so beyond her reach?

Marcus, Duke of Yarborough, is burdened by family and political responsibilities. A chance meeting throws him together with the engaging sprite from his past, causing him to reevaluate his beliefs. For once in his life, the call of love beckons far stronger than duties and obligations.

Scene Set-Up:
Newly hired as governess to the Duke of Yarborough’s young sister, Daphne, Amanda finds herself having to lie to protect Daphne from the duke’s displeasure.

Excerpt:
After the door closed, the duke gestured toward a wide, cushioned settee, away from the fireplace. “Please, have a seat, Miss Barclay.”

Amanda gladly complied. To her dismay, he remained standing. She had a coveted, close-up view of his muscled thighs. Her heart pounded in response, but only because he towered over her; no other reason.

“What was my sister crying about?”

Her first dealing with the Duke of Yarborough and she had to lie. And he just said he hated secrets. If her father were alive, he would preach up a storm.

But she had to protect the child. It was important that Daphne tell the duke herself. “Um, it was nothing important, your grace.”

Convinced or not, he shrugged away the incident. “So, I am a busy man. I shall get right to the point. Do you agree to become my sister’s governess? I think you will find me generous. Very generous. Indeed, I have had no complaints from any of my women acquaintances.”

Amanda raised her hand to her throat. Women acquaintances? Whatever did he mean? Was he talking about... mistresses? He could not possibly mean to dishonor her. Narrowing her gaze, she regarded him warily.

He pulled off his leather gloves and slapped them against one hand. “Well, speak up. What do you say--yea or nay? Save your missishness for another occasion, hmmm?”

She flushed. How embarrassing that he could read her private thoughts. Far from feeling at ease, she sat at the edge of the cushion. “You do not know anything about me, your grace. How can you be certain of my competence?”
Dropping his gloves next to his hat, he stood and paced in front of her. Every step he took closer to the fireplace made her wince with apprehension. She and Daphne had been lucky--so far.

“Fishing for compliments, are you, Miss Barclay? Well then, I shall oblige you.” He ticked off comments on his fingers. “One, you are the daughter of a baronet, I believe. And sister to a parson--I cannot think of more steadying influences than those. Two, you have been away nursing relatives--this shows stamina. Three, Pritchard has spoken for you. I value his opinion.”

The duke swept his gaze over the length of her. “And four, concerning your outward appearance, suitably clothed, you do not inspire aversion.”

She gasped. His insult drummed savagely through her veins, chilling her very core. A sudden frost descended over her limbs, disabling her.

His highly polished Hessian boots came to a stop in front of her. She could only stare at the boots’ small, black tassels, jiggling to a halt.

“Ah, I have made a mull of it, haven’t I?” He reached down and carefully tugged her to her feet. “I do apologize, Miss Barclay. I am a plain speaker. At times the things I say are not suitable for the gentler sex. Six years in Wellington’s army had that effect on me.”

She removed her hand from his. Speaking of effects, Marcus’ close proximity had a dizzying one on her. Instead of looking him in the face, she contemplated the complex folds of his cravat. Being this near to him was even worse than she imagined.

Worse? No, perhaps it was more like heaven.

“I-I had no idea you fought in the war, your grace.”

“True, it is unusual for the heir to serve king and country. However, my duty abroad suited my father as well as myself.”

He shrugged, belittling his patriotic service. “The past is best forgotten.”

With one finger, he nudged her chin up. His blazing bright eyes held her captive. “I do so hope you will accept this position, Miss Barclay. My sister is greatly in need of guidance. Her mother scarce bothers with the child. Regretfully, Nanette is as flighty as they come. I sometimes believe she cares more for my father’s son, Gregory, by his second wife, than she does for her own child.”

Releasing his hold, the duke abruptly backed away as if disturbed. He strode over to a redwood sideboard and from a crystal decanter, poured amber fluid into two tumblers. The smell of fine, aged whisky drifted over to her. “Enough of these delays! Have a drink and we will seal the bargain.”

Bereft of his support, Amanda sank back down onto the settee. She willed her suddenly rapid heartbeat to return to normal. “I do not drink, your grace.”

He observed her from over the top of his glass. His eyes seemed to smolder. “Pity,” he murmured.

Staring at her folded hands in her lap, she stalled for time. “How long would you be requiring me, your grace?”

He downed the drink, then poured another. “Hey? Requiring you? I--”

Turning his broad back to her, he held onto the edge of the sideboard. “A fair question. In truth, Lady Daphne needs a stabilizing influence in her young life. Someone who will not pack up and leave at the first temper tantrum. And I promise you, there will be temper tantrums.”

He spun around. “Can you stay the course, Miss Barclay?”

From under half-lidded eyes, he gazed at her. Even from across the room, his masculine presence troubled her, sending wondrous strange tingles down her spine. He was charming--a rogue and an aristocrat, all rolled into one vastly appealing man. She would find it difficult to resist him, but she somehow she had to.

She tucked an errant lock of hair back into her chignon and made her decision--her commitment. “Yes, I believe I can, your grace. However, as I have just returned home, I am loathe to leave again. If I do accept, this position would be temporary for me. Only while Daphne is in Swinbrook. Are we in agreement?”

“Temporary? This is not what I had in mind, Miss Barclay.” Marcus frowned his displeasure. His midnight brows descended close to his eyes.

One did not disobey a duke--usually. But once she had inconvenienced his father by refusing to exchange her virtue for a bag of gold coins. And now she inconvenienced Marcus. Perhaps these society men were too used to getting their own way.

“Those are my terms.” Sitting back in the settee for the first time, she exhaled a ragged breath. Goodness, but when he was angry, he looked like the wrath of God.

A slow smile hovered on his lips. After a moment, his deep, rich laughter filled the main parlor. She watched in amazement. What could be so humorous?

He slammed his tumbler down, splashing whisky over the sides. “You drive a hard bargain, Miss Barclay! However, I like that, especially in a woman. Tell me, are you always so determined?”

Uncertain of what to make of his change in moods, she just nodded.

He quickly covered the distance separating them, then extended his hand. “Done. I agree--for now. I will arrange to have your things transported to the manor house today.”

His handshake was firm and exciting, like the rest of him. From his touch, agreeable sensations fluttered up her arm and down into her midsection. Years before she had not known what to make of those feelings. Now she was well aware of what they meant. They meant danger.

She stared at the fullness of his lips. What would it be like to kiss--

Marcus broke contact. “Since our business is finished, I will let you and Lady Daphne get better acquainted.” He turned to go.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist

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