HEROINES ARE FROM VENUSSaturday, December 1, 2007 15:02
I’m pleased to announce that my new historical romance ONCE A RAKE is now available! And to celebrate its release, Sybil & I are holding a special 2-day contest for the chance to win a goody-treasure-bag with signed copies of MY WICKED PIRATE and ONCE A RAKE! If you have missed DAY-1 in which Lord Ashby, the hero of ONCE A RAKE, dropped by to visit and grumble about his sexy co-star, you can visit my website and read all about it.
So, once again, just to get everyone warmed up, here’s a sneak peek into the battle of the sexes raging on the pages…
Once upon a time, the Earl of Ashby was a notoriously handsome libertine, but the war against Napoleon has scarred him. Now, years later, Isabel Aubrey, a proper lady in need of an influential lord to champion her charity, dares to approach the masked, reclusive colonel and arouses the dormant desire of London’s legendary rake.
Scarred in battle, tormented by the horrors of war, consumed with self-hate and loneliness, Colonel Lord Ashby is certain of this: To keep her, he must seduce her, as only a rake can…
Enter DAY-2 of the contest
Read the heroine’s POV and then answer the question at the bottom. Enjoy!
HEROINES ARE FROM VENUS, SHE SAYS
In my capacity as Chairwoman of the Widows, Mothers & Sisters of War Society, I, Isabel Aubrey, am in need of an influential lord to champion my charity, and Colonel Lord Ashby is the perfect candidate: Commander of the 18th Hussars, a decorated war hero, Ashby was also my brother’s best friend and senior officer on the Peninsula.
Up until two years ago, they had been risking their lives, fighting against Napoleon. Then soon after Waterloo - the terrible battle that claimed my brother’s life - Ashby returned.
We (my family and I) waited for Ashby to pay his respects and tender his condolences, but he never came, which is baffling, considering the earl was all but one of the inmates at Seven Dover Street, or in other words - a frequent guest at our dinner table. Now I hear disturbing rumors that he is a scarred recluse, a mere shadow of the man he once was.
I find the notion that a battle wound should force the formidable Earl of Ashby into a self-imposed isolation inconceivable! The man I remember was a force of nature. He is also fabulously wealthy, which in and of itself is enough to entice the ton to forgive his facial scars. Yet, apparently, his countless virtues are not enough for Ashby to do so.
So I risk my reputation and call on him in person. At first, he refuses to see me. Then, after I bludgeon his servants, he receives me wearing a black satin mask to conceal the much-whispered-about scars and informs me that he has had his crusade and that I should not bother him again. But later that night I receive the most generous donation.
His hostile demeanor might send a milk and water thing scurrying for cover, but I am not easily intimidated. I simply refuse to accept that the kind and dashing hussar who was the hero of my girlhood dreams has lost his humanity, as he puts it. And, I confess, the tortured look in his sea green eyes is another incentive which lures me back to the masked ogre. For no matter how hard and grim Ashby has become, I still find him… irresistible.
One would expect me to have outgrown my old fancy for him by now. Especially since years ago, when he was a notorious libertine and I a little chit fresh out of the schoolroom, he made it perfectly clear that his amorous interests lay elsewhere. In those days, they said women swooned when he walked into a ballroom and that he was the only gentleman ever in need of a dance card. I have no illusions where London’s legendary rake is concerned.
I return to Ashby as a friend, disrupt his solitude with mischief and chaos, and - to my astonishment - his exasperation with me evolves into heady desire. Despite our history and the black mask concealing his secrets, I melt in his arms. Alas, my efforts in healing his soul are failing. There is darkness inside of him, but he won’t let me share his burden.
What he lays bare is the magnitude of his loneliness. His stolen kisses convey all the passion and yearning in the world - but is it me he wants? Or does his all-consuming desire stem from his long seclusion, as well as from a basic need for a wife and heirs?
Could I give up everything for this haunted, gifted man who refuses to come out into the sunlight? Or is there a way to ascertain his true feelings while seducing him to resume his place in Society? I imagine I will have my answer tonight, at the charity masquerade ball.
DAY-2 Contest Question: What - according to Isabel - are Ashby’s basic needs?
3 lucky winners will get a goody-treasure-bag with signed copies of: MY WICKED PIRATE and ONCE A RAKE! (Contest ends today at midnight; later entries won’t be taken into account. Thanks!)
I hope you had fun meeting Isabel Aubrey and Lord Ashby. If you didn’t get a chance to win a goody bag, please sign up for my contest.