EXCERPT: A Study in Seduction by Nina RowenThursday, September 6, 2012 13:00
Our readers have been enjoying Nina Rowen’s debut book, A Study in Seduction. With the publishing industry being so competitive and very difficult to break into, it’s always nice to see new authors garner fans and great reviews.
So to continue our efforts today in introducing Nina to more of you out there in Romanceland, we have a little taste of A Study in Seduction for you. Then hop on over to Amazon to get your very own copy! We know you’ll enjoy it too.
A Heart Divided
Blessed with an uncanny gift for mathematics, the lovely Lydia Kellaway can solve the most complex puzzles. The one thing she can’t figure out? How to manage the most infuriating man she’s ever encountered.
A Passion Multiplied
Alexander Hall, Viscount Northwood, has purchased a one-of-a-kind locket from a pawnshop, unaware of the priceless sentiment it holds for Lydia. The gentlemanly thing to do would be to simply return it. But Lydia sparks a desire that has Alexander curious to see just how bold this brilliant beauty will be…
A Love Unequaled
What begins as a playful wager quickly escalates into a contest of the minds, a clash of the wills—and a battle of the sexes—as their fiery attraction grows. Even a genius like Lydia can’t account for the feelings Alexander arouses with his smile, or the fire he ignites with his touch. But when a dark family secret is suddenly thrown into the equation, it just might divide them forever.
Alexander scratched his head. “Ah, would you care to explain? What is this?”
“A mathematical problem.”
“I can see that. Why have you given it to me?”
“I want you to solve it.” There was an amused glint in Lydia’s eyes, a slight curve to her mouth—all evidence of a wicked side that Alexander hadn’t seen before now.
“You want me to solve this problem,” he said, “in exchange for the locket.”
“Yes. I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket, you know.”
Alexander barked out a laugh. “I imagine you still wish to establish the parameters of a time frame.”
“Yes. If you are unable to solve the problem in two weeks’ time, with no help from anyone else, mind you, then you will promptly return my mother’s locket.”
Alexander continued staring at her. Her expression still contained that wicked gleam—quite appealing, if he were to be honest with himself, seeing as how it made her eyes darken to the color of a dawn sky—but other than that, she appeared utterly serious.
He looked at the problem again. “You wrote this?”
“You needn’t sneer, my lord. You know I enjoy devising puzzles, but the one you solved was just that—a puzzle. This is a problem.”
“And you don’t think I can solve it.”
“I didn’t say that.”
Despite his irritation, Alexander experienced a prickle of anticipation again, a feeling aroused only by this particular woman. It was sharply pleasant, like the taste of Russian black bread, fragrant and tart.
“You implied it,” he said, “otherwise you wouldn’t have made the offer.”
“Yes, well…” Her lips curved—lovely, tempting, he wanted to put his mouth over hers and feel her yield….
“Perhaps implications aren’t so vague after all,” she said.
Alexander tossed the paper onto a table and planted his hands on his hips. Lydia Kellaway stood there looking like a little black rabbit with her charcoal dress, her blue eyes, and flushed skin the only sources of color on her person.
For a fleeting, unexpected instant, he wondered what she’d look like in bright blue or green, ostrich plumes flowing from her hat, her cheeks and lips enticingly painted with rouge.
No. He didn’t like that image. At all.
He cleared his throat. “Miss Kellaway, it appears I’ve behaved unfairly with regard to your mother’s locket. And if you ever tell Sebastian I said that, I’ll deny it to the end of my days. However, you’ve made your desire for the locket quite clear, and as I’ve no wish to cause you further grief, I will return it to you immediately.”
A brief flicker of surprise crossed her face before her smile curved again. “You don’t think you can do it.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“You don’t think you can solve the problem.”
“I do not think that.”
“And I’ve no desire for pity, my lord.”
“I do not pity you,” Alexander snapped. “I’m trying to behave like a gentleman, which I don’t find an easy fit.”
“A gentleman conducts business in a fair and just manner.”
Alexander tried not to grind his teeth together. “Which I am attempting to do.”
“Returning my mother’s locket out of pity is neither fair nor just. However, if you wish to concede defeat, then I will gladly accept the mantle of victory and claim my winnings.”
Alexander stared at her. Then he crossed the room in three long strides and grabbed her by the shoulders, pushing her up against the wall so swiftly that she gasped. Without giving her an opportunity to resist, he lowered his head and captured her lush mouth, driven by a sudden burning intent to sear her with a kiss.
Her body stiffened beneath his grip, her hands fisting against his chest. He pressed harder, moving his mouth across hers, urging her to let him in. Heat swept through his blood, and though she began to soften, her closed lips did not yield, did not open for him.
A mathematical problem, for God’s sake. The only problem he wanted to solve was the soft, supple one currently in his arms.