Published by Grand Central Publishing on 2015-02-24
Genres: Fiction, General, Historical, Regency, Romance
WILL A FEW FLIRTATIOUS STEPS
Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle's title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it's all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.
LEAD TO A SCANDALOUS SEDUCTION?
Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome-not to mention wealthy-duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man's trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry's scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn't change it first.
He took off his coat and went to tend the fire. His wide shoulders needed no padding. When he rose and dusted his hands, she noted his superior height once again. In his waistcoat and shirtsleeves, she could discern the way his waist tapered.
He joined her on the sofa and laid his arm across the top of it. “Tired?” he asked.
“No.” She was too aware of him. In the shadowy room, she could not see his bright blue eyes, but the soft sound of his breathing mingled with hers. The tension between them crackled all around her. A long moment suspended. Her senses were heightened, and her breasts felt heavier for some odd reason. She discerned the scent of wintergreen soap and something else—something masculine and irresistible. Something unique to him.
He leaned closer, and she could feel the whisper of his breath on her lips. “From the first moment we met, I could not get you out of my head.”
His words made her feel giddy, but she held back, because she was still a little wary. “I am undoubtedly the first woman to threaten you with a knife.”
He grinned. “Indeed you are. Now that you are unarmed, perhaps we could be friends.”
“We will shake on it,” she said, offering her hand.
He took her hand and turned her wrist, palm up. He looked up at her beneath his dark lashes, and then he kissed the tender underside of her wrist. When he touched his tongue to the pulse point, her breath shuddered out of her. She thought she might melt from the heat in his seductive gaze.
“I’d better go,” he said. There was a knowing look in his eyes, as if he was aware of exactly how he’d affected her.
When she inhaled on a shaky breath, he helped her to rise. She walked with him to the door as if she were enveloped in a fog.
He halted and gazed into her eyes. Then he drew her in his arms and kissed her gently on the lips. His mouth moved over hers and his hand slipped down the curve of her spine. Heat and longing surged inside her. He wrapped his arms around her, and she could feel the hard, unyielding muscles of his arms, chest, and thighs as he pressed her against him.
“Forgive me in advance,” he said.
“For what?” she whispered.
He kissed her gently once more, and then he drew his tongue along the seam of her mouth. Her lips parted and then his tongue was in her mouth, tasting her while his hands slid down her spine and to her bottom. He pulled her flush against him, and she could feel his hard body. She was breathing faster and everything inside of her was on fire for him. God help her, she wanted his hands all over her.
He broke the kiss, and she was aware that his breathing had quickened as well.
When he released her, he said, “Good night, sweet Lucy.”
Her limbs trembled a little as he strode out into the night, leaving her to wonder if he knew it was her first kiss.
Harry Norcliffe didn’t ask to be a duke, but since his uncle died, he is named heir. He never thought he would inherit anything and was previously snubbed by society. Now, his two best friends have married and he claims he will never marry unless it is for love. His mother has tried to set him with eligible ladies, but none seem to be the one. Now that he is titled and had wealth, he has suddenly become desirable and he wants nothing to do with the elite.
Lucy Longmore has moved to London with her blind grandmother after her father dies and leaves them penniless. In order to support them, she takes on every job she can find. After being dismissed as a seamstress, she finds additional odd jobs as a maid and tries to follow her passion of dance as an instructor. She is hired by a unsovory character, as a dance assistant and when he is thrown out of a client’s house for being drunk, she is hired on in his place.
The two have a second cute meet in a local park when Harry’s dog finds her. She knows he is a gentleman and could ruin her reputation by even speaking with him, but there is an instant spark between the them. As Harry tried to get closer to Lucy, she knows that he can never marry her because of her status as a servant. They continue to meet and Harry rescues her from her former boss who intends to do her harm. Lucy knows that his assistance will come at a great risk and possibly ruin her reputation.
I adored this book! The romance between Lucy and Harry just hit the right spot. When Harry thought he might lose Lucy, he tried everything to save her. Lucy always tried to put on a brave face when thing were at their worse and it was nice that she finally had a champion in Harry. Overall, this is a wonderfully written historical romance with a bit of spice and humor that will make you want more.
About the author:
Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the United Kingdom allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her Trouble. When she’s not writing, Vicky enjoys reading, films, concerts, and, most of all, long lunches with friends. A native Texan, she holds degrees in English literature and marketing.
I have an additional book to giveaway as well, so be sure to enter both!
Giveaway Ends 3.4.15 and open to all who can legally enter. Limited to US only, PO Boxes OK You must check back to see if you have won. An email will be sent and you have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen. Winner will be announced within 48 hours at the end of the giveaway. Giveaway is organized by Bookhounds and sponsored by the publisher. It has no affiliation with Facebook, Twitter or any other entitiy. Void where prohibited.
What a difficult choice! They both look really good. I think I’m going to have to read them both. And, since it’s actually a trilogy, I’ll definitely want to read the third book as well…. 🙂
Janice Hougland says
Wow, two chances to win this book from Vicky! Yea! Love her historical romances…some of the very best. I like the humor in the romances too. Thanks so much for this post.
Janice Hougland says
Oopos, forgot to answer the question. I can’t decide between a devilish duke or a rakish rogue…they both sound like frisky fellows who, in the end, fall hard for their ladies. 🙂
denise smith says
that is a hard choose i would like to read both of the books they both seem really good
Rita Wray says
I’ll take a Devilish Duke.
Carol L says
I love Vicky’s books. Not only are the stories entertaining but the humor is perfect.
I’ve rreaad the first in the trilogy so reaading the Rakish Rogue would have to follow.
Thanks for the giveaway opportunity
cheryl c. says
Nancy Luebke says
Devish Duke although they sound just about the same.
Cathy P says
I love Vicky’s books! I am fickle. Can I have a Devilish Duke AND a Rakish Rogue? Thanks for the giveaways!
Linda Townsend says
I can’t decide!!!!! Durn! That’s hard! Can I have both? If not, I guess I’ll go with the Rakish Rogue…
Thanks for the giveaway!
Can I have both, please? Love, love, love Vicki’s books!
Rakish Rogue, frequently seen carousing with the Devilish Duke.
JoAnne Myers says
A wonderful excerpt and romantic cover. All the best with it.