UNTIL I’M SAFE IN YOUR ARMS
At last, the first book in the Welwyn Marriage Wager series is released! This this is the first book of my first series for Dragonblade publishing, and I’m thrilled to be working with this marvelous publisher again and for some time to come.
To celebrate, I’ve got a Book Blast Blog Tour going on today. If you click this link, it will take you to a previous post that shows you all the blogs celebrating with me today. There’s a prize for a random commenter on all the blogs, so if you want to hop around to several hosts, please have a blast!
This series is dear to my heart because I’ve tied it closely with my family. Each of the heroes is named for my father or one of his brothers using their middle names. The Duke of Welwyn, who sets the marriage wager in motion, is named Charles, after my grandfather. And the hero and heroine of the first book, Alexander Bancroft and Emma Washer, are named after my great-grandparents, Robert Alexander and Emma Washer Jackson. None of the characters are modeled on my relations, but still I wanted to honor them and this seemed a special way to do that.
Can a wager to find a wife turn into a true love match?
Entered into a wager that he can wed within a week, Captain Alex Bancroft pursues the first pretty woman he meets: Miss Emma Washer. Their courtship proceeds at a furious pace, including a dalliance that might ruin them both. Before it can, Alex proposes and is stunned when Emma agrees to marry him. Alex desperately tries to keep word of the wager from his new wife, not knowing Emma has secrets of her own to keep.
As passion erupts between the newly wed pair, the circumstances of Emma’s past threaten to tear them asunder. Alex’s regiment is directed to sail to a place Emma dares not go.
She refuses to accompany him, leaving Alex with a devastating choice: leave England to fulfill duty to Queen and country or stay and revel in his newfound love for his wife?
Trembling with anticipation, Emma swayed closer to him. “And what are your desires, Captain?” Her words, throaty and breathless, came out a bare whisper.
His lips now hovered scarcely above hers. “To kiss you, of course.”
“Then our desires are indeed in accord.” Her words, throaty and breathless, came out a bare whisper. She held her breath as he plunged his lips onto hers.
Emma had never kissed a man before, hadn’t been completely certain she’d be able to entice the captain to do it. Her only experience with the intimate act had been secondhand, surreptitiously watching a couple kissing onboard the Scotia on her return trip to England. Miss Mills and Mr. Huckabee had been extremely enthusiastic and had seemed to enjoy their encounter so much Emma had secretly longed to have that experience as well.
The fervor of his kiss caught her by surprise, however. Never had she imagined it would feel like this. The pressure of his mouth against hers—lips both soft and firm at the same time—sent a fiery jolt throughout her body. Her cheeks heated until her head felt as though an inferno raged there. Suddenly, her knees seemed weak as water, threatening to collapse her to the ground. She put a hand on his chest to steady herself, eager to continue even though her head began to spin. He must have thought she meant to push him away, for he leaned backward, trying to break the kiss.
Emma would have none of that. This sensation of warmth, of comfort, of safety was too good to lose. She grasped his jacket and pulled him back to her. That action must have convinced him, for he cradled her head in his hands, turning her face until their lips fit together perfectly. She relaxed in his arms, determined to enjoy every second of the kiss: their incredible closeness, the scent of citrus he wore, the flutter of butterflies all through her stomach that made her wish to never stop.
Aroused by these heady sensations, Emma could have stood there kissing Captain Bancroft forever, except now there seemed to be a new sort of pressure on her mouth. The captain was pressing something against the seam of her closed lips. Glorying in the moment, Emma couldn’t think what he was trying to do. She felt so incredibly safe and warm and happy she could only press back against his lips, wishing to convey her joy in their closeness. She’d been attracted to the captain from the first, but she’d never imagined she’d feel this rush of happiness, especially toward a man who was almost a stranger. If only it would never end.
He pushed a little harder at her lips and she started to open her mouth, wondering if that was what he wanted her to do. But when she gave in that tiny bit, with an audible groan, he thrust his tongue into her mouth.
Shocked to her core, Emma emitted a shriek and jerked backward, pulling her body and mouth away from him. She clamped her hand over her lips, not at all certain what had just happened. When she could think again, she glared up at Captain Bancroft, who stood trying not to smile at her. “What did you think you were doing, sir?”
“I thought I was kissing a very willing young lady, Miss Washer. You assured me you were before we began.” The wretch didn’t even try to sound repentant.
Until I’m Safe in Your Arms is now available, set to release on TODAY ! Here’s the link if you want to order it for .99!