The Rake’s Irish Lady Release Blitz @BarbaraMonajem @BPICPromos

The Rake’s Irish Lady
by Barbara Monajem
Series: Scandalous Kisses, #2
Genre: Historical Romance – Regency
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Cover Designer: Anna Spies
Release Date: December 30, 2015

 

 

ONE WILD NIGHT . . .
Widowed & lonely, Bridget O’Shaughnessy Black indulges herself in a night of pleasure.
After all, she’s in disguise. And the baby girl? An unexpected blessing…until an old flame claims the child as his own to force Bridget to marry him.

ONE DETERMINED LADY. . .
Many women pursued Colin Warren, but only one climbed in his bedchamber window. When Bridget does it for the second time, she doesn’t have fun in mind. Colin is unfit to be a parent, and yet he has no choice but to acknowledge the little girl.

RISKING EVERYTHING FOR LOVE
Circumstances force Bridget and Colin together, yet grave differences divide them. Can love bridge the chasm that keeps them apart?

 

Bridget shouldn’t let herself smile at Colin, because that invited a smile in return. The kind with dimples and a hunger that reached his eyes.

Probably reached hers, too, so she sighed and turned away. Yearning to touch him had become a physical ache, and even a brush of his hand, much less a boost on her derriere, made it a thousand times worse.

They wouldn’t catch up to the others tonight, but tomorrow, once the rain was over, they would find an alternate route. One more night of self-control…

She was a fool to want him, but she couldn’t help it. What had come over her? Suddenly, stupidly, she was willing to risk another illegitimate child by him.

They were almost at the inn. She dreaded another restless night. She needed something to distract her. “Where are those apples? The horses deserve a treat.”

Colin passed her the basket. She took four of the wrinkled apples. They pulled up in front of a battered old building with weathered timbers and dormers peeking from under a thatched roof. No eager servant came rushing out of the inn to greet them.

“House!” Colin bellowed, opening the coach door. Without bothering to let down the steps, he took Bridget by the waist and lifted her down into the rain. This time his hands didn’t linger. “Hurry up and give them the damned apples. Let’s get out of this bloody rain.”

“Would you stop fussing?” she cried. “We’ll catch up to Martin eventually.”

“That’s not what I’m fussing about,” he snapped, heading for the rear of the coach. Bridget offered apples to the wheeler and leader on one side and then stalked around to treat the others.

A spare, grizzled man limped out of the inn. “Come in, come in,” he said, but his eyes widened at the sight of Colin, in his wet but obviously costly clothing, unearthing two valises from the boot. “I’m that sorry, sir, but I don’t have accommodation for the likes of you.”

“Does your roof leak?” Colin demanded. “Do the fireplaces smoke?”

“No sir, but—”

“Will the horses be warm and dry too?” Bridget piped up, and suddenly she began to shiver.

“Aye, the stables is fine,” the landlord said.

“Then we’ll do fine, too.” Colin dropped the valises on the doorstep. “Warm and dry is all we ask, and I’ll pay handsomely for it.”

A stout lady in an old-fashioned mobcap appeared in the doorway. “What are you waiting for, Stan? I’ll light a fire in the guest chamber. Let the gentleman and his missus in before they catch their deaths.”

*Oh, dear.*

The landlord still seemed uneasy. “I’m sorry, sir, but we’ve only the one small guest room, and not even a private parlor.”

“We’ll do fine,” Bridget and Colin said simultaneously. Their hands touched and twined together. Clung together, as if one or the other of them—or both—was afraid the other would let go. Or as if they were about to plunge off a cliff and holding on for dear life.

Bridget’s heart began to pound. She slid her gaze surreptitiously toward Colin. He wasn’t looking at her but rather straight ahead. A drop of water rolled from his wet hair, over his brow, and down to his upper lip. His tongue flicked out and licked it up.

Desire roared through her. She shuddered. His right dimple appeared, but so briefly she almost didn’t see it.

The landlady bustled away, and the landlord grabbed the valises. “Just you follow me, then. I’m Stan Butterworth, and that’s my rib, Martha.” He led them through the taproom. “You’ll want to change out of them wet clothes first of all, and then we’ll see to your supper.” He preceded them up a narrow flight of stairs. “My Martha’s a right good cook, and we had mutton stew to our dinner, but it won’t be what you’re accustomed to.”

“I’m sure it will be delicious,” Bridget managed. Could food possibly have been farther from her mind?

“It can get right rowdy in here on a fair evening,” Mr. Butterworth said, “but we won’t have much custom tonight, what with the storm and all. You’ll have a peaceful sleep.”

Colin made a sound between a snort and a laugh, but he didn’t let go of her hand.

 

 

Winner of the Holt Medallion, Maggie, Daphne du Maurier, Reviewer’s Choice and Epic awards, Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. When they grew up, she turned to writing for grownups, first the Bayou Gavotte paranormal mysteries and then Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa). Some of her Regencies have magic in them and some don’t (except for the magic of love, which is in every story she writes).

Barbara loves to cook, especially soups, and is an avid reader. There are only two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and succeed at knitting socks (or maybe tea cozies). She’ll manage the first but doubts she’ll ever accomplish the second. This is not a bid for immortality but merely the dismal truth (hence the tea cozies, which she hasn’t tried yet). She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

 

 

 

 

 

The Rake’s Irish Lady Pre-Order Blitz @BarbaraMonajem @BPICPromos

The Rake’s Irish Lady
by Barbara Monajem
Series: Scandalous Kisses, #2
Genre: Historical Romance – Regency
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Cover Designer: Anna Spies
Release Date: December 30, 2015

 

ONE WILD NIGHT . . .

Widowed & lonely, Bridget O’Shaughnessy Black indulges herself in a night of pleasure.

After all, she’s in disguise. And the baby girl? An unexpected blessing…until an old flame claims the child as his own to force Bridget to marry him.

ONE DETERMINED LADY. . .

Many women pursued Colin Warren, but only one climbed in his bedchamber window. When Bridget does it for the second time, she doesn’t have fun in mind. Colin is unfit to be a parent, and yet he has no choice but to acknowledge the little girl.

RISKING EVERYTHING FOR LOVE

Circumstances force Bridget and Colin together, yet grave differences divide them. Can love bridge the chasm that keeps them apart?

Bridget crept past the mews in the murky London darkness and into the tiny garden. She’d planned it all ahead of time, so she knew exactly where to go. She knotted her skirts front and back, climbed onto the rain barrel, shinned up the drainpipe, and pulled herself onto the roof of the bump-out behind Colin Warren’s lodging house.

The bump-out housed the landlady; conveniently for Bridget, Colin occupied rooms on the first floor at the back. His windows could be accessed from its roof.

It wouldn’t have come to this if Colin Warren wasn’t a lazy, good-for-nothing rake.

Well, perhaps not good-for-nothing at all. He’d been incredibly exciting in bed years ago. What a pity that one wild night was the cause of so much trouble now.

She crept slowly across the roof, keeping low. There were two windows; when she reached the one behind which a light showed, she raised herself slowly until her eyes cleared the sill. She peered through a gap in the curtains.

There he was, the good-looking devil, slouched on the sofa, running his hands through his thick, wavy, annoyingly gorgeous hair. The fireplace glowed with fading coals; a wine bottle and a chipped cup sat on the table beside a pile of newspapers.

The very papers in which she’d advertised! She would gladly strangle him if she didn’t need his help. She sneaked to the next window, which she knew from the previous evening’s reconnaissance was Colin’s bedchamber. He slept with it open, impervious to the smoke and grime. She would never understand why anyone chose to live in this filthy city. Colin had a perfectly good estate in Lancashire a few hours’ ride from her own house, in the brisk, clean countryside.

Gently, she pushed on the window sash. She eased it up, four, eight, twelve, sixteen inches. Listened—no sound from within. She glanced about—no one. Now or never.

She rose, shoved the window up hard, and climbed through, one leg, then her body, then the other leg. The bunched-up skirts of her gown caught on the sill, ripping as she yanked it through. She lost her balance and tumbled to the floor.

“What the bloody hell?”

Ah, well. She’d hoped for a more dignified meeting, but this would have to do. She stood and began calmly untying her skirts. Calmly in appearance, at least; her heart thudded chaotically and her fingers fumbled with the knots.

Colin Warren appeared in the doorway of his bedchamber, a branch of candles in one hand. Her breath caught, just as it had the first time she’d seen him, several years ago. What was it about him? Certainly, he was a handsome fellow. He had enough charm for ten men and knew his way around the bedchamber. But otherwise he was useless. She shouldn’t be so profoundly affected by him.

He stared, bemused and not particularly disturbed, as she got the knots undone and her skirts fell to her ankles where they belonged.

“You’ve got lovely legs, darling,” he drawled, “and it’s kind of you to offer, but I’m not going to take you up on it.”

Winner of the Holt Medallion, Maggie, Daphne du Maurier, Reviewer’s Choice and Epic awards, Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. When they grew up, she turned to writing for grownups, first the Bayou Gavotte paranormal mysteries and then Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa). Some of her Regencies have magic in them and some don’t (except for the magic of love, which is in every story she writes).

Barbara loves to cook, especially soups, and is an avid reader. There are only two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and succeed at knitting socks (or maybe tea cozies). She’ll manage the first but doubts she’ll ever accomplish the second. This is not a bid for immortality but merely the dismal truth (hence the tea cozies, which she hasn’t tried yet). She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

 

 

 

 

To Kiss a Rake Release Day Blitz

 

To Kiss A Rake
by Barbara Monajem
Series: Scandalous Kisses, #1
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Release Date: July 29, 2015

 

 

WHEN A LADY IS ABDUCTED BY MISTAKE…

Melinda Starling doesn’t let ladylike behavior get in the way of true love. She’s secretly helping with an elopement, when she’s tossed into the waiting coach and driven away by a notorious rake.

REVENGE REALLY DOESN’T PAY.

Miles Warren, Lord Garrison, comes from a family of libertines, and he’s the worst of them all—or so society believes. When Miles helps a friend to run away with an heiress, it’s an entertaining way to revenge himself on one of the gossips who slandered him.

Except that he drives off with the wrong woman…and as if that wasn’t scandalous enough, he can’t resist stealing a kiss.

 

Setup: Miles and Melinda have just been united in a marriage of great inconvenience which neither of them wished. They haven’t consummated the marriage yet (for a reason Melinda would rather I didn’t mention here). Miles is taking advantage of the next few days to work up to it, though.

     Miles guided the greys between two wagons. “Putting on an act, pretending to be madly in love, worked well enough in a pinch, but now that we’re married, we should take a different approach.”

“Which is?” asked Melinda.

“We should get to know one another,” he said.

She huffed. “Obviously we’ll do that.”

“By means of flirtation.”

That delicate flush arose in her cheeks again. “I beg your pardon?”

“Think about it. If I were courting you, we would flirt.” He paused to let her absorb the notion. “Wouldn’t we? You must have flirted with many men.” His heart beat painfully at the thought that she might continue to do so.

“Only if I knew they weren’t serious,” she said. “The moment they got that intent expression in their eyes, as if they wanted to steal a-a kiss…” Her eyes widened. For a hushed second, her gaze hovered on his lips. Abruptly, she looked away. “I wouldn’t let them.”

“Ah.” He suppressed a smile. “That privilege fell to me, and I seized it most unfairly.”

She took a deep breath. Did she realize how it made her bosom rise and fall? “And if it seemed they were on the verge of making an offer, I stopped flirting straightaway.”

“But that was then and this is now, and you’re already married to me. Think of the next few days as our courtship. We’ll drive in the Park, we’ll perhaps have ices at Gunter’s, we may even get invited to a ball or two, and…”

“We’ll flirt.” She glanced at him from under her lashes—at his mouth again—and away.

“But it will be much different from before. Instead of stopping at the first sign of serious intent, you’ll carry on as if your interest is as genuine as mine.”

She chewed on her bottom lip. She toyed with the fingertips of her glove.

“As if it’s leading somewhere,” he said.

Melinda knew perfectly well that he meant the consummation of their marriage, but why must she blush so easily? She’d mentioned that kiss, and all of a sudden she couldn’t keep her eyes away from his mouth. “Which it is,” she said gruffly. There wasn’t much room on the seat of the curricle—enough for the two of them, but very little space between. She’d never flirted with a man in such close proximity before. It certainly added spice to the experience.

“So there’s no reason to shy away or give me the cold shoulder or whatever you did to those fellows,” he said. “You may indulge your natural enjoyment of flirtation as much as you like.”

She bristled at that. “Who told you I enjoy flirting?” Then she remembered. “Is it something Lord Bottleford said? He was forever reprimanding me for being too friendly, and saying a lady should maintain a proper distance at all times. To him, that meant ignoring everyone else and listening enraptured while he prosed on and on. And on.” She rolled her eyes. “And on.”

His lips twitched. His eyes gleamed. Something inside her did a strange little flip.

She pulled herself together. He disconcerted her without even saying a word. “Who, then? My grandmother?”

“No, I didn’t mean you in particular, but rather one’s natural tendency to flirt with members of the opposite sex. It’s quite primitive, I think—rather like mating rituals of birds or beasts.”

Primitive. What an odd word to use of flirting, which had always seemed a highly civilized behavior until now. And yet…how very enticing.

She wanted him to kiss her again.

 

 

Winner of the Holt Medallion, Maggie, Daphne du Maurier, Reviewer’s Choice and Epic awards, Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. When they grew up, she turned to writing for grownups, first the Bayou Gavotte paranormal mysteries and then Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa). Some of her Regencies have magic in them and some don’t (except for the magic of love, which is in every story she writes).

Barbara loves to cook, especially soups, and is an avid reader. There are only two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and succeed at knitting socks. She’ll manage the first but doubts she’ll ever accomplish the second. This is not a bid for immortality but merely the dismal truth. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.