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Wednesday 29 April 2015

Release Tour - Rogue's Call by C.A. Szarek @caszarek (The King's Riders Book 3) #historical #romance

Rogue’s Call - The King's Riders Book 3
by C.A. Szarek 

Book three in the epic fantasy romance series, The King’s Riders!

She’s on the run, but doesn’t know it…

Raised in the security of the king’s castle, Lady Elissa Durroc remembers nothing of the death of her family or how she survived it. As an elemental mage with control over all four elements, her powers are rare. And coveted by dark magic. None darker than the mage who killed her parents.

When the king learns the mage knows Elissa is alive, he orders her to Greenwald under the guise of choosing a husband. Her protection falls to Sir Alasdair Kearney, a knight whose prowess on the battlefield is rivaled only by his appetite for women.

Alasdair’s not sure what to make of being a glorified nursemaid, despite Elissa’s beauty and intriguing magic. The rogue has rules. Rules that don’t involve being tempted by his noble charge.

Elissa is drawn to the knight, even though he’s not on her list of suitors. Can she guard her heart and her magic? And when the dark mage comes after her, will it be too late to matter?


Sword's Call (Book one)

Magic sword coveted by evil, Cera is on the run with her wolf when she collides with half-elfin Jorrin. Can their love conquer all? 



Love's Call (Book Two)   


An order to marry takes away their will to choose. Will love or strife be found as a result of the king’s scroll?



Author Bio: 

Bestselling, award winning author of romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance, C.A. loves to dabble in different genres. If it's a good story, she'll write it, no matter where it seems to fit!

She's a hopeless romantic and always will be. Risking it all for Happily Ever After is what she lives by!

She's originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She's happily married and has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. 

She works with kids when she's not writing.

Saturday 25 April 2015

#MySexySaturday There would be nothing satisfying her hunger tonight...#erotic #excerpt

Welcome to the 89th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme is Sexy Me Twice and this is where just once is not enough. Think lovers who can’t get enough of each other. Where they spend every waking moment together. And it’s in a very, very sexy way. 

This week I'm sharing a particularly graphic adrenaline fueled sex scene following up from last week's shoot out with the rival mob family. Randy and Holly try to erase the horror. 

EXCERPT: Law and Order : Crime and Chaos (Always Cambridge Book 4)

“More! Please. More!” She begged. She grasped my chin and began to devour my mouth again. “I want all of you, Randy,” she said, into my mouth.

“What more can I give, Hol?” I asked dragging my mouth from hers. Still connected, I kissed my way down her neck. She arched her back again, using the wall for leverage. She cupped her own breast and offered it up to me. I sucked her pebbled nipple into my mouth and she made the most mollified sound deep in her throat.

“Mmm.” She tasted sweet. I sucked the delicious nub and flicked it with my tongue, enjoying the clenching and quivering of her inside muscles as her arousal heightened in intensity again. She let go of her breast and reached down between us, fingering her clit. I wanted to take it into my mouth and give it the same attention I was giving her breast. I started to lower her legs, but she tightened them around me.

“No, don’t leave me,” she moaned.

“I wanna kiss you.” We began a battle of wills. I took her mouth to shut her up and began to demonstrate what I wanted to do to her. “Let me lick you,” I asked, when I felt her wilt. She cried out at my suggestion.

I slapped at the lever of the shower, turning the water off. I set Holly down and

removed what was left of my shirt and stepped out of my pants. I picked her up and took her into the bedroom. Both of us still dripping, I tossed her on the bed and spread her legs wide. She watched me until I tongued her wet slit. She closed her eyes and moaned loudly as I lapped at her. I slid my thumbs between her lips and held her open. Her swollen nub poked out. I flicked it lightly with my tongue, barely even making contact with the sensitive bud and was rewarded with another throaty groan. It sounded like my name. Not Mayhue’s name. Mine. I tortured her with my tongue, letting my soft strokes become more eager and heavier until she was writhing, her hips bucking as she came.

She scooted out from under me and we’d been together enough for me to know what she was after and I was more than willing to let her have at it. She pushed me onto my back and lowered her head, taking my cock between her hot lips. She sucked me with her talented mouth and stroked me with her hand, using the two in tandem bringing me to the edge of orgasm. I grabbed her by the hair. I wanted to come inside her. She knew what I wanted. She straddled my hips and guided my quivering dick into her slick heat. She rode me. I came almost instantly, but she needed more. She ground herself against me, seeking her own release. I had a feeling there would be nothing satisfying her hunger tonight.


 The wheels of justice might turn slowly, but destiny's punishment can be swift and merciless.

    The Always Cambridge Series chronicles the life of Holly Cambridge through her tumultuous childhood, violent teen years into adulthood, and the consequences that stem from being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge.

In the next highly charged installment of the Always Cambridge Saga, all the men in Holly’s life come together in one common goal—to keep the woman they love alive.

Special Agent Alex Orton of the FBI prepares Holly for the rigorous court proceedings to come, where she will testify not only against her own family, but also against the Mayhue crime family, including Victor’s volatile and sinister older brother, Lorenzo.

However, in the midst of all the personal turmoil, Holly’s first love and former bodyguard, Randy Phillips, emerges from the chaos. He vows to not only stand by her through the trials, but accompany her into Witness Protection and her afterlife, if in fact they make it that far, as both the Mayhue and Cambridge crime families swear retribution.

But in a twist of law and fate, Lorenzo Mayhue is unexpectedly released from prison and lures Holly to the Mayhue Excavating warehouses under the guise of Victor.

Five people enter the storehouse, but only three walk out.

Hope you enjoyed this, intense snippet from the fourth book in the Always Cambridge Series, Law & Order : Crime & Chaos. Nothing sexier than a man laying it all on the line for his woman.

 Follow the saga from the beginning... Always Cambridge 
The Cambridge series should be read in sequence.
Check out the linky list below for all the MSS participants.
Have a Sexy Saturday!  

Friday 24 April 2015

#ReleaseDay DARK FOURSOME (Lustful Possession Bk2) #99cents #erotic #paranormal @MuseItHOT

YAY! It's release day for the second book in the 
Lustful Possession Series 

Is it possible for the human body to recover from supernatural possession?

That’s the question, Josh Hewes and Crishtin Davenport grapple with daily.
After being controlled by some amorous spirits during a paranormal investigation, their lives have not been their own. 

In an attempt to help the apparitions “crossover” the only thing they’d been successful in doing, is allowing the souls of Miles Townshend and Shelley Smythe — two long dead individuals — to take up semi-permanent residence as their hosts and use their corporeal bodies at whim.

Josh and Crish are beginning to have feelings for one another, but to complicate matters; they are also developing affections for the insatiable phantoms who visit them nightly.
As Josh and Crish attempt to find a way to rid themselves of their bothersome visitors, normal life has to resume, and Josh having work commitments to fulfill, jets off to Ireland on yet another paranormal investigation with his colleagues. 

But Josh soon discovers that mixing spiritual possession with a malevolently haunted castle can carry grave consequences.


I'm also celebrating release day with my good friend and fellow author, the lovely Meg Amor today. So pop over, we'd love to see you. There's a giveaway, too!
Book One
Meet Me in the Dark is also still .99¢

Crishtin Davenport thought she was attending a simple Halloween event—A good scare to get the blood pumping. But instead she finds her pulse racing over one of the event’s organizers.

Josh Hewes loves nothing more than investigating paranormal activity, but after meeting Crishtin the only thing he wants to explore is her.

However, getting to know one another takes an unexpected turn when some randy spirits get in on the act.

Crish and Josh are inexplicably drawn into a heady web of desire and want nothing more than to possess each other. But they’re not the only ones.

Be careful what you invite in to play…

1-Click @ Amazon



Thursday 23 April 2015

LUST by @LeddyHarper Release Day Blitz #erotic #romance

Title: Lust
Author: Leddy Harper         
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: April 23, 2015

Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours


My darkness was born in it.
Her secret was created by it.
My job was immersed in it.
It would either ruin us or save us.

My name is Caden Morgan, and I am a sex surrogate.
After years of seclusion and fear-induced abstinence, Ivy Jaymes came to me to fix her. Her love of erotic books brought her out of hiding and into my office. I had done this sort of thing hundreds of times… but she was different.
Ivy’s secrets threatened my own.
Her darkness paralleled mine. 
And my obsession for her was sure to break me.

Could we heal each other with love?
Or would we end up decimating one another with Lust?

Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped. She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.  She is now a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of females. The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. And to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.

Author Links:
Amazon * Facebook * Facebook FanPage * Twitter * Web

Buy Links: 

Tuesday 21 April 2015

#NewRelease Lose Control by @DoninaLynn #erotic #contemporary @evernightpub


Thank you having me here today! I’m so excited to be sharing my new release Lose Control with you!

Myles and Cassie’s story isn’t about wine and romance. Their journey is about finding love with someone who you not only click with personally, but physically as well.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to sex we all have our likes and dislikes, right? We have our preferences and what we’re willing to do. On the flipside, we also have that list in our heads of deal breakers that when mentioned make you want to run in the other direction because there’s NO WAY you’re giving that a try. Kink-meter has been officially been pegged, thank you very much.

Lose control is about finding that person you’re compatible and comfortable with. The one who has the same wants and desires, and is perfect for you both in and out of the bedroom. It’s about falling for someone who can love every part of who you are … even if some of those parts can be a bit naughty. ;-) 


Myles Oliver Dayton likes control in every aspect of his life. He desires it, demands it in the board room and his bedroom. But when his teenage crush walks into his office to be his temporary assistant, the tight restraint he kept on his emotions starts to come undone. Something he couldn’t allow. His idea of love is demanding and possessive, and in the end there would only be pain—for both of them. 

Cassie Sorrelson grabs onto opportunities when they come along and assisting Myles with all his demands is an opportunity she isn’t about to pass up. Sexy and controlling, he has her breathing hard and soon yearning for more than a few days together at the corporate retreat. When he suddenly pulls back, though, and refuses the desire she knows is running hot within him, Cassie is going to have to work at getting what she wants … making Myles lose control. 


“What the hell are you thinking?”

The door barely clicked shut before Cassie let loose on Myles. By the time she’d walked down the steps and made it to the furthest room of the lower level—where hopefully neither Blake nor his lawyer could hear what most assuredly was going to be shouting—she’d mentally worked herself up to the boiling point. She was beyond pissed, and he was damn well going to know it, too.

“For a man who likes to proclaim he needs to be in control of everything, you sure as hell don’t show it.” Cassie couldn’t stand still. Her nerves and temper were prompting her to pace back and forth as she flung her hands around in the air, emphasizing her rant. “Did you happen to notice his lawyer? I could see the dollar signs light up in his eyes when you lost it up there. He was just waiting for you to make a move. Ever hear of a lawsuit? You were about an inch away from getting one slapped on your ass. And over what? Because you thought my honor needed protecting? I neither want nor need any protection or help from you.”

Cassie stopped, planted her hands on her hips, and tapped out her annoyance with her foot while she stared at him. Waiting. For anything. Any type of reaction…at all. Of course, there was nothing from him other than the stoic, stern look on his face. The man was insufferable and she’d probably have better luck trying to beat an answer out of a rock.

“For Christ’s sake, Myles, say something.”

“He will treat you with respect. No one talks to what’s mine like that.”

“Mine?” Cassie shouted at him. “Now all of a sudden I’m yours? A few hours ago, you made it clear you didn’t want me and now I’m yours? I’m nobody’s but my own person. Let me make myself clear so there will be no misunderstandings between us. I can speak for myself, fight my own battles, and handle someone like Blake. And who says I don’t want to go with him? If I want to fuck him, the lawyer, or every man in the whole state of Colorado, I damn well will. You gave up the right to have your opinion heard the minute you pushed me away.”

Tears stung the back of her eyes, and Cassie headed for the door before all the anger, frustration, and hurt threatening to pour out ran down her cheeks like a river. Grasping the handle, she threw over her shoulder, “You have no say in what I do or don’t do.”

“The hell I don’t.”

                                   All Romance eBooks


Donina Lynn lives in a small rural Pennsylvania town with her daughter and German Shepherd.  Coincidentally, it's the same town where she grew up.  There was a time, however, when she ventured away from her home and moved around a bit, crossed a few state lines, and got a degree or two.  But, eventually she found her way back to where it all began.

When she's not at her day job, hanging with her family, curled up with her Kindle, or typing away at the computer, you can find her in front of the TV watching anything paranormal, sci-fi, or a good action flick.  Respect and admiration go to any show or movie that can incorporate explosions, big guns, some ass-kicking, and gratuitous butt shots.

Her addiction to romance novels started as soon as she could turn a page and has carried with her until she decided it was time to fulfill a promise she made to herself and give writing one a whirl.  Her goal is to create stories and characters that the reader can relate to, laugh with and have them routing for that happily-ever-after.  If there happens to be a few steamy scenes, well...that's just an added bonus.


Sunday 19 April 2015

#NewRelease Filling the Void (The Blood Lover Chronicles Book 1) Morgan Hunter @MH_Author #vamps #erotic

Author: Morgan Hunter

Book Title: Filling the Void (Book One)

Series Name: The Blood Lover Chronicles

Book Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Sub-genre: Vampires

Book Blurb:

From sucking the life from her beloved to asserting herself as a true elite master of blood-filling and sexual prowess, this story follows the bloodsucking adventures of a female vampire that has it all.

Unfortunately, the elite undead still have scrapes with the reaper and this female temptress is beginning to realize that even well-executed plans can falter. Then there's Daron Alexander; the only human in more than four-hundred years to put her sexual radar through an unnerving series of both gratifying and terrible loops.

Will she allow Daron to be her undoing or will she take her place as the master temptress and destroy all who get in her way? To find out, join the vampire ranks on this harrowing and seductive journey as our female seductress struggles with lust, loyalty, and love.

She stood against a light pole near the curb outside a pub I liked to frequent when I was in town, The Axe and Fiddle.  I liked the music and atmosphere and, what can I say, it was a great place to pick up fine blood fills. We were in Cottage Grove, ten minutes from Eugene, so I figured she was an undergraduate at the University of Oregon. Her pouty lips accepted a cigarette effortlessly and the smoke enveloped her curves like she had just appeared out of nothing. Her low-cut plaid skirt waved slightly in the subtle breeze and I wondered what I’d find if I got the chance to sneak a peek. I had to go talk to her so I pulled out a pack of Camel’s to show her I was friendly.

“May I have a light?”

I thought I startled her, but she quickly replied, “You…you’re beautiful!” She shook as she held the lighter out for me. 

“Thanks,” I snapped as if I was extremely narcissistic or didn’t care. 

Funny enough, both were true. I had heard that line thousands of times, and it just didn’t have the same effect as it used to when I was a budding vamp. However, since she was my first woman, I thought I’d let it slide.

She just kept staring at me, scanning me with her hazel eyes like she had to take me in a few times so she would never forget what had graced her presence. She was almost as pretty as I was, but I had a beauty secret she could never maintain; fresh unsuspecting blood. It was tragic really, knowing that her death was only hours away at most. But I hungered for wet flesh and she was the prize I craved. 

“So, where’re you from?” I asked.

She continued to stare. “I’m…uh…Joana.” 

I smirked. “So, you’re from Joana? Where’s that?” 

“Oh, um, no! That’s my name…I’m from Portland!”

I winked at her. “You know you don’t have to shout it, darling. I have perfectly good ears. I’m from Salem, myself.”

Her gaze locked on my three carat diamond earrings dangling from flawless lobes. They were spoils from my last rendezvous. “I shouldn’t be talking to you.” She hesitated. “I’m not like you.” 

“Well that’s what I was hoping for. If you were just like me, I wouldn’t be able to have the kind of fun that I was hoping for later.”

Her eyes widened. “What do you mean?”

Now, I could have taken it slow and just brushed my index finger across her rosy cheek while talking her up a bit, but I could tell she was the kind of girl that got taken advantage of quite often. She reeked of insecurity and, while I liked the hunt just as much as the next vamp, I thought she would be an easy way to test my curiosity for the same gender. Her needy gaze reminded me of all the men I had seduced. She would do whatever I wanted whether words were involved or not. Just like I craved blood, she craved acceptance and she didn’t care what the price was as long as she got what she needed; no matter how temporary.

Author Bio:

Lots of individuals like to credit their college degree or some life hero for their accomplishments (and that's fine), but Morgan Hunter prefers to call it an overactive sex-drive coupled with an imagination that teeters on the edge of insanity. After two tours in the military and many a quarrel with the written word, decadent erotic stories slowly began to emerge. Many years later, while sitting comfortably at home, Morgan found a way to make complete strangers' special places tingle from thousands of miles away.

Oregon harbors the Hunter family along with two spoiled dogs.

Find Morgan Hunter:

Saturday 18 April 2015

#MySexySaturday Nothing Says I've Got You, Babe, Like Taking Out the Mob for the One You Love!

Welcome to the 88th week of My Sexy Saturday. 
This week’s theme is Sexy’s Got You, Babe and is based upon the old Sonny and Cher song, I’ve Got You, Babe. This is all about the lovers who are always there for each other. Rent’s due, no money yet they have each other; life’s throwing them a curve ball, they have each other; job expectations aren’t panning out yet they still have each other. You get the idea. Their external odds maybe be insurmountable, or seem that way, yet they have one another held firmly in their love.

Well it's not rent or money issues, but when the mob is out to get you, you want this guy at your back. A snippet from Law & Order : Crime & Chaos (Always Cambridge Book Four)


The next thing I knew, the sliding door was thrown open and daylight streamed into the van, blinding me. I braced, waiting for the pain of the bullets to rip through me.


“Randy! Randy!” I sobbed, scrambling between the bodies of the two men with me to get to him. I didn’t know if it was safe to get up but all I could think of was getting to him. I barely saw him in the doorway holding an automatic weapon in one hand, his other arm open ready to catch me. I leapt at him. He caught me and swung me out of the van. I tightened my arms around his neck as I looked over his shoulder. There were bodies and blood and body parts all over the pavement. I knew in an instant Randy had just killed several of the men who now littered the ground. He killed them before they killed me.

Sirens blared in the distance, coming towards us fast.

With me in his arms, Randy ran to the third van. The sliding door opened and we dove inside. The door shut behind us.

“Jesus Christ! What the fuck are you guys doing?” Randy bellowed at our Bureau liaisons. He continued to hold me tight as I trembled in his arms. But I could feel his own strong body quake too.

“I think you got them all,” Franco breathed.

“No fuckin’ shit!” Randy raged. “Did you fuck-ups even fire a fuckin’ shot?”

BLURB: Always Cambridge 4 Law & Order : Crime & Chaos 

 The wheels of justice might turn slowly, but destiny's punishment can be swift and merciless.

    The Always Cambridge Series chronicles the life of Holly Cambridge through her tumultuous childhood, violent teen years into adulthood, and the consequences that stem from being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge.

In the next highly charged installment of the Always Cambridge Saga, all the men in Holly’s life come together in one common goal—to keep the woman they love alive.

Special Agent Alex Orton of the FBI prepares Holly for the rigorous court proceedings to come, where she will testify not only against her own family, but also against the Mayhue crime family, including Victor’s volatile and sinister older brother, Lorenzo.

However, in the midst of all the personal turmoil, Holly’s first love and former bodyguard, Randy Phillips, emerges from the chaos. He vows to not only stand by her through the trials, but accompany her into Witness Protection and her afterlife, if in fact they make it that far, as both the Mayhue and Cambridge crime families swear retribution.

But in a twist of law and fate, Lorenzo Mayhue is unexpectedly released from prison and lures Holly to the Mayhue Excavating warehouses under the guise of Victor.

Five people enter the storehouse, but only three walk out.

Hope you enjoyed this, dramatic snippet from the fourth book in the Always Cambridge Series, Law & Order : Crime & Chaos. Nothing sexier than a man laying it all on the line for his woman.

 Follow the saga from the beginning... Always Cambridge 
The Cambridge series should be read in sequence.

Check out the linky list below for all the MSS participants.
Have a Sexy Saturday!  

Friday 17 April 2015

Spring Into Love #CoverReveal 11 Hot Contemporary Romances Boxed Set #99cents

                              Spring Into Love: 11 Hot Contemporary Romances
From SENSUAL to SPICY this boxed set of ELEVEN
contemporary romances includes 

multi-published authors.

If you like variety in
your books these ELEVEN authors
provide your heart’s desire from SWEET and

SPRING INTO LOVE will warm your heart and your bed. 
This is a limited time offer,
so grab your set today! ONLY 99¢!

~~Purchase Links~~
Barnes & Noble: Coming Soon 

~~Books Included~~

Happy Endings - Chantel Rhondeau
Tasting Los Angeles- Kimmie Easley
Taming Romeo - Rachelle Ayala
Consolation Prize - Abbie St. Claire
Sweet Ride! - Bonnie Edwards
Liveon ~ No Evil - Stacy Eaton
Everybody's After Love - Lyssa Layne
Betrayed - Jade Kerrion
Finding Forever- Michele Shriver
Love Unleashed - Marcia James
Kiss Me, Dancer - Alicia & Roy Street

~~Purchase Links~~
Barnes & Noble: Coming Soon 

Thursday 16 April 2015

#LastCall You Found Me #ChapterThree The Duke or the Laird, Who will she Choose? #historicalromance

As promised here is chapter three from historical romance You Found Me, to which I've asked for my rights back. (story here along with Chapter One, if you missed it) And here is the link to last week's share of Chapter Two.

Injured, lost and alone, what more could a girl ask for than to be rescued by a roguish Scottish Laird and a proper English Duke?

Marcus Sunderland, reared in England, groomed from birth to be the Duke of Carlton, is everything a proper English gentleman should be. Unwaveringly loyal to his liege and childhood playmate Queen Elnor, devoted to his people and his country.

Laird Niall Lummisden of Clan Logan in Lomond, Scotland, is everything a roguish Scottish Laird should be. Dedicated to his clan. Friendly, easygoing, born with confident swagger, he is the complete antithesis to his English half-brother Marcus.

As the brothers travel to a royal engagement they discover a woman left for dead in the road, beaten beyond recognition. It is decreed by his Queen that Marcus must take the stranger back to his estate to recover from her injuries. The unidentified woman not only survives the vicious attack but, as she begins to heal and communicate, struggling to recall her life before they found her, both men are intrigued and attracted to her.

The Duke and the Laird have survived a lifetime of cultural and political differences, but can the brothers survive her?

While your reading enjoy Kelly Clarkson's You Found Me ...

Chapter Three

The next week went by quickly for all except the battered victim. She became a little stronger, a little less swollen, and a little less blue. Yellow-and-green splotches bloomed over the fair skin, replacing the ugly deep purple as it faded. Her eyes opened to slits and the jaw was healed enough to allow the woman to be able to chew again.
Niall had a routine. He let the women tend to her during the daylight hours while he attended to his own chores and dealings. During the evening, he would help her eat, and later he talked about inconsequential things, sang whatever songs came to mind, and read to her. When she tired, the big Scot crawled into bed with her and cradled the broken body against his own until they slept. She was most calm when he was with her. It was highly improper, but Marcus could not persuade his brother to stay away.
Niall spoke to her incessantly. She was beginning to converse with him.
Every time Marcus attempted to question her, he grew more frustrated. She gave the same responses every day, claiming to remember nothing from before they found her in the road. Not a face, not a person, not a name or her home. She could not even remember her own name. Marcus grew more suspicious by the day. Perhaps her memory loss was just a ruse, all a part of the game she played against his sovereign. Perhaps he would be able to persuade her memory to return while Niall was away. His brother had received a message from Logan in Lomond. The Laird was needed at home and would be leaving the next day.
Marcus was in his room, seated at the desk working on his accounts, when Niall strode through the door. He walked past him and into the Lady’s Chamber.
“G’afternoon, Sweet,” Marcus heard him greet her. “You may go.” Niall dismissed the maid who’d been sitting with her. She scurried out of the room, pausing to bob a “Your Grace,” to Marcus, as she fled.
Marcus made his way to the door between the two rooms to observe the couple, lured by the curious bond they’d so quickly achieved.
“How long ’ave ya been sittin’ up?”
She was seated in a chair by the window. He could see the strain of trying to sit up in the set of her shoulders.
“I know naught,” she said through healing lips. “The warmth from the sun feels so nice.”
Marcus could not even detect from her accent what part of England she might be from, let alone what class. But she was definitely English. It was a start.
“Marcus, help me get her back in bed.” Niall called him from his place in the doorway.
“Why did you not get the maid to help you before you dismissed her?”
“Come on, I just doona want ta hurt her arm.”
The brothers awkwardly manoeuvred her into bed. Niall joined her there, to Marcus’ obvious dismay.
“Doona start.” Niall raised his hand warning Marcus not to lecture him again about how improper this was.
Marcus threw himself into a chair by the door, mumbling something about nursemaids and chaperones. Marcus lounged there trying to look bored and not at all interested in the couple.
Niall stroked her hair while she played with his plaid scarf that displayed his family colours. They looked very comfortable together.
“Sweet, I ’ave ta go away for a wee bit. I am needed at ’ome.”
“At home? Is this not your home?” She sounded confused.
“No, Sweet, this be Marcus’s ’ome. I live no’ far from here, over the border at Lomond in Scotland.”
“Are we in England, then?” she asked, her cracked lips making her speech garbled.
“Aye, lass, we are in England.” Niall looked sideways at his brother.
Marcus listened intently, hoping the woman would reveal something incriminating.
“How long will you be away?”
“I’m no’ sure how long ’twill be.” They lapsed into silence for a bit.
“I’ll miss you,” she whispered.
“I’ll miss ya too, Sweet.” He hugged her to him gently.
Not for the first time Marcus wondered at their strange attachment.
“Jus’ think, lass, next time I see ya, ye’ll be on yer feet, aye?” he encouraged, smiling.
“Yes,” she whispered. “And I will be able to see you clearly.” She struggled to reach his face with her broken arm but was only able to touch his chin with her fingertips. Marcus felt like he should look away.
Niall closed his eyes as if he were enjoying her touch. “Aye, Sweet, and I’ll be able ta see ya too.”
* * * *
Niall left the next morning. Marcus remained busy and out of the keep most of the day. By the time he made it to his bed that night he was exhausted. He supposed he should have at least inquired as to his guest’s condition that day. He would tomorrow, he thought, as he drifted off to sleep.
He awoke sometime later and lay listening into the darkness, trying to decipher what had woken him.
Thrashing. The girl was restless in her slumber without Niall. Was that a sob? Damn it! He should have had one of the maids sleep in there with her.
Pulling a pillow over his head, he attempted to shut out her cries. Even though the pillow stopped the noise, it did not quiet his conscience. Or Niall’s parting request for him to take care of her. Throwing off the covers in anger, he stomped to the door. He snatched a candle from his dresser top and lit it, then opened the door between the chambers.
On first sight, he thought she was awake. Her eyes were open — well, as open as she could make them. She did not look toward the light or him. The covers were askew. Her night rail was rucked up to mid-thigh.
“Are you in pain, lass?” He did not know what to call her. It was awkward.
She gasped, and then her eyes started to blink rapidly. Her good hand raked the long hair away from her face. Marcus moved closer with the candle. Perhaps she had not been awake after all. She made a pitiful attempt to scramble backward away from him. Hindered by her injuries, she ended up in a painful heap. He hurried to put the candle on the bedside table.
“It’s all right. You’re fine, love. It’s Marcus. You are safe here.” He tried to calm her.
She seemed on the edge of hysteria. Marcus racked his brain. What would Niall say to calm her?
She ceased her struggles when she felt his weight sag the mattress and his hands soothing her. Her eyes searched his, her head tilting to the side in confusion.
“Niall?” Her gaze searched the bed.
“It’s Marcus, love,” he tried to keep his voice soft and coaxing. “Niall had to leave. Remember?”
“Niall had to leave,” she repeated, nodding her head as if trying to comprehend. She was making soft hiccupping noises.
He tried to settle her back against the pillows and cover her. She regarded him intently, not taking her eyes off him. Was she afraid of him? Him? She was far safer with him than with Niall.
“Are you in pain?” he asked, perching again on the bed beside her.
“A little,” she whispered.
He poured a spoonful of laudanum from the flask Hester kept on the bedside table. She took it without even a wince at the bitter taste. She must be accustomed to it by now.
“Better?” he asked.
“It will be. Thank you.”
“Shall I call someone? One of the maids? Hester?” He did not feel right about leaving her alone.
“No, thank you. I just…” She swallowed audibly in the silent room. Again her gaze fell to the bed as if she wished Niall might magically appear there. “I’m just…I’m sorry I woke you.”
“No, it’s fine. I was not yet asleep.” Why did I lie to her?
They sat in awkward silence for a moment, their breathing the only sound in the room.
“I will leave you now to sleep.”
She nodded and he rose to leave, picking up the taper as he went. He could feel her eyes on his back all the way to the door. He turned to close the door and stood facing her for a moment.
“Good night…Marcus,” she hesitated, using his name for the first time.
Why would the sound of his name from her lips bring bumps to his flesh? Over-tiredness that’s what it was.
He closed the door and eased back into his own bed and tried to sleep. He could still hear her tossing. Strange how he had never heard a noise when Niall was with her. You would think with two people occupying the room he would have heard something. But tonight he was acutely conscious of her movements.
The laudanum should take effect soon and give her some peace, he thought. But an hour later she was still restless. Getting up he approached the door, not even bothering to knock before entering. It’s the only way I’m going to get any sleep this night.
He went to the bed, jerked back the covers, and lay down, pulling her to him. Marcus guided her head and injured arm over his chest as he had witnessed Niall do time and again.
Lying back, covering them both, he prayed for sleep. She did not object to his actions, but her body remained stiff against him. He did not stroke her or give her pretty words as Niall would have, he just waited.
Eventually her body slackened, little by little. Marcus could feel parts of her soften as she allowed herself to relax; he could name them as they went. Closing his eyes, Marcus allowed himself to unwind, and before he knew it, there was sunlight on their faces.
* * * *
In his groggy state, he did not think but pulled her closer. She was so warm. The weight of her head on his chest felt right. He came fully awake when he noticed her absently stroking his bare chest with the fingers of her broken arm that remained in a sling. He sighed contentedly, and when she stiffened in his arms he knew she was now fully awake as well.
Now, how to extricate himself from this situation without too much embarrassment. He had to leave before the maids or Hester came to check on her. His eyes came to rest on the sealed door across from the bed. He should really think about having the outer door to the Lady’s Chamber reopened. One of his ancestors had had it sealed off to curb his wife’s movements, making it necessary to go through the master’s chamber to get in or out. His parents had shared the Duke’s suite, his mother using the Lady’s Chamber as more of a dressing room than a bedchamber, the door never being an issue for them.
“Good morning,” he managed in a sleep-deepened voice.
She tilted her head so she could peer at him, her ear still flat to his bare chest.
Her eyes had opened quite a bit now that the swelling was receding, he noticed, but the whites of her eyes still looked blood-soaked and watery. He wondered what colour her eyes were. Inexplicably, he wished them to be green.
“Good morrow, Marcus,” she whispered shyly.
He was strangely pleased she remembered his name.
“I need to go before the maids…” He did not finish the thought but nodded toward the open door between their chambers.
He lifted the blanket and left her bed. She started to say something just as Marcus heard voices in the hallway outside his suite.
“Ssshhh, love,” he whispered putting a finger to his lips.
He shut the door quickly and dove into his own bed just as the door opened. He sat up yawning, exaggerating his awakening, as they came in.
“Good morn, Your Grace.” It was Hester, with a maid trailing behind her. She kept her head down, not looking his way. He thought again how strange it was to have people traipsing through his private chamber. But that had been the routine since the beleaguered woman had invaded his home. He should really think seriously about unsealing that door.
“Good morn, mistress. Did you sleep well?” Marcus heard Hester ask.
Marcus detected the smile in her voice when his bedmate replied, “Re-marcus-bly, well.”
She said it very slowly, enunciating every syllable. No one else would notice her quip, save him, with her speech still impeded by the swollen flesh of her tattered lips. Marcus laughed out loud at her unexpected attempt at humour, right before they closed the door on him.
* * * *
That evening started out the same as the last, each of them in their own beds, but as soon as she began to get restless he crawled into bed with her.
The next night, and for the remainder of the week, Marcus waited until the rest of the keep quieted for the night before he went to her, pulled her close, and slept.
It was at the end of the week that a messenger from the queen arrived summoning Marcus to her.
He left the next morning.

As I mentioned, I've asked for the rights back to this story and as of some time next week it will no longer be available for purchase. So if you'd like to own it before it goes away, here are the links.  I hope someday this story will return new and improved and with several other stories to accompany it. Thank you to all the readers who have read and enjoyed this book.
Still available for a limited time