Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Trouble With Misbehaving






The Trouble with Misbehaving
by Victoria Hanlen

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:

Love, Betrayal and Redemption

Calista ‘CC’ Collins is used to being the talk of the town. With her scandalous past she’s learnt the hard way that a woman needs to be strong to get what she wants in a man’s world. And what she wants is the infamous Captain Beauford Tollier—roguish son of an earl, notorious blockade-runner and all-round knave of the seas.

However, Captain Beau is not one to be cajoled—he is done with the dangerous sea life and ready to follow the life of the straight and narrow. But with many powerful forces circling around him, Beau doesn’t stand a chance…


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EXCERPTS 



Clutching her elbow, he led her across the manicured lawn into a copse of trees.

What are you do—”

He swung them behind a tree and peered out. Whatever she wanted to talk about suddenly lost importance. The villains following him were the more immediate problem.

“Tell me—”

“Shhhh.” He pressed a finger to her lips.

Two men in top hats stepped off the gravel path and picked their way across the lawn.

Beau marched C.C. deeper into the grove around trees and shrubs. Then through an archway of fragrant vines to a fountain struggling to reflect hazy moonlight. They needed to stay quiet and hidden.

“Before you drag me any further into the bushes—”

Didn’t the woman know the meaning of shhhh? She would give away their hiding place if he didn’t do something quick. He pulled her to him and covered her mouth with his. Mint and vanilla filled his senses.

Her sweet, almost maidenly response surprised him. No, she probably wasn’t a tart. Just a hasty stolen kiss, yet he couldn’t help appreciate the tantalizing fit of her supple lips under his and how her body softened against him. His heart stammered and launched into a faster beat. Lifting his head, he gazed about her bewildered, upturned countenance, breathlessly poised for a man’s kisses. Hmm, not entirely a maiden either.

Perhaps another quick kiss would clarify matters?

Excerpt -

“Dear brother, it’s more than cultural differences! She’s been here a decade. We’ve talked ourselves hoarse trying to convince her she only reinforces the rumors of instability with outbursts like those at dinner. She truly acts chastened and then does it again. I’ve a mind, deep down, our Miss Collins hates men.”

Beau slowly rolled his cigar in his mouth remembering how her soft, full lips moved so delightfully under his and how her lush body melted against him. He jerked the cigar from his mouth. “There must be some mistake.”

His brother’s expression grew reflective. “Had a mare like her once. Refused every stud we presented. Nearly gelded one or two we had mount—”

Mount. Dear God. “Well I—” Beau coughed as he struggled to keep a provocative image of he and C.C. from his mind. Fatigue, too much brandy and now this added bit of mischief made his head pound. Pinching his eyes together, he blinked and grasped for some topic to erase the image. “Does she have outbursts with women?”

“Never seen one. Can’t say she’s ever spoken to me in any way but cordial either. Odd woman, our Auntie Cali. The insanity must come from her American mother’s side.”

Thomas turned and slapped Beau on the back. “I’ve a wonderful wife and must occasionally brush up against some of her crazy relatives. You, on the other hand, are free to keep whatever company suits you. Miss Collins is a pretty package but believe me, you can do better.”


Excerpt -

“Since you burned my letters we still have much to discuss.”

He squared his shoulders. “I think not. Our brief association is at an end. I do not wish to be a part of your mad games. After the night before last—”

“After the night before last?”

“It seems best to allow you your distance.”

He heard a quick intake of breath and a rustle of silk. Her voice seemed to rise in pitch, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone what you almost did with crazy ol’ Miss Collins. But then you have lots of secrets, do you not, Captain Tollier? What’s one more?”

“I don’t know what you mean, nor do I care.” He started walking again.

“Looking at all these…lovely portraits, I can see why people whisper you’re the family’s cuckoo.”

Lurching around, he clenched his fists in an effort to control his temper. Not only did the insult shock, it cut into one of his earliest, deepest insecurities. He lowered his voice to a dangerous calm. “You are fortunate to be a woman, madam. Were you a man, such an insult might force me to call you out.”

She stood and gave him a look so sultry it almost begged him to teach her lessons of a different sort.

“Ah yes, call me out. And what should I call you?”

He turned to leave, hoping to prevent saying or doing something he’d regret. Before he’d taken two steps, C.C. said in a voice full of authority, “Mr. Wainwright. Perhaps Captain Scott? Or would it be Cornelius Dolan?”

The hairs on his neck stood straight out.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Award winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is happily-ever-afters spiced with a dash of wit and a page-turning mystery. Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.
She enjoys hearing from readers at:
http://www.victoriahanlen.com
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