Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and your family from the ladies at Sinfully Tasty Reads! 

Have a blessed one!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Author Interview and giveaway w/ Marissa Dobson!

Hey everyone!

We got the chance to interview author Marissa Dobson this week and we're really excited to share it with you. She is also a blogger just like us and loves to read and review books! She is really sweet and we're really excited to help spread the word about her latest story in Believe! Believe is a mix of short Christmas stories.

For more information on it click the link below:

You can also find more information about Marissa here:

Please read to the very end where Marissa will be giving away a copy of Believe to one lucky winner!

Growing up, have you always dreamed of becoming a published author?
Yes I have always wanted to be an author. I used to write stories in my notebooks, all the time. I always had a new story idea.
Now being a published author, what have you learned from the process?
I have learned a lot through the process, but one thing that stands out from everything else is that if you want to be published you must believe in yourself and your work. This is not an easy career, and you will be pushed down and disappointed at times but you must pull yourself together and brush the dust off to try again. Never give up!
With all your accomplishments, what would you say to your teen self about life and goals?
I would tell my teen self to shoot for the stars. You never know what you can do and how good you can be until you try.
Can you tell us what you plan to work on next?
I just finished up another short romance story. But I am also polishing off a paranormal story, and hoping to have it ready to submit to my publisher around the first of the year. I plan to dive into a new project here in the next few days also. So you could say there are a few pots on the stove at the moment.
Describe the perfect man?
My perfect man, boy now that is some what hard. My perfect man when writing is whatever main male character I am working with. I always mold them into the perfect man for the story. But for me the perfect man is my husband. He is sweet, romantic, supportive, and everything I wanted in a man. But don’t tell him that, he might get a big head.
Finally, if you could rewrite a book and turn into your story, what book would that be and why?
I honestly don’t know if I would want to rewrite a book for two reasons. I see so many authors rewriting classics stories, such as Little Women, Red Riding Hood, and so on and I don’t think they are as good as the classics. I think they took way something that shouldn’t have been done. When an author writes their book, they put their heart and soul into it, and it to me is precious and should not be changed. Second reason is to me that reminds me too much of fanfic. If you want to be a writer you should create your own charcters and your own world, not take work that someone else created to make your own. To me it seems like a rip off.

Lot's of Thanks to Marissa!
Marissa was also kind enough to offer one lucky person an Ebook copy of Believe!

To Enter you must be 18+ yrs old
Fill out the FORM below
Giveaway Ends December 20th!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Review: Love Bites By Margie Church

An accidental encounter turns into high stakes love when Jui Fabrice meets Wade Kairos in Germany. She has no idea he's a vampire and Wade has every intention of keeping his secreet.

A vineyard cottage is the perfect place for jui and Wade to make love until he discovers her unigue link to his living years. He vows to stay away from her forever, but he can't let her go completely. Wade's repressed human feelings continue rising. He invades Jui's dreams and communicates telepathically with her at will. Evil jealousy consumes him when jui becomes involved with Rob Hawthorne and she rebukes Wade for his controlling behaviors.

Then Wade's lifelong companion dies in a vamp war and his desolation is too much to handle alone. He turns to the only person who cares about him-Jui-and for one hot night, he becomes the man she's wanted all along.

The Ancient One, Ladislav Husek, learns of Wade's risky human behavior and gives Wade a taste of how viciously he'll die if he doesn't bury his tracks with Jui. Husek promises to turn Jui into his personal playmate and Wade has to choose. Can love prevail over evil in a relationship that never was supposed to happen?

My Thoughts:

First off, let me start this review by saying that I absolutely LOVED this book and enjoyed reading every single word. To say that I couldn't put it down would be an understatement. I love how Margie Church wrote her characters. because of her illustrative description of each character and personalities, you get to understand them and relate to them. At least in terms of how they feel for one another. Her writing is remarkable. She lures you in immediately with Wade's character and his sexy hot looks. And you can't help but take a liking to Jui also. She's a very independent women who knows what she wants, gets what she wants and totally speaks her mind as needed. It actually sounds like Margie was writing about "me". LOL. Just Kidding.

So there you are minding your own business and you come across this sexy, hot looking thing and you can't help but just want to get to know what he's about. But as soon as you get close to him and you know he wants you, he pushes you away! What gives? Well that's what happen with Jui and Wade. He invaded the thoughts in her head and she just couldn't shake him off, no matter how much she tried moving on. He was there in her thoughts and she couldn't get enough of him. He kept his distance, knowing that he's a vampire and that he couldn't build a relationship with her. But seeing Jui moving on, though he told her too, made him for the first time as a vampire, jealous. However knowing how his action can be dangerously serious, he somehow has to find a way to let her go. But what is love, especially when it's forbidden love?

If you're looking for a sexy, hot vampire read, then you need to read "Love Bites" By Margie Church. Once you pick this book up, you're going to love it and won't put it down until you finish it. BTW this book is the first in series. So I can't wait to pick up "Dangerous Love". "Love Bites" is a Definite MUST read and Definite "Sinfully Tasty Read" =)

Here's Margie's pages:


Twitter: MargaretRChurch


Monday, November 29, 2010

Margie Church's Dangerous Love Blog Tour Stop And Giveaway

We here at Sinfully Tasty Reads are so excited to be a stop on Margie's busy blog tour. We got a chance to sit down with Margie so we figured we would ask her to give us 5 reason's we should run out and pick up a copy of Dangerous Love. Margie was also sweet enough to give us a little tasty excerpt of Dangerous Love....yummy. If you think that is all there is then you are in for an even more delicious treat. Our friend Margie has been nice enough to give away a copy of Dangerous Love to one lucky person.

5 Reasons you're going to love Dangerous Love

1. The characters are compelling. Whether they're human, vampires or shape shifters, they come alive on the page. You'll get a clear picture of what they look like, what makes them tick, how they think, and how they cope in their unique situations. When the story is over, you'll be thinking about them long after and anxious for Love Bites II: Redemptive Love.

2. The plot is rich. Hedonistic vamps have their own agendas and they're always cooking up ways to manipulate other afterworld creatures and humans, especially Wade and Jui. When their schemes converge, the explosive results will have you saying, "I never saw that coming."

3. Explosive romance. The love story between Wade and Jui leans toward kinky. Sometimes they are wild and erotic, other times soft and romantic. There are also some surprising male love and bondage relationships in Dangerous Love, too.

4. The story is clever. Wade pulls out all the stops to protect Jui from being turned into a vampire or a prophet. He risks his life time after time to prevent that from happening. The tools he gives Jui and the ways he protects her are believable and clever. The way the supernatural characters use their abilities just might make your jaw drop.

5. Dangerous Love is emotional. You'll experience love, anger, desire, hate, fear, and loathing. A sprinkle of humor takes the edge off the story while you get a snack and settle back for the next chapter.

Blurb: Dangerous Love – Love Bites Book II

Wade Kairos faces deadly consequences for defying the leader of the vampire nation. Ladislav Husek partners with Master Prophet Dirk, to prove Wade can run but he can't hide. And neither can Jui Fabrice, the woman Wade loves. Every bit of his ingenuity is needed to protect her from being turned into a vampire or a prophet.

If that's not enough trouble for him, another vampire from Wade's past comes forward and makes it abundantly clear that what used to be hers is still up for grabs.

Someone will pay with their life in Dangerous Love.

Adult Excerpt

Dangerous Love

By Margie Church

"Take off your shirt," she said while tearing open the foil package. His hard shaft jutted proudly in front of his body and Jui knelt, unable to resist sucking his gorgeous cock. She cupped his smooth balls as her lips and teeth moved up his length to the crown. She tickled the tip and let the long string of pre-cum cling to her tongue as she drew back. She smiled up at him before swallowing as much of his dick as she could. Her throat strained as she sucked him, and Wade's fingers digging into her shoulders told her how much he loved every second in her mouth.

When the ache in her body became irresistible, Jui pulled the condom out of its wrapper and began the tight journey over Wade's shaft. Then she bent over the couch and presented her glistening pussy to him. "Now it's my turn."

He pushed aside the thin strap of her thong and entered her. The pressure, the fullness of his shaft moving in her body, drove her crazy. She pumped hard against his hips, needing the glorious pain of release.

"Minx, slow down. I want to make this last."

She heard the words but couldn't obey. "We'll do it again. Make me come."

His teeth found a resting spot on her shoulder muscle. He reached around and slapped her clit.

She whimpered. "Yeah, again." The sting of his slap made her vaginal muscles tense with each tap, building the mindless need stemming from her pussy.

"Baby, you're out of control," Wade said. "Right now you just need to come. Let me give it all to you."

Wade pressed her hard against the back of the couch and drilled his cock into her pussy. Jui screamed with pleasure and encouragement. His finger teased her tight asshole and slowly entered. Her moans sounded loud and achy. She burned with lust. All she knew was his finger and cock were moving simultaneously in her, hard and fast and it . . .was . . . making . . . her come. She howled as her orgasm arrived, gripping his cock with her pussy, gushing slick juices around him.

His grunts grew louder and his thrusts slowed. "That's it. God you feel good, even with this nasty thing on my dick." He stiffened, and an extended groan filled the room. Suddenly, he pulled out, yanked off the condom, and spilled his cum on Jui's ass. "I'm going back in," he said in a raspy tone. "I have to feel you."

"Wade . . . ." Her sentence finished in a pleasurable groan as his wet shaft slid deep inside her.

Keep up with Margie:

Margie's website and blog: Romance with SASS

Twitter: @MargaretRChurch

Facebook: Margie Church

Red Lipstick Journals

Contest: Tell me what kind of paranormal romances you enjoy and why and you could win a copy of Dangerous Love!

Margie Church is giving away an eBook copy of Dangerous Love to 1 lucky person. So make sure to answer Margie's question (post slightly above this) in our comments section and also show Margie some love as well.

This giveaway ends December 4th at 11:59 P.M. and Margie will be picking a winner and posting on December 5th in the comments section so make sure to check back and see if you are the winner. Did I also mention this giveaway is international (as long as you are able to accept eBooks).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fool's Gold Holiday Wishes!

Hey Romance lovers, 

Susan Mallery has released her new Fool's Gold Holiday wishes magazine. You can find recipes, news on what happening in Fool's Gold and more! So take a look inside and then scroll down for more information on how to win a Fool's Gold Tote bag with picnic blanket and thermos. :0)

Susan Mallery is running a contest for bloggers who post the magazine some where on their sites/blogs. All you have to do is visit this link and copy the embed code and add to your blog. Either on your sidebar or a blog post. Then once it is post send an e-mail to Jenel - Susan's Assistant letting her know that you have posted it, where and the URL to your blog/site. SPREAD THE WORD!!!

Check out these links for more information on Susan Mallery's Fool's Gold series and her other books:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review Of In Dreams Begin By Skyler White

In Dreams Begin
In Dreams Begin By Skyler White
  • Pub. Date: November 2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Format: Paperback , 384pp
  • Sales Rank: 156,971
In a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry, and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power-but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist, instead. When Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne, Laura falls in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats. Their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats' poetry- until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces between Laura's time and her own. With Laura's Irish past threatening her orderly present, she and Yeats must find a way to make their love last over time, in changing bodies...or lose each other forever.

Let me start off by saying how fabulous I think the book cover is. The way the girl is posed and the dress she is wearing makes her and this cover HOT. Also the way the light comes streaming in from the window is awesome. With that being said I have to admit I had a hard time getting into this book. It starts out with a lesbian make out scene which isn't the problem. To me the real problem is having the book start out with it when I barely know who the characters are and therefore I have no vested interest in this scene. Also my taste in poetry tends to run on the dark side i.e. Edgar Allen Poe so the poetry at the beginning of each chapter, though it relates to the chapter, doesn't hold too much interest to me. I really wanted to love this book. I had wanted to read And Falling, Fly by Skyler so bad but never got the chance to so when the opportunity came to read In Dreams Begin I jumped all over it. When I received the book and saw the cover I was like wow this book is going to rock but it just didn't for me. I did enjoy the fact that Skyler used real people like William Butler Yeats a.k.a. W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne. When I found out she used the poet W.B. Yeats I had to Google him and Maud Gonne just to see what was really up with the two them. I enjoyed reading what really happened with them and comparing the two to how Skyler portrayed them. In that respect, I enjoyed the characters but the past life and first person/third person point of views just did not sit well with me. Just because this book was not for me does not mean that somebody else will not love it, which I am hearing, a lot of people do. I still want to read And Falling, Fly so this book has in no way soured me from reading another book by Skyler White. On a scale of 1-10 I give this book a 6. Like I said the cover was beautifully done and there were some parts to the book that I liked just not enough to keep me invested in the resolution.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Review Of The Redhead Revealed By Alice Clayton

The Redhead Revealed (Redhead Series Book 2) By Alice Clayton

  • Paperback: 228 pages

  • Publisher: Omnific Publishing; 1ST edition (2010)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1936305380

  • ISBN-13: 978-1936305384

  • Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)

  • Purchase: Barnes And Noble (link to purchase HERE)

  • Blurb:

    As their careers catch fire, Grace and Jack -- everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed, funny, and feisty couple -- find themselves on opposite coasts. Grace has landed in New York City, where she loves being onstage again, particularly because she’s playing a fabulous character in a musical written by her old college flame, Michael. Their rekindled friendship makes exploring the city that much more fun.

    Wait, it’s just friendship, right?

    Meanwhile, in L.A., Jack can scarcely keep up with the swirling throngs of women who track him everywhere he goes, the endless press appearances, and the ridiculous rules his manager, Holly, keeps concocting for him -- all part of the buildup to the release of Time, his steamy new film.

    Thank goodness for phone sex.

    But even when their schedules allow them to connect, Grace and Jack must keep their relationship off the radar and away from paparazzi cameras. Sure, the sex is sensational, but can this duo survive swirling rumors, the demands of their chosen professions, Grace’s raging internal battles, and a whopping nine-year age difference?

    Tick-tock, the clock is ticking. Isn’t it?

    Alice Clayton brings the second installment of a tale told with her magical mix of humor and heat, so cuddle up under the sheets and flip on the Golden Girls. Grace and Jack are at it again.

    OMFG, Alice Clayton does it again with her second book in the Redheaded Series. The Redhead Revealed was everything I could have hoped for and much, much more. I almost thought it would be impossible to duplicate the magic that was The Unidentified Redhead (read my review HERE) but Miss Alice has caught lightning in a bottle once again with her latest installment. I never get tired of reading about Jack and Grace's schmaltzy kind of love. Their love to me is the very definition of the way love should be HOT, passionate, electric, and feeling like the first time every time they get together. This book showed us how Gracie and George dealt with having a long distance relationship. Jack being on the West Coast (Los Angeles) and Grace being on the East Coast (New York City). It also introduced a possible love triangle by introducing (in much greater detail than in the previous book) Michael O'Connell an old college love that turned bad for Grace. I must say I am a stone cold, die hard Jack Hamilton fan so this possible love triangle came up I was practically screaming a my *eReader. How could Grace let this happen? How could she throw away what she has/had with Jack? Since reading this book I can definitely see why Alice did what she did and, knowing how it all plays out in the end, I can say she was right in doing so. I really must bow down and thank Alice for bringing such wonderful and dynamic characters into my life. Not only is this book a HOT and SEXY read it is also funny. I love the nick names Alice has given her characters like Sweet Nuts and Nuts Girl. I think only Alice could pull it off that kind of name play. I also LOVED The Golden Girl name references (I was a big fan of the show and got my hubby to love it too). Gotta love a guy who is willing to text you using the name Stanley In my opinion Alice has a winning series on her hands. Only Jack and Grace could fit together so perfectly from the get go crazy neurotic antics and all. On a scale of 1-10 I give this book a GINORMOUS 20. Miss Clayton took a fabulous first book and turned out a supremely delicious sequel with just the right amount of angst to fuel my need for more. I was also very happy to learn that there will indeed be a third book in this series. I so can not get enough of Jack and Grace. WHOO HOO to another book in this phenomenal series....^_^.

    *The Redhead Revealed was the virgin voyage of my eReader and what a way to break it in (maybe pun


    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Cover Love!

    Published January 2011 by Harlequin Nocturne Bites 

    An instrument for evil, trying to be good...

    Sick of living a life of cynicism and evil, Yuri went against his horde and completed a mission that now has him marked for death. With a bounty placed on his head by his depraved brother, Nikolai, Yuri has no choice but to run. He thought he’d be safe in the land of Mysts. But there is no hiding from your twin when he can read your mind. Wounded and with Nikolai’s hunters closing in, Yuri knows he must leave the Mysts and return home.

    A vessel for good, doing her best to be bad...

    As a child, Ileana lost everything thanks to Nikolai and his maniacal rebels. Now she’ll risk anything to see him brought down. Even if it means becoming a hunter, like the one who killed her family. When chance brings her face to face with Nikolai’s twin, Ileana thinks the hour of revenge is finally upon her. However, Yuri is nothing like the monster she’s hunting. In fact, he’s not like any man she’s ever known. Ileana swore to never need, never trust again. Yet every time he touches her, she feels the emptiness and hate inside her melt away into bone-deep desire.

    Together they might have a chance

    Yuri has dealt with the evil pit of his brother’s soul since the day he’s born. He’s not about to let his guard down around one of Nikolai’s bounty hunters. But Ileana is like no woman he’s ever met, warrior, soldier or mortal alike. She is every bit a match for his instincts, every bit the sensual and passionate ying to his yang. Can the would-be enemies work together to bring down the evil they both despise? Or will their love doom not only their cause, but their very lives?

    I cannot wait to read this book! I loved Shadow of The Vampire and Dragon Warrior by Meagan Hatfield and I am pretty sure I will love this one too! 

    Vampire in her Myst will be released in January 2011.

    Anyone else read and loved Shadow of The Vampire? How awesome is this cover????

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Release Day For Portrait Of His Obsession By Michelle M. Pillow

    Portrait Of His Obsession
    By Michelle M. Pillow

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 440 KB
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd (October 19,2010)
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047GNF50
  • Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)
  • Purchase: My Bookstore & More (link to purchase HERE)
  • Cover Art By Natalie Winters
  • Blurb:

    Not all obsessions are bad.

    Lord Harrison, Earl of Wrotham, once lived from pleasure to pleasure—until the rain-swept night he sets eyes on his best friend’s sister. Surely the beautiful temptress who dances in the moonlight can’t be the reserved, humorless prude of rumor.

  • Instantly smitten, he finds no pleasure in his old, roguish ways, and sets about taming his nature, molding himself into the kind of man he is sure will please her. Only then will he discover if she has a wild soul like his own, waiting to be released from the constraints of society.

    Knowing the earl’s reputation as a scoundrel, Syrian Blakeney has no trouble holding off his affections…until her artist brother reveals a portrait he has painted of her. Does the world really see her as this prudish ice queen? Now it seems only the earl is able to see beyond the damning portrait and touch her most secret desires.

    Does she rebel against the damning portrait, throwing caution to the wind? Or does she remain as she appears, as reserved and unfeeling as paint on canvas?

    This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

    Warning: This book contains an ice queen who is as frigid as they come, and a slightly obsessive, reforming rogue willing to melt her icy heart, regardless of the cost.





    Michelle M. Pillow

    Chapter One

    Caldwell Country Estate, North of London, England, Spring 1868

    "Please, Thomas, do hurry! My arms grow weary of this dreadful pose! I have no wish to see my portrait painted in such a way. Why can’t I sit on the swing?"

    Syrian Blakeney sighed heavily, pretending to be more annoyed than she really was. She loved her brother dearly. He was her only family and her guardian--not to mention the Viscount Caldwell.

    The morning was warm, filled with the floral scent of a refreshing country breeze. Thomas had posed her in the garden, near a broken stone wall. Roses climbed with small, orderly beauty. He refused to have the wall mended, saying that nature and time had perfected that which he could only hope to duplicate with paint and brush.

    However, the wall was the only thing in disrepair at Caldwell Manor. The country estate was a beautiful haven, away from London where Thomas was often forced to go out of duty. Thomas loved the city, but found its pace too frantic for an artist who would lay back and soak up every nuance of a street, a face, a gesture. On more than one occasion, he’d been accused of staring overlong at things. But the plain-faced Lord Caldwell more than made up for his impropriety with a likeably infectious disposition. He was always readily forgiven.

    The sun shone behind Syrian’s head, just to the right, gleaming atop her perfectly swept chignon of dark brown curls. Thomas refused to let her use a bonnet, saying the play of golden sunlight on her slender features was too distracted by such a waste of material. Her gown, a simple morning dress, conservative and prim, was of a fine, rich blue silk. It had little adornment to its high waist and rounded skirt. A veil of cream colored lawn crossed modestly over her breasts, hiding them from view.

    He refused to let her see the portrait until he was done, but she didn’t mind. They only did it to pass the time away--or at least that’s why Syrian did it. To Thomas, it was much more. His art was everything to him.

    "Because when you swing your skirts fly," Lord Caldwell teased at last, not realizing time had passed since her comment. He studied her with a most serious eye before turning back to his portrait of her. Syrian was surprised he even answered. When he worked, he got so involved that he sometimes forgot she was there. If she didn’t protest, he’d make her stand still for hours. Now that she thought of it, she’d been standing still for hours.

    Syrian’s face turned a bright red at Thomas’s words. Her arms rose angrily to her hips, breaking their reserved pose. "My skirts have never flown an inch above my ankles, Thomas! What a wretched thing to say to me!"

    "You’re much too serious, dear sister," Thomas laughed, tossing his boyishly handsome locks back as he turned again to the painting. Red and brown paint smudged the rolled linen sleeve of his expensive white shirt, but he didn’t care. He’d ruined more than his fair share of clothing with his passion for art. To prove the point, his morning coat, abandoned nearly an hour before, was tossed carelessly on the green lawn behind him, soaking in a mud puddle. "That’s precisely the reason I desire for you to stand in this exact pose. I would show the world just how proper you are. As an artist, it’s my duty to portray all that I see, as I see it. And you, dear Syrian, are standing now exactly as I see you when I close my eyes."

    "Syrian." The softly musing voice instantly gave her chills. She hardened herself and the half smile of affection growing on her features fell into a reserved mask. Her dark eyes didn’t shine as they peered coolly out from her unmoving face. She instantly dropped her arms to her waist, folding together as Thomas had instructed.

    "No, no," Thomas mumbled, distracted. "Lower your chin back down. I wish you reserved not haughty."

    "Such a peculiar name for a woman," the low voice continued, as smooth as silk. Syrian did her best to ignore Harrison Rivenhall, The Earl of Wrotham, pretending that his voice didn’t give her chills. He’d come from the side door of their large country estate, walking leisurely about the gardens as if the place was his. She shivered to see his teasing arrogance.

    It might as well be his home, Syrian thought in ire, for he refuses to leave it.

    "Syr-ian," the Earl drew out, as if tasting the word upon his firm lips, just to annoy her. Harrison smiled, seeing her cheeks pale slightly at his seductive tilting of her given name. It was the only response to him that she allowed, but it was enough to encourage his further perusal of her.

    Syrian frowned. Wrotham was a rogue through and through. If he wasn’t such a good friend of Thomas’s, she would’ve thrown him out a week ago when he’d arrived at the estate. Naturally, she’d heard her brother mention his good friend the Earl. But, before his arrival, she’d never had the displeasure of meeting the man. Indeed, it was Syrian’s opinion that Thomas had been way too kind in his assessment of his friend. Lord Wrotham was an uncouth, undignified, ungentlemanly gentleman who was undoubtedly only tolerated in fine society because of his title and wealth.

    "I see you have deigned to bless us with your presence this morning, or should I say this afternoon, Lord Wrotham," Syrian stated coolly, eyeing him with the hard depths of her reserved gaze. She hated to admit it, but seeing him standing in the sunlight, bright blue eyes lazily tilted beneath his lowered lids, staring into her as if searching her soul, did something to her composure. His skin was slightly bronzed as if the sun knew him well. This man never took anything seriously, unless it was to seriously endeavor to annoy her. Suddenly, she wasn’t so comfortable standing for Thomas with Wrotham’s inspecting stare on her. "Do I dare ask? Were you packing your trunks to leave us? I imagine an important man such as you has many demands on his time to ever overstay his welcome in one place."

    It would’ve been a proper observation, but for the almost eager way her almond shaped eyes lit when she said the words. Harrison frowned slightly at her attempts to get rid of him. He tossed his hand with an air of indifference, though the battle sparked as his lips curled almost devilishly.

    Syrian quivered ever so lightly to see the dimple she’d memorized in his cheek. It hadn’t been the first time she’d hinted at his leaving. By the look on her face, it wouldn’t be the last.

    The Earl’s light locks were grown a little too long for fashion, but it only succeeded in adding to his already too potent roguish appeal. Syrian scowled, looking back to her brother as he worked. It annoyed her that the Earl was so handsome and pleasing to look at. She would much rather he took on the appearance of a troll. It would suit his personality better. Well, mayhap not, but it would suit her distaste for him and keep her eyes off the ever so alluring build of his frame.

    The Earl had an ease about his appearance. Syrian liked to think of it as a laziness of dress. He was always covered, but with a careless charm. He carried a walking cane, though he never used it except to poke aimlessly at objects on the ground. A sapphire ring gleamed distractively on long fingers, connected to strong hands. Right now, the dark blue of his double-breasted jacket hung open to reveal a loosened cream tie over the high standing collar of his linen shirt. And, though his lighter vest was mostly buttoned, Syrian could see the play of his stomach muscles as he moved.

    "Oh, do make your sister stop teasing me, Caldwell," Harrison stated dryly. He waved the hand with the cane indifferently at Syrian, as he went to stand behind his friend. Thomas didn’t notice the Earl looking over his back as he worked.

    "Quite right," Thomas said in distraction. "Syrian, do stop moving your lips. I’m trying to … ah, there."

    The Earl shot her a superior grin at Thomas’s absentminded reprimand. Syrian narrowed her gaze, but didn’t move.

    "Ah, yes, Syrian," Thomas mused, pulling away his brush and stepping back from the canvas. He looked at his painting, then his sister, then to the painting once more. Distracted, he said, "It’s an unusual name. One doesn’t hear it often."

    "Father named me after a small country in Africa," said Syrian smartly. "He said he always longed to see it."

    Thomas began chuckling. His eyes cleared by small measures, as a grin formed on his mouth. Admitting, with much good-humor, he said, "Our father was drunk at the time, trying to drown out our mother’s screaming. He happened to be looking at a map when the doctor asked him about it. I remember him pointing his wobbling finger into the book with his eyes closed."

    "That’s not what mother told me," Syrian protested, her cheeks flaming. She didn’t know why, but the sultry way the Earl looked at her portrait and licked his lips was having a strange effect on her limbs. Taking the opportunity to stare at him, she let her gaze travel over his straight nose to the dimple pressed into his cheek, watching it deepen and form. A tremor hit her spine, stinging her flesh and she instantly looked away. If she hadn’t been a lady, she would’ve cursed. What was wrong with her?

    "Nevertheless, it’s true. I remember he asked me to read it for him. Anyhow, I never listened to what our mother had to say," Thomas replied, truthfully. His eyes again found his painting of her and he looked almost troubled. He reached as if he would take the brush to it and then pulled back, frowning vaguely. Then, sighing, he turned and laid his brush down on the small case at his side. He was finished. "She was much too serious--just like you. I see her in you, though I hate to admit as much."

    Looking at his sister’s reserved features and then back at the portrait, Thomas shivered. It was uncanny. He’d done only too well a job portraying her and Thomas was usually the first to criticize his own work.

    Syrian watched, motionless. Neither man smiled as they looked at her portrait. She gulped, wondering what was wrong. Too weak to step forward, she asked with forced lightness, "Are you finally done, Thomas? Can I move?"

    Thomas merely nodded, his lips parted in hesitant breath. He shivered again and didn’t speak.

    At her words, Harrison blinked and forced the lump down from his throat. When he looked over to her, the sudden haze left his playful stare and he declared, "You’ve captured her completely, Caldwell. Just think! If we were to hang it in the front hall and have a ball, everyone would bow to it and your sister wouldn’t have to attend. Let us try it. It should be great fun to see if anyone notices if she’s real or not."

    "It does capture something of her, doesn’t it, Harry?" Thomas said. He was the only person who called Harrison, Harry--and only rarely at that. Whispering, he said, "It’s almost like I got her soul mixed up in the brush strokes."

    "I daresay you must call the portrait something besides Syrian. Your sister doesn’t look like a wild native one bit," Harrison said. Seeing Syrian approaching, he goaded, "Perhaps, Prudence…?"

    Syrian shot him a haughty glare. His charming smile was lost on her, as was his teasing. Coming around to stand between Thomas and the Earl, Syrian stiffened. All three stared at the portrait in silence. It definitely was her face staring out at her. But were her eyes really that somber and meticulous? Did her mouth press harshly as if she was an uninteresting bore and not a human with feelings? Was this how the world saw her, as a reserved, lackluster, unexciting, perhaps even wearisome, prude?

    Tears came to her eyes, but Syrian refused to let them fall. She had too much stubborn pride for that. It was no wonder men never paid her much mind, though she was told her looks were very pretty and her slender figure pleasing. No wonder she’d not been asked to dance at balls or sought out by other women while in London last season.

    Whispering low, she didn’t think, as she answered honestly, "I don’t like how you see me, Thomas."

    "I think it’s precisely how you are seen, Miss Syrian. Brilliant Thomas!" Harrison answered, still smarting from her earlier remarks about him overstaying his welcome.

    The words didn’t get the usual witty comeback Harrison expected. Suddenly, her wide eyes turned to him, almost tortured in their churning depths. His words had cut her deeply. Harrison flinched, instantly wishing he could take them back. He’d never had said them if he thought she could be affected by aught that came from his mouth. Her lips trembled slightly, but she said nothing. She again found the painting, studying it.

    "I’m sure you are right, my lord," Syrian forced calmly. There was a stiff bite to her voice. Harrison opened his mouth to speak, but he didn’t know what to say. All that came to him wouldn’t be appropriate to utter, especially with Thomas so near. And surely the stiff woman at his side wouldn’t welcome his comfort--she barely welcomed him.

    Thomas was oblivious to everything as he stared into the painted likeness of his sister’s eyes. With a touch of awe, he said, "This has to be my most honest work yet."

    "Yes," Syrian said. Then, to steal the Earl’s choice of words, she added, "It’s truly brilliant, Thomas. It has opened my eyes. And now, having looked at it, I can’t help but wish to never see it again. No one should be forced to look at how they are perceived by everyone else. It’s too cruel a thing to do. There is comfort in illusions and you have crushed all of mine with this painting of yours. Oh, how I wish this portrait could show you the part of my soul that no one knows. Maybe then, I could tolerate looking at it."

    Thomas’s mouth fell open at his sister’s hollow declaration. He moved to study her. Slowly, she nodded her head at both men, refusing to look at them directly. She was mortified beyond words at how they pictured her in their minds. Turning away to walk up the side path to the house, she didn’t say another word.

    Thomas looked at where his sister disappeared and then back at the painting. Swallowing, he said thoughtfully, "Perhaps she’s right. I don’t know that I would wish to be shown myself through other’s eyes. It isn’t like a mirror where you can look at what you wish and disregard the rest."

    Harrison had the strangest urge to run after Syrian. He held rigid. Thomas sighed.

    "Your tactics for wooing my sister leave much to be desired. It has been a week and she has not warmed to you," Thomas stated. Both men’s gazes kept turning back to the portrait. Though they tried to look elsewhere, they couldn’t. "Are you ready to admit you were wrong about her? That she isn’t the, how did you put it? The other half of your dark, bloody heart?"

    "On the contrary, seeing her reaction to this portrait only proves my point," a thoughtful Harrison murmured. He studied the long line of Syrian’s painted neck, the way her upper lip stretched beautifully over a full bottom one. If she’d only smile more, she’d be stunning.

    Thomas frowned, confused.

    "There is more to your sister than her prim exterior, Caldwell," Harrison said. "It may be buried deep, but it’s there. It’s what I saw in her when first I laid eyes on her, dancing unaware in a rainstorm. It’s that one memory that has haunted me since. I’m hopeless. I can’t be rid of her."

    "I still say you are mistaken. It must have been one of the maids you witnessed," Thomas answered, unconvinced. Harrison had been pressing him for permission to court his sister for a full year. At first, Thomas thought it a joke. The very idea of the passionate Earl courting his seemingly passionless sister was laughable, until Harrison became so desolate and withdrawn from the usual pleasures of his roguish life that Thomas realized his friend was quite serious.

    Thomas nearly keeled over with a heart attack the moment Lord Wrotham confessed his love for his Syrian. They were old friends. Caldwell knew him well--well enough to know when he was lying. Finally, Thomas had relented, if only to prove to Harrison that Syrian wasn’t his type of woman. The Earl hadn’t even met his sister until a week ago, had never heard her speak. And Thomas was sure that the cold slights Syrian had been giving Harrison all week would’ve been enough to dissuade him from his purpose. It hadn’t. If anything the Earl only seemed more determined.

    Harrison closed his eyes, remembering vividly each detail of his unforgettable vision. Syrian had been in the rain, chasing after some silly kitten, trying to save it from a puddle. Her dress had been soiled and wet, clinging indecently to her slender frame. He’d been too stunned to move. She hadn’t known he was there, watching her from the shadows, so close he could’ve touched the bodice clinging to her ripened breasts.

    At the time, he’d been running away from an angry husband who was intent on having his head. Harrison had drunkenly slept with the man’s wife and had no wish to take the cuckolded man’s life in a duel, in addition to his dignity. Knowing he was close to Caldwell Manor, he’d gone there for sanctuary to wait out the storm before heading on to London.

    That’s when his life changed. Frozen, stiff with rain, he’d been contemplating waking the household. Knowing that Thomas waited in London for him kept him outside in the garden. Naturally, he’d been told that Thomas had a prudish sister whose reserved nature was legendary amongst societal circles. Even Thomas admitted his sister was tame of spirit to the point of lacking one. The knowledge hadn’t prepared Harrison for what he saw.

    She’d stopped right next to him on the garden path, giving up as the kitten darted away beneath a thorny bush to hide. He thought she’d have run back, huffing in anger at the darned little beast. Instead, she merely smiled, glancing over her shoulder to the house. An impish pleasure lit her wide eyes as she turned to the full moon. The blue light bathed over her skin, making it seem almost translucent. The image struck him deeply. Every time he thought of it, his body would stir, his member growing so hard it pulsed with an angry fire. Harrison frowned. No matter how hard or how often he stroked it, he couldn’t seem to find release. And other women held no appeal.

    Syrian’s dark hair had been wet, and she looked more like a drowned cat than a woman. But her eyes glistened in such a way and her lips spread playfully, as she twirled in the moonlight, tasting the rain, embracing the storm. From that moment, it was love.

    It had been over a year and, try as he might, he couldn’t get her out of his head. He’d tried to forget her at first, aimlessly taking to bed any woman who’d have him. It didn’t work, only lasted a few days, and soon the flavor of the world was lost to him, as each night his temptress danced into his dreams.

    He’d watch for her endlessly at balls and operas, looking into the distance for the sight of her, hoping for the chance at an introduction. He had endless conversations in his head with her, none of which had come to pass. She didn’t go to balls and he’d missed her introduction into society. The year she came out, he’d been in Italy--tasting all the beautiful flavors of women the country had to offer. Harrison liked his women wild, naughty, feisty.

    Syrian, by reputation, was none of those things. She was boringly proper, so prudish that even the church would surely call it a sin. She was self aware, judging with those damnably wide eyes--nothing that had ever attracted him in the past. But that night, in the rain, he couldn’t get it out of his head. He was obsessed.

    "Ah, you take it, Harry," Thomas said at length, unaware of his friend’s thoughts. "I know you’re wasting your time with my sister. The dream is in your head, my friend, not reality. Take the portrait as a gift, so that you may look upon it and see the reality. I wouldn’t have it upsetting Syrian by hanging it in her presence."

    Harrison didn’t move.

    Turning to walk away, Thomas called, "Come, let us go see what Mrs. Brown has cooked up. I’ll send someone out to deliver the portrait to your guestroom."

    Before moving to follow his host, the Earl whispered to himself, his heart nearly to the point it could take no more of Syrian’s rejections and slights, "I wish I really could see the truth of her soul in this painting. Then, mayhap, I’d have the answer to winning her heart."

    Harrison forced his eyes away and didn’t look back. Slowly, he turned, following Thomas back into the country estate.

    © copyright December 2004, Michelle M. Pillow

    This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.


  • Monday, October 18, 2010

    Review: Halloween Fantasies By Katie Salidas

    Touted as the sexiest party of the year, the annual Halloween Fantasy Ball is the one place a girl can let loose and succumb to her wildest fantasies.

    Disguised as a sexy vampire huntress, Sasha captures the attention of Dante, a real life creature of the night. For Sasha, meeting bona fide vampire is enough to fulfill one of her life long fantasies. She’s ready to go home a happy woman.

    But Dante has other plans. It is after all, a night of fantasies, and he has a few of his own to share.

    My Thoughts:
    This novella was as captivating as her "House of Immortal Pleasures". For those that don't know me, I've mentioned before I'm NOT a fan of the "Paranormal" genre, but some books have the ability to lure me in. And Katie Salidas has a way with her writing that brings me into her books and become one of her characters. She brings her characters to life as easy as if you were watching a short story, with every scene you can perfectly visualize them in your head.
    Her main character Sasha party dressed as a vampire hunter. When Sasha and her friend Angela arrived at the party, their eyes searched the party to find two handsome vampire looking men. Sasha chatted up with the sexiest man dressed as a vampire, later to find out. He really was a vampire and he was about to make all her fantasies into reality. A mix of pleasures Sasha could only imagine. Her Halloween Fantasy has finally come true. Great and quick read. Check it out, you definitely won't be disappointed if you're into paranormal and erotica.
    Here's the link to find it on

    Interview with Katie Salidas Author of "House of Immortal Pleasures" and "Halloween Fantasies"

    Author of the hot new Urban Fantasy series, Immortalis, Katie has always had a desire to entertain. Since, early childhood, she's dreamed up fantastical characters and scribbled them into pages of various journals and notebooks. Taking an interest in vampires at an early age, she devoured every book, featuring those mysterious, blood sucking creatures, in any genre she could find. She claims that, of all the monsters out there, vampires had always been the most interesting.
    It was only natural that a love of reading about vampires, and a love of writing, turned into a desire to write her own stories.
    A Las Vegas native, having grown up in the famed City of Sin, Katie loves to feature it as a recurring setting for many of her stories.

    Interview with Katie Salidas:

    What was your inspiration behind writing vampire erotica books?

    Honestly enough I don’t set out to write erotica. I get an idea for a story and it blooms on its own from there. I’m a self-proclaimed pantser which means I just free write and let the muse take over.

    A lot of my ideas come from asking questions. For example, in Immortalis Carpe Noctem (my first novel), I really wanted to explore the change. What would it really be like to turn into a vampire? What hardships would the main character have to overcome? That is what really drove me to complete the novel. As I answered each question, more popped into my head.

    In House of Immortal Pleasures, I wanted to know if vampires could be “good guys” and actually help someone. Connor is a vampire but he is more human than some real humans. He has a soul and wants to redeem himself. Since it’s an erotic romance I asked myself, how could he take his position and heal Daphne’s broken heart.

    In Halloween Fantasies, I asked the question: what if some of the costumed creatures at Halloween parties, weren’t all in costume? How much fun could you have if you met a real life creature of the night?

    Have you always known you wanted to be an author?

    I’ve always loved to write and I have always loved vampires. It was just a natural thing to make up my own stories about them. When I was 14 I wrote my first vampire story. Sadly though I lost all of the pages I’d written during my move to Las Vegas. It might have made a good YA book back then. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Immortalis Carpe Noctem is the second full story I’d ever attempted about vampires and since then I’ve found more and more inspiration to keep writing about those creatures of the night.

    What made you open up your own publishing company?

    After I was laid off at my old job, I had a lot of free time on my hands and very little new job prospects. I’d spent a lot of time trying to hunt down agents and editors and collected quite a few rejection letters. Most of the letters had the same lukewarm response: Nice idea but the market is flooded right now with Paranormal fiction and Vampires. While they are “in” it doesn’t guarantee a publishing contract. In fact it is actually harder to break into the market traditionally when you write something that is so “in.”

    I realized there was another option out there. I could do it myself. After a heart to heart with my husband, he gave me the nudge to “give this a shot.” Rather than go the Lulu or Iuniverse route, I wanted to try and make this 100% my own, so my husband and I started Rising Sign Books, LLC.

    Self publishing is often thrown around like a dirty word. It’s actually a lot harder than you think. True self-publishing means doing everything yourself. And there is a ton of steps involved in self-publishing.

    Do you plan on publishing work from other authors?

    Right now I’m still really learning the market. There is a ton of things involved in publishing and marketing books. I want to be able to do it right if I’m going to be working with other authors. I don’t feel confident enough yet to start working with other others but I do hope to be able to expand Rising Sign Books, LLC in the next year or so.

    Do you plan on making a sequel to "House of Immortal Pleasures"? (I hope so)

    I’ve had a few inquiries about this being turned into a novella series. Many people have fallen in love with Connor and want to know what happens next. When I wrote it I intentionally left it open-ended to allow for expansion. At this point I have a few ideas swimming around in my head. Let’s face it; a vampire-run brothel does open the doors for lots of sexy stories.

    What can we readers look forward in the near future from you?

    The sequel to Immortalis Carpe Noctem is in final editing right now. It’s due to be published in January 2011.

    Here is a quick blurb…

    Immortalis: Hunters & Prey.
    When Alyssa was turned she was told she could never again see her mortal friends. She was resigned to this fate, until a chance run in with Santino Vitale, thought to be dead, causes her to rely on a mortal friend for protection, trusting that no hunter would attack in public.

    By doing so she has broken vampire law and finds out that divulging vampire secrets harms everyone involved. Because of her actions, she's now drawn her friend into the struggle between vampires and hunters, a fact that has her clan calling for punishment.

    But there are bigger dangers looming on the horizon, more pressing than a mere mortals knowledge of vampires. The Acta Sanctorum is ready to attack again. It will take everyone, working together and an unlikely truce, to fight against the newest threat, the Frenzy Soldiers.

    What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?

    I’m a big fan of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal romance. I just love devouring stories about vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, etc… I’m currently working my way through the Sookie Stackhouse series from Charlaine Harris. I loved the True Blood TV show, I just had to pick up the books.

    What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?

    When I’m not writing, it’s all about my family. I’ve got a wonderful daughter and husband and they are my world.



    Facebook Author Fansite





    Friday, October 8, 2010


    Hey Everyone, 

    Dee Here!!

    I really need your help! I entered my boys in two contest and I really want them to win :0( !

    I am offering a $25 Gift Card and a $15 Gift Card to a bookstore of your choice for voting!!!

    For more details click here: VOTE & WIN WIN WIN!!!

    I know the post seems like a lot, but it really is simple! For Ethan Michael, the contest ENDS Monday and he only has 48 votes! If you could please please vote for Ethan Michael on Facebook I would love ya forever LOL! 

    When you click on the link, if it does not show Ethan Michael, you can go into the search box and type in ETHAN MICHAEL and he is the little boy with the green Jets hat!!! Thank you a bunch!!!

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    Fall GiveAway Winners!

    Congratulations to the winners!!

    First place winner is Lora1967
    Second place winer is Hendy

    Thank you girls for replying to the email and your packages
    will be sent out next week. Hope you guys enjoy your books!

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Shadow of The Vampire by Meagan Hatfield Giveaway!

    Hey everyone! 

    Check out Good Choice Reading for a chance to win Shadow of The Vampire by Meagan Hatfield!


    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Excerpt From Her Timeless Obsession By Tina Ordone

    Excerpt From Her Timeless Obsession

    Tina Ordone

    "Are you quite all right, Honoria? You look frightfully pale."

    Honoria turned toward the voice, which was male and ever so whiny.

    "I am not feeling quite the thing, Bart. Of a sudden, I have an excruciating headache."

    "Well, for goodness sakes, that is good fortune. You may have just provided us with a capital excuse to avoid this soiree. I can't imagine why we were invited, given that I have made no secret for my dislike of our host."

    The crested, well-sprung carriage creaked along London's streets. The steady clip-clopping of the horse's hooves on the cobblestones pounded through Honoria's head. The megrim had come upon her so suddenly and so profoundly it caused her to develop concern. These things usually increased in intensity gradually, not slammed in like bulls breaking china.

    "I will do no such thing. We have been invited for the evening, and I will attend for the evening. You are welcome to see me to the door and leave, but I am staying."

    "You are an impossible baggage," he grumbled.

    "I love you, too."

    The rest of the drive was mercifully short and quiet, but for the incessant clopping of hooves. Honoria was not prone to illness and this ache in her head annoyed her at best, given this could prove to be a very important evening.

    The carriage stopped before a three-story townhouse with dark red brick and bowed windows facing Bruton Street. The red door and large brass knocker were very much like those at Danby Terrace.

    Honoria's heart beat rapidly, which made her head throb all the more. Tonight was to be a most auspicious occasion, as she could well meet her future. A liveried footman, replete with white wig, opened the carriage door and aided in her alighting. The house was brightly lit, as would be expected for such a grand gathering.

    "Are you all right? I can make our excuses straight away, before the carriage pulls off."

    "You must stop, Bart. You've seen me safely to the door and you may leave if you so choose, but I am staying."

    Before he could protest further, they were greeted by a distinguished gentleman, presumably the butler. With an ever so proper bow, he ushered them into the immense entrance hall and on to a large drawing room. The sound of harp music wafted over the assemblage and chatter from all corners hummed around them. Finely dressed gentlemen and ladies milled about, as they smiled and complimented one another.

    A lovely woman in her late forties, possibly early fifties, approached with a welcoming smile upon her face. Her hair was brown, flecked heavily with silver and her blue eyes shone with genuine friendliness. Honoria was set at ease in an instant.

    "Welcome, my dear. Please, my lord, I am sure you know most everyone. I must take your sister with me."

    With no further words, Honoria was being propelled across the room. They passed the pianoforte and the lovely porcelain statuettes of Greek goddesses which seemed to adorn every flat surface in the room. The lovely long mullioned windows were dressed with elaborate claret-colored draperies, held open by large gold ropes. It was breathtaking in its beauty. Danby Terrace had been a bachelor establishment for so long, she'd forgotten the importance of a woman's touch.

    Her hostess motioned for a gentleman to come forward, which he did with the aid of a black cane, his limp being rather profound. He was quite handsome and Honoria was sure her heart skipped a beat.

    "Dear, our guest of honor has arrived. Miss Honoria Danby, I wish to present my son, Jeremy Saintaubin, Marquess of Galmore."

    Before her stood the singularly most stunning man she had ever laid eyes upon. Her tongue seemed to swell in her mouth, making articulation not only difficult but near impossible. While he steadied himself with his cane and offered her his other hand. She placed her hand into his gloved palm, she immediately felt his warmth radiate up her arm. She felt her face flush, which by the slight chuckle he emitted, he very well noticed.

    "It is an honor and a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Danby. My mother has told me much about you, to the exclusion of nearly every other sensible thing that could be said. I find, however, that her description of your beauty was vastly lacking." He bowed deeply, releasing her hand as propriety dictated.

    Honoria curtsied, causing the marquess to chuckle almost inaudibly. "Well, done, Miss Danby."

    "Thank you, my lord." She could think of nothing more to say and with that, her head commenced pounding as though someone were playing drums behind her eyes.

    "Would you care to stroll around the room, Miss Danby? I could introduce you to those assembled."

    "That would be very nice, my lord, though I do recognize several people already."

    Galmore offered his arm and escorted her from group to group. He acquainted her with everyone who'd so graciously accepted his mother's invitation, so as to make it less obvious that the others were simply window dressing for his mother's grand marriage plan. Clever woman, the Most Honorable Dowager Marchioness of Galmore, Jeremy thought. Her matchmaking knew no bounds.

    Above all else, Honoria was thrilled to meet her boon friend, Cornelia Nevison. They had been friends for an age and chattered like two birds when together. Honoria made the appropriate introductions, but noticed that Cornelia didn't seem anxious to forfeit the company of Thomas Lawrence even for a few moments.

    "She seems quite lovely," the marquess said, which caused Honoria a flash of confusing jealousy.

    "Yes, she is and she is quite smitten with Mr. Lawrence."

    Galmore laughed and Honoria prayed he hadn't suspected her motive behind the discourteous remark.

    "It appears my mother has planned dancing at our little gathering. Might I engage you for the waltzes as well as the supper dance?"

    "Why, my lord, we will have tongues wagging."

    "I am your host and you are the guest of honor. It seems perfectly acceptable to me."

    Honoria smiled broadly. She was so at ease by his side, she felt as though she'd somehow met him before.

    Honoria scanned the room, smiled at acquaintances, observed the interactions of those in attendance. "Your sister seems most affable, my lord."

    "Yes, Martine is wonderful. She is quite the society maven. I am afraid that the same cannot be said about your brother. Pardon me, but does the man ever smile?"

    "I am afraid he is rather churlish by nature."

    "I remember him being under my command in the Light Infantry. He seemed to have an instant dislike for everyone around him."

    "That would be Bartholomew Danby." They both laughed quietly. She enjoyed the shared jest. The sound of his deep laughter warmed her through.

    The marquess seemed to harbor no wish to share his company with anyone else. They danced a waltz, though she sensed it was difficult for him. She admired him for making the effort, and she worked very studiously not to step on his foot. Dancing had never come easy to her, more for lack of attention to the dance master than natural ineptitude.

    The grand march to the dining room was led by the Marquess of Galmore and Honoria, followed by the dowager marchioness and Bartholomew, Viscount Greenley, then the rest of the invited guests. Small place cards indicated where each person was to sit and to her delight she was seated to the right of her host with his mother on his left. Honoria was thrilled, but sensed that she had somehow been in this exact scene before. She couldn't understand, but sense it she did.

    "May I say, Miss Danby, that your dress is most lovely," Galmore said with a whisper.

    Whispering her reply, she said, "Thank you, my lord. It is one of my favorites." She'd chosen her green sprigged muslin for the occasion, knowing how it complimented her flaxen hair and green eyes.

    Galmore talked of his country estate, which interested her immensely. Her happiest times had always been at her family's estate in Kent.

    "So your tenants raise sheep, my lord?"

    "Among other things, yes and quite successfully. I was quite pleased with last year's wool yield and this year promises even greater strides."

    Jeremy changed the subject entirely when he asked, "Miss Danby, what do you enjoy reading?"

    Honoria sensed this was a test. "I read in three languages, my lord, but especially enjoy Greek. I have read all of the tragedies in their original form." She felt quite pleased with herself.

    "Are we a bit of a bluestocking?" he whispered.

    She nodded, embarrassed now at her braggadocio. Bluestockings were not particularly revered amongst those on the marriage mart. However, she was in the soup now, so she forged ahead. "I do enjoy reading, yes. I've no patience for embroidery or singing. God did not grant me a pleasant singing voice, and I have steadfastly refused to inflict it upon captive ears."

    Galmore burst forth with a belt of laughter, which drew the attention to himself and the lady to his left. She felt her face flush once again.

    "I find you delightful, Miss Danby, and your voice is --" He was stopped in mid-sentence, when, from two seats away, Lord Greenley cleared his throat rather loudly. His obvious displeasure at the tone of Galmore's conversation was evinced by the white straight line in the place of his mouth. His usual pinched mien was aided by a deeply furrowed brow and a chin that quivered furiously.

    "Is there a problem, Greenley?"

    It was Bart's turn to flush, though Honoria noticed that his anger had already reddened his ears and nose, with his cheeks just slightly less so.

    Honoria gave her brother an evil look, one that was obviously well understood, for he coughed and feigned choking. His stare didn't leave Galmore, and Honoria suspected that she would hear no end to his unreasonable tirade once they were alone.

    * * * * *

    Galmore watched with amusement as Greenley fumed. The man had never taken to his subordinate position and had an instant dislike for Galmore's authoritative manner. The two had gotten into several skirmishes in Italy, just before the fateful Battle of Maida, where the British soundly defeated the French within a quarter hour. However, within that short period of time, a French ball tore through Galmore's thigh, destroying muscle and sinew in its path.

    Injured but still able to give orders, Galmore ordered Greenley to take some of the men and forge ahead, bayonets drawn and join the rest of the infantry. Greenley's hesitation, or as Galmore had termed at the time, cowardice, had caused several lives to be lost needlessly. Reports were files and punishment was discussed but in the end it was recommended that Greenley resign his commission and return to his former indolent life, which by all that could be observed, he was living with aplomb.

    Though they attended the same social gatherings, the enmity between the two was palpable. It was in fact, a source of entertainment for Galmore, because he simply enjoyed needling the portentous arse. It was such an effortless amusement.

    "Greenley, I simply asked your sister about herself," Galmore stated in his best imitation of hauteur. "She is indeed a delightful creature."

    Greenley sputtered, his doubled chin bounced for apparent want of a rejoinder, but none was forthcoming. He chose a simply nod and began to study the fine Wedgewood china.

    Galmore wondered how Lady Greenley could have birthed as wondrous a daughter as Honoria and a pompous popinjay such as her son.

    "Gentlemen, we will dispense with our usual secluded port and cigarillos and join the ladies for more dancing." He stood and all followed suit.

    Galmore offered his arm to Honoria and escorted her to the ballroom. "If you don't mind, my lord, might we continue our conversation?"

    "I would indeed enjoy that. Would you care to see the portrait gallery?"

    "Indeed I would." As they walked toward the long room where the unsmiling visages of his ancestors hung, she asked questions about his forebears. She learned that his family dated back to the Conqueror, a prestigious claim for any noble family.

    After they viewed several antiquated, disapproving personages, an inexplicable cold frisson slithered down her spine.

    "And of course, by now you must recognize the personage in this one."

    Before her was a handsome black-haired soldier replete with scarlet uniform, Hessian boots and an enigmatic smile. Her hands perspired and she was sure she felt a bead of moisture slide down her back. Her breath was short and there were strange sensations in her breasts and lower.

    "Are you quite well?" He asked.

    "Ye-e-s," she stammered, not understand completely her reaction to his portrait.

    "Have you not seen a soldier before, Miss Danby?"

    She stammered as she stared up at the portrait, "It is just that I have a distinct feeling I have seen this portrait before."

    "Really?" He asked with a velvety tone that slid provocatively over her skin.

    "I can't explain it, but there is something quite familiar about this." She ran her thumb over the brass plaque at the base of the gilded frame. It read, 'Jeremy Saintaubin, 1803.' "You look quite distinguished, my lord."

    "Why, I thank you, Miss Danby. Mama insisted I have this portrait done in uniform. It was before I inherited, when I thought I had many years to live my life before I was saddled with the responsibilities of the title." His voice took on a tone of sadness, as though he reflected upon the past. "Little did I know . . . ."

    Honoria looked at him. "Little did you know what?"

    He looked pensive and somewhat uncomfortable with the tenor of the conversation. After long moments of silence, during which she expected he would not answer, he did just that. "Little did I know that my life would change so dramatically with the meeting of such a lovely lady."

    Honoria's cheeks flushed at the compliment, while she sensed he meant something far different. "Thank you, my lord."

    His demeanor had changed; he seemed sad somehow. "We really should join the others, Miss Danby. They will wonder where we've gotten to."

    Honoria felt a loss, for she seemed sure an important moment had passed before she knew how to retrieve it.

    I want to thank author Tina Ordone who allowed me to re-post her excerpt of her new book Her Timeless Obsession which is now available for purchase over at Noble Romance Publishing.