Thank you so much for having me as a guest today, Dani. We’ve not met before. He bows. I’m Roark, the Earl of Clarendon. As you might guess, I spend my time managing my estate, Cadbury Park, attending London’s many social functions, and dealing with government issues from my seat in The House of Lords. Sounds rather boring doesn’t it?
Not at all, but maybe a bit stressful. Are you married or engaged?
I’m recently married to my lovely bride, Adaira, whom I met in The Earl’s Enticement after she abducted me and locked me in the dungeon of her family’s keep. He grins.There was nothing the least bit boring about that.
LOL! And she’s certainly not a paling violet. Tell us something no one would believe about you? Large or small.
I have a terrible sweet tooth and keep a sweets stashed all around the manor house. I believe it comes from my father refusing to allow me bon bons as a child. I can’t resist a confection to save my soul.
We certain share that addiction. However, you’re metabolism appears to handle sugar better than mine. What’s the one thing you’d never tell your lover?
Roark looks around, then leans forward and whispers, “Addy snores and talks in her sleep.”
It sounds like you find that endearing. Do you rely on your physical prowess or your intelligence to attract a lover?
He arches a brow, then brushes a piece of lint from his impeccable black tailcoat. Why both, of course. I find both desirable in my lover, and I prefer to have my brain stimulated every bit as much as my . . . well, you know.
Is there a specific body type, hair, or eye color that attracts you? Does your current lover meet the criteria?
I’ve always been attracted to women with full curves, voluptuous some might say. My first wife was a beautiful blonde with the heart of a harlot. When I married her, I thought her the most exquisite creature I’d ever met.
Addy, is petite and very slender, with coffee brown hair and almost black eyes. She’s wormed her way into my very soul. No other woman comes close to her magnificence in my estimation.
What do you believe is your most attractive feature?
Adaira tells me it’s my eyes. She describes them as a hydrangea blue. Sounds rather silly to me. I’ve always thought woman were attracted by my smile. But who am I to argue with my wife?
What intrigues you most about your lover?
Addy is the most giving, generous woman I’ve ever known. She might be petite in form, but she has the heart and determination of a behemoth.
Aww…that’s sweet, but there’s gotta be something she does that drives you crazy.
Addy has a stubborn streak, and when she makes up her mind she wants something, there’s no dissuading the woman. She insisted on riding Fionn, her stallion, until she was well into her pregnancy. Roark shakes his head as he gives a lopsided smile.
She also wears breeches in public, but I’ve almost gotten used to the gasps and snickers. Besides, I quite like her attired in breeches. The view is lovely from behind.
Other than Addy, do you have a hobby?
Aside from collecting unfortunate animals and staff? Yes, I dabble in horse breeding, and when in London, I box. In my youth, I tried my hand at poetry, but my prose is sadly lacking.
Wow, a soft-hearted fighter. Is there a favorite place you’d like to travel?
I’d love to take Adaira on a tour of the continent. She’s never been to Rome or Spain. Both are teeming with romance. I think she’d quite like the history as well as the culture. Plus, both boast some splendid horseflesh, and as you know, Adaira is obsessed with her horses.
And you are a romantic as well. It was wonderful having you, Roark. I wish you and Adaira all the best.
Thank you again for inviting me today. It’s been most pleasurable.
She won’t be tamed.
A fiery, unconventional Scot, Adaira Ferguson wears breeches, swears, and has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.
He can’t forget.
Haunted by his past, Roark, the Earl of Clarendon, rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest standards, no matter the cost. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.
Mistaking Roark for a known spy, Adaira imprisons him. Infuriated, he vows vengeance. Realizing her error, she’s appalled and releases him, but he’s not satisfied with his freedom. Roark is determined to transform Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement.
He succeeds only to discover, he preferred the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.
Excerpt from The Earl’s Enticement
“You do know—” Roark’s gaze roved the tidy cell, noting the fat, black spider weaving a web in the corner above the cell’s door, before returning to Miss Ferguson, “you could go to prison, for a very long time, for abducting and imprisoning a peer of the realm.”
“Ah, but then you’re not a peer are you?” She smiled again, the row of her neat white teeth shining bright in the shadowy corridor. “In fact, I do believe I’ve done the Crown a tremendous favor. I’ve apprehended a known spy.”
His gaze captured hers. Her eyes appeared black in the meager light, except for those unusual jewel-like gold specks reflecting in her irises. He fisted his hands, the only outward manifestation of his fury.
“That’s twice you’ve accused me of being a traitor. If you were a man, I’d call you out for it.”
She raised a perfectly arched chestnut brow and grinned. “Swords or pistols?”
Roark swept his gaze over her figure, shaking his head in disapproval. “Don’t tell me you’re trained in weaponry?”
“Of course.” She struck a fencing pose. “En garde.”
He closed his eyes for a brief moment. “Was there ever a more unladylike woman of refined breeding?”
Miss Ferguson dared to inch a bit closer, then bold as brass, pointed at him and chuckled. “You did it again. Spoke your thoughts aloud. My, but that must be aggravating.”
She leaned in a fraction, seeming to assess him with her keen eyes. Her subtle fragrance wafted past his nostrils. Something with lilies? He resisted the urge to inhale deeply.
“Can you keep any secrets, or does everything gush from your mouth like milk from a teat?”
Roark’s mouth dropped open. He gawked at her.
“Had she truly said teat?”
“To a man?”
“She didn’t know?”
Mischief danced in her eyes. “Yes, I did. Teat.”
Award winning, Amazon best-selling, and multi-published historical romance author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. A Pacific Northwest Native, Collette’s married, has three amazing adult children, and five dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.
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