Checking up on my Regency romance "The Earl and His Tiger" today, I discovered it's back in the UK Kindle romance charts - just in time for Christmas!
Here's a little teaser, for those who might be unsure whether they want to buy a book with a tiger in the title! (A "tiger", of course, being the name for an elite Regency groom.)
In this scene, the earl has been snowed into an isolated cottage with his groom, whom he has only just discovered is not the horse-mad boy he has grown to know and trust, but a female - and a damned attractive one at that!
Those eyes! Velvety-dark as one of her beloved charges there in the outbuilding, the short stubby lashes delectably unfeminine, her skin coarsened by constant exposure to sun and rain alike – nothing like the dewy softness he was used to admiring on ladies of the ton. His current mistress always kept a pot or two of some sickly-smelling cold cream on her dressing-table, and while he loved to stroke her skin after it had been applied – and rather thought she enjoyed it too! - he could not help but admire the rude, glowing freshness of Jane’s rougher complexion.His hand lifted experimentally. Dare he stroke her cheek?Jane looked startled by the gesture. He met her eyes with a reassuring smile, trying to gain her trust, as she had done with the frightened horses in the snow.‘Hush,’ he murmured soothingly. ‘I can’t help wanting to touch you. You’re very beautiful, you know.’Her eyes widened. ‘No, I’m not.’‘Yes, you are.’‘No,’ she repeated, her tone hardening. ‘I’m not.’He sighed. This was going to be harder than he had realised. He ought to give it up as a lost cause and turn himself over to the angels of sleep, but the fumes of the brandy were still in his head, and damn, she was a picture to cherish, her diminutive stockinged feet drawn up on the wooden settle – however did she contrive to keep them in the stirrups at a gallop? – and her lips slightly parted, innocently inviting.‘Jane,’ he half-groaned, stroking her cheek. Not as rough as it looked, the satiny skin drew him in a curved line down to her lips, where his finger hovered, hardly daring to take matters further in case he frightened her away.She shivered, and her eyes met his. There was no mistaking the longing in her face, nor the curiosity behind her lack of confidence. She wanted him to kiss her! The brandy shifted away for a moment, allowing him a few precious seconds of clarity. That was why she had not gone to bed yet herself, though the light had failed long since and the room was cooling as the fire subsided. Because she was far from indifferent to him.He remembered how she had first come to him, seeking employment. The short but stalwart figure in the yard, clad in her now-familiar cow-hide coat and muffler, awaiting his arrival. The letters of recommendation she carried would have been enough on their own, but in fact he had heard of her reputation before that day, had seen her in the park behind Lord Dent’s curricle, and admired the skill with which she advised that gentleman – not London’s finest whip, it had to be admitted – how to handle his high-mettled pair of greys. Yet it was she who had sought him out to be her employer.‘I have to kiss you.’ He focused on her mouth, so sweetly succulent, mesmerised by the way her tongue ran nervously across her lower lip. ‘It won’t do, pretending I don’t want to. Simply won’t answer.’He had expected her to struggle or slap his face. But in the end, Jane did nothing but give a little gasp. Her head lifted mutely for his kiss, her eyes closed as if to shut out reality ...
To read the rest, you can find "The Earl and His Tiger" on Amazon UK and here in the States. You can read it on a Kindle or a phone or computer if you don't have a Kindle.
"The Earl and His Tiger" is also now available on Smashwords for the same price of $2.99, and coming soon to Kobo, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Diesel.