It's been quite a saga to get the sequel to Her Gilded Prison through all the necessary flaming hoops to reach publication, but we're nearly there.
Her Gilded Prison came out in March and I thought Dangerous Gentlemen would follow fairly quickly, but my poor editor got sick and there were huge delays, so now it's due out in a few weeks.
In the meantime I've been working on edits for The Maid of Milan under my Beverley Eikli name but here is a little about my four sensual/erotic stories, available for a short time for half price.
Dangerous Gentlemen is about an innocent debutante who becomes embroiled in London's Underworld by pretending to be a prostitute in order to save her life. (I'll post an excerpt at the end of this exact, pivotal moment.)
Anyway, the story just wrote itself. It's 64,000 words, so more than a novella, and it's about the daughter of my 40-year old heroine, Sybil, of Her Gilded Prison. If you remember, sweet Sybil, the most loyal and faithful of wives for more than twenty years of loveless marriage, finally recruits a handsome younger man to help her provide the heir her husband is unable to provide. When they fall in love, things become complicated.
However, as several reviewers have remarked, they were doubtful I could pull off a happy ending ... but I did :)
So yes, as I said, All Romance EBooks are discounting all of my four titles under my Beverley Oakley pseudonym - including Her Gilded Prison - for a short time, here: http://bit.ly/142xOkW
And now a little about each:
Rake's Honour was shortlisted Favourite Historical by Australian Romance Readers Association in 2012. It's a racy Regency romp about an ambitious debutante whose mother plans to marry her off to loathesome Lord Slyther - unless she can come up with an alternative that will save the family from penury.
There are some sizzling sex scenes and a sting in the tale as my heroine shows the hero who is really the boss. It also has a 'laugh-out loud' ending, according to several reviewers.
Lady Lovett's Little Dilemma is a sweet, sensual mystery/romance detailing the unexpected events that reconcile 26-yr old Cressida to becoming once again a 'proper wife' to her beloved husband - despite her terror of dying in childbirth having her sixth child. It was a best seller at All Romance Ebooks and has had lovely reviews. As one puts it, LLLD is 'A love story about birth control...usually the narrative is about the hero and heroine finding each other and ending with marriage. Here it starts with marriage and goes on from there....'
It's available at this price for a short time from http://bit.ly/O9EELS
The Cavalier is a story of lust and revenge set during the English Civil War. Lovely Lady Elizabeth's castle is being besieged by the Cavalier lover she was forced to forsake 8 years prior to marry her harsh Puritan husband. Now Elizabeth must trade her body to spare her husband's life. As she offers herself to the man she once loved she has no idea what motivates him - desire or revenge.
And now for that promised extract of my next release, Dangerous Gentlemen. The scene opens when Hetty, who has just been warned off the apparently dangerous Sir Aubrey, creeps into his room during a ball in the home of which Sir Aubrey is a houseguest.
Hetty could not imagine how a scion of high society like Sir Aubrey could be guilty of such a heinous crime as treason. And surely the story of the runaway wife was a gilded one. It was all the stuff of make-believe and Cousin Stephen was only telling Hetty he was dangerous to curb her schoolroom daydreams.
Turning, she saw half protruding from beneath the suit of clothes what appeared to be the edge of a silver, filigreed box. It was partly obscured by the overhang of the counterpane, as if it hadn’t properly been returned to its hiding place.
A moment’s indecision made her pause but soon Hetty was crouching on the floor, closing clammy fingers around the box.
Might it contain secrets? Ones that would reveal, conclusively, what Cousin Stephen claimed was true?
Alternatively, proof that would exonerate Sir Aubrey?
Hetty fumbled for the catch. Dear Lord, this was too exciting for words. Perhaps Sir Aubrey was a secret agent working for the English, and Stephen had no idea?
Perhaps he was—
Protesting door hinges made her squeal as the door was flung wide. Hetty let the lid of the box fall and retreated into the shadows as Sir Aubrey strode into the room.
He was breathing heavily as he shrugged off his jacket with a curse, raindrops spattering into the hissing fire as he raked his fingers through his hair. A curious stillness overtook him and he froze, obviously sensing all was not as he left it.
He sniffed the air. “Orange flower water,” he muttered, stepping closer to the fire, fumbling for the tinderbox on the mantelpiece to light a candle.
Immediately he was thrown into sharp relief and as he stared at Hetty it was not his look of shock and suspicion that made her scream but the copious amounts of blood that stained his shirtsleeves and once-snowy linen cravat.
“God Almighty, who are you?” he demanded, staring as if he might like to cast her into the flames like the crumpled paper he withdrew from his pocket. His gaze raked her finery. “You’re no parlor maid, that’s for certain!”
Gaping, unable to formulate a sensible answer, Hetty finally managed, “What happened to your arm, Sir Aubrey? Are you injured?”
“Sir Aubrey, is it? So you know who I am but you still haven’t told me who you are?” He grunted as he looked down at his arm, the bloodied linen shredded over the long graze. “It’s not as bad as it looks and I assure you, I gave a good account of myself.” His laugh was more a sneer. “Indeed, my assailant lies dead in the gutter.”
Hetty gasped. “Dueling?” Myriad questions crowded her mind. Could this be to do with Araminta? Had Sir Aubrey left Araminta in the middle of the ball to fight some other contender for her affections?
“Dueling?” he repeated. He shook his head and Hetty drew back at the coldness in his eyes. “There was nothing noble about my activities this evening. I was set upon in a dark alley. A short scuffle ensued, I drew my knife, then—” With his hand, he made a gesture like the slitting of his throat, adding, “I am slightly wounded but as I said, my attacker does not live to repeat the insult.”
Her horror clearly amused him, for his eyes narrowed while his generous mouth quirked. He looked like an incarnation of the most handsome demon she’d ever seen depicted in the fairy stories she loved to read.
“We all have enemies, madam. Enemies that must be eliminated if we are to breathe freely.”
Aubrey was enjoying the girl’s wide-eyed terror. No doubt she imagined he’d sliced the throat of a footpad, not the snarling, mangy cur who had leapt upon him as he’d been returning from his brief assignation to settle a gaming debut incurred by his favorite, reprobate nephew.
Taking pity on her, he said reassuringly, “Don’t worry. I won’t hurt you.’ Her wide-eyed look as he removed first his jacket, then the bloodied shirt he tossed upon the bed, before he rose to his full height, bare chested, afforded him the most amusement he’d had in a long time. “So, you’re the girl Madame Chambon sent?”
She simply stared at him and he nodded appraisingly as he sat on the bed and pulled off his boots.
“You had me fooled for a moment. I thought you really were some innocent who’d lost her way in these catacombs.” Had he not been so jaded he might have been ashamed at the assessment in his tone when he added, “My faithful procuress threatened I’d not be able to tell the difference.” He chuckled and put out his hand. “She said she’d surprise me. Well, come into the light so I can see you better. After the god-awful night I’ve had, you might be just what I need: the retiring sort, for I’m sick to death of women who like to play games.”
All my Beverley Oakley Books can be bought at half price for a limited time at: http://bit.ly/O9EELS