Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spotlight: Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom by Vanessa Kelly + giveaway

Woot! We've got a quickie post today for Vanessa Kelly who is one of my favorite historical authors and just an awesome person. There's an excerpt and a giveaway down below. Check em out and leave her some comment love!
Some men are born into scandal. Others pursue it with a passion. Griffin Steele, secret son of the Duke of Cumberland, is guilty on both counts. Yet somehow London’s most notorious scoundrel has been saddled with an abandoned baby boy—and with the unflappable, intriguing spinster summoned to nurse him…

Justine Brightmore may be a viscount’s niece, but she’s also a spy’s daughter, determined to safeguard the infant when his suspected royal parentage makes him a target. Yet how to protect herself from the rakish Griffin? Marriage might shield her reputation, but it can only imperil her heart, especially with a groom intent on delicious seduction…

Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository | BAM | Goodreads

Scene set up: Justine and the baby are in the kitchen late one night and encounter Griffin.

She frowned. “You shouldn’t skip meals like that. It’s not good for your health.”

I’m not exactly a feeble old man, Justine. I won’t keel over in a dead faint simply because I missed a meal.” Still, he found it rather charming that she worried about him.

She surprised him again when she rose. “Here,” she said, coming around the table. “You hold Stephen while I find you something to eat.”

That is entirely unnecessary, Miss Br—I mean, Justine,” he started to protest. But she was right in front of him, handing him the baby before he could articulate further objections.

Don’t worry,” she said quietly. “He’s finally drifted off. Sit and rest with him for a few minutes. I’m sure you don’t eat or sleep nearly as well as you should.”

He sighed and opened his arms, accepting the soft weight of the baby.

As Justine gently relinquished her little bundle, Griffin took a moment to enjoy the swell of her generous breasts, just inches from his face, under the woolen wrapper. The garment was ugly as sin, and he couldn’t help speculating how delectable she would look dressed in a silk and lace peignoir, her curves amply displayed.

It took him several seconds to realize that she’d frozen, half-bent over him. He lifted his gaze to see her staring at his chest, her eyes round and stunned. He followed the angle of her gaze to see that his dressing robe had gaped open while he was settling the baby onto his lap.

He flicked a glance back up. Justine stared at his chest with clear if reluctant fascination, gnawing on her plump lower lip.

I take it you’ve never seen a tattoo,” he commented in a sardonic voice.

She abruptly straightened, looking flustered. “Ah, no. I thought only sailors and criminals did such things to themselves.” She winced when she realized what she’d just implied.

Very true,” Griffin said, enjoying the rosy color staining her cheeks.

But then she surprised him by peering directly at the half-exposed markings on his skin. “Is that a gryphon?”

It is. Rather obvious symbolism, but it seemed appropriate at the time.”

How old were you when you had it done?”


Did it hurt?”

He shook his head, thinking of how foolish and reckless he’d been back then. “You can’t imagine.”

She nodded absently and swayed a fraction closer. He felt the path of her gaze over his skin, leaving a trail of heat in its wake.

Still, it’s quite beautiful,” she breathed. She raised a hand, as if to touch it. “I didn’t know they could be drawn with such artistry.”

Most are fairly crude, but this one was inked by a Japanese artist who for some godforsaken reason has chosen to live in London. Tattoo masters from the Orient are renowned for their skill. There are a few other Japanese and Chinese artists outside of London, in the port towns where business is brisk. But Sakoda, who inked mine, is reputed to be the best.”

He reached a careful hand from under the baby and tugged aside the silk lapel of his robe. “Would you like a closer look, Justine?” he asked, letting his voice fall into a deep, purring note.

She startled and then practically leapt back, almost tripping over her feet.

No, no,” she exclaimed, flapping her hands. “Just sit there and I’ll get you something to eat.” She scurried into the larder, talking in a voice several notes higher than her usual honeyed tones. “I’m sure there’s some cold meat and cheese, and Mrs. Phelps made a lovely plum cake.”

He smiled. He’d wanted to ruffle her, but he had no desire to frighten her off. What would be the fun in that? 

Much more enjoyable to push her by slight degrees and see how she reacted. She’d surprised him with her curiosity, although on previous occasions he’d seen flashes of what he suspected was an innately inquisitive nature. But she’d always repressed it, determined to keep on the narrow course she’d prescribed for herself. That was a good part of the reason Justine intrigued him. She had a lively mind, a sound education, and came from a good family.

And she was beautiful, too. But with all those qualities, she chose to hide away in the corners, like a fusty maiden aunt well past her prime. Justine was self-effacing to the point of fading into the background, which he supposed one might expect in the daughter of a spy. But unlike her father, she had no real need to hide her true nature. Yet she did, and Griffin was honest enough to admit that he’d like to know why.

Sooo, whatcha think? Have you read Kelly? 

More Vanessa on herding cats!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow on Bloglovin

[Are you a blogger? Leave your link so I can visit you too! ~Anna]

No comments:

Post a Comment

I always enjoy hearing what YOU think so come on and leave a comment. Everyone's welcome :) And feel free to leave comments on old posts. I'll check in on you there too :)

Bloggers don't forget to leave your links!

The Herd Archives