Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Little Deception, a Regency Historical Romance (Adult Excerpt)

By Beverley Eikli aka Beverley Oakley

Two weeks ago I won Choc-Lit's 'Search for an Australian Star' with my winning Regency Historical Romantic Intrigue, The Reluctant Bride, which will be published in September 2013. Six months after that Choc-Lit will release my 1960s diamond smuggling romantic suspense, Lammergeier Rock, set in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho, where I was born.

In the meantime I've got back the rights to my previous three Regency Historical Romances published in hardcover by Robert Hale. This includes my re-edited and rewritten intrigue, A Little Deception, which was nominated Favourite Historical Romance in 2011 by the Australian Romance Readers of Australia Association.

I'd love to share a bit with you, so here is an extract which occurs when my rakish hero, Viscount Rampton, successfully beds my heroine, Rose, whom he believes is a safely married woman.

‘You are exquisite, Lady Chesterfield,’ he murmured as he kissed the hollow of her throat.

Opening her eyes, Rose was reassured by the intensity of Rampton's smile. No respectable woman would allow herself to be in such a position but she was prepared to take the chance. She was not just another conquest. He not only desired her, he wanted her for his ...

Common sense returned.

What a fool she was! He’d forever hate her if he discovered the truth.

Struggling out from beneath him, she made an ineffectual attempt at restoring modesty, pulling her skirts back over her knees. How many women had been brought to ruin by such naivety?

But with a deep chuckle and, as if she had no more strength than a butterfly, he pushed her onto her back once more. ‘You’ve tried my patience long enough, you little minx, though I’ll admit your merry little dance has nearly killed me with the need to have you.’

Mesmerised, unable to move, she watched him remove his boots, then his coat and waistcoat. Her mouth dropped open as he
fumbled with his breeches, revealing lean, muscled white flanks dusted with fine dark hair beneath his shirt.

Only when he raised his eyes to hers did self-preservation kick in and she jerked herself into a sitting position.

His laugh drowned her small shriek as he threw her back onto the bed whereupon he had her clothes off in record time and was now lying above her, his body a warm, sensuous cage. One in which she would have been quite happy to flounder in captivity if there were not her future to think about.

Yes, she wanted him, but not like this. The realization flashed through her mind that she had never known quite what the joining of a man and woman entailed as she caught sight of his rampant manhood which terrified and excited her in equal measure. Her body seemed to pulse with the desire to receive him while her mind railed against such sinfulness.

What kind of woman was she? Terror and mortification gripped her. She managed to twist her head away and with a gasp forced out, ‘Please—!’

It was an ill chosen protest, for of course he interpreted is as a plea for more.
‘You are a delightful enigma, Lady Chesterfield,’ he rasped, between hot kisses. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more in my life.’ He paused a moment to brush a lock of hair back from her face. She could feel her heart hammering. Surely he could feel it too. He would attribute it to desire, not panic, and she had only herself to blame.

She opened her mouth to speak. To tell him the truth, but a contradiction of emotions rendered her mute. Her body was willing him to continue his pleasuring, while her mind railed at her wickedness. She had been a fool. A naïve, innocent little fool, but would she ever experience such pleasure again? 
She was unlikely to have another chance at love. Why should she not simply succumb to enjoyment ... just for once?

It was not worth the risk.

Lord Rampton’s voice, husky with passion, made her pause. ‘I wanted you from the moment I met you, my love.’ He kissed her ear as he cupped her face. 
‘No woman has stirred my senses as you have.’

They were words she longed to hear but a lifetime of training dictated that she should make her escape.

Now he was creating even more wicked sensations, and the words she’d been trained to say would not come. Her desire for this man was stronger than anything she had yet experienced.

His mouth was upon hers again and his kisses were working their magic. His clever hands were seeking out her most sensitive parts, gently massaging the tops of her thighs with feather-light strokes which only seemed to stoke her need for more, his explorations moving into the most forbidden territory, making her gasp. She was out of control. Drowning! Drowning in hot, sensuous pleasure!

It was terrifying and it was exhilarating.

It was sinful.

She should galvanize every ounce of restraint in order to extricate herself from his irresistible embrace, but where was her will? She’d never known what love and desire were until now. Arching her body, she heard the ecstasy in her groan as if from someone far away. He moved above her, the wild, irresistible scent of him filling her nostrils, the mastery of his mouth working its magic as he suckled her breasts, kissed her lips. She skimmed his smooth, hard flanks and felt more insistently the pulsing of her womb as his manhood pressed against her belly.

It was madness but she’d do it. Give herself to this man
for this one time only; yes, take the chance for it would be the only chance of love she’d ever get and she had a lifetime of loneliness to fill with the sustaining memory of these burning few short moments.

She stilled as she felt him position himself at her entrance. Trembling, she sucked in a shuddering breath as she prepared herself. She was ready to do this. With this one man only for she ...

Loved him.

Loved him for making her feel what no other man on earth had ever made her feel. Loved the humour deep beneath his ironic, masterful façade.

He tilted his head and his words came out as a soft rasp. ‘What did you say?’

Surely she’d not spoken of her love aloud? She opened her eyes to see his fleeting confusion but she shook her head, arching against him, not wanting to lose the moment now that she had steeled herself.

His breath was coming fast and shallow. Lust glazed his expression, twisting his lips into a wicked, colluding smile as he ground out, ‘My God, Lady Chesterfield, but you are–’

On the periphery of her consciousness Rose registered the heavy footsteps upon the stair, growing louder as they approached. She tensed, momentarily, then cast concern from her mind as she moved beneath this man she loved and desired, blind to all but her own desire.

A grave error she now realised as she heard the door being wrenched open on creaking hinges, before gasping at the cry of rage that echoed through the room. ‘What in God’s name is this?’

She felt the momentary shock of the man above her before
he pulled back and rolled off her, drawing her into his embrace to cover their nakedness. He needed almost no time to collect himself before he was demanding of the interloper in a low, accusing growl, ‘I might ask you the same question, bursting into my bedchamber like this.’

She was impressed at Lord Rampton’s ability, even under such duress, to play the cool, affronted party. Trembling, she ventured a quick look over his shoulder and saw Charles upon the threshold, his normally pale and placid face suffused with outrage.

Advancing to the centre of the bearskin rug which carpeted the floor, he stabbed a finger in their direction, struggling to force out his words. ‘What are you doing?’

Rose buried her face in Lord Rampton’s chest, her body burning with shame as she tried to soak up all the warmth of that moment, for it would be a cold place she was going to be living in, soon, she realised.

His lordship did not flinch as he continued to shield her. Her brother was visibly shaking. Charles’s rages were few but unpredictable, so when he hissed, ‘If I’d thought to bring a pistol I’d shoot you through the heart’ she exhaled in relief, silently endorsing Lord Rampton’s rejoinder which he uttered in a tone of unconcern, ‘I’m relieved at your lack of foresight’ before he added, ‘Your wife might have taken exception to such overexcitement – though I would suggest a little more excitement in the marriage bed might not have seen her here.’

‘Wife?’ expostulated Charles, his pale face mottled purple with rage.

Rose swallowed and pressed her forehead against Lord Rampton’s warm, hard chest, dread and weary acceptance swamping her as she felt his arms tighten when she tried to withdraw .

Charles could have only one response to this and the
silence seemed an eternity as she awaited the inevitable unmasking. Waited for the moment when her hopes and dreams would be reduced to cinders and she was exposed for the fraud she was.
‘That’s not my wife.’

She groaned softly as she felt Lord Rampton stiffen in shock at Charles’s next words: ‘That’s my sister!’ 

I hope you enjoyed this extract. If you did, you can read more about it on my website, or buy the book on Amazon, and in a week, in all e-formats through Smashwords, B&N and Apple iBooks.



Beverley Eikli wrote her first romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page (p550!) was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.
After throwing in her secure job on South Australia’s metropolitan daily The Advertiser to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.
Eighteen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland's ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia living a more conventional life with her husband and two daughters in a pretty country town an hour north of Melbourne. She writes Regency Historical Intrigue as Beverley Eikli and erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley.

Nominated Favorite Historical of 2011 by ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association).

Rose Chesterfield has married the man of her dreams but a jealous adversary is determined to destroy her happiness.

Can Rose convince delectable, rakish Lord Rampton that she's not a fortune hunter and diamond thief before he succumbs to the lures of her beautiful, ruthless sister-in-law?


Debby said...

What a surprise for him. Not the wife but the sister.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Beverley Eikli aka Beverley Oakley said...

Yes, they all got more than they bargained for, Debbie:)