Diamond in the Rogue
by Wendy LaCapra
Publication Date: November 11, 2019
eBook; 289 Pages
Series: Lords of Chance, Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
In an act of revenge, Lord Rayne kissed Lady Julia and was sent packing to America. But now he’s back to settle his affairs and give away his sister in marriage, until he meets up with the alluring yet innocent Lady Julia again. He doesn’t regret their first kiss, but he was never good enough for her.
Lady Julia had two years to forget the moody and mercurial Earl of Rayne. But one look, and she knows they’re meant to be together. Be damned with his and her brother’s objections, she’ll just jump on the back of Rayne’s departing carriage and compromise them both thoroughly.
Only, Julia never expected her forbidding Lord to be so good at resisting temptation…
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“Everyone disappeared from the dining hall,” he said.
She tilted her head, listening. “Then why do I hear voices?”
“Oh, there’s plenty of people left in there. But Clarissa went upstairs, and Markham followed soon after. Moments later, Katherine and Bromton left as well.” He lifted a brow. “What is it about this place?”
She shrugged. “Weddings make some people amorous, I suppose.”
And you? He strolled into the room. Do weddings make you amorous? He wanted to know.
And he definitely did not want to know.
She hefted the bowl and made a show of ignoring him in favor of closely examining silver-rendered insects.
“Dragonflies are an interesting choice for a soup tureen, don’t you think?” he asked.
“You are mistaken.” She set down the bowl. “They’re clearly damselflies.”
“Are they?” He leaned over her shoulder to get a closer look. “But a damselfly’s wings are closed when at rest.”
“Who says they’re at rest? They could be fluttering about, as flies are wont to do.” She shifted, slowly lifting her gaze. “Besides, if they were dragonflies, their front and back wings would have different shapes.”
“I see, now.” He reached from behind her and ran a finger over a veined wing. “Damselflies, indeed. They have more delicate bodies.”
“Deceptively delicate. Remember…damsels can be predators”—her short, puffed P puckered her lips—“too.”
Such a mouth she had. And such a face. Even a gifted artist would despair, trying to capture her changeling spirit in pigment. “Do you have an interest in entomology?”
“I’ve always been drawn to insects.” She folded her arms. “As you should know.”
Anger, he understood. Hers bore down on him—a deliberately placed heel. She would crush him if she could. Which made him want to respond in unspeakable—possibly even illegal—ways…all of them erotic.
The taste of rancid shame pooled beneath his tongue. He must apologize and get out. Fast.
“You’ve been avoiding me,” he said.
“I’ve been avoiding you?” Her lids narrowed to slits. “You put oceans between us.”
“One,” he replied softly. “One ocean.” One soot-watered, lightning-capped ocean, churning, at this moment, beneath his ribs.
“One ocean”—she swallowed—“was more than enough.”
Had it been?
In an instant, time and distance withered to nothing. The fruits of his sweat, pain, and self-recrimination? Gone.
Her pull stretched and deepened his inner mayhem. He wanted to pin her down, let her claw him all she wished, so long as she whimpered please when he pressed his lips against the vulnerable column of her throat.
Her woman-scented skin visibly prickled with gooseflesh. Not so much an invitation as evidence—proof she was no more immune than he was inoculated.
Lust. Common enough.
No reason to plunge into waters and drown.
“I sought you out to apologize,” he said.
She paled, even as the bright spots in her cheeks darkened. The contrast made her less intimidating, more doll-like. Now, he wanted to take her into his care.
As if she needed care.
As if he knew how to care for anything.
“Markham”—she turned her face away—“already delivered your apology.”
“As asked. I didn’t want to address you directly.” Then, after he’d seen her, he realized he had no choice.
She snorted. “Not surprising.”
There. Right there. Sarcasm.
Instinctively, he searched for the pain. “What, exactly, did Markham tell you?”
“He said you acknowledged the wrong of”—her breath skipped—“toying with an innocent.”
Toying. He’d set out to use her, yes, but she’d been anything but a toy. She’d been a danger to him then. She was a danger to him now.
She ignited something shadowy—perverse, inner directives that felt essential. And, from the moment they’d met, she’d known exactly how she affected him.
She may not have guessed the exact nature of his thoughts, but she’d sure as hell recognized his desire. Her certainty had infused her with power and sensuality beyond her experience.
Yet now, she doubted.
If he could heal nothing else, at least he could return her pride.
“Julia, whatever you believe, understand I was…” He searched for the right word. “Taken with you.”
Taken. Stolen. Thieved. Stripped of all protective illusions. Left wanting things he didn’t understand.
Kissing her, teasing her, tempting her with decadent dissolution had been wrong, but his desire had been real. Destructively real.
About the Author
Wendy writes Historical Romance with a touch of intrigue & suspense. Her debut series, a trilogy about three Ladies who refuse to play by society’s rules, was released by Entangled Scandalous in 2015. Her first indie, Her Duke at Daybreak, finaled in Romance Writers of America®’s RITA® contest.
Wendy was born a Jersey Girl, though most of her extended family lives in Maine. Trekking up and down the Northeast coast in the backseat of a car gave her plenty of opportunity not only to fight with her sister, but to read, to listen to her dad tell stories from history, and to dream up stories of her own.
She lives in NYC with her husband. Things she loves besides writing and reading and being an aunt to seven nieces and nephews include travel (50 states and all 7 continents), old things, pine trees, wine and pasta.
If you’d like to join her infrequent, never-shared mailing list for freebies and new-release information, sign up here: http://bit.ly/GetWendyNews.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, November 11
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Tuesday, November 12
Review at Historical Romance Lover
Wednesday, November 13
Feature at What Is That Book About
Thursday, November 14
Review at The Book Junkie Reads
Friday, November 15
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Sunday, November 17
Review at Liberty’s Literary Loves
Monday, November 18
Review at Rose is Reading
Tuesday, November 19
Feature at @ya.its.lit
Wednesday, November 20
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Friday, November 22
Review at A Chick Who Reads
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