Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sophie Barnes’ THE SCANDAL IN KISSING AN HEIR (Serialized Excerpt/Giveaway)

Today we have a special excerpt from Avon and Sophie Barnes upcoming release of THE SCANDAL IN KISSING AND HEIR!




The Scandal in Kissing an Heir
(At the Kingsborough Ball #2)
by Sophie Barnes
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: December 31st 2013 by Avon
Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle
He is the next Marquis of Wolvington…She is a lady with nothing but beauty and wits…Together they share a forbidden kiss.

Lady Rebecca is determined to find a husband on her own terms, rather than marry any of the aging suitors her greedy aunt and uncle foist upon her. Her chance comes at the Kingsborough Ball, where she meets several potential grooms…yet no one compares to the dangerously handsome Daniel Neville.
Daniel Neville, notorious rake and heir to the Marquis of Wolvington, is in need of a bride, but finding a lady who’s willing to accept his past, is an entirely different matter. When he spies a stunning woman across the ballroom, Daniel believes he’s found her…until scandal erupts around them. How can he convince Rebecca to take a chance on him…and on the love that could be theirs forever after?


EXCERPT #2

Skirting the perimeter of the room, Rebecca’s gaze eventually settled upon a young gentleman who was offering three wallflowers a great deal of attention. He said something to which they laughed, and then he bowed, said something else and waited while they all hesitated until one by one the three women shook their heads and took a retreating step backward. Had they just turned him down? It seemed unbelievable. And yet the gentleman bowed again, placing a kiss upon each of their hands before making a graceful retreat. This was the sort of man Rebecca was looking for – someone thoughtful and selfless.
“I knew that gown would suit you.”
Turning, Rebecca was not at all surprised to find Lady Trapleigh at her side. She was dressed in a gown of purple lace, her shoulders provocatively bare. Ordinarily, the widow would not be considered an appropriate friend for an innocent, but aside from Rebecca’s maid, Laura, Lady Trapleigh had been her only confidante during Rebecca’s two year confinement at Roselyn Castle – the only person who had bothered to visit a woman who’d been declared mad by the attending physician.
It was also she, who had given Rebecca a gown to wear for this evening’s event. When Laura had first shown it to her, Rebecca had laughed. She should have known that turning to Lady Trapleigh for help would have had such a shocking result. The lady was notorious for her conquests—it was no secret that she kept many lovers, for she spoke of them openly and in much the same way that other women might speak of their bonnets.
From what little she’d shared with Rebecca, it was clear that Lady Trapleigh’s marriage had been an unhappy one. Her husband had been fifty years her senior, so when she’d heard of Rebecca’s situation, she’d immediately offered her sympathy, and the two had formed an acquaintance. She’d been the only person, aside from her maid, in whom Rebecca had confided her plan to escape marrying a man old enough to be her grandfather, not because they’d been particularly close, but rather because the challenge ahead had seemed so overwhelming that Rebecca had needed the encouragement she’d known Lady Trapleigh would give her.
Rebecca had not been disappointed in that regard, for the widow had not only voiced her admiration but had also promised to help in whatever way she could.
“I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you for your assistance in loaning me this gown,” Rebecca said. “Thank you.”
Lady Trapleigh’s features remained quite serious. “I am more than happy to help you escape the fate that was forced on me. There’s no need for you to thank me, Lady Rebecca.” Fanning her face with a black and fluffy, ostrich plume fan, Lady Trapleigh nodded toward the spot where Mr. Neville and Lord Starkly were still standing. “I couldn’t help but notice that you were keeping company with two of England’s foremost rakes,” she said. “I was about to come save you but couldn’t decide if you’d even want me to. You looked quite taken with Mr. Neville in particular.”
Good grief!
Surely her appreciation for the man’s good looks had not been so clear. She shrugged, feigning indifference. “I’ve no idea what you mean.”
At this, Lady Trapleigh laughed. “Don’t play innocent with me, my dear.” She paused. “I don’t blame you – the man can be hard to resist. As a potential husband however, I should caution you.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Mr. Neville is renowned for having a penchant for the outrageous and has hosted several scandalous soirees at his bachelor lodgings – the most recent of which, I’ve been told, resulted in vast amounts of nudity.”
Rebecca gasped. It was a rare occasion when something shocked her, but the thought of a party where the guests appeared in a state of undress, did. A hot flush rose in her cheeks at the very idea of Mr. Neville en deshabille. She did her best to force the vision away – as persistent as it was – and made a stoic effort to listen to what Lady Trapleigh was saying.
“They’ve been in the family for generations and were supposed to go to his future wife.”
Rebecca blinked. “I beg your pardon?” she said. “I fear you lost me for a moment. What item are you speaking of?”
“Why, the diamond earrings that Mr. Neville is reported to have given his mistress. Either the man is a fool or he’s hopelessly in love with the woman – in which case he’ll never give her up even if he does one day marry.”
Rebecca sighed. The lady spoke the truth. “Thank you for telling me this. It is clear that I cannot afford to waste my time on him.”
Lady Trapleigh shook her head. “No, considering what you want for yourself, it would probably only lead to unhappiness, as unfortunate as that is.” She turned her gaze away from the two gentlemen with a look of disinterest. “May I offer you a bit of advice?”
Rebecce nodded. “By all means.”
“You see that gentleman over there – the blonde one who’s been speaking to the wallflowers? “He’s a viscount – Brekenbridge is his name – and from what I’ve been told, he’s currently looking for a wife. Eagerly so, I might add. He’s a good lad, not the sort prone to visiting gambling hells or entertaining courtesans. He’ll be faithful to you, of that I have no doubt. Unless of course you favor dark-haired gentlemen in which case you may wish to consider Lord Carvingdale over there – the one dancing with the lady in the green gown.”
Rebecca followed Lady Trapleigh’s line of vision and quickly spotted the gentleman in question. “And he’s available,” Rebecca asked as she eyed his dance partner.
“He is, and also on the market for a wife, though I believe he does have a tendency to gamble.”
Not an ideal match then, Rebecca decided, not to mention the fact that she was quite a bit taller than him and had always imagined looking up to her future husband rather than down. Apparently, if height was what she wanted, she’d have to aim for either Brekenbridge or Mr. Neville, who was both tall and dark haired. Except he was a rake, she reminded herself, and not to be trusted. “I believe I shall set my cap for the viscount then,” she said, speaking in a hushed tone that only Lady Trapleigh could hear.
The widow nodded. “A good choice,” she said as if Rebecca had just picked out a fabric for a new gown, rather than decided on whom to marry. “I think you will be happy with him.”
Biding her time, Rebecca waited until the gentleman in question had excused himself from the wallflowers and started toward the refreshment table before heading after him. He wasn’t as handsome as Mr. Neville, nor was he quite as tall or as broad shouldered, but his features were pleasant enough and he obviously had a good heart. Stepping up beside him, Rebecca did precisely what Mr. Neville had done earlier – she tossed the rules of propriety and spoke to him without introduction. “I hope you’ll forgive me for approaching you like this, but I couldn’t help but be impressed by the kindness you showed toward the ladies with whom you just offered to dance.”
“They are just as deserving of my attention as everyone else here,” he said as he turned to face her. Confusion registered upon his face as he gazed back into her eyes from behind a silver mask. “I don’t believe we’ve met - Viscount Brekenbridge at your service.”
“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, my lord. You may call me Lady Nuit.” Tilting her head, she offered him a bashful smile. He didn’t appear to take any notice of the way in which she was dressed, or if he did he was so discreet about his observation that it didn’t show upon his face. His eyes were warm and friendly instead, for which she was thankful. “Well, I just thought you ought to be commended for your efforts. However, it appears that the first dance is about to commence - I really mustn’t keep you from your partner.”
“I don’t see why not since the lady’s you just mentioned denied my request. I believe they were too shy in the end.”
Attempting a look of complete befuddlement, Rebecca shook her head. “What a shame.”
“Perhaps you would do me the honor of partnering with me?” Brekenbridge asked abruptly, hope brimming in his eyes while his hands worked nervously at his sides. “If you’re available that is.”
“Certainly,” Rebecca said, pleased by Brekenbridge’s enthusiasm. It seemed Lady Trapleigh was correct in her assessment, for his eagerness was only too apparent. He would probably propose soon if she voiced an interest, though he did not strike her as the passionate sort the way Mr. Neville had. Heavens but he’d looked quite ready to rip Starkly’s head right off his neck when she’d last seen him. No, Lord Brekenbridge seemed very proper and civil by comparison – the sort of man who was looking to do the responsible thing and saw no reason for delay when it came to seeking a wife. He would suit her perfectly.
Allowing herself a satisfied smile which Brekenbridge happily returned, he offered her his arm and started leading her toward the dance floor.



Read more!
Monday 12/16- Serialized Excerpt #1
·         LIVE TO READ
·         SEDUCED BY A BOOK

Tuesday 12/17- Serialized Excerpt #2
·         READING BETWEEN THE WINES

Wednesday 12/18-- Review, Serialized Excerpt #3
·         FALLEN ANGELS REVIEWS
·         ROMANCING THE READERS

Thursday 12/19- Serialized Excerpt #4
·         CK2S KWIPS & KRITIQUES

Friday 12/20—Serialized Excerpt #5
·         THE BOOK CELLAR X



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11 comments:

Sophie Barnes said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today and for the opportunity to share my upcoming release :)

jodi marinich said...

havent read anything from this author yet but always read find a new one

knye said...

I am eagerly awaiting Ms. Barnes's new book. The last one was excellent.

Debby said...

I love historical romance.

Rita said...

The cover calls to me.

sheryl said...

Love Sophie's books!!! Thanks for the post

Beautiful Disaster said...

I really enjoy Sophia's books and I'm looking forward to reading this one as well. I love the color contrast on the cover :)
Happy Holidays
Lori

Carol L. said...

Sophie is a new Author to me but I have just put this book on my TRL. I love Historical Romance and really enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for this opportunity. Happy Holidays.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Renald said...

I love this kind of story . thanks .Deb P

Steph F. said...

I haven't read this book but I have others by her. She is a fantastic author who writes beautiful love stories. The excerpt was great so I can't wait to pick it up and see what happens.

Barbara E. said...

I always love a notorious rake and I can't wait to see how Daniel convinces Rebecca to take a chance on him. Hope she loves a notorious rake too. :D

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