Today I would like to welcome Michele Lang to my First Kiss Friday blog who has an excerpt from her latest story An Honest Woman. Happy reading, my lovelies. Take it away, Michele!
Thanks so much, Sherry, for having me on your blog!
I write in many different genres…paranormal romance, urban fantasy, historical fantasy. But this new release, An Honest Woman, is my first Victorian romance, and I couldn’t be happier about this book!
What you will find in my writing, no matter the genre, is a deep, immersive sense of place, great-hearted characters, and lots of danger and adventure. And this new story is no exception.
In this excerpt, my heroine, the widowed Countess Clementine de Winter, is dancing at a ball with the dark and dangerous Aramis Russe. Clementine needs protection from a murderous stalker, but the attraction she feels for this secretly wounded man presents even more of a danger, to her heart.
Excerpt from An Honest Woman:
The waltz was her favorite. It involved such intimacy and finesse together, a marriage of movement and music. You could learn so much of a man when you danced the waltz with him.
He drew her close, gently, possessively. A low rush of heat rose from Clementine’s core up the length of her back, combing like fingers into the back of her neck.
Russe’s fingers pressed into the small of her waist, and she surrendered to the music and to his lead. Russe was dark, swarthy and sinuous, pretty much the opposite of her dearly departed, the rather pale Mortimer the elder.
Russe was dangerous.
His eyes, the color of amber, stared into the middle distance, tiger eyes. They danced in silence for a bit, while Clementine relaxed into his arms. He was a splendid dance partner, assured and feline. His body pressed against the length of hers, too close for propriety.
She didn’t much care. After her scrape with the prince, she was sick of propriety, sick of trying to convince ladies of quality that she merited to exist in their world. If it weren’t for her beloved stepson, she would toss propriety out the window and leave London altogether.
But she couldn’t abandon Mortimer to derision and scandal. And she most certainly could not abandon her household to the secret danger that stalked them all.
It was a puzzle. But with the prince’s help, she hoped to solve it, somehow.
“Thank you,” she finally ventured to murmur in Russe’s ear as he twirled her around his well-muscled forearm. “You are a marvelous dancer.”
He glanced at her, surprised. Oh, she knew she was supposed to wait demurely until spoken to, but she was sick of playing the role of shy schoolgirl. It had been many years since she could convincingly play that sort of ingenue role. Those days of innocence long gone, never to reappear.
“You needn’t say a word, sir,” she continued. “I merely wanted to thank you for seeking me out, inviting me to dance. My son told me he had spoken to you. And the prince…”
Her voice trailed away, and she raised her gaze up to meet Russe.
Her mouth went dry as she stared into his eyes.
For in his eyes, she detected an emotion she had not witnessed in many years.
Raw, undisguised attraction.
This secretly broken man saw her, he did not see her precarious state in society, he did not see the shadow of scandal or the mark of age and widowhood upon her.
He saw a woman.
He saw her. Clementine.
Naked, stripped of her title and her propriety, bare of all except her womanhood.
A flush rose from deep inside of her, overspreading her breasts and reaching up her throat to caress her burning cheeks. Her heart opened like a winter rose.
More about An Honest Woman
London, 1877. The pinnacle of Empire. A city of glamour, hidden passion, and danger…
To the Manor Born…
Lord Aramis Russe’s lineage, lands, and fortune could not keep his wife and young son from an early grave. Years later, the devastated Lord Russe intends to grieve alone, but Prince Edward himself plays royal matchmaker — and orders the loyal earl to make an honest woman of one of his beautiful favorites…
Born for Trouble…
Dowager Countess Clementine de Winter, known widely as an American heiress, in fact conceals a shocking secret from the cream of London high society. Her life is in danger, and only Lord Russe can save her.
A love born of desperation…
A secret society, a hatred hatched by war, and a grief so terrible it can hardly be endured. Clementine’s courage and beauty cannot preserve her life or honor. Can the battle-scarred Lord Russe shield Clementine from danger — and will he win her heart?
FREE in Kindle Unlimited or BUY LINK: https://amzn.to/2TF6q7x
Michele writes fantasy, science fiction, crime, and romance, as well as non-fiction. Her Lady LazarusWWII historical fantasy series was published by Tor Books/Macmillan, and her short fiction has been published by DAW, PM Press, Running Press, and WMG Press, among others. Her story “Sucker’s Game” is included in the Anthony award-nominated anthology Jewish Noir.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Michele-Lang/e/B001ITYB3E