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Happy New Year, my lovely readers, and welcome to the first First Kiss Friday blog post of the year! Today’s guest is my friend and fellow Bluestocking Belle Rue Allyn who has an excerpt from her new release, The Pirate Duchess. Happy reading and enjoy!

Excerpt:  This scene occurs in the nave of an ancient church that the two main characters have decided to visit in order to learn more about the building and, unintentionally, each other.

Another backward step would place her against the wall with no room for escape. She didn’t know what he was after, but she stood her ground. “That is unlikely to happen.”

He put his hat atop the open register and took her hand. “Possibly.” His thumb stroked across her gloved fingers. “However, you have secrets that you are paying to keep private. If you told me what your purpose is with Danville and Cosistas, I might be persuaded to maintain my silence as to those secrets. Were you to assist me with thwarting whatever criminal enterprise those two are embarked upon, I would speak on your behalf, should you be arrested for piracy.”

Anger rose at his words, but was undermined by the warmth traveling the length of her arm and farther. She snatched one hand from his grip and glared into his deep-blue gaze.

She could not read his thoughts.

“You think to blackmail me into dishonorable actions, sir. Even among thieves there is honor. I may have been a privateer in the past, but you cannot prove piracy. Nor can you prove that I am still such.”

“Privateer, pirate. ’Tis a legal quibble for which you have never shown documents in support of your privateer claim. You have been an enemy of the British government in the past, and, with Napoleon gathering troops for war, there is no telling what nefarious purpose has brought you here.”

“My presence in this village has nothing to do with Napoleon or the British government.”

“So, you say.” He continued to hold her gaze and her hand. “I am simply offering you the opportunity to mitigate the punishment you are destined to receive for your crimes.”

She almost laughed in his face. She would be gone long before he could arrange for her arrest. “Any argument is pointless. However, you are most definitely wrong. Now, if you will excuse me, I would like to continue perusing the register.”

He didn’t move.

“In private.” She attempted to skirt around him to the front of the lectern.

His hand on her arm halted her. “Wait. Please.”

“Why?” Their gazes locked once more. This time she saw an unnamable emotion of such heat that it could have frightened her. He’d always been cold with her before; perhaps she should be frightened.

“I… I’m not….

A racket interrupted nearby, but she could not look away from him. Then a storm of shouting, barking activity surrounded them. She was pushed in Gilroy’s direction.


His arms closed about her.

Eyes wide, she tilted her head and stared past his shoulder. Hector, the dog from the inn, raced out of the open church door with a stream of boys trailing after him. She straightened and found herself smiling into Gilroy’s face. He smiled back.

She could not have said how the kiss happened, or who broke away first. She found herself standing in his embrace, fingers to her mouth and astonished to wish the kiss had continued.

Gilroy seemed equally surprised. He released her, did an about-face, snatched his hat from where it had fallen to the floor, and fled, moving as if Napoleon’s entire army were on his heels.

What in the world? Her lips still tingled, and confusion swirled below her stomach. In front of her, the register stood forgotten. She’d never experienced anything like that. She’d kissed men before, but never wished the activity had gone on for hours.

“Are you well, Miss Fynlock?”

She blinked and finally noticed the vicar standing a few feet beyond where Brandon had been before.

About The Pirate Duchess: They met during a brawl!

Esmeralda Crobbin first encounters Brandon Gilroy during a brawl. Once their opponents are vanquished, she admires the man’s skill with his fists, his intelligence, and a number of other attributes until she learns that he is a British Naval Officer. He would be eager to see her hang, if he knew she was the American privateer, Irish Red.

Can sworn enemies become lovers? Find out. Get your copy of The Pirate Duchess today.

EBook UBL:  https://books2read.com/u/3RLvQn

EBook Amazon Buy Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Pirate-Duchess-Regency-Historical-Enemies-ebook/dp/B09W8LJ2Y1/

Paperback Buy Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Pirate-Duchess-Regency-Historical-Enemies/dp/B0B91ZLB4G/(Amazon only)

About Rue Allyn:

Hi, I’m author Rue Allyn. I learned story telling at my grandfather’s knee. (Well, it was really more like on his knee—I was two.) I’ve been weaving my own tales ever since. I have worked as an instructor, mother, sailor, clerk, sales associate, and painter, along with a variety of other types of employment. I’ve lived and traveled in places all over the globe from Keflavik Iceland (I did not care much for the long nights of winter.) and Fairbanks Alaska to Panama City and the streets of London England to a large number of places in between. Now that our two sons have left the nest, I and my husband of more than four decades (Try living with the same person for more than forty years—that’s a true adventure.) have retired and moved south. When not writing, enjoying the nearby beach, or working jigsaw puzzles, I travel the world and surf the internet in search of background material and inspiration for my next heart melting romance. I love to hear from readers, and you may contact me at Rue@RueAllyn.com. I can’t wait to hear from you.

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