Ruth A. Casie, a USA Today Best-selling author, has released the third standalone Regency romance novel in the Return of Ladies of Sommer by the Sea series. Come check out an excerpt of THE LADY AND THE ROGUE and celebrate with us! Be sure to enter the giveaway.
The Lady and the Rogue
Feisty and passionate. He’ll enjoy making her fall in love with him…or die trying.
In the shadowy depths of London, Lady Euphemia Brandt, a renowned concert pianist, is mistaken by an English nobleman for his intended rendezvous. She defends herself, losing her reticule in the process. Reluctantly, she takes coins from her attacker and secures a carriage home. Their eyes lock, and they share a searing kiss, altering their lives forever.
At an affair honoring the Prime Minister, Euphemia discovers that the rogue who accosted her is a much sought-after, wealthy member of society. Struggling to resist his attraction, she battles memories of their kiss.
Cayden Whitford, the Duke of Thornton, seeking a woman with vital information, mistakes Euphemia for his contact and is surprised by her swift blow and the ensuing kiss. Intrigued, he vows to find her. At a dinner party, Thornton learns she is the daughter of a trusted advisor and masquerades as a suitor to discover her allegiance.
As Thornton unravels Euphemia’s wit, logic, and passion, his initial mission falters. He’s fallen in love with her.
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“This is our second dance, Your Grace. Do you care about gossip?”
The dance started.
“Not at all. And you, my lady? Do you care about gossip?”
He led her through the steps with a strong yet gentle hand.
“I won’t be here long enough to take notice. To the ton, the gossip is only fun if they can watch their target squirm. I’d rather not be their source of entertainment. You, on the other hand, will have to endure it for weeks.”
He laughed as he spun her around. To him, the discomfort would be worth it.
With her in his arms, a spark grew into a flame that drew him closer to her with every step and every turn. Though he maintained the expected propriety, it was clear to anyone who cared to look that something was happening. An attraction that threatened to ignite into something… explosive.
Effie remained stoic, ice-queen-like. But her very stillness accentuated the tension between them. When she finally gazed into his eyes, she was caught in his web of desire, and he didn’t allow her a way out.
As the music came to an end, she was left breathless and flushed. The intense passion that had shone in her eyes was gone, replaced by her usual detached and aloof manner. Thornton wondered if he would need to constantly play music to keep her fiery desire alive, to melt away the icy barrier she erected around herself.
He escorted her off the dance floor and settled her with her mother.
“Thank you, Lady Euphemia. You made an ordinary waltz quite exciting.” He focused on her mother. “Thank you, ma’am, for an enjoyable evening.”
“Are you leaving so soon, Your Grace?” The duchess gave him a pained look, then glanced at Effie.
“Yes, I’m afraid so. I have things to prepare for an early morning meeting.”
He took his leave, letting Effie believe she’d won, but she didn’t know how persistent he could be.
As he reached the door across the room, he felt a sudden tug on his sleeve. Glancing to his right, he saw that it was Lady Euphemia. He was surprised when she tucked her arm in his.
“What are you up to, Thornton? You danced with me twice this evening. You assisted me with the challenge. You have the entire room whispering.”
He stopped and faced her. “What would you like me to do?” He glanced over her head at the people that filled the ballroom. “I can make an announcement that you are very much available.”
She pulled him out of the room. “You wouldn’t dare.”
They arrived at the door. “Mr. Gregory, His Grace’s carriage, please.”
The butler went outside to call up his carriage.
“No. I wouldn’t. I’ll think of a way to protect you.”
He saw his carriage coming into the drive. He pulled Effie into his arms and kissed her. He had wanted to do it since he spotted her hours ago.
He found her lips even softer than he had remembered, with a sweet and fresh taste. He allowed himself to deeply kiss her, passionate yet gentle, savoring every moment before finally pulling away. They stood staring into each other’s eyes, breathing heavily, the air thick with longing and desire.
“Something to remember me by,” he whispered in her ear.
He stepped back. The passion was back in Effie’s eyes. That’s the way he wanted to remember her. Effie. He kissed the tip of her nose and was gone.
Enter to win a $15.00 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of The Lady and the Barrister. Ends September 20, 2023.