I’m so happy to have my good friend and fellow historical romance author Mia Marlowe on the blog today. Mia writes wonderfully romantic, award-winning books full of color, wit, and emotion. She has a brand new one just out, a collaboration with the great Connie Mason called Between a Rake and a Hard Place. Great title, eh?
Here’s the blurb:
Lady Serena’s List of Forbidden Pleasures:
Attend an exclusively male club.
Smoke a cigar.
Have a fortune told by gypsies.
Dance the scandalous waltz.
Sir Jonah Sharp thinks Lady Serena Osbourne will be just like any other debutante, and seducing her will be one of the easiest services he’s ever done for the Crown. Then he catches her wearing trousers and a mustache in his gentleman’s club and she demands he teach her to smoke a cigar. But what will truly be Jonah’s undoing is finding out he’s an item on her list too, which makes him determined to bring her all the forbidden pleasures she can handle.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Mia has provided us with an exclusive excerpt today, and she explains the set up:
Lady Serena has done it! She’s been admitted to Boodles, and exclusive male club, but her clever disguise hasn’t fooled Sir Jonah for a second!
Sir Jonah Sharp settled back into his chair and grinned at her. When she didn’t return his smile, his gaze wandered over her head toward the open door. Bracing cold rushed over them as someone entered. “I say, Osbourne, have you a brother I don’t know about?”
“No.” The Osbournes were notorious for small but hearty families. Few children were born to them, but those who were tended to live to maturity and a ripe old age. At eighty-two, Serena’s Grand-mère Osbourne could still cut a respectable reel, but even she had been an only child. “I have no brother,” Serena said.
“Then you have a doppelganger, my friend. That fellow yonder has a wispy attempt at a mustache, but otherwise, your twin just walked in the door.”
Serena twisted to peek around the tall wing of her chair. Drat! It was her cousin Rowland. He wasn’t supposed to be in Town until the Season started. She shrank back into the chair, wishing she could seep into the tufted cushions.
“Looks like the doorkeeper is reluctant about admitting him,” Sir Jonah said calmly. “As he should be. One Osbourne at a time is enough for any establishment. Well, my lady, how would you like to play this?”
“My lady? I’m not—”
“Spare me your denials. You haven’t time. If you wish to quit this place without being found out, follow me.” He rose and began walking toward the door to the kitchen where servants were coming and going, bearing trays heaped with steaming caffeinated bliss and small glass bowls of the club’s famous Orange Fool.
If she were apprehended in Boodles and exposed as herself, she could kiss any chance of a royal betrothal good-bye.
Serena scrambled to her feet and broke into a trot after Sir Jonah Sharp.
For my readers today, Mia and her publisher are graciously giving away a copy of Between a Rake and a Hard Place (US & Canada only). All you have to do to enter the drawing is answer this question: Lady Serena went to great lengths to impersonate her cousin Rowland. Have you ever worn a costume? Did it let you have an adventure you didn’t expect?
Wait, folks – there’s more! Another one of Mia’s lovely stories, Plaid to the Bone, is free right now in digital at these e-retailers: