For now, I'd like to jump back in time two hundred years or so...to England during the Napoleonic Wars. Although, my first published books are small town contemporaries, the first books I wrote were Regency historicals. They were (are) my crack. AN INDECENT INVITATION was the first book I wrote. I learned to write by rewriting (and rewriting and rewriting) this book. It got the attention of my agent and finaled in the Golden Heart in 2014. It's always going to be special. Plus, it's a seriously good time!
"Trentham is careful not to settle for easy answers or simple explanations, making for a tale full of unexpected twists and turns and emotional complications." -- RT Book Reviews, 4 stars.
"Danger, intrigue, and passionate love--what more could a Regency romance lover want? The first in Trentham's "Spies and Lovers" series is a well-written, engaging, and very steamy delight.--J. Harris, Library Journal
"Witty, compelling, and sensuous, Laura Trentham's is a fabulous new voice in historical romance." -- Valerie Bowman, bestselling Regency author
How about an excerpt:
Gray smoothed back his damp hair, took a deep breath, and peeked around the doorjamb into the drawing room. His dip in the chilly pond had done wonders for his tattered self-control. Lily hadn’t noticed him yet. Her face was a study in concentration, brows drawn in and teeth worrying her lips, keeping them red. Combs held her hair in check, but part of the thick mass obscured the white slope of her neck and delicate collarbone.
She worked the picks in synchronicity. Her focus was the most difficult lock of the set. He glided into the room and kept the settee between them as if it offered some protection from her allure.
Christ, she was beautiful and brave and made him laugh…and she wanted to be his friend. One of the pathetic beaus orbiting her sphere would be the first to kiss her, the first to awaken her sensual nature, the first to bed her. She deserved to be a duchess and rule London. Logically, an arranged marriage made perfect sense.
But the completely illogical part of him, situated somewhere between his legs, scoffed. It was only a kiss, after all. She wanted a basis of comparison, she said so herself. Why not offer himself up as illustration?
She straightened from her task and blew a stray tendril off her forehead with a gust of air. “I give up. What’s the trick? Will you show me?”
Less than five minutes in the room together, and he was back where he started. He wanted to kiss her. Why deny it? Why not surrender, at least temporarily, to the madness she inspired? Turning back to the door, he closed it with a soft snick.
He moved faster now that the decision had been made. Standing behind her, he brushed her hair over one shoulder, leaving a side of her neck bare. “Let’s try it this way,” he whispered.
He wrapped his fingers around hers, surprised not to see the sparks that made his fingers twitch. The full length of his body pressed against hers, and her sweet, rounded bottom notched into his pelvis.
“Like this?” She leaned over the desk, her voice trilling high. Somehow, their entwined fingers found the lock. His moved on instinct alone.
His body curved over hers. She would have no idea how tempting their position was. His erection had grown to undeniable proportions, and he canted his hips away. He didn’t want to send her screaming from the room.
Their fingers worked clumsily, but he didn’t care. His lips sought the warmth of her skin but stopped an inch away from her neck. Slow, deep breaths of rose-scented woman escalated his desire. Never letting his lips touch her, he skimmed them down her neck to her exposed collarbone and back up to her temple. Fine hairs along her nape stood at attention, aware of his sly machinations.
At some point, they gave up the pretense. Their hands dropped to the top of the davenport, their fingers still tangled. Finally, he allowed his lips to fall to her neck. The kiss he laid beneath her ear made her wriggle back into him. Her head notched into his shoulder, and her buttocks cradled his erection. She didn’t scream but let out a breathy moan.
He allowed his lips to follow his earlier path, this time dropping small kisses, licks or nips along her bare skin.
“G-Gray, is this a lesson?”
Perhaps it was. He spun her and lifted her to sit on the sloped top of the desk. Shoving her knees apart, he filled the void with his hips. She grasped the sides of the desk.
He needed to slow down, calm down. He wove his hands through her hair, thumbs framing her face. Her eyes were enormous pools of uncertainty, lips parted in shock. This was her first kiss. He should be tender, say something romantic and soothing.
“Lily,” he said, his voice like gritty sandpaper, “if I find you in a garden kissing one of those other fools, I’ll rip their bloody arms off. Do I make myself clear?”
A small sound of acknowledgement escaped her throat.
With effort, he didn’t allow his mouth to crash down on hers but tightened his hands in her hair with a desperation he didn’t understand. He wanted to plunge his tongue inside her mouth as a claiming. Instead, he forced his lips to settle over hers with insincere gentleness.
Soft and pliant, her lips tamed his frenzy until, instead of domination, he sought to give pleasure. Brushing his lips back and forth over hers, he drew her full lower lip between his and sucked. She slipped her hands under his arms, curling them around his shoulders.
In equal amounts of ardor and innocence, she returned his kiss. Her explorations gave him time to seize control over his urges. Mimicking his play, she sucked on his bottom lip. He darted his tongue over her top lip, foretelling his intentions. She opened her eyes, inhaled against his mouth and whispered his name.
He released his hold on her hair and cupped her face. “Close your eyes and open your mouth for me. Do you want a real kiss or not?” Simmering raw, elemental desire hid behind his teasing voice.
A trust he didn’t deserve radiated from her blue eyes before she obeyed, closing them and parting her lips. His tongue made gentle forays inside her mouth. Startled at the invasion, she pulled her tongue back, and he rumbled deep in his chest. Like with all her lessons, she was a quick study, and soon she stroked her tongue boldly against his. A low groan escaped his throat.
She ran her hands up his chest and wrapped them with a clutching intensity around his neck. Her body flowed against his like molten metal, and like metal, his cock responded in kind.
One hand left her face to press into her back, arching her even farther into his chest. The other slipped under her skirts to grasp a silk-covered calf. Smothering the echoes of his father’s warnings, he lifted the hem of her dress higher, needing to feel the tantalizing bare skin of her thigh. An inch would surely satisfy this compulsion.
Questing fingers brushed soft, naked skin. His lips craved the same, and he dropped kisses along her neck. Her head lolled back, thrusting her breasts upward.
He spread his fingers wide over her outer thigh. As soon as he brushed the lawn of her drawers, he would retreat. Except his fingers continued onward until they curled around her bare hip. His passion-fogged brain slowly processed the implications.
“Where are your goddamn drawers?”
Keeping her safe is difficult, keeping a proper distance from her is downright impossible.
Warning: This book contains spies, scandals, naughty liaisons in houses of ill repute, men who think they know everything and women who know they do not.
Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks |Samhain