Publisher:The Wild Rose Press
Book Preview: "Slightly Tarnished"
Victorian romance laced with danger.
When a brooding English earl with a SLIGHTLY TARNISHED reputation marries his dead wife’s American cousin to save her from her uncle’s vengeful schemes, the sea captain’s daughter with a taste for adventure sparks desires he thought long dead.
Nicole Keller has always been headstrong and independent, but after a failed business venture and a sinking ship take her father, her home, and her childhood sweetheart, Nikki must support herself and her mother. But moving to England and marrying Chadwick Masters, Earl of Gilchrest isn’t what she has in mind. And falling in love with the mysterious earl could endanger both their lives.
A horrible storm, a risky business venture gone badly leaves Nicole Keller alone with her mother who can't cope with her husband's death. Keller shipping had put up everything they had for this venture and with one storm the cargo was lost, losing Nikki's father, her dear friend, and their home. Struggling to make ends meet they receive a letter from Nikki's uncle the Earl of Wellesley that seems to be the answer to their prayers.
Chadwick Masters the Earl of Gilchrest needs a wife and an heir. His mother Lady Gilchrest keeps lining up women for him; only they aren't what he wants. With his scandalous background, the gossip and rumors, finding the right one may take a while. A chance encounter at a ball brings Nikki to Chad's attention. Even though Chad has some bad history with Nikki's uncle he is intrigued with her American ways and beauty. Two independent people, struggling with misfortune find an attraction to each other, but is it enough to overcome the bad blood between the families.
I found this story to be full of pleasant surprises. This book has an excellent story line that expands as the book moves along. I was worried that parts of the expanded story might get lost along the way but Ms. Gayle weaves it all together and gives us an incredible book I couldn't read quick enough. Lots of intrigue and life challenges for both Nikki and Chad. This book shows that with the right person you can overcome many challenges and find love and acceptance. I highly recommend this book as a fast paced book, with wonderful characters and excellent story line.
Reviewed by: Celtic Debbie at TRS
The Romance Studios
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“This will be your room.” He opened the door and stood to one side so she could enter. “I’m afraid you will have to continue to make do without a lady’s maid. The only household staff I employ are Mrs. Lomax, Dickens, Cook, and my groom. My driver lives in the village as do the few maids I hire on occasion to help Mrs. Lomax with the laundry and heavier cleaning.”
Nikki smiled. “That’s quite all right, Lord Masters. I’m used to doing for myself, and it’s only for a week.”
He returned her smile and leaned forward, his warm breath fanning her cheek. “What happened to Chad? Surely we’ve gone beyond such formalities now, Nicole.”
Gooseflesh rippled over her skin. Her body quivered. “I don’t think it would be proper for me to call you by your given name.” She risked a glance at his face and wished she hadn’t. His eyes no longer looked worried. They were hot—almost feverish. Her skin heated.
“It didn’t stop you before,” he said, his deep voice a husky rumble.
Despite the heat, Nikki shivered.
“I don’t think this is proper either,” she stammered when he brushed his lips against her temple. A delicious tingle skittered down her spine.
“No, probably not,” he said, nibbling her neck.
A strange tension rippled through her muscles, tightening them with pleasure. She arched her neck, granting him access as he slid his lips along the column of her throat. Her hands bunched the skirt of her plain, serviceable dress. Her stomach quivered.
“What are you doing?” she asked, breathless and giddy.
He pulled his hands from his pockets and pulled her closer. “I’m seducing you, I think.”
“Seducing me?” Her heart hammered against her ribs.
“Hmm. You’re doing it again.” Then he lowered his mouth and kissed her.