Dear Reader,

From the moment I met Lord Rafe Easton, the youngest brother in She Tempts the Duke, I knew he would turn out to be the most complicated of the brothers. He was only ten when his uncle sought to kill him and his brothers. He was scared beyond reason the night that they made their escape, and he was left at a workhouse while his older brothers rode away, leaving him feeling abandoned and alone. He became determined to never care for anything ever again. It was the only way he could guarantee that he would never again be hurt. Eventually he escaped the workhouse, made his way to London where he fell in with a fellow who knew all of London’s darkest secrets. Now they belong to Rafe, the owner of a gambling hell.

Miss Evelyn Chambers, the Earl of Wortham’s illegitimate daughter, has been sheltered her entire life. When the earl is on his deathbed, he asks his heir to see to her care. His heir decides to make her a lord’s mistress—but he owes Rafe Easton a considerable amount of money. Once Rafe sets eyes on her—he wants her as he’s not wanted anything in a good long while. Unfortunately, Evelyn believes her brother is striving to find her a suitable husband. She is a bit confused when her brother takes her to Rafe’s residence where she is to see to “his needs.”



Excerpt from Lord of Wicked Intentions

© Lorraine Heath


Opening the doors to the parlor, Rafe strode in, staggered to a stop. She was in profile, standing by the window, gazing out on the rain, looking as forlorn as the weather. She turned slightly at his entry. She was wearing black, a hideous color. It made her look ill. He wanted to see her in blue, a deep blue that would enrich the shade of her eyes. It appeared she was baring very little skin, that her dress buttoned up to her chin but it was impossible to be certain because she was wearing a cloak.

“I see Laurence didn’t adequately see to your comfort, didn’t bother to take your wrap.”

She brought it more closely about her. “No, he offered, but I’ve been chilled, even with the fire.”

“Scotch should help there.” He went to a table in the corner and poured a generous amount into two glasses, concentrating on his actions because for some damned reason his hands were shaking. It had nothing to do with the notion that he would soon be touching her, stripping her clothes from her body, ordering her to lie on his bed—

Later, that would all come later. He’d been fighting all day not to think about it. Lust. It was all lust, animalistic, barbaric needs that a man possessed, that consumed him. He shoved all thoughts of what secrets might be hidden from him beneath her clothing, picked up the glasses, and crossed over to where she waited beside a chair near the fireplace. At least she’d moved away from the window.

He could not mistake the wariness in her eyes as she took the glass he extended toward her. She was right to fear him. He wouldn’t abuse her, he would never willingly hurt her, but he had little doubt that eventually he would cause her pain. Even the women he paid for his pleasures suffered some because he gave them nothing beyond the physical, and women, bless them, seemed to need more than that.

He simply didn’t have it to give. Which was the reason that he’d avoided feminine encounters for a good long while now, because he couldn’t stand the disappointment that always seem to punctuate his leaving. He did not hold, he did not cuddle, he did not allow them to hold him.

Taking a chair by the fire, he indicated the one opposite him. Slowly, gracefully, she sank into it. He sipped slowly on his Scotch while she studied the fire. Finally she brought her gaze to bear on him.

“Geoffrey—” she began.

“Geoffrey?”

She gave him a small smile. “Lord Wortham. I’m afraid I’ve not quite accepted that my father is gone. Anyway, he said I was here to manage your household, but quite honestly it appears to be well managed already, so I’m not quite certain what I could contribute.”

“I’m certain you can contribute quite a bit.” He savored another long sip. “What were his exact words?”

Her delicate brow furrowed, she looked back at the fire. “That I was to see to your needs.”

My needs,” he emphasized. “Not those of my residence.”

Her gaze swung back to him, the furrow deeper. “I’m not sure I understand. Do you not have a valet to see to your needs?”

“I have a valet.”

“Then I can’t see that I would have much to do.”

She was too innocent, far too innocent for the likes of him. He should send her back to her brother, but unfortunately for her, he had decided that he wanted her. He wasn’t quite certain when it struck him so forcefully that he did. Perhaps when he opened the parlor door and saw her waiting there. Waiting for him. When had anyone ever been waiting for him?

“What did you think was the purpose of last night’s . . . entertainment?”

“To secure me a husband.”

He nearly choked on his Scotch. The very last thing he would ever contemplate was marriage. If she knew him at all, she’d know that. But therein resided part of the problem: She didn’t know him, and he preferred to keep it that way.

“I was most surprised,” she continued, “to find myself arriving at your residence when I was left with the distinct impression that you found me hardly worth a thought.”

Hardly worth a thought? How he wished that was true. He’d been unable to stop thinking about her since he’d first seen her. She invaded his dreams, inhabited his thoughts, occupied his mind.

“To be quite honest,” she carried on, “I suspect I will not be here long before someone offers for me. I doubt it is worth it to either of us for me to be in your employ.”

While he didn’t relish the thought of shattering her naiveté, he didn’t much like this dancing about either. Best to just get it said. “You’re not to be in my employ. You’re to be in my bed.”

She blinked, blinked, blinked. Opened her mouth, closed it. Blinked again. “I beg your pardon?”

“Your brother was seeking to find a man to take you as his mistress, not as his wife.”

She shook her head slightly as though she were almost frozen in disbelief, as though working out what he’d said was taking all her energy. “That can’t be. He promised Father that he would see that I was well taken care of.”

“Mistresses are often treated better than wives. At least I have no wife on the side, which is more than I can say for a few of the gents who were in attendance last night. As my mistress—”

“You want me to be your mistress? But you don’t even like me.”

“I don’t have to like you to bed you. Truth be told, it’s better that there be no sentiment between us.”

She came to her feet in such a rush he was surprised she didn’t stumble. However she did drop her glass. It fell to the carpet, spilling his extremely expensive Scotch.

“You’re wrong about last night,” she announced, her eyes welling with tears. “About Geoffrey’s intentions. He wouldn’t have brought me here if he’d known what you assumed, what you planned. He promised. He promised Father . . .”

Then she fairly raced from the parlor. He heard the front door slam, could almost feel the walls trembling with the impact. Swearing harshly, he tossed back his Scotch.

He supposed he could have handled that a bit better.

##

Lord of Wicked Intentions brings the Lost Lords of Pembrook series to a close. Romantic Times Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars and named it a Top Pick. Kathe Robin says, “Heath delivers a wounded hero who steals hearts, an innocent yet wise heroine, witty dialogue, emotional depth, and heated sexual tension..."

Night Owl Reviews named it a Reviewer Top Pick.

Readers can follow me at my website, www.lorraineheath.com as well as:

Twitter: Lorraine_Heath
Facebook: LorraineHeathBooks

Amazon Barnes & Noble




Contest!



Lorraine's got a special contest for ASR Readers! Three winners will receive paper or electronic copies (winner’s choice) of the 1st two books in the Lost Lords of Pembrook series: She Tempts the Duke and Lord of Temptation.

For a chance to win, please visit Lorraine's website and find the answer to this question-

What is the name of the Lost Lords of Pembrook novella?

Then email us at staff@authorsoundrelations.com with your answer by midnight on May 6th, 2013. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and please mark the subject heading as 'WickedIntentions'.

Do make sure you email your answers only to staff@authorsoundrelations.com or your entry will not be counted!

Good luck!

Designed by AuthorSoundRelations.com
We'd love to hear from you. Not a subscriber? Sign up here!