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Robert Campbell, Marquess of Argyll, heir to the Duke of Inverary, has no idea who Angelica truly is. He just wants to watch over her and make her his mistress.
Angelica thinks Robert is simply a dashing rogue who is far too dangerous for her peace of mind. Robert thinks Angelica is an angel except when she’s being a pain in the behind.
When Robert finds out that his own father may have been one of the men who ruined Angelica’s family, he vows to keep a careful eye on her. When Angelica finds out that Robert’s father may have been one of the men responsible, she vows to stay as far away from Robert as possible. But when danger threatens, both Robert and Angelica must face the truth and let fate take the upper hand.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Towering over her, the man stood ten inches taller than her petite height of five feet, two inches.
Angelica tilted her head back to look into his black eyes.
Long moments passed. The sights and sounds and scents of the crowded Midsummer Fair disappeared as they gazed into each other’s eyes.
Recovering herself, Angelica gave him a sunny smile and produced a pair of ivory dice. She offered them to him for his inspection. Their fingers touched as he lifted the dice out of her hand; a jolt of excitement shot through Angelica, and she wondered if he felt it, too.
“I’m Robert,” he introduced himself in a husky voice. “What’s your name?”
“Are you a good angel or a bad one?” Robert teased her. “I was wondering the same thing about you,” she answered.
He smiled at that and asked, “How much have you won today, angel?”
“Then let’s set the stake at four pounds,” Robert suggested.
Angelica hesitated and worried her bottom lip with her small white teeth. If she lost the whole day’s earnings on one toss of the dice, her family would go hungry. But if she won, she’d have eight pounds for her day’s work. Ensuring her own victory wouldn’t be difficult, but this man frightened her in some indefinable way.
“Four pounds,” Angelica agreed, unable to resist the temptation of doubling her winnings.
“What’s your main?” Robert asked, passing her the dice without bothering to inspect them.
“Seven.” Tossing twelve or crabs was the only way to lose by choosing seven, but there was no chance of that happening with her loaded dice.
Angelica shifted the dice back and forth in her hands, as if trying to get the feel of them. When she tossed the dice, a four and a three came up.
“Let it ride,” Angelica said, casting him a side-long glance, hoping to double the eight pounds.
Robert inclined his head. He placed eight pounds down to match the eight on the table.
“Sacred sevens,” she whispered, and tossed the dice. This time a six and a one showed up.
Angelica gifted him with a sunny smile and dragged the sixteen pounds closer. Good Lord, her family could eat on this for a month. If her father didn’t steal it for drink . . .
“Do you play?” she asked him, feeling confident.
Robert fixed his dark gaze on hers, and Angelica suffered the uncanny feeling that he knew she was cheating. Then he dropped sixteen pounds on the table.
A four and a three appeared on her next throw. Angelica stared at the thirty-two pounds she’d won. “Let it ride,” she said, casting him a flirtatious smile.
Surprising her, Robert dropped thirty-two pounds on the table. Angelica tossed the dice; a five and a two appeared.
“This must be your lucky day,” Robert remarked in an amused voice. Carelessly, he dropped sixty-four pounds on the table and challenged her. “Will you let it ride, angel?”
Shocked by the size of his bet, Angelica flicked out her tongue to wet her lips. Should she meet his challenge?
My first brush with the romance genre happened in my high school junior year. I discovered Gone With the Wind and hid it behind my American history book to read during class. (The Civil War is American history.) The ambiguous ending left me dissatisfied, though. Rhett and Scarlet needed a happily-ever-after. Believing in happily-ever-afters positively screams romantic-at-heart.
On the other hand, I love murder and mayhem as much as happily-ever-after. My usual television fare is fiction and nonfiction crime shows, not love stories. Which accounts for the mysteries I sneaked into my historical romances. Now I'm trying my hand at writing a humorous mystery, sans historical and sans emphasis on the love interest. I even prepared for my mystery-in-progress by attending the local NRA's Pistol School. Shooting pistols is great fun. I adore the .22 semiautomatics.
After graduating from high school without distinction, I earned both Bachelor and Master degrees at a state college. Again, without distinction. I held several part-time jobs during my college days: file clerk in an insurance company, long-distance telephone operator, kimono-wearing waitress in a Japanese restaurant.
And then I began my teaching career, eighteen years in the eighth grade and thirteen years at the high school. Weary with the same old routine, I decided I needed a creative outlet. So I decided to write a romance novel but only managed to talk about writing one. After five years of listening to me, a friend said to stop talking and start writing.
So I did.
I made every mistake known to man. Blunder would be a more appropriate word, but I did learn using the trial and error method. As well as studying the works of authors I admired.
After five years of writing for nothing but love, I sold my first novel. Since then, I've sold eighteen novels and won several awards--- National Readers' Choice Award New England Readers' Choice Award, Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice and KISS Awards, B. Dalton and Bookrak Awards for best-selling author. My novels have been translated into fifteen languages and sold in twenty countries.
If I had my life over, would I become a writer? Nope. I would enjoy being a Victoria Secret model. Perhaps in my next incarnation I won't be too old, too short, or too unphotogenic.
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