THE RAVEN’S REVENGE
When Katherine Welles saves the life of a highwayman, she realizes he may be the only avenue of escape from a betrothal to her villainous neighbor. But traveling under the protection of a dashing outlaw--who won't ask directions--is anything but safe. Especially when his searing hot kisses awaken a yearning for something Katherine never knew she wanted.
Nicholas Montford, the exiled Earl of Ashton, returns to England determined to reclaim his family lands. As a highwayman called the Raven, he takes revenge upon the Puritans who thrived while his family suffered. But when he kidnaps heiress Katherine Welles, thoughts of revenge take second place to kissing her soft lips and teasing the mistrust from her eyes. Can he find redemption in the arms of the woman he plans to betray?
Read an excerpt:
Nicholas peered at her intently, finally able to bring the two images of her together. He could feel her tremble as she stared up at him with big brown eyes.
She was not pretty. In fact, her face was rather plain, although her skin looked as soft as fine China silk. Her hair, a dull brown, was pulled tautly back into a stiff white cap. A dark smudge adorned her forehead and appeared to be her only decoration. The collar of her severe black dress hugged her neck.
A drab, psalm-reading Puritan, he realized with disappointment. But he had known that would be the case.
What the devil was she doing here? More importantly, what was he doing here? And where was he anyway?
The last thing he remembered was his rash attempt to waylay Dickon Finch. Nicholas shook his head to clear the fuzziness, but that only aggravated the pounding ache and did nothing to fill-in the gap in his memory.
“You should not have moved. You are bleeding again.” She struggled to rise, but he did not let her. Trapped beneath him, she looked very frightened, and felt…well, nicely rounded, and soft. Like a woman.
“I have no more of the tincture,” she said. He must have looked at her stupidly because she added, with an edge of impatience, “It was in the bottle.”
The soothing aroma of lavender filled his senses, reminding him of the angel in his dream.
“Let me up,” she demanded. “Please?”
Nicholas had never been one to disappoint a lady if he could help it, and he disliked terrorizing innocents no matter their religious persuasion. Moreover, he realized if he did not lie down, he would soon fall down. Although she might cushion his descent, he did not think she would care for the impact.
He rolled off her, jarring both his injured arm and head. Wincing, he lifted a hand to his forehead and discovered it bound by a band of cloth. A turban? How could that be?
The woman scrambled to her feet and brushed herself off with just the hint of a sniff. Her white apron was covered in blood—his blood, he realized—as were the hands she gripped together. Her lips were drawn into a severe line. Eyebrows perched above disapproving eyes frowned down at him.
He felt like a small child about to be dressed down by a stern nursemaid. He closed his eyes and let out a sigh. His head throbbed, his arm ached, and he was very tired.
“I would like to finish,” she said.
He grunted assent, not having a clear idea of what she meant but not wishing to gainsay her in any event.
“First, you must agree to cause no further insult to my person.”
This time Nicholas grunted twice for good measure.
Nicholas opened his eyes and groaned. “I dislike the word ‘furthermore’. Nothing agreeable ever follows.”
She ignored him. “Furthermore, I have no wish to tend to one so foolhardy as to cause himself additional injury.”
Nicholas grimaced. Foolhardy. That was the crux of it.
“In other words,” she continued with emphasis, “you must behave.”
Gina pounded out her first story on an old Royal typewriter when she was eight. For most of her adult life she worked in television counting backwards and telling people what to do. Now she lives in Central California with her personal hero and spends her time writing books about characters who do what they want no matter what she tells them. You can find her online at www.ginablack.com and www.facebook.com/ginablackauthor.