Excerpt: The Reluctant Wife by Bronwen Evans and Giveaway!

I have an excerpt from Bronwen Evans’ The Reluctant Wife to share.  After reading it, you can enter for a chance to win Bronwen’s 2012 Regency Invitation to Scandal!

Excerpt from The Reluctant Wife-

Abby had completely deceived him. He’d thought her naïveté would make her easy to manage. He’d quickly learned that Abby had more backbone than any woman he’d ever met. Her readiness to challenge him seemed to add to her allure. Now, again, here she was asserting her wishes, taking command…

Abby licked her lips. “I don’t owe you anything. And, as we’re divorcing, I’m the last woman you should have a child with. Besides, I don’t care what you do in your personal life.”

She lied. Her arms were folded across her stomach as if she were warding off a blow.

“You care. You know I could always read your body as well as a blind man reads braille.”

Abby shook her head, the emphatic movement flinging her thick blond hair over one shoulder. Her eyes narrowed. “Can you read what I’m thinking now?”

He searched Abby’s drawn face, recognizing the marks of strain in the bluish shadows beneath her eyes and the set of her delicate jaw. She had the strength of fine bone china, and the fragility.

“I know exactly what you’re thinking.” He tilted his head and tapped his chin with a finger. After a theatrical pause he spoke deliberately. “You wish you’d waited until the morning to meet with me. You’re angry with yourself for still wanting me, and you’re wondering whether one kiss from my lips can still make you come.”

He felt rather than saw her body tremble across the room, and heard her soft gasp.

“Of all the arrogant, conceited…”

“Most of all, you’re remembering the first night you were in this room, how you let me seduce you, how I made love to you into the small hours of the morning.”

The hazel of her eyes glittered almost golden as he watched her fight tears. He tried to keep his heart unresponsive, but the beauty of her pale face, the dark circles under her eyes, and above all her stricken look of profound loss assailed his protective barrier.

“You want a favor from me. I want a favor—or two—from you. I’d call it a mutually beneficial business proposition. I know you need money and I’m happy to help. For a price. You are my wife, this is where you belong.” A traitorous pulse flickered fast just below her collarbone, calling attention to the delicate skin of her throat. His body shuddered into life, with total recall of the addictive taste of her skin.

She quivered as his eyes roamed her small frame. Every detail screamed at him—the dark of her dilated pupils, the flush on her cheeks, the moist pink of her parted lips. She wanted him and though she shook with the effort, she couldn’t hide the giveaway signals. Cursing inwardly, he felt his body respond to the recalled pleasure of their days and nights of intimacy.

“But I’m not yours. Not anymore.”

“Legally you are still mine!”

“I am not a possession, Dante. As I said four years ago, I’m a flesh-and-blood woman with feelings and desires.”

“Come here.” He patted the couch beside him. “I’ll satisfy those feelings and desires.”

About the book:

Abby Taylor walked out on her irresistible husband three years ago. Now she has no choice but to return to Italy to ask him for a favor. To pay for her grandmother’s heart operation she needs his money, but it comes with strings attached.
Conte Dante Lombardi has it all—an Italian villa, a successful family business, and a noble title. But he needs a child to carry on his legacy and time is running out. He also hopes to satisfy the desire Abby rouses in him.
As Abby uncovers why he’s in such a hurry for a child, she falls in love with him again … just as she realizes it might be impossible to keep her end of the deal.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Thanks to Bronwen, I have a copy of Invitation to Scandal for one of you to win!  Entering is easy!  Just answer Bronwen’s question in the comments section below.

Giveaway: Now, tell me what you’d most want to do if you visit Italy and I’ll draw one lucky winner who’ll receive a copy of my May 2012 Regency historical, Invitation to Scandal, in book or eBook format.

About Invitation to Scandal:

Her secrets are coming undone…
Plagued by scandalous rumors, Rheda Kerrich will stop at nothing to restore her reputation and make an honest living for herself—and she’s determined to do it without a husband. But times are hard, and smuggling is a risky though profitable trade. So when a dashing agent for the English government catches her in the act, she desperately resists his charms and conceals her illicit profession. Until she realizes he may be the key to her ultimate freedom—and unbridled passion…
Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore, has never had trouble beguiling the ladies of Kent. When his search for “Dark Shadow,” a cunningly elusive smuggler, leads him to alluring and headstrong Rhe, her objections to his amorous advances merely incite a tantalizing game of cat and mouse. Soon, they’ll find the very secrets driving them apart could ensnare them in a love they can’t escape…