The Accidental Elopement
Scandalous Miss Brightwell Series (Book 4)
By Beverley Oakley
About the Book:
A seven-year secret. A tragic misunderstanding. Can love outwit fate in this twisted tale of misadventure and thwarted dreams?
Earl Quamby’s niece, Katherine, and Jack, a foundling home lad adopted by a local family, have been loyal friends for as long as they can remember.
As Jack is about to leave England to make his fortune and Katherine is being courted by two eligible suitors, they unexpectedly realise their friendship has blossomed into passionate love. A love, they are warned, that has no future.
Despite a brave attempt to defy the forces keeping them apart, tragedy results and the pair is separated.
When chance throws them together seven years later, Katherine, newly widowed, is being pressured into a marriage not of her choosing to avoid scandal and Jack feels he must honour his pledge to the worthy Odette whom he met in India and whose father is dying.
Katherine knows that revealing a long-held secret may win Jack to her but she also knows conflicting obligations from past and present may tear him apart.
Can master matchmakers, Fanny, Antoinette and Bertram Brightwell, outwit fate in its latest attempt to keep these star-crossed lovers apart and deliver them the happiness they deserve?
This is Book 4 in the Scandalous Miss Brightwell series but it can be read as a stand-alone.
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Order The Accidental Elopement now for the special price of $2.99 and you’ll get an ecopy of Scandalous: Three Daring Charades in the Pursuit of Love. Just send a screen shot of proof of purchase to beverley (at) eikli.com and she’ll send you the link for your free book.
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In this excerpt, Katherine is hiding in a dark corridor to avoid dancing with someone she has no wish to see during her first ball as a newly arrived London debutante. She then receives a rude shock!
No one had thought to light a candle sconce and this second corridor turning she’d taken was as black as a dungeon. Katherine couldn’t even see her hand but she wasn’t frightened of the dark. No, Katherine was not fainthearted.
Yet she did squeal when, taking another step, her progress was impeded by a very large object and, with no warning at all, she found herself flying through the air, landing with a painful jarring of her wrists upon the cold, hard flagstones.
“Good Lord!” came a disembodied young male voice in the dark before a groping hand located a piece of Katherine – namely a hank of hair – which caused her to shriek even louder when it was quite unnecessarily tugged. Whether this was to establish who or what she was, she had no idea – and perhaps neither did the tugger for immediately a profound apology was issued before the groping hand was operating with complete abandon in the dark.
This time it found Katherine’s breast just as the voice said in tones of utter mortification, “Forgive me! Are you hurt? Here, let me help you. That’s what I was trying to do, I promise. I didn’t realise you were on the ground? Take my hand. Really, I can’t apologise enough.”
Katherine had made one unsuccessful attempt to stand but it was a struggle in her flounced skirt and multiple corded petticoats. She swatted away the supposedly helping hand and hissed something unintelligible – somehow unladylike language seemed less of an offence when she couldn’t see to whom she was speaking.
But when the disembodied groping hand entered her orbit once more – in fact, brushing the bare flash above her garter and getting in a good squeeze of her thigh flesh, her temper which had never been one of her strong points, snapped and she lashed out with a sharp slice through the inky air.
A loud yelp made her realise she’d perhaps been a little peremptory and certainly too violent in this unladylike action and even though she felt disinclined to apologise she did say, ungraciously, “I’m sorry I hit you but a lady can only take so much of all this groping in the dark. I mean…what were you doing?”
“I could ask you the same thing,” came the response, now at ear level. In fact, she could feel the soft whisper of breath against her cheek which made her step back, saying, “I asked first.”
“I was chasing a cat. Bending down in fact. And then something crashed into me. Or on top of me.”
“That was me.”
“Yes, of course it was you. There’s no one else here, is there?”
Katherine bridled at his tone. She was unused to being spoken to as if she were at fault when, in this case, she most certainly wasn’t. “I think that’s a very rude response,” she told him. “Just as it was very thoughtless of you to crouch down where anybody could simply trip over you.”
“Anybody – or rather, anybody else – would be carrying a candle. I think I have every reason to be deeply suspicious of the motives of anyone who is not.”
“Well, you don’t have a candle. And I would suspect the truth of anyone hiding away in the dark, claiming they were crouching over an imaginary cat,” huffed Katherine. “In fact, I’d wager there was no cat here at all. I would have heard it. No, you were sneaking away from something, weren’t you?”
“And if I was, what business of yours? Whoever you are.”
Katherine could not imagine the audacity. “You certainly are no gentleman to speak to a lady in that fashion.”
“Since that lady hasn’t bothered to declare herself, I think I could be forgiven.”
“A gentleman would have declared himself first,” Katherine said hotly. “What were you sidling away from? There’s a noisy ball going on in the next room. If you were a gentleman, wouldn’t you be gallantly asking the ladies to dance instead of hiding in the dark? Perhaps there’s someone you’re afraid of seeing? A lady who has expectations of you behaving towards her as a gentleman.” Katherine said this triumphantly before elaborating on her theme. “My guess is that you’ve given some poor young lady the idea that you’ll dance with her all night and now you’ve changed your mind and are sneaking away.”
“Since you put forward the idea, I’d suggest the reason you’re here is exactly the same. You’re trying to sneak away from a gentleman to whom you’ve already promised two dances. Meanwhile he, poor fellow, is searching for you vainly in the ballroom while you’re here making a mockery of him.”
“He can do that all by himself,” Katherine sniffed. “But I never promised him anything and I never will.”
“Ha! I was right.” The voice sounded very pleased with itself. “Well, I feel sorry for this fellow without even seeing what you look like, miss. Poor fellow!”
“Poor fellow, indeed. George can pine til the cows come home. I’d even suffer talking to you than have to spend another five minutes with his sweating hands squeezing mine and his moon eyes boring into me…and his horrible, putrid breath choking me and his—”
“Poor George! I was just starting to feel sorry for him until you described the exact George I, too, am so at pains to avoid tonight.” The voice became more confidential and the mood relaxed.
Katherine crossed her arms and waited for him to speak again for she was rather interested in his George and then quite amused when the voice began to describe the very George against whom she railed.
“Well, you have described my cousin to a very fine point,” she laughed. “And if you are as well acquainted with him as you seem to be, then you obviously know exactly why I am here in the dark.”
There was a small silence. And then, “Your cousin?”
“In my family there are two Georges: Young George who is the son of my aunt and her husband, Lord Quamby, and Odious George who is his uncle, George Bramley.”
“Then we’re talking about the same George!” The voice sounded stunned.
A quick gasp from both of them was followed up by a delighted cry in unison.
Beautiful, impoverished Fanny Brightwell has a few scores to settle—and a heart to win—before she can secure the wealthy, aristocratic husband her ambitious mama demands.
Pick up a free copy here!
Rogue’s Kiss (Book 2)
Would a potential suitor be bolder if he were told the lie that the maiden he desires has only six months to live?
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Devil’s Run (Book 3)
A rigged horse race – with a marriage and a lost child riding on the outcome.
Amazon Buy Link~*~*~*~*~
About the Author:
Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth-century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.
You can get in contact with Beverley at:
A CONVENIENT ARRANGEMENT by Maggie Marr
$.99 Sale Blitz
March 31, 2016
**JUST $.99 THROUGH MARCH 2**
Billionaire tech genius Leo Travati is the ultimate playboy.
He’s the poster boy for bachelor life…literally.
The launch of Leo’s new app The Convenient Arrangement solidifies his rank as the #1 most eligible bachelor–and he plans to keep things that way.
Gwen Fleming is well aware of Leo’s reputation. But after one electrifying touch, she finds herself considering “no strings” just to satisfy the need that burns whenever Leo is near.
Only what begins as no-strings grows more complicated, because Leo feels the intense attraction as well.
Could this convenient arrangement last forever?
A Convenient Arrangement by USA Today bestselling author Maggie Marr is book 3 in The Travati Family series, which is part of the Eligible Billionaires series.
The Eligible Billionaires Series includes:
Can’t Buy Me Love
One Night for Love
A Christmas Billionaire
Last Call for Love
Running for Love
A Forever Love (The Travati Family Book 1)
A Billionaire for Christmas (The Travati Family Book 2)
A Convenient Arrangement (The Travati Family Book 3)
A Forbidden Love (The Travati Family Book 4)
SERIES & NUMBER
The Travati Family, Book 3
The Eligible Billionaires, Book 8
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2BY7Kd1
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nKPPBj
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2GR0wLh
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2FPD8wl
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1q7Zoth
Maggie Marr is the author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She writes smart, sexy, women and the men they love.
She got her start in Hollywood pushing the mail cart at ICM, but quickly rose through the ranks to become a motion picture literary agent. As well as writing, she maintains a boutique legal practice dedicated to the needs of creatives & entrepreneurs.
She is the current President of Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) and legal adviser to the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA).
Maggie loves all things pop culture and when she isn’t taking care of her clients or writing she can be found reading, chasing kids, or exercising her rescue pup.
AUTHOR CONTACT INFO/SOCIAL MEDIA
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Marr/e/B001ITX392/
“You’re uncomfortable around me now. Is it because of what happened?”
“New Year’s Eve?” Gwen pasted an isn’t-that-silly smile onto her face and patted her hair. “No. Not a bit. We discussed New Year’s Eve and we agreed it was a blip, a nothing. Best to pretend that night never happened.”
“That’s not exactly how I remember the conversation.” Leo took two steps closer and she didn’t back away, didn’t turn. Instead, the pulse in her neck fluttered. “As I recall, I thought our chemistry should be investigated further.” Gwen’s tongue darted over her lower lip. “You,” Leo nodded toward Gwen, “declined.”
“I did, indeed.” Her gaze was on his mouth. He wanted to reach out, pull her close, and press his lips to hers. If being together meant nothing to her emotionally, then why wouldn’t she agree to explore this outrageous heat that sizzled between them? One night hadn’t been nearly enough for him, and from the look in Gwen’s eyes, that one night hadn’t satisfied her either. Her gaze flicked from his mouth to his eyes.
The answer hit him, sharp and fast like a jab to the gut, as soon as her eyes met his and he saw the longing she tried so hard to mask with another stiff smile. Gwen’s decision wasn’t just about discretion, or about his family, or about being a busy executive. Her reasons were much simpler. How could he have failed to see the truth? He’d been right all along. He’d been right the morning after. Gwen couldn’t have sex without emotion. A convenient arrangement wasn’t just inconvenient for her right now—a convenient arrangement was an impossibility for Gwen Fleming.
Leo took a step back. Away from the heat, away from the attraction…away from Gwen. His breath hitched in his lungs. With those long legs and effervescent smile, Gwen was the type of woman any man would be lucky to have in his life, even with the complications of a relationship.
When was the last time he’d considered having a real relationship with a woman?
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Welcome to MidWeek Tease, where authors share tempting snippets to tide you over till the weekend. A huge shout out to author Angelica Dawson for hosting our blog hop every week!We’re continuing with teases from All You Need is Love, the Limited Edtiion GLBT Boxed set available for just $.99.
“Wanna grab a coffee now?”
Seeming surprised, Nate took a moment to respond. “If you’re sure? I don’t want you to feel as though you have too.”
Brody nodded. “I’m sure. There’s a new café I saw that must have opened up a while back. On the main strip. Hotshots. You heard of it?”
“Yeah, I know Hotshots,” Nate said with a chuckle. “It’s almost like a morning ritual for me before school to drop in there now. Skye and Brandon definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to coffee.”
“I had been told those two opened up a place. I know them pretty well. Brandon’s older brother Isaac and my brother Emmett are close friends. They work together.” Taking the steps necessary to fall in line with Nate, they cut their way through the forest toward the old highway where he had parked his car before heading off into the preserve. “Both of them were a couple of years ahead of me. You wouldn’t have met them back then since they graduated the year before you started teaching.”
Brody winced at the memories that particular comment brought up and looked out into the forest, at anything that meant he didn’t have to maintain eye contact.
An awkward silence settled on top of them until they finally reached their cars, and while he felt a slight relief in the break of tension by parting ways temporarily, another side loathed to let Nate out of his sight.
“I’ll meet you there,” he offered in parting as he moved towards his car.
“Are you sure you don’t want to head home and shower first?”
“Nah. I’m good.” He shrugged and opened the driver’s side door. Truth be told he was a little afraid that if he didn’t seize this moment now that Nate would change his mind, and that was the last thing Brody wanted. Seeing Nate uncertain, Brody sighed and bit the bullet, getting straight to the heart of it. “It’s just coffee, Nate. No expectations. Just coffee.”
Nate nodded with a small smile as Brody gave him a quick wave before folding into his jeep and slamming the door shut.
The roar of the engine startled Nate out of his daydream as Brody sped off down the dirt road that led to the main highway and back into town. He felt the smile on his lips turn into a full-fledged grin, ignoring the hint of panic at the idea of spending time with Brody.
And damn, had he grown up good.
Brody had grown even taller in the last few years, giving him a more masculine appearance now. Gone was the smooth, baby-faced look, replaced by day-old scruff, a chiseled jaw, and biceps big enough that Nate had no doubt the other man could lift him if he was so inclined.
He flushed at that last thought.
Nate noticed another particular feature that was new to Brody. A rather large tattoo snuck out from the edges of his T-shirt, making Nate curious as to what it looked like in full.
“Focus, idiot,” he muttered to himself.
Right, no expectations. Was Brody serious? All there had ever been between them was expectations.
BLURB Running in Circles
Brody Jamerson returned to Woodport sure of three things. It would only be temporary, his future was in the city, and he would avoid his old high school teacher and crush, Nate McCallister, at all costs.
However, with the help of a nosy but well-meaning baker and a hyperactive cafe owner, Brody may find that in a town known for its second chances, he might just stop running in circles long enough to find where he really belongs.
Limited Edition Boxed Set
Romance Collections is proud to present these fourteen stories of love that knows no boundaries. Like rivers flowing through the canvas of earth, these stories will run deep, touch softly and leave you breathless.
No matter who it is with, passion is magnificent, desires are bold, and love is beautiful.
Stories by Tamsin Baker, Jess Buffett, Kristine Cayne, Adriana Kraft, Cate Farren, Valerie Ullmer, Kai Tyler, Lexi Thorne, Izzy Szyn, Aeryn Jaden, Dana Kenzi, Celia Fay, and Dani Gray.
BUY LINKS ~ Just $.99
About Jess Buffett
Jess Buffett was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. Jess is a mum of two, married to her high school sweetheart. She is a hopeless romantic who is a huge fan of M/M and M/F romance with a happy ending—anything with hunky men in all their glory, whether they be Shifters, Vampires, Cowboys, or the boy next door. A caffeine addict who shamefully can’t make a decent cup of coffee to save her life, Jess believes in soul mates, happily ever afters, and in love at first sight, but that sometimes people need a second or a third for the brain to catch up.
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And be sure to check out the teases from the marvelous authors below!