Portrait of a Gentleman

Damsels In Breeches Regency Series

Book 3
Anne Marie Novark Books
2
Free sample

Thankful for the chance to leave London and escape the unwelcome advances of an ardent suitor, Abigail Prescott accepts an invitation to Brydmoor Castle to paint the portrait of the reclusive Viscount Devlin and his small son. A young widow in straightened circumstances, she soon finds herself ensconced in his home and the object of his unwavering attention.

Nathan Holt vows never to marry again. He's done his duty and has an heir. But when Abigail Prescott comes into his vicinity, the daily presence of her in his home becomes a temptation too hard to resist. Unable to deny himself any longer, he begins his seduction of her in earnest, only to find that once will never be enough.

EXCERPT:

Candles flickered in their holders, the shadows dancing on the walls and across the massive stone hearth in the Great Hall. It was late. Abigail had been restless lying in bed and decided to come downstairs. Perhaps she could add some of the finishing touches to the nearly finished portrait of Nathan and William.

"Couldn't sleep?" The deep voice echoed in the vastness of the hall.

Abigail gasped and whirled around in time to see Nathan emerge from the shadows. "You frightened me," she said, her own voice breathless in her ears. Warily, she watched his approach; his firm tread loud in the hush of the night.

He walked straight toward her, his eyes holding hers in a look as old as time itself. Her stomach plummeted and her skin tingled against the silky fabric of her nightgown. Since she'd seen him last, he'd removed his coat and neckcloth and his shirt was unbuttoned at the throat. He'd obviously not gone to bed yet, late as it was.

Standing before her, he took the paintbrush from her limp fingers and set it on the table next to the easel. "I couldn't sleep either," he said, his voice low and rough. "All I could think about was . . . this."

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, historical romance, single father, second chance romance, widow, widower, alpha male, England

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Former bad boy Mitch Defalco roars into Stone Creek, Texas, on the back of a Harley with his newly discovered daughter riding behind him. Single mom Sarah Cooper cannot believe he's moved in next door.  She had a secret crush on him years ago when he dated her older sister.

As Mitch tackles the responsibilities of fatherhood, Sarah admires the way he's turned his life around. She asks him to help her with a personal problem: Her fear of men. Mitch knows he's bad news for sexy Sarah, but how can he refuse her dangerous request, when she's determined to move forward with or without his help?

EXCERPT:

Mitch didn't wait for permission. He moved in closer, touching his lips to hers, pressing gently, letting them both get a feel for the other. He'd sworn he wasn't going to kiss Sarah Cooper, but sitting next to her on the swing like this, she was a temptation he had no power to resist.

For a minute, she didn't respond and he worried that he'd overstepped his welcome. Then her lips trembled beneath his, and she exhaled a soft sigh. When he heard the little moan in the back of her throat, he put his arms around her and pulled her forward.

Mitch deepened the kiss, taking it to the next level, swiping his tongue against her lips. She opened for him, tilting her head for better access and he slid inside her mouth. She tasted of chocolate and vanilla and the sweet essence of Sarah.

KEYWORDS: Texas romance, cowboy romance, alpha male, reunion romance, single dad, single mom, small town, contemporary western romance, rancher, bad boy, biker

AUTHOR'S WARNING: This is the hotter and sexier version of Lone Star Heartbreaker. The love scenes are steamier and more graphic. For a sweeter read, check out Lone Star Heartbreaker in The Diamondback Ranch Sweeter Series.

BLURB:

Tyler McCade is the youngest McCade brother in Salt Fork, Texas, and the biggest heartbreaker of them all. Or he was--until a plane crash wrecks his body and sends his crop-dusting company into a tailspin. Needing time to heal and form a new business plan, he retreats to the Diamondback Ranch, where he spends too much time alone tormented over the possibility that the accident might have been his fault.

Caitlyn Ross lives to fly planes. Accepting the job as pilot for Lone Star Wings seems like a dream come true. But when she packs up everything she owns and finds herself working for the brooding Tyler McCade, her defenses go on high alert. The sexual tension sizzles, but does she have what it takes to help him heal? And is she even brave enough to try?

EXCERPT:

"It's getting late and it's been a long day," Tyler said. "I'll see you in the morning."
 

He started past her toward the door.  Before Caitlyn could think better of it, she grabbed the sleeve of his shirt to stall his departure. "Wait."


He stared at her hand on his arm, then at her, but didn’t pull away.  “What do you think you’re doing?” he asked in a dangerously soft voice.
 

Obviously playing with fire, that's what.
 

Caitlyn quickly dropped her hand.  She didn’t know what had prompted her to touch Tyler, but that brief contact left her fingers scorched and her heart racing. "Ignoring the situation isn't going to make it go away," she said.
 

"What the hell’s that supposed to mean?" His voice went softer, more dangerous. His hot blue eyes lasered in on her. "What situation?"
 

She swallowed hard. Anger mixed with the strong sexual vibes pulsated between them. “I’ve been here for almost a month,” she said.  “Except for that first day when we had dinner together, you’ve been avoiding me like the plague."
 

He stepped toward her, his big body seemingly growing, expanding with his anger. Irritation. Something. “I taught you what you needed to know to be an ag pilot, didn't I?"
 

Caitlyn stepped back. "Yes."
 

Tyler took two steps forward. "I didn't avoid you then, did I?" he said between gritted teeth.
 

"No. Not exactly." God, the man was tense. And now he was invading her personal space. How could she have thought for a moment that she'd imagined those sparks of awareness shooting between them? They were brighter and more intense than fireworks on the Fourth of July. "But you can't deny you've been avoiding me since then, can you?"
 

Tyler stood directly in front of Caitlyn and stared into her eyes. He was close enough to smell her fragrance, feel the heat from her body. Her windblown hair tumbled around her face in wild disarray.  His fingers itched to run themselves through the silken tangles.  He wanted to feel her body close to his.
 

Unable to help himself, he reached out one hand and touched her soft cheek. She closed her eyes and her dark lashes made feathery crescents against her creamy skin. He'd been dying to touch her again. To feel her warmth and vitality.
 

He rubbed his thumb across her bottom lip. Back and forth. Back and forth, until her eyes flew open. Keeping his gaze locked on hers, he leisurely traced his finger down her jaw line and the curve of her neck, only stopping when he reached the top of one rounded breast. 

"This is why I've been avoiding you . . ."

 KEYWORDS: Texas romance, cowboy romance, small town, alpha male, tortured hero, rancher, western romance, contemporary romance

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Additional Information

Publisher
Anne Marie Novark Books
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Published on
Feb 25, 2014
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Pages
122
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Romance / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / Regency
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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This content is DRM free.
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Fifteen years ago, a marriage of convenience was arranged between Quentin D'Arby and Vanessa Graham by their respective grandfathers. The union would unite the vast wealth and landholdings of the Graham Heiress and the Duke of Straithe. From a very early age, Vanessa has been trained and educated to be the duchess.

Now, as the wedding day fast approaches, she discovers she wants more than a marriage of convenience. Can she break through the barriers guarding the duke's impenetrable heart? Will she ever be able to win his love?

EXCERPT:

The duke approached the pianoforte and gave a little bow to Vanessa. "Please, be seated," he said, indicating the stool she'd just vacated. He searched through the stack of sheet music and handed her one. "Are you familiar with this piece?"

Vanessa sat down and nodded. Speech was impossible; the duke was standing extremely close, and she could feel the warmth of his big body. Her own body tingled in response. How was she ever going to accompany him on the piano without disgracing herself?

"Excellent." His arm brushed her shoulder when he reached over and arranged the sheet of music in front of her. Tiny slivers of awareness shot through her bloodstream, making it difficult to breathe.

"Are you ready?" The deep voice washed over her like a caress. Straithe gripped her shoulder, and she felt the hot imprint of his fingers through her thin muslin dress. He stayed but a moment, his touch lingering before moving away to stand at the side of the pianoforte.

Vanessa pressed her hands to her burning cheeks and tried to catch her breath. Goodness! What in the world was the matter with her? They were only going to perform together to entertain their grandparents. Vanessa scanned the music she was about to play, then glanced at the duke for the sign to begin.

He inclined his head, and she plunged into the introduction. As she ran her fingers over the keys, she speedily overcame her fidgets. Losing herself in the music, Vanessa listened as Straithe sang the old love ballad. How easy it would be to pretend the words were meant for her. She peeked at the duke and her eyes collided with his. He held her spellbound, and when he smiled, Vanessa blushed. For that one fleeting moment, she thought that maybe he was singing to her after all. A warm feeling floated through her as she broke eye contact.

When her fingers stumbled over several chords, she heard her grandfather harrumph in disapproval. Straithe slowly turned her way, inclined his head ever so slightly and smiled again, all the while continuing to sing.

Was the duke offering her encouragement? Could his heart be thawing toward her just a little?

 

KEYWORDS: alpha male, marriage of convenience, virgin, Regency romance, London Season

As children, Arabella Trent and Gilbert St. John were best of friends. Wherever he led, she happily followed. Their friendship held fast until Gilbert went off to fight Napoleon and Bella stayed home. Years passed and their youthful camaraderie faded to pleasant memory.

Now Gilbert is home from the wars and Bella needs his help. From the moment she climbs in his bedroom window, he knows he's in trouble. Can this beautiful desirable young lady be the same hoydenish friend from his childhood? Can Gilbert rescue Bella from her desperate circumstances even if it means . . . marriage?

EXCERPT:

With both hands on the broad shoulders, Arabella shook with all her might. "Gilbert St. John! Wake up this instant!"

Strong arms clasped around her middle and pulled her down on top of the hard body under the sheet. "I'm awake, love. How about a kiss?"

She tried to push away. "Let go of me, you big oaf! You don't want to kiss me. I'm not one of your bits of muslin." She wiggled and pushed, and wiggled again.

Gilbert grabbed hold of her wrists, and rolled over, reversing their positions. "Just one kiss. One kiss, love. That's all I want."

Before she could protest, Arabella found herself being passionately kissed like she'd never been kissed in her whole life. Of course, she'd never actually been kissed at all. It was a sad reflection, really. She was twenty-two years old and practically on the shelf.

She surrendered to the onslaught of Gilbert's kiss. Just a few seconds more, then she would call a halt. Maybe another second . . . the sensation was pleasurable. No, that didn't describe what she was feeling. She shouldn't be feeling anything, because this was Gilbert for goodness sakes.  The pressure of his mouth on hers was making her melt inside. And a warmth in her stomach began to flame into something bigger, stronger . . .

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, England, historical romance, novella, short story, heiress, marriage of convenience, second chances, reunion, kidnapping

Philomena Wheeler has been living a lie for the past twelve years. After her mother dies, she pretends to be a boy so she can work in Lady Hembrough's stables alongside her beloved papa. When she's promoted to the position of groom, her father thinks it's time to call a halt to the dangerous masquerade and wants to send Phil to his sister in York to learn to be a girl again.

Viscount Hembrough pays a rare visit to his mother in London. He's looking for a new groom and hires Phil for a one-month trial period before he returns to his horse-breeding estate in the wilds of Ireland. Under the mistaken belief that she's a he, the viscount takes Phil on a trip to inspect a promising stallion for his stables.

Will Phil be able to guard her secret while traveling with the handsome viscount? And more importantly, will she be able to guard her heart against a forbidden love?

EXCERPT:

Anthony held the door open for Phil to pass through. She kept her eyes downcast and her cheeks were pale. Her clothes had almost dried from the drenching she'd received in the rain, but she still had the look of a drowned kitten with her short auburn hair curling wildly about her head. Thank God, the innkeeper accepted her as the urchin she appeared to be.

Anthony placed his hat and gloves on the table in the middle of the room and waited.

Phil stood near the fire, and after the door closed behind the innkeeper, she turned to face him. "Well, my lord? You wished to speak to me?"

He had to admire the girl's courage. She'd successfully hidden her true identity for years, and she must suspect that he'd discovered her secret, yet seemed determined to play it through to the end.

"The game's up, my dear Phil. But your name is obviously not Phillip as I had supposed. What is it?"

Her green eyes widened and that damned chin lifted a notch. "Philomena, my lord."

Slowly, Anthony walked toward the fireplace. "Well then, Philomena--"

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, Traditional Regency romance, England, Britain, masquerade, secrets, historical romance, alpha male, disguises, historical

Fifteen years ago, a marriage of convenience was arranged between Quentin D'Arby and Vanessa Graham by their respective grandfathers. The union would unite the vast wealth and landholdings of the Graham Heiress and the Duke of Straithe. From a very early age, Vanessa has been trained and educated to be the duchess.

Now, as the wedding day fast approaches, she discovers she wants more than a marriage of convenience. Can she break through the barriers guarding the duke's impenetrable heart? Will she ever be able to win his love?

EXCERPT:

The duke approached the pianoforte and gave a little bow to Vanessa. "Please, be seated," he said, indicating the stool she'd just vacated. He searched through the stack of sheet music and handed her one. "Are you familiar with this piece?"

Vanessa sat down and nodded. Speech was impossible; the duke was standing extremely close, and she could feel the warmth of his big body. Her own body tingled in response. How was she ever going to accompany him on the piano without disgracing herself?

"Excellent." His arm brushed her shoulder when he reached over and arranged the sheet of music in front of her. Tiny slivers of awareness shot through her bloodstream, making it difficult to breathe.

"Are you ready?" The deep voice washed over her like a caress. Straithe gripped her shoulder, and she felt the hot imprint of his fingers through her thin muslin dress. He stayed but a moment, his touch lingering before moving away to stand at the side of the pianoforte.

Vanessa pressed her hands to her burning cheeks and tried to catch her breath. Goodness! What in the world was the matter with her? They were only going to perform together to entertain their grandparents. Vanessa scanned the music she was about to play, then glanced at the duke for the sign to begin.

He inclined his head, and she plunged into the introduction. As she ran her fingers over the keys, she speedily overcame her fidgets. Losing herself in the music, Vanessa listened as Straithe sang the old love ballad. How easy it would be to pretend the words were meant for her. She peeked at the duke and her eyes collided with his. He held her spellbound, and when he smiled, Vanessa blushed. For that one fleeting moment, she thought that maybe he was singing to her after all. A warm feeling floated through her as she broke eye contact.

When her fingers stumbled over several chords, she heard her grandfather harrumph in disapproval. Straithe slowly turned her way, inclined his head ever so slightly and smiled again, all the while continuing to sing.

Was the duke offering her encouragement? Could his heart be thawing toward her just a little?

 

KEYWORDS: alpha male, marriage of convenience, virgin, Regency romance, London Season

As children, Arabella Trent and Gilbert St. John were best of friends. Wherever he led, she happily followed. Their friendship held fast until Gilbert went off to fight Napoleon and Bella stayed home. Years passed and their youthful camaraderie faded to pleasant memory.

Now Gilbert is home from the wars and Bella needs his help. From the moment she climbs in his bedroom window, he knows he's in trouble. Can this beautiful desirable young lady be the same hoydenish friend from his childhood? Can Gilbert rescue Bella from her desperate circumstances even if it means . . . marriage?

EXCERPT:

With both hands on the broad shoulders, Arabella shook with all her might. "Gilbert St. John! Wake up this instant!"

Strong arms clasped around her middle and pulled her down on top of the hard body under the sheet. "I'm awake, love. How about a kiss?"

She tried to push away. "Let go of me, you big oaf! You don't want to kiss me. I'm not one of your bits of muslin." She wiggled and pushed, and wiggled again.

Gilbert grabbed hold of her wrists, and rolled over, reversing their positions. "Just one kiss. One kiss, love. That's all I want."

Before she could protest, Arabella found herself being passionately kissed like she'd never been kissed in her whole life. Of course, she'd never actually been kissed at all. It was a sad reflection, really. She was twenty-two years old and practically on the shelf.

She surrendered to the onslaught of Gilbert's kiss. Just a few seconds more, then she would call a halt. Maybe another second . . . the sensation was pleasurable. No, that didn't describe what she was feeling. She shouldn't be feeling anything, because this was Gilbert for goodness sakes.  The pressure of his mouth on hers was making her melt inside. And a warmth in her stomach began to flame into something bigger, stronger . . .

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, England, historical romance, novella, short story, heiress, marriage of convenience, second chances, reunion, kidnapping

For years, Damien Avenall loved Alexandra Turlington like a little sister; or so he thought until she grew into a lovely and desirable young lady. In a moment of madness, he kisses her and everything changes between them.

Alex often wonders why the dangerous viscount betrayed their special friendship. His kiss awakened her to passion, but she knows better than to give her heart to a libertine. Or does she?


EXCERPT:

Damien resumed his place at the breakfast table and smiled sardonically. 

“A man can enjoy a variety of interests, Miss Turlington. People may call me Demon, but I don’t waste all my time in decadent amusements, I assure you.” 

He waited for her response. Would she recognize her own words? Words that had cut through his jaded heart, words he knew even then to be true?
 

Alexandra rose from the table, her cheeks flushed. “Years ago, I said some unkind things to you. I’m sorry, but you must admit the provocation was great.”
 

Quickly, Damien pushed back his chair and leaned across the table. Placing a finger under her chin, he stared at her full, moist lips, then into her eyes. “I admit nothing, my dear. And I refuse to apologize for something which—if I remember correctly—I found extremely pleasurable.”
 

Jerking her chin from his grasp, Alex stepped back. “You forget yourself, my lord. I’m no longer an impressionable schoolgirl. Try for once to act with gentlemanly decorum, especially if you intend to stay at Willowmede. Now, if you will excuse me, I shall go see about my brother.”
 

“Certainly, Miss Turlington.” He frowned as he watched her retreating form. Alexandra was correct in saying she was no longer a schoolgirl. She was a beautiful woman, and much too desirable for his peace of mind.

KEYWORDS: Traditional Regency romance, regency romance, historical, historical romance, England, second chances, reunion, alpha male, friends to lovers, betrayal

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LOS ANGELES TIMES AND BUZZFEED
 
These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness. Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name is hidden from all he and Dunk encounter. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two . . . as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.
 
Featuring more than 160 all-new illustrations by Gary Gianni, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn’t dead—yet.

Praise for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

“Readers who already love Martin and his ability to bring visceral human drama out of any story will be thrilled to find this trilogy brought together and injected with extra life.”—Booklist

“The real reason to check out this collection is that it’s simply great storytelling. Martin crafts a living, breathing world in a way few authors can. . . . [Gianni’s illustrations] really bring the events of the novellas to life in beautiful fashion.”—Tech Times

“Stirring . . . As Tolkien has his Silmarillion, so [George R. R.] Martin has this trilogy of foundational tales. They succeed on their own, but in addition, they succeed in making fans want more.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Pure fantasy adventure, with two of the most likable protagonists George R. R. Martin has ever penned.”—Bustle

“A must-read for Martin’s legion of fans . . . a rousing prelude to [his] bestselling Song of Ice and Fire saga . . . rich in human drama and the colorful worldbuilding that distinguishes other books in the series.”—Publishers Weekly
Philomena Wheeler has been living a lie for the past twelve years. After her mother dies, she pretends to be a boy so she can work in Lady Hembrough's stables alongside her beloved papa. When she's promoted to the position of groom, her father thinks it's time to call a halt to the dangerous masquerade and wants to send Phil to his sister in York to learn to be a girl again.

Viscount Hembrough pays a rare visit to his mother in London. He's looking for a new groom and hires Phil for a one-month trial period before he returns to his horse-breeding estate in the wilds of Ireland. Under the mistaken belief that she's a he, the viscount takes Phil on a trip to inspect a promising stallion for his stables.

Will Phil be able to guard her secret while traveling with the handsome viscount? And more importantly, will she be able to guard her heart against a forbidden love?

EXCERPT:

Anthony held the door open for Phil to pass through. She kept her eyes downcast and her cheeks were pale. Her clothes had almost dried from the drenching she'd received in the rain, but she still had the look of a drowned kitten with her short auburn hair curling wildly about her head. Thank God, the innkeeper accepted her as the urchin she appeared to be.

Anthony placed his hat and gloves on the table in the middle of the room and waited.

Phil stood near the fire, and after the door closed behind the innkeeper, she turned to face him. "Well, my lord? You wished to speak to me?"

He had to admire the girl's courage. She'd successfully hidden her true identity for years, and she must suspect that he'd discovered her secret, yet seemed determined to play it through to the end.

"The game's up, my dear Phil. But your name is obviously not Phillip as I had supposed. What is it?"

Her green eyes widened and that damned chin lifted a notch. "Philomena, my lord."

Slowly, Anthony walked toward the fireplace. "Well then, Philomena--"

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, Traditional Regency romance, England, Britain, masquerade, secrets, historical romance, alpha male, disguises, historical

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