Relics & Rakes
Update: Congrats to Barbara Britton! You’re the winner today. You’ll be hearing from Barbara Monajem soon about your prize.
In the meantime, I hope the rest of you will be sure and enter my contest. The prize is a KINDLE and the drawing date is coming soon.
But here on my blog, I’m delighted to welcome my friend Barbara Monajem. She has an exciting new release from Harlequin Undone, called THE UNREPENTANT RAKE. The story has such a fresh concept, I just know you’ll love it!
from Barbara Monajem….
When my muse told me to write a short, sexy Regency centered around a holy relic, I thought she was nuts. Not that I object to stories featuring either sex or holy relics, but the combination seemed weird to me.
Just write it, the Muse said. I know better than to ignore my Muse. She had already inspired me by leading me online to St. Davnet, an Irish saint of the 6th or 7th Century about whom little is known (and who may or may not be the same as St. Dympna). She is said to protect women in danger and the mentally ill. I swear upon my honor that when I was reading about her, I found a site that links her to family harmony as well. That’s where I got the idea for the story, but several months later, when I tried to find the information again…poof! It was gone. I love and respect my Muse, but…did she make it all up? Or maybe I’m just a lousy web-surfer, but by that time the story was written. I was stuck with a tale where family harmony is brought about by a little silver reliquary containing a bone from one of St. Davnet’s toes.
Clearly the Muse has a sense of humor as well as a stranglehold on me. The Romance of the Toe Bone (actually, it’s called The Unrepentant Rake) was released this month.
Setup: For years, St. Davnet’s toe bone has helped governess Beatrix March avoid marriage. When it’s stolen by one of her pupils, she searches for it in the middle of the night and has to climb out a window to avoid getting caught.
Now what was she to do? She turned in the cramped width of the balcony and looked down. She couldn’t possibly jump that far. She would have to wait until they had all fallen asleep again and break the window to unlock it, and if someone heard her…
‘Miss March!’ She would recognize that sly male voice anywhere. She glanced about. Where was he?
‘Beneath you,’ said Simon Carling, stepping out from behind a bush.
‘Thank God,’ she breathed. ‘I’m in such a fix.’
‘So I see,’ he mocked. ‘A respectable guest would immediately wake the master of the household, since you are plainly up to no good.’
‘Hush!’ she hissed. ‘You’re not respectable, and we both know it. Help me, for heaven’s sake.’
‘I should be delighted.’ He paused. ‘At a price.’
Footsteps sounded in the room behind her, and candlelight flickered. Mr. Carling disappeared behind the bush again, and Beatrix held her breath. The footsteps died away.
‘What do you want?’ she whispered.
‘What are you willing to give?’
She hesitated. Through the window came Eudora’s sleepy voice and one of the maids replying. She’d be stuck out here all night if she didn’t accept Simon’s help.
Temptation uncurled inside her like a lush, red rosebud. He was a Bad Man without the slightest interest in marriage—the perfect choice for a woman who recoiled from marriage as well. She might never have such a chance again.
‘Anything you like,’ she whispered recklessly.
‘Anything?’ he said.
The Unrepentant Rake is the sequel to The Wanton Governess, which came out last year and is about another governess, Pompeia Grant, and Simon’s brother James. There are no toe bones in that one, but Pompeia has a very naughty voice in her head. :~)
One lucky commenter will win a free download of The Unrepentant Rake.
Thanks, Barbara! This sounds like a terrific read.
You heard the lady. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win this story.