Saturday, December 6, 2014

BLOG TOUR: His Wicked Seduction by Lauren Smith

His Wicked Seduction by Lauren Smith 
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-11-11 
Format: eARC 

Can the League’s most wicked rakehell be tamed? Or has this Rogue fallen too far?
The League of Rogues, Book 2

Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn’t frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.

Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.

That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.

But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.

Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.

Horatia still hadn’t changed into her nightclothes. Restlessness had her up well past midnight. Knowing Lucien was somewhere in the house was unsettling, and she worried about that blasted cat. Muff should have been curled up on the extra pillow in her bed, but he was conspicuously absent. There was a chance a passing footman or maid had closed the grates around the fireplace and he hadn’t been able to get back down.

Unwilling to let him stay in the cold chimney all night, Horatia abandoned her room and went in search of the cat. She tried to think of all of the other places he could be, and not the one place she wished she could be at that moment. In Lucien’s arms.
It had been months since he’d last spent the night, and her brother was delighted to have him and Charles there. If not for the League, Cedric would have been exceedingly lonely. She knew he loved her and Audrey, but he’d always longed for brothers. It was hard to miss the way he brightened whenever his friends came over for dinner, or how he looked forward to afternoons at his gentlemen’s club, Berkley’s. Perhaps it was because he could relax around them, and not have to play guardian.

After their parents died, Cedric had taken on a great amount of responsibility, not only to care for and raise her and Audrey, but matters of business and peerage as well. It was good he had such friends to ease his burdens and the pressures of family.
She slipped down the stairs to the ground floor and passed by the drawing room, where cigar smoke scented the air and muted laughter echoed against the partially open door.

At least someone was having a good evening. Irritation rippled beneath Horatia’s skin. Lucien seemed to enjoy torturing her. Between his heated looks and cool smiles he was driving her mad. It was frustrating to not know how to act around him, whether to be warm or to keep her distance.
One of the men said something and Lucien’s rich laugh teased her ears. Her insides shook with longing. She wanted to make him laugh like that, to be the center of his focus.

A small dark shadow flitted across the hall and dashed through the library door.
“Muff!” Horatia hissed, hoping to both summon and chastise the rebellious feline. Given the nature of cats however, she knew it was a fool’s errand.
Horatia entered the library, lit a candle and started searching under couches and behind chairs. She almost missed the soft click as someone came in behind her and shut the door. The flame of the candle in her hand sputtered as she turned.
Lucien stood not five feet from her, watching her with hooded eyes. The aroma of brandy quickly reached her. The candlelight threw flickering shadows across his handsome face, highlighting a small scar near his brow.

In a few slow strides he towered over her. Horatia was suddenly very aware of his masculinity—the breadth of his shoulders, his height, and that the top of her head barely reached his shoulders. She knew herself to be tall, but next to Lucien she felt small, delicate and vulnerable. It was strange, but she liked feeling so helpless around him. Filled with longing, she barely stopped herself from reaching for him. He was too handsome, too virile. Whenever he was near he reduced her to a wild, wanton creature that would do anything for the chance to know pleasure in his arms.

“Horatia.” Her name rolled off his lips like a fine dessert, sweet and decadent. “You ought to be in bed.”
The wicked way he said “bed” made her lightheaded.
“I couldn’t sleep.”
He leaned forward, his body close to hers as he blew out the candle in her hand. The sudden darkness around them made her catch her breath. A beam of moonlight broke through, lighting their faces. The smoke curled and danced up between them. Lucien’s smile offered her a world of knowledge about pleasure.

“There’s a lovely little remedy for sleep that I always employ. Do you want to know what it is?” His low voice set her skin on fire.
I shouldn’t answer. I know what he’s going to say. “What is it?” Blast!
The faint moonlight from the tall library windows lit his face as he leaned even closer to her.
He grinned down at her like a Cheshire cat. “I find the nearest beautiful woman, slip into her bed and wrap myself around her.” His warm brandy-tinged breath fanned her face. Tingles of awareness spiked through her body and she stifled a gasp.

He raised a hand, drawing one elegant finger along her cheekbone. “Your face is warm. Have I made you blush? I’d like to make other parts of you blush as well.” Lucien took the candle holder from her and set it on a shelf.
Horatia’s knees shook. She stepped back and her head collided with the bookshelf behind her. Lucien closed the distance between them and braced his hands on either side of her face. His lips were inches from hers.

“Shall I kiss you, Horatia? I find you hard to resist when you look up at me with those dark eyes. They are begging me to kiss you. Did you know that?” His voice was a soft growl that made her breasts heavy and her nipples harden.
Incapable of speech, Horatia managed to shake her head. She wanted to throw her arms about his neck and drag his mouth to hers. She ached to run her hands through his dark red hair. Endless nights had been spent imagining what this moment would be like, when he’d be close enough to touch, to kiss.

Something deep inside her tore in anguish. He wasn’t meant for her. Everyone knew he took only experienced, beautiful women to his bed. Lucien would never really consider her that way. She was acceptably attractive, but no diamond of the first water. With nothing to offer Lucien, he must be teasing her the way any rake did an innocent. He was the serpent, offering her carnal knowledge. Everything she wanted and couldn’t have. It was an awful thing to be in love with such a devil.

About the Author:

Lauren Smith is the award-winning author of Blood Moon on the RiseWild at Heart, and the League of Rogues series. The recipient of multiple awards in several romance subgenres, she is an Breakthrough Novel Award quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

Heather Wilds has appeared in numerous plays on the London stage to great critical acclaim. She has also performed in award-winning films, appeared on TV and in commercials, and works as an audiobook narrator and voice actress.

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