Today we are celebrating the release of the Heating it Up, One Hero at a Time boxed set! If you like historical romance, you must grab this one while it’s available for just 99 cents! So Many Reads is featuring author Averil Reisman with a short interview an excerpt form her book in the set, The Captain’s Temptress! There is also a giveaway so don’t leave before you enter!
About the Boxed Set:
Love Across the Ages…Seven best-selling and award-winning authors bring readers historical romantic adventures set in Medieval Scotland, Regency England, Civil War America, the Wild West, and Gilded Age America. We’re Heating It Up one hero at a time with Scottish Highlanders, Regency Rakes, Union Spies, Mountain Men & Sexy Smugglers.
This LIMITED EDITION BOXED SET contains seven sensual, full-length novels.
NIGHT STORM by Tracey Devlyn
A promising young apothecary picks up the pieces of her life, only to collide with the ruthless thief-taker who once shattered her dreams and her heart.
RAFE’S REDEMPTION by Jennifer Jakes
He rode into town to buy supplies, not a woman…
SECRETS, SPIES & SWEET LITTLE LIES by Tara Kingston
A heart’s destiny cannot be denied when a daring Union spy abducts a beautiful runaway bride he suspects of being a traitor.
THE HIGHLANDER’S TEMPTATION by Eliza Knight
A warrior on a mission is tempted by an alluring lass, and though she’s been forbidden she’ll break every rule for the pleasure of his intoxicating kiss.
CAMERON by Lane McFarland
To heal a warrior’s heart takes patience. But to resist a warrior’s heart takes fortitude.
THE CAPTAIN’S TEMPTRESS by Averil Reisman
Blackmailing her way onto a ship of gunrunners bound for the Caribbean, Samantha Etheridge proves to be more than a mere opportunistic reporter to Captain Sean Nolan–perhaps even a first mate.
A ROGUE’S DEADLY REDEMPTION by Jeannie Ruesch
Proving his worth to the woman he loves might cost them both their lives.
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Excerpt from The Captain’s Temptress:
Sean jumped, dread seizing his lungs. Someone overheard us! He reached behind the drape and grabbed the intruder by the arm. Electricity zipped through his body, leaving his nerve endings tingling. His hand had fallen upon the soft, silken skin of a woman. Pulling the trespasser into the moonlight, he recognized Samantha Ethridge, the gossip collector.
“You!” he sputtered.
Samantha opened her mouth, probably to scream. He clamped his palm over her lips. His skin sizzled, singed by her warm breath. He jerked his hand away.
“What are you doing in here?” A combination of fear and fury gripped his insides.
With one hand still clamped on her bare arm, he shook her, his frustration with having been caught agreeing to an illegal act converted into the one repeated motion. A hair stick fell from the neat coil at the base of her neck, and a thick strand of her curly red hair sprang free. She struggled against him with the rage of a captured animal, the curl flapping against her smooth cheek. The fragrance of lilacs and woman rose around him like stormy sea spray.
“Stop shaking me.” In the moonlight, her dark eyes sparked fire behind her round wire-rimmed spectacles.
Sean forced air out of his near-frozen lungs and squeezed her arm. “I’ll ask you again. What are you doing in here?”
She played with the coil at her cheek for a moment. Her head tilted sideways, her long slim neck exposed. “I . . . I wanted to be alone. The room was empty. I hid when I heard you walking down the hall. This place reeks of a male bastion. I doubted I would be welcome in here.”
He pulled her closer. The top of her head came to his chin. “Are you going to print what you overheard in your newspaper? If you do, you’ll be ruining the lives of more than just me.”
Samantha glared at him a few seconds, her eyes alive with some devious plan she seemed to be formulating on the spot. “I could, or I could go straight to the authorities. But I won’t do either. I want you to take me with you.”
Sean’s heartbeat paused for a fraction of a second. He frowned, his intense hostility toward gossip columnists surfacing anew. “The hell I will. No one blackmails me. Least of all, you.”
He looked down his nose at her, at the inviting display of femininity revealed by the cut of her gown. It surprised him he could notice her considerable charms when she was about to bring his world down about him. His gaze returned to her eyes, now filled with defiance.
She clamped her jaw firm in a face he might have considered attractive if it weren’t for her scowl. “Blackmail? I suppose you could call it that. You’re sailing to Cuba and I want to report what’s happening there.”
Sean tightened his grip on her arm. “I don’t give a damn what you want. You’re not stepping foot on my ship.”
She drew herself up and stepped closer. A slight tilt of her head brought her face inches from his. The heat of her body radiated through the space between them. He tamped down an urge to step back.
“I’m going with you, and you have no say in the matter.” A pulse point along her neck throbbed visibly with a speed betraying her fear. Or was it excitement pulsing through her veins?
Sean squinted at her. “Like hell you will. This is not a luncheon cruise on the Amelia River, Miss Ethridge. It’s a dangerous mission and not for lady reporters who write about women’s hats and dinner parties.”
Her head pitched back, and her lips disappeared in a thin line. A shimmer appeared in her emerald eyes. He’d hit a nerve. Odd. The only soft spot in her behavior seemed to relate to her position as a society reporter.
Why is she so desperate to write a news story that she’d commit blackmail? “Have you ever been to sea?” he asked through clenched teeth.
“Then you don’t know what being seasick feels like. For your edification, let me tell you. Your stomach churns into foam, your insides quiver like gelatin. You can’t keep anything down, not even water. You’re cold and hot at the same time, your head throbs, you can’t stand up and you can’t lie down. You’re miserable and you start to think death would be more welcome. That’s in relatively calm seas.”
He pulled in a deep breath, and continued. “We might run into a nor’easter and the ship will pitch up and down and side to side. We’ll be crossing the Gulf Stream where the waters will be almost as bad. You may well retch your insides out for the entire voyage.”
For all of two seconds.
“I won’t get seasick,” she said, her jaw set, eyes blazing with the heat of conviction and something else he couldn’t identify.
Like hell you won’t. He tried another tack. “Your family will worry. How could you leave them?”
A shadow passed over her face and a tiny wrinkle formed between her brows. “Believe me, my father won’t miss me.”
“I doubt that. If I was your father and you disappeared, I’d be frantic with worry. What about the man who accompanied you tonight? Charles Goodfellow, is it?”
“His name is Goodlow, Charles Goodlow, and I didn’t come with him, and besides, he doesn’t matter.”
He tucked that point away for now. He didn’t like the man either. “You’ll lose your job for being away so long. The assignment is a two-month charter.”
“My being gone won’t be a problem.” Sadness flitted through her eyes and disappeared.
What caused it? Why doesn’t she think anyone would care? “We’re embarking on an illegal venture, Miss Ethridge. If we get caught, you’ll be thrown in jail, maybe tried for treason. Hanged. I don’t want your death on my conscience.”
She hesitated, her forehead wrinkled in thought. “If the worst happens, the risk would have been mine, not yours.”
Admiration for her determination wormed its way into Sean’s thoughts.
But didn’t stay long. As a sea captain, as a man, he couldn’t let her take the risk. To do so, would be less than honorable.
He leaned to within an inch of her face. Her spectacles had slipped down her straight nose. “You’re not going, and that’s final.”
She stepped back and picked something off her dress. “If you think things through with a clear mind, Mr. Nolan, you’ll realize I hold the advantage here. I’m sailing on the Raven, or I go to the authorities. Better yet, I write the story tonight for tomorrow evening’s paper.” She glared at him through eyes like slits. Eyes that taunted.
His heart raced. Was she bluffing? “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Oh, no? Let’s see who has the final say. Excuse me, I have a story to write.” With a toss of her head, she turned to leave, her skirts swishing against his legs.
In the next instant, he pictured the front page headline of tomorrow’s Fernandina Sun: Nolan Shipping Heir Plans Illegal Gun Run to Cuba. If she printed the story, he’d be jailed, his ship confiscated, and the company ruined. Worse, his parents would be disgraced. He froze, his mind, his body unable to function.
Samantha reached for the door-knob.
Sean sprang into action. Three strides brought him across the room. “Wait.” He grabbed her arm and pulled her about. She scrutinized him with steely eyes. Her lips parted.
He poked a finger into the bony part of her shoulder. The sensation of her soft, bare skin still burned in his memory. “Let’s get this straight. I’m in command of the Raven and you’ll do as I say and everything I say. I don’t want you in the way of my crew or doing anything to jeopardize this charter. Do you understand?”
“Perfectly.” A small smile twitched at the edges of her mouth.
“If you tell anyone what this journey really entails, including your father, I’ll leave you standing on the dock. Do I make myself clear?”
“Don’t worry. I won’t say a word. You can trust me.”
Could he? Sean searched her face. Her features had altered. She possessed an air of excitement he hadn’t noticed before. Still, uneasiness settled deep in his gut. He hated trusting her to keep his secret based solely on her determination to sail with him. Would she betray him?
“Don’t for a minute think you’ve won,” he said. “This journey will be dangerous, and I’ll be busy with other things. You’ll have to fend for yourself.”
“I can do that.”
I doubt that! “Be down on the dock at midnight two nights from now, and keep out of sight. I’ll send someone to find you. No one must see you or you’ll put us all in jail, and don’t take more than you can carry in a knapsack.”
He turned and left, slamming the door behind him.
What the hell had he gotten himself into?
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About Author Averil Reismen:
Averil Reisman loves to write steamy American-set historical romances of the Gilded Age and Gay Nineties–the late Victorian period during which America’s industrial age aristocracy lived like lords and ladies of England.
A closet feminist, she admires the brave women of this era who fought for equal voting rights, and who often broke the mold to bring about social change and women’s equality. Writing about strong women, and the alpha males who love them, is one of her greatest passions . . . besides her loving husband.
Now an empty nester, Averil and her husband live in a far northwest suburb of Chicago. On a nice day, you might catch her out tending her flowers. But on a nasty day, she can be found in her library/office at her computer surrounded by a sea of research material, or reading the next book club selection, or playing Mah Jongg or Canasta.
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Interview with Averil:
What do you love about the era(s) in which you write?
I’m fascinated by the opulent lifestyle of the industrialists of America’s Gilded Age (1880-1905)— the houses, the yachts, the country “cottages,” and the indulgent excesses that marked this era. I’m also fascinated by the strength of the women who stepped out of their traditional roles and advocated for women’s right to vote, social injustice, and the right to work outside the home. These were truly the first leaders of the women’s rights movement.
What one thing can readers expect from your books?
Encompassing bold heroines who push boundaries and wounded heroes who love them, my stories explore universal social issues that were as relevant to the Gilded Age as they are today. Stories about concerns modern readers can relate to and identify with.
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