The Temptation of Laura
by Rachel Brimble
Adam Lacey has been driven to distraction since the moment he saw Laura. She is his ideal leading lady come to irresistible life—and so much more. Certain they can make the perfect team on and off stage, he is determined to win her heart—and discover her story. But that is precisely what Laura fears. And she has no idea that Adam harbors shameful secrets of his own. Will the truth free them to love—or destroy all their dreams…?
“Laura.” His tone was firm. Probably firm enough to ignite that fiery temper of hers to explosion, but there was no way she was leaving. Not yet. He had to at least charm her to him more than hating him.
She spun around. “What’s wrong with you? Why are you so intent on seeking my company? If there’s something you want from me, why not be a man and just say it? You’re toying with me like a cat after a mouse. I’ve seen more masculinity in a dog in heat.”
He froze, stunned beyond laughter or offense. Her soft, dulcet tones had changed in her anger to that of an intelligent, knowing and mature woman way beyond her youthful and beautiful looks. Yet, instead of lessening the fire burning inside him, her displeasure stoked it. Attraction licked at his insides and rode all the way to the center of his stupid chest.
He could not remember when last a female spoke to him in such a way. She was glorious. He laughed. “Well, I guess that told me.”
“I’m serious, Mr. Lacey. For all your success and skill on stage, you know very little of how to treat a woman. I daresay the fancy, rich ladies who seek your company don’t know any better or they’d run the other way.”
The minx no longer scowled or spat feathers. Instead…she grinned. His breath caught. Her eyes sparkled and her gorgeous apple cheeks shone with a rich and rosy gleam.
He slowly approached her.
She tilted her chin, her smile still fully in place. “Are you daring to speak with me again?”
He considered every aspect of her face and especially her lips, before coming to a mesmerized stop at those deep violet eyes. “You are––”
The growl from deep within his throat was a new and fearful reaction. His mouth covered hers and he took without thinking. He swallowed her gasp and hitched her tight against him. His hands clasped a waist to tiny, so perfect; it fit in the splay of his hands.
He waited for her shove, her push––her slap, but it didn’t come. Her rigid body turned pliant as the weight of her hands rested on his shoulders. She kissed him back. Matching his need with equal fervor. She moaned into his mouth with a passion that sped his heart. Her hot tongue touched his. The glide of her hands to his neck and hair sent tremors of desire thundering into his cock.
Abruptly, she pulled back. Satisfaction, desire and––dare he think it––need, stormed in the depths of her eyes. Her lashes, as dark as night, sparkled with tears that shone like diamonds.
Adam shook his head. “Who are you?”
She grinned and swiped her fingers under her eyes. “More woman than you could ever handle, Mr. Lacey. Goodnight.”
She brushed past him, her glorious behind swaying nonchalantly from side to side as she waved and disappeared into the darkness.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW :
1. Tell us about your favourite one among the characters of your own book? What special qualities make the particular character your favourite?
- My favorite character in The Temptation of Laura is Laura herself (my heroine) – she came alive in the first of the series (The Seduction of Emily) as a secondary character but the more she appeared in that book, the more I knew she needed her own story.
- She is a prostitute living and working Bath, England but longs for a different future – she is strong, determined and loyal…and dreams of becoming a stage star. She and her best friend, Bette, are a formidable and inspiring team – they were a dream to write!
2. Your least favourite character from your book and why?
- Well, that has to be my villain, Malcolm Baxter – oooohhh, that evil, evil man! He mixes with every character in the book to some degree and has affected all their lives. I love to write a villian and hope readers will think Baxter is one of my best (or worst!) yet.
3. Genres you like to read? Genres you prefer to write?
- I tend to read the genres I like to write – I write contemporary romance, romantic suspense and Victorian romance. I am a huge fan of Women’s Fiction too (Jodi Picoult/Julie Cohen/Marian Keyes), and really hope to one day write a longer, issue-driven novel. I love how these authors take a moral dilemma and make the reader ponder it from both sides.
4. How do you feel now that you’re a published writer? Are you satisfied with your achievement?
- I am very proud of my acheivements so far – I have had every novel and novella I’ve written published and have just started writing my fourteenth full-length book. Having said that, I’m still not satisified and have many, many ambitions I want to achieve over the coming years.
- The first of which I hope to tackle later this year – I want to write a big, 100,000 word romantic suspense targeted at Mira. It’s always been a dream of mine to write for Mira – I devour books by authors like Susan Andersen, Sharon Sala, Robyn Carr and Carla Neggers.
5. Describe yourself in 3 words.
- Funny (hopefully!)
6. Three most important things that an amateur writer must keep in mind while writing his first book.
- Determination to succeed
- The first draft is just that - a FIRST draft
- Write what YOU love, not what you think others will love
7. Your favourite vacation destination? Had it ever became the place where you based any of yours book? If yes, then which one?
- Once a year, my family and I go to a log cabin in North Wales for a week – we love it because there is literally nothing to do but walk, read and write. My daughters are teenagers now and last year I really thought they wouldn’t want to go, but they enjoy it there as much as me and my husband. It’s real family time and I used the mood and beauty of Wales as part of the setting for my series with Harlequin Superromance. Although Templeton Cove is a fictional seaside town, part of it is set in the surrounding hills and that is very much like where we holiday in Wales.
8. Are you currently working on a project? If yes, would you like your readers to have a sneak peek into it?
- I have just started book three in my Victorian series with eKensington – my heroine, Monica, features quite heavily in The Temptation of Laura and I was desperate to give Monica her own story. When the book opens, she is forced to return to her family’s home in the country, leaving Bath and the life she loves behind.
- The first two books were set in Bath, but this one is set in a small village nearby––it’s much more about the working class rather than the upper class in the late 1800s.
9. Your top three favourite authors?
- Nora Roberts
- Jodi Picoult
- Philippa Gregory
10. Your top three favourite books of all time?
- The Lovely Bones
- The Red Queen
- Gone With The Wind
Rachel will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington--her debut was released in April 2013 and she has since signed for three more.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!