Halloween Spooktacular

Happy October 27th!!

Why is today a happy day? Because it’s four days to Halloween and it’s my birthday!!

So as a special treat we have Meggan Connors and her book The Devil of Dunmoor.

It sounds amazing! Enjoy!!

Ethan Standish, fourth duke of Dunmoor, is a man cursed by a past that refuses to let him go. Twenty years after enduring captivity as a prisoner of war, he has withdrawn from society, living ensconced at his estate. He takes no visitors and no risks. He needs nothing and no one, finding comfort in his solitude, with only his demons to keep him company.

That all changes the day Catherine Kirkcaldy arrives on his doorstep.

The governess for the children of the late Earl MacLendon, Cat has come to the estate of the enigmatic Duke of Dunmoor to inform him of his new status as their guardian. Despite her initial misgivings, she finds herself drawn to this contradiction of a man, a man with a fearsome reputation but a kind heart no one is allowed to see.

A single letter exposes a shared connection with their pasts, setting Ethan and Cat on a path of danger and revenge. But even as Ethan pursues retribution for the past that should have never been, he finds himself falling for Cat, a woman with a ready smile and an open heart. Can he bury his long-held demons in exchange for a future with Cat? Or will he forever be the Devil of Dunmoor?

Excerpt 1:

His heart, something he had hoped he had long since abandoned, thundered in his chest, and, despite the chill, sweat pricked his brow line. The heat of her skin raced up his arms and settled in his chest, a flame that flickered and only gradually faded, leaving a strange emptiness behind.

Carrying Mrs. Kirkcaldy’s limp form, they made their way toward the door. As they struggled with the weight of her body—because no matter how petite the woman, a limp body was a limp body—William looked up at him and snorted a laugh.

“This isn’t precisely dignified, is it? I wonder what she’d think to see the Duke of Dunmoor now.”

Ethan shrugged, but the action made his shoulders ache, so he adjusted Mrs. Kirkcaldy’s weight. “I doubt she’d recognize him if she did.”

“I beg your pardon?” William asked. Then he quickly added, “Sir.”

They trudged up the stone steps toward his door, where his servants waited. “She does not know me as the Duke of Dunmoor.”

“She doesn’t?”

Ethan met William’s gaze. “No.”

“If she doesn’t know you as the Duke of Dunmoor, then what name, pray tell, did you give her?”

He cleared his throat and looked away. “I didn’t. But she . . . she called me English.”

Excerpt 2:

To Ethan, the act of swooning had always seemed deliberate, a means of escape via a graceful loss of consciousness. He’d never been able to tolerate the swooning of the women of the beau monde, and his own mother had been known to do it, most often to escape an uncomfortable situation. For her, it had always been a delicate endeavor—a gentle collapse into unconsciousness.

There was nothing deliberate or delicate about the way Mrs. Kirkcaldy swooned. At first she just swayed, and Ethan, concerned, tightened his grip on her arm. The moment he did, she turned her glassy, bright green eyes in his direction, lurched, and pitched forward into his arms. Caught by surprise, Ethan dropped the umbrella, stumbled, tripped over a root, and lost his footing. They both went down in a heap.

Blasted oak. Years ago, in a fit of temper, he’d cut down everything else. He should have had this one removed as well. Sentimentality had made him pause at the time. He regretted that now.

He lay still for a moment and caught his breath. By the time he realized he was pinned between Mrs. Kirkcaldy and the muddy ground, mud had caked his breeches, and the cold had seeped through his jacket. Seconds later, William stood by his side, umbrella in hand, and his lips ticking upward in a lopsided grin.

“I am pleased you find my predicament so amusing.” Ethan rolled Mrs. Kirkcaldy off him and onto her back.

“My apologies, sir.” But the way William’s lips twitched said something entirely different.

“Do not placate me with insincerity.” He meant to sound stern, but had never really managed stern with William, not that his secretary would believe it, anyway. Instead, his words simply sounded weary. He sat up and rubbed his back. “I suppose we should get Mrs. Kirkcaldy inside.”

“Oh, so it’s not your plan to leave her here in the rain? I wondered, you were out here for so long.”

“It is not,” Ethan responded. He glanced over at the unconscious Mrs. Kirkcaldy, placed his palm on her chest, and felt it rise as she drew breath. At least the woman wasn’t dead. Then he realized his hand was lower than it needed to be, and he jerked it away.

For his part, William didn’t laugh outright, though it looked like he wanted to.

Ethan scowled at William, a man he considered to be his ficus Achates and closest confidant. “Help me get her inside.”

“Certainly.” He put his hands under Mrs. Kirkcaldy’s arms. “You get her feet, and I’ll get her head.”

Ethan pushed himself up onto his knees. The wet earth had leeched through his breeches, rain had soaked through his jacket, and his left foot had landed in a puddle.

Blasted rain. He took back everything he’d said about needing rain earlier. Every word of it. The sooner he got this woman into his home, the better it would be. The place was so large he could ignore her if he wanted to.

I would be a fool to speak with her, he reminded himself. He had a sneaking suspicion he wasn’t going to like whatever it was she had to say. And he especially would not if it concerned MacLendon in any fashion.

With a sigh, he took Mrs. Kirkcaldy’s feet in his hands. The warmth of her body shocked him, despite the dampness of her stockings. But he wasn’t stunned by the temperature of her body. Rather, he was more shocked by his reaction to it.

His heart, something he had hoped he had long since abandoned, thundered in his chest, and, despite the chill, sweat pricked his brow line. The heat of her skin raced up his arms and settled in his chest, a flame that flickered and only gradually faded, leaving a strange emptiness behind.

Carrying Mrs. Kirkcaldy’s limp form, they made their way toward the door. As they struggled with the weight of her body—because no matter how petite the woman, a limp body was a limp body—William looked up at him and snorted a laugh.

“This isn’t precisely dignified, is it? I wonder what she’d think to see the Duke of Dunmoor now.”

Ethan shrugged, but the action made his shoulders ache, so he adjusted Mrs. Kirkcaldy’s weight. “I doubt she’d recognize him if she did.”

“I beg your pardon?” William asked. Then he quickly added, “Sir.”

They trudged up the stone steps toward his door, where his servants waited. “She does not know me as the Duke of Dunmoor.”

“She doesn’t?”

Ethan met William’s gaze. “No.”

“If she doesn’t know you as the Duke of Dunmoor, then what name, pray tell, did you give her?”

He cleared his throat and looked away. “I didn’t. But she . . . she called me English.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s