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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Guilded Wings Cover Reveal @CameoRenae

Title: Gilded Wings (Hidden Wings, 4)
Author: Cameo Renae
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 
Expected Release Date: December 12, 2014 
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing 
Cover Design: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours



As the final battle draws near, Emma finds herself bound under an unbreakable oath. She must seal the bond with Ethon before her transformation, or risk her life and the lives of those she truly loves. Who she wants is no longer an option.

Lucian has unleashed troops of evil beasts from the Underworld, making it impossible for Emma to leave the protective barrier of Alaine’s home. War is inevitable. The Guardians will need to stay and fight their ground, hoping Lucifer keeps his end of the deal and comes to their aid.

In this epic series conclusion, burning questions will be answered, lives will be lost, and sacrifices will be made.

But who will survive, and at what cost?


Tag:
You can choose your path, but your fate is sealed.






My family is what keeps my heart beating, and my world a happy place to be. I love reading great books that whisk me away from reality, even if for a little while. :) Writing is my passion. I love creating new worlds and new characters, and taking wondrous adventures with them. In My Dreams & Hidden Wings were both recently published through Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. Descent (A Hidden Wings novella) will be released May 15, 2013, and Broken Wings (Book 2 in the Hidden Wings Series) will be released June 1, 2013. One day I will find my magic wardrobe, and ride away on my magical unicorn... ♥ Until then... I'll keep writing! ;) 

Follow Cameo on: 
Twitter: @CameoRenae





Links to the other book in the series:

Hidden Wings (Book #1): http://smarturl.it/HiddenWings 
Descent (Novella 1.5): http://smarturl.it/DescentNovella 
Broken Wings (Book #2) : http://smarturl.it/BrokenWings
Tethered Wings (Book 3): http://smarturl.it/TetheredWings











Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Torn Cover Reveal by A.M. Wallace

Title: Torn 
Author: A.M. Wallace 
Genre: New Adult 
Release Date: Feb. 18, 2015


Marcus has his life pretty much figured out at twenty five years old. He’s got his career on track, a nice house just outside of the city, and his lifelong best friend, Hannah, by his side at every turn. The only problem is that he has been fighting with himself to tell Hannah how he really feels. How she’s all he’s been able to think about since he was old enough to have those feelings. What he doesn’t know is that Hannah is facing the same inner battle with herself about him. She fantasizes about a life with Marcus. Will Marcus or Hannah be able to tell each other how they feel about one another? Will they be able to make a life together or does fate have other plans?














A.M. Wallace was born and raised in southern Ohio. She is currently a stay at home mom to her wonderful son. She and her husband still reside in southern Ohio after a few years of living in east Tennessee (Go Vols!) While her husband is a die-hard Volunteer, A.M will always be a Buckeye. (O-H-I-O!) Thankfully the two teams almost never play one another.

Her love for reading started at a very young age. The Boxcar Children was where it all started, and she never quit. AR Reading in school only pushed her that much harder to read faster and more advanced books. Her competitiveness came out when there were prizes and “winning” involved. Now, she reads anything and everything in her free time. (When she has free time.)

After being a stay at home mom for seven months, needing a change that would allow her to continue staying home with her son, she finally decided to pursue her dreams and write her first novel. While watching reruns of The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, and Doc McStuffins in her living room with her seven month old rolling around, the idea behind The Divided Series was born.

Author Links








Friday, November 21, 2014

The Broken Destiny Book Blitz @CarlyleL

Title: The Broken Destiny: A Broken Novel Book Two 
Author: Carlyle Labuschagne 
Genre: Dystopian. Science- Fiction. YA 
Release Date: November 2014 
Publishers: Hallowed Ink Press


"You cannot know what light is if you have not experienced darkness" Ava and her people have been exiled to the planet Poseidon for reasons she can't fathom. Upon meeting a boy from a different sector, her life turns into a beautiful chaos. She begins to feel things she isn't allowed to, thus motivating her to find out the truth about why her kind are so different, and why the Council are so interested in her. Once her mind is freed, with it comes a terrible power that could either save her kind, or destroy them all. But Ava is not the perfect heroine. She will become what she hates to save the ones she loves, and the cost of such a burden is deadly at best.






Carlyle Labuschagne is a South African award winning author working her way into the hearts of international readers with her first two books in the Broken Trilogy. Her first young adult dystopian novel "The Broken Destiny" reached top 3 in its YA debut Category. The Sequel Evanescent won YATR literary award for best Sci-Fi book 2013. Her become a published author prgramme for students launched Feb 2014. She is not only an author, but works as a marketing manager by day. She holds a diploma in creative writing through the writing school at College SA. Carlyle loves to swim, fights for the trees, and is a food lover who is driven by her passion for life. Carlyle also writes for IU e-magazine India, an inspirational non-profit magazine that aims at inspiring the world through words. The drive behind her author career is healing through words. Carlyle is also the founder of the first annual book drive – Help Build A Library in Africa Project. And hopes to launch her very own Indie book festival in Johannesburg March 2015. “My goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another.”



Author Links:





Buy Links:





Prologue

All my life, I had searched for something; something I thought I ought to be. I felt like I was living someone else’s life, waiting for the awakening of my own. I felt like an empty shell burning for life. That was, until the day I lay dying in the prince’s chambers. I could no longer feel the pain from the tear in my gut. The only sensation left was a hollowed-out feeling that I had made a huge mistake in assuming that taking my own life, would have stopped the ancestors’ spirit from raging out. I had given up. I didn’t want to see myself killing the ones I loved.

I was the Chosen One, but I threw it all away for what I thought would save a life. Could you end a life to save a life? I did, and I have regretted it ever since. I realized then that things like me were not meant to exist.

What had been missing my whole life? It was I. To find myself, I had to lose myself in the worst possible way. The consequences of my actions became the legend of ‘The Broken’.







Thursday, November 20, 2014

Enlightening Bloom Release Day Blitz @ShellJTurner

Title: Enlightening Bloom
Author: Michelle Turner
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours

Synopsis:
Who knew finding out shifters are real would be the easy part?

Trying to finalize the bond with her mate, Pike, Bloom is struck with a mysterious illness that puts a strain on the newly mated pair. They’re forced to take off on their mating night to track down a long lost relative in hope’s she’ll have the cure and answers they desperately need.

Bonnie Harris took it in stride when her best friend hooked up with a wolf shifter. But can she do the same thing? Her mind is telling her no, but her heart is telling her yes. Which will she listen to?

The Masterson pack is thrown for a loop when a pack member’s past is revealed. Will they all be able to stand together and survive when one of their own brings an old enemy to their door?
Michelle is a native Ohioan who now finds herself in the mountain state of West Virginia. She lives with her husband, son, and three spoiled rotten dogs. When she isn't spending time with her family you can find her with her nose stuck in a book or her head in the clouds as she dreams up new adventures for her characters.
Author Links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/MichelleTurnerAuthor 
~Pike~
Bloom pulls back, and with passion burning in her hazel eyes whispers. “Mark me, Tennessee.”
I move us further into the room, press my lips to my favorite freckle right in the crook of her neck, and whisper against her skin. “As you wish, Darlin’.” I let my teeth sharpen into that of my wolf. I place one hand at the small of her back, holding her closer to me. The other is sifted into her hair at the other side of her neck. Her breathing is heavy against my own skin, from both fear and want. Or maybe more from need. A need so thick it’s pulsating around the room. We need each other. We’ve always needed each other, even when we didn’t know who the other was. And we always will need each other. It’s how we’re made. I give into that need I feel to the very core of me, and through the bond I feel to the core of my mate, and I sink my teeth into her soft flesh.
I close my eyes, letting the pure pleasure of the moment wash over me. She’s now unmistakably mine. I don’t want the moment to end but I know there are still good moments ahead of us, so I retract my teeth and lick the spot to clean it. She’s still in my arms, but now that my mind is clearing I feel how tense she is. I pull back, still holding onto her, and take in her face. It’s scrunched in to one of pain.
“Bloom?” I ask, confused as to what’s happening. She pulls out of my arms and crumples to the floor, letting out a blood curdling scream. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

@DannikaDark #FourDays, #CoverReveal, #SevenSeries



Four Days
(Seven Series, Book #4)
By Dannika Dark

Blurb:
Ivy believes every life must have balance, and during the past year, she’s found harmony living with the Weston pack. When an evil spirit from her past threatens her wolf, it sets off a chain reaction of events that alters the course of her destiny.

Lorenzo Church is a powerful, wealthy Packmaster who rules his pack through intimidation and order. He has vowed to never love a woman because love can destroy an empire. But chaos is fast approaching in the form of a Shifter named Ivy—a Native American, like him, who has invaded his dreams since the moment they met. She is spirited, wise, and unattainable.

In an unexpected turn of events, Ivy must choose whether or not to let go of the one person she has always loved. Lorenzo discovers the root of her courage but will never win her as his mate unless he learns to listen to his heart.



Release Date:
December 16, 2014


Excerpt


“Call me Enzo.”

I turned to look at him and his eyes fell to my lips. “It’s not respectful to address a Packmaster so informally.”

He pinched his chin thoughtfully. “Only business associates call me Church.”

“Then I’ll call you Lorenzo.”

Lorenzo reached over and gently tugged the end of my braid. “Is something wrong with Enzo?”

“Do you want to be compared to a flashy piece of machinery that’s fast, loud, and unattainable?”

He put his hands back on the wheel and throttled the engine. “I can be compared to anything with stamina.”

“Mechanical things require too much attention to keep going on their own. How much attention do you require?”

“Sweet Ivy, what a wicked tongue you have.”




The Seven Series



About the Author


This is the segment where you learn a little more about who I am, so here's what I can tell you:  I drink copious amounts of vitamin water placed precariously close to my laptop while writing. These are two healthy habits I have no intention of breaking. I'm a transplant living in the south, but I was born in the 70's to a military dad who moved us around the world.

When I'm not writing (which is all the time), I'm hunting down Indie music, watching movies, reading, eating Tex-Mex, discovering new ways to humiliate myself bowling, and burning up my laptop battery on the Internet. I have a relaxed, easy-going personality and don't like drama. I live with a cat who thinks she is a dog, or a goat (she eats plastic, so I'm not sure which).

Throughout my life, I've had insomnia. Counting sheep never worked and eventually I would imagine those sheep were the sole source of food after an apocalyptic battle where only thousands survived. I made up stories in a futile attempt to bore myself to sleep. The problem was, I got so wrapped up in my "head stories" that I would continue them through the following nights, changing it up each time to make it more exciting. Eventually, I started writing my ideas down - creating short stories, and then I discovered my love for poetry.

It's almost embarrassing how many spiral notebooks and stacks of paper I have of poetry and lyrics.

Another passion: digital art. I design all my book covers, marketing, and series art. I'm a very visual person and pursued photography as an avid hobby for many years.

I am not a YA author (I feel like I have to state this only because I've had a few people ask), but I think it's wonderful there are so many books available to teens in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal.

I am finally doing what I have always wanted to do: giving my characters a pulse through writing full time. I focus on adult urban fantasy romance, but I don't like labels and I enjoy blending genres to break out of the confines of predictability.

But it's what I love to do.

Danni

You can stalk, I mean find Dannika here: 

            





Presented by 


Friday, November 14, 2014

A Taste of Christmas - Dublin Style COVER REVEAL @authorkrissyv

A Taste Of Christmas
Dublin Style
Krissy V
Coming December 5th 2014


My name is Nollaig, it’s the Irish word for Christmas. I hate my name. My parents loved Christmas and that’s why they gave me such a festive name, together with the fact that I was born on Christmas Day.

However, my parents are no longer with us after dying in a car accident on Christmas Eve, five years ago.

Now I hate Christmas all together.

I always hated the fact that everyone got presents on my birthday. Now my parents are gone and ever since then I just don’t feel like celebrating Christmas. Everything about this holiday gives me sad memories.

I need a miracle to happen over the Christmas holiday to make me change my mind about Christmas.

Who knew that a quick shopping trip would provide me with the miracle that I so desperately needed?






Goodreads

Trailer




PreOrder Now On Amazon





Giveaway



12 Days of Christmas Event
December 14th-24th






About Krissy V

I am a mother to two young children, who in turn keep me young. I live in Dublin, Ireland but, I’m originally from South Devon in the UK. I work full time in a pharmacy and write in all my spare time: in my lunch hour, when watching TV at night and anywhere. I have always been interested in reading from a young age and then 2 years ago I was given a kindle as a present and it was the best thing that happened to me. I was able to read lots of books ever week and then I started to write reviews for all the books I read. I took this one step further and started my own facebook page – Sparkling Pink Bookshelf. I intended to upload all of my reviews for the books I read. This was purely for pleasure and then I answered a post on Facebook for someone to read for reviews and thought I had died and gone to heaven. I was reading about 7/8 books a week, the kindle made this achievable. I would read at any opportunity I could, even staying up til the small hours to finish a book. I loved it. Then one day I was asked to beta read a book – I loved this side of it, it was so exciting. I have worked with a number of indie authors and have remained loyal to a few select authors and I beta read all their After a year or more of doing this, I thought maybe I could write some of the stories that were in my head and I just decided to write and see what happened. I wrote about 70% of a story and then saw a post for the NaNoWriMo competition – to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I decided that this was a challenge I wanted to take and the Til Death Us Do Part series was born.

I am always thinking of situations that can be turned into a story and have started a few stories, which in turn will be completed and released to my readers. I love to hear what my readers have to say about my work and please find my links below.




Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy this series of books as much as I enjoyed writing them.






Social links



Other Books By Krissy V







For Better or For Worse

Amazon.co.uk: www.amazon.co.uk/For-Better-Worse-Death-Part-ebook/dp/B00JKY633A
Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/For-Better-Worse-Death-Part-ebook/dp/B00JKY633A






In Sickness and In Health







To Love and to Cherish

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Cherish-Death-Part-Book-ebook/dp/B00KVSXB5M
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Cherish-Death-Part-Book-ebook/dp/B00KVSXB5M






To Have and to Hold







For Richer or For Poorer

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Richer-Poorer-Death-Part-Book-ebook/dp/B00N2AHAYY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1413719910&sr=8-2&keywords=krissy+v
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Richer-Poorer-Death-Part-Book-ebook/dp/B00N2AHAYY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1413766392&sr=8-4&keywords=for+richer+for+poorer






Sunshine in Madrid






Krissy V took part in an Anthology called Love Reborn. 8 authors came together to raise money for SANDS (Stillborn and neo-natal deaths).













Thursday, November 13, 2014

Disturbingly Beautiful - A Paradox in Time by J&L Wells

Title: Disturbingly Beautiful – A Paradox in Time
Author: J & L Wells
Genre: New Adult, Time Travel/ Regency Romance
Release Date November 2014



The premeditated ripping of her dress seals her fate, and an intricate family plot slowly begins to unravel in which she finds herself centre stage. She was never supposed to leave Haunchcroft estate … and he will do everything in his power to keep her there.

Nell Dodsworth, a nineteenth-century governess, is seeking alternative employment following the tragic passing of her ward, Abigale. Her master, Mr Buchannan, suggests that she work for his elder sister, and until such time as she is able to take up the position, he insists that she remain at Haunchcroft Estate.

It is unheard of for a master to be so familiar with a member of the household as Mr Buchannan is with Nell, and after an uncomfortable encounter, he confuses her with his parting words … “My dear, I find you disturbingly beautiful.”

For reasons known only to her, Nell is anything but fond of Mr Buchannan and does everything in her power to avoid him. However, her avoidance tactics are usually unsuccessful, for it always seems that he has a way of seeking her out.

Upon overhearing a conversation between Mr Buchannan and his bedridden father, the Earl of Dulverton, Nell is unnerved by the revelation that her master intends to marry her. As the glass she is holding slips from her fingers, the noise alerts Mr Buchannan and she is discovered. While escorting her onto the landing, he requests that she join him in his bedchamber.

Unnerved by a thief on the estate, Nell gives chase and in so doing manages to travel forward in time, finding herself in the 1960s. Having left her archaic existence far behind, her life is suddenly enhanced as she finds friendship, egalitarianism and true love. But complexities unfold, leaving her broken-hearted after finding the man with whom she hopes to share the rest of her life….

On finding that there is no future for her in that time period, Nell returns home, though all is not well. The ripping of her dress seals her fate, and an intricate family plot slowly begins to unravel in which she is centre stage….

It is all too much for Nell to comprehend, and once again, she runs away, only this time she finds herself in the twenty-first century. When she comes face to face with a broken family, she discovers that many of their underlying problems are the result of her actions from her visit to the 1960s. Where love flourishes it has the means of finding a way, seemingly allowing Mr Buchannan to travel to this era to be with her.

When he finally meets up with Nell he sets the record straight, leading to a night of passion under the watchful eye of the stars. Wanting to be together but unable to settle in the twenty-first century, they decide to travel home. When they return to the year 1813, a paradox is created-





Laura Wells is a swimming teacher, with a love of books, animals and, of course, Jane Austen. Once a national swimmer, she now runs three swim schools of her own. She enjoys spending her spare time with her family and two mad Shiba Inus. She lives in Staffordshire, England.

Judy Wells works at a school; in her spare time she enjoys writing poetry and novels, and spending time with her animals. She also lives in Staffordshire, England.

Laura and Judy are a mother and daughter duo; with Judy's love of poetry and writing and Laura's ideas, they work extremely well together. Time-travel and historical romance novels are their passion, and they hope that after you have read their books, you will feel the same.

Our website is: www.jandlwells.com


Why not come and say hello to us on Facebook - J & L Wells - 
and have a look at our novels on Goodreads:


Buy Links:














Nell sighed as she entered the little girl’s bedchamber. The crisp cotton bedcovers were crumpled and misplaced from their usual perfection. Her long strands of chestnut hair, an interwoven decorative remembrance, lay across the pillowcases. The darkened room and its melancholic mood were now aglow as a powdery light filtered between an opening in the drapes, eerie in appearance. To her it looked as though minute crystals hung in a display of elegance.

Abigale was now a mere memory, though one held ardently within the fabric of Nell’s heart. The empty room, once filled with happiness and hours of laughter, was now an empty shroud of yesterdays gone by.

Nell ruched up the coarse material of her skirt between her fingers and knelt down, her knees instantly chilled by the stone hearth as she warmed herself before the open coals. She felt angered, for the winter months had been particularly harsh this year. Cruel, she thought to herself.

She gave a sideways glance and from the corner of her eye caught sight of winter’s first snowflakes. Abigale adored the snow, and had done from a very early age. Remembering that time, a shiver ran the length of Nell’s spine. Letting out a despondent sigh, she rose to her feet and straightened her clothing. It was a bittersweet emotion that surged inside her. In the next few days she would be leaving her post of governess and the life she had known for the past five years. She was touched by a pang of nostalgia as her eyes caught the black crepe band she wore around her arm in mourning for her ward. She paused momentarily to reminisce.

Abigale had been such a bright, pleasurable child to teach, her art in needlecraft commendable. It was such a pity that she had been a sickly soul, and from birth, Nell had been told.

With Christmas just over a month away, she was saddened by the realisation that Abigale would not be here to share this year’s festivities. Nell had spent many hours preparing her gift, but the embroidery would remain incomplete on the petite bodice of the dress, and now the garment lay with no purpose. She could envisage Abigale wearing it, the pretty little girl with a ribbon tied in her hair running towards her. Nell could still recall the pallor of her skin, like the virgin snowflake; it was long ago that the kiss of a rose had left her cheeks. The bitter weather had served Abigale no favours; her chest was her overriding weakness, and pneumonia her downfall. Even when the end was nigh and breaths were hard to take, she was still able to offer Nell a paper-thin smile as she sat holding her hand and watched her fade away. Words were not needed, for she knew how much she was loved.

Her mourning brought with it a cold reality that broke through the silence. How she would miss that beautiful girl, snatched from life so cruelly at only twelve years of age.

Nell meandered towards the window, and lifting her arm slightly pushed aside the heavy velvet drapes, allowing in more light which danced around the walls of the bedchamber, illuminating the bold wooden panelling and turning the numerous tapestries into a rich display of artistry.

She folded her arms neatly across her chest, pulling in her petite frame. A heavy sigh passed between her lips as she cast her gaze far out across the fifty-acre gardens. A three-tiered landscape opened up before her. Her eyes embraced an open fan of evergreens, their branches kissed by the frost, leaving only the briefest of imprints. Sporadic stepping stones weaved their way from one tier to the next, and a small stream appeared to join their divide where snowflakes fell, their individuality lost forever. Its dramatic incline gave the extensive gardens an illusion of endlessness.

Nell was overwhelmed by a sudden feeling of freedom. After all the heartache, how she relished the thought of what a new beginning would bring. Perhaps she would find employment as a teacher, a path she found to be most agreeable. In her opinion she needed a change; her role of governess was all played out. The position had brought with it much isolation; she was shunned by the servants, and not valued by her employers, so she found herself to be neither fish nor fowl in the estate. She was a middle-class lady, for all intents and purposes, and it was only due to her parents’ lack of wealth that she had to seek employment; but this had prevented her from being considered an equal alongside that echelon.

A warm glow inside ignited her imagination, throwing her into a fictional world where words, lines and chapters from the countless books she had read came to life, filling her mind with hope. How different her life could be if she were to become a leading lady in one of the novels she had read, how her dreams could lift her from the monotony of the life she led. The picture she painted in her mind was herself as a beautiful butterfly — a red admiral — hovering high above the world, visiting flower gardens. She had no intention of outstaying her welcome, or forming liaisons, remaining just long enough for her beauty to be admired, for the briefest of moments, for then once again she would be free, at one with herself and with nature. It was so very different from the constraints of Haunchcroft, where the walls held her deep within. It was only Abigale’s presence that had given the walls a warmth, allowing her to feel able to live happily inside.

Nell snapped out of her daydreams as footsteps entered the bedchamber, and she listened as they echoed over the polished wooden floorboards. The reflections of the frosted gardens were lost in an instant as her master stole up from behind. He was now the reflection staring back at her.

“Mr Buchannan, you startled me.” Nell breathed heavily.

A trickle of condensation decorated the glass pane as Nell did her best to compose herself. She did not turn to greet him, her backward stance hiding her unease.

“You rise early, sir,” she stuttered, choking out her words.

Although she had seen the gentleman at various times around the estate, she was not overly familiar with Abigale’s father, and whenever their paths crossed she felt uncomfortable in his presence. She took a breath, allowing her the courage to speak.

“I would just like to take the time to express how very sorry I am for your loss.”

There was an awkward silence as Nell’s eyes traced his reflection through the partially frozen windowpane; his facial outline looked angular through the icy glass, giving his distorted features a stern, unapproachable look.

Turning slightly, Nell said, “You will no longer be requiring my services.” Exhaling, she continued, “I shall send word to my father, who will arrange for my transportation home. All I ask is if you could possibly supply me with a reference?”

“That will not be necessary; my family do not wish you to leave.”

Nell was thrown off guard by his response.

“You see, Miss Dodsworth, my niece has outgrown her nanny, and my sister is seeking a governess as we speak. You need not worry your father; I assume that his parish requires his undivided attention. If you are agreeable to my sister’s offer, then I will provide your transportation to her home in Gloucestershire; your reference to her will be my word.”

“Thank you kindly, but since your daughter’s death, I have had a change of heart.” Nell could feel a pain rise within, and hurriedly blinked back her tears. “I cannot possibly put myself in the position to grow as close to, and to love another child as I came to love dear Abby.”

“My sister will be most displeased, for you know not how I have sung your praises. Please do not be hasty in your decision, and allow me to arrange a formal introduction. I have it on good authority that Catherine will be arriving in the coming weeks.”

“Sir…”

She paused, his fallen face showing the non-appreciation of her reply.

“Have I offended you, sir?” she enquired, looking up sheepishly, for eye contact with Mr Buchannan felt so demeaning.

Nell could not help but notice the confusion etched on his face, the rise of his dark brow. How much softer his features appeared in close proximity. Mr Buchannan was in his early thirties, a good few years her senior. A peppering of light auburn streaks highlighted his sideburns and deep-brown hair. She could feel his eyes as they penetrated her own, and their softness ebbed. His eyes were like dark pools of the most unusual colour, a gunmetal grey, deep set, cold and unfeeling. She held his gaze, difficult though it was. A silence fell, broken only by the constant tapping of Mr Buchannan’s shoe on the floorboards.

“No, my dear,” he said abruptly, taking a step forwards. “I find it hard to comprehend that such a handsome creature as yourself could be no more than a mere governess.”

Nell frowned; she felt his words to be both belittling and complimentary, if that were possible. His tone was harsh, and it held an annoyance that she was unable to read. His offhandedness forced her to lower her eyes, immediately returning her to her station. If anyone was capable of making her feel subservient, it was Mr Buchannan, and he had managed to do just that with one short sentence. Her eyes rose as she felt his hand brush against her face. She flinched at the feel of his smooth skin against her own.

“Sir!” Blushing, she gasped as his hand swept along her cheek, his index finger coming to rest softly upon her lips.

“You, madam, are my weakness. Believe me when I say that I did not seek you out, you just happened upon me.” His eyes widened. “You have not the slightest idea how I have tried to fight my desires long and hard, but I have to admit defeat; I have succumbed to your charms.” His words faltered as he continued. “I … I find you uncommonly…” With a shake of his head he corrected himself. “No, my dear, I find you disturbingly beautiful.”