Today I’m happy to have a good friend of mine here to share her latest book. Lauren Smith’s new book, Tempted by a Rogue, looks like it’s going to be another page turner! I know what I’m doing this weekend…
Blurb for Tempted by a Rogue:
The rogue’s temptation would be her undoing…
Gemma Haverford knows exactly who she will marry: James Randolph, the man she’s had a secret understanding with for the last eleven years. With every letter written between them while he’s been off at sea, their love has grown. Now they will be reunited with his return to England.
There’s just one problem. The man whose words she’d fallen in love with isn’t James at all…
Jasper Holland, a gentleman rogue of the first order, is trapped. Talked into a scheme by his best friend, he pretended to be James for eleven years as he wrote to Gemma, even though he’d promised James he’d break it off. But now with his return to England, his secret will come out – and he’ll lose the one woman he can’t live without.
What began as a game of words, now becomes a game of hearts, and Jasper will pay any price to call Gemma his.
“What can I do for you, Lady Greenley?” Gemma asked.
“Can I depend upon you to rescue me from these unruly young bucks? Take them about the garden, and see that they don’t scandalize my party, won’t you?” Lady Greenley demanded of Gemma, a wicked glint in the older lady’s gray eyes. With her crafty mannerisms and being rather boisterous for her age, no one dared to cross her.
“Of course, Lady Greenley,” Gemma answered politely.
Both men grinned at her. The direct attention from both James and Jasper heated her skin with an embarrassing blush. There was nothing decent in either of their gazes. She could understand a look like that from James, after what they had shared, but Jasper? He should not be eyeing her form with such a bold look of appreciation like he did at that exact moment.
Lady Greenley watched this odd triangle of looks with an arched brow of interest, and Gemma thought she saw the old woman hide the beginnings of a smile beneath her ridiculously foppish bonnet. Where James’s gaze seemed to outline every curve of her body with speculation, Jasper’s gaze had the deep sensual sweep of such force that she almost felt his hands stroking her rather than his eyes…it was a knowing gaze, like he knew just how the flesh of her breasts would tighten, her legs tremble and her breath quicken beneath his touch…
“Why, is that really you, Miss Haverford?” James exclaimed with a broad smile and a deep bow. It did little to dispel the ensnaring enchantment of Jasper’s heated gaze which distracted her from James.
Gemma forced a soft laugh, letting James take her hand and kiss it, but the tingling rush of contact she expected did not come. His voice did not seem quite the same as the night before, perhaps because it was disguised by his whispering tone…
“Mr. Randolph, Mr. Holland, I’m so glad to see you both returned to Midhurst in good health.” Her gaze was strangely drawn back to Jasper, who watched her in deep concentration and she didn’t know what to make of his scrutiny. She nibbled her bottom lip, studying Jasper intensely. His shoulders were wide…a little wider than James’s now that she compared them so diligently.
James dropped her hand and glanced between her and Jasper, one brow raised.
“Er…we’re quite glad to be home, Miss Haverford,” James added, trying to draw her attention again. “I see Midhurst has treated you well over the years, Gemma.” His voice deepened, but still Gemma didn’t tear her gaze away from Jasper.
Was it possible to have a battle between a man and woman based on eye contact alone? She did feel as though she were battling this man, what she couldn’t understand was why. His lips twitched, her eyes narrowed and her heart gave a strange little flip in her chest when his gaze lowered, inch by inch to focus on her lips.
We’re strangers, after all these years. I should not be fascinated by him.
When he spoke to her, however, her body responded with a terrifying thrill of recognition.
“You are looking well, Gemma.” The way he caressed her name…she went suddenly pale. That voice! Jasper’s voice was the voice in the garden, the voice that belonged to the body which had…
No, no! He could not be the man I… Gemma wavered on her feet when a cloud seemed to cover her mind and she couldn’t quite control her legs enough to stay standing.
“Now you’ve done it you rogues! Gone and frightened the girl. Shame!” Lady Greenley struck Jasper in the chest with the pointed end of her parasol.
Jasper grunted with the impact of the parasol’s blow to his navy waistcoat and doubled over as though in pain. James ducked when Lady Greenley’s parasol whirled through the air where his head had been moments before.
“Have at you, you devils!” Lady Greenley cried, waving the parasol aloft like a saber as she started forward to continue the attack.
Both men got control of themselves and flashed smiles in Gemma’s direction and looks of amused fright at the crazy, old battle-axe before turning tail and running toward the garden like any sensible rogues would do when threatened by the likes of such a woman aiming a parasol at their jugulars.
Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.