- N. N. Light
A Matter of Manners by @TGrahamWriter is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums Festival Pick #eroticromance
Title: A Matter of Manners
Author: Terry Graham
Genre: Historical Erotic Romance
Jeremy Wyles believes himself sterile and fears no lady could love him. When Irish rebel Katy Brennan shows up on his doorstep, pregnant and claiming to be his wife, he sees his chance to ensure his dukedom has an heir. A loveless marriage in name only seems the perfect solution, but life has a way of uncovering hidden truths. Jeremy’s not as straitlaced and cold-hearted as he pretends, and Katy has dark secrets and desires of her own.
Can Jeremy and Katy put aside their differences to forge a family or will their hidden pasts expose more than they can accept?
Stop it! Think about something else. He’s a gentleman, not a romantic scoundrel who takes what he wants. No matter how much you might want it.
She dragged her attention away, scrambling to find something to focus on, something other than the guilt and imagined desire. “You said ‘please.’ ”
“Just now. When you told Ned to empty the tavern.”
His head cocked, brows lowering. “Of course, I did. It’s a matter of manners.”
“They matter a lot to you? Manners.”
“Appearance is everything.” He lowered the leg and shrugged off a long black cloak. Nondescript, with signs of wear, she realized it looked like every other black cloak she’d seen in the tavern. With infinite care, he peeled off a pair of ordinary working gloves as scuffed and worn as a working man’s. The gloves slapped on the table.
“One can be anything one wants, as long as one plays the part. And one can get away with a multitude of sins if one doesn’t draw attention to it.”
Katy sucked in a breath. Did he know her sin? Had that snake, George, told him?
“I didn’t come here to discuss manners, however, so let’s stop pretending, shall we?” The duke leaned forward, hands clasped before him on the worn oak table. He rubbed at an ink stain on his middle knuckle, frowning.
Katy waited, uncertain. Despite his words, he didn’t look at her as he would if George had spilled her secret. Surely, he’d have brought the Runners with him or a contingent of lobsterbacks.
He didn’t look angry, either, which is what she had expected once he discovered she’d fled. She tensed. Anger she could deal with; she was used to it. This calm control wasn’t a reaction she’d ever encountered.
“I don’t want to separate a mother and her child, Kathleen. When you showed up, I took you in. I treated you well. Anything you asked for, I gave you. I told you what would happen if you defied me, and you did it anyway.”
Katy bit her lip. Nothing she could say would help. Either he was going to take her baby and send her away, or he wasn’t. He didn’t seem the type to give second chances though. And there was nothing she could do. What was worse was that she couldn’t even argue it. The baby would have a better life with him.
A life with a mother and a father would be better. She had to convince him to let her stay. “I…I made a mistake. I’m sorry.”
“I trusted you, Kathleen. Why should I believe you won’t leave again the next chance you get?”
“I won’t. I promise.” She grabbed his hands, clutching them as if that would help. Pain shot up from where the old man had wrenched her wrist. She ignored it. “Give me another chance. Please. It’s my baby.”
His heavy sigh echoed, stirring the air. One of his hands turned over, palm up, and captured hers. They both stared down at her pale white hand. He could crush it if he wanted. A shiver ran up her arm when, instead, his thumb caressed the faint bruise that was forming.
“I have to punish you.” With a resigned tone that reminded her of her da, his grip tightened, locking over her fingers.
Katy tried to pull away, but his hold clamped down harder. Her fingers felt as if they might shatter, much as her heart did, knowing what his punishment was. How many times had she heard her father use the same tone, saying, “This is going to hurt me more than you” before he spanked her for one disobedience or another? She’d never believed him. And no matter how she begged, he’d never relented.
Her da’s spankings hadn’t been bad, though. He’d loved her, and she’d learned that as soon as she started whimpering, he’d stop.
The duke wasn’t her da though. He didn’t love her, and he wasn’t going to spank her.
He was going to lock her away until her baby was born. And then he would banish her.
“No.” Her voice cracked. She couldn’t let him do it. Not without a fight.
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-matter-of-manners-terry-graham/1134929874?ean=2940163160600
What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
Reading and writing, of course. You can journey anywhere and escape anything with a good story.
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
A Matter of Manners takes you to London during the time of Jane Austin and shows you a side of life you might never experience, from the warm, safe confines of wherever you choose to read. It contains passion, excitement and danger with a guaranteed happily ever after.
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
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Runs March 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on April 1.
Terry Graham has been imagining love stories since she began playing with Barbie and Ken. In high school, she read Barbara Cartland along with Dickens, Austen, Asimov and everything else she could get her hands on. After two careers, as a chemist and a computer programmer, she retired to try her hand at writing. Terry lives in upstate New York with her cat Amber. She's divorced with a grown son who makes it all worthwhile.
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