Title: Deception and Desire
Author: Aubrey Wynne
Genre: Historical Romance/Scottish Regency/Spicy
Two rebellious souls… An innocent deception… One scorching catastrophe… Fenella Franklin is too tall, too intelligent, and has no title. Her talents lie in numbers and a keen business mind, not in the art of flirtation. When she becomes the object of a cruel wager during her come-out in London, she vows to put off the penniless noblemen vying for her sizeable dowry. But her season is cut short after her mother discovers the subterfuge, and Fenella retreats to Scotland. Lachlan MacNaughton has neither the temperament nor the patience to be the next MacNaughton chief, preferring to knock heads together rather than placate bickering clansmen. He readily accepts a reprieve to help with the family’s textile mill in Glasgow. A sizzling chance encounter in the rain introduces him to the new female bookkeeper. His grandfather may want him back in the Highlands, but his heart has been lost in the Lowlands. The attraction between Fenella and Lachlan sparks a passion not even two rebellious souls can deny. But an innocent deception tests their newfound love and threatens the freedom they both crave.
Reaching the street, he squinted through the drizzle in time to see a dark form dashing toward him, head down against the light rain.
Smack! The woman collided with Lachlan. He spread his feet to maintain his balance as the slate-colored gown and pelisse crumpled before him. Without thought, he swept her up before she hit the wet ground.
Her straw bonnet was askew, tiny droplets of rain sparkled in her pale blonde hair, and long lashes spiked like jagged crescents against her smooth cheeks. Her alabaster skin gave her the appearance of a fine Greek sculpture, except for the pink spreading across her cheeks. When her lids fluttered open, clear gray eyes blinked owlishly at him. Mesmerizing was the first word that came to his mind. He was unable to tear his gaze from the exquisite face.
A wet angel, he thought.
“Oh,” was all the angel said, a sheen of moisture covering her skin. A hand went to her neck – a long and graceful neck.
“Aye,” said Lachlan, though it sounded more like a growl to his ears. Her warmth seeped into his upper body, and he squelched the urge to toss her up and resettle her closer to his chest.
She trembled slightly; her full, pink lips slowly turned up in a half-smile. A single drop of moisture clung to the corner of her mouth. It beckoned to him, dared him… Lachlan dipped his head and brushed his lips against her velvet ones, his breath catching at his own audacity. The rain swathed them, their damp clothes sticking to slick skin, diminishing the barrier of her cotton dress. Her chest rose and fell, pushing against his own.
Those liquid silver orbs blinked again as he raised his head and went wide with surprise, accentuating their dark outer ring of black. Then her feet kicked against his tight hold. His gaze traveled down her legs, long shapely limbs molded by her damp skirt, then back up to the bonniest face he’d seen in years. Carefully, Lachlan set her down, gripping her elbows to give her some support. She was slender but tall for a female, the crown of her head just at his eye level. He wouldn’t get a crick in his neck looking down at her. Aye, he’d like to spend more time… exploring that face.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
This is the first in the series of a new spicy Scottish Regency series. I have included my grandfather’s clan, the MacNaughtons.
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Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule, and barn cats. Obsessions include wine, history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas. Her Chicago Christmas series has received the Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and twice nominated as a Rone finalist by InD’tale Magazine.
Aubrey’s first love is medieval romance but after dipping her toe in the Regency period in 2018 with the Wicked Earls’ Club, she was smitten. This inspired her spin-off series Once Upon a Widow and the Scottish Regency series A MacNaughton Castle Romance with Dragonblade Novels.
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