Title: His Irish Eve
Author: Regina Jeffers
Genre: Regency Romance; Historical Fiction
When the Earl of Greenwall demands his only son, ADAM LAWRENCE, Lord Stafford, retrieve the viscount’s by-blow, everything in Lawrence’s life changes. Six years prior, Stafford released his mistress, Cathleen Donnell, from his protection; now, he discovers from Greenwall that Cathleen was with child when she returned to her family. Stafford arrives in Cheshire to discover not only the son of which Greenwall spoke, but also two daughters, as well as a strong-willed woman, in the form of AOIFE KENNICE, who fascinates Stafford from the moment of their first encounter.
Set against the backdrop of the early radicalism of the Industrial Revolution and the Peterloo Massacre, a battle begins: A fight Lawrence must win: a fight for a woman worth knowing, his Irish Eve.
With the rain having washed away much of the dirt that once covered her eyes, Aoife now fully saw the man. His wide shoulders tapered to a flat stomach—a muscular back supporting his frame and strong arms and thighs, which bunched as the stranger lifted his weight into the saddle, and for a moment she wondered how it would be to know such a man, a man of strength. Deep in thought of masculine arms, it took several heartbeats before the stranger’s words penetrated Aoife’s conscious mind. When she looked up to see his outstretched hand, she backed from him. “I cannot, sir,” she pleaded for his understanding. “We know not each other. Moreover, I am covered in mud. It would ruin your fine clothes.”
The absurdity of her contention amused him, and the gentleman offered his best seductive smile. “I am Adam Lawrence. If you provide me your name, we will know each other, and as far as my clothes, my valet will wish to burn these when he sees them.”
Aoife found herself staring into steel-gray eyes, mesmerizing orbs beneath dark brows. As handsome as the devil, she thought. Just looking at him sent her heart pounding uncontrollably in her chest. “You are…you are Lord Stafford?” she stammered.
A crooked smile indicated the man’s appreciation, but he retracted his outstretched hand. He chuckled as he stared down at her. “I realize I hold somewhat of a reputation, but I did not think my fame spread to Cheshire.” He leaned down, crossing his arms over the saddle uprise. “However, I will learn more of this vicious gossip later; for now, I wish to be from the rain, and I wish to tend my ankle. However, as a peer and a gentleman, I cannot leave you to tramp through this prank of nature.” The man gestured to the stream of mud flowing down the road’s center. “You will come with me, my unknown lady of the sludge; my gentleman’s consequence requires I see you safely to your residence.” Again, Lord Stafford pointedly offered Aoife his hand.
“I thought you said your reputation already poor, sir?” she challenged. “I would not wish to contribute to your societal renown.” Aoife watched as his eyes narrowed in disapproval.
“Miss Sludge, you will ride with me of your own free will, or I will take you up without your permission,” the viscount snapped.
Aoife’s chin rose in defiance. “A threat lacks a choice, sir.”
Noticeably frustrated with the dampness seeping into his bones and with the logic Aoife threw back at him, the viscount edged the horse forward and caught her upper arm. With a gargantuan effort, he lifted her first beside the horse where he took a better hold, and then Lord Stafford jerked her to his lap, sitting Aoife decidedly before him before touching the horse’s flanks with his heels.
“That is better.” The man caught her around the waist and sat her upon his right thigh. “Now tell me your name, Miss Sludge, or would you prefer my endearments.” Lord Stafford whispered close to Aoife’s ear, permitting his lips to brush across her lobe.
She sputtered from the viscount’s forwardness, but she managed to sit tall, very prim and proper before answering, “Aoife Kennice,” she said waspishly.
Apparently amused by his own consequence, the future earl only half listened. “Pardon me,” he said huskily. With his forefinger, he turned her chin in his direction.
“Did the mud affect your hearing, my lord?” Aoife answered with a smirk. “My name is spelled A-O-I-F-E. It is Irish for ‘Eve’ or for ‘Life.’ It is pronounced ‘Ee-Fa.’ My surname is Kennice, which means ‘Beautiful.’”
The viscount’s smile broke his mouth’s line, and Aoife thought if he smiled at every woman as such, he must possess a sheik’s harem. “Beautiful life. I like that much better than Miss Sludge.” Lord Stafford pulled her closer, where her left shoulder lined his chest’s muscular wall and her hips rested above his manhood. “I am Adam, and you may be my Irish Eve.” His breath caressed Aoife’s nape.
She blushed at his forwardness and her lack of action. It was not like her to avoid a fight, but somehow she liked the feel of his arm about her waist. Aoife had never known a man of such confidence. It was exhilarating, even though, panic became her new best friend.
“I shall not indulge your fantasies, my lord,” she said testily in an attempt to hide her obvious response to him.
The viscount chuckled lightly. Lord Stafford was as pompous as they came.“Tell me where I may leave you, love. Where do you call home?”
Aoife attempted to move away from him, but Lord Stafford clasped her tighter. “First, Lord Stafford, I am not your love,” Aoife insisted. She turned her head, and her face was within inches of his lips, and she swallowed hard. In a last breath of sanity, she protested. “And where I live…where I live,” she stumbled over her words, “is with your offspring. When you leave me at my door,”she concentrated on the dimple in his chin. “I assume you shall call upon those you sired!”
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
If the reader adores the idea that a good woman can set the steps of a renowned rake on the road to happiness, this story is for her. Adam Lawrence has appeared in twelve of my novels, sometimes as a minor character driving the action and sometimes in a “walk through” nature. It was time he received his own story. Moreover, the Peterloo Massacre is an important piece of British history that should not be neglected.
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Regina Jeffers, an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency-era romances, has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeffers writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem, while mastering tension in her own life with a bit of gardening and the exuberance of her “grand joys.”
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Every Woman Dreams: https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com
Austen Authors: http://austenauthors.net
You Tube Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzgjdUigkkU