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New Release | The Dangers of Loving a Rogue by @jeri_black #historicalromance #romance #bookboost
Title: The Dangers of Loving a Rogue
Author: Jeri Black
Genre: Romance - Historical
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
If not for deplorable timing, Celia Breckenridge might have avoided a pirate attack. She’s grateful for her rescuer, truly, however the stubborn man is sailing in the wrong direction! Most alarming still? The silver-eyed rogue is devilishly attractive and Celia must keep reminding herself she’s betrothed to another.
Jackson Beaumont had a plan: sail to the Caribbean; find a hidden cache of emeralds; return to society a wealthy man. Alas, he arrives in Charles Town with marauding pirates, a disgruntled heiress, and a hurricane at his heels. Rescuing the lady from pirates posed little challenge - allowing her to return to her betrothed is proving far more difficult.
But Jack won’t return to England without his fortune, and when it comes to another man’s bride, he’s not above a little plundering himself.
“You feared me when we first met.”
“You gave me good reason.”
“I?” Jack flattened a hand over his chest. “I risked my life for you.”
“Spare me the knight in shining armor drivel. My rescue was not your purpose—though a benefit, to be sure.”
“’Tis grossly unfair of you, madam. Do forgive me for arriving on a ship instead of a white charger—”
“A horse wouldn’t have you, sir.”
“—to rescue your pretty hide—”
“Then proceeded to accost me.”
“—and kissed you for your own protection.”
Scorn flashed in her eyes. He much preferred an angry Celia over a despondent one. This one was much more fun. “Protection? Bah. You stole the prize from under their noses and flaunted me before them.”
“Would you rather I had left you?”
“No.” ’Twas more of a reaction than a reply, rather like a grunt.
Fomenting her annoyance was unwise, but Jack could not resist. He touched her elbow and lowered his voice to a sultry rumble. “Shall I kiss you again? A kiss befitting a gallant knight?”
She snorted. “I should rather kiss your horse.”
He grinned. “He gave me leave to kiss you in his stead. Something about oats. Or a mare.” He shrugged. “I really don’t speak horse that well.”
Celia’s gaze met his and a wicked gleam entered her eyes. “’Tis understandable, as you speak ass so perfectly. Though the animals are of a similar species, I imagine the language is not at all the same. Rather like Spanish and Portuguese, wouldn’t you say?”
Jack barked out a laugh, and she smiled, so obviously pleased to have forced it out of him. Gauntlet indeed, but at least she no longer fretted over her damned family.
“Upon my honor, Celia, you could drown a man gushing such pretty compliments. I am wounded.” He attempted a soulful look but suspected a remnant twinkle of mirth still lingered in his eyes. “You should kiss me to make amends.”
This prompted an insulting laugh. “I shan’t be kissing you again, sir. My mother warned me of silver-tongued rogues and silver-eyed devils.”
“Which one am I?”
Jack liked her answer. Very much.
Her expression turned guarded. She looked pointedly at the hand still holding her arm. “Unhand me so I may trounce you at chess.”
Fie. She desired his company—as long as he kept his distance. He looked down at his hand on her arm, then back to her face. “I think you are afraid to kiss me again.”
“Don’t be silly.” She straightened her spine. “We’ve established you are not nearly as frightening as I once thought.”
“Yet you are afraid.” Her cowardly green eyes lowered, as if they longed to hide beneath her hems.
He touched his fingers to her chin and waited, patiently, until her gaze rose to his. “Perhaps you are afraid of yourself?”
She attempted a light laugh, but it sounded frantic. “Whatever can you mean, Jackson? Must I remind you that I am betrothed?”
“Ah yes, your Mr. Kensington. You wear the man like a chastity belt, did you know?”
A choked sound escaped her, and she tugged her arm free, cradling it as though he’d burned her. “This is utterly ridiculous, Jackson. What do you want of me?”
“He cannot make you feel,” Jack persisted, determined to force her to see the truth. “He will never give you what you crave. What a woman needs from a man.”
Angry color stained her cheeks. “How could you possibly know? I love him. I have loved him my entire life.”
“I loved my sister too.”
Her brows scrunched and she gave her head a shake. “What?”
“You speak fondly of the man, but never passionately. Never as a lover. You say you grew up together. He is your friend, yes?”
“Yeeeesss,” she reluctantly agreed, dragging the word out as if she feared handing it to him all at once.
“He is your brother, Celia. At least where your heart is concerned.”
“Of all the—” she sputtered and took a step back.
“Has he kissed you?” Jack pressed and snorted when her eyes skittered from his.
Her chin came up. “Of course, he has kissed me.”
“Like a brother?”
“How dare you, Jackson Beaumont. You make us sound so… so…” Words failed her. “He is my husband. Or shall be when I return.”
Anger roiled in Jack’s gut. He took a sharp breath, amazed when he didn’t exhale fire. Husband. He wanted to spit the vile word at her feet and stomp on it.
“You want me.”
“I do not,” she huffed.
“You desire me.”
“You are mad.”
“And you are a liar. In my room. On my bed. You wanted me. Where was your damned betrothed then? Did you think of Brett while you kissed me?”
She gasped, eyes dark with scorn and shooting sparks, body trembling with fury, and skin flushed with high color. Christ, she was beautiful when she was angry.
“You kissed me. You kissed me and you enjoyed every single moment. Do not dare say otherwise.”
Her mouth opened and closed, struck mute by his charge. She crossed her arms at her waist and clutched her elbows, closing herself off.
Jack leaned forward and raised his brows. Her chin came up. The toe began tapping again, drumming her fury into the carpet. He sighed. This was not precisely what he’d planned. Hell, he hadn’t a bleeding plan.
He pulled her to him, trapping her arms at her sides. She held herself rigid, like a damned mast, and refused to meet his gaze. He whispered in her ear, “I can prove my claims, you know.”
Curiosity got the better of her. “How?”
“Close your eyes.”
Her look told Jack he was daft.
“For pity’s sake, Celia. Close your damned eyes.” She did as he asked, and Jack felt like he’d won a major skirmish.
Pirates had nothing over women when it came to battle.
A love of history and happily-ever-afters lured Jeri Black from reading historical romances to writing her own. She earned a B.A. in Finance after working several years as a bartender. Spending countless nights with a variety of humanity has given her a unique perspective on the attitudes and exploits between the opposite sexes. Her lively, witty characters are a result. Jeri writes historical and contemporary romance and is a 2017 Golden Heart Finalist. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her husband and forty-year-old box turtle rescue named Klide—who likes strawberries, chasing bunny rabbits, and chewing on her shoes.
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