- N. N. Light
The Earl’s Error by @kathylwheeler is a Love and Romance Festival pick #Regency #romanticsuspense
Title: The Earl’s Error – Rebel Lords of London
Author: Kathy L Wheeler
Genre: Regency Historical Romantic Suspense
Lorelei Grey, the countess of Kimpton, can’t trust her husband. Not only did he exile her brother from England without a word to her, but she’s since learned he fathered his ex-mistress’s unborn child.
Thorne Grey, the Earl of Kimpton, wants his wife, craves his wife. When she threatens to leave, he panics and offers to pay her to stay with him. He’s bought himself two weeks and prays it’s enough time to find her missing brother and prove he’s not the scoundrel she believes.
Neither is able to ignore the explosive passion between them, but in their search for her brother, they encounter a threat that could not only destroy their relationship, but their very lives.
Each step up Lorelei took, Thorne’s chest tightened, restricting his ability to breathe. He looked about for something, anything to seize her attention. But, of course, the entry way was immaculate. The tall Ming vase overfilled with Cymbidium orchids framed in a leafy presentation that stood on the hall table offered nothing viable. They were Lorelei’s pride and joy. The mirror was so shiny, the candles from the chandelier could blind one. Neither a streak nor speck of dust marred the floor. The only items remotely out of place were his cloak and hat slung over a nearby skinny highback chair.
Another soft scuff of her slippers and still she hadn’t looked back. Not a strand of her perfect blonde coiffure escaped its place. The myriad times he’d pushed impatient hands through her silken locks to send the hairpins flying stabbed through him. He couldn’t lose her. “Lorelei, stay.” His voice cracked, hoarse, sounding nothing like the confident man he’d grown into despite his father, who had tried at every turn to smash him.
She stilled. “You sent my brother away. He’s an artist, not a f-fighter. He could be killed.” The softness of her voice pierced him with the sharpness of a blade. She held her head high, one slipper-shod foot four steps from the top. She shook her head, hard enough that one of the pins slipped and let loose a rogue curl. “And now, another woman?” She broke off on a choked cry, darting up the remaining stairs.
Sent her brother away? “Darling, wait.”
“I shan’t forgive you for that. Ever.”
“Dammit, Lorelei. Don’t. Don’t run from me.” He took the stairs two at a time. Reached the top as she turned down the hall of the wing where their chambers nestled side by side. He should never have allowed her a separate room. At the end of hall, her hand twisted the knob on her door. “I’ll pay you,” he blurted. She stopped but didn’t turn. “One thousand pounds if... if you can manage a fortnight. Just until—” Until what?
The tightness in his gut registered as fear. Fear he’d never gain ground. But he had the advantage. Lorelei had nothing. She’d had no dowry. He didn’t need or want one. She’d be destitute without him. He’d saved her useless brother from debtor’s prison. But now, her brother had stooped to a new low. Abandoning not only his sister, but a child as well. So what if the mother was one of the most sought-after courtesans in London? Lorelei would never care about such a detail, though most of the beau monde would turn her away if they knew she felt that way.
Blast. The short, cruel thing would be to enlighten her. Take her by the shoulders and shake her until she heard the truth. Make her realize that he hadn’t put her brother on board a ship, show her that her precious Brandon was acting as an irresponsible cad, running from his responsibilities of a mistake—a mistake most men of their standing took pains to buy their way out of. Hell, the man was more a noose around one’s neck. Had been since Thorne and Lorelei’s wedding.
Lorelei’s body stiffened, and he swallowed the words. Thorne could never hurt her so callously. She turned, pierced him with flinty blue eyes. The world revolved to a stop, and perspiration gathered at the nape of his neck. He inhaled through his nose, letting out a slow stream through pursed lips.
“Per week,” she said. His wife’s tone, usually warm and full of husky mischief, radiated cold gray steel.
“A thousand pounds. Per week. For two weeks I shall stay. And I want half now.” Her crystallized pitch would have made Medusa proud. Curiosity driving him, Thorne looked her in the eye, certain he would turn to stone, while bitter irony held him in a firm grip.
Two weeks. Could he find that no-good brother of hers in that amount of time? Force him to acknowledge his responsibility? Thorne had his doubts, but he would accept her offer. Give her half now, and pray it was enough to keep her from leaving before he located Harlowe.
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What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?
The autonomy, independence, creativity. 😊
Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:
Be kind, but unpredictable. Above all, be yourself.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs February 1 – 28, 2023.
Drawing will be held on March 1, 2023.
Kathy L Wheeler loves the NFL, the NBA, musical theater (don’t ask how her how many times she’s seen Phantom of the Opera (13); or Wicked (7), travel, (Europe, Grand Cayman, Mexico, All over the US), reading (practically a book a night), writing (35 published books and counting) and karaoke (well… what can I say). She assists other authors in critiquing, formatting, and creating covers for their publishing dreams. She is a mentor in RWA’s Pen2Paper program and currently serves as Ethics Director on the Regency Fiction Writers Board.
She writes contemporary and historical stories where the heroines save themselves and the heroes who honor their courage with suspense and humor.
She is thriving in the Pacific Northwest with her musically talented, lawyer husband and her adorable dog Angel who lives up to her name (…mostly).
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