Title The Trouble with Tigers
Author Kimberly Keyes
Genre Historical Romance
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
The best laid plans…
The unexpected homecoming of Lord Zeke Thurgood, grandson and heir to the Earl of Claybourne, casts Lady Kitty Hasting’s brilliant plan to hide as the earl’s boy servant into utter chaos.
Magnificent, maddening Zeke.
Kitty’s best efforts to act the model servant can’t stop the man’s faultfinding.
Zeke can’t put his finger on what about the lad irks him—until his grousing leads her nemesis-guardian straight to their door, and he witnesses Kitty’s unveiling. Then the earl announces Zeke and Kitty’s fake engagement, and his shock is complete.
Faking an engagement is a slippery slope…
Emphasis on fake. Zeke’s plans don’t include staying in England, much less marriage, and Kitty refuses to marry a man who does not like her, much less love her.
When a new and unforeseen danger threatens to take Kitty from him forever, however, Zeke can no longer deny the truth: Kitty’s irresistible mix of courage, determination, and charm make her his perfect match. With the clock ticking, he’ll convince her he’s the only man for her, or lose the best thing that ever happened to him.
In stocking-covered feet she skulked toward his chamber. What if he is there and spots you peeping? She paused and nibbled her thumb some more. She would say she was on her way to the kitchen. She started forward again. In your socks? She shushed her irritating pragmatist.
Hovering outside the threshold, a giddy sense of danger quickened her pulse and her palms went instantly clammy. She wiped them on her trousers and hinged forward from the hips, inch by slow inch, until she could just see into Zeke’s antechamber—and came nose to nose with one of the upper room chambermaids.
She jerked upright, hand over her hammering heart. “Oh, Danni, you gave me a fright,” she said in a rush.
“I could say the same to you. What’re you about here, Kit? D’ya need somethin’?”
“I...ah...thought I heard Lord Thurgood, and wanted to have a word. Ah, well, cheerio.” She backed away.
“A word about what?” came the haughty demand from the top of the stairs.
She froze in her tracks, her mouth going suddenly dry. Now? Now he decided to put in an appearance?
Her skin prickled with an odd combination of cold dread and hot anticipation as Zeke closed the distance between them. A lion stalking his prey.
A magnificent, debauched lion. His shirt collar was unfastened, no cravat in sight. His waistcoat hung open to his waist, and his jacket was slung over his shoulder.
Intoxicating heat rushed through her veins, leaving her shaky and breathless and wanting something she couldn’t quite name.
His footsteps thumped to a halt directly in front of her. Up close, she noted the golden stubble on his cheeks. Hadn’t bothered with a shave, eh? And judging by his unkempt locks, he hadn’t employed a comb since rolling out of bed, either. She wouldn’t have imagined a head of hair could get that mussed in sleep, unless—her heart seized as the truth struck. A woman’s fingers had been weaving in all that gold silk.
She could just scream. Her narrowed gaze met his bloodshot, predator’s eyes.
“Well?” he demanded. “I’m waiting.”
“I wondered if you were, perhaps, ill, my lord, since you were absent at both breakfast and lunch, and now that I’ve gotten a good look at you—” She broke off to blow air out of her cheeks in dramatic fashion. “I see I had reason to worry. You clearly haven’t been sleeping well.”
A flicker of amusement lit his eyes. “Kit, I’m touched.”
Her cheeks flooded with heat. “My concern is solely for the earl’s sake. He expressed concern.”
Zeke inched closer until he loomed over Kit. “Indeed? Where is Claybourne now?”
Alarm spiked through her. Would Zeke actually go and ask the earl about his supposed concern? She knew it to be true, of course. The earl was worried about his grandson. He just hadn’t said it in so many words. “He’s having his afternoon nap, so you ought not bother him.”
Zeke surprised her with a grin. “Excellent. In that case, you’re free to help me.”
“Help you?” Kitty squeaked.
“I need help undressing. This way I don’t have to send for my valet.” With that, he sauntered into his sitting room, leaving Kitty frozen in place. He disappeared through the adjoining door into his bedchamber. A moment later, his tousled head reappeared from the darkened room. “Kit. Why are you dawdling in the hall? I haven’t got all day. Move your arse.”
Kitty stiffened at his tone. Then it hit her. She was about to enter his lair. And strip him out of his clothes. She shouldn’t. She couldn’t. But how could she refuse?
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Kimberly Keyes’ passion for romance writing began after her mom brought home a box filled with paperback romance novels. Always an avid reader, she quickly devoured each and every book. She found herself not only reading the stories, but the “About the Author” blurbs tucked inside the back covers. She felt a kinship with the authors and knew in her heart she’d found her calling.
After earning a Master’s degree in History, Kimberly combined her love of all things Victorian with the plots and characters living inside her head and forged her career as a historical romance author. She soon added contemporary romance to the mix. The result? Award winning romance novels featuring magnetic characters, unpredictable storylines, and scintillating scenes that keep her readers turning pages.
Kimberly spends most days researching, writing, and dreaming up new ways to perplex her characters. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida, with her faithful puppy, Papillon, a twenty-pound stray rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico. Her beloved Frank, another cuddly rescue, passed away several years ago, but his legacy lives on as the president (and founding member!) of the “Black Dog Club.” Frank frequently makes guest appearances in Kimberly Keyes’ stories.
Kimberly claims writing romance is living the dream. It’s a gift to find the one thing you’re meant to do—a gift she never takes for granted.
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