#RedHotSizzle Promo & Giveaway ~RED HOT SIZZLE~Excerpts

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Chloe by
Lacey Silks ~ Axel Wagner saved me in more than one way, and then I ruined it
by letting him touch me. He’s no longer just an employer–he’s my

Dream On by
Blair Babylon ~ A new story about Alexandre and Georgie, the Duke and Duchess
of Valentinois, and other rock stars. 

Bumpy Ride by
Olivia Rigal ~ You’d think I’d know better. Better than to fall for a biker,
and one from a different MC. Better than to get knocked up by a Nomad who
vanished without a trace. Better than to try and hide it from my family. 

Banshee by
Sarah M. Cradit ~ I was eighteen when I died. But then, at eighteen, I was

Picked by the Billionaire by
Daizie Draper ~ The fiery rebound-sex arrangement a dumped and already broken
florist dives into with a tech mogul puts her heart in peril again. 

Two Much for You by
Sky Corgan ~ Two hot men just moved in across the street. I never thought they
would show up on my doorstep. And what they want is far from

Two Wingmen and a Baby by
Daisy Prescott ~ Hold onto your ovaries because this short features John, Tom
Cat, and sweet Baby Day. Surely two alpha men can take care of one baby,

Witch In the Window (Bend-Bite-Shift
Next Gen-1 by ~ Olivia Hardin ~ As if college finals aren’t bad enough,
Chelsea’s witch radar tells her the delivery man who frequents her front door
is more than he seems to be. 

Right: A Hitman Romance by V.
J. Chambers ~ Giovanni Gallo meant to kill Sable Clarke, not fall for her. What
seems wrong actually turns out to be something so right. 

Tutoring the Wolf by
Jacqueline Sweet & Devon March ~ When she’s forced to tutor to a bad boy
shifter, Cassie has no idea how much she’ll learn about herself, or how much
fun she’ll have doing it. 

Yours by
Kim Linwood ~ Bianca met the man of her dreams in paradise, but their real
lives are an ocean apart. Can he convince her that their love is worth the risk
after the fairy tale ends? 

Blooming Hearts by
Felicia Tatum ~ First love blooms as Francesca and Cade slowly begin their
descent into the depths of true love. 

Taking Charge
Shannon Macallan ~ Miranda expects Charleston to be hot, humid and boring as
hell. What she finds instead is an entirely different heat with a cadet from a
South Carolina military academy. 

Chasing Shadows by
Sophia Barron ~ When Delilah’s witchy ways threaten to pierce Joe’s shadows;
the jaguar shifter must choose between darkness and light for eternity. Will
bonds of love save their world or destroy it?

Here are a few excerpts

Two Much for You

Sky Corgan


What am I doing? This is exactly what I said I
wouldn’t do. It’s too late now though. My hormones bowled me over the second I
stepped out of the bathroom and saw Gareth standing there shirtless. He looked
like something from my own personal fantasy collection. Maybe because he is.
I’ve pleasured myself to thoughts of being with him—thoughts of being with both
of them—before. Now the alcohol has gone straight to my vagina, melting me into
a puddle of wanton desire.

Maybe I could have held my
resolve if I hadn’t touched him. But the second that I felt the wall of hard
muscle beneath the towel… that was the end of me. Or was it when Devlin took
the towel away? Or maybe it was the way that Gareth looked at me. His expression
was so earnest, so full of adoration. I don’t think it matters anymore. When he
kissed me, it was over. And now I’m lost in his lips. In the feel of his hands
on my body. In the headiness of his cologne.
In knowing that Devlin is
standing only a few feet away and I’m going to get to kiss him too. This is so
wrong, but I can’t stop it. Even if they’re just playing me and I end up
emotionally destroyed afterward, I want to feel this—want to know what it’s
like to be with two beautiful men at the same time.
Can I even handle both of
them at once? I guess I’m about to find out. Gareth’s mouth is hot against
mine. He’s holding me like he doesn’t want to let me go—like he doesn’t want to
share. I slide a hand around the back of his neck, my fingertips gliding into
the hair at his nape while I stand on tiptoe to deepen the kiss. He tastes like
wine and trouble.
I don’t care anymore though.
I want trouble. Double trouble.
Picked by the
Daizie Draper
Colton blinked slowly and crimped the corners of his eyes
with his fingers like the emotional pain hurt his head. After a few deep
breaths, he released his face and clutched my bare knee instead. Unexpectedly,
he stayed there and scratched at it, as if he could feel tendrils of fire and
sparks the same way I did and relished the sensation. “So, sweet Carys … tell
me about the very first article you wrote.”
I shook my head, baffled. “What?”
“I wanna know when you got bitten, got that first prick
of inspiration.”
“Why? That’s weird and random, especially right now.”
“I just do. Tell me.” He was still scratching my knee,
but his touch shifted slightly beyond the bend of it up under the ruffled hem
of my dress skirt.
I cleared my throat and shivered. I glanced down but the
red table cloth was billowed out over part of my leg, so I couldn’t see the
bulge of his hand moving up under the edge of baby blue ruffles. He traveled
more adventurously up and down my quivering thigh. I licked, then bit my lip.
“Why, uh, why do you want to know?”
“I only brought champagne and don’t think that’ll be
enough to numb me. I want to think about anything else besides this
heart-wrenching debacle, and learning more about you, to feed my ever-growing
curiosity, will assist me in that. Help me, please. Keep me from drowning. Tell
His stroke sliding up and down my thigh was driving me
mad and stirring up tingles. “Okay. Well, um, my first, my first, huh, writing
gig, was an assignment for the college paper. I started as a special interest
writer. I interviewed the Biology Club, which I actually ended up joining
because of all the outdoorsy things and expeditions they took part in, and I
never even knew. Neither did most people. My article got them thirty-one new
members. That was exciting.”
“Sounds great. Go on.” He reached under the tablecloth
with his other hand too and lifted my leg and extended it across his lap.
A gasp of surprise jiggled my upper body and breasts,
which he noticed.
He slowly lifted his gaze and studied my face. “In case
you can’t tell, I’m a leg guy. And an ass guy. And throat, God, the throat.
Mmm, and you have a trifecta of deliciousness, beautiful girl.” With my leg on
his thighs, he said, “Hold on,” and sent a couple of texts, but I couldn’t tell
what he was writing. He set his phone down on the table when he was finished
and resumed his gentle escapade. With both hands, he massaged my foot and
traced the slim line of my leg with a wavy, swirling caress that stopped at
mid-thigh. “Okay. Continue. This truly is fascinating me, and helping.” His
unexpected touch was making me tremble and swoon.
My inhale stuttered on the rocky journey to my lungs.
“Mmm. It wasn’t … it wasn’t until I earned my own weekly column and also
started writing about deep topics for random articles. That’s when I first got,
um, bitten by inspiration and drive. I was intending on editing with my degree,
but I knew my true calling was in the stringing together of words not
correcting or sharpening them.”
“Mmm, that’s because you’re a creative soul, an artist at
heart, with a love of depth, beauty and perfection.”
“Yes, I am.” Had Max ever said anything remotely like
that? Has he ever seen that? I couldn’t recall. And that bummed me out. How is
it that this guy knows me better? It feels like we’ve known each other for ages
rather than days. A soft flute sounded in the distance. I gasped and looked
over my shoulder in that direction. “What are you doing? You told them to go?”
“I did. Why should we waste this moment?”
“But…you’re not proposing.” I shook my head.
More instruments blended in and started edging closer, filling the night sky with “Arms” by Christina Perri, but it didn’t sound as cool without her lilting voice.


“No, I’m not. I’m living, hard, so I’m not crushed by anguish. Remember what I said was the
key to overcoming a funk. You just have to plow through and live life to the
fullest, even when you don’t feel like it. I have to thrive and feel something
else, something so much better. Something … like this.” He went deeper up my
skirt, so deep, he was hooking his finger into my bikini string and now
scratching at my hipbone.

Blooming Hearts
Felicia Tatum
My nose was stuck in my
current romance novel. I followed along as the girl fell in love with her best
friend (the bad boy), wishing life was really that way.
I didn’t even notice when he
walked by me on the sidewalk. Or when he stopped a few yards from me, and came
back in my direction to take a seat beside me.
“Hey. Do you want a cracker?”
a velvet voice asked me.
I didn’t look up, I wasn’t
sure if he was even talking to me. Why would an attractive senior be talking to
“Hey, I’m talking to you,”
he said, a chuckle in his voice.
I slowly lifted my head,
peering at him from under my long lashes. His dark brown hair swept across his
forehead, and his deep blue eyes made me gasp. He wore the ultimate laid back
style, a white t-shirt and jeans. All he needed was a black leather jacket, and
he would be the bad boy from my book. The smile on his face was breathtaking,
and I found myself unable to speak.
“Hi, I’m Cade,” he said, a huge
grin on his handsome face. He sat beside me.
“Hi, I’m Francesca.”
“Why are you always sitting
here alone, Francesca?” he asked, placing his hand on my knee.
Shivers went up my spine
while butterflies flew rampant in my stomach.
A hot senior guy had his hand on my knee. My eyes looked at it,
wondering what was happening. Was the world ending? Was this a prank? Did he
mean to do that?
“I like to read,” I stated
lamely. God, I sounded stupid.
Laughing, he replied, “I can
see that. You didn’t hear me ask if you wanted a cracker.” He held out a pack
of peanut butter and cheese crackers. I always thought they were disgusting,
but I considered taking one in that moment.
“No, thanks,” I said,
shaking my head. I gave him a warm smile.
“Ok,” he said. Before he could
say more, my bus pulled up. Right on time, of all days.
“That’s my bus,” I told him.
“Ok,” he said, finally
lifting his hand from my leg. “Do you mind if I come back sometime?” he asked,
a twinkle in his eyes. Standing, he held a hand out to assist me.
“Not at all,” I said, giving
him a genuine smile. He seemed nice. New friends weren’t a bad thing. Why was
his hand so warm? Was my palm supposed to be tingling?
He walked me to the bus.
“Ok, good. Maybe I’ll see you around school sometime. You should say hi.” He
sauntered off, looking back long enough to wave.

Witch in the Window
Olivia Hardin

“You’ll need to sign for it.” He set the box on the rail beside the door, then
made a move to take the book from her hand.
“Don’t touch me.” Chelsea
backed up into the door frame. She slammed the textbook closed, mentally
cursing herself for not thinking to mark her place, then reached into the house
and placed it on the table to the left of the door.
The delivery man smirked at
her as he pulled an electronic device from his back pocket and scanned the box,
then handed her the pen so that she could write onto the pad. She managed to
get that chore done without allowing her skin to make contact with his. He
smiled and shook his head in amusement when she handed the scanner back to him.
“I wish you’d get another
route,” she told him as she took the box.
“Little witch, if that’s
what you wish, you could just stop sending packages to yourself.”
Her face flamed in
mortification and she cut her gaze up to the perch where two of her roommates
were hiding, watching their secret obsession from above. With narrowed eyes,
she turned back to him and snarled low, “You think you know so much. But I know
what you are.”
He tilted his head to the
side. “You don’t know so much.” He reached out his hand, scissoring a lock of
her blond hair between two fingers.
Chelsea wanted to stop him.
She wanted to pull away and
run back into the safety of the house.
She wanted to slap his hand
But she couldn’t do any of
those. She stood frozen, mesmerized by the dark appreciation in his eyes as he
examined her hair.
“Your walls are strong,” he
murmured, his palm so close to her cheek that she could feel the heat of his
skin. “Why are you afraid of me?”
Chelsea swallowed, unable to
clear the lump developing in her throat. “I’m not afraid. I’m cautious. I don’t
associate with demons.”
He laughed, then pursed his
lips as he stared into her, “You really don’t know much, do you?”
Her tongue darted out to wet
her lips, and she turned her head towards his hand, closing her eyes when he
cupped her cheek. A rush of excitement sped from her fingertips along her arms
and settled in her chest as she sucked in a breath of air.
“Please stop,” she begged
His thumb caressed her cheek
along her eye socket. With her eyes still shut, she felt his lips brush across
hers. And suddenly his touch was gone, and she snapped her lids open wide. He
was walking away from her, a confident swagger to his steps.
She didn’t even know his
“I’m called Rinu.”

Lacey Silks

“Don’t do it,” someone whispered from behind me.
That alone made me want to take a step forward, but the
soothing voice stilled my whole body.
“Come on. Life can’t be that bad, can it?” he asked.
I looked to the side, where a handsome man in a white
shirt was leaning over the railing, looking down instead of at me. Scratch that
– handsome was a definite understatement of his perfectly chiseled jaw line,
broad muscular shoulders, and shoulder-length hair tied into a bun. Not the
man-bun type right on top of the head, but one tied a bit lower, ponytail
style, with the perfect tease all around to give his curls a puffier look.
“Are you trying to get me to talk?”
“Obviously it’s working,” he smirked, finally meeting my
gaze. Those eyes were so captivating that I wondered if he’d been sent here by
my guardian angel to save me.
“So, you’re the smart-ass type?”
“I’d say it takes one to know one, but I don’t want to
anger you. Come on, beautiful, take my hand.” He reached out.
Why did he call me beautiful? I fell for it before, and I
wasn’t about to fall for it again. I shook my head and tiptoed further away.
Fear flashed across his face before the composed look of
I can handle anything the world throws at me returned. “You won’t jump,” he
“This isn’t Titanic. And you’re not Jack. Even if you
were, I hate the name Jack, so there.”
That was true. Although Jack had been the instigator of
my troubles, they were now fueled by someone much more dangerous. It was a
wonder how much trouble a girl could get into in less than a month away from
“Ok, well, do me a favor, then. Let me at least call your
parents to tell them their daughter is a pancake.”
“I don’t have any family, and eeww, that’s gross.”
“What? You think once you hit that pavement your pretty
face will remain that way? No way, honey. Every bone in your body will break.
Did you know there are two hundred and six bones in a human body? And the tiny
ones, like your fingers and toes, hurt like a bitch. Trust me, I know.”
He cracked his knuckles as he reached out his hand, and
though I looked for a crooked finger, I couldn’t find one. Instead, I couldn’t
help but stare at the fine lines of his digits, their length and strength.
“And yeah, you may say that it will last only a second.
But heck, I wouldn’t want to experience the last second of my life as the most
painful one. I’d rather get a heart attack from fucking too hard.”
Chasing Shadows
Sophia Barron

Odd, that the brujo would be worried over such a small use of magic. Unless, he
wanted the job, and was offended he hadn’t been asked. Delilah hadn’t figured
out precisely how Joe tied into so much of the shifter community, but this was
a theory she could test. “Have you tried to hire anyone else?”
“Nope.” Faith’s answer was simple, but Delilah caught the
girl’s eyes following her gaze.
Joe flushed under the Faith’s calm regard, and shifted
his weight back and forth as the moment, and the silence, stretched almost to
the breaking point.
Finally, Delilah broke the tension. “Why not? I bet Joe
knows some pretty neat spells that could do what you’re asking.” She couldn’t
help but grin at Joe’s obvious discomfort.
Faith shrugged, and her chin dropped. Delilah could
practically see the thoughts spinning in the girl’s head. She didn’t miss the
furtive glare the girl sent toward Joe, either. Interesting, indeed.
Delilah cleared her throat, and deliberately bumped the
candy jar. That was enough to drag an answer out of Faith.
“His magic’s too dark, and too old. Besides, he’s always
grumpy, and this is supposed to be a party.” The kid drew out the word party in
the most amusing way. Still, something about that simple, direct answer had
Del’s nerves on edge.
She’d been leery of Joe for a while. But Del surely wouldn’t
call him old old. The man had a long way to go to hit gray hair and rocking
chair days. He couldn’t be much more than a few years older than Del so why was
Faith worried about his magic being too old? It might be time to do a little
investigating into the man’s past. Later.
“Alright, I’ll consider it. What will my payment be?” Del
kept her whole attention focused on the little girl, determined to give this
bargain the weight it deserved. The child was young, but great power deserved
“I thought maybe I could help you with your wards.” Faith
stared at the tapestry behind Del, and goose bumps danced up Del’s arms. She
hated to turn down the kid’s payment; but that was too much to ask of such a
young child. Even though Del knew in her heart their magic would intertwine
perfectly, if those wards ever back-lashed—she couldn’t put the kid in the line
of fire.
“Honey, I appreciate the offer, but—”
A quiet cough interrupted her. “It’s too much for the
simple spells she,” Joe nodded toward Del, then crouched in front of Faith and
continued, “will need to make your party perfect.”
“Brujo, I don’t want your dark magic.” Faith’s young
voice went chill in a heartbeat. Delilah could feel the child’s magic starting
to pool. Shit.
“I know, dulcissime puer” Joe said. He rocked back on his
heels, kept his voice soft and unthreatening. “I wasn’t offering. When you
bargain with spells, you must trade like for like or reap the consequences.”
His words faded to a near-whisper as he finished his explanation.
Joe stayed crouched, calm and cool despite the looming
weight of gathering power poised to hammer him and the entire shop to bits.
Brave man, or stupid man? Heart racing, Del shoved the question aside in favor
of readying a grounding spell. Just in case. As she prepped, she took a moment
to really look at Joe. Dark hair, broad shoulders, killer ass. And apparently
patience for days.
Taking Charge
Shannon Macallan

My pulse is racing.  I’ve just asked her
out.  She hasn’t said yes yet, but she
also didn’t just immediately say no.  Did
I wake up in bizzaro world this morning?
The single-breasted uniform jacket is suddenly warm; my necktie too
constricting.  I can’t catch my breath.
“Well, if you’d like to explore Charleston at all, I’ve
got a car.”  Her eyes light up with
interest.  “Well, it’s transportation, at
least.  Reliable transportation.  Mostly.”
In other company I wouldn’t have any reason to be embarrassed by the
truck, but Miranda McGuire didn’t grow up riding around in that sort of
“So, dinner and you’ll show me around town?”
“If you’d be interested, yes.  I’d, ah, I’d be happy to.”  I’m starting to have second thoughts about
this.  What if she says no?  Fuck that, what if she says yes?  If she says no, I know how to handle that
situation.  I just write it off as
experience and try again with someone else.
I’ve just asked out the daughter of one of the ten richest men in
America.  What the hell am I supposed to
do if she says yes? 
“Then I’d love to take you up on it.”  Miranda sets down the cup of coffee she’d
poured for Eldridge and digs around in a small leather bag.  “Ah hah!
Here we go.”  She’s doing
something at the counter, but with her back to me I can’t tell what.  No, she’s writing something.  She’s bent slightly at the waist, and oh damn.  There’s a long, slow curve down her back,
down to where her waist pinches in, and then flaring outward again where her
skirt is stretched tight over an absolutely perfect- Down, boy!  Stop staring at that beautiful ass!
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Stop the clock.  What did she just
“You just said…” My voice trails off.  I know I sound like an idiot, but I simply
cannot believe that this girl, this beautiful and intelligent girl, and oh by
the way rich, may have just said yes to me.
“Yes, Jack,” she says, her voice warm.  “I’d love to have dinner with you tonight,
and I’d love it if you showed me around your city.”  My eyes are wide with shock, and I’m
absolutely sure I’m turning red.  She
presses something into my hand, closing my fingers around it with both of
hers.  It’s a business card, with a
hand-written phone number on the back.
“Give me an hour or so after we finish in the conference room today,
then call me.  We’ve got to get back in
there, though.  Uncle Gerry will be
wondering where his coffee is, and he’ll be lost without me feeding him
Her heels are clicking down the hallway before I release
a breath I didn’t know I was holding.  I
already miss the warmth of her hands wrapped around mine.  Where am I going to take her tonight?  What the hell have I gotten myself into?


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What Is It About a Virgin?


When I revealed the title of my second book to one of my writing buddies, she wrote back:  “Nice.  Are virgins like the new dukes?”  Apparently I’m not the only one name-checking virgins these days.  She’d seen it on several other books, not unlike the proliferation of “dukes” of the last couple of years.


So, what gives?  What is it about a virgin?


Before I go any further, let me acknowledge that not everyone loves a virginal heroine.  In fact, some readers can’t abide them.  Certainly, virgins-as-heroines are not as thick on the ground as they were back in the day, when I read my first romance in the late 1980s.  In today’s contemporary romance, I’d venture to say that virgins are virtually nonexistent.


VirginandtheViscountCOVERBut my editor loved the title, The Virgin and the Viscount as soon as I suggested it, and as my friend said, I’m not the only author brandishing the big “V.”  So perhaps this means that there are still a few of us virgin enthusiasts out there.  Hey, I’ll admit, straight up, that one of my favorite romance tropes is a hero who believes a heroine is not a virgin, only to discover, after he deflowers her, that she is (or was).  It’s out-dated and mysoginistic, and even I had to tone down some version of this trope (spoiler alert #1) to make my 1811-set Historical match modern sensibilities (although the resulting scene is still pretty devastating, if I do say so myself).


Regardless of who knows who’s a virgin, I still consider an innocent heroine—so long as she’s full of spunk and enthusiasm and healthy curiosity—to be playful and fun and totally sexy.  She certainly offers a lot more interesting fodder for a love scene.  Every romance author approaches these scenes a little differently, but for me, they must advance the story and up the stakes for the hero and heroine.  In other words, they must be remarkable, worth spelling out in graphic detail.  And nothing makes an interlude more worthy of remark or lengthy detail than the first time, especially for my over-the-top characters.


Also, virgins are historically accurate.


Also, we were all (or still may be) virgins, so we can relate.


Also, few sexual experiences are more wildly discussed, lamented, celebrated or VirginandtheViscountCOVER(circling back) discussed than anyone’s first time.  For better or for worse, we relish dishing about this topic. I defy you to think of your best friend and claim you have not heard the story of her first time.


Also—well, maybe this is more like a “primarily”—if you know me in real life, you know that I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal, and I simply prefer the virgins  There, I said it.  Or, at least, I prefer my eager, exploratory, and totally in-love virginal heroines.  But hey—even if your not usually a fan of the virginal heroine, consider this:  the leading lady in The Virgin and the Viscount (spoiler alert #2) does not know whether she is a virgin or not.  Either way, I hope you’ll give Lady Elisabeth a try.  And just like your best friend, let’s dish.  Let me know what you think!


WOW! Ms. Michaels, for stopping by MBA&M today! Congratulations on your new release!



In the next sparkling romance in debut author Charis Michael’s Bachelor Lords of London series, a proper viscount meets his match in a beguiling virgin who can’t help but break all the rules.

The Virgin
Lady Elisabeth Hamilton-Baythes has a painful secret. At the innocent age of fifteen, she was abducted by highwaymen and sold to a brothel. After two days, a young lord discovers her and enacts a brave rescue to get her out. Now she’s a grown woman, working to save other girls from the horror she saw that night and never forgetting the young man who rescued her.

The Viscount
Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh has overcome an abusive boyhood, neglectful parents, and a bankrupt title to be one of the wealthiest noblemen in Britain. He works tirelessly to be upright and forthright and proper to a fault. Now he requires only one thing: A proper, forthright, proper wife.

The Unraveling
When a charity event puts Lord Bryson and Lady Elisabeth face-to-face, Bryson has no memory of the wounded girl of long ago. All he can see is a perfect candidate to be his future wife. Elisabeth has never forgotten him, but she worries that the brave boy who saved her so long ago has become a rich man with an unfulfilled life.

As a whirlwind courtship reveals the truth, Bryson must accept that Elisabeth is actually a shadow from his dark past, while Elisabeth must show that love is the noblest virtue of all.




VirginandtheViscountCOVEROn April 12, 1809, Franklin “Frankie” Courtland, 6th Viscount Rainsleigh, tripped on a root in the bottom of a riverbed and drowned.  He was drunk at the time, picnicking with friends on the banks of the River Wylye.  According an account later given to the magistrate, his lordship simply fell over, bumped into a fallen log, and sank.

It was there he remained—“enjoying the cool,” or so his friends believed—until he became too heavy, too slippery, and, alas, too dead to revive.  But they did dislodge him; and after that, they claimed he floated to the surface, bobbed several times, and then gently glided downstream.  He was later found just before sunset, face down and bloated (in life, as also in death), beached on a pebble shoal near Codford.

At the time the elder Courtland was sinking to the bottom of the river, his son and heir, Bryson was hunched over a desk in the offices of his fledgling shipping company, waiting for the very moment his father would die.  It had been an exceedingly long, progressively humiliating wait.  Years long—nay, decades.

Luckily for Bryson, for his ships and his future, he was capable of doing more things at once than wait, and while his father drank and debauched his way through all respectability and life, Bryson worked.

It was an unthinkable thing for a young heir and nobleman—to “work”—but Bryson was given little choice, considering the impoverished state of the Rainsleigh crest.  He was scarcely eleven years of age when he made first foray into labor, and not so many years after, into private enterprise.  His life in work had not ceased since.  On the rare occasion that he didn’t work, he studied.

With his meager earnings (he began by punting boats on the very river in which his father later drowned), he made meager investments.  These investments reaped small gains—first in shares in the punting station; later in property along the water; later still, in other industry up and down the river.

Bryon lived modestly, worked ceaselessly, and spared only enough to pay his way through Cambridge, bring up his brother, and see him educated him, as well.   Every guinea earned was reinvested.  He repeated the process again and again, a little less meagerly each time ‘round.

By the time the elder viscount’s self-destructive lifestyle wrought his river- and drink-soaked end, Bryson had managed to accrue a small fortune, launch a company that built and sailed ships, and construct an elaborate plan for what he would do when his father finally cocked up his toes and died.

When at last that day came, Bryson had but one complaint: it took fifty-two hours for the constable to find him.  He was a viscount for two days before anyone, including himself, even knew it.

But two days was a trifle compared to a lifetime of waiting.  And on the day he learned of his inheritance—nay, the very hour—he launched his long awaited plan.

By three o’clock on the fourth day, he’d razed the rotting, reeking east wing of the family estate in Wiltshire to the ground.

Within the week, he’d extracted his mother from the west wing and shipped her and a contingent of discreet caregivers to a villa in Spain.

VirginandtheViscountCOVERWithin the month, he’d sold every stick of furniture, every remaining fork and dish, every sweat-soaked toga and opium-tinged gown.  He burned the drapes, burned the rugs, burned the tapestries.  He delivered the half-starved horses and the fighting dogs to an agricultural college and pensioned off the remaining staff.

By the six-week mark, he’d unloaded the London townhome—sold at auction to the highest bidder—and with it, the broken-down carriage, his father’s dusty arsenal, what was left of the wine stores, and all the lurid art.

It was a whirlwind evacuation, a gutting, really, and no one among polite society had ever witnessed a son or heir take such absolute control and haul away so much family or property quite so fast.

But no one among polite society was acquainted with Bryson Anders Courtland, the new Viscount Rainsleigh.

And no one understood that it was not so much an ending as it was an entirely fresh start.  Once the tearing down ceased, the rebuilding could begin. New viscountsy, new money, new respect, new life.

It was an enterprise into which Bryson threw himself like no other. Unlike all others, however, he could only do so much, one man, alone. For this, he would require another.  A partner.   Someone with whom he could work together towards a common goal.  A collaborator who emulated his precise, immaculate manner. A matriarch, discreet and pure. A paragon of propriety.  A viscountess.  A proper, perfect wife.





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Charis Michaels is thrilled to be making her debut with Avon Impulse. Prior to writing romance, she studied Journalism at Texas A&M and managed PR for a trade association. She has also worked as a tour guide at Disney World, harvested peaches on her family’s farm, and entertained children as the “Story Godmother” at birthday parties. She has lived in Texas, Florida, and London, England. She now makes her home in the Washington, D.C.-metro area.

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