I’m very happy to announce that my latest book, Wanton Venture, has been contracted with a new publisher, Resplendence Publishing.

Wanton Venture is an erotic Regency, and I absolutely love this book and these characters. Here’s a sample:

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She sped along as quickly as she could while maintaining a semblance of dignity. She didn’t wait for the footman but sought the safety and security of the Grebe. It was someplace where she felt Clive and all of her other worries could not touch her. With no fanfare she crossed the gangplank and set foot aboard, breathing in the smells of the ship and the brackish sea air with a smile that unknowingly transformed her face.

“Are you well, Miss Gracechurch?”

Helena turned toward to Raymond Talbury, a shocked expression frozen on her face. She had not expected him so soon. She had not prepared for his presence.

She couldn’t know how charming she looked, with a few reddish curls escaping her tight braids and the flush of high color on her cheeks. But she did notice how those intense dark eyes flickered down to her lips, and she wondered if he had thought of kissing her half as often as she had contemplated the act of kissing him.

“Was that gentleman bothering you, Miss Gracechurch?” His furrow furrowed as he looked off toward the end of the pier where Clive had disappeared in the milling crowds. “He looked familiar, perhaps….”

“It was my cousin, Mr. Talbury.” She licked her lips unconsciously. “I assure you, it is a mere difference of opinion on some business matters. Nothing to concern yourself with. Thank you for being so very prompt. I appreciate that more than you can know.”

He smiled in response, with even white teeth and a dimple in his left cheek that made her heart beat erratically. Dear Lord in Heaven, help me to avoid temptation.

“It was a pleasure, Miss. I enjoyed speaking with Captain Saunders and the mates.” He patted the railing fondly. “The Grebe is a fine ship. She would make any sailor proud to serve on her.”

“Then you have decided?”

Again, a soft smile that made her shiver and burn all at once. “Yes, Miss Gracechurch. I should be pleased to…work with you. What had you in mind for the first journey?”

“I would like to discuss my ideas in detail, and I have a contract for you to look over and make whatever changes you deem necessary. Perhaps we could use the Captain’s cabin if he is otherwise occupied?”

“Actually, he had some tasks to do on shore, but he told me to make free use of his cabin at need.” He held out his elbow and without even considering it, she placed her hand on his arm so that he could escort her to the cabin. Even through the layers of his coat and her gloves he felt warm. That warmth seemed to heat up her blood until she was certain her blushing cheeks were even hotter.

It wasn’t until the door closed behind them that she truly realized they were alone. The knowledge filled her with a terrifying sense of freedom, a wickedness she didn’t know she possessed. She tried to distract herself by going to Captain Saunders’ neatly arranged rack of maps and sorting through them for a map of the coast of southern Spain and Portugal.

Helena could feel his eyes on her, and she longed to be able to gaze upon his form unencumbered by feminine modesty. In her mind’s eye, she imagined his broad shoulders, the turn of his leg, the curve of his buttocks. And his devastating smile.

She swallowed harshly, preparing herself to turn around clutching what she hoped was the correct chart. He was much closer to her than she remembered. Close enough that his eyes burned into hers and she could feel his very breath on her face. Close enough that he barely had to lean forward and their lips touched softly, sweetly.

It was the shortest of kisses, but it was her first. She hadn’t been ready. She wanted to feel every moment of it, every sensation that had flooded through her in that instant. She raised a hand and he almost flinched away as though she might give him a well-deserved slap, but she reached out and pressed two fingers against his lips, feeling their dry fullness.

He kissed those fingers, and she transferred her fingers to her own lips, transferring his kiss – snatching whatever she could. But he was more than willing to have a repeat performance, and with a groan of surrender, his arms wrapped around her and his lips took hers, his warm mouth pressing against her with a firm pressure that made her happy to yield. In moments, her lips had parted and she felt the hot stroke of his tongue against her lips and teeth. It was all so wonderfully strange, she reacted out of instinct, stroking his tongue with her own, nipping at his lips with her teeth.

Helena barely knew that she had dropped her map and wrapped her arms around his neck and thrust her hands into the thickness of his hair, pulling it from its proper queue.  But she did feel the hard length of his body as he held her tightly against him, drugging her with his kisses. There was a mysterious hardness against her stomach, and she knew it must be his manhood hardening, ready and willing to enter her. Aunt Matilda’s lessons really had been very useful.

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