By Cheryl Dragon
Released 1/17/14 by Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: MM Regency Erotic Romance
Blurb: Back in London and free from the navy, Lieutenant Myles Harris is now a wealthy man of property. His late father parted Myles from his lover, the Earl of Thistledown, George Hardwick. Years apart have hurt both men, but their feelings haven’t disappeared.
George believes he has put the past behind him and has no interest in seeing Myles again. However, the earl can’t turn away Myles’ little sister, the sweet girl he watched grow up next door, when she runs from her abusive husband. Hiding her in his London home, George must also have Myles as a guest under his roof. The duo must work together for their common good. Passion reignites and soon the men are breaking laws!
The options are few, but they’d much rather defy the law than deny their hearts and abandon their honor.
Inside Scoop: Even though it’s forbidden, the law will not keep these two heroes from burning up the sheets together.
Excerpt: George walked over to Myles with an intent look on his face. Dark brown hair and hazel eyes stood out on his pale skin. George was broad in the shoulder and tall. His muscles were well earned from riding and walking about his large estate. The memory of their romps in the barn had made Myles’ worst days at sea tolerable. The spark had not gone out on what they had.
In public, they had to be old acquaintances. Myles had no earthly idea what they truly were at that moment.
“Lord Thistledown,” Myles bowed.
“Harris, we need to speak in private,” George said plainly.
Hope sprung in Myles but they had to be discreet. “Of course, I can’t thank you enough for looking after my estate.”
“Do you have a room or not?” George demanded.
Myles turned and headed for his private chamber. The second George was inside Myles closed the door and forced himself to remain there. The small room with no prying eyes was no place for two men who’d spent as much time naked together as they had. Myles wanted to kiss his old lover. Just for a moment to simply forget they’d ever been apart.
George dominated the room. He paced as though he’d done nothing wrong. In fact he seemed like a wronged man full of indignation and anger. He still smelled of sandalwood and tried to hide his emotions. Myles could see through him.
“What is so urgent?” Myles asked.
Both men watched each other carefully. Myles could see the desire smoldering in George’s eyes. Their connection was nothing like the casual attachments Myles had made due with onboard ship.
“I don’t have time for pleasantries. This is not a social call.” George regained his composure.
“You came about the estate information at this time of night?” Myles masked his pain with orderly manners. Being alone with George had never been like this.
George threw open Myles’ trunk. “No, I didn’t come for the estate! Pack your things, you’re coming with me.”
“What? We do need to be alone and speak plainly. But I think a club is appropriate for me. We have time now.” The urge to be intimate with George churned within Myles but discussion could lead to more pain.
George grabbed Myles by the shoulders and shook him. “Your estate is the least of our worries. Pack your things. Your beaten sister is at my home. The doctor is with her. That husband hers could be hunting her down.”
Shock set in as Myles stepped back. The power of George’s touch faded as the words sank in. Myles sprang into action. The two men tossed Myles’ belongings into the trunk. Myles threw on his coat and grabbed the trunk, used for toting his own load without servants. The coachman quickly took the trunk once they were outside of the club and Myles joined George inside the carriage.
“Is it bad?” Myles asked.
“Bad enough that I ran out into the night without a footman or a pistol. That damn Baron.” George shook his head.
“You took her in. Thank you. How did she make it to you?” Myles let the guilt hit him. The time for action would come but first he had to be a brother. His sister was being abused. No happy marriage or quick romance.
“I haven’t a clue. She turned up at our door. Basil spoke to her at a ball earlier. I tried to avoid it but she seemed equally determined. The mess your father left,” George grumbled.
“I didn’t approve of it. Second sons rarely get a vote, especially at sea.” Myles let his head fall back and studied the Earl he loved for so long. The man still did the right things. Myles wanted to kiss him and ask so many questions as the carriage made its way through the thick after-party traffic. Instead, he focused on the one thing the men would agree on…Claire. “She was awake then? You spoke to her? Maybe she’s not that bad?”
“I spoke to her briefly. She fainted again. I hope it isn’t that bad, but that it’s bad enough.” George glared out the window.
“What does that mean?” Myles couldn’t believe George would want Claire hurt to any degree.
“Don’t look at me like that. I haven’t changed. My life and attitude are exactly as they were before you went to sea. Think, Myles. If she isn’t hurt much at all, then her husband can demand her return at any time. I’m not letting her go back to that hell. We have to find another way,” George said.
Myles cursed the law. “If she’s alive, we have no legal recourse against him. She’s his wife.”
“I don’t have the answers, but I will find a solution. She’s in my home and I won’t let Philips in or her out if I can help it. Basil is a wreck.”
“No less than I. If I’d known, I’d have done something. Found a way.” Myles looked George in the eye. Instead of solidarity and connection, Myles found a flicker of doubt. Beneath that, anger and resentment brewed. Myles couldn’t fight about whatever bothered George. Their past and feelings could only make things worse. If George had a new lover or ten, it didn’t matter. He was Claire’s best chance for survival.
George always had to direct the play. He was an Earl, a titled lord and every bit the man who owned his responsibility. There had been a time when Myles felt George’s love and trust in every glance. Their connection broke through the duty and public guise but it was a distant memory that he longed for.
Still, if his sister had to run into the hands of anyone, Myles was grateful she’d made it to George. No one would do more for her protection. Myles could try but he was not as well connected and had no house in town. Owing George for the care of his estate was no longer the sum total of their debt. Myles owed George his sister’s life.
It's your world...unlaced...
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