Book Title: Tainted Bride ( Forever Brides)
Author: A.S. Fenichel
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Sailing to London, Sophia Braighton only hopes to escape certain ruin. But when she arrives, her Great Aunt Daphne has other plans for the American-born beauty. Determined to marry off her niece to a man of means, she propels Sophia into London society, not knowing that the young woman’s trust in men is shattered. In fact, Sophia never expects to ever feel anything for a man. Then again, she never expects to find herself in the company of the dashing Earl of Marlton….
From the moment he sees Sophia, Daniel Fallon feels alive in a way he has not since his broken engagement. Though the vulnerable beauty shies from the passion burning bright between them, Daniel is determined to court her and make her his bride. And when he learns of the painful secret she harbors, he is equally determined to take revenge on the man responsible. But will the quest destroy him—and his future with his beloved?
Why the author chose this scene:I love the intimacy of this scene. The main characters have just met but the connection is immediate. There’s almost a kiss. There are secrets told and some not told. Tension hovers in the air between them. Daniel shows respect, longing, confusion, regret and a myriad of other emotions he might otherwise keep to himself. The seclusion of the verandah leaves him open to explore those feelings, but I’m not sure he liked the experience as much as I did. ~ A.S. Fenichel
“Why would her ladyship ever be disappointed in you?”
She shook her head and her silken curls swished from side to side.
“You will not tell me? Then I’ll guess. You are not the woman you appear to be. You are really the scullery maid from the Braighton house in America? No? You are her nephew, not her niece?”
He shook his head. “No, that cannot be it. You are already married?”
She watched him and as he guessed, her mouth and eyes grew wider until she burst into a fit of giggles. She was adorable.“Enough.”
The sound had his heart beating so rapidly, he might have an episode, as if he was one of those horrible characters from a bad novel.
“I’ll tell you, if you promise to keep my secret.”
The dance ended, Daniel took her arm and walked swiftly to the veranda. His hand on her elbow left only his white glove separating skin from touching skin. The idea of actually feeling her flesh was heady. The cool night air helped to cool hisdesire.
She breathed deeply, causing her breasts to lift dangerously close to the edge of her gown’s neckline.
So much for the cooling effect of the nightair.
She leaned over the veranda wall and looked out into the shadowy gardens, lit only by torches.
There were a few people lingering on the veranda—ladies getting away from the heat of the crowded ballroom and a few couples hiding behind Greek statues and Romanpillars.
“Are you cold?”
“No.” Her voice was small and faraway.
He yearned for her thoughts. “You were going to tell me a secret.”
Heart-wrenching sorrow filled her eyes and they glistened though no tears fell. She straightened her posture and raised her chin. This woman held herself as if she was a queen.
He wanted her more with every second spent in her presence.
She spoke for his ears only, but her whisper shook with intensity. “My secret is I shall never marry. I should have told my aunt, but my mother made me promise to try to enjoy the season and not ruin it with such thoughts.” As she said the last words, her voice had dropped into a lush Italian accent.
He supposed the accent was her mother’s.Thomas had said her mimi cry was amusing, but there was no joke here.
Her face was open and she absolutely believed she wouldn’t marry. Of course, it was ridiculous. She was beautiful, smart, funny and quick-witted. He had gleaned all of this in only a short time in her presence. She had the body of a goddess. She would marry and probably well. He was sure she would have offers before the end of the month, if not sooner.
“I think you will marry.” Regret dripped from his voice.
“No.” Her eyes filled with tears and she moved away to hide in the shadow of one of the pillars surrounding the veranda.
His mind screamed at him to apologize and walk away, but his body disobeyed and he followedherintotheshadows.Hetuggedtheglovefromhishandandgentlycaressedthesoftskin from her elbow to the cap sleeve ofher gown. He dropped his hand.
She turned, only a breath away. The warmth of her body reached him though they didn’t
“Pleasedo not cry.”Thesoft tonehardlyresembledhisvoice.Shemoved himinaway
No one else ever had.
“I won’t. I’m sorry to make such a scene.” She dabbed at her eyes. Once again, the tigress returned,sad,fierceanddistant.Thetearsmadeherseemevenfiercer,somehow makinghereven moreperfect.Thiswasnostuffydebutante,withlittlethoughtforanyonebutherself.Shewassoft,emotional, filled with life and he wanted nothing else in the world but to pull her into his arms, to watch her tigress’s eyes close as his lips covered hers.
“I think I’m going to kiss you, Miss Braighton.” He inched closer.
Her eyes widened and she gasped, as he rubbed his lips lightly against hers. “No.” The word was less than a whisper.
“Are you sure?” He asked, pressing his cheek to hers.
“I cannot like you.”
A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.
A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.
Multi-published in historical, paranormal, erotic and contemporary romance, A.S. is the author of The Demon Hunters series, the Psychic Mates series, and more.
When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden. Her babies are both rescues and include; a demanding dog and a temperamental cat, both bring constant joy and laughter.