Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a nobleman and a gypsy to marry in this Regency Romance.
Half Romani, half English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.
When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.
At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.
Armstrong’s Ball Scene
Noticing the numerous pairs of eyes watching him escort Miss Caruthers onto the polished floor, a wry smile touched Ian's lips. “I haven't danced with any other ladies this evening. No doubt the rumormongers are hissing envious conjectures as to why I've asked you.”
She shot him a startled look before glancing around the ballroom. “Why did you?”
“To see if what I'd heard was true.”
Ian watched for a reaction.
She opened her mouth then closed it. They waltzed around the dance floor for a few moments in silence. The string quartet was quite satisfactory. Ian allowed the lilting strains to soothe his troubled spirit.
“What did you hear?” Miss Caruthers’ soft question reminded him of his purpose.
“That you are an excellent dancer.”
It was true. She moved with natural grace, following his lead, all the while holding herself in a most proper stance. He had to acknowledge she was a superb actress. Her gaze remained fixated on a spot above his left shoulder, except for one brief instance when she'd flicked her cobalt-blue gaze upward, and unintentionally met his eyes.
“Is that all?” she asked softly.
He'd never seen eyes that dark blue before. “All?”
“You've heard nothing else about me?”
Her eyes held the perfect combination of trust and innocent curiosity. So convincing was she, that when their gazes fused, a peculiar jolt stabbed the center of his being. What was it? Something foreign, tantalizing, rousing from dormancy and flickering to awareness.
Startled by his train of thought, he stiffened. Good God, now he was waxing sentimental poppycock. Even so, he continued to stare into her seemingly guileless eyes. How could someone so jaded appear so innocent? He couldn't very well tell her what he knew, now could he?
“Is there something else you would have me know?”
Furrowing her smooth brow, she stared at him. “No.”
Was that confusion in her eyes? She looked away first. That irked him.
Man, control yourself. She's not even flirting with you.
He could better understand Geoff's fascination now. Miss Caruthers was skilled in her art. Most skilled. He would have to guard himself well. He sensed her siren's allure, the tentacles of desire winding their way about his reasoning, holding him in an imperceptible, yet impenetrable grip. It was almost as if she'd cast a spell, bewitching him.
What drivel. He was having difficulty concentrating, though, too aware of the voluptuous woman in his arms, their bodies moving as one to the music. No wonder the young blades were lined up, waiting for the smallest morsel of attention from her. Ian could almost believe she was as diffident and unsure of herself as she pretended. Both qualities were designed to stir the primitive male.
He tamped down the protective response she roused in him with her seductress's wiles. “You truly are an exceptionally graceful dancer,” he murmured in her ear.
“Thank you, my lord.”
His nostrils flared at her intoxicating perfume. He tilted his head a bit closer to hers and drew in a deep breath. Something citrusy. Maybe orange blossom? And lightly floral. Lily of the Valley. He recognized the scent. A myriad of the graceful, nodding white flowers blanketed the grounds near Somersfield's pond.
Ian ignored good sense and drew her lush form closer. Her décolletage and his height advantage gave him an excellent view of her ample cleavage. A diamond pendant was nestled in the valley between her creamy breasts. It gently caressed the sloping mounds as she swayed in time to the music. He imagined his finger doing the same.
Blood rushed to his loins. He'd been too long without a woman. Not since
Amelia. . . . Damn, had it really been eight months? He caressed Miss Caruthers’ spine with his thumb. One slow stroke. She shuddered. Was that a gasp? Perhaps she wasn't as poised as she affected.
It was better to catch her off guard if he was to succeed with his plan. Why then, didn't his scheme of vengeance fill him with the same sense of satisfaction it had before meeting her?
Vangie and Ian’s story actually started to demand to be written while I was writing Highlander’s Hope. Vangie and Yvette, the heroine in Highlander’s Hope, are cousins. As I wrote the first book, the second story just came to me. I had to keep telling Vangie and Ian to wait their turn!
- Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I knew the title for this book even before I started writing it. I’m sure that’s because I already knew so much of the story, and I knew I had a viscount vowing vengeance.
Gee, a bit of alliteration in that last bit there. Sorry.
- Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I love historical romances; they’ve always been my genre of choice, especially Regency. So when I decided to write a romance, it was only natural I’d choose the genre I love the most. I’m also a history buff, so while I enjoy a good contemporary, my heart and mind prefer historicals.
- Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Hmm, I guess getting my first royalty check. What’ I’m really looking forward to in having a print novel of my book in my hand. That’s supposed to happen in November.
- What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I just finished Something About Her by Jeannie Reusch. I wonderful Regency, of course!
- What is your writing process?
Before I start a book, I complete a goal, motivation, and conflict chart for my heroine and hero. Then I fill out a questionnaire for each of them that I created. It has over 50 questions. It’s how I really get to know my characters. I also make notes of any major plot points or specific things I want to include in the novel. I’m a pantser, so I don’t know exactly what the entire story looks like, but I have a general idea.
I have a writing room in my house where nearly all my writing occurs. I have to have quite when I write and one of my doxies, Ayva, is usually on my lap or sleeping on a nearby chair.
- At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
I haven’t had a book signing yet, darn it.
I’m planning on one just as soon as I get the print novels for Highlander’s Hope this fall. I plan on having a couple of short phrases to include with my signature. I think it’s more personal and more meaningful.
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I sleep with my dachshunds! Okay, not exciting enough?
I collect thimbles. Ridiculous I know. It’s my sister’s fault. She gave me six for Christmas over thirty years ago and the blasted collection has grown to over two hundred.
That’s just embarrassing to admit.
- How do you react to a bad review?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If there’s something in the review I can use to help me become a better writer, I’ll use it, but if the review is just bullying, I ignore it.
- How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
Well, I didn’t actually celebrate the first sale, but I did go buy some lovely boots and a new purse with part of my first royalty check.
A life-long Oregonian, Collette Cameron was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.
A voracious reader of romance since her teens, she even named her daughter after a heroine in her favorite romance novel. An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.
Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and went on to obtain her Master's Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc., and a whole slew of other author/writer groups.
Some of Collette's favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely! When she's not teaching or writing, she enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading of course.
To connect with Collette, please visit www.collettecameron.com or http://blueroseromance.com/
She can also be found on:
BOOK TRAILER LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HnUxiYbR5I
Collette will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card and an ecopy of Highlander's Hope, the first book in the series, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
The more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: