Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Blog Tour: The Dark Affair by Máire Claremont; Excerpt + Giveaway

I'm very happy to have an excerpt from Máire Claremont's latest release, The Dark Affair, at Rookie Romance today! I'm a big fan of the Mad Passions series, and Powers looks to be a hero well worth waiting for. Máire is also giving away a signed copy to one lucky winner!

The Dark Affair (Mad Passions #3)
Author: Máire Claremont
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Release Date: 4 March 2014

The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor…...

Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers.

Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart….
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“Alright,” Margaret acceded. “You’ve made it to the bath. I’ll give you that.” 
The look those piercing eyes gave her sent shivers down her spine. It was a look to say I will never fail, woman.
Margaret folded her arms just under her breasts and felt a grudging respect for the man who was no doubt going to make her life hell for the next months whilst she attempted to save him from himself. That very arrogance was going to be his worst enemy. “I’ll call your man in then.”
Strain tensed his features which on most men would have weakened the beauty of his visage, but not Powers. Instead the furrowed plains of his forehead and jaw line only emphasized the sharp ruggedness of his masculinity. “Not. Necessary.”
She sniffed, eyeing him like a mad goat about to charge. The longer he went without opium the more unreliable he would be. . . at least for a day or two. “You’re not bathin’ on your own. I can tell you that now, me lad.”
She ignored him and planted her hands on her hips. “I’ll not have you drowning.”
“Your early release from marriage,” he offered, though his considerable dead pan was diminished by the fever in his cold stare.
“And certain death by your father.”
He nodded. “Tricky.”
She sighed and headed for the bell pull beside the door. Just as she was about to reach out, his hand darted out with shocking speed and slipped around her wrist, his thumb gently pressing against her throbbing veins. “You bathe me.”
Her entire body froze under that touch. No. Not froze. Enveloped in flame, that’s what her traitorous flesh did. She hadn’t even realized her blood had been pumping ferociously at their interaction. And with this one touch, he was strapped to that bed again. They were kissing, her entire world melting away as he’d shown her that the body was meant for something she never known or given credence to. Pleasure. Unmitigated, soul stealing, pleasure. “‘Tis not my place.”
“You’re my nurse,” he countered softly, his gaze seeking hers with a seductive determination.
“I’m not that kind of nurse. I no longer do chamber pots or bedpans.”
He grimaced. “My wife then. You are my wife.”
She fought the growing heat in her palm, the wish to step closer to him and discover if that one kiss had been an entire aberration. “In name only for the now.”
His thumb stroked the vulnerable flesh over the underside of her wrist. “Are you frightened?”
Ah now. Why did he have to go and ask that? Because she was. She was bleedin’ terrified at this feeling he’d awoken inside her, but there was no way under the stars she’d let him know that. She sniffed. “Course not. I’ve seen my share of men’s bodies. They’re just so hideous I do me best to avoid them.”
He smiled, a lopsided, uneven grin, made even more lopsided by his slightly uneven breathing. He let go her hand and took s slow step toward the bath. “A most educated and jaded woman.”
“Exactly.” She shrugged. “They’re all the same,” she said grandly. Sure, she could pull this off. She could bluster her way through this and he would never be the wiser that she was in wonder at his body, the little she’d seen of it and the way it moved underneath his garments.
That strange smile still remained fixed upon his rugged features as he grabbed hold of his nightshirt and whisked it over his head. 
“For if you’ve seen one, you’ve--” 
Glory be to God and all the angels. She was going to go to the hell. Her hands clenched into fists lest she reach out to touch him, to discover that he indeed was real and not some over wrought figment of her imagination. His silver blond hair swept over his broad, muscled shoulders, dancing over pectorals she’d only ever seen the like in the British Museum. 
 She’d been so certain she’d preferred the whip chord strength of a tall, lithe man not the broad Herculean body before her, but she’d been so wrong. His muscles were packed one atop the other, hard, straining against burnished skin, rippling down his abdomen to a waist so defined at his hips she could have cut herself on the bands of flesh which directed the eye down. . .
She couldn’t help it, her mouth opened involuntarily to exude a small sigh of awe. 

About the Author

2011 Golden Heart winner Máire Claremont first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own… until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his frst wife up in his attic. Discovering the errors of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter 


Máire is giving away a signed copy of The Dark Affair to one lucky winner (US/CA only). Enter to win using the rafflecopter form below.
Winners will have 48 hours to claim their prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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