She wants a slower pace… Miranda Ellis Mason Craythorne is three times a widow. Some say bad luck has dogged her steps; she rather thinks it’s just life, yet the rumors sting. She’s long left her wild youth behind and now lives at her country estate, content to play matchmaker. Seeing John sets fire to the tendre she’s carried for him and causes her to rethink remaining in widowhood even though avoiding matrimony is for his own good.
He wants to settle down… Mr. John Goddard has admired Miranda from afar for years, but their timing has never been right. As a Bow Street Runner-turned-private investigator, he knows mortality has an expiration date. What better woman to start a family with than the one he’s held a torch for? But his penchant for the occasional ménage might sour the plans.
He wants the next exciting game… Richard Howick, who is rarely on home soil, is a spy who wants nothing more than the next adventure. He’s giving life a merry chase and has no plans to domesticate. He’s too much of a rake not to take pleasure when it’s offered, and the opportunity to play the occasional third thrills him.
Life presents an unorthodox chance…While rumors abound and scandal nips at their heels, between the three, desire explodes. If their luck holds, they might just find love in the mix.
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Her pulse raced. Five years was a long time, but she’d not forgotten him either. The revelation was slightly overwhelming. “Let’s return to something you said earlier. Why do you think I am a liar? I need more information than a few hints.”
He stared at her as intently as if she were a criminal he chased. A smile broke through his expression, a grin so charming and full of heat she felt the languid fire all the way down to her toes. “Ah, the age-old art of avoidance. Very well. Based on your response last night, I think you’re in dire need of being thoroughly kissed.”
“Pish-posh, what nonsense. I haven’t been kissed for a couple of years now. Why ever would you think I need—?”
The rest of her protest died when he cupped her cheek. Seconds later, he pressed his mouth to hers, and her world dissolved into soap-scented warmth.
Oh, how wrong she was! She did need to be kissed, but only by him. Miranda moved into a more comfortable position to feel the best fit of his mouth on hers. This was so much better than that stolen kiss years ago. His lips cradled hers with strong, masculine perfection. The sweep of his heated tongue along the seam of her mouth was magical. The steady pressure of his fingers on her skin was divine.
He captured her face between his large palms, holding her still as he plundered her lips with quiet authority. When she gasped for breath, or to encourage him deeper, he darted his tongue inside to fence with hers. Hot satin explored her mouth as if he wished for nothing else than to imprint himself upon her soul. She met every questing thrust and then returned the favor by sweeping her tongue into his mouth to taste him. Men, though much alike in many ways, all felt and tasted different during an embrace.
John groaned, breaking the kiss. “A woman who responds like that most definitely has dreamed of being more than kissed.” He slipped his fingers along the column of her throat, not stopping until they played down her spine and he enclosed her in his arms. “You should indulge often, my dear.”
It was ridiculous to deny he was right. “I might if you’re the one asking.” She couldn’t resist tracing her fingertips along his clean-shaven jaw. “I also might be persuaded to keep you around if you kiss me like that again.” Dear heavens, what had happened to wanting to stay away from scandal? Hadn’t she learned that lesson with the deaths of her husbands? But oh, the touch of John’s lips on hers had been heaven and reminded her why she adored being in a relationship.
“What poor form you two show, leaving me out of your intimacy.”
Miranda startled at the sound of Richard’s voice. She untangled herself from John’s arms and craned her neck to see beyond the sweep of his wide shoulders. Need pulsed between her thighs with more urgency. Damn and blast but she wanted to explore the breadth and width of John if only to indulge her fantasies. Though she wasn’t a stranger to the pleasures of the marriage bed, none of her husbands had ever set her blood alight or gripped her with the desire to drag them off into the woods.
And now she and John had been interrupted. She swallowed as memories of meeting them both on the terrace came rushing into her mind. Being pinned between their hard, male bodies had prickles covering her body. Her breath quickened. Perhaps she didn’t mind the disturbance after all.
She stared at the other man. “Mr. Howick.” Richard drew closer on horseback, and when he came abreast of the curricle, he dismounted with more haste and theatrics than caution. “What are you doing out here?” How could she resent his intrusion when he looked so dashing and wicked?
“Searching for you and John, of course. I called upon the house and was told by your frosty butler you’d gone driving.” His tone conveyed affront.
Miranda grinned. Something about being in the two men’s company caused goose flesh to race along her exposed skin. “Yes, well, Eppson has a tendency to be overly protective. He’s been with me through all my husbands—the one constant throughout life’s changes you could say.” Poor Eppson. She imagined his frown of disapproval upon seeing yet another gentleman calling for her. He was of the opinion she needn’t get involved with another man as the other three hadn’t worked out.
“No matter.” Richard’s brown eyes danced with mischief. He planted one booted foot on a wheel spoke while a gloved hand gripped the side of the curricle. Every lean inch of him was primed for action. “Do me the honor of calling me Richard. I consider Mr. Howick my father, and he’s the last person I’d like to think upon at the moment.”
“Very well. Richard. Shall we all adjourn to the house?” Though it was highly unlikely anyone would come upon them in the lane, the real possibility someone would see her in their company made her stomach knot. She feared the disgrace more than being caught between them both once more.
“In a trifle, my dear.” He glanced at his friend and lifted a dark eyebrow. “We have a problem, Mr. Goddard, as your curricle only seats two, and I very much want to join this scandalous conversation.”
“Then I shall rectify the situation.” John grasped her waist and hauled her into his lap. As soon as she was secure, Richard climbed aboard and settled into her vacated seat.
Miranda’s heart thumped heavy against her ribcage. Once again, they had her neatly trapped. “Gentlemen, this is neither the time nor place for a dalliance.” John’s arms around her held her steady while Richard snuck a hand beneath her skirt and chuckled when she attempted to squirm away. “Richard…” She left off with the admonishment as heat swirled up her limb. “Um…” Hadn’t she wanted to deliver a dressing down? She couldn’t think let alone form words as he moved his hand higher. The brush of his fingers over the back of her knee rendered her speechless and as limp as poached chicken.
John’s laughter rumbled in his chest before it burst from his throat. Her nipples pebbled at the sound. They thrust against her shift and the rasping hurtled shivers down her spine. He put his lips to the shell of her ear and said, “Are you having trouble maintaining your mental acuity, Mrs. Craythorne?”
“She’s rather flushed, my good man,” Richard rejoined. He scooted closer, insinuating himself between her legs. “And looks good enough to eat.”
“She is. I had a sip from her sweet lips, so please, indulge yourself.” John brushed her breast with his fingers. “It’s only fair for you to sample her as well.”
About the author
Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. In the past couple of years she’s concentrated on funny contemporary romance as well as Regency-era romance, but she will, on occasion, write paranormal or sci-fi. Whether you like sweet or erotic heat levels, there’s something for everyone to fall in love with. She’s also a hybrid author, choosing to publish both with small presses and doing the indie thing.
Offered representation in February 2014 by Scott Eagan at Greyhaus Literary Agency for Victorian-era historical romances, Sandra’s been hard at work researching, planning and writing a new series. When not immersed in creating new worlds and engaging characters, Sandra likes to read, bake, taste new teas, watch The Big Bang Theory and Psych as well as Finding Bigfoot, and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World: it’s where dreams come true and the soul can play. When she’s not writing or inventing new recipes, she spends time with her husband—goofing off and making moments count. Life’s too short to be serious all the time.
Sandra loves to hear from her readers. You can write to her at sandrasookoo(at)yahoo.com, visit her website at www.sandrasookoo.com, or look her up on Facebook and Twitter.
Believing is Seeing blog: http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/
Also by Sandra Sookoo
Scandal in Surrey series (erotic Regency)
Lady Parker’s Grand Affair
The Bride’s Gambit
Miss Bennett’s Naughty Secret
Act of Pardon (erotic Regency pirate)
Angel’s Master (erotic Regency pirate)
Lord Atherby’s Parlor Games (erotic Regency short)
Caribbean Heat (erotic historical)
Cairo Nights (erotic historical)
Interview with Holly Hewson
HH: Sandra, thank you for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Misfortune’s Lady. What can you tell us about this sizzling historical?
SS: Well, it’s a ménage set in the Regency era. Miranda hasn’t had very good luck with keeping her husbands alive and is convinced she’s cursed. John wants to settle down but is having troubles convincing her while Richard loves action and adventure too much to be domesticated. But, they all attract scandal, and that makes the story all the more delicious.
HH: What do you like best about Miranda and why will readers identify with her?
SS: She’s a go-getter who loves everything about life. Plus, she keeps parakeets. I thought that was a nice little character trait. She’s plucky.
HH: What do you like best about John and Richard and why will readers love them?
SS: The guys are very determined, I’ll say that. John loves Miranda to distraction and has for years, but he’s also concerned for his friend Richard. The guys bring the heat into the relationship and once they tag team on the seduction, there are fireworks.
HH: What makes this work different than your other works?
SS: It was the first time I did a threesome in the Regency era. I have to admit, I really enjoyed it. Most definitely it won’t be the last time.
HH: What sort of research is required for your historical stories?
SS: I always to research for any story I write: locations, daily life, historical events, clothing, etc. In the Regency it’s especially important. Often I can become distracted with research for hours at a time.
HH: What else do you have coming up for lucky readers?
SS: On July 1st, I’m releasing the first book in a new series (Unlikely Partners) called From Indiana, With Love. It’s a contemporary mystery, with plenty of action, adventure, humor and romance from Desert Breeze Publishing. In August, I’ll re-release the last book in the Eight Realms paranormal trilogy, Captured by the Dragon. Also, in late summer I’ll have the next Scandalous Short come out (tie in with my Scandal in Surrey series) Lots going on!
HH: What is your writing schedule like?
SS: Hectic? LOL I try to write in the afternoons after lunch. Usually my mornings are spent dealing with email, social media and doing editing if I have a job.
HH: Where do you mostly draw inspiration for your writing?
SS: Everywhere. Practically everything or anything can inspire me.
HH: What do you enjoy reading personally?
SS: Cozy mysteries, thrillers, romances, classics.
HH: Where can readers find you online?
SS: Website: http://www.sandrasookoo.com
Believing is Seeing blog: http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/