Sunday Snippet: Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen

One of our favorite historical authors is Shana Galen. Her stories are full of great heroes and heroines who go after their own happiness. In her latest series she has three very unusual heroines and the heroes who aren’t sure what to make of them. Shana has given us a great expert from her new book Give a Rake a Ruby and is giving away a copy of the first book in the series When You Give a Duke a Diamond today. Just leave her a note telling her what it is about historical romances you love. 

Fallon’s blood chilled in her veins. All men were the same. They wanted one thing and would apparently go to any length to take it. She did not know how this man had discovered her real name. And she didn’t know what else he knew about her, but she did know if he thought he was going to outwit her, he had a lot to learn.

She had been outwitting arrogant men since the age of five.

She put a hand on her hip. “And I suppose if I do not give you what you want then you will reveal my secret.”

“It’s called blackmail, and yes, that is generally how it works. Now that we both know the rules…”

“Oh, I make the rules, Mr. Fitzhugh.” She sidled closer to the bed. “After all, we are in my bedchamber.”

“I…” He trailed off when she dropped her shawl on the floor beside the bed and, lifting her skirts, crawled onto her satin coverlet.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Courtesan rule number one,” she whispered, crawling toward him. “Don’t talk.”

His arms dropped from behind his head and he sat forward, looking rather alarmed. Oh, this was going to be easier than she’d anticipated. She had thought to arouse him and then, when he was sufficiently distracted, knock him over the head and scream for Titus. But at this rate, she might not have to do much more than kiss him.

“We have to talk if I’m going to…”

Now on her hands and knees, she slid one hand down his chest all the way to his waistband. He grabbed her hand before she could stroke his cock. She glanced up at him. Was he going to play coy now? How tedious.

“You misunderstand me, Maggie.”

“Fallon,” she said, sitting up.

“Fallon. I came to ask you—”

“I told you, no talking.” She leaned forward and brushed her lips over his. She felt him go rigid immediately. Was he really surprised she had kissed him? Wasn’t that what he had come for? She ran her tongue lightly over his lips and felt him relax slightly. His hands had gripped her shoulders at her first touch, but they loosened now.

She tasted his mouth, tried not to notice the flavor of champagne on his lips. Tried not to notice how warm his lips were, how pliable. Most men mashed their mouths to hers and took, took, took. This one didn’t seem to want anything from her. He allowed her to kiss him.

She opened his mouth with the gentle pressure of her tongue and teased him with the promise of a deeper kiss. When his tongue met hers, she felt a spark of heat that shocked her. She hadn’t expected to feel anything and was still puzzling over it when he dug his hand into her hair and pulled her closer.

She was losing control, she realized, and had to gain it back or she would be forced to actually go through with this seduction. She ran her hand down his chest again—why did it have to be so deliciously muscled and hard?—and forced herself not to be distracted. When she reached his trousers, she wrapped her fingers around the hardening length she found there.

“Stop.” He was up and out of her bed before she could even catch herself. She all but fell on her face in the spot he had occupied. “This isn’t what I came for. I have nothing against you or your profession.”

She frowned. What exactly was that supposed to mean?

“But I don’t pay women for their services. I’m not that desperate.”

She stared at him. Desperate? Did he think she allowed any man into her bed? Did he think she allowed any man to kiss her?

She tugged at the bodice of her dress and squared her shoulders. “I don’t mean to dispute you, sir, but you were the one waiting in my bed. And when I refused you, you threatened to blackmail me.” She gave him a tight smile. “It smacks a little of”—she lowered her voice to a whisper—“desperation.”

“That’s because you misunderstood.” He paced away from her, running a hand through his hair. With the lamps lit, she could get a good look at him. She knew who he was, of course. She’d seen him before.

“I misunderstood?” She watched him pace across her bedroom then turn back. “You were lying in my bed, and when I asked you to leave you said you would not depart until you had what you wanted. How did I misunderstand?”

He raked that hand through his thick hair again. “Yes, I can see how that might confuse you.” He paused and faced her. He was definitely not a handsome man. His face was too asymmetrical for handsomeness. His nose was slightly crooked, which suggested it had been broken at one time, and he had a scar near his right eye. His brown hair was short and not at all fashionably styled. He was medium height but had a breadth of chest and shoulders that made him seem less than elegant.

And yet she believed he’d never had to pay for a woman. There was something about his eyes that made him seem dangerous and mysterious and desirable. Her gaze dropped to his hands, now flat on her coverlet. They were large and dark, and she had an image of one of them cupping her breast. She closed her eyes and attempted to gather her wits.

 

if you give a rake a ruby

HER MYSTERIOUS PAST IS THE BEST REVENGE . . .

Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

ONLY HE CAN OFFER HER A DAZZLING FUTURE . . .

Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line . . .

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire . . .

 

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About the Author

Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

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21 Comments

  1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

    Thanks for having me today! I’ll be stopping in all day to respond to comments 🙂

    Reply
  2. Michele Hayes

    What I love about historical romance is the beauty and the glamour. Also the romance….

    Reply
    1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

      Michele, I love those elements too!

      Reply
  3. maybe31

    I think I love the escapism and the romance…. Especially the HEA!

    Reply
    1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

      Maybe13, I rarely read anything without an HEA now. I see enough unhappily ever afters in life.

      Reply
  4. Deanna

    I love feisty, take-charge independent women heroines!!!

    Reply
  5. bn100

    I like the fashion

    Reply
    1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

      I do, too, bn100. I love reading all the books and researching it.

      Reply
  6. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

    Me, too, Deanna! I don’t want to write one in every book, but they are so much fun when I get to write one.

    Reply
  7. Danielle (@DBookWhore)

    I love the rules a historical has to follow. Like the couple can never just have sex because of the rules of society. A man can’t be alone with a woman so then you get into sneaking around which adds a bit to the passion. I really love rakes and rogues they are bad boys but not on the level bad boys are now a days. I also really like that historical romances don’t have cell phones and text messaging which means if your characters interact they must have real emotional conversations.

    Well here I am at yet another giveaway. Hello Shana.

    Dbookwhore(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
    1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

      It wouldn’t be the same without you, Danielle! And thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think the rules add a certain tension that contemporaries have to create in other ways.

      Reply
  8. donna ann

    lovely snippet 🙂 enjoy the elegance, passion, and well just about everything about historical romances 🙂

    Reply
    1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

      Hey Donna Ann! Thank you. Oh, yes, the elegance. There are definitely some historical authors who know how to do that extremely well.

      Reply
  9. Linda

    I love reading historical romance because the smallest & simplest thing is so romantic; from the touch of fingers to the caress of a cheek. I love that it’s so elegant too; the language, the setting & atmosphere. Everything!

    Reply
    1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

      So true, Linda! I have read scenes where the hero and heroine merely look at one another that are so sexy! Great point.

      Reply
  10. Tuesday

    I am a huge history buff and love the descriptions of the elegant settings and beautiful clothes and being pulled into the story and how the romance builds and of course the guy always gets the girl!

    Reply
    1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

      Tuesday, the clothes and the houses are what always pull me in as well. I love to imagine being in one of them. Makes the writing so much more fun!

      Reply
  11. Betty Hamilton

    I like the ‘old fashioned’ morals and cultural norms of the different eras.

    Reply
    1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

      There was a sense of honor and integrity that we seem to have lost. It’s nice to step back into that time.

      Reply
  12. lori meehan

    I like historicals because they take me to another place and time where there are rules about everything. Rules that seem so fun to break.
    The book sounds very intriguing. Thank you for sharing the excerpt with us.

    Reply
  13. Janice Hougland

    Well, of course I’m a fan of historical romances–or else I wouldn’t be here right now. But I particularly like your writing, Shana, and I adored Give a Duke a Diamond. So I’m really wanting to read this next story about Fallon and Warrick. I think it’s delicious the way you weave a bit of mystery with the romance.

    Reply

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