Sunday, December 8, 2013

Brandywine (The Brocade Series, Book 1) by Jackie Ivie Excerpt

Brandywine: Regency Historical Romance (The Brocade Series, Book 1) by Jackie Ivie
$2.99 or FREE for Prime Members

A forced groom.
A switched bride.
And a lot of lies.


Lord Gillian Tremayne has the perfect life. Society embraces him. Women love him. Men emulate him. He's rich. Intelligent. Eligible. Tall. Incredibly handsome. Charming. And trapped. There's nothing worse than marriage to Helen Bingham - a black-mailing, evil-spirited woman with a soiled reputation...

Except the woman behind the wedding veil.


Now come and undo this cravat for me. My fingers don’t work too well when they’re cold, and the material’s wrenched tight with damp.”
Brandy’s got the fingers fer ye, then, Guv. She knows just how to use ‘em, too. Don’t ye be a-wastin’ any time worrying’ yer noggin—”
Then what are you waiting for?”
His neck cloth was just above eye level. She had to stand right in front of him, and somehow bear it. Everything was too visceral. Too…intense. The feel of his breath on her hands as she worked at his wrecked collar. The particular slant of his head to help her unwind it from him. The way he took it from her nerveless fingers and chucked it in the same direction as the socks.
Her dress was starting to dry. Until then, she hadn’t known how stiff the material was as it scratched every time she moved. His hair was drying a bit, too, and the sight, forced her to gulp before backing hastily away.
Where do you think you’re off to? I need an assist with my buttons,” Gil said.
She swallowed. Started silently counting. Forced her feet to approach. And reached for his shirt placket. Gil stood very patiently as she worked the buttons loose, although her hands shook the entire time. And then it was done. He turned around to shrug his shirt off. She caught it, and then busied herself with examining it.
It was better than the alternative. Him.
Laws, but yer a fine-lookin’ one, aren’t ye? There’s not one hint of padding, either. No wonder the ladies swoon at the sight of ye.”
I haven’t heard any complaints.”
Oh, go on with ye! I can see ye won’t be needin’ Brandy’s compliments. Sounds like yer head’s already full from hearing them.”
Let’s just say I’d enjoy hearing them from you, shall we? Turn around.”
She gasped, her eyes went wide, the shirt fell, but she did as instructed, pirouetting to face the fire.
We’ve got to get your gown off, Brandy love, for I noticed how much you shiver. I’m not sure I wish to wait that long when it’s time to remove my britches.’
Any lost color came flooding back. With a rush that heated. Enflamed. Tormented. She forced herself to breathe carefully and calmly while he undid the buttons down her spine.
This material isn’t very conducive to lovemaking…is it? How can you stand to wear such netting? My fingers may not survive. Come along, love. Step out. I can’t stay in this position all night. Think of my back, for pity’s sake.”
She shut her eyes. Reopened them. Nothing changed. There wasn’t anywhere to hide. Nowhere to run. And Brandy wasn’t any help. Somehow she’d lost the capacity to live through any experience – no matter how horrid. It wasn’t possible.
Love had that much power?
She stepped out of the gown, leaving it in a puddle of material on the floor and then just stood there. Looking at the mess of ruined material.
I’ve a hankering for yon tub, Brandy, and yet there you stand. Looking at anything other than me. You must find me the most loathsome man in existence.”
No, Gil. Never that.
She lifted her head, turned around, and hoped her chemise covered more of her than it felt like. Gil’s undergarment clung to him. Two long rents in the material flashed glimpses of flesh. She stiffened and her blank expression slipped. And she knew he saw it. The proof was in his voice.
I’m having a bit of difficulty with these buttons again. Damn. You’d think they’d sew on buttons that men could undo.”
There was one yard of floor between them, yet she could swear she felt him. And no amount of ignoring it changed anything.

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