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message 1: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Hi! I wanted to stop by and let everyone know that next Tuesday, Nov. 22, the newest Brothers in Arms book will be released. FOR LOVE AND COUNTRY is about spymaster Barnabas James. Each book in the Brothers in Arms series can be read as a stand alone novel.

Sir Barnabas James is secretive, manipulative, cold and alone. He abhors society and shuns personal attachments despite a long list of lovers. All the better to be the consummate spymaster in service to King and country. Until an old enemy asks a personal favor…

Lord Ambrose Wetherald has always taken pride in his status as an English gentleman. He obeys even the strictest of society’s rules, is unfailingly polite and deferential, and feels it is his responsibility to protect women and the underprivileged. He has also saved himself for marriage. Until one day he needs a favor…

Melinda de Vere was once the spoiled and willful toast of the London season, but she threw it all away on childish escapades and unfulfilling love affairs. Now she is married to a treasonous scoundrel who abuses and degrades her. Until one day she is rescued by two men she has never met.

When Barnabas demands Ambrose repay the favor in his bed and Mel goes undercover as Barnabas’s housekeeper to help trap her traitorous husband, the three embark on a sensuous affair. Barnabas will have to choose love over duty, Ambrose must surrender his reputation, and Mel will need to learn to trust again if the mismatched, unsuitable lovers hope to survive the devious plot against them.

EXCERPT:

The girl started to moan and thrash on the bed not long after the others left, and Barnabas stepped over, intent on keeping her from falling to the floor again and hurting herself. God knew it was going to be difficult enough to get her out of there without a broken limb to complicate matters further. When he touched her arm she yanked it away and nearly tumbled off the bed despite his intentions.

“Dammit,” he muttered under his breath, grabbing her shoulders and holding her down.

“No,” she cried out weakly, struggling to get away from him. She was weak as a babe, her efforts pathetic. Clearly no one had taught her to fight properly. “Get away,” she said. Her eyes opened, but only about halfway. They were bloodshot and the pupils so dilated all he could see was a small strip of dark brown iris. Before he knew what she intended ,she spit at him. The spittle landed on his shoulder.

“Well, at least you’ve got a little bit of mettle left,” Barnabas said, staring in disgust at his ruined jacket.

“Bastard,” she slurred.

“This does not bode well for our future relationship, my dear,” Barnabas said sarcastically. As she continued to struggle he sighed and sat down on the bed, pulling her halfway into his lap so he could wrap his arms around her and keep her still.

“Hate you,” she said, her head falling back over his arm.

“Naturally,” Barnabas told her. “Most people do.”

She stunk to high heaven and Barnabas couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to bed her. Of course, most of the men whom de Vere had brought were likely not very fussy about that sort of thing since sex for that lot usually included a great deal of sweat and blood and effluvia. He shuddered. He may have some unusual sexual desires, but none would allow him to bed a pathetic specimen like poor Mrs. de Vere. He supposed the attraction was her former rank and popularity. Not to mention the forbidden nature of humiliating and abusing a man’s wife in front of him.

“More,” she whispered.

Barnabas leaned closer. “What?” he asked, not sure what she’d said.

“More,” she whispered brokenly. “More opium. Then I’ll be good. I promise.”

Barnabas tightened his jaw and a muscle ticked in his cheek. Goddamn the bastard who would do this to an unwilling woman. Wetherald was right. What kind of man did this to his wife? To a woman entrusted to his care, with no resources or recourse available to her? Her inability to assure de Vere’s entrance into society was hardly her fault, and yet it was clear de Vere had decided to punish her for the slight.

“I’m taking you out of here,” he told her, trying to speak clearly while keeping his voice low. “We’re leaving.”

“I won’t go,” she said, distress making her voice shrill. “You can’t have me.” She obviously didn’t understand what Barnabas was telling her.

“No, you silly girl,” he said impatiently. “We are rescuing you. We are taking you far away so you don’t have to do this anymore. Do you understand?”

She’d begun to cry, but no tears came from her bloodshot eyes. In all likelihood she hadn’t had anything to drink for hours, perhaps longer. She had no tears left to cry. How similar they were.

“Come now,” he said, gentling his voice as if speaking to a child. “Don’t you wish to leave? I will kill de Vere for you. Hmm? Doesn’t that make you happy? I shall make him suffer. Yes?”

“Kill?” she asked, confused. She struggled again. “No.” Her protest was weak, as if she wasn’t sure death wasn’t preferable to the alternative.

“Not you, chit,” he said. “That worthless worm you had the misfortune to marry. I’ll kill him. Not you. Understand? I’ll cut his prick off and feed him his ballocks before I slit his throat. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?”

He was rocking her gently and her head lolled against his arm. Where was Simon with those clothes, dammit? She needed to be properly cared for. She was in far worse shape than he’d at first assumed. Holding her like this he could feel each rib and bone, the pulse in her neck fluttering like that of a captured bird.

“I’m going to take you away from him,” Barnabas told her, smoothing her hair off her face as he’d seen Wetherald do. “I can keep you safe. I am probably the only man in England who can.” He chuckled drily. “You see, I don’t mind killing men who deserve it. I am the frightening beast under the bed. But I shall be your beast.”

Happy reading!


~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~ I didn't even know about this so I haven't been pining for it forever. Barnabas has always been an intriguing character.


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