07 April 2011

Excerpt Thursday: Mia Marlowe

This week on Excerpt Thursday, we're welcoming Mia Marlowe, as she celebrates the release of her latest Kensington romance, Touch of a Thief, set in Victorian London, Paris and Hanover. It's available April 26. Join us Sunday, when Mia will be here to talk about her novels and give away a copy! Here's the blurb:

        Lady Viola Preston fully intends to give up her secret life of larceny, but when Lieutenant Greydon Quinn catches her red-handed, she has no choice but to help him with one more theft. Quinn needs the “Mayfair Jewel Thief” to steal back a fabulous red diamond. He never expected the thief to be a woman who'll steal his heart as well!

        “Marlowe weaves a gentle paranormal element into this delightful 19th-century romance. Historical and paranormal readers will love this crossover tale.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review!

Excerpt from Chapter 4 of Touch of a Thief

Quinn never managed to visualize Viola and himself as lovers. The word was too tame, too gentle. When they came together in his mind’s eye, it was intense. Fierce.

Like tigers mating.

They’d die of bliss if they didn’t kill each other first. He’d never wanted a woman with as much frustration as he wanted the one waiting for him in his cabin.

It made no sense to his mind, but his body could care less for logic. A physical entanglement might jeopardize their working relationship. And once they retrieved the red diamond, what then?

Even though she was well-born, her larceny meant she wasn’t the fine English Rose men of his station expected to wed. There was a raw sensuality in her kisses, yet she was not a woman to take lightly and forgotten.

A man would be marked forever by her.

The mere thought of Viola was enough to make Quinn feel achingly male. He’d already visualized her silken limbs, her shuddering sighs. He throbbed to rut her senseless, beating against her like a moth against the glass of a lantern flue.

It’d been months since he’d had a woman, but he had to get a grip on his reaction to her. He turned away and headed for the captain’s, like a man destined for the rack.

When he reached the cabin, he raised his hand to knock, but caught himself. He was supposed to be her husband. This was his cabin too. He turned the knob and slipped in.

Viola had pulled back the bedclothes, stripped a sheet from the narrow bunk and hung it from one of the low beams. A lantern flickered on the far side of the sheet, treating Quinn to her shadowy silhouette backlit on the fabric.

Her naked shadowy silhouette. Every curve and line of her danced on the thin sheet.

“Is that you, Quinn?”

“Have you another faux husband on board, madam?”

“No, thank God. One of you is quite enough.” She peeped around the sheet, showing one smooth bare shoulder. “I’m taking my bath, such as it is. Kindly remain on that side of the cabin.”

“You have you my solemn oath that I will not move from this spot.” The mingled scents of warm woman and light floral wafted around the sheet. His body clenched. Wild elephants couldn’t drive him away.

“The captain had two chairs brought in for us. I left one on your side in case you returned before I was done.”

He was nearly done himself. He plopped into the chair because he wasn’t sure his knees would continue to support him. She disappeared behind the sheet again, apparently oblivious to the fact that he could make out the dip of her waist. The curve of her calf when she propped a foot on the chair. When she spread her legs to shoulder width and her hand disappeared between her thighs, he nearly groaned aloud.

“How long will it take us to reach Paris?” she asked.

Quinn cleared his throat to make sure his voice would work. “Three days, if we have fair weather.”

Three days of pleasurable agony trapped in the cabin with this siren who’d already turned him down twice. Like Odysseus, he ought to have Sanjay strap him to the mast.