09 June 2011

Excerpt Thursday: Marguerite Kaye

This week on Excerpt Thursday, we're welcoming historical novelist, Marguerite Kaye, as she celebrates the release of her latest novel, THE GOVERNESS AND THE SHEIKH, third in her Princes of the Desert series. It's available from Mills&Boon Historical (UK distribution- July) and Harlequin Historical (North American distribution -August) . Join us Sunday, when Marguerite will be here to talk about the novel and give away a copy! Here's the blurb and more information on the rest of the series:

Princes of the Desert Series

The Governess and the Sheikh (Harlequin Historical) out in July in the UK, August in North America:
Arabia, 1820. Dark-hearted Sheikh Prince Jamil al-Nazarri commands his kingdom effortlessly…less so his difficult little daughter. Exasperated, he hires an English governess, hoping she’ll instill some much-needed discipline. But Lady Cassandra Armstrong is a most unconventional governess. With her siren’s body and impulsive passion, Cassie is as innocently alluring as she is forbidden. Famous for his unshakeable honour, the reticent Sheikh’s resolve is about to be tested…as his feelings for Cassie are anything but honourable.

Innocent in the Sheikh’s Harem (Harlequin Historical) out in July in North America, released in Summer Sheikhs anthology in the UK:
Arabia, 1818. At twenty-five, the eldest of five sisters, Lady Celia Cleveden considers herself practical, resourceful and independent, the perfect wife for a junior diplomat. But George, her husband, seems more interested in her playing the nurse than a wife, and Celia is beginning to wonder if the match has been a huge mistake. En route to the exotic kingdom of Q’adiz, they are set upon by bandits and George is killed, leaving Celia at the mercy of the kingdom’s autocratic and fiercely attractive prince, Sheikh Ramiz al-Muhanna. In the sultry, and darkly erotic setting of Ramiz’s harem, Celia discovers her true passionate nature.

The Sheikh’s Impetuous Love Slave (Harlequin Undone, ebook novella) out now:
Arabia, 1816. For Sheikh Khalid al-Raqam, choosing a bride comes second to the responsibility of ruling his kingdom and protecting its treasures. When he is given a shipwrecked foreign beauty as a tribute gift, he foresees a diplomatic nightmare—until he lays eyes on Juliette de Montignac’s lush curves. His passion is only roused further by her bold and defiant spirit. His inner conqueror awakened, Khalid is determined to tame Juliette….by awakening her own desire for him!

Excerpt from The Governess and the Sheikh

Cassie wandered off to the opposite end of the palace, where a strangely-shaped building stood surrounded by shady palms. Intrigued by the series of little domed-roof rooms, assuming from the lack of guards that it was some sort of summer house or perhaps even a plant house, she opened the large door and stepped inside.
The walls of the changing room were not marble but tiled, Roman-style, with intricate mosaic pictures of various gods, some of whom she recognised, some not. The images were what Aunt Sophia would most decidedly have called warm. Men and women entwined in any number of embraces. Examining them more closely, she found herself blushing. And wondering. These images were designed to stimulate, and they did, providing her with some astonishingly arousing images of herself and Jamil doing those very same things.
Captivated, entranced by now being able to give some form to her own already fevered imagination, Cassie followed the mosaics round the room, growing more and more heated as she tried to picture Jamil doing this, or herself doing that. By the time she came to a break, formed by the door opposite the one by which she had entered, she was flushed, and not particularly from the heat of the room. Realising now that she must be in the Roman-style baths the locals called a hammam, she hesitated with her hand on the handle, but no-one would be taking a steam bath at this time of night. Besides, there had been no sign of the attendants, and she wanted to see more of these mosaics. She suspected that in the next room they would have progressed to even more compromising positions. The kind of compromising positions Jamil called pleasure. If she could not experience, at least she could understand.
The door opened silently. Closing it behind her, Cassie’s vision was momentarily obscured by the cloud of steam which rose up to meet the cooler air. The room was fiercely hot, the air damp and extremely humid, lit by oil lamps built into the walls . Her silk tunic began to mould itself to her skin.
She didn’t notice him at first. The plunge pool attracted her attention. Stopping down, she dipped her fingers in the icy water, dabbing some of it onto her temples. Standing up again, slightly giddy with the cloying heat, she saw that someone was lying flat on a marble bed. A man. A naked man. With an exclamation of dismay, she was about to head quickly out of the room, when he looked up. Autumn eyes. Even through the haze there was no mistaking them, or their owner.
He had been dreaming of her, and now here she was, clad most alluringly in silk and organdie, the damp material clinging deliciously to her curves. She stood rooted to the spot, her eyes wide, fixed upon him. He remembered he was naked, save for the small strip of towel upon which he lay. His robe was in the changing room. The larger bathing towels were kept in the warm room. There was no way to avoid her seeing him. Part of him relished the prospect.
This thought startled him, for though many women had admired his body, Jamil was very far from being a vain man. Cassie looked delectable, with her skin flushed and her hair clustering in damp tendrils on her brow. The caftan suited her. The sarwal pants showed her shapely legs to perfection. “Cassie.”  Desire gripped him. She was here, just as if the gods had gifted her to him, dressed as if the gods had gifted her to him, for pleasure. This time, he would not – could not – resist.