Book blast for The Reluctant Bride by Beverley Eikli

Today is a book blast
for historical romance novel, The
Reluctant Bride
, by Beverley Eikli.

Beverley will award a $20 Amazon or BN.com gift card to one randomly
drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a
comment below (and a way for Beverley to get in touch with you). And to
increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave comments
there, too.
Blurb for The Reluctant Bride:
Winner of the Choc-Lit Australian Star
competition!

Emily Micklen is proud, passionate – and left with no option after the death of
her loving fiancé, Jack, but to marry the scarred, taciturn, soldier who needs
to secure a well-connected wife.

Major Angus McCartney hopes that marriage to the unobtainable beauty whose
confident gaze about the ballroom once failed to register his presence will
offer both of them a chance to put the past to rest.

Emily’s determination to be faithful to Jack’s memory is matched only by
Angus’s desire to win her with honour and action. Sent to France on a mission
of national security, Angus discovers how deeply Emily has been duped, but the
secrets he uncovers lead them both into danger. Can Angus and Emily unmask the
real conspirators before they lose everything?

Excerpt from The Reluctant Bride:
(Angus
and Emily, newly married, have just been visited unexpectedly by Angus’s
brother and his unsuitable consort. Emily, embarrassed by her highly pregnant
state and knowing it will cause gossip amongst Angus’s family, reacts in this
scene to her husband’s apologies for the situation Emily has just confronted.)
With
deliberate care Emily set down the plates once more and turned to look at her
husband through narrowed eyes.
‘For
contaminating me with a lady of dubious repute? But Angus, how much worse a
contaminant would I have been had you not married me?’ She patted her swollen
belly. ‘You’d be apologising to your brother. A fallen woman—’
‘Don’t
speak like that.’ His wide-set eyes burned with undeserved defence of her.
‘Men’s impulses can be ungovernable, but ladies do not suffer such … urges …
You
were
… taken advantage of.’
Emily
stared at him. She sucked in a long, quavering breath as her simmering anger
came finally to the boil. Is that what he believed? That she was insensible to
passion? And that was a good thing?
‘What
would you say if I told you that my impulses were every bit as ungovernable as
Jack’s?’ She could barely control her anger sufficiently to speak. For days she
had forced her
feelings
into the background, using the same emotional device against her unwanted
husband as she had when her father insulted her, shutting out the hurt by
erecting a barrier
as
impenetrable as steel.
Now,
feeling surged through her, blackening her vision and causing her to sway. She
put her hand on the back of the sofa to steady herself.
Angus
stood awkwardly by the door, as if unsure whether to move closer to support
her, or beat a tactful retreat.
Emily
glared at him. ‘What if I told you that I was so consumed by passion in Jack’s
arms I would not have heeded the Blessed Virgin Mary cautioning me against the
temptations of the flesh?’ She tried to regulate her breathing, but the rage
was clawing its way further up her body, threatening to make her its puppet.
She, who never lost her temper. ‘I loved Jack. I was his slave in passion,
every bit as culpable as he. If you are so concerned for virtue, spare your
condemnation of innocent Miss Galway. You need only cast your eyes upon your
wife to be singed by my sin. There! I have confessed my true nature. Whatever
you thought of me before, you cannot but think worse of me now.’ She registered
the horror in his eyes and was glad for it. Much better that she banish any
pretence between them.
She’d
never expressed anger as poisonous as this. At first it frightened her, then it
sent exhilaration pulsing through her. Her love for Jack had been cut off at
the root. Now hatred filled her veins, making her feel alive again. ‘And so you
know, I care nothing for your opinion,’ she added.
She
managed to remain upright, though her vision came in waves. She could feel her
strength leaving her, but she had to spit out the truth so he’d have no
illusions as to the kind of woman he’d married. A woman no good man deserved.
‘You
married me because you needed a wife. I married you so I could keep my child.
We made a contract. My body is yours to do with as you please, but that is all
you will ever have. My thoughts, my feelings, my love will be forever out of
bounds to you.’
Author Bio
and Links:
Beverley Eikli is the author of
eight historical romances published by Pan Macmillan Momentum, Robert Hale,
Ellora’s Cave and Total-e-Bound. Recently she won UK Women’s Fiction publisher
Choc-Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition with her
suspenseful, spy-based Regency Romance The Reluctant Bride.
She’s been shortlisted twice
for a Romance Readers of Australia Award in the Favourite Historical category —
in 2011 for  A Little Deception, and in 2012 for her racy Regency
Romp, Rake’s Honour, written under her Beverley Oakley pseudonym.
Beverley wrote her first
romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page
was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing
career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.
After throwing in her job on
South Australia’s metropolitan daily The Advertiser to manage a luxury
safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new
world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane
forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.
Eighteen years later, after exploring
the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical
survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and
Greenland’s ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia teaching in the Department
of Professional Writing & Editing
at Victoria University, as well as
teaching Short Courses for the Centre of Adult Education and Macedon
Ranges Further Education
.
She writes Regency Historical Intrigue as Beverley Eikli and
erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley.
Beverley won the Choc Lit Search for an
Australian Star competition with The Reluctant Bride.
Shortlisted for the 2012 Australian Romance
Readers Award for her novel Rake’s Honour
Finalist
in the 2011 Australian Romance Readers Awards for her novel A Little Deception.
Links: Website | Facebook 

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