To wrap up Mad May, there’s a Rafflecopter giveaway (bottom of post – keep reading) and an excerpt from a book I am currently reading. There are a few antagonists in this book, which makes me nuts. AKA, this author knows how to write evil characters, because let me tell you, I hate them! Take this one, for example:
A knock at her door made her shudder, but she stayed silent. Only one person would be disturbing her now, after the men had gone without winning a personal understanding, and he would enter whether or not she gave him leave. Initially, she had thought he hoped to catch her in dishabille, but he simply had no qualms about disturbing any of the performers. It was his theatre, he rationalized, his right to go anywhere he chose, and his obligation to make sure his underlings always knew it. That he might catch her half-clothed was an only an extra benefit.
Nigel Pate was nothing but smiles for the first few minutes of any conversation, as her dancing brought in more ticket sales and more renown than the Broomstraw had ever seen. Before her, no member of the nobility had ever attended. Now, ticket prices had risen so high they excluded every commoner in London.
The problem was, Nigel’s smiles were so greasy, they soon slid off his face.
“Good take tonight, m’dear. Two dukes in the gallery. Two!”
“I am not your dear, Nigel, and I am, of course, ever so pleased the esteem of the Broomstraw will be raised in the eyes of the aristocracy. I’m sure your profits will soar.”
“Your profits, too, dear.” The smile was slipping.
“So you say. I, however, have yet to see a ha’penny in ten years.”
“Jest do what LaRue commands, don’ I? He’s the man pays the bills.” When she rolled her eyes at the typical response, he changed the topic. “Like you say, ten years today since your start at the Broomstraw, and lucky day it was fer me, doncha know? Just want to mark the occasion.”
He handed her a garnet bracelet she knew had been sent to her by a well-connected knight a few days before. It had disappeared before the end of her show, Nigel once again pilfering her dressing room looking for valuables.
She took it from him anyway and pasted on her own fake smile. “How lovely. I will treasure it always.”
Don’t you just hate him? I do. I’m halfway through the book at this point, and having a difficult time putting it down at night for many reasons, not the least of which is I desperately want Nigel to get what’s coming to him. Proving, yet again, how important antagonists are to romance novels.
If you’re interested in reading more from the book featured above, here’s what it’s about:
Sired by a British peer, born of a paramour to Indian royalty, Kali Matai has been destined from birth to enthrall England’s most powerful noblemen—though she hadn’t counted on becoming their pawn. Finding herself under the control of ruthless men, who will not be moved by her legendary allure, she has no choice but to use her beauty toward their malicious and clandestine ends.
When those she holds most dear are placed in peril by backroom political dealings, she enlists some of the most formidable lords in England to thwart her enemies. But even with the help of the prominent gentlemen she has captivated, securing Kali’s freedom, her family, and the man she loves, will require her protectors stop at nothing to fulfill her desires.
And if you’re curious about the person who could write such a fascinating story, here’s her story:
Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym of Mari Christie, a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience. Published in dozens of nonfiction and poetry periodicals since 1989, she began writing mainstream historical fiction in 2009 and Regency romance in 2013. In all genres, she creates deeply scarred characters in uncommon circumstances who overcome self-imposed barriers to reach their full potential. She is a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Her first Regency romance, Royal Regard, was released in November 2014.
Want to reserve your copy of La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess?
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Giveaway! Enter before June 9!
Check back tomorrow, when I feature another book I’ve read, and kick off Jello Shot June on my blog!