New York Times bestselling author Bobbi Smith spins a captivating tale of danger, intrigue--and the fireworks between a man and woman who should be making war, not love...
When His Pride Meets Her Passion...
Steely-eyed Lord Noah Kincade is accustomed to having the upper hand--but everything changes when his wealth and social standing are cut out from under him. With only two vessels left from his family's shipping empire, Noah seeks to recoup his fortune with a voyage to the American colonies, where there are men who will pay generously for his cargo. What he doesn't count on is one stunning hellion of a woman...
...It's A Revolution
Cecelia Demorest hates aristocrats, particularly the insufferable Brits who frequent her Boston home. Her father may be a loyal subject, but Cecilia is wholly American, and her thoughts are consumed with the current unrest. The last thing she wants is to run into her father's newest associate--until she does. Now Cecilia can't stop thinking about Noah Kincade's penetrating gaze...and how she'd like to get the best of him in every way...
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June 01, 2010
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Excerpt from Captive Pride by Bobbi Smith
Wraithlike tendrils of fog clung tenaciously to the trees surrounding the clearing, lending an almost spectral aura to the moment, and not even the pale clarity of the rising sun could dispel the mood as the cold, deadly sounds of the clashing steel blades rent the early morning silence. Bodies tense with expectation, weapons held in readiness, the two men engaged in the duel faced each other, each trying to anticipate the other's next move. In a graceful dance of death, they moved about the clearing . . . testing . . . probing . . . each searching in his own way for his opponent's weakness, but each failing to find that fatal flaw.
They were the best of the best, these two. Equals in the fine art of swordsmanship, they were peers of the realm and dashing figures of men. One, tall and dark, his body tightly muscled, his movements lithe and sure, was hawklike in visage. His gray eyes were sharp and glinting as they reflected his intense concentration, his chiseled mouth firm in his determination to win. The other was blond and as tall as his rival, but his body tended to fat rather than muscle. His aristocratic features reflected a love for excess in the puffiness there. His full lips were curved in a taunting, confident smile. His pale blue eyes, still bloodshot from his intemperance the night before, shone with an almost maniacal light as he strove to prove his superiority over his foe.
Grim-faced, the dark-haired combatant reacted to his enemy's mocking expression violently, pressing his attack in a powerful series of maneuvers. He would not, could not yield to defeat at this man's hands. He would defend his honor to the death. The remembrance of his opponent's cutting, publicly issued insult left him a man possessed. He challenged his foe again and again, the strength of his rage fueling his already considerable strength.
His rival suddenly seemed to sense the driving desperation in his renewed attack and grew nervous as he realized that the challenge he'd taken up so casually the night before could only end in one way . . . with one of their deaths. No longer regarding the duel as mere sport, he responded in earnest, knowing that his very life depended upon his own talent. But his years of undisciplined living had taken their toll, and he was no longer a real match for his fit opponent.
The dark-haired man parried his lightning thrust and feinted to his left, countering with a vicious lunge. His swiftly flashing sword pierced his adversary's momentarily unprotected shoulder and drew blood.
As hot crimson stained the swordsman's white shirtfront, a collective gasp escaped those who had gathered at this early morning hour to watch. Their expressions mirrored their stunned disbelief as the realization dawned on them that this would indeed be a fight to the death; that the shedding of blood alone would not satisfy the graveness of the insult.
Knowing that he now had the advantage, the man pressed his attack with ruthless intent, penetrating again and again his enemy's ever-weakening defenses. He was methodical in his gory siege, his silver eyes reflecting the cold deadliness of his vengeful desire. Driven by demons even he didn't fully understand, he inflicted wound after debilitating wound upon his foe, wanting to humiliate him as thoroughly as he himself had been humiliated the night before. His fury firing his prowess, he tortured his opponent heartlessly until the overpowering need to put an end to what had become a farce of a duel drove him to sink his blade deep into the other man's chest.
Silence hung in a deathlike pall over the dueling ground as the physician who'd accompanied them raced forward to examine the downed man.
"It's done. He's dead," the doctor said tonelessly as he glanced up. He had never before witnessed such a savage end to an affair of honor, and he wondered suddenly if perhaps everything that was being said about this man was, indeed, true, In the aftermath of his surging rage, he stood tensely above them, his bloodied weapon still in hand, his eyes still glazed with the primitive blood lust that had possessed him during the fight. It was only after the physician's words penetrated the haze of his blind fury that he realized it was over.
He had won.
As sanity gripped him once again, he saw for the first time with rational eyes the brutal carnage he'd wreaked. A look of disgust crossed his handsome features. Throwing his weapon violently aside, he turned away.
At the edge of the dueling field, seventeen-year-old Matthew Kincade stood pale and shaken as he clutched his older brother Noah's coat tightly in both hands. He had never seen this side of Noah before--this pitiless, coldblooded side--and the discovery that his brother could kill with such callous expertise left him stunned. He knew Noah to be warm and loving; yet the man who had just so viciously put an end to James Radcliffe's life seemed a stranger to him. Matthew swallowed nervously at the memory of the final, deadly sword thrust and he forced his gaze away from Radcliffe's still, prone form to search quickly for his sibling. He caught sight of Noah heading for their waiting carriage and, forced from his stunned immobility, hurried after him.
Noah Kincade strode quickly toward his conveyance, the hatred and strength of purpose that had possessed him earlier purged from him now by the success of his violent encounter with Radcliffe. He wanted to get away from the ugliness this moment would always represent to him, and it was only the sound of Matt's voice that stopped him from entering their carriage.
"Noah?" Matthew's call was hesitant, filled with uncertainty and perhaps even a little fear.
Noah swung around to face him, his features stony, his eyes dark now with fathomless emotion.
"Your coat . . ." he offered quietly in a way of explanation as he held the garment out to him.
As Noah took the coat, his gaze met and locked with Matt's, and for a brief instant they regarded each other in studied silence. Noah had always understood his brother, and he could easily read the turbulence of his feelings in his strained expression, but there was nothing he could say or do to change the outcome of all that had happened. They would have to go on from there. There could be no going back. . . .
He made short order of donning his frock coat, and then, without so much as a glance toward the field of death, he climbed into the coach, leaving Matthew to follow.