She risked everything for a Scottish outlaw who would do whatever it takes... Author of more than a dozen national bestsellers, award winner Susan Johnson is unmatched when it comes to writing novels that thrill, excite, and seduce. Now she once again captivates with this exciting historical novel of sensual adventure and forbidden love.... Roxane Forrestor was determined to live life on her own terms--even in a man's world. The beautiful Countess of Kilmarnock had so far survived the political and romantic intrigues of Scotland's most powerful suitors. So why couldn't she resist the brash Robbie Carre? Why did she find it impossible to throw the rebel earl out of her bedchamber even though it meant harboring a wanted man? Robbie cared nothing for his own safety. But he knew all too well that his ruthless enemies, desperate to capture him, would use Roxie and her children as pawns. He would brave the odds to protect them, would fight for his fugitive love with Roxie...even
Johnson's latest historical, set in 18th-century England, relays the May-September romance between 18-year-old Robbie Carre, the roguish hero of Johnson's Outlaw, and 30-something widow Roxanne Forrestor. The sexually charged story opens with Robbie, who has recently returned from exile in Holland, making a sudden appearance in Roxanne's boudoir. Beyond his hopes of ravishing the object of his affection, the lad aims to reclaim his ancestral lands. Soon, those closest to Robbie find themselves in jeopardy: Roxanne is forced to become the mistress of a powerful duke in order to protect her children from Robbie's adversaries, a decision that doesn't sit well with Robbie. Demanding, stubborn and childishly irrational, Roxanne's young lover behaves more like one of her children than a romantic hero. Some readers will no doubt be titillated by the older woman�younger man romance, but others will likely find Roxanne's maternal role in the relationship distasteful. That said, Johnson, as in her other novels, rewards readers with a slew of footnotes detailing the historic setting. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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January 13, 2010
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Excerpt from To Please a Lady by Susan Johnson
Edinburgh Late April, 1705 "Robbie Carre is back." "So I've heard. The question is where?" The two men spoke in undertones, their words lost in the sounds of music, conversation, and laughter swirling around them. Guests of honor at the evening soiree, they'd found a rare moment of privacy in the crowded ballroom, but both men cautiously scanned the room as they spoke. Robbie Carre had friends everywhere. "He'll come for her. There's no doubt," the Duke of Queensberry murmured. A thin, swarthy man of middle age, he had the natural look of a conspirator. "She's unrivaled." The words, husky, low, palpably lustful, were uttered by the Duke of Argyll, the new commissioner who'd come from London to bring Scotland to heel. Queensberry wondered if their hostess would be able to thwart the young man's predatory instincts. "I hear she's in love," he maliciously noted. "So?" Argyll shot Queensberry an insolent look. "So you might wish to cultivate your seductive skills. The Countess of Kilmarnock is no ingénue. Twice widowed and with her pick of suitors, from the Indies to the poles, she might prove a formidable challenge." "Then the prize will be that much sweeter," Argyll said, his gray gaze following Roxane Forrestor's twirling progress across the ballroom. May Kilmarnock's wretched family rot in hell!" Slamming the bedroom door behind her so hard the paintings quivered on the silk-hung walls, Roxane stalked across the rich Turkey carpet, pulling her tiara from her coiffed head. "They have their damned nerve!" She flung the diamond headpiece across the room with such fury it bounced twice before coming to rest. "Could I be of some help?" a deep voice drawled. Spinning around, she scrutinized the shadowed reaches of her large bedchamber. The indolent voice was familiar, and a sudden stark fear gripped her senses. "Lord God, you can't be here!" she exclaimed, shock and horror in her tone, her eyes tracing the dim outlines of the young man lounging on her gilded chair, her frustration and anger dissipating before the horrendous jeopardy of his position in Edinburgh. "The house is awash with your enemies!" As if to punctuate her exclamation, the melodious strains of violins drifted in through the opened windows from the floor below, numerous voices joining in on the chorus of the familiar Scottish ballad of Muirland Willie. "Like Muirland Willie I've come for you," Robbie said, his pose utterly still, his dark eyes traveling slowly down the countess's fashionably attired form. "Do you know how long it's been?" "Not long enough. You're insane, Robbie." She glanced back at him in her swift passage to the windows. "They'll hang you if they find you here!" Shutting a window, she pulled the green velvet drapes closed, then moved to a second window. "You have to leave." "I thought I might keep you company tonight." He rose from the chair, all grace and languid power. "No! Don't even think that." Her words ended on a hushed vibrato, for he'd walked from the shadows, tall, lean, beautiful, his hair lying in waves on his shoulders, the auburn curls striking against the pure black leather of his jack. "I can't do this, Robbie," she whispered, moving away, as though putting distance between them could allay her clamorous heartbeat. How beautiful he looked--breathtaking, dressed in leather like some pagan warrior, taller than she remembered, broader as if he'd grown in the month of their separation, the powerful intensity of his youth dazzling. "I thought of you every second the month past." He advanced across the carpet, immune to the sense of danger terrifying her. "I cou