My apologies to Michele and Breathless Press for the scheduling glitch! This is the first spotlight of today, on Breathless Press author Michele Stegman. Thanks for stopping by!
All she wanted was a little adventure before settling into a forced, loveless marriage. How could she have known just how far that adventure would take her?
All Marcia wanted was a little adventure followed by a bright and everlasting love. So when she was being forced into an arranged marriage to an arrogant duke, who could blame her for choosing the lure of a secret admirer who sent her thoughtful gifts, cryptic notes, and gave her thrilling kisses in a dark garden? But was he asking too much when he offered a trip to Gretna Green? Or was it worth the risk to avoid a loveless marriage?
That evening at a ball, Marcia stepped out on a balcony for a breath of air. It was dark and quiet overlooking the gardens. She had just turned to go back in when a pair of hands grasped her by the upper arms and pulled her back against a broad and unyielding chest. A cheek pressed against her hair. Before she could protest, he was speaking.
“Did you like the flowers I sent you?”
My admirer! Could it be the duke, after all? No, he told my parents he is too busy for any of the many affairs we are attending except the two he mentioned. And a duke would not go unnoticed, even in this crush.
“Yes, they were lovely.”
She tried to turn, to see his face, but his grip prevented her.
“I have watched you these past weeks and longed to declare myself, to beg for one crumb of the attention you scatter so benevolently amongst these love-bitten swains who gather about you. But I did not want to be one more in the pack. Do you know what it does to my senses to at last hold you so closely? I am mad for you.”
His lips nuzzled at her neck, and she sighed. Suddenly, he turned her, and his lips found hers. It was not a chaste kiss. It was not a polite kiss. It was wild and hungry, and excited a hunger within her. His kiss sent thrilling ripples all the way down to her toes.
Abruptly, he was gone. By the time she came to her senses and turned, he was already fading away into the dark depths of the garden, the full folds of his cloak swirling behind him.
Michele Stegman is a multi-published author with a lifelong love of history. She lives with her husband, Ron, in an 1840’s log cabin full of antiques. She spins, weaves, and makes her own soap. Her daughter calls the place Pioneer Village!
Michele can be reached at Steman14@yahoo.com, at her website, www.MicheleStegman.com, or at www.Facebook.com/MicheleStegmanAuthor.