Are You Flirting with Me, Sir? #MFRWHooks #MFRWAuthor #99 cents

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Today’s MFRW Book Hook is from Lily and the Gambler, which is on sale for 99 cents through Aug. 31st.

Lily and the Gambler on sale

(Against her better judgment, Lily has taken a moonlit stroll on the deck of a steamship with a handsome stranger.)

She felt a blush heat her cheeks, but had to smile. “Are you flirting with me, sir?”

“I’m giving it my best shot,” he said with a grin that quickly faded. “Mrs. Albright, I know this is none of my business, but I don’t think it wise for you to travel alone. I doubt your husband would have approved.”

Lily turned back to stare at the sea of stars above, seeming almost within reach. Would Nigel approve of what she was doing? Yes, she decided. He’d been the consummate adventurer. He wouldn’t have expected her to live the rest of her life wrapped in cotton wool. And his death had given her greater freedom than she’d ever known. It was both frightening and exhilarating.

Creighton Callaway seemed to take her silence for agreement. “Please, at least allow me to see you safely on the train.”

Lily spun around to stare at him. “And in return?”

He spread his hands. “I expect nothing in return but the pleasure of your company. I have a widowed mother and sister. If either one was forced to travel alone, I would worry.”

Ah, so he thought women were too weak to take care of themselves. A typical male notion. “I’ve gotten this far on my own, Mr. Callaway, and my journey is almost over.”

“Mrs. Albright, you are not in England anymore. I grant you California is more civilized than it was twenty years ago, but it’s not what you are used to.”

Lily thought about the men she’d seen wearing gun belts and suppressed a shudder. Perhaps she should accept his offer. Once she reached Grass Valley and Uncle Arthur, she need never see the man again.

“I suppose you have a point, and I’d appreciate help with my trunks and sewing machine. Very well, Mr. Callaway. I place myself in your capable hands.” The image of his hands on her skin sent a shiver through her, but she suppressed the notion. The last person she needed in her life now was another gambler. “And now you may escort me to my cabin.”

He offered his arm again and they strolled to the stairway leading to the upper decks.

Another man hurried toward them, but skidded to a halt. “King, is that you?” he called out.

To Lily’s surprise, her companion stopped and nodded at the other man. “Turner.”

“The big game’s about to start,” Turner said. “You ain’t gonna miss it, are you?”

“Game?” Lily said.

Turner grinned at her. “Poker. Wouldn’t be the same without King Callaway.”

Lily heard him curse softly under his breath. She removed her hand from his arm. “I wouldn’t want to keep you from an important engagement.”

He scowled at the man. “I may sit in for a few hands later. After I see the lady to her cabin.”

“Oh, sure,” Turner agreed, bobbing his head.

“The lady is perfectly capable of finding her own cabin.” Lily turned and marched toward the stairs.

Callaway followed her up the stairs, catching up to her outside her door.

“Mrs. Albright, let me explain.”

“What is there to explain? After my husband died, I swore—” She broke off. What had happened to Nigel was none of his concern. She sighed. “Forgive me. What you do with your time, and your money, is your own affair. If you wish to waste it gambling, that is your prerogative.”

“It won’t be a waste of time, Mrs. Albright,” he said, a confident grin on his face. “Like my father was, I’m an excellent card player.”

She stared at him for a moment, anger and disappointment churning in her stomach. Men. “Really? In my experience, most men lose when they play at cards. Good night, sir.” She wrenched the door open and stepped inside her cabin.

Callaway held the door open with his hand. “I will see you in the morning, Mrs. Albright. You accepted my offer of escort to Grass Valley.”

“I don’t believe I require your assistance, after all.”

“Why? Because I gamble?” He leaned closer. “I don’t just gamble, Mrs. Albright. I make a living at it, and a damn good one at that.”

“How clever of you,” she replied, keeping her tone cool. “Good night, sir.”

“One last thing, ma’am,” he drawled lazily. “Regardless of what you think of me, I am a man of honor. I keep my promises, and I will see you safely home. Until tomorrow.”

When he let go of the door, Lily slammed it shut with a satisfying thud. Leaning against it, she cursed herself for being a gullible fool. Her first instincts about King Callaway had been right. Well, she hadn’t traveled thousands of miles to make the same mistake again.

In the morning she’d tell him again she didn’t need his kind of help.

She sat at the marble-topped dressing table, pulled the pins out of her hair and brushed it, using vigorous strokes. Why was she so angry? Creighton, no King Callaway’s only sin had been failing to live up to her expectations. What difference did it make when she had already arranged a marriage to a stranger?

She stopped brushing her hair and stared at her reflection in the mirror. The pale woman who stared back seemed like a stranger—the picture of respectability, from her high-necked black dress down to her sensible walking boots. Oh, she had played her part to perfection tonight. What a fraud she was.

“Who are you, my girl,” she whispered, “to judge anyone so harshly?”

Lily and the GamblerBlurb:

A mail order bride sets out for a new life only to be tempted by a charming gambler. Can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?

After the death of her lover, Lily Penhallow has learned the cost of flaunting convention. Reinventing herself as a widow, she travels to California as the mail order bride of a prosperous mine owner. But on the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets an irresistible gambler. Against her better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the handsome charmer.

King Callaway believes that since life is a gamble, there’s no point in planning for the future. After meeting Lily, he knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But she’s engaged to his uncle, a man King respects.

Lily finds herself torn between two men and two ways of life. Will she choose respectability or love?

Lily and the Gambler is a Second Chance at Love western historical romance.

If you like mail order brides, charming scoundrels and sensual romance, why not take a chance on Lily and the Gambler while it’s on sale?

Available at Amazon Kindle, Kobo and Smashwords.


As always, click on the Linky List below for more fabulous excerpts in the weekly MFRW Book Hooks blog hop!

Strong, Virile, and Dangerous #MFRWHooks #MFRWAuthor

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This week’s hook is from my historical romance, Rogue’s Hostage.

Rogue's Hostage coverBlurb:

She wants her freedom. Her captor wants her. Can love survive a deadly war?

His hostage…

In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré’s life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn’t count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.

Her destiny…

French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau’s desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left. But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.


“Madame, are you listening to me?”

The Frenchman’s voice, sharp and insistent, demanded her attention. “There is not much time. My companions are not patient men. We must leave soon, but first I want you to bind my shoulder. Where do you keep bandages?”

Her mouth and throat were dry when she swallowed, but she choked out an answer. “The trunk. Under the bed.”

He squatted beside the bed, pulled out the trunk and rummaged through it. She watched his every move, unable to take her eyes off him, alarmed by the physical threat he represented.

He was a tall man who dominated the cabin as Emile never had, and his state of undress revealed nearly every inch of his lean and powerful form. Not only was he bare to the waist, but his breechclout and leggings failed to completely cover his thighs and buttocks. He had a wide-shouldered, rangy body and long, sinewy legs. He looked strong, virile, and dangerous.

Rogue's Hostage sales graphic

For the next seven days, US and UK readers can grab a copy for 99 cents during my Kindle Countdown Deal! Or read for free at Kindle Unlimited.
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Hope you’re enjoying your summer. This is a blog hop. Click on the linky list below for more great MFRW Book Hooks!