Hump day Hunk with Cassandra Samuels
Thanks for having me here today on AusRom Today. The hero of my Regency Historical debut novel, A Scandalous Wager, is Oliver Whitely, Earl of Bellamy. He is a man of action, a soldier, dependable, loyal, with a quick wit and gorgeous to boot. Since returning home to England he finds himself unsure how to fight himself out of his current situation. This is not the physical battle he is used to, after all. Grieving the loss of his brother he goes in search of distraction and ends up taking on the Black Raven Wager. Only this wager is no ordinary scribble in a betting book.
Here the heroine, Lisbeth reflects on her first meeting with Oliver:
She had not expected him to be young, nor handsome, nor have a smile that made one’s heart falter.
It had taken considerable effort not to admire his fine physical attributes at first. She had stared at him like he was an ice from Gunter’s, for heaven’s sake. His eyes had been a warm brown, almost like melted chocolate, and she’d always been partial to men with a cleft in their chin, though his cleft was not so deep as to be the focus of his face. This honour belonged to his mouth and the charming brackets which led her focus there again and again.
The devil-may-care facade Oliver wears is meant to protect his heart against his growing attraction to Lisbeth just as much as it had protected him against his nerves of impending battle while fighting in the Peninsular.
He crossed his arms over his chest. ‘So, what are you looking for, a bloody trail? A confession written in Ancient Greek? The murder weapon?’
She gave him an impatient sigh. ‘Must you be so tiresome? I suspect the weapon has been sold ten times over by now or is at least at the bottom of the Thames. I am at this time only trying to confirm association. If I can prove my husband had business dealings with certain people I will put them on a short list of suspects.’
‘Ah, so the list in your notebook is for suspicious persons?’
The disbelieving look she gave him was enchanting. She began frantically rumbling around in her small bag, her eyes never leaving his.
He sat back, happy. ‘Yes, I have it.’ He answered the unspoken question in her eyes.
The kiss to get it had been worth it in so many ways. He pulled it out of his pocket and handed it back to her. ‘You have lovely penmanship, by the way.’
She snatched it back and held it to her chest. ‘How did you steal it from me?’
‘Steal? That is rather harsh. I simply borrowed it.’
‘You took it without my permission, therefore it is stealing.’
‘I had every intention of giving it back, therefore I borrowed it.’
‘I have very skilful fingers,’ he confessed with a smile. ‘I have many other skills as well, which you may find…beneficial.’
She rewarded him with a most terrifying scowl.
‘To the investigation, of course,’ he added.
Oliver was inspired by Henry Cavill when he was playing Charles Brandon in the BBC series The Tudors. Not a bad inspiration I say.
GET YOUR COPY OF A SCANDALOUS WAGER FOR JUST 99c THIS MOTHER’S DAY