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Be Careful What You Ask a Hero

“There you are,” Amelia, Elizabeth’s dearest friend, exclaimed as edged past a group of giggling young ladies to where Elizabeth was standing under the balcony. “Where did you disappear?”

Feigning interest in the quheroadrille while keeping a keen eye open for her informant, Elizabeth answered with nonchalance. “I’ve been enjoying the opulence and gaiety of the evening.”

“Why are your answers always so vague?”

“They are not…” Elizabeth’s words trailed off as Amelia tilted her head and raised a dubious brow. “The less you know, the better.”

Amelia crossed her arms and frowned, attempting to appear hurt— a tactic she’d been using since they were little girls. “You’re my dearest friend. I would never betray your trust.”

“I know.” On a loud sigh, she conceded, “I will answer three questions.”

With Elizabeth’s acquiescence, Amelia’s features brightened. “Thank you! Oh, I have to make sure I ask wisely.” She paced a couple of feet before edging closer to Elizabeth and whispered, “Have you ever killed anyone?

Elizabeth was already tired of this game, but since she agreed… “Yes”

“Yes?” The single word escaped Amelia’s mouth with a high-pitched squeak that startled a couple of gentlemen standing several feet away. She lowered her voice, peppering Elizabeth with questions. “Who? When? Are you carrying a weapon now?”

“You do realize that you just asked three questions?”

“It all falls under the first,” Amelia stated matter-of-factly.

“I’ll somewhat indulge you just this once. You needn’t worry about all the details. However, I will answer the latter. I always carry my pocket pistol. A lady must be prepared for danger. Next question.”

“Vague as always,” Amelia mumbled before continuing. “Have you ever donned a disguise?”

“Yes.” Knowing her friend all too well, Elizabeth included the answer to the question that was sure to follow. “I sometimes dress as a lad— it’s much easier to sneak around in breeches.”

A slight gasp escaped Amelia’s lips, but thankfully she did not probe further into that topic. “Since this is my last question, I have to make sure it’s one that I’ve always wondered about.” She squinted her eyes as if scanning her mind. “I have it! What is your most treasured possession?”

“The medallion my grandfather gave me.”

Amelia’s brows creased together. “That’s not what I was expecting. What medallion?”

Elizabeth clamped her mouth shut and turned away, knowing she’d just revealed too much. It was good thing that was Amelia’s last question. She really needed to guard her words more closely in the future.

“I know. It’s confidential.

“As I said earlier, the less you know, the better.”

Elizabeth noticed that they had attracted the attention of several curious lords and ladies. It was past time she ended this little interview and searched for Captain Alexander in the immense crush.

About the Series

What if your favorite superheroes had Regency-era doppelgängers? And what if a group of them were recruited by the Duke of Wellington to gather intelligence for him during the Napoleonic Wars while they protected their own parts of the realm?

You’d get The Heart of a Hero series.

Nine authors are bringing nine full-length novels to you this summer, each telling the story of a man or woman who is a hero in all senses of the word.

The Series on Amazon

HeroAbout the  Book

Alanna Lucas  contributes Only a Hero Will Do to the series.

Defender of the realm…and his wary heart…

Captain Grant Alexander is an enigma in London society. Dashing and handsome, he coldly eschews marriage. But the ton knows nothing of his role in the Legion: to bring Typhon, the traitor who seeks to destroy the British monarchy, to justice.

When Grant is thrown together with fellow Legion member Elizabeth Atwell, he’s instantly beguiled yet exasperated by this beautiful viscount’s daughter. She has little interest in combing the marriage mart for a well-bred, well-heeled husband, but is adept at code-breaking and handling a bow and arrow. She also refuses to do as she is told, insisting she accompany Grant on his mission.

As Typhon continues to evade capture and dark forces are at work, Grant realizes he must act, not only to protect the realm but Elizabeth too…not to mention his heart, which is in danger of thawing every time she comes close…

Can you guess which superhero inspired Alanna Lucas’s Regency-era doppelgänger?

Find it on Amazon

~Excerpt~

“Why in bloody hell are you wearing breeches?”

Elizabeth pulled her arm from his grip. “It is rather difficult and impractical to sneak about in a dress.”

“Where have you been?” The words came out harsher than intended. Did she have no concept of danger?

“I believe you know the answer to that question, Captain Alexander, and you’re welcome.”

“That was you at Hell’s? You fired the pistol?” His temper flared. “What were you thinking? You could’ve been hurt.”

Elizabeth replied sharply, “I fared better than you.” Ignoring his question, she stated, “You’re bleeding.”

“It’s nothing.”

“It’s not nothing? Come here.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the window.

The warmth of her hand sent a bolt of desire through him. Pale moonlight caressed her upturned face and full pink lips. He wondered if her lips tasted as sweet as they looked. What in God’s name was he thinking? Control yourself. You’re here to protect her, nothing more.

Pulling his hand away, he sucked in his breath as desire and anger collided. “I cannot believe you were traipsing all over London at this time of night as if you were taking a stroll in the park.”

“It wasn’t all over London, and I know how to fend for myself.”

“That’s beside the point.” He softened his tone. Every word he spoke was laced with concern. “Elizabeth, what were you doing at Hell’s Gaming House?”

“One of the letters I decoded mentioned the gaming house. I decided Fulcher might have some answers. Clearly I was not off the mark since you believed so as well.”

Rubbing the back of his neck, Grant tried to reason with her. “You can not go gallivanting all over the place. You’re the daughter of a viscount.”

“I know very well whose daughter I am. I don’t need you to remind me of it.” She took a step closer. The pleading tone in her voice went straight to his core. “Don’t you see? I don’t want to be just the daughter of a viscount. I want a life of my own choosing. I’m not some simpering miss.”

“No, you’re definitely not.” His gaze traveled over her face, settling on her brown eyes filled with intelligence and independence of spirit. A rapid thumping pounded against his chest. Time seemed to stand still, wrapping them in a blanket of moonlight.

“Grant,” she whispered his name as she brushed her fingers across his sore cheek.

About the Author

Alanna Lucas writes sweet, spicy, seductive historical romances. When not daydreaming of her next hero and bygone eras, Alanna can be found reading, spending time with family, or plotting her next travel destination. For more information about Alanna and her novels please visit her website- www.alannalucas.com

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A Wager and a Curse!

In which Mr. Clemens welcomes  Alanna Lucas, author of Waltzing with the Earl, who interviews her heroine.

AL: Welcome, Lady Trevena. Thank you for joining me today. I’m delighted to make your acquaintance.

LT: The pleasure is all mine. This is a new experience for me. I must admit, I am quite nervous. I’ve never been interviewed before. I have not been this nervous since I pretended to be my dearest friend at a country house party last year and….

She takes in a deep breath and then exhales slowly.

I apologize. When I’m nervous I tend to ramble. It is one of my greatest flaws, but one my darling husband assures me is quite endearing.

AL: I hear that you didn’t want to have a season in London. What made you change your mind?

LT: I lost a wager to my brother. I was so desperate for things not to change, to Eugene_Onegin_(Samokish-Sudkovskaya)_05amaintain a quiet country life that I left my fate to a game of chess.

She lowers her voice.

You see, I had not lost to Weston before. I thought nothing could go wrong. That game was the first of many things that would go wrong.

AL: Miss Jerome has made it known throughout the ton that you were an utter disaster.

LT: Miss Jerome is a horrible gossipmonger, but for once, what she spews is true. Between spilled punch, torn dresses, and toppled footmen…shaking her head… Who knew a wallflower could cause such a ruckus!

Giggling.

At least I can laugh about it now.

AL: Not a very auspicious beginning. Please tell us how you met Lord Trevena.

LT: He is my brother’s oldest friend. But it wasn’t until I saw him at Lady Lamden’s ball that I thought of him as anything other than Weston’s friend.

She says with a sigh.

 He was so handsome in his dark blue coat. From across the room, our eyes met. He strolled toward me, never shifting his gaze. He was the first gentleman to ever ask me to dance. The moment our hands met…I knew.

AL: How romantic! But it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

LT: No. Tristram believed that he was cursed; it had all but consumed his life. Rumors had circulated for years about the Longstone curse, which had taken all Tristram loved.

Shaking her head.

He was convinced that harm would come to me, so he fled London to protect me.

AL: You must have been heartbroken.

LT: I was devastated, but my dearest sister-in-law devised a plan and arranged for me to go after him. Such wanton behavior! Desperate times called for desperate measures.

AL: Everything seemed to have worked out in the end.

LT: It definitely did. She said with a smile that lit the room. Our love is stronger than the curse of Longstone.

AL: Thank you for visiting today. I wish you and Lord Trevena much happiness.

About the BookWaltzing with the Earl
Believing he is cursed, Tristram, Lord Trevena, the Earl of Longstone, agrees to do just one favor for a friend, to dance with the man’s sister, but the beautiful and headstrong Isabel Albryght will settle for no less than claiming his lonely heart.

A PROPHECY FORETOLD

Raised by her doting older brother, Isabel Albryght grew up cosseted and protected. She enjoyed her life in the country, her books, and her freedom. Then her brother married. Within months Isabel’s best friend married. It seemed it was time for Isabel to marry, too. Socially awkward and a bit too keen for most of the ton, Isabel proceeded to have the most horrible season on record…until she was approached by Tristram, the Earl of Longstone.

Two dances. That was all Tristram could offer anyone when considering his family curse, which had taken all he loved in the last ten years, so his promise to the beautiful Miss Albryght’s brother was simply that. The ton would soon see she was a desirable partner, her awkwardness would fade and other young swains would beat feet to her doorstep. But then he held her in his arms, and the delightful Isabel became his beating heart. Headstrong and full of passion, she believed she might waltz them away from Death. She alone could tempt him to try.

~Excerpt~

The temperature in the room rose by several degrees—it was positively sweltering. Isabel did not know how much longer she could tolerate standing in the midst of hell, surrounded by a mixture of unidentifiable odors and loud boisterous laughter. She thought her head would explode.

 Closing her tired eyes, she brought her gloved hand to her temple. Isabel could feel her body sway, but was unable to stop the motion. She could not even gather her wits about her to stamp down, or even beg, the feelings to cooperate. Isabel could sense another mishap was forthcoming, which further added to her distress. And she had been doing so well.

A gentle hand came to her elbow. “Allow me to accompany you onto the balcony for some fresh air, Miss Albryght.” Lord Trevena’s voice broke through the haze. His tone was soft and full of concern.

Isabel opened her eyes; they felt thick and heavy, and still out of focus. Tristram somehow managed to maneuver her through the crush without bumping into anyone. The moment they reached the unoccupied balcony, the cool evening breeze cleared the haziness Isabel had been fighting in her head.

They strolled to the edge of the balcony, partly hidden within the shadows, and clear of any curious gossipmongers. The garden beyond was concealed in darkness, but the lingering scent of blooming roses wafted through the air. Tristram released his gentle hold on her arm. The absence of his hand made her heart lurch, wanting more.

Isabel turned to face him. Even in the dim light, his clear blue eyes sparkled like stars in the night. She struggled to find the words, but when they finally came, they would not stop.

“Thank you for coming to my aid. I am quite recovered now. The room was quite warm and the noise…”

“Isabel,” Tristram said in a deep husky tone. Her name on his lips sent a jolt of excitement through her body.

Taking a step closer, he brought his hand to her face, his gloved thumb dancing intimately across her cheek. Her heart pounded against her ribs, practically stealing her breath.

“Lord Trevena.” His name exited her lips in a breathy gasp.

He bent his head and whispered his name across her cheek. “Tristram.”

Isabel could not imagine anything more sensual than this moment. She lifted her chin, and their cheeks brushed. His lips were so close, but still too far away. His warm breath teased her senses. Closing her eyes, she waited for his kiss.

Amazon   All Romance  Smashwords   Boroughs Publishing Group

author picAbout the Author

Alanna Lucas grew up in Southern California, but always dreamed of distant lands and bygone eras. From an early age she took interest in art, history, and travel, and enjoys incorporating those diversions into her writing. However, she believes that true love is the greatest source of inspiration and is always an adventure.

Alanna makes her home in California where she spends her time writing historical romances, dreaming of her next travel destination, spending time with family, and staying up too late indulging in her favorite past time, reading.

Find her here:

www.alannalucas.com

https://www.facebook.com/alannalucas27

https://twitter.com/alannalucas27

 

 

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