HI! Thank you for joining me for What to Read Wednesday 🙂 Today we have Avon author Julie Anne Long visiting. She’s sharing a secret, but you’ll have to check out her guest post to discover what it’s all about. Afterward please check out her release BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA and don’t forget to enter her giveaway!!!
I’ll tell you a secret: The cover of BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA provides an important clue to our hero’s destiny. It’s not the minxy blond wearing the supremely confident smile (though she’s clearly pretty important, too).
It’s the window itself. Because for better or worse, windows have always changed Ian’s life.
Beginning with WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE (where readers first spent quality time with our inveterate rogues): one he scaled a tree to the window of the bedroom occupied the Duke of Falconbridge’s erstwhile fiancee, and was ignominiously ushered out again a mere few minutes later at gunpoint, naked, by said duke.
And in BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA, Tansy Danforth gets her first accidental glimpse of our hero when she peers out her window early in the morning, and notices a BARE MAN on the balcony adjoining hers:
He was standing on the little balcony next to hers, just feet away.
She ducked back into her room and dragged the curtain over her face, leaving just her eyes exposed, like a harem girl, and leaned forward for a better look. She could only see his back: A glorious burnished expanse of shoulders, a lovely trench of sorts along his spine, dividing two ridges of hard muscle, all of that narrowing into a taut waist.
Suddenly he thrust his arms up into the air, arched backward as though he’d been struck my lightning, and made a sort of roaring sound, like a pagan god calling down the morning. Though she doubted whether a god would sport fluffy black hair in his armpits.
He promptly disappeared back into his room, just as though he’d been a cuckoo popping out of a clock to announce the time.
And Ian, who has met Tansy and summarily summed up and dismissed Tansy as young, feckless, shallow, innocent and (to him) uninteresting, even as she goes about captivating every other man in town, gets his first clue that there may be more to Tansy than he realized when he peers out his own window:
Her chin was propped on her fists, and she was gazing out over the Eversea grounds, which from her vantage point rolled almost as far as the eye could see. She looked smaller than usual, rather slumped in a manner that was almost defeated. For the first time it occurred to him that the sparkle she seemed to bring everywhere with her resulted from some effort, rather than some supernatural source of charm allotted to her in exchange for selling her soul to the devil.
The fascination, along with the mystification, increases each time he catches a glimpse of her:
Miss Danforth was out on the balcony, and her blonde hair down about her shoulders—good Lord, she had miles of it— almost created its own light, so brilliant was it beneath the half moon. Soothing stuff. His hands flexed absently as he imagined drawing his fingers through it.
He watched, mystified, as she leaned slowly forward and assumed something like an awkward arabesque. Her nightrail filled like a sail in a passing breeze, and he was treated to a glimpse of very fine white calf before it deflated. She tilted her head at an impossible angle, and her hair fell in a great sheet down her back. Soothing as watching a river move.
But what the devil was she doing? Perhaps it was some sort of interpretive dance? Was she bowing toward America the way Muslims bowed in the direction of Mecca?
He winced as she gracelessly righted herself again, her arms see-sawing. He could rule out dancer.
In fact, these stealthy, stolen glimpses from their adjacent windows parallel the developing relationship between Ian and Tansy—each incident offers increasingly tantalizing clues about each other, which appall and fascinate them, and which they at first misinterpret. But little by little, it’s the mystery and intrigue of these window glimpses that pull them inexorably together.
And when Tansy finally learns the real reason Ian stretches and roars out on his balcony every morning, her heart is lost. And when Ian learns why Tansy is leaning awkwardly over the edge of her balcony, craning her head, searching the sky for something, it’s the beginning of the end for our inveterate rogue: she’s the first woman to manage to kick open the locked gates of his heart.
And maybe that’s why Tansy looks so satisfied on the cover of the book. She knows windows are going to seal Ian’s fate, and that fate is a happily ever after with her.
She might look like an angel…
The moment orphaned American heiress Titania “Tansy” Danforth arrives on English shores she cuts a swath through Sussex, enslaving hearts and stealing beaux. She knows she’s destined for a spectacular titled marriage—but the only man who fascinates her couldn’t be more infamous…or less interested.
…but it takes a devil to know one…
A hardened veteran of war, inveterate rogue Ian Eversea keeps women enthralled, his heart guarded and his options open: why should he succumb to the shackles of marriage when devastating good looks and Eversea charm make seduction so easy?
…and Heaven has never been hotter.
When Ian is forced to call her on her game, he never dreams the unmasked Tansy—vulnerable, brave, achingly sensual—will tempt him beyond endurance. And fight as he will, this notorious bachelor who stood down enemies on a battlefield might finally surrender his heart…and be brought to his knees by love.
Link to Pennyroyal Green Series at Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/series/45155-pennyroyal-green
The author of five popular novels from Warner and eight from Avon, Julie Anne Long lives in California with a fat orange cat (little known fact: they issue you a cat the moment you become a romance novelist).
**Avon is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for A Print Copy of IT HAPPENED ONE MIDNIGHT, Book Eight in the Pennyroyal Green Series**