Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Exclusive Sneak Peek: The Lady’s Command by Stephanie Laurens + The Tempting of Thomas Carrick Giveaway! (US/Can only)

The Lady’s Command
Stephanie Laurens

How does marriage work? If convention is set aside and is no longer there to guide…what then?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens brings you The Adventurers Quartet, a riveting blend of Regency-era high seas adventure, a mystery shrouded in the heat of tropical jungles, and the passionate romances of four couples and their unexpected journeys into love.


The instant Captain Declan Frobisher laid eyes on Lady Edwina Delbraith, he knew she was the lady he wanted as his wife. The scion of a seafaring dynasty accustomed to success, he discovered that wooing Edwina was surprisingly straightforward—not least because she made it plain that she wanted him as much as he wanted her.

Declan’s vision of marriage was of a gently-reared wife to grace his arm, to manage his household, and to bear his children. He assumed that household, children, and wife would remain safely in England while he continued his life as an explorer sailing the high seas.

Declan got his wish—up to a point. He and Edwina were wed. As for the rest—his vision of marriage...

Aunt of the young Duke of Ridgware and sister of the mysterious man known as Neville Roscoe, London’s gambling king, even before the knot was tied Edwina shattered the illusion that her character is as delicate, ethereal, and fragile as her appearance suggests. Far from adhering to orthodox mores, she and her ducal family are even more unconventional than the Frobishers.

Beneath her fairy-princess exterior, Edwina possesses a spine of steel—one that might bend, but will never break. Born to the purple—born to rule—she’s determined to rule her life. With Declan’s ring on her finger, that means forging a marriage that meets her needs as well as his.

But bare weeks into their honeymoon, Declan is required to sail to West Africa. Edwina decides she must accompany him.

A secret mission with unknown villains flings unexpected dangers into their path as Declan and Edwina discover that meeting the challenge of making an unconventional marriage work requires something they both possess—bold and adventurous hearts.
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Edwina decided that the deck of a ship like The Cormorant was an exhilarating place to be.

Together with Declan, she’d completed a circuit of the main deck, during which he’d made known to her all the ship’s crew they’d encountered. Finally, they’d climbed to where the huge wheel stood, and he’d introduced the ship’s master, Mr. Johnson, then relieved the master navigator of the wheel.

Johnson, clearly curious, had lingered to chat for a few moments before heading down for his evening meal. Edwina remained beside Declan, gripping the rail to one side of where he stood before the heavy spoked wheel; she looked down the length of the ship, then looked up at the masts soaring high above and at the huge kite-like sails. Finally gazing out and around, she felt engulfed by nature’s power, by the sheer immensity of the sky and the sea, the force of the wind and the waves. In that moment, she understood why Declan would never give up sailing—would never give up the chance to experience elemental moments like this.

Eventually, curious, she reached out and placed one hand on the wheel, a little below where Declan held it. To her wonder and delight, through the tension and vibration in the wood—caused, she realized, by the forces pushing against the rudder—she could sense the power of the sea running beneath the hull.

His eyes narrowed against the whip of the wind, Declan glanced, somewhat searchingly, at her. “I forgot to ask, is this your first time at sea?”

She shook her head, glorying in the tug of the wind on her curls. “Julian loves to sail. When we were younger, before George died, Julian used to take me on his yacht—we sailed on the Irish Sea.” She lifted her face to the wind. “I used to think that was thrilling, but this…this is nature’s power made manifest.”

Declan heard the sincerity in her tone, saw the wonder in her face; if he hadn’t already fallen in love with her, he would have fallen then.

They remained as they were, side by side, and she seemed content to be there—watching, seeing, absorbing.

After some time, entirely without preamble, she said, “You understand why I had to do it, don’t you?” He took a moment to ask himself whether, in fact, he did, then answered truthfully, “Yes.”

Giveaway!

Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of The Tempting of Thomas Carrick, another one of Stephanie Laurens's novels—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
Regardless of whether or not you are married, what do you think is the most important factor to make a marriage work?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Stephanie and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher and tour publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at Harlequin and TLC Book Tours!
Giveaway ends February 9th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada readers only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!