Friday Feature: Laura Trentham
Keeping her safe is difficult, keeping a proper distance from her is downright impossible.
Lady Lily Drummond understands only too well the danger of spy work. Her father, a preeminent master spy, has been missing for months, and her brother barely survived his final mission for the Crown. Lily is still determined to help find her father, no matter how hard her brother and his best friend try to keep her in the dark.
Busy trying to untangle the web of deceit surrounding the Earl of Windor’s disappearance, Crown spy Gray Masterson also has to ensure Lily Drummond, the gangly, awkward child who was his constant shadow growing up, doesn’t get herself ruined at her London debut. But the girl with scraped knees and elbows has evolved into a lush, sensual beauty surrounded by a bevy of suitors.
Realizing Lily is going to investigate on her own if he doesn’t let her join the hunt for her missing father, Gray assumes he can give Lily a few minor tasks to pacify her, but he quickly learns she is a valuable asset. Moreover, she fairly crackles with life and warmth—things he craves after his dark years in service.
Warning: This book contains spies, scandals, naughty liaisons in houses of ill repute, men who think they know everything and women who know they do not.
1) Do you usually begin a book with a character or a plot?
Actually, I usually begin with a scene. If I’m lucky, it’s the first scene of the book, and the incident that kicks off the entire plot. I usually let the scene mature in my head for a few days before I actually sit to write it. In that time, I pick character names and decide what they look like. When I sit down to write, I generally let the natural progression of the plot unfold, and I get to know the characters better as I write (just like the readerJ)
2) How many books will you write in the next 12 months?
In 2015, I wrote four full-length books while I was going through edits on five different books! I have two young kids, and it was a challenge. This year, my plan is to write three full length books along with a novella. I also have a couple of books drafted that need revising. So, I anticipate another busy year. But, one thing I’ve learned in my brief writing career is to be open to opportunities!
3) Who or what helped you along the path to publishing?
By far and away the best thing I did was join Romance Writers of America (RWA) and enter contests for unpublished manuscripts. Not only did I get invaluable feedback and learned a ton, but I got my agent through one contest (she was the final judge!) Now, I routinely sign-up to judge contests and really enjoy seeing some of those writers make the leap from unpublished to published.
Gray smoothed back his damp hair, took a deep breath, and peeked around the doorjamb into the drawing room. His dip in the chilly pond had done wonders for his tattered self-control. Lily hadn’t noticed him yet. Her face was a study in concentration, brows drawn in and teeth worrying her lips, keeping them red. Combs held her hair in check, but part of the thick mass obscured the white slope of her neck and delicate collarbone.
She worked the picks in synchronicity. Her focus was the most difficult lock of the set. He glided into the room and kept the settee between them as if it offered some protection from her allure.
Christ, she was beautiful and brave and made him laugh…and she wanted to be his friend. One of the pathetic beaus orbiting her sphere would be the first to kiss her, the first to awaken her sensual nature, the first to bed her. She deserved to be a duchess and rule London. Logically, an arranged marriage made perfect sense.
But the completely illogical part of him, situated somewhere between his legs, scoffed. It was only a kiss, after all. She wanted a basis of comparison, she said so herself. Why not offer himself up as illustration?
She straightened from her task and blew a stray tendril off her forehead with a gust of air. “I give up. What’s the trick? Will you show me?”
Less than five minutes in the room together, and he was back where he started. He wanted to kiss her. Why deny it? Why not surrender, at least temporarily, to the madness she inspired? Turning back to the door, he closed it with a soft snick.
He moved faster now that the decision had been made. Standing behind her, he brushed her hair over one shoulder, leaving a side of her neck bare. “Let’s try it this way,” he whispered.
He wrapped his fingers around hers, surprised not to see the sparks that made his fingers twitch. The full length of his body pressed against hers, and her sweet, rounded bottom notched into his pelvis.
“Like this?” She leaned over the desk, her voice trilling high. Somehow, their entwined fingers found the lock. His moved on instinct alone.
His body curved over hers. She would have no idea how tempting their position was. Their fingers worked clumsily, but he didn’t care. His lips sought the warmth of her skin but stopped an inch away from her neck. Slow, deep breaths of rose-scented woman escalated his desire. Never letting his lips touch her, he skimmed them down her neck to her exposed collarbone and back up to her temple. Fine hairs along her nape stood at attention, aware of his sly machinations.
Connect With Laura & Her Books
Laura shared how many books she plans to write this year. Now tell Laura how many romances you read in a month. Give your answer in the comments below. One random winner will be drawn by noon ET on 3/5.
The Prize: an ebook copy of An Indecent Invitation.