Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Meagan's Chance

Meagan's Chance
by Lucy Monroe
Samhain Publishing
May 1, 2008
ISBN - 10: 1599987910
ISBN-13: 978-1599987910
Buy the book.


    Can a free-spirited woman teach an uptight professor what he needs to know about love and faith—outside the classroom?

    Shattered by her ex-husband’s infidelity and her own infertility, Meagan O’Hare is starting over. Tossed in the midst of a family crisis by a flat tire, she meets Adam McCallister. The last thing Meagan wants is to get involved with Adam and his children. It’s just a painful reminder of what she can never have—her own family.

    Adam couldn't agree more. The son of an alcoholic, Adam desires stability and security for his children. An undisciplined, too attractive woman who wears tie-dye T-shirts is not his idea of the model nanny. His children disagree. They have prayed for someone exactly like Meagan and aren't above giving God a helping hand in getting her.

    In less than twenty-four hours, Meagan turns Adam’s neatly ordered world upside down. While the children love it, Adam questions the wisdom of his decision to hire Meagan, even temporarily. So—why is the knowledge that she'll be there when he comes home so enticing?

    Living in the same house isn't easy for Meagan and Adam as they grapple with a growing attraction and a different way of looking at life. Yet their very differences are the things that draw them together. Can the free-spirited Meagan teach the uptight professor something new about his faith while he leads her to discover something new about unconditional love?






    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Throwback Thursday - Annabelle's Courtship


    ANNABELLE'S COURTSHIP
    by Lucy Monroe
    Samhain Publishing

    E-book - September 2007
    ISBN 1-59998-539-X
    Trade Paperback - October 2008
    ISBN-10: 1599987740
    ISBN-13: 978-1599987743

    Buy the E-Book:

    Samhain | Kindle | Nook

    Prologue - Samhain 2008 ~ (c) Lucy Monroe



    This is the first historical I ever wrote and I had more fun with the prologue than I probably have had with any other. :) What do you think? A good addition to the book? Or unnecessary?


    Prologue

    Graenfrae, Scotland 1816

    Laird Ian MacKay, Earl of Graenfrae, wanted to slam his fist into the gray stone wall of his study. “Ye’re telling me that my stepfather left me a fortune, but I canna get it unless I marry?”
    Ian impatiently watched the elderly solicitor, Eggleton, as he removed his spectacles and carefully cleaned them with a cloth. Replacing the eyeglasses on his face, the solicitor shuffled the papers before him. He cleared his throat. “Precisely speaking, milord, if you marry within the year.”
    A year. Ian clenched his hands and pivoted away from the other man. Bloody hell.
    The tenants on Graenfrae’s farms needed seed and farming implements. Many of their homes would not last another winter without new thatch on their roofs. Ian needed blunt. Money that was only available if he wed within a year.
    The urge to slam his fist into something grew stronger. Ian’s chest constricted with anger and another emotion. Betrothal and marriage would make him vulnerable to betrayal.
    Again.
    He had a difficult time believing that the late Earl of Lansing would take such drastic measures to see his wishes fulfilled. “Did my stepfather tell you why he placed this restriction in his will?”
    Again the white head bent as the solicitor went through the ritual of cleaning his spectacles. Ian wanted to tear the wire frames from Eggleton’s hands. Were na the man’s eyeglasses clean enough?
    “Lord Lansing believed that after the unfortunate incident with your broken betrothal you might hesitate to marry. He wanted you to secure your line, so to speak.”
    “Then why did he no just add another rider requiring I set up my nursery?” Ian asked with disgust, ignoring the issue of his ended engagement.
    Eggleton appeared to take his sarcastic question seriously. “He did in fact wish to do so. I convinced the earl that these matters are uncertain. It would be difficult to predict, ah hem…” Eggleton coughed delicately. “When your wife might begin increasing.”
    Things were not as bleak as they could be. Without the requirement for an heir, nothing would stop him from finding an obliging woman and entering a paper marriage. An annulment could be secured in due time. Feeling better than he had since the solicitor had begun reading the will, Ian sat down.
    A look of relief passed across the Eggleton’s face. “There is one final matter regarding the inheritance.”
    What could be worse than marriage? Ian raised his brow in question and Eggleton continued. “Your wife must be English.”
    “Bloody hell.” Ian shot from his chair. “You canna be serious.”
    Eggleton looked offended. “I assure you, I would never make light of the last wishes of one of my clients.”
    An English wife.
    “How am I supposed to find an English wife and marry her in the next year?”
    Were he looking for a proper wife, he knew it would be easy. He could think of several ladies who would be thrilled at the opportunity to be Lady MacKay. He could not envision any of them going without new dresses and fripperies while he made necessary improvements on his tenants’ properties, however. Finding a wife would not be hard. Finding a woman who would sacrifice for the good of Graenfrae might be impossible. Far better to plan a paper marriage.
    “The London season opens in less than a month, milord.”
    Of course his English stepfather’s lawyer would think in terms of London. It was a fair distance away, but the season attracted many ladies. One of them would surely be practical enough to fit his purpose. He needed a plan of action.
    Ian moved toward the desk, amused when the lawyer hastily retreated toward the window. Grabbing paper and a quill pen, Ian dipped it in the ink well. He started writing. Several minutes later he blotted the paper. Blowing on it, Ian read again the words he had written.

    Requirements for a wife:
    Plain.
    Modestly dowered.
    Older.

    Eggleton cleared his throat once again. Ian looked up from his paper. The solicitor said, “The late earl instructed me to give you a message when I told you the details of the will.”
    Ian felt a premonition of disaster on the horizon. “Aye?”
    The solicitor shifted from one foot to the other and repeated the process of cleaning his glasses, this time taking an inordinate amount of time to wipe the lenses. “He wanted me to remind you…” The man let his words trail off.
    Ian prompted him, “Aye?”
    Eggleton coughed. “He said to tell you that when a man takes the holy vows of matrimony, he is giving his word to the woman he takes to wife. The earl wanted you to remember that honor demands the gentleman in question keep that word for a lifetime.”
    Ian could no more deny the honor demanded by his stepfather than he could deny the responsibility to his tenants he had learned at his da’s knee. Feeling like a man facing the gaol, Ian accepted that there would be no paper marriage.
    After the solicitor had left, Ian settled against the dark leather of his favorite chair and studied his surroundings with a critical eye. A man’s room, his study fit his need for stark simplicity. Bookcases on either side of the massive fireplace relieved the unending gray of the circular stone walls.
    Multiple windows high in the walls of the turret’s chamber bathed the room in the fading light of evening. A scarred oak table served as his desk. Only two other items of furniture had made it into his sanctuary, another chair and small round table.
    Soon a woman, an English woman, would be living in his home. A wife. He did not have time to cater to the needs of a woman, especially the romantic ideals so many ladies seemed plagued with. Taking a sip from his brandy, he thought of another requirement to add to his list for a wife.
    Practicality.
    The list would do him well in selecting a woman to wed for a lifetime. He would not make the same mistake he had with Jenna. He would find a woman as unlike her as possible, a woman who would be faithful.

    Wednesday, April 09, 2014

    Tuesday, April 08, 2014

    The Chatsfield - Sheikh's Scandal

    Sheikh's Scandal
    Chatsfield Continuity
    by Lucy Monroe
    Release Date May 1, 2014
    ISBN-13: 978-0373132393

    Preorder today:
    PROLOGUE

    Aaliyah Amari tossed a handful of dirt onto her mother's casket and then walked away from the grave.
    Hena Amari's lung cancer had hit fast and furious.  The virulent disease had come as a complete shock since Hena had never smoked a day in her life.  Her father and brothers had though and Hena had often told Liyah that the smell of cheroots brought back memories of her family.
    A family who had cast her out for her disgrace.
    Several members of the Amari family now surrounded the gravesite, but not one of them acknowledged the illegitimate daughter of the dead woman.  Proof of the shame that had caused them to reject Hena for the last twenty-six years.
    Her mom was the only Amari who had ever recognized Liyah as a member of that family.  Her insistence on doing so as an unwed mother had dictated the terms of Hena's life.
    To Liyah's knowledge the open casket funeral was the first time Hena's parents and siblings had seen her since Liyah's birth.  Even the aunt and uncle Hena had come to live with in America had utterly rejected her.
    Until her death.
    There they stood on opposite side of the gravesite, their grief evidenced in tears Liyah refused to allow herself to shed.  Not around these people.
    Liyah found it obscene that they could pretend they cared about a woman they had hurt so deeply with their abandonment.
    Hena's refusal to give Liyah up for someone else to raise had resulted in complete estrangement from the rest of the Amaris.  She'd been given strict instructions from her patriarch grandfather not to return to Zeena Sahra and heap more shame on the family name.
    His death when Liyah was nine had caused her mother deep grief, but hadn't altered the family's viewpoint on her welcome in the country of her birth.
    Despite her mother's often stated wishes to the contrary, Liyah had never been to her mother's homeland.  She planned to travel there one day though.  She couldn't care less what the Amari family wanted.
    If Liyah could take out a billboard sign and announce her arrival in Zeena Sahra and the fact she was Hena Amari's daughter, she would.  Not that the trip was destined to happen any time soon.
    Travel to the distant desert kingdom would cost money Liyah did not have.
    Especially after her mother's final medical bills had depleted both Hena and Liyah's modest savings.
    It had shocked and infuriated her that Hena's will had allowed for the Amaris to sweep in and take over the planning of the funeral and claim Hena's body for their family's burial plot.  But she'd understood when it became clear they would pay for everything as well.
    Her mother had been protecting Liyah, but not without a cost.
    The Amaris had invited Hena's friends from The Chatsfield San Francisco to attend the funeral, but Liyah was only there because she'd read about the details in her mother's obituary.
    An obituary that did not mention she was survived in death by a daughter.  Only her parents and siblings had been listed.
    Liyah refused to allow the Amari's continued denial of her existence to matter to her.  Her mother was the only person who had harbored hope the Amari family would one day recognize Liyah's place in it.
    If her mother had not specifically left Liyah the humble contents of the apartment they'd called home for as long as she could remember, no doubt they would have taken that over too.
    But Liyah wasn't the quiet, unassuming woman her mother had been.  When her grandfather had demanded a key to the apartment so her grandmother could come and choose Hena's burial clothing, Liyah had refused.
    She'd asked one of the maids from The Chatsfield to deliver Hena's most treasured possession, the traditional Zeena Sahra wedding outfit she'd embroidered with her mother and grandmother but never gotten to wear.
    Liyah was shocked that her grandfather had actually opted to allow his daughter to be buried in the clothing.
    For the first and only time in her life, Liyah had seen Hena dressed in garb of her homeland, the ever present stress erased from her features.  The lines etched by her pain in the final days thankfully gone as well.
    Liyah held that image in her heart as she walked away from the gravesite, intending to go directly to the lawyer's office for a private reading of the will.  Unwelcome at the Amari hosted gathering after the funeral, Liyah had no place else to be.
    Two hours later, she was reeling in shock from what she'd learned.  The San Francisco apartment she and her mother had shared was in fact owned by Hena's father.
    Use of the apartment had apparently always been conditional on Hena never bringing Liyah to Zeena Sahra.  Hena herself had been welcome, but she'd refused to leave her daughter behind and had never returned to place of her birth, had never again seen her own mother and father.
    Liyah should not have been surprised at this show of her mother's backbone.  Hena had raised her alone and without complaint, working hard to insure Liyah had the best life possible.
    Only after a lifetime believing her mother had submitted to the will of her family voluntarily, Liyah had difficulty reconciling the strong-willed woman she was learning about with the soft-spoken one she had known.
    And that almost succeeded where the Amari's rejection had not.  Tears burned Liyah's eyes, tightening her throat, but she refused to let them fall.
    "Mr. Amari has offered the same terms to you as to his daughter.  So long as you do not travel to Zeena Sahra or attempt to identify with the Amari family, you may continue to live in the apartment rent free."
    Liyah allowed no emotion to show on her face when she asked, "Are you my mother's lawyer, or my grandfather's?"
    "I am on retainer to Mr. Ahmed Amari as well as other members of the Amari family.  Naturally, Hena Amari came to me when she wanted her will written."
    "I see."  No wonder her grandfather had known the terms of the will allowing him to provide for the funeral and burial of his youngest daughter.  "Is there anything else?"
    "Mr. Amari would like an answer on the apartment issue today."
    Liyah couldn't help notice that the lawyer had been careful never to refer to Hena as her mother, or Ahmed Amari as Liyah's grandfather.
    "And if I refuse to give it?  Is the offer withdrawn?"  She already knew what her answer was going to be, but she balked at being pressed into an immediate answer.
    "Not precisely.  Mr. Amari has in fact instructed me to make a further offer to you.  He will pay you twenty-five thousand dollars in addition to signing the apartment over to you if you adhere to either of two options."
    "Yes?"
    The lawyer shuffled the documents on his desk.  "The first option would be for you to sign the necessary paperwork allowing for an adult adoption of you by his brother and sister-in-law who make their home here in San Francisco."
    "And the other?"
    "For you to have your last name legally changed."
    When Liyah said nothing, but allowed her expression to show the disdain she felt for this man and her grandfather's options, the lawyer cleared his throat again.  "I am duty bound to inform you that you have seventy-two hours to make your decision, at which time should you refuse either option, you will be evicted from the apartment."
    "I hope you are not attempting to intimidate me by implying I would be expected to vacate in three days' time."
    "Mr. Amari would expect you to do so, yes."
    "My grandfather's expectations have little to do with California's tenancy laws."
    One Liyah's co-workers had dealt with a dishonest landlord the year before.  She'd regaled anyone who would listen and some who would have preferred not to with her tale of woe and ultimate victory.
    Liyah was now grateful she'd been one of the unwilling confidants.
    Because she now knew that once she refused to comply with either option offered by the lawyer, she had a minimum of thirty days to vacate once served with an eviction notice and sixty if she wanted to push it.  Because the apartment had been her residence for much longer than one year.
    "Yes, well."  The lawyer was careful not to say he disagreed with Liyah, though his tone implied she didn't know what she was talking about.  "You have three days to give your answer."
    "I don't need three minutes.  Both options are obscene, as I'm sure my mother told you when offered the same thing."
    The lawyer's slight flinch told Liyah her guess was correct, both in that her mother had been offered the same choices and that Hena had refused them.
    "Unlike my grandfather and his ilk, I will not deny my mother."  Putting on a well-used chilly front of dignity, Liyah stood.  "You may inform my grandfather the answer is no. I will vacate the apartment sixty days from when I receive a legal and properly served eviction notice."
    She walked out of the man's office without another word, leaving a flush-faced, sputtering lawyer in her wake.
    Her pride had wanted her to tell him she'd move out immediately.  That she didn't need anything from her Amari relatives even the use of her home, but practicality intervened as it so often had to in Liyah's life.
    San Francisco real estate was a tight market.  Finding an apartment she could afford to rent on her own in a decent neighborhood wasn't going to be easy, or quick.
    Her days of paying off her student loan debt at accelerated rates were over.
    Despite what she'd said, Liyah would move out as soon as she was able, but she wasn't leaving so much of a photograph of her mother for them to find.
    They'd wanted nothing of Hena in her life, they would have nothing more of her in her death.
    Liyah did what she'd always done and put on a cool fa├žade as she left the building housing the law office, as if the rejection of the only family she'd known about did not hurt.
    But later that night, she cried in the solitude of the apartment that no longer felt like a home without Hena's presence.
    Her heart aching with grief and pain that wasn't likely to dull for a very long time, she couldn't help wondering what other shocks awaited her in the contents of the safe-deposit box her mother had left her.


    Thursday, April 03, 2014

    Throwback Thursday - The Real Deal

    THE REAL DEAL
    by Lucy Monroe
    September 2004 (tradesize) ISBN 0-7582-0860-X
    June 2005 (mass market) ISBN 0-7582-0861-8

    Like a classic Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn/Doris Day-Rock Hudson movie-but with plenty of steamy heat-Lucy Monroe's debut novel introduces a pair of delightfully sparring opposites whose undeniable attraction is about to take them beyond the edge of reason...and right into the throes of delicious passion...

    Buy Amazon Kindle e-book

    SHUT UP AND KISS ME

    The most important thing in Amanda's life is negotiating a successful merger between her company and Brant Computers, a family-held competitor. It should be a done deal: Company president Eric Brant is on board with the idea. But when Amanda arrives in Eric's office, it is his cousin Simon Brant who greets her-and Simon is anything but agreeable. He's not about to give up control of the family company or lay off loyal workers. Squaring off against the sexy, brilliant, sexy, obstinate, sexy, eccentric, not to mention sexy Simon is completely frustrating-and a total turn-on. And when he walks out on her presentation, sidetracked by another one of his brilliant ideas, Amanda is shocked...and intrigued...no, furious!...and...and...and so attracted she can barely enter data into her Palm Pilot...

    Simon has never met a woman as passionate and driven as Amanda, or as devastatingly attractive. He can't decide if he wants to put her on the next plane home-in the cargo hold-or kidnap her and spend a long weekend showing her exactly the kind of negotiating he likes best. Come to think of it, if the lady wants war, maybe they should engage in full-on battle...in the bedroom...and see who will be the victor. But when intimacy leads to an explosive passion, it might be time to think of a different, more permanent kind of merger...one that's less about business and all about pleasure...

    Wednesday, April 02, 2014

    Tuesday, April 01, 2014

    The Chatsfield - Sheikh's Scandal MAY RELEASE

    Sheikh's Scandal
    Chatsfield Continuity
    by Lucy Monroe
    Release Date May 1, 2014
    ISBN-13: 978-0373132393

    Preorder today:
    Amazon | Harlequin | B&N  |

    When the Sheikh comes to town… 

    Sheikh Sayed of Zeena Sarha and his harem of beautiful women are staying at the exclusive, opulent Chatsfield Hotel, London, for the last stop on his worldwide tour before his wedding. But when his engagement is unceremoniously broken, Sayed sets his sights on his sexy chambermaid! 

    Liyah Amari only took the position as chambermaid to find the truth about her birth father. But her search ends in heartache, leaving Liyah vulnerable to this powerful Sheikh's desires. Now their one night of passion could result in a scandalous consequence for the proud Sheikh! 

    Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!