ARC Giveaway! THE GREATEST LOVER EVER

Greatest Lover Ever, the (revised)I’m so excited to be offering an Advance Reading Copy of my December 31 release THE GREATEST LOVER EVER today. For those of you who are reading the Ministry of Marriage/Westruthers series, this is Beckenham’s book.

I thought you all might like a sneak peek into THE GREATEST LOVER EVER and see the scene that inspired the U.S. cover 🙂 .

It’s been six years since Georgie Black jilted the Earl of Beckenham. Georgie goes in disguise to an extremely lewd party to rescue her sister, who has unwisely accompanied friends there. Circumstances conspire to find Georgie alone in a bedchamber with her erstwhile fiance. But does Beckenham recognize her? You be the judge!

“Take your clothes off,” he said to her over his shoulder. “I’ll be with you in a moment.” 

The room spun. Georgie put out a hand to steady herself against the mantel. She could not have heard correctly. Surely, she could not.

But she didn’t ask him to repeat his words because she knew very well her ears hadn’t deceived her. He’d just told her, bluntly, to undress. Because he thought that they… that she… Georgie’s face flushed with scalding heat.

After Steyne’s advances, she ought not to be so shocked. But this was Beckenham. Beckenham, who had never once gone beyond the line with her, even when they were safely betrothed.

Heedless of her reaction to the peremptory command, the earl stripped off his superfine coat and tossed it carelessly onto a chair.

Such a casual gesture. As if for him this encounter were the most mundane of occurrences.

A disorienting sensation came over her, as if the world swung upside down on its axis. Could it be true that Beckenham did this sort of thing all the time?

He continued to undress. Those large fingers unfobbed his watch and set it on the wash stand, then went to work on the buttons of his waistcoat. She quickly shut her eyes. But listening to him remove his clothes was almost as tantalizing as watching him.

Silk slid against cambric. A hush of cloth and a soft clack of buttons as the waistcoat joined his coat…

In moments, she opened her eyes again, hussy that she was, helpless to stop herself. She saw that he had indeed shed his waistcoat and was deftly undoing the ruffled cuffs at his wrists. He pushed his shirtsleeves up strong forearms before plunging his hands into the basin of water.

The intimacy of standing here in a bedchamber with the Earl of Beckenham as he performed his ablutions made Georgie ache for what might have been. If only she hadn’t been so rash, so stupid. If only he’d loved her. If only he’d understood.

Greatest Lover Ever Aus FinalHe splashed his face—once, twice, and dried it with a towel. Then he pulled his billowing shirt over his head in one deft movement. She ought to look away, but she couldn’t. She was too awe-struck by the solid, beautiful strength of his back and shoulders as he vigorously rubbed at his torso with a wet flannel.

Things were moving too fast for her reason to catch up. Dimly, she knew she ought to leave, and do it now, before this went any further. But threading through such self-preserving logic was a dark thrill of excitement. And a deep, powerful longing that had been inside her, suppressed, unacknowledged, ever since they’d met.

Georgie remembered—oh, how well she remembered—the firm, smooth texture of Beckenham’s lips against hers. He’d set her alight until her entire body was incandescent with longing for him. She’d burned to make him lose that awe-inspiring control. Yet, throughout their courtship, his kisses had been gentle, unthreatening. The air of danger that clung to him tonight was foreign to her.

Perhaps he reserved his true passion for females of quite a different sort?

The thought stiffened her spine.

Instead of explaining herself, or even making a hasty exit, she drawled, “My lord, you lack finesse.”

For a fraction of time, he froze. Then he laid the flannel down. Slowly, he turned. The gleam of candlelight slid along his bare skin.

His dark eyes glinted. “Is it finesse you want, sweetheart? I thought you were here for something quite different.”

BanditBootyOK my lovely Bandita Buddies! For a chance to win the ARC of THE GREATEST LOVER EVER, I want you to exercise those mad writing skills of yours and come up with the next line after this excerpt ends (you can write more than one line if you feel so inclined!) This is for a paper ARC, international.

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Comments

75 Comments

  • Jane says:

    Hello Christina,
    I can’t think of a witty comeback for Georgie to throw at Beckenham. Love both covers.

  • Christina, I can’t wait to read this book. I absolutely adored LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL. Pure reading pleasure and this sounds like more of the same. Yum, yum, yum! Gorgeous covers, by the way!

  • With all that stiffened spine I wonder if she might ask “What might that be my Lord?”
    What a great scene.

  • ki pha says:

    OMG!!! I’m so ready for book 2!!!

    Georgiana flushed red, her mouth a gaped. Should she be angry at him for thinking her a harlot? Did he he know who she was?
    “So sorry sir, but you’ve gotten the wrong room,” she scolded. “I wouldn’t want to waste your time if you’re looking for a romp, of some sort.”

  • Linda says:

    I’m sure she swiftly put him in his place.

    “And as in everything else, you thought wrongly my lord”

  • Efthalia says:

    Oh my lordy lord. I just about died here, “Silk slid against cambric. A hush of cloth and a soft clack of buttons as the waistcoat joined his coat…” and I would be so shameless and look here “she opened her eyes again, hussy that she was, helpless to stop herself.” Yep I’m a hussy.

    Then you kill me all over again here, “Is it finesse you want, sweetheart? I thought you were here for something quite different.” and now I have to give you a line.

    How about…

    Standing in his personal domain was intoxicating and paralyzing at the same time. She found her Benedict Arnold voice that had deserted her just as a wave of butterflies exploded in her stomach. How would he take her proposal? There was only one way to find out. She stepped out to where he could see her. “I’m here to claim you husband.”

    I don’t know? Turn the tables around on him perhaps? Shock is always good. 😀

  • flchen1 says:

    *gasp!*

    Words escape me… maybe a slap is in order? 😉

    And yes, a truly droolworthy cover, Christina!

  • A hot flush ran over her body. Thoughts flashed through her mind, such sinful thoughts. “My Lord, I think you’re much mistaken.”

    Haha! I’m not a writer at all, I’d rather stick to reviewing. I gave it a shot though. 😉

    Thanks for the chance.

  • Helen says:

    Christina

    I am just fanning myself glup 🙂 I can’t wait to read this one WOW what a scene

    Well you thought wrong

    I am not very good at these

    I so love both of these covers 🙂

    Have Fun
    Helen

  • Karina says:

    “Quite right,” she retorted, amazed at how tart and confident her voice sounded despite her woeful lack of experience in these matters. “I’m here to teach you a lesson you shan’t soon forget!”

  • Quantum says:

    With a wicked glint in her eye and a swish of her arm, she smiled sweetly and in her most commanding tone replied “Naughty boy! Lower your pantaloons and bend over that chair. I will now teach you a little finesse”

    Or maybe I totally misunderstood this scene! LOL

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Oooh can’t wait for Beckenham’s book! I LOVE this series and he captured my heart the minute he walked onto the page 🙂

    I’m hopeless at these, first thing in the morning, but here goes …
    “Oh dear.” She feigned disappointment. “With your reputation, my lord, I thought you might manage both. Clearly, tales of your prowess are exaggerated and you’re not up to the task.”

  • Tin says:

    Fun! Here’s my attempt:

    “You are correct, my lord.” She liften her chin up a notch. “But it is not this. And it is, most certainly, not you.”

    Georgie mustered up the strength to walk past him and out the door — breathing only when the door closed behind her.

    Very excited for your new book!

    • Hi Tin, thanks so much, I’m excited, too!

      Love the way Georgie sticks to her principles in your version. Unfortunately, my Georgie is a little weak-willed when it comes to resisting Beckenham… *G*

  • “One can clearly see what you thought, my lord. A quick tumble, perhaps? Nay, I had something more pleasurable, most masterful and definitinately longer in mind.”

    LOL – can’t wait for the book Christina! Love the two covers but quite a difference in concept there!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Hehehehe, I love the “definitely longer” line, Donna!

    • Snork!! You are the mistress of double entendres, Donna. I hope you’re not impugning Beckenham’s manhood???

      Yes, it’s amazing how different the two markets seem to be. My books are sold as mainstream fiction in Australia and sit on shelves near Dan Brown and people like those. Fancy that!

  • SecretNinja says:

    She felt her cheeks heat but quickly retorted, “then you, my lord, don’t know the first thing about ladies, do you”?

    And with the last word, she quickly made her exit before he could respond.
    —————————————————

    What a great excerpt, I can’t wait to read it, Christina! Sounds fabulous 🙂
    Ada

  • Mozette says:

    She watched him with unwaveringly, knowing he’d expect her to look away first from his dark eye and half-nakedness. Instead, she took a deep breath, “I am a lot different from other ladies you may have entertained. Finess is something we both seek; and I have heard you wish for… and something I have.”

    He raised a questioning eyebrow slightly as a humorous smile touched the corner of his mouth, “Is that so?” he closed the gap between them with a few quick strides, grabbing her firmly – and yet not roughly, “And who told you I have finness?”

    Allowing him to take a hold of her, Georgie observed his demeanour carefully, “I know you have finness, but you don’t expect it of the ladies who you entertain… however I am different in that aspect.”

    He couldn’t believe a woman as herself would turn out to be as intelligent as himself. This is what he loved about her… she was his equal in every way, “You can be so mean, but I love you can cut to the bone about my past, and yet accept it.” he held her closer more gently, carressing her hair, taking in her scent as he murmured in her ear, “I should never have taken you for granted this night…” he planted a softer than soft kiss just below her ear, “… forgive me?”

    With a sharp intake of air, as he expected from her, she whispered, “Of course my love.”

    • Wow, Mozette, that’s great! I like that you turned the tables on the situation and made it end on a tender note. Thank you!

      • Mozette says:

        Hey, you’re welcome. Actually I welcomed the challenge of this as I’ve been busily working hard on my Crafty Pegs stall and my brain has been stressed out of itself lately… so this has been a great little option to get in and do some real writing for once! 😀

        And when I’m not writing sci-fi action thrillers or painting clothes pegs and pencils or reading horror book and sci-fi books and doing book review (Phew, that’s a lot!), I’m writing erotica so pornographic ‘Fanny Hill’ would be put to shame 😛

  • Connie Fischer says:

    “Finesse?, she said. I’m here for expertise and mastery. I hope you can show me that.” Looking up at him from under her lashes, her eyes smoldering, she slowly licked her lips with the tip of wet, pink tongue.

    Now, wasn’t that naughty? 🙂 I’m really looking forward to reading this. I love your books, Christina.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Oh, my, Christina! I’m not sure I was ready for that scene with my morning coffee. I’ll take it, though. 😀 Okay, here’s a shot (even though I write humorous contemporaries!!):

    Georgie swallowed, her throat dry, struggling to collect her wild, scattered thoughts. “With all the stories I’ve heard of you and your…expertise…my lord, I suppose I did anticipate a bit more finesse. Indeed, I find myself most put off by your ham-handed approach. Ordering me to undress so crudely hardly qualifies as seduction. I did imagine that’s what you were about.”

    Her wanton heart hoped that was what he planned, even while her long-ignored common sense ordered her to march out the door.

    Wow, that was fun! Maybe I should go write something of mine now. I do have a book to finish. And a novella. Well, two novellas…

    • Wow, Posh, you really captured the mood of the scene. Loved the dialogue. Methinks you could definitely write historicals if that was your wish but there are only so many hours in the day, even for the superlatively organized! Thank you for playing!

  • Laurie G says:

    A la Bob Dylan:

    Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
    Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead
    I long to see you in the morning light
    I long to reach for you in the night
    Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Oh my, Christine, that US cover is so lovely. The background colors and the gleam of the hero’s bare flesh. Quick, give me a fan!

    Normally I don’t like headless covers but this one is outstanding!

    Congratulations on your latest release. How exciting! This story line sounds very intriguing.

    How about, “After tonight you’ll find finesse highly overrated.”

    • OMG love it!! Jo, that’s a great line. Wish I’d thought of some of these:)

      The U.S. cover is certainly very striking, isn’t it? Not sure what the man himself would think about being so exposed but after all, he is the greatest lover ever. *G*

  • Jo Robertson says:

    I see I’m the only one that continued Beckenham’s lines, but I just wanted him to taunt her a bit more. I figure he knows who Blackie is and his seduction of her will be memorable, with or without finesse!

  • catslady says:

    After she spoke, he knew!!
    Her reply – I am sure you are here for something quite different!!

    • Hmm, Catslady, I won’t spoil it and tell you if you’re right. But I always think it improbable that someone can keep up a disguise at close quarters (so to speak!)

      Love the line. This is so much fun! I should get you all to write my books for me.

  • Nicole Laverdure says:

    I prefer you U.S. cover very appealing! Congratulations for your new release.
    Maybe, she would reply ” You are dreaming, my lord, if you think you can seduce me with your beautiful words!”

    • Haha, Nicole, the sarcasm is just dripping off her tongue in that line. Thanks for playing!

      Interesting about the covers. A lot of Australians prefer the Australian one. Which probably shows the art department at Penguin Australia know what they’re doing!

  • Kim says:

    Congratulations on your new book.

    His dark eyes glinted. “Is it finesse you want, sweetheart? I thought you were here for something quite different.”

    “As usual, you’re blind to what’s right in front of you.”

    He paused for a minute, then said, “Have we met before or is this your usual bedroom charm?”

    Georgie took a step closer, looked him up and down and said, “Perhaps you’d like one of the other girls. Someone more accomodating of your arrogance might be more to your liking.”

  • Pat Cochran says:

    “You sadly and badly mistake me, My Lord! It becomes
    most apparent that finesse is not one of your finest at-
    tributes! Perhaps another time, another place….but for
    now, this lady is not for you!”

    Pat C.

  • Instead of explaining herself, or even making a hasty exit, she drawled, “My lord, you lack finesse.”For a fraction of time, he froze.

    Then he laid the flannel down. Slowly, he turned. The gleam of candlelight slid along his bare skin.His dark eyeis glinted. “Is it finesse you want, sweetheart? I thought you were here for something quite different”

    “Oh, My Dear Beckenham, has it been so long since our ill-fated betrothal, that you do not even recognize my voice?” As Georgie dropped the drawl she’d used to gleam some information from the lout, once the noblest Gentleman she’d ever met, that stood before her she saw the recognition upon his face quickly followed by horror.

    Beckenham rushed forwards and pulled Georgie by her shoulders to face the light of the fire, this was the last woman he’d expected to meet him in such an encounter, stunned he pulled himself together hauling every ounce of steadfastness he had left at a moment like this he scoulded her like the innocent she was “Georgie, you are not the kind of woman who does this! I shall not bed you this night nor any other, I am not a saint, but I will not shame a Lady of England”

    Georgie glared at Beckenham, of course she had drawled at him leading him on, but how could he ever think she capable of such an act? “Beckenham I couldnt bear to marry you because, I could never marry a man who did not love me, so it is beyond me how you could possibly think it of me to sneak off and perform leud acts with a Gentleman, let alone one who I could have any any “different” way I desired once we were married. Honestly Beckenham I am surprised at you and not plesantly so”

    Beckenham walked backwards and found a chair to fall into after the berrage he’d just suffered at the mercy of his old betrothed “I think you should leave” were all the words he could muster.

    Gracie straightened and replied “Well I certainly wasnt going to stay and see two good reputations soiled!”

    I love your books Christina! Such anticipation waiting for everyones favorite Lord Beckenham! I am Currently trying to finish my first book and I love reading the mature content of your novels (in fact I need to read it as I have no idea how to approach erotica writing for my own book!) -learn from the masters i say! (But always just using it as inspiration and never plagerizing, no, no, no. I dont do that!)

    PICK ME PICK ME… i am a fellow writer after all and soon to be self-Published with Bookpal! He he

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    “I am here for something different. But your loss, my lord, it’s not you.”

    Love the sound of this book!

  • “The host said there would be entertainment tonight, but I presumed he meant a musical or perhaps cards. Had I know I would be treated to a striptease, I would’ve gotten here sooner, but alas, YOURS leaves a little to be desired.”

    🙂

    Suz

  • Christina, what a great excerpt! I can’t wait to read the actual book.

    I’m having no luck coming up with a next line, but there are some great ones here!

  • gamistress66 says:

    sorry, did you want something? a line? sorry, I got distracted by all that bare skin and my mind has stopped working 😉

  • DELICIOUS EXCERPT ! and a cover to match! I am so looking forward to reading Beckenham’s story! How about :

    “I didn’t realize you provided such an extensive menu. May I order what I wish or is it strictly a la carte?”

  • Ooh, saucy, Louisa! I like your thinking, ma’am.

    Hope you enjoy this one!

  • Shannon says:

    “Different,” she sniffed. She looked down at her feet and then raised her eyes to his. “I came with a question. I think I now have an answer.”

    I’ve occasionally thought about this, but I couldn’t come up with anything. But I love your books and can’t wait until December. I will have an electric blanket to keep my toes warm and something spicy on my kindle to keep me amused when the days a too cold and much too short.

    • Ooh, very intriguing, Shannon! Thank you, I’m delighted to hear you’re enjoying my books. Difficult for me to imagine the cold over there as we’re roasting down here in Oz!