Saturday, June 24, 2017

Excerpt & Tour: Seducing Mr. Sykes by Maggie Robinson


Title: Seducing Mr. Sykes
Author: Maggie Robinson
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: Cotswold Confidential Series (Book Two)
Publisher: Lyrical Press
LinksGoodreads
SynopsisIn Maggie Robinson’s sparkling new series, the quaint village in Gloucestershire is where the wayward sons and daughters of Great Britain’s finest families come for some R&R—and good old-fashioned “rehab”. But sometimes they find much more . . .

No one at Puddling-on-the-Wold ever expected to see Sarah Marchmain enter through its doors. But after the legendary Lady’s eleventh-hour rejection of the man she was slated to marry, she was sent here to restore her reputation . . . and change her mind. It amused Sadie that her father, a duke, would use the last of his funds to lock her up in this fancy facility—she couldn’t be happier to be away from her loathsome family and have some time to herself. The last thing she needs is more romantic distraction . . .

As a local baronet’s son, Tristan Sykes is all too familiar with the spoiled, socialite residents of the Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation—no matter how real their problems may be. But all that changes when he encounters Sadie, a brave and brazen beauty who wants nothing more than to escape the life that’s been prescribed for her. If only Tristan could find a way to convince the Puddling powers-that-be that Sadie is unfit for release, he’d have a chance to explore the intense attraction that simmers between them—and prove himself fit to make her his bride . . .


Puddling-on-the-Wold, September 1882

“It’s Lady Maribel all over again,” the grocer Frank Stanchfield muttered to his wife, checking the lock to his back room. “How the girl discovered the telegraph machine is a mystery.”

Except it wasn’t such a mystery, really. Lady Sarah Marchmain—“Sadie” to her late mama and very few friends—had eyes, after all, and there it was behind an open alley window, gleaming on a worn oak desk.

She had climbed in, her tartan trousers very convenient for hoisting oneself into the building. After being caught trying to send a message to who knows who, she was now unrepentantly inspecting the jars of candy on the shop counter.

She might try to steal some of it, if only the shopkeepers would stop hovering over her.

“Bite your tongue!” Mrs. Stanchfield whispered, looking over nervously at Sadie. Apparently no one wanted another Lady Maribel de Winter in Puddling. The first had been bad enough. Sadie had heard of her in snatches from the villagers, and the woman’s portrait hung in the parish hall. Her wicked reputation had outlived her, even if her decades of good works once she married had mitigated some of it. She had been a wild young thing who would have made Napoleon quake in his boots.

Or take her to bed. Lady Maribel had been, according to gossip, irresistible to men. Fortunately her husband, a local baronet called Sir Colin Sykes, had taken her in hand as best he could once they were married. Sadie was determined never to be taken in hand.

Puddling was known as a famous reputation-restorer, a place to rusticate and recalibrate. Prominent British families had sent their difficult relatives here for almost eighty years. Lady Maribel was among the first to be gently incarcerated within its limits in 1807, according to the elderly vicar’s wife, who seemed to know everything about everyone dating back to William the Conqueror.

Now it was Sadie’s turn to be gently incarcerated, and she didn’t like it one bit.

The village had a spotless reputation. It was a last resort before a harsher hospital, or worse, killing one’s own offspring. Or parent. Lady Sarah Marchmain had angered her father so thoroughly that they’d come to blows. When the Duke of Islesford dropped her off, he had been sporting a significant black eye.

Well-deserved, in her opinion.

Sadie’s own eyes were unbruised and light green, the color of beryl, or so her numerous suitors had said. Occasionally they threw in jade or jasper—it was all so much nonsense. Right now she was examining the penny candy in a glass jar, lots of shiny, jewel-like drops that looked so very tempting. Sweet, edible rubies and citrine, emeralds and onyx. Frank Stanchfield hustled over to the counter and screwed the lid on tighter.

She licked her lips. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a penny to her name. She was entirely dependent on her housekeeper Mrs. Grace to dole out a pitiful allowance every Friday, and Friday was millions of days away. Sadie had spent the last of her money on a cinnamon bun earlier and had reveled in every bite.
Her father’s draconian restrictions were designed to sting. Or so he thought. Sadie didn’t really mind being impoverished and hungry in Puddling-on-the-Wold. It meant she was not about to be auctioned off to Lord Roderick Charlton, or any other idiot her idiot father owed money to. The Duke of Islesford’s taste in men and luck at cards was, to put it bluntly, execrable.

So far Sadie had overstayed her visit by one week. Originally consigned to her cottage for twenty-eight days, she had somehow not managed to be “cured” in that time.

Rehabilitated.

Restored.

Brought to reason.


Knuckle under was more like it. She was not getting married.

Maggie Robinson didn’t know she wanted to write until she woke up in the middle of the night once really annoyed with her husband. Instead of smothering him with a pillow, she decided to get up and write—to create the perfect man—at least on a computer screen. Only to discover that fictional males can be just as resistant to direction as her husband. The upside is that she’s finally using her English degree and is still married to her original, imperfect hero. Since she’s imperfect, too, that makes them a perfect match. 

Until her midnight keyboarding, she had been a teacher, librarian, newspaper reporter, administrative assistant to two non-profits, community volunteer, and mother of four in seven different states. Now Maggie can call herself a romance writer in Maine. There’s nothing she likes better than writing about people who make mistakes, but don’t let the mistakes make them.




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