My new book, MARRY IN
HASTE is the start of a brand new "Convenient Marriage" series. It stars Cal
Rutherford, an officer in the army, who has just become Lord Ashendon. Cal is a
man's man, a career soldier who thinks he knows how to handle women, but really
has no idea. Hint: they’re not the same as soldiers; strangely, women don't take
kindly to being ordered around.
Cal does, however, know how to kiss.
Here he is walking our heroine, Emmaline Westwood home at night, after she was
caught up in a brawl at a political meeting. They're in Bath. It's their first kiss.
He broke off, noticing, in the light of the lamp overhead, a stain on her
otherwise pale face. “Stand still,” he ordered, and when she glanced at him in
surprise he caught her by the shoulders and turned her toward the light.
A bruise was forming on her cheekbone, and dried blood made a dark crust around
one of her nostrils. And, now that he looked, drops of blood stained the front
of her clothing.
“Dammit, you were injured too. Why didn’t you say something?”
Flustered, she tried to move away. “I’m perfectly all r—”
“Don’t move, I said.” He cupped her face gently in his hands, the better to
examine her injuries.
Or so he told himself.
He’d left his gloves at Galbraith’s hotel. His hands were bare but warm. Her
skin was cool from the cold night air, silky and damp from the mist. Pale and
soft as moonlight.
The darkening bruise on her cheekbone woke an anger in him that surprised him.
He gently smoothed his thumb along her jawline. She stiffened.
He cradled her face in the lightest of holds and studied her. She stood
motionless, expressionless: a trapped doe braced to flee.
She had only to pull away or say something and he would release her. He could
feel the tension vibrating through her, but she said nothing.
Her eyes watched, wide and dark, twin pools of mystery, colorless in the night.
She made not a sound. He could feel her breath, soft and warm.
Her cool, silky skin was warming under his fingers.
Her mouth—God help him—her mouth was dark and luscious and damp and enticing.
Without thinking he bent to taste it, a light, swift kiss that somehow . . .
She stiffened a moment, then made a soft little sound and her mouth softened
under his. She tasted . . . oh, lord . . . rose petals and moonlight and
innocence. And beneath it all lay heat, luscious womanly heat.
Ravenous hunger went spiraling through him. He drew her closer to deepen the
kiss, but she resisted, pushing back at him with a little sound of anger. Or
distress. He released her instantly.
She stumbled back a few unsteady paces. He put out a hand to support her, but
she jerked away. One burning glance at him through wide, unreadable eyes and she
turned her back on him, taking deep unsteady breaths that gradually calmed.
He watched her, pulling her composure back together like a suit of armor.
His own pulse was still pounding. His brain made no sense of what had just
happened. He hadn’t intended to kiss her. He barely knew her. She was a
respectable woman, a teacher in a girls’ school. Practically a nun.
Though that mouth didn’t belong on any nun. And now the taste of her was in his
blood . . .
He should probably apologize, but he was damned if he would. He didn’t regret a
thing, only that it hadn’t lasted nearly long enough. And that he’d been raised
The uncivilized part of him wanted nothing less than to possess her, to plunder
her sweetness, to ravish that lithe, slender body until they were both sated
She turned back to face him, her expression smooth and calm as a pail of milk.
“Shall we move on?”
—And to shatter that damnable ever-present composure. There was a passionate
woman beneath it, he was sure; he’d tasted it in her. His blood had leapt in
But if that was how she wanted to play it, pretending the kiss had never
happened, he would cooperate. He was, after all, a civilized man.
And dallying with innocents was playing with fire.
He offered his arm and, after the faintest of hesitations, she took it. They
walked on in silence.
Around them the city slept. In the distance a vixen screamed.
From the award-winning author of The Summer Bride comes the first
in a charming new historical romance series where marriages of convenience turn
into true love matches.
Major Calbourne Rutherford returns to England on the trail of an assassin,
only to find he’s become Lord Ashendon, with the responsibility for vast estates
and dependent relatives. Cal can command the toughest of men, but his wild
half-sisters are quite another matter. They might just be his undoing.
When he discovers that Miss Emmaline Westwood, the girls’ former teacher,
guides them with ease, Cal offers her a marriage of convenience. But
strong-minded and independent Emm is neither as compliant nor as proper as he
expected, and Cal finds himself most inconveniently seduced by his convenient
Emm knows they didn’t marry for love, yet beneath her husband’s austere
facade, she catches glimpses of a man who takes her breath away. As pride, duty
and passion clash, will these two stubborn hearts find more than they ever
[Berkley Sensation, On Sale: May 2, 2017, Mass
Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425283813 / eISBN: 9780698411630]
Anne Gracie started her first novel while backpacking solo around the world.
After four historical romances published by Harlequin, she moved to Berkley with
The Perfect Rake, and never looked back. She's now writing her third series for
Berkley. She also wrote the novelization of the first "The Tudors" TV
Anne is a former president of Romance Writers of Australia, a five
time RITA finalist, has twice won the Romantic Book of the Year (Australia) and
the National Reader's Choice Award (USA) and has been several times been listed
in Library Journal (USA) best books of the year and NPR's best books listing.