THE HEADMASTER - Out Now!
Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed THE HEADMASTER. If you haven't heard about it, THE HEADMASTER is my first Gothic romance for Harlequin E-Shivers, a line of spooky sexy romances designed to haunt your heart and e-Readers.
Please enjoy an excerpt below. If you have read it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, BN, or Goodreads (or any other review site). If you haven't read it, what are you waiting for?
“No school has ever gone through what ours has gone through. Not entirely. I’m certain of that. And there would be consequences—serious consequences—if I let you stay.”
“You know you need a new literature teacher? Are you planning on teaching Ivanhoe for eternity?”
“I didn’t mean there would be consequences to letting a teacher into the school. Although there would be. What I meant… what I mean is…Gwendolyn, if I let you in…”
Edwin looked at her with imploring eyes and a hand over his heart. Now she understood. He didn’t mean there would be consequences to letting her in the school. No, he meant there would be consequences to letting her in his heart.
“Edwin…” She reached out and took his hand in hers. He looked down at their clasped hands as if he’d never seen such a thing before—a woman taking a man’s hand in her own.
“It’s not in my nature to have casual dalliances. I have never had casual dalliances. It’s not the gentleman’s way to play with a woman’s affections without honorable intentions.”
“Honorable intentions?” Gwen repeated, utterly incredulous. “You mean if we become lovers, you’ll want us to get married?”
“I believe that is the definition of honorable intentions.”
“Are you really religious or something?”
Edwin furrowed his brow. “I was christened and raised in the Church of England. Of course I’m not religious.”
Gwen pondered that a moment. The pondering turned into a laugh.
“You are living in the wrong time,” Gwen said, taking Edwin’s hand in hers. “You should have been born in the Regency era. You would have made a wonderful Mr. Darcy.”
“I take that as a compliment,” he said, a smile at last playing across his lips. “Fitzwilliam Darcy, although briefly blinded by prejudice against Miss Bennett’s family situation, allowed his better instincts to hold sway. He knew a marriage of true minds and good hearts was vastly superior to a union born out of pure duty to his station in life.”
“I also think Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy wanted to rip each other’s clothes off.”
“I believe you’re reading a great deal of subtext into the work.”
“I love the subtext,” she said, squeezing his hand. “You know, I had the boys write essays this week on what it means to be a gentleman. You want to know what I think a gentleman is?”
“I believe you’re going to tell me whether I want you to or not.”
“I am,” she said, putting her hand back in her lap. “I think a gentleman respects women and doesn’t pretend to know better than his lady what is good or bad for her. I think a gentleman is brave enough to eschew the silly rules society tries to enforce on women. I think a gentleman tells the world to mind its own business and concerns himself only with what he and the lady in his life want to do together in private.”
“You have an interesting definition of gentleman.”
“It’s admittedly a little self-serving. Then again…that was the most amazing kiss of my life, Edwin.”
Her lips still tingled with the memory of that incredible kiss.
He exhaled heavily, a little shudder in his breath. She knew how he felt.
“I’m pleased to hear it affected you as much as it affected me. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since Monday evening. Gwendolyn, you must understand that it’s not in my nature to behave rakishly with you. I respect you far too much.”
“Then respect me enough to trust that I’m old enough and wise enough to make the decision to be with you and to live with the consequences. I’m twenty-five years old, Edwin. I’m not a virgin. I’m on birth control. I’m an adult. Please treat me accordingly.”
Edwin raised his hand and caressed her cheek.
“If only it were that simple,” he said and lowered his hand.
Gwen saw something in his eyes, a look she didn’t quite understand but desperately wanted to. It wasn’t shyness so much as reticence. He had a secret he wanted to tell her but didn’t know how.
“Your wife was the only woman you’ve ever been with, wasn’t she?”
“A gentleman should not discuss such personal matters with a lady.”
“What if that lady is his lover?”
“Then that’s a different matter entirely,” he said.
“How long has it been since you’ve been with someone?”
“A very long time,” he confessed almost sheepishly.
“Then you should come upstairs and make love to me. I insist,” said, as she took his hand and placed it on her thigh.
“Yes, and it would be rude of you to say no to such a humble request.”
“It would, wouldn’t it?”
“Quite,” Gwen said as Edwin slid his hand up her thigh. Gwen shivered from the heat of his touch.
“First, do I have the job?” she asked. “We should probably decide that now. Might not be a good idea to make a hiring decision in bed.”
“Yes, you are hired. Thirteen boys stood in my office today to tell me they would mutiny if you weren’t hired.”
“Only thirteen?” she teased.
“That’s all that could fit in my office. The rest stood in the hallway.”
“I never want to leave this place,” Gwen said, looking Edwin into his dark green eyes.
“If you truly feel that way, then you’ll never have to.”