Hello, and thank you Kathy for hosting me. My name is Grace Elliot and I have two dreams jobs; a veterinarian by day, and author by night! The genre I write is historical romance because I love how the social restrictions of the past offer infinite opportunities for sexual tension. As an avid reader, my aim is to create the sort of page-turning escapism that I crave to read.
My latest book, Hope’s Betrayal, is a story of love on different sides of the law; between a smuggler and the naval officer who captures her. On the one hand, Captain George Huntley serves King and country, and is determined to stop smuggling on the south coast of England, whilst on the other, Hope Tyler is struggling to survive and must smuggle in order to feed her family. But when they fall in love, a huge obstacle stands in the way; either Hope must betray her family or Huntley resign his commission.
The attraction between the captain and the smuggler is so great, that even when Huntley is ignorant of Hope’s true sex (he still thinks she is a boy) his body reacts viscerally to hers, as in this excerpt where Huntley has just captured Hope.
Alone with his prisoner the Captain set to work, his face all harsh angles in the lamplight. First to stem the bleeding. Working with deft hands, he unwound the cloth from around the felon’s head. Surprise registered, as he noted the delicate ears and elegant neck. The boy’s hair gleamed like polished-coal in the lamplight; tied back in a pony tail, black-as-the-devil’s-heart.
Huntley reached for a rag to wipe blood from the boy’s eyes and cheek. Soft skin emerged from beneath the clotted mess. The boy was young…a round face with pointed chin, a tipped nose …and lips, softly parted and provocatively plump….just ripe for kissing. A flush of heat warmed Huntley’s cheeks. What was he thinking? Wiping his sleeve across his eyes he continued.
He bathed the laceration, cleaning away sand and blood. Something about this lad had stirred his emotions and he didn’t like it one little bit. He glanced toward the door, not wanting to be alone with the smuggler and the strange feelings he stirred.
But later in Hope’s Betrayal, whilst on active service Captain Huntley is seriously injured and in this excerpt can hardly walk.
“I don’t want your pity.” Captain Huntley said.
“And I have no pity to give.” Hope replied.
Slowly he turned. “Then why are you here?”
“Once you helped me. You protected me when others condemned me…and didn’t judge.”
“But I don’t want anyone, least of all you, to feel sorry for me.”
“And why would I do that?”
“Because I am not the man I was. Because I am useless. A wreck.”
“Well the man I know is bigger than that. The man I see before me, stood up to his fellow officers for what he believed was right. Your body will heal and you will recover, but your injury has taught you humility…and that’s a very appealing quality.”
Huntley stared at her, astounded. “It is?”
“Oh yes, I didn’t liked the arrogant, bully of a man you were before, but this Huntley, the one who cries into his horse’s mane, is altogether more attractive.”
“Well I’ll be damned if I ever understand women.” His heart thudded, as they faced each other, so close that he could smell the scent of bedsheets on her skin. Merciful heavens, a man could lose himself in the depths of those tilted green eyes, standing there with her luscious lips softly parted.
He cleared his throat, acutely aware of the pulse at the base of her throat. “Miss Tyler, unless you want to be ravaged, I would suggest you leave now.”
She didn’t move. A primal beat throbbed through his blood. He licked his lips and took a step forward to trap her against the stable wall.
“Why didn’t you go?”
Without fear she gazed into his eyes. “Because I chose to stay.”
He claimed her mouth, so warm and moist, such precious heat as she returned his kisses, gently at first then with urgency. He leant closer, pressing the delicious length of her against his body. It excited him to know that beneath the redingcote was no armoury of stays and petticoats, just one thin nightrail. A sense of mastery swept through his body, as he lowered her hands to caress the undulating line of her waist. Breathing heavily, he leant down to taste her skin of neck. She arched and groaned in response, throwing back her head to expose the milky curve of her throat…
– and things are only getting started, Hope and Captain Huntley have many trials to overcome if they are to be together. So, if you fancy losing yourself in the regency with a tale of smuggling and daring, of love and loyalty, then why not give ‘Hope’s Betrayal’ a go?
One wild, winter’s night two worlds collide.
Known for his ruthless efficiency, Captain George Huntley is sent to stamp out smuggling on the south coast of England. On a night raid, the Captain captures a smuggler, but finds his troubles are just beginning when the lad turns out to be a lass, Hope Tyler.
With Hope as bait, the Captain sets a trap to catch the rest of the gang. But in a battle of wills, with his reputation at stake, George Huntley starts to respect feisty, independent Hope. Challenged by her sea-green eyes and stubborn loyalty Huntley now faces a new threat – his growing attraction to a sworn enemy. But a love where either Hope betrays her own kind, or Captain Huntley is court-marshaled, is not an easy destiny to follow.
Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night. Grace believes intelligent people need to read romance as an antidote to the modern world. As an avid reader of historicals she turned to writing as a release from the emotionally draining side of veterinary work.
Grace lives near London and is addicted to cats. The Elliot household consists of five cats, two teenage sons, one husband, a guinea pig – and the latest addition – a bearded dragon!