(Pirates of the Coast Book 3)
by USA Today and Amazon All-Star best-selling author Barbara Devlin
Publication date: August 29th, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
ABOUT THE MAROONER:
A GENTLY BRED VIRGIN
Lady Sophia Grace Radcliff, the epitome of a genteel Englishwoman, has no idea what awaits her, when she is summoned to her father’s study to meet her prospective husband. Given the miserable state of the family finances, she understands she will be sold to the highest bidder, to save the earldom from a humiliating declaration of insolvency, and it is a sacrifice she is prepared to accept. But the impeccably tailored garb and clean-shaven face do nothing to conceal the menacing demeanor of her intended. How will she survive a match to a man she fears?
A COLD-HEARTED PIRATE
Leland Stryker, known throughout the pirate ranks as The Marooner, for his practice of abandoning his victims on deserted islands, is a ruthless buccaneer who reluctantly signs a pact with the English, in exchange for a full pardon for past crimes. But the Crown extends no protection to the fairer sex, and it is in the sensual realm that Leland feeds his basic instincts. After he successfully negotiates the purchase of a highborn bride, he proceeds to well and truly debauch her. But something happens on the journey to America, as his wife assumes her position without complaint, and soon Leland realizes he faces his most lethal opponent. Who will win the battle of the hearts?
THE MAROONER EXCERPT:
At the door to the study, she kissed her brother and her sister and gave them another hug, before she knocked and entered the man’s domain. “You summoned me, Papa?”
“Ah, here she is, now.” Given his desk held pride of place between two large windows, and faced the exit, the chairs situated before him afforded no view of her caller. “Come in, my dear.” He stood and met her halfway. “I am sure you remember Mr. Stryker, from America?”
In that moment, her world pitched and rolled beneath her feet, as the enigmatic foreigner rose and turned to smile at her. Garbed in an impeccable coat of grey Bath superfine, a navy blue waistcoat, a pristine cravat with a diamond twinkling at the center, buckskin breeches, polished Hessians, and his thick black hair tied back with a leather thong, she lamented her threadbare morning dress, in comparison to his refinement.
Indeed, he looked every bit a proper gentleman.
But there was something dark in his blue eyes that gave her pause, and she wondered about his history, as she suspected he was not what he appeared.
“Lady Sophia, it is remarkably pleasing to see you again.” As he took her hand in his, and pressed his lips to her bare knuckles, a shiver of unease traipsed her spine. “I was just talking with your father about our enlightening discussion, last night, and I made an offer I hope you will not refuse.”
“So, it is true?” She gulped. “You wish to marry me?”
“Sophia Grace, do not be impertinent.” Papa wagged a finger. “Mr. Stryker would first speak with you, and he brings a chest, the contents of which he gifts in exchange for your acceptance.”
“What is in it?” she asked, with a hint of skepticism and a mountain of reservation.
“Not so fast, Lady Sophia.” With a sly half-smile, Mr. Stryker clasped his hands behind him and inspected her from top to toe, as he circled her. “How old are you?”
“Eight and ten.” To her unmitigated disgust, he cupped her chin and drew down her bottom lip, with his thumb, presumably to check her teeth, and she was tempted to bite him.
“And you remain intact?” He inclined his head, as he stared at her bosom, and she crossed her arms in front of her.
“I beg your pardon?” She peered at her father. “What does he mean, Papa?”
“Er—Mr. Stryker, my daughter is wholly unspoiled.” From his coat pocket, he drew a handkerchief and daubed his brow. “Sophia comes to you as a virgin.”
“How dare you question my character in such a vulgar fashion.” She retreated behind a small sofa. “Have you no sense of decency, sir? Do you think so little of me?”
“On the contrary, and forgive me, Lady Sophia, as I intended no insult.” What she would give to slap the smug expression from his chiseled features. “But the price I pay is dependent upon the receipt of an untouched bride.”
“It must be pretty steep, given your demands.” And to think she thought him nice, at the Oswald’s party. “What do you propose, sir?”
“Open the chest and find out the amount I am willing to compensate your father, for you.” He stuck his tongue in his cheek, and she did as he requested.
Countless pieces of shimmering brilliance filled the trunk, and she almost swooned.
“You cannot be serious.” She bent and sifted through the veritable fortune. “It is too much.”
“I will decide what is too much, Sophia.” Papa ushered Mr. Stryker to the door. “If you will give me a minute with my daughter, I would speak with her and gain her response to your most generous offer, while you wait in the drawing room, which is down the hall and across the foyer.”
“Of course, Lord Ferrers.” Mr. Stryker glanced at her and winked, and she gave him her back. To her indignation, he chuckled.
THE MAROONER BUY LINKS:
Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marooner-barbara-devlin/1126495730?ean=2940154738252
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ABOUT BARBARA DEVLIN:
Devlin's prose and descriptions enchant right from the opening scene. ~RT Book Reviews
This heart-fluttering, nerve-wracking, swoon-worthy romance is one for the ages! ~InD'tale Magazine
Barbara Devlin offers history, romance, and mystery all wrapped up in an engrossing story that is filled with witty repartee and ribald scenes that border on debauchery. ~IndieReader
USA Today bestselling, Amazon All-Star author Barbara Devlin was born a storyteller, but it was a weeklong vacation to Bethany Beach, DE that forever changed her life. The little house her parents rented had a collection of books by Kathleen Woodiwiss, which exposed Barbara to the world of romance, and Shanna remains a personal favorite. Barbara writes heartfelt historical romances that feature not so perfect heroes who may know how to seduce a woman but know nothing of marriage. And she prefers feisty but smart heroines who sometimes save the hero, before they find their happily ever after. Barbara is a disabled-in-the-line-of-duty retired police officer, and she earned an MA in English and continued a course of study for a Doctorate in Literature and Rhetoric. She happily considered herself an exceedingly eccentric English professor, until success in Indie publishing lured her into writing, full-time, featuring her fictional knighthood, the Brethren of the Coast.
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