MOONLIT DESIRE -- Historical Romance. Published by Camel Press, it will be available in mid-March 2012. 

     “You.”

Rive placed one leg before him and executed a deep bow. “Yes, and as always at your service.”  Amusement wafted on his tone. Then he straightened to his full height. “You seem surprised. I assure you a gentleman’s dress—in this case the uniform of an officer in His Majesty King Louis’s army—is not wholly outside the realm of my experience.” As he spoke, he moved closer to Catherine.

“I have only your word.” Having been so effectively cornered unsettled her, and she backed up several steps. “In any event, I attach little importance to clothing. After all, who can tell these days? Behind a gentleman’s finery might easily lurk a backwoods lout.” She had not meant to insult him but, as was often the case, had only words to arm against his boldness. He stood too close, was too imposing, too confident, too wickedly handsome, all of which left her with defenses shored up, not with stone, but fine-grained sand.

One step and the distance between them evaporated. “I see a proper bath and change of clothing have done nothing to curtail your sharp tongue. Mind, Catherine, it does not cut too deeply.”

Had it? Could he possibly be sensitive to her opinion?

“Is that a warning?”

“Certainly not. Warning you takes a talent I, apparently, lack.” He smiled and his soft laugh indicated he harbored no real resentment at her words. His fingers closed lightly about her arms. “Shall we put it forth as a suggestion?”

“That would be something new for you,” she said, but the sting had gone completely from her tone.

Somehow he managed to back her against one of the four posts that anchored each bed corner. Her heart began to beat, not just steadily, but wildly. She reached behind and grasped the post for support for, clearly, her legs intended to be of little service. His fingertips glided down her arms with the softness of butterfly wings until his hands closed over hers. Heat, like she had just contracted a fever, surged through every part of her body; her skin was on fire with it.

He nuzzled her hair. “Yes, definitely wildflowers. When I rejoin the battle, I shall carry that scent with me.” He bent his head and kissed the flushed skin at her throat. “Along with the feel of you.” His face was a mere hair’s-breadth away. “And the taste of you.” His lips moved over hers.