Memories and Moonbeams (Book 2 of the Chessmen series)

Releasing March 31, 2010

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The Libertine…Hedonist Nicholas Shield loves his sister more than anyone in his family. When she goes missing and the Pinkertons lose her trail in a gold camp in Colorado, he is the one who takes up the search. Armed with a name of a local investigator, Nick is stunned to discover the man he plans to hire is the woman who left him, the woman he still pines for.

The Pragmatist…Investigator Lilly Kane, aka Lee Wilcox, has remade her life not once, but twice. Nothing and no one is going to destroy her world again. Until the man who fathered her child asks for her help.

The Problem…Neither wants to be with the other. Too many memories, too many heartaches. But Nick’s sister is missing, and Lilly is uniquely qualified to find her. Can they keep their mission strictly business? Or will old wants, old needs, rekindle the feelings that haunt them still?

An American-set late Victorian romance, Memories and Moonbeams is the second book in The Chessmen series–steamy, emotional stories of strong heroines who pursue non-traditional roles, and the flawed heroes who love them.

Finalist in the Hook, Line and Sinker, The Sheila, and the Romance through the Ages contests.

Heat level–sensual with some graphic sex scenes. Readers interested in sweet romance–this isn’t it.

Pre-order available in print and e-book form at:

               

About the series…

Flawed sexy heroes. Strong heroines with the courage to push societal boundaries. Agents of a secret government crime fighting organization.

The Chessmen series has them all—steamy American Victorian romances with an emotional punch to the gut. Each stand-alone story involves an agent who discovers unexpected love in all the wrong places, and must face down demons before claiming his or her happiness.

A simple chess piece with an identifier on its underside and the name of its owner are all that’s needed to make a desperate person a client of one of these secret agents. A calling card of sorts, the chess piece is a method of referral representing no option for refusal. The agent must accept its bearer as a client, no matter how frivolous or serious or out of their realm of expertise the request.

In Memories and Moonbeams, the second book in the series, Lilly Kane hunts sex traffickers.

An excerpt:

As Gray Dove’s gnarled but still nimble fingers pulled the tangle loose, she nodded toward Lilly. “Undress your man and warm him under the skins with your naked body. Wake him first. He’ll need to help.”

My naked body against his? Shock opened, then closed Lilly’s mouth. Erotic memories exploded in her mind, memories of wantonness, entangled bodies, cries of passion, his groans, and her sighs. She trembled with the remembered feel of his hardness pressed against her belly, seeking her, then filling her. His stomach muscles flat, his torso beginning to develop ridges, his—

No, it was too much to ask.

She peered down at Nick’s deathly pale face. His eyes were now open but unfocused, his breathing rapid and shallow. His violent shiver, his abject vulnerability, shredded her heart.

How many years had she fantasized about the night she and Nick would be together again, bare skin touching, hands and lips seeking?

Too many to count.

He wrapped his arms about himself, his entire body quivering violently. Dear Lord, he was freezing to death, and she was ruminating over how she might react to their nakedness. Her chest filled as she sucked in air. She had to do this.

Lifting his chin with her forefinger, Lilly addressed him. “Listen to me, Nick. You need to get out of these wet clothes.”

Eyes unfocused, he nodded and shifted his hands to his shirt buttons. She pushed them away. “Let me.”

The buttons were slippery, his shirt stiff with cold. Each thrust of a fastener through its opening brought her fingers in contact with his chest. Her breathing quickened. His feathered gently across her face.

A few torturous minutes later, his shirt gaped open to the waist. Before yanking the garment out, she peered up at his face. His clear eyes were fastened on hers with an enigmatic blue gaze that said everything, yet nothing. What was he thinking?

As she lowered her eyes, she couldn’t help but notice the deep washboard ridges of his torso bared to her view, more delineated, more defined, more achingly fascinating. Nor could she help but notice the dark blond tufts of hair spiraling down the middle on their long run to what lay between his legs.

The place where her hands once roamed freely.

Dear Lord, what was she thinking?

Pushing her inappropriate thoughts away, she unbuttoned the last button, yanked his cold wet shirt free, and drew it off his arms and shoulders with some difficulty. “I’ll get your boots.”

Still shaking uncontrollably, Nick straightened his limbs and she knelt at his feet. Lilly struggled with his boots to no avail. Without thinking, she rose and sat between his open legs with her back facing him.

Gripping the boot’s toe with one hand and the heel with the other, she jerked back and found herself sprawled against his privates and a hard wall of chest muscle. Strong arms surrounded her. Damn! Her heart fluttered despite her best efforts to control her response.

Scrambling out of his hold, she dispatched the other boot with less force, and less consequence.

Rising, Lilly held her hand out and helped him up to a standing position. “Now your trousers and small clothes.”

She presented her back. “Off with all of them.”

“But—”

“All.”

“Um…my buttons.” His voice sounded almost amused.

Heat flooding her cheeks, she turned, and with her head down, unbuttoned his trouser plaque, though now her hands trembled as much as he shivered. Accomplishing her task, she turned her back to him once again, and thought she heard a soft chuckle behind her and the rasp of wet cloth sliding down damp flesh. Oh, heavens!

“Now what?” The sound came out almost a stutter.

“Under the buffalo robes.” And fast.

 

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