I’m very excited to host an excerpt and giveaway for the wonderful Stephanie Laurens’ latest historical romance, A Match for Marcus Cynster. I’m always so happy to share a fellow chemist turned author’s work! Be sure to enter the fabulous giveaway after you’ve enjoyed the excerpt below.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens unveils a dramatic new tale of desire and devotion in her beloved Cynster series.
Marcus Cynster is waiting for Fate to come calling. He knows his destiny lies near his home in Scotland, but what will it be? Who is his fated bride? One fact seems certain: His future won’t lie with Niniver Carrick, a young lady who attracts him mightily and whom he feels compelled to protect—even from himself. Fate, he’s sure, will never be so kind as to decree that Niniver should be his.
Delicate and ethereal, Niniver has vowed to return her clan to prosperity. Having accepted that she can never marry and risk a controlling husband, she needs help fending off unwelcome suitors. Powerful and dangerous, Marcus is perfect for the task. Suppressing her wariness over tangling with a gentleman who so excites her passions, she appeals to him for aid.
Marcus quickly discovers his fated role is to stand by Niniver’s side and, ultimately, claim her hand. Yet in order to convince her to be his bride, they must plunge headlong into a journey full of challenges, unforeseen dangers, passion, and yearning, until Niniver grasps the essential truth—that she is indeed a match for Marcus Cynster.
Laurens’ sprawling series spans multiple generations and families with no end in sight, but with distinctive, engaging storylines and the ever fascinating and uniquely authentic Cynsters, why stop? – Kirkus Reviews
Marcus Cynster was peering down the barrel of his shotgun when a sharp rap fell on his front door. He raised his head; his hands still busy cleaning the gun, he waited to hear the heavy footsteps of Flyte, his majordomo, heading for the door.
Then he remembered he was alone in the house. The Flytes—Mrs. as well as Mr.—had gone into Ayr, and Mindy, the maid who helped Mrs. Flyte with the housework, wasn’t on duty today.
He set down the shotgun on the canvas he’d spread over the pembroke table in his living room and headed for the door. As he ducked under the archway into the farmhouse’s small front foyer, another rap sounded, sharp, distinctly imperious, the heavy knocker plied with inherent command.
Even before he grasped the latch and swung the heavy oak panel wide, he was fairly certain whoever was there wasn’t one of his farmers come to report some problem.
He hadn’t expected the vision of loveliness that graced his front stoop.
He hadn’t seen Niniver Carrick in months, and even then, only from a distance.
Now he was close enough to see the soft color in her porcelain cheeks, the golden glints as the sun touched wayward strands of her pale blond hair, the delicate arches of her brown brows, and the intelligence in the cornflower-blue eyes beneath. The sensual promise in the lush curves of her full, rose-tinted lips was offset by the stubborn determination conveyed by the set of her chin.
He suspected few others registered either her intelligence or her stubbornness, distracted instead by the ethereal beauty, the fairy-princess picture she made. He saw the same—that distracting body—but he’d also always sensed what lay within.
Once again, he was face to face with that confounding reality, and more than close enough to be reminded why being near her wasn’t a wise idea. The attraction between them…he couldn’t remember when it hadn’t been there. Yet over the last years, intermittent sightings notwithstanding, it had grown.
If what he felt now, simply on setting eyes on her, was any indication, that uncontrollable attraction had only escalated further.
For several silent moments, she stared at him while he stared at her.
He managed to find his voice. “Niniver?”
His implied confusion broke the spell.
“May I come in?”
“Yes. Of course.” He stepped back, holding the door as she passed before him in a glide of black velvet riding jacket and brown velvet skirts. Glancing outside, he saw her usual mount, a big bay gelding, securely tied to the hitching post. A frown formed in his mind, although he kept it from his face. Had she been riding alone?
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