Message From The Author

Author's Message

Her Secret Affair

How would you like to peek into someone's private diary-especially a diary belonging to a notorious madame who describes her intimate encounters with the welathiest noblemen in London?

You'll have your chance to read this diary in my latest historical romance, HER SECRET AFFAIR, a May release from St. Martin's Press. Of course, the diary is a small, but significant part of the story. The icing on the cake, one might say. So prepare yourself to partake in my most delicious romance yet!

The only child of an infamous courtesan, Isabel Darling will risk anything to find the nobleman who murdered her mother, even if it means blackmailing her way into high society by threatening to publish her mother's memoirs. And even if it means battling Justin Culver, the poweful Earl of Kern.

The problem, you see, is that Lord Kern's father once courted Isabel's mother-and the diary describes their affair in shocking detail.

Arrogant and proud, Lord Kern vows to stop Isabel from causing a scandal. She's everything he despises: a baseborn commoner who speaks her mind, a free-spirited minx who threatens his hardened heart. She's the one woman who is all wrong for him, the last woman he could ever love. But oh, how hard do the mighty fall!

Here's an excerpt:

With a tug on her arm, he pulled her out of the drawing room.

Her smile chilled to a frosty glare. "Is it necessary to behave like a cretin?"

"It is when you behave like a courtesan," he said in a low voice.

"I've done nothing unladylike."

"You make a conquest of every man you encounter."

"Oh? Have I made a conquest of you, then?"

She was laughing at him. Laughing. As they started up the grand staircase, he caught her womanly scent, roses with a hint of dark musk. He wondered if her skin tasted so delicious.

Damn her artfulness. Why did he sense she hid secrets behind that fine-boned face, secrets he could not fathom?

Drawing her into a deserted alcove, he seized hold of her chin. Her skin felt warm and soft, made to tempt a man.

"Be forewarned, Miss Darling. Should you lure some unsuspecting gentleman into an indiscretion, I'll make him see you for what you really are: a whore, a smut peddler, and a blackmailing bitch."

Isabel Darling stood motionless, her eyes wide and steady, her lips tight and bloodless.

Yet Kern felt no triumph. For all that he knew he was right about her, a part of him wanted to reach out and stroke her cheek, to kiss the softness back into that sulky mouth...

You can write to Barbara c/o St. Martin's Paperbakcs, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10019. She invites you to visit her webpage at: http://www.

color.net/~bsmith


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