Message From The Author
Ive never before written about a woman like Fia Merrick, the heroine of McClairens Isle: The Ravishing One. But then, Ive never spent so much time with a character. For three books Ive charted Fias journey from difficult, secretive teenager to fascinating, self-contained adult.
And though Fia is my creation, if Im to be honest, shes not solely mine anymore. Shes an evolved creation, the product of three books worth of rivalry, manipulation, murder and salvation. Raised separately from her brothers, her nursery was a cavernous, sumptuous, and dissolute pleasure palace called Wantons Blush run by her father, a psychotic murderer. I worried about how Fia would turn out.
I worried about what sort of woman would have such a history. I fretted whether Fia would be too damaged, too irredeemable. But then, Im an author. Such challenges are bread and jam to me. It became my desire to bring Fia to life as a woman who not only survives her past, but triumphs.
Fia does fight her way past all the challenges, both material and emotional, that face her, and in doing so, she finds within herself a core of amazing strength. The result is that Fia Merrick is the most formidable woman Ive ever written.
THE RAVISHING ONE takes place five years after Fias brother Raines story ends. At this time, Fia is a woman with an agenda, determined to wrest from her father the ownership of the home in which shes spent the last five years. Nothing is going to sway her from her intent. Until, that is, fate throws Thomas Donne in her path. Thomas is the only man she has ever loved, the one man who breached the walls of her cold self-containmentbefore breaking her heart.
Thomas has his own secrets, his own strength of will and his own agenda. Thomas is every bit as fearless as Fia, and every bit as committed to the pursuit of his objective.
Unfortunately, these two strong-willed, forceful people each find their goals endangered by the other. Even more unfortunate, they soon find their hearts endangered as well. The love Fia was certain had died is only hidden away and the flare of attraction Thomas once felt for the child of his enemy is rekindled into a maelstrom of desire.
Their story, is, I hope, as intricate and rich and emotion-ally powerful as both Fia and Thomas themselves.
Excerpt from THE RAVISHING ONE
Then this is an abduction.
She gave a business-like little nod. I see. And do I have any say in this? Of course not, she shook her head at her own stupidity, if I had a say, and I said yes, this would be an elopement, not an abduction. Semantics are so very important, dont you think?
She was purposefully trying to overset him. Hed seen her do it to a dozen men over the past weeks, catch them with false candor that concealed more than elucidated.
She moved closer, too close. She did nothing obvious as she had when disguised at Portmans masque. She did not touch him, though his body stiffened in anticipation and his skin prickled with a phantom sensation
of her hand on his chest.
So little confidence, Captain. Has it not occurred to you that I might not be averse to going with you? she purred, her chin angled up, the faint tantalizing smile playing about the corners of her lush lips. Why dont you simply ask me?
He caught himself just in time. She would say no and laugh. He saw it in the hard bright eyes that refuted the softness of her mouth.
When he didnt answer a shadow of doubt betrayed her inscrutable featuresslight but there. Shed expected him to ask her; she did not know how to take his refusal.
She cleared her throat. Ah well, then, she said. If youll be seated, I shall gather a few things and well get started.
At his start of surprise she regained her mastery of the situation, bright and sharp and clean as a razors wounding. Whyyou dont imagine this is my first abduction, do you?
A trilling little laugh. Oh heavens, no! I count it an utterly wasted season if I am not abducted at least once, though, her voice turned reproachful, most of my abductors at least do me the favor of telling me how long I can expect to be gone.
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