Message From The Author

Author's Message

You see it all the time: two children of the same sex, separated by only a few years, born of the same parents, and raised in the same circumstances, have personalities as different as night and day. One grows up to become chief fund-raiser for the Humane Society, the other a non-voting member of Cynics International. Now, while the differences between the brothers/heroes of McClairens Isle arent quite that drastic, they are striking.

Maybe its because Raine is a middle child, but he is just more relaxed about thingswell, as relaxed as any relatively normal man would be after spending five years in a French prison, being sprung from it by a mysterious beauty and then betrayed by her. Now where Ash, the hero of McClairens Isle: The Passionate One,
would have searched to the ends of the earth for her in order to extract his revenge, Raine takes a more practical view: free is free and done is done.

Indeed, Raine wants nothing more than to forget every aspect of his checkered past, particularly everything McClairen, but reinventing oneself can be expensive. Fortunately, he knows where there is a hidden treasure fabulous enough to foot the bill for his new life. Unfortunately, its at Wantons Blush, the great Scottish castle where he was raised.

Now, despite Raines middle-child status, I wouldnt go so far as to suggest that he would turn a blind eye should the lovely young lady who betrayed him make another appearance in his life. Or that he wouldnt then throw aside
his quest to pursue his treacherous angel with all the daring, passion and audacity in his sinners soul.

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Heres your food, Favor said sullenly. She flung the tied napkin at Raine, envisioning the greasy contents making an agreeable splotch on his shirt.

She hadnt counted on the rogues having such keen reflexes. He spun away from the window hed been looking through and snagged the bundle from the air.The shirt was opened, exposing his lean torso. A pistol, tucked beneath the waist of tight black breeches, caused hardly a dent in a flat belly dark with fur. The sleeves of his shirt had been rolled up over broad, tanned forearms.

Why, how civilized! Raine said. With such manners, Miss Donne, Im certain your brothers doorway must soon be choked with suitors.

Humph, she said, but couldnt entirely quell a smile in response to his banter. How odd he was acting, how friendly. She was immediately on her guard.

He clamped a palm theatrically to his chest. I swear when your mouth twitches like that it sets my heart to racing. Assuredly, whoever instructed you to hoard your smiles knew their power. For should you ever actually grin, I am sure no man could be held accountable for his actions. Certainly, I could not testify as to what I would be capable of doing.

She burst out laughing, surprised and amazed. Whatever shed expected from this blackmailer, it had not been charm or merry foolishness. Shed assumed she would deposit his food in the middle of an empty room and leave. Shed never expected him to be waiting for her.

He smiled back, displaying a full set of even, white teeth and surprising her yet again, for his smile filled his eyes with warmth and humor. It was a potently attractive smile, a devastatingly attractive smile, devil-may-care and winning. A man with a smile like that didnt need elegant features and her recognition of such sobered her.

He sensed her withdrawal. His smile became one-sided and wry. Ah, forgive my jest. For a moment I forgot our relative positions and the history that had led us here.

That being you as blackmailer and me as victim?

The dimple in his lean cheek cut deeper. And here Id cast myself as the injured party. How could I have so misinterpreted our roles? Mayhap, it had something to do with you throwing me to the wolves in Dieppe?

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