Buongiorno, Michelle and Bellas! Last month, you were good enough to invite me over to talk about Jeremy, the hero of "Goddess of the Hunt." Today, I’m here to dish about the hero of book two in the trilogy, Regency Bachelor #2, the deliciously devilish Gray from "Surrender of a Siren." And of course, share an exclusive excerpt!
Name: Benedict “Gray” Grayson
Appearance: A study in contradictions. He’s described as having “a laborer’s body, the clothes of a gentleman, and the wide, sensuous mouth of a scoundrel.” He has auburn hair—dark brown, with reddish undertones—and eyes that vary from green to blue to gray, depending. A thin scar slants from his chin to his mouth, and its origin is the subject of much speculation on the part of Sophia, the heroine. For most of the book, he’s scruffy and unshaven, which adds to his rugged, roguish appeal.
Occupation: Former privateer, now shipping financier. And he’s the head of a patched-together family that includes one half-brother, one half-sister, and a young nephew.
Personality: Good-humored, charismatic, cocky, sexy, and fiercely loyal when it counts. He dislikes violence, but isn’t above it. A lifelong libertine and a natural leader, he’s more than a bit dangerous—to his enemies, as well as to the ladies. In short, he’s a bad boy with good intentions, sharing close quarters with temptation personified. And this makes for one very frustrated man.
Here’s part of a conversation Gray has with his brother Joss, who is the captain of the Aphrodite. You see, Gray has impulsively allowed a winsome little governess (Sophia, in disguise) to set sail with them on their voyage to the West Indies. And despite his best intentions to leave debauchery behind and turn over a new leaf as a respectable businessman, Gray’s having trouble keeping his hands off the goods…and for surprisingly sentimental reasons. Joss is not amused.
Exclusive Excerpt: “Stay away from the girl, Gray.”
Gray sighed. “We’re on the same ship. I can’t help but be near her. I’ll not promise to refrain from touching her either, because the girl seems to lose her footing whenever I’m around. But I give you my word I’ll not kiss her again. Satisﬁed?”
Joss shook his head. “Give me your word you won’t bed her.”
“What a legend you’re making me! Insinuating I could bed her without even kissing her ﬁrst.” Gray worried the edge of his thumbnail as he considered. “That might prove an amusing challenge, now that you suggest it.”
Joss shot him an incredulous look. “With some other lady, on some other ship.”
Gray raised his hands in a defensive gesture. “I’ll not bed her. You have my word. And don’t think that’s not a great sacriﬁce, because it is. I’d have her in two, three days at the most, I tell you.”
“Once again—not amusing.”
“For God’s sake, Joss, it’s a joke. What do you want, an apology? I’m sorry for kissing Miss Turner’s hand, all right?”
Joss shook his head and ﬂipped open the logbook. “No, you’re not.”
“Yes, I am.” The odd thing of it was, Gray was telling the truth. He knew he was being an ass, but the joking was easier than honesty. For all his teasing, he hadn’t kissed her hand with the intent to seduce, or to judge if she tasted as sweet as he’d dreamed. He’d kissed her ﬁngers for one reason only. Because they were trembling, and he’d wanted them to stop. It was wholly unlike him, that kiss. It was not a gesture he thought it wise to repeat. The girl did something strange to him.
Bellas, who are your favorite “bad boy” or scoundrel heroes? Two that always come immediately to mind for me are Dain from Loretta Chase's "Lord of Scoundrels" and Derek Craven from Lisa Kleypas' "Dreaming of You."
Oct 2nd: Meet Regency Bachelor #3 w/Tessa + Exclsve Excerpt + Contest!
***NEXT WEEK: Monday: Blythe Gifford; Wed: Heidi Betts AuthorView; Thrs: Heidi Betts Feature Review.