The Temptation of Laura
by Rachel Brimble
Laura Robinson has always been dazzled by the glamour of the stage. But perhaps acting and selling one’s favors are not so different—for Laura must feign pleasure with the men she beds to survive. Now, with her only friend at death’s door and a ruthless pimp at her heels, escaping her occupation seems impossible. Hoping to attract a gentleman, she attends the theater. Yet the man Laura captivates is no customer, but a rising star and playwright…
Adam Lacey has been driven to distraction since the moment he saw Laura. She is his ideal leading lady come to irresistible life—and so much more. Certain they can make the perfect team on and off stage, he is determined to win her heart—and discover her story. But that is precisely what Laura fears. And she has no idea that Adam harbors shameful secrets of his own. Will the truth free them to love—or destroy all their dreams…?Buy Link: Amazon
What was she doing inside Adam Lacey’s house, sitting upright and rigid upon a settee she could never afford? Laura crossed and re-crossed her ankles as she glanced around his drawing room. His home was masculine, bare of trinket or flower, but compared to her and Bette’s place, it screamed of achievement. He’d left her to go upstairs and change out of his wet clothes. She glanced at the wall clock. The ten minutes she’d been alone could’ve been an hour.
She needed to leave. Get out of there.
Standing, she stepped toward the door just as it swung open and Adam entered. Her breath caught. The man was ridiculously handsome. His dark blond hair was darker than usual, after his unplanned swim, and his face scrubbed clean. Her gaze drifted, of its own accord, to the smattering of chest hair just visible at the vee of his open-necked shirt. The man was unfairly relaxed. Laura inhaled. Handsome—stupidly, stupidly handsome.
He halted, his smile dissolving. “You’re leaving?”
He moved to touch her, seemed to think better of it and dropped his hand to his side. Their eyes locked and silence descended. Her heart beat fast with the knowledge she would’ve given the world to stay there. Eye to eye; toe to toe with a man who fascinated and intrigued her.
She stepped back. It was too dangerous. The atmosphere between them too potent. Her attraction to him kicked and punched at her heart. It was strong enough to make her want to kiss him, touch him and bring that dazzling smile to the surface over and over. For little more than another breath, she would risk everything to run her fingers over his biceps and up to the plane of his wide shoulders…
Laura blinked as her mouth drained dry. What had she been thinking by coming here? She hadn’t been thinking. In that moment when he asked her to accompany him back to his home––nothing but desire had whipped through her. Nothing but interest had leapt in her veins and obliterated her common sense. The fervor and lust in his eyes bespoke of a man who clearly had an agenda entirely different to hers.
Laura blinked and looked past him to the door. “I have a friend. She’s sick. She needs me and the medicine I bought before I came upon you at the park.” She brushed past him, through the door and into the hallway. “I shouldn’t have come here. I’m sorry.”
Ignoring him, she hurried toward the closed front door. She had to get out of there. If she looked at him again, she’d falter. Her rationale already hung on a hair’s breadth. His footsteps sounded at lightning speed behind her and when she clasped the door handle, his hand closed over hers. She stared at their joined hands and her body heated.
“Laura. Please. I need to talk to you.”
Swallowing hard, she forced herself to meet his gaze. His dark brown eyes shone with a pleading she hadn’t expected. How was she supposed to refuse? He was the first man in forever to make her heart pick up speed and flourish her hope for something more. She slowly pulled her hand from beneath his.
Lets Meet Rachel Brimble!
Booklover Sue: What is your writing environment?
I am lucky enough to be a full-time author around caring for my two teenage daughters, husband and black Lab. I tend to sit on the sofa while the kids are at school…and when they’re home (and time allows) I move around the house to wherever is the quietest!
Booklover Sue: Who is your perfect hero? And why?
My husband – he’s kind, funny, talented and a provider. All qualities I want and sought in a man. He is my number one supporter with my career as well as being a great dad to our children. We’ve been together 21 years and he still makes me laugh every day. What’s not to love?
Booklover Sue: Which authors have caught your interest lately? Why?
I am ashamed to say it is only recently that I discovered the books of the fabulous Jill Shalvis – I am devouring her Lucky Harbor series and plan to start on her Animal Magnetism series as soon as possible. Also, the highly recommended Tudor books of Nancy Bilyeau – I adore the Tudor age as much as the Victorian and these mystery novels are different and exciting.
Booklover Sue: What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I am writing the books I have always wanted to write right now, but would love to write a big, single title romantic suspense as well as a women’s fiction/moral dilemma book one day. I have so many things I want to write, it often feel endless!
Booklover Sue: What’s the last movie you watched and loved?
I watch a lot of movies but I still return to my favorites which are Notting Hill and Four Weddings and A Funeral (both written by Richard Curtis) – I also enjoyed his most recent movie, About Time starring Rachel Mcadams and Domhnall Gleeson. Great, funny and romantic stories!
Booklover Sue: Top three things on your bucket list
Write a women’s fiction novel
Beat my unending fear of public speaking!
Booklover Sue: How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
The Temptation of Laura is the sequel to my debut with eKensington, The Seduction of Emily in which Laura was a secondary character. She took a hold of my imagination with such force, I knew I had to write her a full novel-length story. She is a prostitute fighting for a better life and a way out of her struggling existence. In The Temptation of Laura, I gave her that chance and loved watching her grow.
Booklover Sue: What is your favorite scene in your new release?
There are many, but I love the scene where Laura and Adam (the hero) first meet – the attraction between them is instantaneous but Laura puts this handsome stage star in his place from the very beginning. So much fun to write!
Booklover Sue: What’s your idea of a perfect date?
A movie or show, followed by a romantic candlelit dinner – I am a simple girl at heart who believes in good old-fashioned values and courtship. I hate the way our teenagers are communicating by email and text rather than face-to-face nowadays—how in the world are they going to get to really know each other and fall in love if they can’t hold a proper conversation? Only time will tell if they figure it out, lol!
Booklover Sue: If you could take a romantic trip, where would it be?
I love to visit Rome with my husband sometime soon – we planned a trip to Barcelona for our 15th wedding anniversary last year but while we were waiting in the departure lounge, the flight was cancelled due to French air strikes. I literally burst into tears and vowed that Barcelona would have to wait—Rome has taken precedence now.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington--her debut was released in April 2013 and she has since signed for three more.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!
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