It’s only when Sally meets the caring and thoughtful Mark that she realises how unhappy she is, and how controlling Kevin is.
Sally soon falls in love with Mark but what can she do about Kevin?Will Sally find the courage to take that first scary step and leave him?
Does Mark even feel the same way about her?
Romance / Paranormal
Available from Amazon.
*Out of print, limited availability.
Romance / Contemporary
Romance / Paranormal
Bodin rubbed his hands over his face and drew a deep breath. “What’s my next assignment?”
He waited wearily for Michael to answer. He hated this game. Finally the archangel asked, “Why are you still here?”
Bodin looked up annoyed. “What’s my next assignment?” he asked again, this time with an edge to his voice.
Michael’s gaze was patient. Bodin knew the archangel was waiting for a more appropriate reply. Bodin scowled again. He stood up abruptly and started pacing. If he thought pouting would help, he might stoop to it. He’d been in this predicament for nearly a thousand years. When his best friend, only friend if he was going to be honest, had died as a Changeling, Bodin had taken his place in his grief and guilt. He still felt responsible for Eric’s death, and he doubted another thousand years would make the pain or guilt go away. No one had understood why the two had been friends, let alone best friends. Eric had been light to Bodin’s dark. Eric had smiled and laughed, and Bodin, even then, just scowled.
“You know why I’m still here,” he ground out, glaring at the head of the Angel Realm.
“Honor to a friend. Noble, indeed, but how long are you going to go through the motions? Changelings have responsibilities, and upward mobility is one of them. You’ve never claimed your wings, and your heart is not in it. You barely tolerate the idea of love, and that’s what we work with and from.”
Bodin ignored the comment on his lack of wings, instead answered, “Love? That’s bullshit. Love is what got Eric killed.”
“I thought you blamed yourself for Eric’s death.” Michael’s rational question irritated Bodin.
Michael answered with a raised black eyebrow, his eyes declaring Bodin an insolent arse.
“I suck at this angel crap,” he bellowed, but ducked his head at the shameful behavior.
“Yes, you do. Again, why are you still here? I know you loved Eric like a brother, but—”
“I have loved no one,” he interrupted on a roar.
Michael rolled his eyes in impatience. “Seriously, you’d try the patience of the Goddess herself.”
Just then, the energy shifted and Gaia appeared.
“Yes, he does. But, Michael, you don’t have to point it out.”
“Sorry, Mum.” Michael’s face was radiant in the presence of the divine. Bodin couldn’t blame him.
He stared, dumbfounded, as usual, at the Goddess. Looking at her, he could almost believe love existed. She just felt good to be around. He vaguely wondered if any woman on Earth could make him believe in love. Where did that thought come from? He frowned and instead turned toward Gaia. Her smile was gentle, and it made him feel exposed, vulnerable. Over the years, he could always lie to himself, but he couldn’t pull one over her.
“You were inquiring,” Gaia said, still grilling him with her gentle, powerful smile, “as to your next assignment. Her name is Isobelle Cody, or Elle, as her friends call her. She’s afraid of flying, and you’re going to help her.”
Bodin swiftly turned toward Michael, and then back to the Goddess, saying nothing.
Gaia raised her eyebrows, but kept talking, “As usual, you can utilize her main guardian angel, if you want or need to. Her name is Molly.”
Bodin snorted. He worked alone.
Gaia continued to brief him and finished with, “And be nice.”
“I’m always nice.” He prepared for the zap on his tongue at the lie and wasn’t able to suppress a grin. Gaia made him smile. It had taken a few hundred years, more from his stubbornness than anything else. But he didn’t like showing it. He even liked Michael. He just didn’t like admitting that, either. It might ruin their gruff exchanges. Being around pure love all the time had a way of wiggling into one’s defenses.
Bodin was sure he was the only Changeling in history to require a thousand years and counting. Michael was right. His heart was not in it. He was quite certain he didn’t have any heart left, so Michael’s observation was no big surprise. It was guilt and honor that made him make that life-changing decision all those years ago. He really had no desire to be an angel or even to help his fellow man. People were largely assholes. Himself included. Eric was the only person he had ever met as a human that wasn’t. Sure, the last several centuries had given him opportunity to see a different side of humanity, a better side, but he was too stubborn to admit it. Bodin was likely the loneliest angel in training out there, and the grumpiest. Gaia wanted him to be nice, ha! He had no idea how to be nice. All right, time to get this thing done.
Gaia and Michael watched Bodin leave. Concerned, Michael turned toward the Goddess. He knew the internal demons Bodin faced. Being an archangel gave quite a bit of insight. He just wondered how long the Changeling was going to live in his self-imposed purgatory. His mouth twitched into a half smile. Changelings were human angels-in-training, and few would consider the high honor purgatory.
“What aren’t you telling me?” Michael asked mildly, trusting Gaia’s decision. “I usually cover fear issues, or have input in them.”
“I know.” Gaia paused. “And I appreciate your trust.”
“You are the Goddess.”
“Yes, but love doesn’t take anything for granted. Know I appreciate you. Elle is a doorway for Bodin, as he is one for her. Now, we just have to see if they walk through. Besides, as gruff as he is, Bodin will come to you if he needs help. He doesn’t jeopardize people for ego.”
Gaia looked lost in thought a moment before she smiled again, her eyes positively twinkling.
Michael was amused and curious at the extra radiance. “What?”
“Elle had another request.” The goddess twirled in a circle. “I’ll let Bodin figure that one out on his own, though.”
Excerpt from Duke Out at the Diner:
It’s a terrible thing to realize you have food stuck in your teeth. Even more terrible when the shiny napkin dispenser you’re slyly using to check, points it out.
“I’m not a napkin dispenser, I’m in the thing. There’s a difference.”
“Ahhh.” Shay shrieked. “Who said that?”
Cautiously she peered around the deserted cafe. The waitress and cook had disappeared out the side door, giggling and mooning over each other. No way were they back yet.
“I have got to get more sleep.” Shay ran her tongue over her teeth in front of the dispenser’s mirrored surface, wondering if she could imagine voices because of lack of sleep.
“Your teeth are fine. Now get me out of here.”
Shay dropped the chatty dispenser onto the table and looked around in panic. I can’t be imagining that.
“I’m stuck in here, now get me out.”
Shay stared at the unassuming chrome napkin dispenser talking to her.
“I. Am. Not. A. Napkin. Dispenser.” The voice started in the tone used in talking to someone dimwitted, but ended in an enraged growl, “I just need you to get me the hell out of here.”
Shay jumped in her seat at having her mind read, but the boorish attitude and unwarranted snapping spurred her to action. Shay was sick of men treating her like an idiot. With a new-found smile, she swatted the offending chrome piece, launching it into the air. It landed with a thud on the floor and skidded a few feet.
For a mind reader, he should have seen that one coming, she thought smugly.
In that brief moment, Shay had unleashed on all the men who had hurt her in the past. A paltry thing, throwing around diner-ware, but it had felt darn good. Shay’s manners returned, though, and she couldn’t stop herself from getting up and retrieving the fallen canister. It now had a dinged corner and dirt on it from skidding across the uncleaned-floor.
With a sigh and feeling a bit self-conscious, Shay grabbed one of the napkins held within and started to rub clean the unobtrusive object. She must have been imagining the darn thing talking to her. She needed to get more sleep, work less, and regroup more. That’s what coming to this town was supposed to be about anyway. And getting away from Jerrod.
Rubbing the dirt off, Shay looked at her reflection in the chrome, remembering when her life had been normal, with nothing scarier than the calorie count on her favorite ice cream. And even that wasn’t scary, it was delicious. Life had been simple, wonderful, and then the rug had been pulled out from underneath her. Almost in a trance she rubbed the napkin holder, thinking, dreaming of how she was getting her life back on track.
“Stop that. . . quit rubbing, that’s enough, I’m already coming-” The voice was back.
A swooshing sound rang through the empty room. She still held the chrome piece, but now an irate looking man had materialized and now lumbered over her. Broad shoulders crowded near Shay’s face. Okay, so definitely not a napkin holder. The man was gorgeous. Cranky, but undeniably gorgeous. Why had the most interesting man she’d ever seen materialize from an inanimate object? In so many ways, life was not fair. And why did he look so grumpy? He was probably an ass, like all the other men in her life.
* * * *
“Out.“ Eric finished his sentence. Dusting off his jeans and running his large hands through longish dark blond hair, he glared at his rescuer.
“Nice rub-down.” He knew he spat the angry words, but he couldn’t seem to help it.
The woman had been so spunky, then caring, and then so lost. Not to mention she was clean-spun gorgeous. Eric could deal with the fairer sex, no problem. But not knock-out wholesome beauties with backstory. God help him.
The woman’s vibrant green eyes narrowed at his comment. Eric couldn’t wait to find out what she would do. This was madness, he needed to get out of here, find out how to break the curse so wouldn’t be stuck back in that damn dispenser again. But the woman before him was making it impossible to move. Eric was mesmerized and wanted to see what she would do next.
She did the unthinkable. Eyes still narrowed, she drew her leg back. Eric’s brain was registering what she was doing, but his arrogance couldn’t believe it. People gave him a wide berth, he knew it was because he looked so intimidating. But the fiery minx thrust her knee up and made direct contact where Eric was most vulnerable.
From the RITA-award-winning team of Regency novelists, Lynn Kerstan and Alicia Rasley
A Pair of Classic Regency Novella- Allegra’s Song and The Rake and the Spinster
This is a boxed set of the first two stories of The Drewe Sisters series, “Allegra’s Song” by Alicia Rasley and “The Rake and the Spinster” by Lynn Kerstan. Two sisters travel to a house party, expecting nothing but diversion. But one finds excitement and passion in the arms of a man she ought to despise, and the other is led back to the love of a man she thought she’d lost.
“Outstandingly unique in the world of Regency Romance comes this collection…. An emotionally satisfying read!” Literary Times
An Excerpt from The Drewe Sisters Novellas in Boxed Set by Kerstan and Rasley
A Rake’s Abduction… and Seduction
“Truly, I admire you, sweet Maggie, but your sisters are grown now. Allegra is married, Yvette soon will be, and then what will you have?”
“Satisfaction, and a quiet life. What right have you to ruin that for me?”
“In two weeks, unless you take the bit between your teeth and do something rash, you will return to Falconthorpe with the Merpole sisters and no one will suspect you have been elsewhere than in their company. I would never do harm to you, or to your sisters, although I know you don’t believe that. I simply want to give you something, and have taken care that you have no choice but to accept. If any shame comes to your family, it will be your doing.”
“I’d sooner die than shame my sisters,” she declared. There were a few beats of silence. “Give me what?”
He nodded approvingly. “And now we are to the heart of it. I will give you an adventure, Maggie. A real one, with real experiences, not fantasies. I must apologize that the enterprise cannot be all you would like. You long to travel, and I considered a trip to the Continent, but we must balance your dreams with the necessity of preserving your reputation. Many things can go wrong in a foreign country and someone might see us together. Here at Sanderling we shall not be remarked upon.” He leaned forward. “Think of it. Two weeks in which your every whim will be indulged. A time out of time, to do nothing but enjoy yourself and experience as much as you can without collapsing from exhaustion.”
You can buy this RITA-winning team’s set of novellas for Kindle and PC at:
or at Smashwords:
From the RITA-award-winning and bestselling novelist, Alicia Rasley
A Classic Regency Novella- Allegra’s Song
The warrior returns… but he never really comes home. Allegra has longed for the return of her soldier husband. But when the war ends, he is more distant than ever. After months of trying to reach him, she leaves to chaperone her husband-hunting younger sister at a duchess’s house party. Only then does Nicholas know that to win her, he must leave the war behind and truly come home to her for good.
An Excerpt from Allegra’s Song by Alicia Rasley
“I never imagined that, not in all those years away from you. I couldn’t, of course, couldn’t think of it, or I wouldn’t have been able to go on. But to hear it said, by two men not fit to—” Nicholas shook his head and didn’t finish.
“And you believed them?” she cried. “Gossip overheard in a taproom? Accusing me of—” She couldn’t say the words betraying you.
“No. They weren’t describing, only predicting, and in some detail.” With a savage, smooth motion, he pulled out his sword. Instinctively she stepped back from the rush of wind as the blade slashed an inch from her leg. She heard a splash of water, and saw the tip of the sword flash silver, deftly beheading a waterscorpion at the lip of the fountain.
The two pieces held together for an improbable moment, then Nicholas swung up his sword and they fell separately into the water. Allegra gasped as drops splashed on her skirt, and shrank back from the tainted pool.
Automatically, Nicholas wiped the blade of his sword on his breeches and sheathed it. As if nothing had happened, he said, “So tell me, wife, tell me. Where were they wrong? What shouldn’t I believe? That you left your home to come to London to see him? That you sent your son away? That Keverne was a frequent visitor to our house—our house—in London? That he got you invited here, and your sisters too as some sort of blind? That the other men at the party are wagering on the night of your succumbing?”
She gazed down at the dead thing in the water and couldn’t speak. His recital was such a knot of half-truths she couldn’t begin to undo it anyway. Finally she whispered fiercely, “If you won’t believe me, I have nothing more to say.”
“I don’t know what to believe.” For just a moment, the anguish rang clear in his voice, then he got control of it. “If you haven’t betrayed me—if he isn’t your lover, then why are you here? Why are you with him? No.” With a sharp gesture, he cut off her protest. “Don’t tell me you aren’t with him. I have seen you with him, twice now. Oh, nothing compromising, no. But Allegra—”
He put his hand beside her, palm against the wall, his full white sleeve caressing her bare arm. He leaned closer, speaking softly, so that his words brushed her temple. “Tell me. If you knew there was talk of your connection to him, if you knew I would object—and you knew that, don’t tell me you didn’t, I saw it in your eyes tonight—then why did you persist? Why dance with him tonight, when you knew it would be the talk of the evening, you with that half-dressed rake?”
She didn’t look up at him, instead watching the rise and fall of his chest under the white shirt as he took a breath and held it and let it go. “I will not let gossip determine who will be my friend.”
“Your friend? He wants to bed you, if he hasn’t—” He cut that off. “What does he do that makes you disregard all that? Make you forget you have a child at home, and a husband too?”
The pain in his voice was so raw she was moved to speak with equal honesty, though she knew it was a mistake. “He makes me laugh, that is all.”
“Makes you laugh?” Nicholas sounded stunned. He drew back, and she was able to slip away from his imprisoning arm, and edge down the wall toward the opening. “Makes you laugh? Allegra, he’s useless. What’s he done in his life but seduce women and switch tailors? Laughter! How can you—you are carving me up, all I have been, all I have done, with his laughter!”
There was no use defending Simon; he didn’t need it, and it would do no good. She had nothing but the truth, and that would not be enough. “You had better believe this, Nicholas, because I shan’t say it again. I have done nothing to betray you.”
“Nothing yet, perhaps.” He pushed away from the wall and walked restlessly across the little grotto. He stopped where her mask lay, abandoned on the ground, and nudged it with his boot. “But then he might make you laugh again.” He looked up at her. “I will believe you if you come with me now. Come away from here, and from him. Now. Tonight.”
“You will believe me then? Only then?” Her fingers were hurting, clenched tight like that, and she forced them to relax, to open, to lie gentle against her chest. “That isn’t belief, Nicholas, if I must prove it to you. And I won’t try. If you trust me, you will say no more.”
He bent and picked up the mask, brushing the dirt off the white feather, studying it as if there was something written there. Now his voice was cool, all the pain stripped from it. “Come tonight, Allegra. Or don’t come at all.”
You can buy this RITA-winner’s novella for Kindle and PC at:
He stood directly in front of her, a nightmare come to life, lips curved in an irreverent smile. “Artemis, I believe,” he said with a bow. “Virgin Huntress, Guardian of her Sister Nymphs, Goddess of the Moon.”
Unwilling to meet his eyes, Maggie gaped at a broad chest dusted with tawny hair. Distantly, she heard him greet the Merpoles. They exchanged pleasantries, and he complimented them on their excellent costumes while she wondered why his skin was so brown.
“Who are you?” she asked unwittingly.
“Do you not know me?” He whipped off his mask and hung it on his bow. “I am the god of oblivion, abandonment, and excess. I bring wine and madness, should you care to drink.”
“Dionysos,” she said peevishly. “Very much in the flesh.”
“None other, fellow divinity. I am come from Olympus to lead you into the dance. Only listen. The sacred melodious pipe calls Artemis to waltz with me.”
“It does no such thing!” Her gaze lifted to his joltingly blue eyes and swiftly lowered again.
“Fear you the Bacchanal?” he teased. “Where is your spirit?”
“You are a silly man and no god at all. Besides, virgin goddesses never cavort with licentious satyrs.”
“Ah, but Dionysus compels no woman to be chaste, or to relinquish her chastity. She who is naturally virtuous may partake of the rites without forfeit.” He held out his hand. “Come, Artemis. It is only a ballroom, after all, and merely a waltz.”
A firm hand pushed at her back—Beatrice’s, she suspected—and suddenly she was on her feet. “I won’t dance with you, Keverne!” Her voice was shrill with anger. “You are presumptuous, offensive, and unwanted. If that is not clear enough, hear this. Go away and leave me alone.”
He regarded her with uncharacteristic seriousness. “But you are too much alone, Moonbeam.”
“That is my choice.” She tried to sit down again, but his fingers gripped her shoulders.
“Only consider the consequences. Dionysos must dance, and if you will not join him, he must entice another maiden into the revels. Athena, perhaps?”
“That is purely blackmail.” She jabbed a finger at his chest. “Yvette is young and innocent, not some bit of muslin to be trifled with. Stay away from her, you… you goat!”
He contrived to look offended. “How you wound me, Artemis. And while you fight the inevitable, this waltz is half played out. I shall require what is left of it, and the next dance as well, before I agree to leave untouched the lovely Athena. What will it be, sweet nymph? Have you the courage to quit this dim corner for the sake of your unfledged sister? Such a trifling sacrifice, after all.”
“Infamous!” She was practically sputtering. “You are an overdecorated, underdressed coxcomb. I’ll have no part of you.”
He touched the tip of her nose with his finger, “Recollect what became of Pentheus, who refused to acknowledge Dionysios as a god. We deities have our pride, you know.” His smile was unutterably provoking. “Even you, glacial Artemis, for did you not transform Actaion into a stag for the crime of seeing you unclothed?”
“This is preposterous. I’ll not bandy Greek myths with you, Keverne.”
Her insults had no effect on the scoundrel. He continued to stand too close, his bare hand extended, a look of expectation on his face. Short of plucking an arrow from her quiver and driving it into his chest, she could think of no way to get rid of him. How it galled her to be manipulated like this.
“Very well,” she said between her teeth. “What remains of this dance, and the next, so long as you keep yourself thirty yards from both my sisters tonight.” Heat rose to her cheeks. “Mind you, I don’t dance very well.”
“You will,” he assured her complacently, “in my arms.”
From the RITA-award-winning and bestselling novelist, Alicia Rasley
A Classic Regency- Charity Begins at Home
Competent, compassionate, cautious Charity, the mainstay of her Kentish village: She would make the perfect wife. Everyone says so, including the men who propose marriage to her. But Charity wants to be more than the perfect wife. She wants to be beloved.
So when she meets the passionate half-Italian artist Tristan Hale, Lord Braden, she thinks she’s found the man who can transform her life into one of brilliance and excitement. But then she finds out that all he wants is what every man wants, that competent Charity, the perfect wife.
Against the backdrop of a village fete, Tristan must prove to her that he desires her as much as he esteems her, and to win her, he first has to defeat an evil playwright, paint a voracious whale, and seduce her by the midsummer moon.
An Excerpt from Charity Begins at Home by Alicia Rasley
The Competent Charity Calder
This long speech had the effect of diverting him from whatever assessing comment he meant to make. Instead, Braden smiled ruefully and shook his head. “Very nice, Miss Calder. I suppose you think susceptibility to flattery is a family trait? But having observed your technique with my sister, I am wise to your ways. You will not persuade me that my sister’s well-being depends more on my finishing a painting than straightening out her finances. No, no!” He raised his hand, laughing. “Don’t volunteer to do it for me. We have presumed on you enough already.”
Was he implying that she took too much on herself, pushed to help where she wasn’t needed? Her aid had never been turned down before. In fact, most recipients were all too happy to take advantage of her talents. But Lord Braden was probably used to minding his own affairs and expected others to mind theirs. His reluctance to join her little lunch, his challenging comment about her number of suitors—perhaps he felt pursued and was warning her off.
In the moment or two it took to reach this supposition, Charity had climbed nimbly in beside Jem. She just wanted to be gone from this difficult man who regarded her so coolly out of those burning eyes, who suspected motives she didn’t quite have, who let her have only tantalizing glimpses of his thoughts. Even as she welcomed her own painful disorientation—surely it indicated intense emotion!—she felt cheated. She had always known that falling in love would hurt. But she had not reckoned that it would be humiliating, too.
You can buy this RITA-finalist novel for Kindle and PC at:
Rasley’s Regencies have been compared to those of Carla Kelly and Loretta Chase– elegantly written and with lively plots and characters.
Crossing the line – an excerpt from Poetic Justice by Alicia Rasley
John said, “I’ve had enough of noblewomen thinking of me as some diversion from their own kind.”
“Diversion? What do you mean?”
“The peasant blood. Makes a man virile, you know.”
The scathing tone of his voice indicated that he was quoting this. From whom, Jessica didn’t want to imagine. But the implication that she might agree made her furious. “That’s absurd! I don’t see you as a diversion! From what would you be diverting me?”
“I’ve heard all about what in-breeding has done to the British peer— made him effete and effeminate and weak-boned, unable to perform. That’s what rough-hewn virile peasants are meant to make up for.”
It was so nonsensical that her anger vanished and she almost laughed. But she couldn’t let him go free so easily as that. “Well, you don’t seem the least rough-hewn to me. Your manners are every bit as insolent as a prince’s, and you must count your moral authority somewhere up there with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s. If all peasants in England were like you, we’d have been able to give the French lessons in revolution!”
“I have never set myself up as a moral authority.”
“You just did! Accusing me of desiring to kiss you for any reason beyond— well, desiring to kiss you! And, as for that peasant virility— ” She broke off, and stalked ahead. “Never mind.”
“Oh, no, please do go on.” Now there was laughter in his voice, but she chose to ignore it. “I wait with bated breath to hear this. As for my peasant virility—”
“I have only your word that it exists. Indeed, you are so sensitive about this virility issue, I must wonder. Have you cause?”
In response he took her arm and drew her to him. “Usually, when my manhood’s questioned, I resort to cutlasses. But in this case….”
Pressed against his chest this way, she could hardly find the breath to speak, but she said, “There are other ways, you know.”
And just as he bent his head, she raised hers, so that their mouths met. This kiss wasn’t tentative or onesided, but a lingering exploration of the possibilities. John’s rough sailor’s hand was gentle on her cheek, his mouth softened in response to hers. She closed her eyes, letting him draw her closer, opening her mouth to his searching. It was dizzying, dazzling, impossible.
In the mood for romance? Check out Happily Ever Afton on Amazon.
Movie critic Afton Lanford had put off picking out her wedding gown until the last possible moment, but once she’s all buttoned into her ruffled satin gown she spots her fiance’s tongue – deep in the mouth of the dishonorable maid-of-honor’s! Still in her dress, her mad-dash pursuit of the cheating pair leads her to run into and over Cooper Stewart Carrington – the third – on her red motor scooter outside a Seattle coffee shop.
Trying to run from a persistent suitor of his own, Cooper agrees to the nutty plan she proposes to pretend to be “lovers” to throw off their exes. Their “Strangers on a Train” deal leads to hilarity and hijinks as Afton and Cooper attend a series of events with their former partners in hot pursuit – and discover along the way if strangers can ever… criss-cross …into lovers…