Friday, June 6, 2008

Author Spotlight: Tracey Devlyn

Today's Author Spotlight is on Tracey Devlyn, and her latest release, His Secret Desire, with The Wild Rose Press.

Lily Weston struggles to save her family’s racing stable while her brother’s gambling submerges them further into debt. She’s confident their prized stallion will win a substantial purse at a prestigious race in two months, however, the machinations of her handsome neighbor hurtles Lily into a web a deceit. After watching her dear mother endure years of abuse from her father, Lily has no desire to marry. When she finds out her brother lost their home - and her - in a foolhardy game of chance to their new neighbor, Julian, Lord St. Vincent, she’s livid...and tempted.

Julian's attempts at wooing Lily gently have gone unnoticed. When Lily's brother's bungling efforts to save their indebted racing stable goes awry, Julian finds himself in a unique position to help his beautiful neighbor and...grasp his secret desire.
Excerpt #1

Beads of sweat trickled down the valley between Lily's breasts. The early morning heat a prelude to a sweltering August day. She continued her firm, long strokes along Alaric’s back, causing his muscles to ripple beneath her hands. His eyelids drooped in sleepy contentment.
"How does that feel, my love?" she murmured near his ear. "By the time I'm through with you the pain shall be a distant memory."
"Does this tempting guarantee extend to your neighbors?"
Lily sighed. The last thing she needed was for Lord-of-a-Thousand-Questions to plague her this morning. She enjoyed the comfortable silence of the stables during the early morning hours until whickering horses and scurrying stable boys alerted her to the fact another day of backbreaking work lay ahead. Her brother, Bennett's, recent escapades forced Lily to release several servants, which meant their duties fell to her to do.
Two more months, Lily reminded herself. Once Alaric won the St. Leger race, she’d be able to hire her servants back and pay off the rest of Bennett’s debts. Two months wasn’t so long. She could do it.
Her resolve renewed, Lily blew an ebony curl away from her light gray eyes. She patted Alaric's long, sleek neck and whispered her apologies before turning around to acknowledge the most beautiful, yet irritating man she'd ever met.
"Good morning, Lord St. Vincent."

Excerpt #2

"You should be thankful it was I he lost to."
"Oh?" She halted and directed a narrow-eyed stare his way while waiting for him to draw near. "Why is that, my lord?"
"Because I have no need to throw you out of your home like your land-greedy neighbor to the south, Mr. Lupton." Julian received another pinch of guilt upon his conscience. He convinced himself he must be brutal at this stage in the game. By being so, she would be more amiable to a means of compromise when he suggested it.
Tick. Tick. Julian watched her jaw work back and forth as she battled to contain her emotions.
"I will raise the funds to pay you back." Lily's long legs ate up the gravel path as she resumed her earlier march. Julian indulged his baser nature for a moment as he admired the sway of her hips and the rhythmic swish of her ebony braid. She was a stunning beauty by anyone's measure. Her long, svelte form would fit perfectly along the contours of his own tall frame.
"Miss Weston?" His call didn't even merit a slight hesitation in her step.
"Lily," he said as his fingers circled her upper arm, halting her progress.
"Let go of me. Now."
He released her...one finger at a time. Impatient, she wrenched her arm away from his grip.
"We might be able to come to an understanding, of sorts." Julian somehow managed to keep the low hum of his burgeoning arousal out of his voice.
"Who does the ‘we’ in this understanding refer to?"
"You and I, of course."
Guarded hope lit in her smoky eyes. She touched his arm. "You won't be sorry, my lord," she assured him. "Alaric will win at Doncaster – I have no doubt."
"I'm not interested in your money, Lily."
Confusion knitted her brow as she tried to make sense of his words.
"If not money, then what is it you desire?"
She snatched her hand away and suspicion blazed across her face. "Me?"
"Aye. You."

Excerpt #3

Lily set off down another foot trail and traipsed past a small clutch of oak and plane trees. Soon, a hidden slice of heaven opened up and as far as the eye could see, verdant hills rolled across the river valley. Lily felt the tension from the past sennight begin to drain away. She sat down on the soft, cool grass to remove her sturdy riding boots and stockings. Her toes tunneled through the green blades as her gaze followed a hawk gliding on an air current with graceful majesty.
She stretched out on her back and smiled as great snowy clouds floated across a deep blue sky. A sky the color of Julian’s eyes, Lily thought drowsily. Her eyes drifted closed while she listened to the rat-a-tat-tat of a nearby woodpecker, and the loamy earth enveloped her in its motherly embrace. So peaceful...
"Do you have room for two, my dear?"
The low baritone jerked Lily back to full awareness. She angled her head back to find an upside down version of the man whose haunting eyes had the ability to soothe her weary soul and set her budding desire aflame.