on March 6th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
When playing a game of wits, never ever go up against the woman they call the Hellion . . .
LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD...
Whether it's business or pleasure, Lord Robert Carlisle never backs down from a dare. But finding a husband for scandalous Mariah Winslow? It's one challenge he instantly regrets accepting. Even with all his connections—and rakish charms—Robert will have to use every trick in the book to marry off a woman with no dowry and no sense of decorum...no matter how stunningly beautiful she is.
Mariah Winslow has no intention of being a pawn in Lord Robert's game. She knows he agreed to play matchmaker only to secure a partnership in her father's shipping company, a partnership that's rightfully hers. For now, though, she'll dress for the elegant balls he throws and dance with the eligible bachelors he chooses. But she won't be outwitted by the devil himself—no matter how tempting and irresistible she finds him.
Robert’s mouth slid away from hers, and a soft whimper of loss fell from her parted lips.
“Mariah.” He smiled against her cheek.
A stab of defeat pierced her. So Carlisle thought he’d won, did he? Well, she’d prove to him that it would take more than that to convince her to surrender.
This time when he stepped back, Mariah advanced.
She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and delved her fingertips through the golden curls at his nape, then pressed her body so tightly against his front that she felt his heart slamming furiously against her chest. When she brushed her hips against his, a low groan tore from the back of his throat. Emboldened, she brazenly kissed him, and in that moment’s hesitation, when he was too stunned to move, she slipped her tongue between his lips the way he’d done to her.
That was enough to snap him out of his reverie.
He grabbed her shoulders and set her away, demanding in a raspy voice, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Despite the racing of her heart and the need to gulp back the air he’d stolen, she forced a shrug of her shoulders. As if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “Kissing you.”
Then she pressed against him again, her lips managing to barely make contact with his before he set her away. An angry scowl hardened his face.
“Don’t you want me to?” she prompted as innocently as possible.
Something dark and heated flickered in his eyes, and thinking it was anger, she thrilled at finally gaining the upper hand. Hiding her own shaking and quaking brought on by the heat of his embrace, she leaned toward him as far as his restraining hands would allow.
She purred huskily, “Surely the notorious Robert Carlisle knows what to do with a woman who wants to kiss him.”
Despite gritting his teeth, his gaze fell longingly to her mouth, and for a moment, she thought he might just kiss her senseless again. And if he did, she wasn’t certain that she could withstand it this time without falling completely apart in his arms.
“Don’t tease me, Mariah,” he warned in a murmur. “You’re playing with fire.”
“Am I?” Pretending that he hadn’t affected her, even as that tingling heat still throbbed achingly between her thighs, she sadly shook her head. “Well, I certainly hope the other gentlemen I’ll meet this season are better at kissing than you.” She slipped away from him before he could reach for her again. Or she for him. “Or I’ll be too bored to consider marrying any of them.”
He stared at her coolly as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “You will be married by season’s end, I promise you.”
This time when he took her arm, instead of angling her against him to embrace her, he pulled her toward the door. He flung it open and led her into the hall so quickly that she struggled to keep up with his determined strides.
Robert snatched her bonnet and cloak from the waiting butler, who wisely averted his eyes, then slung the cloak around her shoulders and unchivalrously slapped her bonnet on her head. Then he pulled her toward the front door again. Anger radiated from him as he led her across the small portico and down to the carriage waiting in the street.
Ignoring the tiger, he placed her inside the carriage himself. But when she yanked her arm away, it wasn’t relief she felt but an inexplicable sense of loss. For one maddening moment, she wanted to blurt out an apology, to beg him to crawl inside the compartment with her and keep kissing her just as he’d done before, all the way home to her doorstep.
But the devil inside her couldn’t help one last parting jab, and she sniffed with mock disappointment, “If I’m going to be forced to give my first waltz to such a boorish man, I certainly hope you’re far better at dancing.”
He rose up onto the step and leaned into the compartment, bringing himself close to her in the small space. “Don’t you worry, minx,” he assured her in a husky voice that twined down her spine. “When it comes to having a woman in my arms, I do everything well.”
Her breath strangled in her throat. Leaving her to gape at him in stunned mortification at her own heated reaction to the beastliness in him, he closed the door, then ordered the coachman to drive off.
The carriage rolled forward, and she slumped against the squabs. A curse left her lips at him, followed immediately by several more at herself.
They’d fought their second battle, yet for the life of her she couldn’t have said which of them had emerged the victor.
For your chance to win a copy of When the Scoundrel Sins…Visit Here
EVERYONE who enters will receive a free download of the Carlisle Brothers’ short story, “Once Upon a Frost Fair,” when Mariah and Robert share their first kiss.
Contest ends March 15th. Prize mailed to US address only; if the winner is international, an ebook from Barnes & Noble will be substituted. (Additional rules available on the giveaway page.) Good luck!
~~Reviewed by Shell~~
I have been a fan of Anna’s books since I read Dukes are Forever (The Secret Life of Scoundrels Book 1). Three years ago and have followed all the characters, through there own books ever since.
So when the opportunity arose that I was given the chance to review As The Devil Dares, I wasn’t going to turn it down.
Out of all the Carlisle books. This book I could relate to the most because my mum passed away when I was young. In the book Mariah was a little girl, I wasn’t that young I was in my late teens, but I do remember the guilt and anger that comes with the grief. But everyone deals with the loss of a loved one, in different ways.
This is what happens to Robert, who is carrying the guilt of his father’s death and is constantly trying to seek his approval, what Robert doesn’t realise is that his father was proud of him when he was alive and was still proud of him when he died.
So let me tell you about this wonderful book. Mariah desperately wants to run her father’s shipping business, but her father has different plans for Mariah and her sister Evelyn because when her mother was dying her father made a promise that Mariah would become a proper lady. Now for this to happen Mariah needs to have a season, well she has had six of them and coming into her seventh and Evelyn has had five, but no offers have come forward for either of them.
But because Mariah is such a strong and feisty woman, she and her sister have caused a lot of trouble, nothing serious just mischief, like driving a phaeton on St Jame’s Street, so in society, Mariah is called the hellion. But underneath Mariah has a warm and loving heart, who loved being at Gatewell School, because that is where she feels closest to her mother, but she also loves her father and sister.
But she also feels that since her mother’s death, there is a distance between her father and herself. Because when she was a little girl, she was always with her father in the shipping office, either playing on the floor and when she was older her father gave her some jobs to do.
So it comes as a complete surprise when her father introduces her to Robert Carlisle, who is the man that is tasked with finding Mariah a suitable husband and for this Robert hopes to be a partner with Henry Winslow. So Robert has to get the help of his mother, to help Mariah get the best invitations and the best gowns.
So what can I say about Robert, well he is a lovable rake, which I’ve already said is carrying a lot of guilt. As with Mariah, Robert loves his family dearly and this shows when he climbs a tree for his niece Clara, to save her kitten Daisy.
For me, this book definitely pulled at the heartstrings, I loved the humour and I cried along with Robert and Mariah.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.