A man fleeing from rebellion, and a woman trapped in convention - and neither knew the other existed until tonight… Pierre d'Épiluçon never expected to leave France, let alone flee for his life. After losing control of his vessel, the twenty-eight-year-old noblesse is rescued by a fisherman's daughter. Helena, desperate to escape her own version of entrapment of dreary familial expectation, tries to nurse Pierre back to health and their opposing status - and political views – collide. The growing attraction between them, of course, seems to have just one cure… Will Pierre recover from his injuries, or lose his heart? Can Helena grow to care for the shipwrecked suitor who sailed into her life? This is the third in a series of eight Ravishing Regencies.
Thank you so much for having me for the first time! I’ve loved historical romance for as long as I can remember, and my Ravishing Regencies series is just one way that you can love it with me.
Shipwrecked with a Suitor is the latest instalment in this series in which strong heroes and fiery heroines are forced into unusual circumstances: from mistaken identities, hiding from mobs, and being marooned on islands!
You can read the prequel to the series in the incredible 16 author boxset Seduced under the Mistletoe which is just 0.99 until 9th November.
I love writing Shipwrecked with a Suitor because Helena is a little different from most Regency heroines: poor, shy, and living in a fishing village with no society, she feels utterly unprepared to be hosting a French nobleman – but being a little out of your depth is what gets your heart racing, and Pierre is able to see her as the diamond in the rough that she is.
After rescuing Pierre, a French nobleman fleeing the Revolution, from the wrecked remains of his boat, Helena is alone with the handsome man waiting for her father to return. But until then, they are alone…
“I must admit to feeling a little restless,” he was saying as she walked in. “Back to full health, as I am. I must compliment you on your nursing.”
Helena smiled weakly and dropped into the chair furthest away from him. She couldn’t be too careful. “I wanted to get you back to fighting fit, and I am pleased that I have been able to do so.”
Pierre returned her smile, but there was far more heat in it. “Ah, Helena. Your touch is revitalising more than you could possibly know.”
There was that blush again: there was nothing she could do to stop it, and still, it would come!
“My father will be pleased to make your acquaintance, when he returns,” she managed, twisting her fingers in her lap to remind herself that she needed to keep talking. “He has gone to Marshurst, the nearest market town, for…for a few days.”
“And will he be back this evening?”
Helena started, and glared up at him, but nothing but innocence suffused across Pierre’s face – if you could call it innocence. There was a sparkle of some mischief in his eye that was incredibly becoming, lighting up his face and dazzling it, illuminating the handsomeness that it already possessed.
As if it needed improving.
“Sadly not,” Helena finally said. “Which means that the same bed – the sofa here – is still available for you tonight, should you wish it.”
Pierre’s smile broadened. “I would rather have yours.”
She had not thought it possible for her cheeks to burn any deeper, but it was. For a moment, the image of Pierre d’Épiluçon lying beside her in her bed, flashed across her mind – but the imagined Pierre did not stay still for long. He was moving closer to her, closer than he had ever been, and though she knew she should move away from him, there did not seem to be any point: she wanted to be close to him, she wanted to feel his lips on hers, she –
She started, and jerked out of the vision. Pierre was looking at her curiously, and if she was not mistaken, he had a rather too clear idea of what was just running through her mind.
“Rest yourself easy, mademoiselle,” he said quietly. “I would never make you do something that you are uncomfortable with. Having said that…the offer is there.”
Helena tried to swallow, but her throat seemed to have been dried out like a mackerel. “I…I would recommend separate beds, monsieur.”
Pierre threw up his hands in that French way of his that she was starting to find endearing, and rose. “So be it, mademoiselle Helena. Lead the way.”
For the first time in her life, Helena was heartily conscious of a man’s gaze on her body. She found his eyes staring at her as she moved around the room, trimming the lamps and candles. He could not stop watching her, it seemed, as they stepped up the narrow staircase – and when they reached the tiny landing where the two bedrooms led from, he paused, and those eyes raked over her body once again.
“This is goodnight, then,” he said in a low voice, his eyes transfixed on hers.
Helena nodded, rather than trusting her own voice.
In a swift movement, Pierre took her right hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it lightly and honourably. “I have never felt this indebted,” he murmured, “nor more happily indebted to another person. Thank you. For saving my life.”
She could feel the heat of his hand on hers, and the spot where his lips had brushed it, but now there was a gentle tug on that hand and she had taken a step towards him.
Pierre was close, very close, too close, and yet Helena felt deep in her heart that he was not close enough – and now he was leaning, tilting ever so gently, giving her plenty of time to lean away if that was her desire.
But it was not. She wanted him, wanted to allow him to do what he was about to do, and her eyelashes fluttered shut as his lips touched hers.
The kiss was light at first; like a butterfly landing on a flower, unwilling to disturb its natural peace. And then it deepened: Pierre had dropped her hand but his own were now around her waist, and he was kissing her, kissing her like his life depended on it, kissing her like she was air and he a drowning man. Her lips had parted to allow him in, and he was tendering kissing her and her whole body now seemed to be alive, and her hands were resting on his chest and she could feel his heart beating quickly and it was matching the beat of her own.
“Oh, Helena,” he murmured for a moment, breaking the connection, but she raised her lips to his once more and kissed him, for the first time.
He had not been expected it, but his passionate return of her exploratory kiss was enough to tell her that it was wanted. He moaned slightly in her mouth, and it made her clutch him all the more, and then one of his hands moved down from her waist and cupped her bottom.
Helena broke away from him and stepped back, breathing heavily.
She looked with lust dripping eyes at Pierre, who was panting.
“G-Good night,” she managed, before she escaped to the sanctuary of her own room, and lay on the bed, fully clothed, heart pounding, and body aching.
Emily has got 3 Kindle copies of Shipwrecked with a Suitor to give away in celebration of its launch.
She has a very simple question for you to answer in the comments for a chance of winning…
What is the meal you cook for someone you love when they are sick that is guaranteed to make them feel better?