Monday, August 17, 2015
IN HIS ARMS FROM PEGGY L. HENDERSON INVOLVED CHALLENGES AND RESEARCH
By Peggy L. Henderson
Thank you, Caroline, for hosting me on your blog today!
About two years ago, I had a fleeting idea for a book series. We're all used to reading about the beautiful Barbie doll heroine, and the dashing, gorgeous hero in our romance novels, right? We're supposed to feel as if we ARE that heroine wooed by that dashing hero, and who wants to read about someone who isn't so perfect? Well, what if we can have physical imperfections, or even handicaps and limitations, and still be the most beautiful and desirable thing in that hunky, gorgeous hero's eye?
I finally wrote the first of, what I am calling the Blemished Brides Series, at the end of last year, and it was published this past February.
That book, IN HIS EYES, was followed two months later by IN HIS TOUCH.
Today, I'm proud to announce that the third in the series, IN HIS ARMS, just released.
This series is quite a departure from my Yellowstone and Teton novels, which are set among spectacular wilderness backdrops, packed with action, adventure, survival, and history (and of course, lots of romance as well), or my time travel westerns in the Second Chances books. The Blemished Brides are all about evoking emotions, and overcoming the challenges and prejudices for being handicapped or different. While I had thought that the books would focus mainly on the heroines and their handicaps and/or limitations, it soon became obvious that the leading men were also overcoming their own personal challenges. The hero in each book needed the heroine as much as she needed him.
I'm having a blast writing this series, and one of the challenges has been researching and finding out about different handicaps, and how people in the nineteenth century were perceived and treated when they had physical limitations.
IN HIS ARMS Excerpt:
Levi expelled a relieved breath that she seemed all right, other than she was shaken up. He didn’t hesitate, or think about his actions, and gathered her into his arms. She fell against him, and sobbed into his shirt. Her body trembled, and he tightened his hold around her.
“It’s all right,” he murmured against her cheek, saying the words over and over while he stroked the soft tendrils of her long hair.
He had no other words to comfort her, but the way she clung to him told him it was the right thing to say and do. When he shifted weight to lift her into his arms, with the intent to set her on her feet, her hands gripped his shoulders. She moved her head away from his chest, and gazed up at him.
“I tried to shoot it while it stalked the mule,” she whispered. “I missed with the one bullet I had left, and your horse ran past me and knocked me to the ground. I couldn’t get back up without the crutch.” She darted a quick look to the ground where the crutch had fallen out of her reach.
Levi stared down at her. Her eyes glistened, and so did her lips.
“I’ll have to have some words with my horse about knocking you off your feet all the time,” he said to lighten the mood. His lips twitched in a hesitant smile.
His heart still pounded in his chest, the fear for Grace’s life still fresh in his mind. If he had been even a minute later, she would be dead. He didn’t dare move, but held her in his arms, almost in his lap, and simply stared into her brown eyes. A powerful rush of warmth spread through him, which quickly replaced the fear from a moment ago.
Grace locked her eyes with his. Her arms wrapped more tightly around his neck, and he couldn’t move. The nervous snorts from his horse, and the trampling of hooves from the mule as it moved around anxiously in the corral, ceased to exist. There was only Grace, and the way she looked at him with wonder in her gaze.
Had she moved her head closer to his, and tugged his face toward her, or had he done that on his own? Her lips touched his, soft and hesitant. Levi’s insides ignited. His hand lifted to her face, the tips of his fingers brushing up against the soft skin of her cheek, while his other arm drew her to him. A rush of emotion, more powerful than he could describe, nearly knocked him on his back. He fisted the fabric of her shirt in his grip, and leaned toward her, while at the same time, tugging her more fully to him.
Grace clasped her arms around his neck, her lips parting beneath his. Levi’s body tensed from the wondrous sensation of her soft mouth enticing him. The sweet ache in his chest threatened to explode. His fingers weaved through her hair at the nape of her neck, and he followed her lead, parting his own lips and moving them across hers. Every part of him yearned to wrap around her, draw her into him, and shield her from everything she’d endured. It was the thought of what she’d suffered at the hands of other men that stopped his actions cold. Right now, the need and desire she awoke scared the living daylights out of him, and he abruptly pulled away from her.
Grace stared, wide-eyed. Her mouth was slightly open, and her lips still glistened. Levi moved to stand, and reached for her hand to pull her to her feet. She accepted his help, her gaze locked on his.
“I’m sorry, Grace. I didn’t mean for that to happen,” he stammered.
Grace’s forehead scrunched. She shook her head slightly. “I’m the one who kissed you first,” she whispered. She held on to his arm, and adjusted her weight on her good leg. Levi supported her elbow, his eyes locked with hers, unable to look away. His heart still drummed fast in his chest. What the hell was happening to him?
“I don’t want you to think . . . I’d never take advantage of you.”
A soft smile spread across Grace’s face. Levi darted a quick glance to the ground in search of the crutch. He might need it himself to remain standing. His legs felt like putty. Grace reached her hand up to touch the side of his cheek. A renewed wave of tenderness and emotions, for which he had no words, flooded him at her soft touch.
“I don’t believe you could ever take advantage of anyone, Levi Colter,” she said in a satiny whisper. “You are the kindest man I’ve ever met.”
She leaned up and brushed her lips against his cheek. The feather-light contact lasted no more than a second. Levi forced his arms to remain where they were against his sides. Every part of him wanted to pull her closer, repeat what he’d done a moment ago.
“Thank you,” she said, breaking the contact. “Thank you for saving me yet again.” She laughed softly. “I think I’m becoming too dependent on you.”
Peggy L Henderson
Western Historical and Time Travel Romance
“Where Adventure Awaits and Love is Timeless”
Yellowstone Romance Series
Teton Romance Trilogy
Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series
Blemished Brides Western Historical Romance Series