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Friday, June 24, 2016

Feature and Giveaway: Only You by Cheryl Holt

CHERYL HOLT does it again with another fast-paced, dramatic tale of seduction, passion, and romance. This time, love blooms on a lazy, decadent trip down the Nile!

Lady Theodosia Postlewaite, known as Theo to her family and friends, has always had the worst luck. On the night her betrothal was to be announced, she was unwittingly caught in a compromising situation. With her engagement ended and her reputation in tatters, her incensed father demands she flee the gossip by accompanying her dour, grumpy aunt on a sightseeing trip to Egypt. Theo reluctantly agrees, and she's determined to spend the months abroad proving she possesses the highest moral character. Most especially, she vows to never so much as speak to a handsome man ever again.

Soloman Grey has lived in Egypt for the past decade. His own scandal chased him out of London, and he's built a new life for himself as an adventurer and explorer. Because of the gossip that ruined him, he doesn't trust anyone, and he constantly vows that he’ll never so much as glance at a pretty woman ever again.

But when Soloman meets Theo, he's dragged into her world in a dozen ways he never intended. She's beautiful, funny, and lonely, and he can't resist. Yet, he's the bastard son of an earl, so he could never be worthy of her. When her relatives would do anything to keep them apart, dare he risk all to have her for his very own?

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“It’s all about the money.”

“Isn’t it always?”

Lady Theodosia Postlewaite—known simply as Theo to her family—heard two women talking. She hadn’t intended to eavesdrop, but she couldn’t help it. A row of potted plants separated them, shielding Theo from view, so they weren’t aware of her presence.

“Her father is beggared.”

“That’s the rumor.”

Theo frowned, wondering if she should move away and stop listening. It was Christmas Eve, and she hated to learn that people were experiencing difficulties at such a special time. She hoped it wasn’t an acquaintance, but in the small world of London society, it probably was.

Curiosity kept her feet firmly in place.

“It’s why her father arranged the match—to get his hands on Hedley’s fortune.”

“I’m told he’s delivering cartloads of it.”

Theo bit down a gasp. Hedley Harrington was her fiancé. Surreptitiously, she glanced around the grand ballroom. Surely they couldn’t mean her Hedley. They had to be referring to someone else, but how many Hedleys could there be? It wasn’t a common name.

“With his being such a lowborn cad and his mother a ladder-climbing shrew, the union will propel them into the highest circles of the ton.”

“It’s precisely where his mother always planned for him to be.”

“His country mouse must think his affection is real.”

“The poor girl. How can she be so naïve?”

The women snickered, and Theo was dying to peek through the foliage to see who was speaking, but she didn’t dare let them observe her.

Instead, she gazed at the dancers twirling by and tried to concentrate on the glorious sight. Hedley’s mother, Beatrice, had outdone herself in decorating for the party, and the holiday ambiance was warm and inviting. Every inch of space was covered with pine-scented garlands, with holly and ivy. There was a huge Christmas tree in the corner, and a thousand candles burned in the chandeliers overhead.

When the clock struck midnight, her father would climb onto the dais with Beatrice and announce Theo’s engagement to Hedley. Gossip about them had swirled for weeks, with neither family confirming the stories that were circulating. But the betrothal was about to become official.

A footman walked by with a tray of champagne, and she grabbed two glasses. No one was paying any attention to her, so she downed the contents of one, then hid the empty glass in a plant behind her.

She sipped the other more slowly, struggling to calm her nerves. She wasn’t usually a drinker, but who could blame her for any increased imbibing?

She’d spent her life in the country, and she should have had a debut when she was seventeen, but numerous problems had prevented it. An uncle had perished, then an aunt, then a cousin. Theo felt as if she’d been in mourning forever, and with her mother deceased since she was a baby, there had been no mentor to rectify the situation and get her back on track.

She was hostess at their rural estate of Oakwood, but her father, Lord Wood, rarely visited and they weren’t close. He was busy with his gaming and friends in town. After he’d apprised her she could travel to London to stay with him, she’d been ecstatic. After he’d introduced her to Hedley, then whispered that Hedley would like to propose, she’d been even more elated.

Hedley was bombastic, pompous, and pretentious, and he dressed fashionably and cut a dashing figure. He was constantly surrounded by sophisticated, urbane females, so she couldn’t believe he’d chosen her. Yet she barely knew him. They’d spoken on a few occasions, and he was fifteen years older than she was.

For some reason, she kept running those numbers in her mind. She was twenty-two and he was thirty-seven. When she was thirty, he’d be forty-five. When she was forty, he’d be…

Well, she shouldn’t obsess. What was the point? How could their age difference matter? On one futile evening, she’d broached the subject with her father, and he’d glared at her as if she was an idiot, so she hadn’t raised the issue again.

The only pertinent information she’d managed to obtain about Hedley was the fact that he liked horses. He liked racing them and betting on them and buying and selling them. She wasn’t interested in horses at all. What would they talk about at the breakfast table? Had they anything in common?

She doubted it, and since she was a romantic person who’d always dreamed of being passionately in love with her husband, the prospect that they were strangers and would likely remain strangers was terrifying.

She downed her champagne again—even though she shouldn’t have. She’d passed the day getting ready for the ball, so she’d been too anxious to eat. The first glass had relaxed her, and she was certain the second one would provide even more relief.

The two women started in again.

“Deidre DuBois is having a fit about his engagement.”

“So I’ve heard.”

“She actually assumed he’d marry her.”

“She’s an actress! How could she suppose his mother would agree?”

“Hedley considered eloping with her.”

“He wouldn’t have. He’d never disobey his dear mama.”

“Oh, really? Deidre is here as his special guest.”


“Yes! He put his foot down and insisted she be invited. His mother couldn’t prevent it. He’s with her now. Look.”

Theo peeked to the far corner where Hedley was chatting with a group of people. She didn’t know any of them, but one in particular stood out. She was a buxom beauty with gorgeous auburn hair and big blue eyes, and she was clutching his arm in a proprietary way.

As to Hedley, he appeared very comfortable with her. He kept leaning down and whispering in her ear, then they’d laugh together.

Another footman went by, and Theo grabbed a third glass of champagne. Clearly two glasses weren’t going to be enough.

“How long has he been with Deidre? Three years?”

“It’s more like five.”

“He’s been bragging that he’ll continue the affair even after he’s married. He’s positive Lady Theodosia is so gullible she’ll never realize it.”

Theo worried she might swoon, right there on the edge of the ballroom. She’d embarrass her father, shame herself, and humiliate Hedley’s mother. Hedley would emerge unscathed though. From how he was focused on the woman by his side, Theo could drop dead from mortification, and he wouldn’t bother to glance over.

Suddenly, she felt as if she was suffocating. She wanted to rush to her father and demand answers to questions she had no idea how to ask. She wanted to shake him until some truths rattled out.

He was a baron, the Prince Regent his great chum, so he hobnobbed with the loftiest peers of the realm. Any man—Hedley, for instance—who wed his only daughter would be immediately thrust into the social circles where her father thrived.

Was that why Hedley had picked her? Had she been…been…sold like a cow at a fair? Was her father penniless? Hedley’s father had been a sugar planter in Jamaica. He’d parlayed the riches from that plantation into a shipping company that delivered goods back and forth across the Atlantic. Hedley was obscenely wealthy because of it.

Would he give her father money so he could marry into an aristocratic family?

Of course you ninny! He could have wed anyone. Why else would he have selected her?

In the suave, chic crowd, she might have been invisible. Her gown was pretty enough, and her maid had curled and braided her blond hair in a fetching style, but she didn’t have the calculating temperament that was required to fit in.

Her father claimed she’d develop a thicker skin, that she’d learn to comport herself with the cool disdain exuded by others. But just then, she was tremendously aggrieved, and she couldn’t conceal her fury. It didn’t seem possible.

It was easy to tiptoe out, and she stopped a maid and asked for the lady’s retiring room. She was directed down a quiet hall, and she hurried toward it, but when she reached it, she kept on.

Quickly, the sounds of the party faded away. The hall grew darker, with only an occasional wall sconce lit. There were doors on either side of her. She turned various knobs, but they were all locked. Finally at the end, she was able to open one.

She snuck into a small parlor. A fire burned in the grate, a sofa positioned in front of it. It was the perfect spot to calm her raging emotions, to have some privacy while she figured out how to proceed.

Her entire life, she’d been a meek, obedient daughter, but she’d always been an afterthought to her father. When he’d brought her to town, when he’d informed her of her marriage offer, she’d been so flattered that she hadn’t pondered whether she should agree to the engagement.

She’d trusted her father, but why would she have? She scarcely knew him, so why would she blindly follow his advice on any topic?

If the gossipmongers were correct, her betrothed had a mistress to whom he’d been ardently attached for years. That very moment, the doxy was out in the ballroom with him. Where did that leave Theo?

Her anger sparked to such a high level she was surprised the top of her head didn’t simply blow off. She was still clutching her glass of champagne. Feeling reckless and brazen, she hurled it at the mantle, and it shattered effectively.

“I’ll show him,” she muttered. “I’ll show both of them. I won’t go through with it.”

“Do you hate champagne that much?” a man asked from behind her. “Or is it the crystal Beatrice Harrington uses? I find it quite inferior myself. The champagne too.”

She whipped around, but the rapid motion left her very dizzy, and she had to grab the sofa to maintain her balance. Apparently, she’d had too much to drink on an empty stomach.

“I beg your pardon,” she mumbled. “I didn’t realize this room was occupied.”

He was sitting in a dark corner, and having witnessed her paltry temper tantrum, he seemed vastly amused. He held a tumbler in his hand, and he toasted her with it. “Would you like to throw this one too? It’s a bit heavier, so it might be harder to break. You might have to toss it more than once.”

“No, no, that’s all right. I shouldn’t have smashed the first one.” She put her palms on her hot cheeks. “I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life. Would you excuse me?”

“There’s no need to rush out. It’s evident you’re seeking some privacy. Pretend I’m not here.”

There was a table next to him, a liquor decanter on it. As if she wasn’t present, he drew out the cork and poured some into his glass. She watched him, and though she told herself to march out, she couldn’t move.

She didn’t want to return to the ball where she’d be forced to observe as her fiancé cooed with his mistress. She didn’t want to see her father because she’d feel duty-bound to ask him about Hedley, but he would merely scoff and scold and mock her.

She could have wept with dismay, but she’d just behaved like a child in front of this stranger, and she couldn’t bear to make matters worse.

He was enjoying his libation, and after awhile, he glanced up. “You’re still here.”


There was a second glass on the table—as if he’d been expecting someone—and he filled it to the rim and extended it to her. “Since you’re staying, you might as well join me.”

“I don’t know if I ought. I’ve already had too much.”

“It obviously hasn’t helped, so in my opinion, you haven’t had nearly enough.”

He gestured in invitation, and she staggered over and plopped down. Their chairs were side by side, so they were seated very close, their thighs and arms touching. She shifted to put some space between them, but she didn’t have much room to maneuver.

He gave her the glass, and she gulped down the contents, but it was much stronger than the champagne she’d been drinking. She coughed and sputtered and pounded a fist on her chest.

“Perhaps you’re correct,” he said, and he took the liquor from her. “Perhaps you’ve had enough after all.”

“I should go.”

“Yes, you probably should.”

“People will be missing me in the ballroom.”

“The world will keep spinning if you hide for a few minutes.”

“If I was caught with you, I’d be in trouble.”

“Yes, you would be,” he blithely concurred. “But only if you’re caught. I can’t imagine anyone stumbling down that deserted hall.”

“I did it with no difficulty.”

“You’re the sole person who’s passed by so far. I doubt you’ll be followed.”

“I’m certain I won’t be.” Morosely, she admitted, “My absence won’t be noticed.”

“It won’t?”


“Then I’m lucky to have your company, for I was growing lonely.”

She looked at him then, and she blatantly stared—and rudely too.

He was much older than she was, even older than Hedley, but he was handsome and debonair as Hedley could never be. With his silvery blond hair and magnificent green eyes, his mannerisms were very cultured, very urbane, and there was a flair about him that made her wonder if he might have French antecedents.

He had a bit of an accent she couldn’t define, and he seemed very exotic, but in a fascinating way.

“I’m Charles,” he said.


His familiarity flummoxed her, so it didn’t occur to her that he would reach out and kiss her hand. She was wearing gloves, so she couldn’t feel his lips on her skin, but still, it was the most intimately shocking thing that had ever happened to her.

“What’s your name, darling?”


“Your name.”

“Oh. Theodosia.”

“That’s a bundle of name for a female as slight and slender as you are.”

“You can call me Theo if you want.”

“Theo Postlewaite.” He studied her, then nodded. “You’re here with your father, Lord Wood.”


“And you’re rumored to be betrothed to Hedley Harrington.”

“Our parents will officially announce it at midnight.”

“My, my, an engagement on Christmas Eve. It’s very romantic.”

“I suppose.”

“You don’t think so? Aren’t you a romantic sort?”

“I might be. I’m not sure.”

He chuckled, then mused, “Theodosia Harrington. It has a nice ring to it.”

“I hadn’t really considered.”

“For a woman who’s about to become engaged, you’re not very happy.”

“I’m happy,” she claimed, but her expression was so grim she might have been sucking on sour pickles.

“Are you?”


“Well, good.” He stood and went to the sideboard, bringing back a different decanter and two more glasses. “Let’s have a toast.”

“Must we?” she grumbled.

“Yes, we must. There are so few reasons to celebrate in life, don’t you agree?”

“I hadn’t ever thought about it.”

“Besides, it’s Hedley’s best brandy. We should frivolously indulge and waste it.” He poured two servings, then handed one to her, saying, “To the new Mrs. Harrington.”

“To me.”

They clinked their glasses, then he seated himself again, even nearer this time. It was very strange, but there was an energy emanating from him, almost as if their proximity was generating sparks.

Suddenly, she was aware of him in a disturbing way. She could detect the heat radiating from his body, could smell the soap that had been used to launder his clothes. There was another aroma too, one she couldn’t identify, but it reminded her of manly things like tobacco, whiskey, and horses.

He was staring at her as if she was the most captivating woman in the world. No one had ever stared at her like that, and she was completely overwhelmed. A warning bell clanged in her head, shouting at her to rise and run out, but she simply couldn’t heed it.

She was being pelted with peculiar sensations, so giddy she yearned to jump up and dance in circles. His attention was mesmerizing, and she wished he’d never stop looking at her.

“Can I ask you a question?” she said.


“Are you acquainted with Hedley or my father?”

“Casually. Why?”

“I was just curious about some gossip I heard in the ballroom.”

“Is that why you snuck in here?”

“Yes. It upset me.”

“And you’d like me to tell you if it’s true.”

“Maybe. I can’t decide if I want you to answer or not.”

He chuckled again, then sobered. “I typically find that horrid stories are partially true. There’s usually a grain buried somewhere that’s based on fact.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of.” She scowled and dithered. Should she blurt it out? After all, with whom could she discuss the issue? Not Hedley. Not his mother, Beatrice. Not her father. “Do you know an actress named Deirdre DuBois?”

“Oh, yes.”

“What does she look like?”

“She’s shapely and striking, with auburn hair and big blue eyes. She’s here tonight. You could have the butler point her out.”

“Is she wearing a red velvet gown?”

“I believe she is.”

He sat very still, clearly trying to impart a silent message he was desperate for her to receive, and she could hardly fail to receive it.

The woman clutching Hedley’s arm was his mistress! He’d embarrassed Theo by inviting her to Theo’s engagement party. On Christmas Eve, no less! With all of London society watching.

Was everyone laughing about it? What about her father? Why would he allow her to be publically humiliated? Didn’t he care? And what about Hedley? What kind of man treated his fiancée so reprehensibly?

She imagined years—nay, decades!—of misery ahead, and she felt sick to the marrow of her bones. She pushed back her chair and went to the window to stare outside.

For a long while, she peered out at the garden, but she couldn’t see much. There was no moon, and it was cloudy with a storm predicated for the next day. People were actually saying there might be snow on the ground on Christmas morning.

Once in her life, the prospect might have charmed her, but at the moment she couldn’t force herself to be glad about anything.

Ultimately, she glanced over her shoulder and inquired, “Should I marry Hedley? If I was your sister or your daughter, how would you reply?”

“I wouldn’t presume to advise you.”

“No, I don’t suppose you should.”

Yet from how he was observing her, she thought he probably was advising her. He exuded the most intimate aura, as if she was extraordinarily dear to him, as if she’d always known him, as if they’d always been friends. She could practically read his mind, and he was definitely communicating a dire command that she cry off.

She tried to envision herself marching into the ballroom, scolding Hedley, then her father. She tried to picture herself telling Beatrice that she’d raised a cruel, awful son and Theo wouldn’t have him for a husband if he was the last man on Earth.

But she doubted she could pull it off with any aplomb. Plus, she’d already accepted Hedley’s proposal, and their parents had signed the wedding contracts. After reaching that legal stage, she likely couldn’t back out even if she begged.

Her shoulders slumped with resignation. What a quandary! How was she to maneuver her way through it? She had no idea. Her father should have protected her, but he hadn’t. It was obvious he didn’t have her best interests at heart.

“What is your surname, Charles?” she asked.

“Didn’t I say?”


“It’s Sinclair. Charles Sinclair.”

“Why are you sitting here in the dark all alone? I snuck in because I was despondent over the gossip I heard. What’s your excuse?”

“I was meeting someone.”

“Ooh…” She grinned. “Have I interrupted an assignation?”

“Apparently not. I don’t believe she’s coming.”

“Was she worth the wait?”

“Not really,” he said. “I brought her a goodbye gift.”

“Why? Was she leaving?”

“No. I had decided not to dally with her again.”

“Was she aware you were planning to break it off?”

He lifted a shoulder in a very French shrug. “Perhaps.”

“Is that why she never arrived?”

“I’m guessing it is.”

“Why are you parting with her?” she asked.

“Can your tender ears handle the truth?”

“I don’t know. Tell me, and we’ll see what happens.”

“We enjoyed a very illicit relationship, but she was growing clingy, and I can’t abide a clingy woman.”

“Well, then,” she sarcastically retorted, “I won’t ever grab hold of you.”

She turned to stare outside again, wondering what type of life he led. Men were so lucky. They could travel and waste money and participate in salacious liaisons, and no one cared how they acted.

Behind her, she heard him rise and approach. He stepped in so his body was touching hers all the way down. She’d never had a man stand so close before, and it was such a heady experience she was amazed her knees didn’t buckle.

“You’re very beautiful, Theo.” His warm breath brushed her neck, sending goose bumps cascading down her arms.

“You’re kind to say so.”

“I mean it. If Hedley ends up with you as his bride, you’ll be much more than he deserves.”

She peered back at him, and he was so near that her tummy swarmed with butterflies.

“You make me wish I was someone else,” she said.

“I’d take you away from here if I could.”

“What a lovely thought. Where would we go? If you could take me anywhere, where would it be?”

“Probably Paris. It’s my favorite city.”

“Would we live scandalously in a glorious flat that looked out on the Seine?”


“And would we spend our days drinking expensive wine and eating delicious food?”

“Yes, and I’d dress you in gorgeous Parisian gowns and parade you about in the most public places so all the other men would be green with envy.”

“Have you ever done such a thing with a woman before? Have you flitted off to Paris to pursue a decadent affair?”

“Many times,” he bluntly admitted.

“Charles! You’re not serious.”

“Chérie, you shouldn’t ask a question if you might be uncomfortable with the answer.”

She scoffed at that. “You’re a libertine.”

“I might be.”

To her stunned surprise, he held out a small box. It was wrapped in pretty silver paper with a bow on the top.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“Merry Christmas, Theo.”

“But what is it?”

“It’s a trifle. I intended it for my friend who never arrived, but I’d like you to have it instead.”

“It was her parting gift?”

“Yes. I’m always generous when I’m leaving.”

“I can’t possibly accept it.”

“Why not?”

“It’s not appropriate,” she primly stated.

“Who is there to know what we do?”

“I will know.”

“Then we’ll merely pretend I’m giving it to you. I want to see how it looks on you.”

She should have refused, should have pushed him away and marched out, but she’d never had such a wicked encounter, and she couldn’t bear to have it end, particularly when—once it did—she’d have to return to the ballroom.

“Fine,” she said, “but we’re simply pretending.”

“Of course we are.”

She ripped at the paper and opened the box to discover an elegant necklace. She’d never been taught about precious gems, but she thought the pendant was a ruby set in a circle of diamonds.

“It’s exquisite, Charles,” she said. “Your friend will die when she learns what she missed.”

“Let me put it on you.” When she might have declined, he said, “We’re pretending, remember?”

She spun and dipped her head as he fixed the clasp in the back, the stone falling onto her bosom, the weight feeling just right. As she whirled to face him, he smiled with what she could only describe as extreme affection, as if he really, really liked her. Could it be?

She caressed the stone, wishing she had the temerity to keep it. She’d like to always have it—even if she never dared to wear it. She’d hide it in a drawer, and she’d take it out when she was lonely or unhappy. She’d stroke her fingers across it and recall the magical night when he’d given it to her.

“It’s perfect on you,” he said.

“Yes, it is,” she agreed.

“Merry Christmas, Theo,” he said again.

“Merry Christmas, Charles.”

He leaned in and brushed his lips to hers, and she was so astonished she could have fainted from shock. It was her very first kiss, bestowed on Christmas Eve!

She should have been ashamed of herself, of her wanton behavior. After all, she was about to publicize her betrothal, but it seemed as if she was dreaming and the real world didn’t exist.

She turned to the window again, and he snuggled himself to her, so she could feel every inch of his torso pressed to her backside. He slid his arms around her waist, and he held her, the two of them gazing out at nothing.

“Oh, look, Charles,” she said after a bit, “it’s snowing. We’ll have snow on Christmas morning. Isn’t that wonderful?”

She glanced around, and he might have kissed her again—she was desperately hoping he would—but suddenly the door was flung open.

“Theodosia! Where are you? It’s time for the announcement.”

Theo gasped with alarm and stumbled away from him.

Hedley’s mother, Beatrice, was standing in the threshold, and she shrieked, “Theodosia!”

“Ah…ah…I can explain,” Theo hurriedly insisted.

“I don’t think you can!” Beatrice snapped, and she hissed at Charles, “Lord Trent! You devil! You dog! You cur! What have you done to Theodosia?”

“Hello, Beatrice. Fancy meeting you here.”

At hearing Charles addressed as Lord Trent, Theo blanched with horror, but he was thoroughly composed and even a tad amused.

“You’re Lord Trent?” Theo asked.


Even in her small corner of England, there had been stories about him. He was the most notorious rogue in the kingdom. Over the years, he was rumored to have seduced a thousand girls. Every young lady was warned about cads, and in any such discussion, his name was always raised as an example of precisely the sort of roué to avoid.

He took her hand, dipped down, and kissed it.

“Adieu, chérie,” he murmured.

Theo yanked away as if she’d been burned.

“Lord Trent!” Beatrice bellowed. “Leave this room at once.”

“I will, Beatrice. There’s no need to shout. It appears I’ve interfered with Theo’s betrothal—and quite successfully too.”

Beatrice’s angry glower whipped to Theo. “Don’t you move a muscle. I’m going to fetch Hedley and your father. Don’t move!”

She hustled out, and Lord Trent spun to Theo. He was grinning, and he winked. Winked!

“Goodbye, Theo” he casually said. “It was lovely chatting with you.”

“Goodbye! What will happen to me?”

“If you play your cards right, you won’t have to marry Hedley.”


“Don’t you know? You’ve been caught in a compromising position—with the world’s most depraved scoundrel. In light of how awful a husband Hedley would have been, consider it my Christmas gift to you.”

“Oh, oh, this can’t be! My father will kill me.”

“Yes, he might, but he won’t be able to force Hedley on you, and I daresay Hedley won’t want you now. In fact, you won’t have to wed in the future ever—unless you choose to. A word of advice, chérie? Don’t trust your father on this topic. Make your own decision.”


“Goodbye,” he said again, and he strolled out.

The expensive necklace was still circling her throat, and she was too dazed to remember it or to remind him. She sunk into her chair, grabbed her glass, and filled it to the rim with brandy. She swallowed a hefty gulp, then hunkered down to wait for whatever catastrophe was coming.

CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon "Top 100" bestselling author who has published over forty novels.

She's also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She'd hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn't sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world's greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as "The Queen of Erotic Romance", and she's also revered as "The International Queen of Villains." She is particularly proud to have been named "Best Storyteller of the Year" by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. Visit her website at

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  1. Love Cheryl's books! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Hi Cheryl! It's Mel. So nice to 'see' you. I hope I win a copy of ONLY YOU. I need one of your books now. Trust me. I do. :-)

    1. Hi Mel! I haven't heard from you in years! Hope you're doing well!

  3. Love Cheryl's books and would be very happy for a signed copy. Thank you for this giveaway.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful book. I love the cover. Thanks for this chance.

  5. My sister would really enjoy this book. I'll try winning it for her and appreciate the chance, thank you

  6. Great excerpt, thank you. I am a big fan of Cheryl's books.

  7. Thank you for the post and giveaway!

  8. Hi everyone! Thank for taking a minute to learn more about my new book, ONLY YOU. And thx to Danielle here at Ramblings for setting the whole novel in motion! In December I participated in her fun xmas short-story event. Authors are given a holiday topic and asked to write a story on that topic. My topic was, "Caught in a Compromising Situation on Christmas Eve."

    The excerpt that was posted here is the short story I wrote. After it was published, I received many letters from fans who wanted to know, with the heroine's life in tatters, what would become of her. I thought she was a delightful and very sympathetic character, so I wrote a novel about her and have told her story in ONLY YOU.

    The excerpt posted here is the prologue for the novel. And if you guys have read my Lord Trent trilogy (I hope you have; it's very fun!), you'll have notice that Lord Trent makes a cameo appearance in the scene. He's one of the most notorious characters I've ever created, and he is definitely not a man any young lady should chat with in a dark parlor!

    Thank again for reading about my new book. Thx for posting so many comments. I'm very grateful to all of you for your kind support.

  9. Great excerpt! Can't wait to read the book.

  10. What a fabulous excerpt :) I so want to read this story!!! Theo and Charles sound perfect together.

    1. I thought I should clarify one issue for you so I don't leave people confused about the hero. Charles Sinclair, Lord Trent, who appears in the this excerpt is simply making a cameo appearance. Charles is one of my most famous characters and one who has driven my readers crazy for years. He's so debauched! I used him in the short story because I knew my long-time readers would get a kick out of seeing him at his dastardly worst. But he's not a character in the novel. In my new book, ONLY YOU, he flits in thru the prologue to ruin the heroine, and it creates a huge scandal. Then her father sends her out of the country with her dour, grumpy aunt to tour the pyramids in Egypt and to stay out of England until the scandal fades away. While in Egypt the heroine meets the story's hero, Soloman Grey. Sorry for the confusion!

  11. Sounds like a great book, thanks for the chance to win.

  12. Sounds like a wonderful book!
    Thank you so much for the chance Xo

  13. I love reading stories set in exotic places like Egypt!

  14. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read more.

  15. What is your all-time favorite book and why?