THE SHEIK'S SON by Nicola Italia
File Size: 2713 KB
Print Length: 367 pages
Pre-order at Amazon Available Dec 19, 2014
BLURB: Mysterious Sebastian Fairfax lives a life of ease as secretary to the British Ambassador in France. Living in Paris before the revolution, the handsome foreigner cuts a dashing figure and is respected by men and admired by women.
One evening he becomes intrigued with an intelligent young woman named Sophie Gauvreau whom he meets at a celebrated salonist’s home. Though he is attracted to the auburn haired she is not what she seems. Educated and privileged Sophie has secretly started writing revolutionary pamphlets under a pseudonym as France teeters on the brink of disaster.
When Sebastian discovers her secret he tries to warn Sophie of the danger she has embarked on as an Inspector has been dispatched to discover the writer’s true identity. Sebastian agrees to marry the reckless beauty to keep her safe from harm.
Though Sebastian desires the redhead in his bed, the saucy Sophie accepts his help but places one condition on their marriage…it will be one of convenience.
As the two intelligent and strong willed people come to terms with their feelings for each other, France slides into a revolution. But as the firstborn son of a great Arabian Sheik, Sebastian will do what he must to keep his wife safe and in his arms.
EXCERPT: The Sheik’s Son - Excerpt
The cricket match continued on, and much of it was confusing and not very interesting. The ladies kept to the tent much of the game and Eugenie spent her time gossiping with her friend and keeping an eye on Sophie.
Sophie had tried very hard to understand the rules of the game and keep an eye on the players, but in truth, she was not that interested. Dorset seemed very agitated while playing and was greatly concerned about his team, which was composed entirely of Englishmen.
The other team was made up of Frenchmen and, sadly for the duke, most people were rooting for them. A light drizzle caused many of the spectators to move inside, but the duke remained steadfast in his desire to see his team win.
She watched from outside the tent but underneath a large tree near the game. She saw several people she knew on the French side who were friends of her father’s. She gasped suddenly when she noticed Alphonse sitting along the lawn in a chair. She had not noticed him before as she had not seen him enter the refreshment tent.
She watched him speak to several ladies and recognized his mother and sister. He stood abruptly and made his way towards Sophie. She had no desire to engage in conversation with him, but she had promised her father that she would be nice and she would keep that promise. Besides, Alphonse wasn’t a bad man, just very average and not stimulating.
“My dear Sophie.” Alphonse came to her, smiling.
He took her hand in his and gestured a simple kiss, though in reality he barely touched her. “I am stunned to see you here. I would not have thought a cricket game would interest you in the least,” he said.
Alphonse had blond hair, though prematurely balding, with pale blue eyes set in a pudgy face. He had always been chubby, even as a child. He was a few inches taller than Sophie and had been a companion since childhood. Eugenie liked him and wanted a match between them. His grandmother on his mother’s side was a baroness.
“I could say the same for you, Alphonse,” she replied. “But you are correct. This game is not something I would have chosen myself. The duke invited me.”
“The duke? Of Dorset?” Alphonse frowned.
“Yes. We met by chance at Madame Necker’s salon and he invited me.”
“Madame Necker’s salon? Indeed? Sophie Gauvreau, you surprise me.”
Sophie smiled. “It was my father’s invite to the salon, and he asked me to attend as well.”
“I am jealous, if anything. Madame Necker has the most celebrated and esteemed intellectuals surround her. To attend her salon is prestigious.”
“I did enjoy it,” she admitted.
“Your father and grandmother are well?”
“Yes. Your mother and sister?”
“Also well.” He smiled.
Alphonse was dressed simply in a black coat, waistcoat and breeches, and looked like a clergyman. He accompanied Sophie to the tent and she placed him in the company of her grandmother, who fussed over him like a lost grandson.
When Sophie left the tent again, a light rain had fallen and the game seemed to be postponed. The tree which had provided shelter before was not so accommodating. Players were running inside the tent and all of a sudden there seemed to be no one on Earth but Sophie.
She closed her eyes and breathed in the cool scent, in complete blissful solitude. It was a decadent feeling to be entirely alone in the world, she thought happily.
“You’re going to catch a cold,” came a deep voice.
Sophie whirled around to find a man standing near her underneath another tree.
Her palms were flat against the trunk as she steadied her breath. “So are you.”
The man smiled. He looked like he might be French but there was something dark and foreign about him. His wavy brown hair was caught back with a silk ribbon but his brown eyes looked hotly at her. He was not dressed in the silks, satins and pastels that she so often saw in Paris. Instead, he wore dark brown breeches, a white waistcoat and a navy blue coat. He looked like a military man.
“You should go back inside. Your lover might be missing you,” he said, his back against the trunk of his tree and his arms crossed over his chest.
“Alphonse?” Sophie asked.
“He’s a childhood friend,” she said, irritated with the entire conversation and not wanting to give this stranger any detail.
“Children grow up.”
“Apparently not all,” she said, becoming more annoyed by him.
He laughed. “Did you just call me a child?”
Sophie shrugged in return.
He looked over the auburn-haired beauty dressed in a pink gown, looking delicious and fresh. He had seen her briefly in the tent with Madame Necker and then again outside talking to the priest. She was a woman who could inspire lust, but also a feeling of protection. She had an innocent look about her, but also a tart tongue.
“You should be careful, mademoiselle. A grown man will not like being called a child,” he admonished.
Sophie dismissed him and their conversation. “Then don’t assume things that you know nothing about.”
Suddenly he was standing beside her. His hair was wet from the rain and the drops clung to him, dripping onto his navy blue coat.
“I think for the insult of calling me a child, you owe me something.” He spoke softly.
In the rain she could smell the grass and a scent that clung to him. It was a masculine smell of tobacco and wood.
“I owe you something?” She laughed lightly. “I think not.”
She was sure this handsome stranger was used to having women do anything he wanted. But she would not be one of those women. In fact, the more she pondered it, the more arrogant the man appeared and the more that annoyed her.
“I think one kiss will pay the debt for your insult,” he told her quietly.
Sophie thought for a moment that she had misheard him. One moment she was in the rain enjoying the silence and now she was being accosted by a stranger. She would scream.
“You could scream,” he suggested.
Sophie looked into his handsome face and he smiled broadly.
“Women. You think alike.”
“Indeed? I’m quite certain the women you are used to don’t think at all,” came her retort.
When he dipped his head down to touch her lips with his, Sophie wanted to scream. But then suddenly she wanted to feel his lips on hers. He was arrogant and self-centered and used to getting what he wanted. She would show him. But the feeling was tantalizing as his mouth touched hers and she had to curl her fingers into the bark of the tree behind her to stop herself from winding them into his hair.
At first his lips were warm against her cool ones. Then she felt his hand on her neck and she opened her mouth and his tongue was touching hers delicately, intimately.
He could feel himself harden and realized it had happened with only one simple, innocent kiss from the auburn-haired lovely. It was a feeling that he welcomed in the rain under the tree. She smelled of floral and sweet orange flowers and it was as if he’d stumbled upon a garden amid the rain. He knew she was holding back because she deliberately kept her hands away from him.
She closed her eyes and felt his tongue teasing her mouth and his hand on her neck. She savored the feeling, wanting it never to end and wanting it to stop. She was behaving badly and it was unseemly. If her grandmother saw her, she would probably faint. Before Sophie changed her mind, she bit down on the man’s bottom lip.
“Hoyden!” He pulled away, his tongue licking blood from his tiny wound.
Sophie backed away. “You lack any semblance of manners!” She made her way back to the safety of the refreshment tent as her heart pounded in her chest.
Meanwhile, Sebastian stood in the rain tasting blood, with her scent still lingering in the air.
AUTHOR BIO: BIO
Nicola spent her childhood in Los Angeles. As a young student in elementary school, she had a great fondness for reading and began to write creatively. Her fifth grade teacher encouraged her to keep her creative stories and to continue to write which she did. She graduated from university with a degree in communications and held a variety of positions in journalism, education, government and non profit.
While her writing during this period was business related as she wrote for a newspaper, marketing newsletters and press releases she remained dedicated to romance fiction.
“The Sheik and the Slave” began as chapters on a romance website and was voted top romance story. “The Sheik” fans are amazing and Nicola remains deeply indebted to them. They have encouraged her to continue writing and have been extremely supportive.
Nicola has traveled extensively throughout Europe, China and Central America. She speaks basic Spanish and has a love of all languages.
Nicola’s goal is to create rich characters with a strong male lead and a passionate female lead. She also strives to set her books in places not normally written about such as Arabia in “The Sheik and the Slave” and Ceylon in “The Tea Plantation.”
“We all want a happy ending but I like to create some friction and chase before my leads come together,” Nicola has said.
“The Sheik and the Slave” and “The Tea Plantation” are available on Amazon.
“The Sheik’s Son” is her third novel.