Thursday, March 27, 2008

RITA Nomination for Lord of Scandal!

I am thrilled and honoured to announce that my book, Lord of Scandal, has received a RWA RITA nomination in the Best Regency Historical category!

Lord of Scandal is a dark, sensual Regency Historical set against the background of the Great Frost Fair of 1812. The hero, Ben Hawksmoor, is a celebrity in the Regency firmament, a friend of Prinny and a dangerous scoundrel whose only aim in life is to make money and ensure that he never returns to the gutters from which he came. When he meets Catherine Fenton, the daughter of a nabob, the attraction between the two of them is explosive. Ben deliberately sets out to compromise Catherine for her fortune, but then he discovers that Catherine and her money are not going to fall into his arms without a fight!

Lord of Scandal was published in the US by HQN books in June 2007 and will be coming out in trade paperback from Harlequin Mills & Boon in August 2008.

Here is an extract:

"Suddenly the scarlet curricle was right beside them and Ben Hawksmoor was close enough for Catherine to touch. The pavement seemed to shift slightly beneath her feet. She wanted to turn and run but she stood still, rooted to the spot. With a sense of inevitability, she looked up to meet Ben’s cool hazel eyes. He was looking at her with disturbing intentness.
“Catherine?” Lily said questioningly, and Catherine jumped and dragged her gaze away from Ben’s. He bowed to Lily, smiling.
“Miss St Clare.”
“Lord Hawksmoor.” Lily sounded ruffled, but not on her own account. She was looking from Catherine to Ben with a frown on her face. “Have you met? I didn’t think-”
Ben turned back to Catherine. His smile was warmer for her, intimate enough to make her stomach clench.
“Madam…” There was the very faintest hint of a question in his tone. Catherine realised that he would think that she, like all the other eager ladies in the crowd, had come deliberately to see the race.
“I did not know you would be here,” she blurted out, and blushed at her own gaucheness. “That is, I did not come especially to see you…”
That was even worse. She could feel herself getting hotter and hotter to see the amusement in Ben Hawksmoor’s eyes. He had passed the reins to his groom now and jumped down onto the pavement beside her. He took her hand and drew her a little apart, ignoring the calls of the crowd for the race to start.
“I am desolated to hear you did not seek me out,” he murmured, the spark of humour still in his voice, “when I would go a deal further than Oxford Street to see you again, Catherine.”
Catherine closed her eyes for a second against the potent awareness coursing through her. He had the most attractive voice she had ever heard, smooth, mellow and hopelessly seductive. For a moment she felt frighteningly adrift.
“I doubt that,” she said, rallying. She looked about her at the throng of people. “You do not need my approval when you have all this.”
Ben turned so that his broad shoulders blocked out the crowd. His physical presence was so powerful that Catherine felt a little light-headed. She had his whole attention now. The race, the crowd, the Regent himself, none of them mattered. They could have been alone.
“You mistake.” He spoke softly. “You are the only thing here that interests me, Catherine.”
Catherine’s mind went completely blank. She had little experience of flirting or playing games and she knew that was what he was doing. He had to be. He could not be sincere.
“That,” she said, “is absurd.”
He smiled again and the lines deepened at the corners of his eyes in a way that made her stomach flip.
“You won’t flirt with me?”
She took a deep breath. “No.”
“A pity. But this time I meant what I said.”
Catherine realised that her hand was still in his. She tried to free herself but he refused to let go. He was running his thumb over the back of her hand now in small, distracting strokes. Catherine could feel the insistence of his touch through the material of her gloves.
“You did come here to see me, didn’t you?” He murmured.
Catherine’s gaze jerked up to meet his laughing hazel eyes. “You have a monstrously high opinion of yourself,” she said.
He gave her a rueful half smile and her heart turned over. “Have I?”
She watched his smile fade and another very different, more disturbing emotion take its place. Then someone dug an elbow in Catherine’s ribs and she realised they were surrounded by a crowd growing more restless by the minute. She forced herself to look beyond the compelling demand in Ben’s eyes.
“You are keeping his Highness waiting,” she said.
Ben grinned. “It is worth it.”
“You take too many risks.”
“Always.” He gave her that dangerous, flashing smile, released her hand and swung himself back up onto the box of the curricle. The crowd gave an ironic cheer.
“A kiss for luck!” Someone shouted.
Ben leaned down. His gloved fingers touched her cheek.
“May I?”
She barely heard the words above the pounding of her pulse but she must have made some sound, for he tilted her chin up and then his lips brushed hers, lightly, a brief but insistent pressure. He was cold and tasted of fresh air and her mind reeled. He straightened and Catherine opened her eyes to see the blaze of triumph in his. “Thank you,” he said, and his voice was a little rough.
The winter sky was too bright. The light hurt her eyes. She felt shaky. The crowd roared its approval."


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Nicola, I am so pleased for you! I have read this book and can confirm it is a worthy nominee (and possibly a winner, IMHO!). Good luck!

Melinda Hammond

Anonymous said...

Brilliant news, Nicola! And well deserved. I hope it wins.

Gillian Layne said...

Huge congratulations, Nicola! I loved this book. The hanging scene in the beginning was so vivid I could feel the crowd closing in around me.

Jan Jones said...

Best, best, best of all possible lucks, Nicola.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Nicola! I hope you win - a fascinating extract to whet our appetites too.

Jane Odiwe

Natasha Oakley said...

Fantastic news! Many congratulations.

Nicola Cornick said...

Thank you all very much!

Nicola (still rather over-excited!)

Anonymous said...

Jane said...

I'm late seeing this, but what a fabulous excerpt. Many congratulations on your nomination, Nicola. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed for you!

Historical Romance Author said...

Fantastic news, Nicola. Well done- it's one of yours I've not read yet.

Historical Romance Author said...

Fabulous news Nicola and well deserved. This is a great book. Good luck.
Kate Tremayne

lynneconnolly said...

I'm thrilled to bits for you and so well deserved! (oops, I see Mandy has said that already, but that shows how true it is!)

Linda Sole said...

Well done, Nicola. I loved this book! Anne Herries