Any Wicked Thing, a Margaret Rowe book from Berkley Heat, comes out March 1. I got an early copy today from my editor’s assistant in the mail, and it’s really beautiful. I’ll get a whole box of them at the end of the month, some of which will be given away as prizes. (click on Margaret Rowe’s contest link for a chance to win one this month, and Maggie Robinson’s contest link to enter for a chance to get a copy of my critique partner Tiffany Clare’s The Seduction of His Wife)

But I’m hanging on to the first one. My books are all on top of my rolltop desk, and AWT’s snuggling up to Tempting Eden now. When I look up from the computer screen and see five books, I still can’t quite believe it.

For the next three weeks (every Thursday, if I can remember, LOL), I’m going to be posting a snippet from AWT. Those of you who subscribe to my newsletter may have already read it, but check back next week for something brand new and shiny. If anything else exciting happens, I’ll let you know. 🙂

Oh, she was naïve now, entering into this ridiculous agreement with him. And for what? The uncertain roof over her head? But it was too late. She took another step forward. And then another.

He pressed his thumbs to her cheeks, his fingers resting lightly on her temples. His pupils were huge, black as his soul—if he still had one—ringed in dark, fathomless green. She longed to touch the bump on the bridge of his nose, the only imperfection she could detect in his shadowed face. He was whispering something scandalous, but she couldn’t listen for watching his lips move. Then he smiled and slanted them over hers, the soft strength of them warm and insistent. Her mouth opened in protest and his tongue traced the seam of her top lip slowly, as if he were measuring by touch, calculating the inches of pink. He did the same to her bottom lip, shocking her with his gentleness.

When they’d last kissed, he’d tasted of too much brandy and smelled of sweet smoke. Tonight there was the merest hint of wine. His clean skin was scented with the rose petal soap she had made herself from the overgrown canes that tumbled over the outer wall. What should have been feminine had been converted into something else altogether—he’d captured the briar as well as the bud. She hoped to steady herself with a deep breath, but instead was swept away to the wild roses and the heat of last summer. Her skin beneath the pressure of his fingertips tingled as he drew her closer, his mouth skimming effortlessly over hers, brushing, savoring. There was nothing to do but meet his tongue and shiver as he tore her defenses down lick by wicked lick.

She felt herself sway, and reached for something to hold on to, although she was still sweetly trapped between his hands. She should touch him, if only to feel his smooth brown chest or span his narrow hips or tousle his curling dark hair. But there was no safe place to touch that wouldn’t scorch her as he brought her to him, his velvet mouth angled expertly so that even the corners of her lips received attention.

Frederica had dreamed of kisses like this, though doubted their existence. How odd that her oldest friend and newest enemy was the man to prove her wrong. He lulled her into discomfiting comfort, banishing all thoughts with the steady skills of his tongue and teeth. His fingers slipped through her hair, loosening the braids. Her scalp tickled as he massaged her head and she felt a wash of heat down her neck. Her nightgown was suddenly too heavy, too warm, her arms useless at her sides, her knees weak. Sebastian seemed to know the exact moment of her capitulation, broke the kiss and lifted her from the floor.