Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes! By Jess MichaelsHi everyone and a big thanks to Maria for letting me blog here today! You are getting me at the end of what has been a crazy week. The first book in my latest series (The Ladies Book of Pleasures) came out July 15. A Matter of Sin is the title and so the past seven days I’ve been darting from blog to blog, promoting like crazy and hoping the thing will make some sales. LOLIt’s funny, this book is my 44th release in total… my 21st as Jess Michaels. You know what? It’s still just as exciting and terrifying and wonderful every time. Although I do have to say there have been changes in the 10 years since I sold my first book (9 since my first book came out).First, my writing. When I started, I wrote only historical romance. I had written a couple of erotic pieces under the Jess name, but I was told that kind of stuff wouldn’t sell (HA!) and they asked me to take a new name (Jenna Petersen) and start over. I figured that’s what I would write for the rest of my career. But it wasn’t meant to be. When Avon built its erotic line, they asked me to contribute and Jess was reborn. Not to mention I even dipped my toe into urban fantasy (as Jesse Petersen)! Still, when the opportunity came to write Jess Michaels books after a SECOND hiatus from writing erotic historical, I jumped at it. And here we are. I’m only writing as Jess and only writing erotic historical. Funny how things change!I also never thought I’d ever consider anything but mainstream traditional publishing. When I started, the only way a writer could have financial or sales success was to sell to one of the big New York publishers. I did but my unhappiness and frustration with the way things worked there grew with every book. At the same time, the industry had begun to change. Sales, money, even making lists was beginning to be possible with small presses and by publishing independently. One of the best things I ever did was take the leap to go smaller. And now I’m on the cusp of doing some indie projects and I’m SO EXCITED to be able to have even more control over my career. This is a wonderful time to be a writer because we have so many choices. And a wonderful time to be a reader, too!The one thing that hasn’t changed is that I still LOVE writing romance. I still love connecting to my readers. And hopefully that will be true after another 44 books.
Find me online at www.authorjessmichaels.com and I hope you’ll pick up A Matter of Sin, in stores everywhere!
A Matter of Sin
By Jess Michaels
The Lady's Book of Pleasures Series , Book 1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Genre: Erotic Historical Romance
Length: 242 Pages
Add to Goodreads
About the book:
Scandal between the pages…surrender between the sheets.
The Ladies Book of Pleasures, Book 1
The widowed Lady Isabel Avenbury has one remaining younger sister to shepherd into an advantageous marriage, and then she will be free. Free to take a lover to fill her lonely nights—the only option left for a woman on the delicate edge of a certain age.
Except when she chaperones her sister to a country house party, she is taken aback by her sudden, undeniable attraction to the host. And deliciously scandalized when she finds a copy of the notorious, much-gossiped-about Ladies Book of Pleasures in his library.
When Seth Rowland, Marquis Lyndham, notices his book is missing, his interest is piqued as to which of the potential young brides at his party has absconded with it—and he’s shocked to discover it’s Isabel. Though older than the women he’d planned to court, the powerful beauty exudes a sensuality he cannot ignore.
The book inspires them to begin a desperate, passionate affair. But their time together is running out and they must choose. Follow society’s rules, or take a chance at love.
Found within are highly scandalous books that trigger passionate desires, surrender in the orangery and possibly true love.
ExcerptCopyright © 2014 Jess Michaels
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Isabel’s palms were slick with sweat as she gripped The Ladies Book of Pleasures. Her heart was pounding too, so loudly that she was amazed she hadn’t woken half the house at this ungodly hour as she crept down the long staircase into the hallway.
In truth, she had waited until close to four in the morning to fulfill this duty for two reasons. One was that she didn’t want to bump into anyone as she had the first night she came here.
Seth, specifically. She didn’t want to bump into Seth.
But the second reason for her slowness was far more shocking. She had wanted to look at the book one last time. To be aroused and relieved by it before she returned it to its rightful place and returned herself to her duties.
So she had done so, dressed, and here she was, standing at the door to the library, ready to return what she had taken and pretend as if none of this silliness had ever happened.
She could only hope Seth would do the same. Tonight, at the gathering after supper, it had been clear he knew someone had taken the book, as did his smirking friend, Lord Northfield. They had been playing at some kind of investigation right there in the drawing room, teasing the person who had taken the item with no thought to their…her feelings.
It was all very ungentlemanly.
Straightening her shoulders, she marched into the library, leaving the door open so there would be a little light from the hallway to serve as her guide. At the table where she had stood the night before, she paused and slipped the book from where she had secreted it away in the folds of her skirts.
Setting it on the tabletop, she stared at the shape of it in the darkness. How she regretted letting it go when she had hardly had the time to fully explore and enjoy it.
When she returned to London, she was going to have to find a way to discreetly obtain a copy of her own. Perhaps Grace could help, since she seemed to know a way around everything and everyone.
With a sigh, she turned to go, but she had not even completed her first step when in the darkness, a figure rose from a chair across the room. The scratch of flint grated on Isabel’s ears and then a candle glowed with light and revealed the person who had found her lurking. Unfortunately, it was the same person who had found her the night before.
Her heart leapt into her throat and her hands began to shake as he moved toward her, his light lifted as if he was trying to examine her face. The urge to run filled her, to hide her humiliation in her bed and then maybe even return to London where she wouldn’t have to see this man ever again.
In the dimness, the corners of his lips lifted slightly and he smirked at her. Her humiliation, which had burned so hotly, faded as she looked at his smug countenance. It was instantly replaced by another emotion: irritation.
She folded her arms as he came to a stop just a step away from her.
“My lord,” she said, pleased that her tone could be so icy.
His smirk broadened. “My lady. We are making a habit of these late night rendezvous.”
She didn’t move, even though he had leaned closer as he spoke and his voice was rough and seductive. Her anger faded, but she forced it back to the surface.
“Indeed,” she said, perhaps less forcefully than she would have liked. “But I assure you this will be the last time we shall meet like this.”
One dark brow arched and he tilted his head slightly. “Oh? That is a true disappointment. But as you say this is the last time we shall do this, it would be ungentlemanly of me not to offer you some assistance tonight. Is there something you were looking for? Something you need?”
She swallowed. Had he moved closer again? He seemed larger now, and her treacherous mind was determined to flash to all the fantasies she had indulged in while she read that dratted book. Why oh why had she allowed herself to think of this man? Now he was a distraction of the highest order.
With a shake of her head, Isabel attempted focus once more. She had to recall that the marquis was taunting her in a most impolite fashion. He wanted her to be all twisted up and nervous; he was somehow enjoying seeing her squirm. Only she had one way to turn the tables and perhaps make him do the same. One way to defuse his power over her. A way Grace would be most proud of.
She lifted her gaze and met his, almost overpowered by the way the light caught in his bright, blue eyes. Dear God, he was beautiful.
But no…focus! She had to focus.
“Oh no, sir,” she said, her tone gaining strength with each word. “I have fulfilled my purpose in coming here tonight. There is nothing I require.”
“Your purpose?” he asked with a chuckle in his tone. “And what was that?”
She reached behind her and found the copy of The Ladies Book of Pleasures on the table. Lifting it, she said, “Why, I was returning your book, Lord Lyndham.” She held it out to him, and he took it with his wide eyes. “You seemed to be in quite a bad way about it tonight when you and Lord Northfield were going on and on about it. I assumed that meant you missed it.”
He didn’t speak, but stared down at first the book and then toward her. She smiled. Good. She had shocked him by admitting what he was so ruthlessly teasing her about.
“Oh,” he finally said after what seemed like eternity had passed with nothing but stunned silence between them.
She shrugged, starting to enjoy her own brand of torture just as much as he had apparently enjoyed his earlier. “It is the talk of the ton, my lord. I had to know what all the fuss was about.”
Once again, he was silent. In fact, his only response to her statement was to set the book back down on the table where she had retrieved it. His eyes never left her, his gaze never lost any focus.
And the triumph Isabel had felt in shocking him began to fade. He seemed so stunned now that she was beginning to doubt herself. Perhaps he hadn’t believed her to be the culprit after all. Perhaps he was not shocked by her boldness, but by her inappropriateness.
If that was true, she might have just made the biggest mistake of her life. And Serena’s.
She swallowed. “I-I hope you will not judge my sister poorly because of my outrageous behavior, Lord Lyndham.”
This time she was certain he moved closer. His chest nearly touched hers and heat radiated from him, washing over her.
“My lady,” he whispered, his voice even rougher now that it was soft. “I assure you, the last thing I was thinking about in this moment was your sister.”
Isabel gasped at the implication of those words and realized that the sharp intake of breath was the first one she had taken in quite some time. Her hands and knees began to shake.
This situation was spiraling out of control, and she had to exit from it immediately.
She stepped back, but he caught her wrist and held her where she stood. “Wait…wait… Why did you take the book? It was something more than just mere curiosity, wasn’t it?”
Isabel turned her face. To her surprise, humiliation did not return, but the heat in her cheeks did. She couldn’t tell this man, this near stranger, that!
“I don’t know,” she said, tugging on her wrist to free herself.
He let her go immediately, but stepped in her way so that she couldn’t flee the room. “You must know.”
She wanted to look up at him, but feared that doing so would allow him to see everything she was fighting so hard to hide. Her longing. Her loneliness. Her desires.
So she didn’t look at him as she whispered, “My lord, please—”
“Isabel,” he murmured.
Her eyes lifted in surprise. The previous night she thought he might have used her given name, but there was no denying it this time. And she loved hearing it roll from his tongue. He said it like he was savoring a sweet treat, like it was a precious word.
She stared at him as he stared through her, into her very soul. She didn’t want to tell him her secret, she didn’t want to say why she had taken the naughty book, but something compelled her to reveal herself. There was some odd, intense connection between them despite their utter inappropriateness for each other.
“I-I took it because it has been a long time and I—” She heard her voice making the terrible confession and she cut herself off and dipped her chin down in embarrassment.
Suddenly she felt the rough slide of his fingers on her skin as he cupped her chin and urged her to look back up at him. Urged her to meet his gaze, which seemed so intense and yet so gentle and nonjudgmental now.
“Tell me,” he insisted.
She sucked in a sobbing breath. “I wanted to remember desire and pleasure and—”
She had more to say, more depths of her soul to mine, but he didn’t allow it. Without preamble, he bent his head and suddenly his mouth was on hers.
For the first few seconds of the unexpected kiss, Isabel was too surprised to react. Her mind raced, overwhelmed by questions and denials and fears about what exactly was happening to her.
But then Seth’s lips shifted ever so slightly, his tongue traced the crease of her mouth, and that subtle movement changed everything.
Isabel melted. She’d heard others describe a kiss that melted them before, but this was the first time she’d ever experienced it personally. It was as if her bones liquefied, her blood burned, her muscles vanished and all that was left was feeling. Pleasure washed over her so intensely that it overrode anything else in her mind.
Without meaning to, Isabel lifted her hands, tightening her fingers around Seth’s upper arms and leaning into him to get more. More of this feeling, more of his taste and his scent as their bodies brushed against each other.
About the Author:Jess Michaels began writing full-time in 1999 after being encouraged by her husband to follow her dream. In 2003, she sold her first novella to Red Sage Press, an erotic historical romance about an Egyptian tomb and a very sexy curse. Since then she has published (or has contracted to publish) nearly 50 novels and novellas under three different pen names with several major publishers, small presses and via self-publishing. Her erotic historical romances have been national bestsellers and won awards from booksellers and readers.
She and her awesome husband live in Tucson where she enjoys playing video games, exploring the beautiful desert, spending time with her nephews, reading and spending petting her two old lady cats.
Jess Michaels always loves to hear from readers! You can email me,
In addition, I’m very active on both Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to follow me on one or both from the links provided here! And sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when I have a new release out.
To find out more about Jess Michaels writing historical romance as Jenna Petersen go here.
To find out more about Jess Michaels writing snarky urban fantasy as Jesse Petersen go here.