Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Spotlight on Great & Unfortunate Desires by Gina Danna

Great & Unfortunate Desires
by Gina Danna

Victorian England c. 1870

Operating as a British spy, Tristan St.James, the new Marquis of Wrenworth, barely escapes Afghanistan with his life in the spring of 1869. He plans to seek vengeance against the traitor who exposed him and for the agent he’s forced to kill. Returning to England, as a lord, he must marry. Haunted by guilt from the horrors of war, he avoids love at all costs, but finds himself drawn to the only woman who is disinterested in him.

Lady Evelyn Hurstine has waited over two years for the return of her love, a man who left for war in the East. But during that time, she suffered a brutal assault, resulting in a child and fear of any man touching her except for the man she once knew. The pursuit by the marquis scares her but her excuses against his proposal dwindle.

Their marriage strengthens into love until she discovers her husband isn’t the safety she believed but the one who killed the man she once loved. Caught in a world of intrigue and mayhem, Tristan must prove his love to her before the traitor destroys them both.


Evelyn placed her mallet near the ball, ready to strike, when two sturdy male arms belonging to Andrew Huntington surrounded her. The viscount of Duke Huntington’s estate grasped her hands, adjusting the position of one of them.
“Take the handle like this,” he said loud enough for all to hear.
She froze in his arms. For a second, she shut her eyes, willing herself to relax. She’d known Andrew for most of their lives because their fathers were close friends. But the feel of his chest against her back, his arms and hands making direct contact, nearly sent her into a hysterical frenzy. Visions of another embrace flashed through her mind, and it took all her effort to ignore the past and remain in the present. Andrew wasn’t her enemy. But when his hands guided her own in swinging the mallet, it was difficult to remember that.
“And swing like this,” he continued, propelling her mallet. The strike against the wooden ball, sending it through the next set of arches successfully, resulted in a polite round of applause from those nearby. “Marvelous,” he congratulated her, and released his hold.
“Thank you, my lord,” she replied, a meager smile on her lips.
Andrew returned it with a smile of his own. He wasn’t a bad looking gent, she decided. Tall and lean, the viscount equaled her age of twenty and was not ready to truly court any lady, but it wouldn’t be long in coming. No doubt his father had hosted this event to introduce the young man to society and its conventions. But ice flowed through her veins at the prospect of being on the viscount’s list of possible brides. Not when even his friendly attempt to assist her game frightened her so. Granted, she hadn’t asked for his aid, but gentlemen sometimes assumed chaperoned events like this called for such chivalry.
But how would she find a suitable husband if she abhorred any man’s touch? She hoped she’d recovered from that night more than two years ago, but the longer she was in London, the more her nerves frayed. Her head throbbed. Marry or be married. Which was worse? Wed a man she chose or one her father did–both prospects made her ill.
Where was Richard? Why had he abandoned her? The thoughts whirled in her head, just as they always did when she allowed herself to think of him. Richard Reynard, son of the Earl of Brenwood, had been her friend and her intended for what seemed like years, but, in reality, it was only six months. They’d gotten along famously, or so it appeared. He was the second son and went into Her Majesty’s army, his first station being overseas. It was two years ago when he left. Before then, he’d asked her to wait for him. They’d marry when he returned. She remembered the words and his smile.
Her sister’s beau invited her for ices, to get Evelyn’s mind off Richard’s departure. That never happened.
Hell did.
The sound of fabric ripping carried across the breeze, reminding Evelyn of that night when her clothing was rent from her. Her heart skipped a beat before she saw a man near the refreshment table whose heel appeared to have caught on the linen tablecloth, tearing it. Despite having seen the source of the sound, she shuddered. However, Andrew was unaware of her reaction because he was laughing about something with Sarah and several others. Evelyn struggled to calm her nerves. This was not the time to dissolve into one of her tearful fits.
Stilling herself took so much effort she wasn’t sure how she’d survive the afternoon. That memory, of her dress being torn off, of being held against her will, flooded her mind. Suddenly that moment hit home, and Evelyn realized she needed a protector, one who would never leave her. Who’d keep her and Mary from harm. Their survival depended on it. Sarah was right. For herself and Mary’s sake, Evelyn needed a husband.
She had no idea why everyone was so merry, but Andrew’s eyes were locked on Sarah’s, and that made Evelyn happy. Her friend was exactly the right type for Andrew—and for most of the gentlemen present. Young, innocent, mannerly and pretty, Sarah would do well in any home of the ton.
Laughing hard, Sarah bent forward, her free hand grasping her corseted waist as she leaned on her mallet. “Oh, Evie, did you see that? What a truly crooked strike!”
Evelyn noticed the ball several feet off the playing field. She smiled. The nicely trimmed lawn hid the small divots that cradled the ball, a hidden aid that kept it from rolling too far away.
Andrew walked over behind Evelyn, his arms reaching around her again. “Let us see if fair Lady Evelyn can do better. Now take the mallet…”
Evelyn ceased to hear him the moment his body brushed hers. This is only Andrew! But the roaring in her ears threatened to deafen the voice of reason. She tried to concentrate on where his hands were directing her to hit the ball. She relaxed some but struggled to loosen her limbs.
“Pardon me, sir, I believe the lady is with me.”
The rich male voice interrupted their game. It startled Evelyn but quickly warmed her. She recognized the voice. Tristan. Her Adonis. Her stomach fluttered, as if she’d swallowed a hundred butterflies. It appeared he had surprised Andrew too. His body tensed as he stepped away from her. 
“I’m sorry, Lord Wrenworth, I did not think she needed a chaperone today,” Huntington stated flatly, his tone guarded and unfriendly.
“Hardly. I am her fiancée.” The man’s voice hard, a challenge underlining his statement.
Evelyn’s breath caught in her throat.

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About the Author:
 A USAToday Bestselling author, Gina Danna was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has spent the better part of her life reading. History has always been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, always dreaming of writing one of her own. After years of writing historical academic papers to achieve her undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, and then for museum programs and exhibits, she has found the time to write her own historical romantic fiction novels.

Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream —her Arabian horse—With him, her muse can play.

Social media: 

Twitter:  @GinaDanna1


  1. Thank you Lauren for having me :)

  2. Can't wait to read the rest! Congrats on the release!

  3. Yikes! I've got to know what happens next! Congratulations on the new release.

  4. Gina, way to go! I've got to stop reading your excerpts, because then I want to open the book which is on my Kindle and read the whole thing. And I'm in the midst of revisions!! LOL. Best of luck with this release.

    1. LOL finish your revisions - Tristan & Evelyn will be there at the end :)

  5. Looking forward to reading this, Gina!

  6. How do we make Amazon release your kindle version. Should we kidnap a one of their test drones and hold it for ransom?

  7. Congrats on the new release, Gina! The excerpt is wonderful, the premise exciting and I love the cover. It's on my TBR list!