Smuggler's Bounty

Vanessa Liebe
Smuggler's Bounty


Blushing Books
Release Date
April 2016
Book 1 of A Blakeney Brother Adventure
Action/Adventure Romance, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance

Elizabeth Thornton is left all alone in Georgian England after losing her parents in a tragic accident, so she travels to Cornwall to live with her kindly, older, and very proper Aunt Judith. Soon, however, she begins to suspect her aunt of hiding something nefarious. Determined to learn the truth behind the strange goings on, she sets out on a quest for the truth. A quest that leads to danger, and trouble with the law, and a very handsome smuggler with a firm hand and smoldering, sexy eyes who is as determined to keep Elizabeth safe as she seems to be to put herself in harm's way.

William is growing tired of the smuggler's life of danger and instability. If he can just finish his last run, he can give it all up and finally settle down, find love, and start a family. But he already has a preventative officer hot on his heels who is determined to end his career and throw him in jail – or worse. The beautiful, headstrong Elizabeth is a complication he does not need. But she, too, is hot on his heels – and irresistible. Now he must avoid capture, and find time to discipline this woman with an appetite for adventure, who seems determined to steal his heart.

When these two are together passions ignite, sparks fly, and danger lurks around every corner. Can Elizabeth and William avoid the law? Will they finally find the happiness that has so long eluded them both?

Interview by Laura

Hi Vanessa, welcome to The Romance Reviews, and let's talk about your latest release.

Q: Where did you get your inspiration for SMUGGLER'S BOUNTY?

I have always been fascinated by smugglers ever since a school project when I was little and I discovered that there were smuggler tunnels in our village. I also love the wild beauty of Cornwall and its history of smugglers. I think this story has always been at the back of my mind.

Q: Please tell us more about heroine Elizabeth Thornton. From the blurb, she sounds smart and delightful.

I wanted a heroine who was brave and intelligent as well as attractive. She is far too curious for her own good though and needs a strong man like William to keep her out of trouble occasionally.

Q: How about William? How is he a swoonworthy hero?

He's handsome, intelligent, a little dangerous because he lives on the edge of the law - a Robin Hood type character. What isn't there to like about him :-)

Q: He sounds yummy. Why did you make him a smuggler? What is the importance of his profession to the story?

With my fascination for smugglers, it seemed the perfect answer to make him one, although the reader learns that William didn't choose to be a smuggler. It was a means of survival for him and he became good at it. At the end of the book a little more is revealed about his family and background...

Q: How is their first meeting like?

Their first meeting is full of smoldering tension as Elizabeth is caught snooping in the smuggler tunnel by William:

She was so keen to explore that she didn't consider that it might be dangerous, and simply stepped into the tunnel.

There was a catch just inside the tunnel that closed the door behind her.

Elizabeth took a deep breath and walked forward with her lantern lighting the way. The tunnel was all wooden paneling at first and so she thought she must still be inside the house. But she soon came to some steps that led a long way down. Then she had to be careful, holding the lantern and her skirts up around her as she made her way carefully down them. When she reached the bottom, the walls were roughly hewn rock and she felt that thrill of adventure again as she realized that she must be underground somewhere.

Elizabeth was so preoccupied with her thoughts that it was a complete shock when she was suddenly grabbed from the side. She dropped her lantern with a shriek and the glass casing smashed. The candle sputtered out and she was left in complete darkness with the man who had grabbed her. He covered her mouth to stop her cries and held her tightly against him.

Elizabeth kicked and struggled in panic before biting hard into the hand that covered her mouth. The man swore but held onto her.

"Curiosity killed the cat, sweetness," the man purred into her ear, causing her neck hairs to stand on end. "And if you bite me again you little hell cat, I'll bite back."

She shivered in fear, and something else she'd rather not admit to, at the sound of that voice. It was the handsome smuggler from last night - the leader. Although Elizabeth was scared of what he might do with her for meddling, she hoped that she could reason with him, especially if she let him know who her aunt was. However, all coherent thought stopped as he ran a hand over her body.

"I'd better check you for weapons." It was whispered into her ear and she gasped as her nipples tightened in response to him.

Q: What makes them perfect for each other?

Elizabeth completes William by enabling our reluctant hero to accept and embrace love, whereas William is a stern disciplinarian when Elizabeth needs it. He's the perfect alpha male to keep her in hand for her more wild schemes.

Q: What for you is a romantic moment between them?

Here's an excerpt. Enjoy!

A look of horror came on her face. "It was awful, William." And he barely caught the whispered words. "He had come fresh from hanging some wreckers in the next village. He'll do the same to my aunt and you if he catches you!"

"My poor, brave, lass." He pulled her into his arms to comfort her and she lay her head on his chest, arms holding him tightly.

He'd kill Albury for telling her such gruesome details.

William stroked Elizabeth's back and she calmed down. "He asked if I had heard or seen anything. He believes the whole community is involved and I offered to keep an ear out for him. Then he might trust me and tell me who the informer is."

William couldn't believe it. This beautiful girl had risked all sorts of reprisals by acting as a double agent for him, even after the way he had treated her. He owed her. He eased her back off his chest and held her face in his two hands, looking intently at her.

"Bless you, lass. You're incredible." And he kissed her briefly on the lips.

Elizabeth blushed and then pouted up at him.

"You didn't think that the other day when you left me so abruptly."

"God," he rasped as he stared at her lips. "The truth is I want you too much, but I have nothing to offer you."

"I don't care."

"You don't?" He raised an eyebrow.

"No. Kiss me, William." He groaned and lowered his head to take her mouth, while she wrapped her arms around him.

Q: Please tell us about Elizabeth's Aunt Judith. She seems an interesting secondary character.

Aunt Judith is essential to the plot because without her, the smugglers wouldn't have used the tunnel leading into her house and she wouldn't have helped them. Therefore Elizabeth wouldn't have been able to meet William. Judith also encourages the attraction between the two. Quite often there is an unscrupulous aunt in novels and I wanted Judith to be original. I hope that she is. She was certainly fun to write, especially when she hides contraband in her house and lies to preventative officers. I would love an aunt like her.

Q: Which character is the hardest to write? Why?

Most of the characters were fine as I knew what I wanted from them. However, the character of Davey proved difficult. He's an intelligent sailor though uneducated and I wanted him to have a dialect. The dialect proved tricky and changes had to be made.

Q: What kind of research did you have to do to write this book? Please share an interesting fact or unique behind the scenes experience.

I had to research smuggling and the ships they sailed, as well as period costumes and food. I also researched language used which proved rather difficult at times. I try to make it as authentic as possible, but it's quite difficult when writing love scenes, particularly when referring to certain parts of the body. It was quite enlightening to read some of the terms used for male and female sex organs, but I had to dismiss most as they simply didn't sound romantic, or sexy. Funny, but definitely not sexy. "Cock alley" was one, if I'm able to use that here.

Q: Please give us a sneak peek at book 2 in the series?

I would love to, but can't at this stage. It's my next project after an anthology I'm writing. All I can tell you is that it will be about the eldest Blakeney brother and he's a spy.

Q: What's up next for you?

I want to complete the Blakeney brother quartet and then the other two series that I have out. Book 2 in the Slayer series comes out in August this year.

Sounds exciting! Thank you, Vanessa, for taking out time from your busy schedule for this interview! Looking forward to reading more of your books.

Bio of author Vanessa Liebe:

Vanessa Liebe is the author of fun, sexy erotic romance and erotica, both contemporary and historical. She mostly writes in the Fantasy and Paranormal categories as she likes a man with bite. Vanessa is married with three children and resides in Hampshire, South East England. When not housetraining her children, reading or writing, she likes to sit in the garden with a glass of rose wine.

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