Saturday, April 2, 2022

SUNFLOWER SEASON: A Charity Collection Featuring 70+ #HistoricalRomance Authors To Benefit Ukraine ~ #PreOrder #Bundle


Hello Everyone!

I’m excited to share a very special project,  SUNFLOWER SEASON with you. I am so honored and humbled to be included in this charity collection with over 70 stories-- that's right -- SEVENTY stories and novellas written by some of most fabulous Historical Romance authors. ALL royalties will be donated to humanitarian relief in Ukraine where the focus will be on sending medical resources and basic necessities to women, children, and the elderly. 

This set will be released on June 7, 2022 and will only be available for a limited time. Preorder now and enjoy a summer of historical romance!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021



25 Historical Romance Authors - 1 WINNER receives a $125 Amazon Gift card!
Visit my author page --> Author Natasha Blackthorne to find out how to enter.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Read Chapter One of A Wanton Indiscretion by Natasha Blackthorne ~Scorching Regency Romance

 A Wanton Indiscretion 
Wild, Wicked & Wanton BK 5
Standalone in a series
Novel Length
Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Limited Time New Release Price:
$2.99 Amazon US 
£1.99 Amazon UK

What can a scandalous seducer of women teach a governess about life and love?

The dark-eyed, raven-haired governess haunts Mr. Isaac Pierce’s waking and sleeping dreams. And she’s right next door. But the prim and proper young woman rebuffed his attempts to make her his mistress. He has tried to forget her. Yet he can’t. He aches to possess her.

One glance at the tall, gorgeous merchant prince and Miss Abigail Francis finds herself irresistibly attracted to him. The ironclad control over her emotions and expectations had seen her through years filled with deprivation, disappointments and loss, begins to slip away.

A domestic crisis brings them into close, daily contact and she begins to see the man behind the handsome face, gorgeous body and scandalous reputation. When he shares the truth of his greatest loss and grief with her, for the first time, her heart is touched by a man. Now she knows what it is to crave a man as much as she craves air to breathe. But she’d best be careful. Her livelihood and that of those she loves depend on her stern discipline and spotless reputation.

After a life directed by prudence, responsibility and duty, Abigail finds herself questioning her life choices. She is tempted to be indiscreet. Just once. And no one would ever know or be hurt.

But Abigail doesn’t realize that the repercussions of her newfound freedoms might just prove dangerous in a way she least suspects. Who protects the protector?


A Wanton Indiscretion is available to read for free with your Kindle Unlimited Subscription.

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Copyright Natasha Blackthorne 2020
Cover Art Copyright The Killion Corporation 2019

Chapter One

New York, New York
Autumn 1811
“Mr. Sexton says he will make me a supercargo in training for one of his most premiere ships. I hope that I can manage to live up to everyone’s expectations, especially yours, Abigail.”

Pausing in the act of eating the pear he had brought her, Miss Abigail Francis smiled up at her sibling.

“Of course, you will. I have every faith in your ability.”

Looking down at her from where he stood beside the stone bench in the back garden of her employer’s house, Andrew did not return her smile but nodded slowly. “This is such an extraordinary opportunity for someone like me. I am going to travel the world and I will be able to learn so much. Can you believe it?”

Her smile broadened. “Yes, I can. I have always known that you were meant for greatness. You will be a gentleman of importance.”

“Maybe I will become the gentleman you think I can be.” His brows drew together. “First, I have to learn all that I can and prove myself all over again. This is a different world than I’ve known. These ship captains are dynamic men; they can be so forceful, so bold in the way they face the most harrowing of dangers. They have accepted me, for now, but I know a continuance of that acceptance is contingent on me proving myself worthy of such regard. I cannot, ever, disappoint them.”

Abigail’s heart panged for his anxiety. She knew what it was like to want to excel, to please others and yet to feel afraid of failing. She thought hard about how best to buoy him. “Our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. You will find your way and make your own place in that world. I know it seems foreign to you now but, someday, it is will be as natural to you as your academic life has been. You’re brave and you have a good heart and you’re honest. Those things will make other men respect you.”
His expression eased and he nodded. “You can always put things into their proper perspective for me, dearest sister.”

With his blue eyes and blond hair touched by a hint of red, he looked so much like their loving but ever restless mother, except that he was tall and exceedingly slender, whereas Mama had been petite and plump. Though he bore the same surname as Abigail, he was not her papa’s child but rather the result of a short-lived, illicit passion that Mama had indulged in on the wagon trip back from Ohio after Papa had died. Abigail had come to understand that Mama’s actions had been driven by her acute grief. Yet, Mama’s mistake, coming so closely to Papa’s death and leaving their Ohio homestead and everyone they knew there, had put into motion a devastating path to poverty for them all. That reckless, dreadful misstep had cost all of them so greatly.

The course of Abigail’s life had changed. Forever.
Yet, basking in the September morning’s sunlight whilst chewing the sweet, slightly tart pear and gazing up at her brother, she knew a sense of relief—the sense that a long nightmare is coming to an end.

“Abigail, I cannot even put into words the gratitude I feel towards Mr. Sexton for giving me this chance.”

His voice was tremulous, and his expression had grown serious again.
In that moment, he was so much a boy, despite his impressive height and straight, broad shoulders. She wanted to protect him against all hurts and dangers, yet she knew to show this would hurt his pride. She forced her smile to become bigger, brighter. “Yes, Mr. Sexton has been very generous to us.”

How strange that Abigail’s own most foolish mistake, eleven years before, would have, in the end, resulted in such a blessing from Sexton, her kindly benefactor.

He frowned. “I hope that I have adequately expressed my gratitude and yet not made a bore of myself in doing so, either. The world of gentlemen is so complex.  I have not quite mastered the nuance of it all yet.”

“Yes, but sincere brevity can be the best thing sometimes. Gentlemen like Mr. Sexton do not hire young men out of pure charity.” She touched the dark blue sleeve of his coat. “Never forget that you have worked hard for this. You are intelligent and talented. You are meant for great things.”

He flushed and looked down then bent to brush some dust off his highly polished Hessian boots. Those boots were a luxury she had scrimped and saved to buy for his twentieth birthday just a month past. She enjoyed seeing him wear them. He had worked so hard in his studies. He deserved fine things.

“You always believe in me, even when I don’t believe in myself,” he said, then after a pause, he added. “Have you heard from Benjamin?”

Benjamin Martin. The child of their mother’s second, ill-considered marriage.  Another in a long series of rash, terrible choices made just in the nick of time to give the boy a name by a woman who was never able to hold back her exuberant enjoyment of life. Mrs. Euphemia Francis Martin had been quite a woman. Beautiful, vivacious, charming and musically talented. In another life, one with more personal discipline built into her, she might have graced the stage. Life always seemed brighter, bolder and more interesting when she was in an expansive mood.

Unfortunately, after any party, someone always had to clean the plates and put the house in order.

Abigail was determined to live her own life more thoughtfully. She would not make the kinds of mistakes that her loved ones would spend years paying for. She would make the kinds of choices that paid dividends to those she loved. Her two brothers were all she had in the world to love. Duty and respectable, responsible choices, what better way was there to show love?

“Benjamin is doing fine, thriving now at his school. He has made many fine friends. I think he finds making friends and being charming to everyone easier than you or I have. He is happy now, I think.”

“Yes, but have his marks come up.”

“His marks are passing.”

“Passing? Is that good enough?”

“He is not the scholar you were but as long as he has passing marks, then I am satisfied.”

“You are coddling him because you still see him as our baby brother.”

“I am loving him as he is.” She cocked her head. “I am more concerned that he learns personal discipline and how to work towards a goal. Not everyone can be first in class.”

“Should I go and see him? Should I try to advise him on the importance of his studies?”

“No, please, his teachers report that he works very hard and he becomes more self-disciplined every day. But book learning comes more slowly to him. We mustn’t shame him for it. We must be pleased with his progress and love and accept him as he is. So long as he tries his best and lives a moral life, we must be proud of the man he grows into.”

“But he is my brother. I don’t wish to see him squander his chances and end up like his father, tied to a life of menial labor.”

She knew what lay unspoken. He did not wish Benjamin to end up a useless, shiftless sot like their stepfather.

He twisted his mouth. “But you, I know that you still think he is destined for something wonderful.”
“Of course, he is.”

“Ever the optimist, eh?”

“He has our mama’s natural charm. It will serve him well. He will make valuable friendships at school. He says he wishes to be an officer in the dragoons,” she said.

“He’s young, he may change his mind,” Andrew said, grimly.

She held her tongue. Andrew had been poised to join the cavalry when her benefactor, Mr. Grey Sexton, had taken an interest in his exceptional academic record and had given him a conditional internship as a clerk. Conditional because the Francis family had no one and nothing to vouch for them.

They were an untested commodity.

Untested, however, might be a good position to be in. They would prove themselves. They could only excel and rise from here. The future looked most promising indeed.

“It was wonderful to see you today, Andrew,” she said.

“When Mr. Sexton heard it was your birthday, he insisted that I accompany him here. But he says I will have to stay two hours later today to make up for the lost time at my work.” Andrew gestured to the basket of pears sitting at her feet. “My present isn’t anywhere near as grand as yours to me on my birthday.”

“The pears are an unexpected treat. I will enjoy it mightily, believe me.”

“When I have more income, I promise to make things up to you,” he said, looking a bit sad.

“There’s nothing to make up for. I will get my reward by watching your progress.” She smiled up at him.

“I hope I live up to your image of me, Abigail.” With that, he leaned down, his golden-red forelock falling over his boyish face, and he kissed her cheek.

She pressed his cheek. “Take excellent care of yourself. Read inspirational books. Think encouraging thoughts. Speak ill of no one. Eat well and get plenty of sleep.”  She let her hand fall. “You had best find Mr. Sexton.”

She watched him walk to the house, climb the stone steps and enter the backdoor.  Poor Andrew, as Mr. Sexton’s guest now, he was unsure which entrance to use, the ones for family and guests or the one he used to use when visiting her, the servants’ door. Soon, he would leave on a ship as supercargo and she might not see him for two or three years.

And from every indication, war was brewing with Britain. Ocean travel might well be dangerous.

She breathed, deep and slow, against the sudden weight on her chest. She’d been responsible for his well-being and upbringing since she was eighteen. Eleven long years. How would she bear letting him go? His going to Latin school and then university had been hard enough. But she had always known that she could visit him. This would be quite different. She took another bite of pear then laid her head back against the bench and closed her eyes, and focused on her thoughts, not on her emotions.
Indulging in emotions never helped any situation. Ever.

On the frontier, she had run free and been an emotional, sentimental girl. But as she had grown, she  learned hard lessons from Mama’s emotional indulgences, and she had schooled herself to rely on rational thought and circumspect behavior. It had served her well. Now as a confirmed spinster, she enjoyed the respectability that came from her position as a proven governess. She worked for a fine family, lived in a rather spacious and comfortably apportioned chamber in a grand house on a fashionable street.

She was pleased with her lot in life.

What more could any woman hope for?

She opened her eyes and let the pear core fall from her hand. Her coffee cup sat on the wrought iron table by the bench. She picked it up and took a deep sip and let her mind go empty.

“You’re a paragon of a sister.”

The masculine voice was as smooth as the heavily creamed and sweetened coffee that slid down her throat, and just as rich and bold. Nevertheless, it also sent a jarring tension through her. She awoke every morning, two hours early, precisely so that she might sit in the garden and eat a light repast, alone, where she might collect her thoughts. Andrew’s interruption of that quiet time had been most welcome though.

This man’s cheekiness was not.

“Those wonderful, inspirational things you said to your brother.” She could hear the humor in the man’s voice. “If just once my mother or any other female of my family had spoken to me like that, I should have definitely been a better man.”

Irritation bristled down her back. She counted on the ritual to begin the day properly. It helped her to compose herself in a manner that allowed her to face each day with serene composure, even through the worst of days.

Now that kind of preparation would be impossible for today. And just how long had he been standing there, eavesdropping, whilst she and Andrew had been talking? Had he been hiding himself behind the fence? Of course, it must be one of the never-ending parade of workmen and tradesmen who traipsed in and out of the empty grand mansion next door. She laid the cup back in the saucer and twisted around on the bench to look over her shoulder and face whoever had just ruined her day.
Green. It had always been her favorite color. The man’s eyes were an impossible shade of emerald.  Vivid and clear. No one had eyes that color. It must be a trick of the light. She squinted and tried to refocus.

No, they were still just as richly green.

An elegantly angular jaw and square chin. A mouth that was well-formed, firm yet slightly fuller than most men. What must a mouth like that feel like, pressed to one’s own?

She sucked in her breath, as the meaning of her thoughts dawned on her. She did not think of men in such terms. She did not long for or imagine their kisses. Long ago, she had put all thoughts of courtship and marriage from her mind and any other contact with a man was unthinkable.

Her next awareness was a wave of anger. A good portion at herself for such a wanton lapse in self-control. But also at him, for inspiring such a breach of self-control.

She tore her gaze away from his face, turned away and leapt to her feet, intending to leave. Really, she ought to run.

“Don’t leave.”

Against her will, she found herself turning back to him and taking a few steps towards the fence, trancelike, as though pulled by some force outside herself.

She only now realized that to look over the high fence like that, he must be standing upon a stone bench or something of the like. His hands were curled on the top of the stone fence, on the rail in between two of the wrought iron spikes that were implanted into the top ledge of stones. Large bare hands tanned with long elegant fingers and strong knuckles. With an inward shake, she looked up and noticed how well his bottle green suit clung to his broad shoulders, yet the material appeared a bit frayed.

A craftsman.

A very impudent one.

Despite herself, she found her gaze sweeping over him once more.

Dear heavens, an exceptionally beautiful craftsman.

Heat washed over her.  Which was nonsense. It wasn’t warm out. The sun had just begun its rise on the horizon. The sun which made his dark hair glow with brilliant red highlights. Everything about him was dramatic, beautiful. Part of her wanted to keep looking at him. To never stop.

His dark eyebrows rose, and he regarded her speculatively. “Miss Francis, I presume?”

Humor tinged his voice and she felt the blush rushing over her cheeks.

“You have the advantage of me.” Despite her attempts to sound cool, her voice wavered. Inwardly, she cringed at her awkwardness. She was accustomed to gentlemen treating her with the compassionate regard due her situation as a confirmed spinster.  This compassionate respect provided a protection that made contact with males much less anxiety provoking. And she’d come to depend on having such a buffer. But she felt totally unprepared to deal with this man, who was obviously no gentleman.

“Isaac Pierce at your service, Miss Francis.”


Her employer, Mr. de Grijs’ new neighbor. She had not been expecting him for at least another fortnight.

A crushing sensation centered in her chest, just off to the left a bit. Oh, she had thought he was a little closer to her own station. A master carpenter or some other sort of craftsman. But no, he was leagues above her station.

And her background wasn’t even equal to her position.

He was the man in the moon to her.

He continued to regard her with that humorous light in those vividly emerald eyes. This man was laughing at her? Why? She knew her clothes, generously provided to her by, Mrs. de Grijs, were perfectly respectable and revealed little of her feminine form. Though her hat was small and did not completely cover her hair, she knew her tresses were, as always, neatly coiled and smoothed with pomade to keep the riotous curls under control.

“I need to begin my day.” It was all she could think of to say. And it was utterly senseless.

He chuckled softly. Or maybe he hadn’t laughed aloud at all. Perhaps it had just been an increase in the humorous light in his eyes. Beautiful eyes.

If only she were making such an impact upon him then she wouldn’t feel so… lost.

“You must forgive me, Miss Francis. The spectacles…”

She touched the wire frames. She had been reading this morning, before Andrew had arrived, and she had forgotten she’d even worn them. But to remove them would be a gesture of vanity. It would make her look vulnerable, at least far more vulnerable than she already did.

“Of course, I knew you were the governess. Any other young woman would never allow herself to be seen outside of her private chambers wearing them.”

Abigail’s shoulders seemed to draw inwards of their own volition. Yes, she dressed her hair and her person severely, in a way designed to minimize her feminine traits. Some men took affront to such a style and some found it amusing. But what did she care what this gentleman thought of her? She was the governess and had no wish to be or to look like anything else.

But, impossibly, she found that she did care, very much in fact and her stomach sank with the dreadful sensation of being made sport of by this gentleman of all people.

“The other night, you came out here and your hair was loose and flowing in the breeze.”
Oh God. He had seen her that night? Miss Cathy’s little pug had gone missing. She and the girl had been searching, frantically. It had been two in the morning and she had thought no one would be awake to see. How thoughtless of her. She gaped at him. How could she possibly reply to such blunt talk?
“You have such lovely hair. The moon was so bright, and your nightdress glowed bright white against your flowing hair, as dark as a raven’s wing.”

No man had ever spoken such nonsense to her. Not to mention the poor excuse for poetry.

“If you’ll pardon me, Mr. Pierce, I must return to my books and chalkboards,” she said, somehow interjecting just the right amount of respect for his position, tempered by the proper amount of chilliness to convey how much she did not care about his opinion.

“I meant no disrespect.” He spoke quickly, his tone apologetic. But it was the sudden sincerity in his expression that made her pause. His gaze warmed. “It is just that you are so beautiful.”

She forgot to breathe. Who could think of something unimportant as breathing whilst being caressed by the warmth in those gloriously green eyes?

Had she ever been told that she was beautiful by a man?

Only once before. And it had been told to her in dry, practical terms, like bitter medicine she must take to survive. And she had survived. Until now. This moment.

“So unexpectedly beautiful,” he said.

She released her breath. But that was as much as her wits could manage at the moment.
“But you aren’t seeing me at my best.” He stepped back, then brushed some dust off his coat front. “I wanted to come here and inspect the beams whilst they have the wall boards off.”

Your dusty clothes made me think you were attainable. She wanted to accuse him.

But the words remained burning on her tongue. Attainable for what? At twenty-nine , she was past the age to expect marriage. It didn’t matter. She had accepted her fate and built a life for herself that did not depend on approval from a man. Even such a handsome gentleman.

Mr. Pierce looked up at something over her shoulder, the skin over his chiseled cheekbones drawing tight. Abigail turned and saw a tall, rugged-faced gentleman on the terrace. She had not heard the doors open.

Oh, of all the people to catch her standing there, ogling a man!

Mr. Grey Sexton, Abigail’s benefactor. When she had possessed next to nothing in this world but ambition and a sense of duty and had been in a position of shame, Mr. Sexton rescued her. He had given her the loan she so desperately needed to fund her two half-brothers’ education and then he found her employment. And he had found her this current high-paying job with his cousin, Mr. de Grijs, so that she could work for her keep and to pay for the loans. She could never have attained a position like this on her own. She took a deep breath.

She turned and hurried to meet him near the foot of the marble terrace steps.

“Good morning, Miss Francis.”

Despite that he regarded her with his characteristic calm yet stern expression, she still felt censured.

“Good morning, Mr. Sexton,” she replied.

An odd heaviness lay on the air. Neither man addressed the other.

“I was supposed to take some parcels with me to Boston for Mrs. de Grijs,” Mr. Sexton said.

“The European gowns for her sister?” she asked.

“Yes. I thought you might know where she’d left them.”

“She sent them out to have the hems let down.”

“I leave this morning.”

“She expected them to be back from the shop last evening, but they never arrived.”

“I see.”  He inclined his head towards next door. “Getting acquainted with your new neighbor?”

“Yes. I-I…”

“He’s a scoundrel.” Mr. Sexton’s bluntness at times bordered on curt.

The words landed on her like a splash of ice water.

“Oh, dear,” was all she could manage. She sounded nothing like herself, her voice high-pitched and girlish.

His look became more penetrating and she jerked her gaze down to study the hem of her dress.

“Do you remember what I told you?” Mr. Sexton asked.

He had been the first person, aside from Mama, to tell her in matter-of-fact terms that she was beautiful and that she should take care around men. Especially gentlemen. Most gentlemen would promise the moon and deliver little to a woman of her social standing. Heat suffused her face and she couldn’t look at him. But she nodded.

“Well, he’s one to watch,” he said.

She couldn’t have raised her gaze to save her life. Shame burnt through her that this man had witnessed this ultimate loss of control on her part. She had long admired his cool, rational nature. His supreme self-control. Aside from their first meeting, on that shameful night, they normally spoke only of practical matters. Being so personal with her benefactor made her so uneasy, she wished that she could disappear into thin air. But she forced such feelings away and nodded, again, more firmly. “Yes, I certainly will be on my watch.”


She watched him walk up the steps to the balcony, forcing herself not to turn back to Mr. Pierce. Shortly, she heard the balcony door close.

“He told you I was a villain, didn’t he?”

Her heart leapt into her throat. She slapped a hand to her collarbone then jerked her head towards where Mr. Pierce remained standing on his side of the fence. “Scoundrel was the word he used.”

His eyes were still as green as emeralds.

He was still just as handsome. Had she expected a change now that Mr. Sexton had declared him a scoundrel? Well, no of course not. But it was hard to believe anyone could be that gorgeous. It wasn’t human.

It wasn’t fair.

She should return to the house. Yet she found herself walking back to the fence. She lifted her chin, to show him her resolve. “If Mr. Sexton says you are a scoundrel, he must have cause. He is the most honest, honorable man that I know.”

Please tell me why I shouldn’t believe Mr. Sexton.

Her unspoken words resounded on each fierce beat of her heart as she stood there, transfixed by the way his gaze warmly caressed her.

“Things are not always as they might seem, Miss Francis.”

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