Shy, self-effacing Henrietta knows her place—in her dazzling older sister’s shadow. She’s a little brown peahen to Araminta’s bird of paradise. But when Hetty mistakenly becomes embroiled in the Regency underworld, the innocent debutante finds herself shockingly compromised by the dashing, dangerous Sir Aubrey, the very gentleman her heart desires. And the man Araminta has in her cold, calculating sights.
Branded an enemy of the Crown, bitter over the loss of his wife, Sir Aubrey wants only to lose himself in the warm, willing body of the young prostitute Hetty. As he tutors her in the art of lovemaking, Aubrey is please to find Hetty not only an ardent student, but a bright, witty and charming companion.
Despite a spoiled Araminta plotting for a marriage offer and a powerful political enemy damaging his reputation, Aubrey may suffer the greatest betrayal at the hands of the little “concubine” who’s managed to breach the stony exterior of his heart.A Romantica® historical Regency erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
So, the above is the official blurb, but here is just a little bit from me about it, followed by the Extract.
A sweet, do-gooding debutante who wants to clear the name of the gentlemen whose reputation she believes has been erroneously tarnished finds herself in more trouble than she dreamed…
This is the premise of my soon-to-be released erotic Regency with Ellora’s Cave, Dangerous Gentlemen. It’s book 2 in the ‘Viscount Partington’ Series and follows on from Her Gilded Prison. Her Gilded Prison features the bitter-sweet love affair of the long-married Lady Sybil, mother of my heroine in this book.
The younger of her two very different daughters, Hetty, is the heroine of Dangerous Gentlemen.
Poor Hetty has never been looked at twice by any gentlemen of any standing but she’s a shy, sweet young thing who is improving in looks and confidence as she takes part in her first season. Unfortunately her ‘do-gooding’ is the undoing of her – literally – as she sets about righting what she believes is a great injustice, only to find herself mistaken for… Well, read on and find out.
Below is an extract taken from chapter two after Hetty sneaks out of the Ladies’ mending room during a ball and starts snooping around the bedchamber of the man she’s fancied from afar and who is staying at the house while his own is renovated.
I hope you enjoy it.
Yet he was dangerous, she had to remind herself. Meaning she should not be here, which of course she shouldn’t, regardless of whether he was dangerous or not.
But how such a scion of good breeding and genteel society could be guilty of such a heinous crime as treason, Hetty could not imagine. And surely the story of the runaway wife was a gilded one. It was all the stuff of make-believe and Cousin Stephen was only telling Hetty he was dangerous to curb her schoolroom daydreams.
Turning, she saw half protruding from beneath the suit of clothes what appeared to be the edge of a silver, filigreed box. It was partly obscured by the overhang of the counterpane, as if it hadn’t properly been returned to its hiding place.
A moment’s indecision made her pause but soon Hetty was crouching on the floor, closing clammy fingers around the box. Might it contain secrets? Ones that would reveal, conclusively, what Cousin Stephen claimed was true?
Alternatively, proof that would exonerate Sir Aubrey?
Hetty fumbled for the catch. Dear Lord, this was too exciting for words. Perhaps Sir Aubrey was a secret agent working for the English, and Stephen had no idea?
Perhaps he was—
Protesting door hinges made her squeal as the door was flung wide. Hetty let the lid of the box fall and retreated into the shadows as Sir Aubrey strode into the room.
He was breathing heavily as he shrugged off his jacket with a curse, raindrops spattering into the hissing fire as he raked his fingers through his hair. A curious stillness overtook him and he froze, obviously sensing all was not as he left it.
He sniffed the air. “Orange flower water,” he muttered, stepping closer to the fire, fumbling for the tinderbox on the mantelpiece to light a candle.
Immediately he was thrown into sharp relief and as he stared at Hetty it was not his look of shock and suspicion that made her scream but the copious amounts of blood that stained his shirtsleeves and once-snowy linen cravat.
“God Almighty, who are you?” he demanded as his gaze raked her finery. “You’re no parlor maid, that’s for certain!”
Gaping, unable to formulate a sensible answer, Hetty finally managed, “What happened to your arm, Sir Aubrey? Are you injured?”
“Sir Aubrey, is it? So you know who I am but you still haven’t told me who you are?” He grunted as he looked down at his arm, the bloodied linen shredded over the long graze. “It’s not as bad as it looks and I assure you, I gave a good account of myself.” His laugh was more a sneer. “Indeed, my assailant lies dead in the gutter.”
Hetty gasped. “Dueling?” Myriad questions crowded her mind. Could this be to do with Araminta? Had Sir Aubrey left Araminta in the middle of the ball to fight some other contender for her affections?
“Dueling?” he repeated. He shook his head and Hetty drew back at the coldness in his eyes. “There was nothing noble about my activities this evening. I was set upon in a dark alley. A short scuffle ensued, I drew my knife, then—” With his hand, he made a gesture like the slitting of his throat, adding, “I am slightly wounded but as I said, my attacker does not live to repeat the insult.”
Her horror clearly amused him, for his eyes narrowed while his generous mouth quirked. He looked like an incarnation of the most handsome demon she’d ever seen depicted in the fairy stories she loved to read.
“We all have enemies, madam. Enemies that must be eliminated if we are to breathe freely.”
Aubrey was enjoying the girl’s wide-eyed terror. No doubt she imagined he’d sliced the throat of a footpad, not the snarling, mangy cur who had leapt upon him as he’d been returning from his brief assignation to settle a gaming debut incurred by his favorite, reprobate nephew.
Taking pity on her, he said reassuringly, “Don’t worry. I won’t hurt you.’ Her wide-eyed look as he removed first his jacket, then the bloodied shirt he tossed upon the bed, before he rose to his full height, bare chested, afforded him the most amusement he’d had in a long time. “So, you’re the girl Madame Chambon sent?”
END OF EXTRACT
Dangerous Gentlemen is due out in February and it follows on from Her Gilded Prison which can be bought here:
Pan Macmillan Momentum
It’s 1878 and London’s most hard-hearted prostitute is preparing for her next client.
A beautiful prostitute prepares to service the man she once loved - the man whose secret she safeguarded ... a secret which thrust her into this hated life.
Her Gilded Prison
The lovely Lady Sybil’s 20-year marriage has not produced an heir - which is hardly surprising since her husband cannot bear to be parted from his long-term mistress.
When heir-apparent, handsome cousin Stephen arrives at Grange Hall to be briefed on his duties as the next Viscount Partington, he sets many feminine hearts a-flutter, including those of Sybil’s two daughters: plain, dumpy Hetty and fiery, exquisite Araminta.
Then a unwelcome contender for the viscountancy emerges. Presumed dead, Edgar turns out not to have died on the battlefield - but nor has he distinguished himself there, either.
In order that mutton-headed Edgar never inherit what her husband has spent his lifetime creating, Lady Sybil devises an extraordinary plan...
In his wildest dreams, Cousin Stephen never expected his duties would be so diverse.
Rake's Honour - an erotic Regency Romantic Comedy
Shortlisted Favourite Historical for 2012 by Australian Romance Readers.
Fanny Brightwell has just two weeks to find a husband who will fulfill her mama's marital criteria or she'll be forced to marry the loathsome libertine, Lord Slyther.
That means two weeks to convince dashing Viscount Fenton she's his perfect bride.
Battling spurned suitors, jealous debutantes and a peagoose of a sister on the verge of destroying the Brightwell reputation, Fanny has little time to make her
handsome lover her slave in passion...
So he'll make her his wife.
Eight years of marriage has not dimmed Cressida, Lady Lovett’s, love for her husband, but the birth of five children has cooled her ardour.
Now rumours are circulating that the kind, dashing and seemingly ever—patient Justin, Lord Lovett, has returned to the arms of his former mistress and Cressida believes her choices are stark—welcome her husband back to the marital bed and risk a sixth pregnancy she fears will kill her, or lose him forever.
With the astonishing discovery that methods exist to enable the innocent Cressida to transform herself into the vixen of her husband’s dreams without expanding her nursery, she seeks to repay the woman responsible for her empowerment...only to discover her unlikely benefactress was, and perhaps still is, her husband’s mistress.
A Puritan woman's loyalties are tested when her husband is imprisoned by the Royalist lover she was forced to surrender through duty.
Drummond Castle, home of staunch Puritan Silas Drummond and his beautiful wife Elizabeth has been besieged by Royalist forces. In a bargain to spare her husband's life Lady Elizabeth has agreed to spend the night with the commander of the hated King's Men.
Second in command Charles Trethveyan has other ideas. He's planned this moment since Elizabeth chose to marry Silas eight years before.
When Elizabeth discovers that her former Cavalier lover has taken the place of his superior, she must decide whether Charles is motivated by love or revenge.
Either way, her response will have devastating consequences.
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks