Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Sample! All excerpts here are rated PG-13 or milder. Here’s another post from the second book in my House of Pleasure series, Only Marriage Will Do, set in Georgian London.
I’m working on finishing 7 Days of Seduction to send to the publisher this weekend. Not a book you will see excerpted here. LOL
In Only Marriage Will Do, there seems to be a little mystery afoot. Amiable has stepped in to rescue a damsel in distress and to his amazement the damsel–who he’s never seen before–is calling him husband and introducing him as the Earl of Manning (who, if you may recall, is Katarina’s brother from Only Scandal Will Do and a friend of Amiable’s). Amiable is a tad confused, but gamely carries on with the subterfuge. He too is interested in why her suitor claims she is his wife and seeks a more thorough explanation. St. Cyr has just asserted that Juliet is married to him and no one else.
Blood roared in Amiable’s ears, as though he was in the heat of battle. He dropped his hand to his hilt and started toward St. Cyr, who backed hastily for the door. “This is not the end of this, Juliet. I will return with the papers and make you see reason,” he called, returning to English again. With that parting shot, the viscount turned and fled the room. Moments later the front door slammed shut.
A little watery sigh behind him caused Amiable to turn toward Juliet. “My dear. . . “ Amiable got no further. Juliet dissolved into frantic weeping, tears cascading down her cheeks at an alarming rate. He was by her in a moment, his arm around her shoulders drawing her to him as he guided her to the sofa and sat her down. He fished a handkerchief out of his pocket and handed it to her, then urged her head onto his shoulder. She complied without resistance and simply abandoned herself to sobbing.
Some minutes later she seemed to recall herself. The crying lessened into little hitching sobs and when she realized where her head lay she sat up abruptly and looked at Amiable, wide eyed. “Oh! I beg your pardon, sir.” She drew a little away from him, her cheeks rosy in embarrassment.
Amiable smiled reassuringly at her agitation. “Not at all, my lady. It is ‘my lady’ I assume?”
“Oh, yes! Of course, you don’t know who I am, do you?” She smiled in spite of herself, wiping at her tears. “I am Lady Juliet Ferrars. And I am so grateful to you, Mr.. . er. . .Lord?” She paused, quite at a loss.
“Captain Amiable Dawson, at your service.” Amiable inclined his head. “Then you are not married to Jack Fitzwilliam, er, the Earl of Manning?”
“Oh, no, Captain Dawson. Jack is my brother-in-law. I used his name merely as a ruse to throw Philippe off balance. I am so grateful that you came to my rescue just now.” Her eyes glowed with admiration. “Just like a knight in shining armor, don’t you think? Only not really in armor. Except for the sword. Would you really have called Philippe out?”
“Do you doubt it, my lady?” He stared into dark, sinfully intoxicating eyes.
“Well, you did look as though you wanted to kill him at one point. So did I when he brought up the Christmas ball.” Juliet colored again at the thought.
“I should have enjoyed removing his tongue after that little indiscretion. But what he said, Lady Juliet, about being married to him. Is it true?” Amiable decided he should at least find out that much. And then he must ask for Katarina. She was the damsel in distress he had actually come to rescue.
“Absolutely not, Captain Dawson. I am convinced Philippe is lying about our marriage. He would never go against the wishes of his father and his father no longer wished us to wed. Philippe would have cut out his own tongue before disobeying the Count de Mallain.” Juliet was vehement enough that Amiable believed her. At least believed that she believed it was true.
So Juliet may not be out of the woods yet!
Hope you enjoyed a little more of Only Marriage Will Do. Stop by SSS tomorrow for more from Only Scandal Will Do. And today be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.
Also, if you have a chance, come on over to the Daily Dose of Decadence Blog where you can meet the hero of Almost Perfect, Roger Ware, up close and personal. Hope to see you there!