The fourth book of my Georgian House of Pleasure series, Only Seduction Will Do, is set to have its cover revealed next Thursday, February 15. Until then, this is all I’ve got.
Not exactly inspiring, is it? But the one that’s coming, the real cover, is very sexy and seductive, very indicative of its heroine, Alethea Forsythe.
Here’s the blurb for the book. See what you think:
In a vulnerable moment, Alethea Forsythe allows herself to be seduced by a married peer. Now she is with child—and without recourse. Her reputation will soon be in tatters and she will be forced to wed a stranger—unless she takes matters into her own hands.
When Jack Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Manning, is summoned from the House of Pleasure on a matter of importance, he hardly expects to receive a marriage proposal. He’s long been aware of Alethea’s infatuation with him, but at twenty-three, taking on an expectant bride is not in his plans. Yet the desperation in the lady’s lovely eyes overrides his misgivings.
Alethea would not have believed it possible for a man to be too chivalrous. But though her new husband is perfectly amicable in public, he insists they maintain separate quarters. Desperate to possess his heart and prove herself a wife in every way, she boldly reaches out to Jack. And as their unexpected connection between silken sheets is tested by jealousy and misfortune, Jack must decide where honor ends…and true passion begins . .
Only Seduction Will Do is available for pre-order on Amazon.
Here’s a painting that served as an inspiration for one scene in the book where Alethea is contemplating how to seduce her new husband into her bed.
The sight of a woman’s leg was terribly scandalous during this period. 🙂
And here is my idea of what Jack Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Manning, the book’s hero, looks like. ( I’m sure you remember this actor from Royal Pains or The West Wing!)
You can see some more of the images I put together while writing the book here, on my Pinterest board for Only Seduction Will Do.
You can also help spread the word about the cover reveal next week. I’ve got a Thunderclap campaign running to broadcast the cover reveal on the 15th. I’ve got 70 supporters at the moment, but I have to have 100 before the 15th in order for the campaign to be sent out. If you could please help me get to 100, I’d really appreciate it. If you haven’t already supported the campaign, just click on this Thunderclap link, then agree to have my message sent via your Twitter or Facebook account on the 15th.
And here’s an exclusive excerpt from Only Seduction Will Do, to whet your appetite a little.
Miss Forsythe stood, demure for possibly the first time in her life, her gaze lowered, her hands clasped primly in front of her. The picture of an obedient woman. And as false as a Newgate penny, he’d be bound.
“I am certain anything Miss Forsythe has to say to me could be spoken in your presence, Braeton.” He shot a look of desperation at the earl. Had the girl conceived some sort of trap to spring on him, compromise him into marrying her? Jack stiffened, then for the first time since he had arrived, he relaxed. Even though unannounced, he was already betrothed. Miss Carlton had now saved him, it seemed. Quid pro quo.
“I believe my cousin wishes to ask a boon of you, Manning.” Braeton’s mouth twisted as though he’d bitten into a lemon. “I am aware of the nature of the request and agree she would want privacy to ask it. I won’t be far if you should need me.” Braeton bowed curtly and left.
More confused than ever, Jack turned his attention back to Miss Forsythe, who swayed slightly from side to side, fidgeting with a lace handkerchief she’d produced from somewhere. Did she expect their conversation to lead to tears?
“Won’t you please have seat, Lord Manning?” Miss Forsythe indicated the chair nearest the fire. She seated herself opposite him. Perched seemed a better word, on the edge of the brown leather chair. “I do thank you so much for attending me at such an inconvenient time.”
“No inconvenience in the least, Miss Forsythe,” Jack said waving a hand of dismissal. He settled back into the chair. “How may I be of service to you?”
She gripped her lace-edged handkerchief in one hand, the other clenched on the chair’s arm. Raising her chin, her deep blue eyes boring into his, she swallowed hard. “Would you marry me, Lord Manning?”
The outrageousness of the question itself warred with the astounding fact that a woman had the boldness to ask it. He’d certainly been right about Miss Forsythe’s distinctly non-ladylike manner.
As he paused, stunned quite speechless, her face had turned red, a flush that started at her ample breasts and continued to her bright red hairline. She bit her lips, then took a deep breath. “I know this is an exceptional request, my lord, and”—she stared at her lap, her hands shaking—“most forward for a woman to even ask it.” She glanced up at him, her eyes suddenly pleading. “However, my circumstances dictate desperate measures be taken.”
Cautiously, Jack eased forward in his chair. He’d recovered from the broadside hit she’d scored, but didn’t want to give the woman cause for hope. “I am not unaware of the honor you do me, Miss Forsythe, to think I might be able to aid you in your plight. But are things so very extreme? Can the circumstances be remedied only by your marriage to me? Or is there some other, less drastic avenue that may be undertaken to resolve it?”
She let out her breath with a forceful whoosh and her color subsided somewhat.
He was not unaware of the great deal of courage it had taken for the woman to propose to him. His estimation of Miss Forsythe rose, even as he cringed from the idea of marrying her. Not that she wasn’t comely. Rather the reverse. If only she didn’t remind him so much of his sister.
“I fear the only remedy is marriage, my lord, although I will confess it was my choice to ask you.” She looked at him frankly, as though a Rubicon had been crossed.
“I am flattered, Miss Forsythe.” Not really so much flattered as feeling trapped.
I hope you are intrigued by this snippet and come back next week for the cover reveal and another excerpt. Only Seduction Will Do releases on June 5, 2018.
The House of Pleasure Series
(Click on cover for Amazon link)