Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!
I’m continuing with snippets the first of my House of Pleasure books, Only Scandal Will Do. I’ve gotten the rights back to this, my first full length novel, and I’m planning to re-release it at the end of the month! Here’s the new cover I just revealed this past week!
He has the woman of his dreams, but what price will he have to pay to win her heart?
Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal that would ruin her life.
Unable to resist temptation at The House of Pleasure, Duncan Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she’s a lady, but how can she be? No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is anything like her. Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and he’ll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who’ll provide an heir to carry on his illustrious family’s name. He seeks out Katarina, intending only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared. He’s betting their future he’ll capture her heart, but does he have what it takes to win the wager?
I began my snippets for Scandal well into the book. Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam has been kidnapped and sold at auction in a brothel, The House of Pleasure. She escaped her purchaser, Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury, only to be discovered by him some days later at a ball. He wishes to marry her, but she loathes him. Now he’s afraid they will both be ruined by the incident in the brothel and has forced her brother to defend her honor in a duel. However, Kat, who has learned excellent skills with a sword from her brother, has insisted on defending her own honor in a private duel with Dalbury, the stakes the highest of all: marriage. If she wins, he abandons all hope of having her, if he wins, she marries him immediately. In this snippet, I’ve skipped ahead to the point just after Duncan has made a hit on Kat’s arm, but did not draw blood. They are starting the next part of the fencing match now. We are still in Duncan’s POV.
Fully attired, Katarina raised her rapier, nodded to him, and again launched herself in attack. Meeting her blow for blow, he now pressed an attack of his own. She fell back a step before binding his weapon to the ground. He ducked as her blade whistled through the space his head had occupied mere seconds before and he retaliated with renewed vigor as their swords flowed like quicksilver through air that rang with the discordant sounds. Katarina’s blade danced dangerously close to Duncan’s face; the next instant her sword went spinning through the air and landed a mere foot from Tommy Redmond’s still sleeping form.
Katarina’s look of shock did not amuse Duncan in the least, for he assumed his own face bore a similar expression–the disarm had been instinctual, summoned from the long hours of grueling training with Signor Fucile last year. Had he never gone to Italy, this outcome might have been very different.
He straightened, rapier still en garde. His completely vulnerable opponent recovered her composure, however, and stood with face schooled into haughty disdain. Her chest heaved as she sucked in deep breaths, fire in her eyes as she returned his stare dared him to complete his office.
And now to finish the scene :
Duncan moved slowly toward her. As he stepped to her side she did not deign to turn her head toward him, although she tracked him with her eyes. Manning and Matthews had advanced to the edges of the dueling space, but did not breech the barrier.
He continued to circle her until he stood directly behind her. Where could he wound her with minimum damage? Curse her, for putting him in this position! “My lady, do you yield?” he asked.
Motionless, except for the still labored breathing, she replied, “Our agreement was to first blood, Lord Dalbury. If you do not take it, I claim the forfeit.”
Duncan closed his eyes in exasperation and said, “Very well, then, my lady.”
Like the Little Engine that Could, I was able to put Only Scandal Will Do up on pre-order last Tuesday! The pre-order price is just .99, and is available on Amazon, B & N, Smashwords, iTunes, and Kobo. The book reverts to its regular price of $2.99 on Release Day, June 30.
Please come by my blog that day for the release party!
And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.