Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!
I’m finishing up today with snippets from the first of my House of Pleasure books, Only Scandal Will Do. I re-releases on Tuesday and for July I’ll move on to Only Marriage Will Do, Book 2 of the series that will release at the end of July.
Check out my new blurb for Only Scandal Will Do:
He has the woman of his dreams, but can he find a way to win her heart?
Kidnapped, displayed on the auction block of a notorious brothel, and sold to the highest bidder, Lady Katherine Fitzwilliam is furious and vows to fight her way out. Unfortunately, the rogue who bought her is way too charming and attractive to make that easy. He seduces Kat almost to the point of ruin, but she manages to escape him, although thoughts of him tend to linger long after she’s free.
Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury succumbs to temptation one night and purchases a fiery beauty whose very looks fill him with hot desire. When she insists she’s a lady, he scoffs, but is surprised when she flees before he can claim his pleasure. When he discovers she’s sister to a peer, Duncan is horrified to have compromised her. He offers marriage to scotch the scandal and gain an heir. However, the dazzling charms of the red-haired beauty, coupled with her astonishing skill with a sword, ensnares his heart and soul. If only Katarina didn’t hate him with a fury hotter than three hells…
Can he manage to turn her anger against him into a passion for him? Or will they be doomed to live together, but forever apart?
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. Duncan has just disarmed Katarina and is asking for her to yield. She refuses, insisting he draw first blood to win the match, leaving Duncan with a difficult choice. Today’s snippet begins where last weeks’ left off. We are still in Duncan’s POV.
The padded jacket precluded a wound to arms or torso; breeches did likewise to the lower body and thighs. He could wound the calf, but she wore knitted stockings that might bind the blade and make a ragged, nasty wound. Her hands were encased in leather gloves and he would be damned if he would mark her face–he was going to live with that face for many, many years and would not curse himself every time he looked at her because he had marred her beauty. What did that leave?
He continued to circle her, searching for a glimpse of skin that would allow him a small wound–it need only be one drop of blood, for Christ’s sake.
Her coat and shirt were both collarless. She had loosely tied one of her brother’s cravats around her neck, but it was now askew from the ferocity of the fight, baring part of her neck. He moved behind her again and she tensed, likely in apprehension, not knowing from what direction the blade would come.
Duncan tossed his rapier to Lord Trevor, and quietly stepped so close to Katarina that his breath stirred the hair at her neck. He moved his head even closer, until his mouth was poised beside her left ear and her breathing quickened.
And now to finish the scene :
“My lady,” he whispered, “you have given me little choice in this matter. I would not wound you, but I will not forfeit the match. Your protection has also tied my hands in the matter of where to wound you. So I must take where I may find.”
She began to tremble at his words. If it were done…
He turned his head and sought the delicate flesh at the nape of her neck, the one place on her not protected.
She went still, sucked in a breath and held it, as he worked at the tender spot open mouthed. With the tip of his tongue, he massaged the warm skin of her neck, salty from her exertions against him. A low moan, akin to the one she had given him in the garden two nights ago, escaped her before a shiver chased down her body. Then he nipped the skin, breaking it, drawing the precious drop that claimed her as his. She gasped, and he whispered again in her ear, “You did not stipulate, Lady Katarina, that the blood must be drawn with the sword. I therefore claim victory in the duel. Will you honor the forfeit?”
Only Scandal Will Do is up on pre-order until this Tuesday for the pre-order price of just .99. It is available on Amazon, B & N, Smashwords, iTunes, and Kobo. The book reverts to its regular price of $2.99 on Release Day, Tuesday, June 30. Grab yours while you can!
And here is the new book trailer I made this week for Only Scandal Will Do on Animoto! Enjoy!
Please come by my blog on Tuesday 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.