This past weekend was rather awesome for me, as I released two books, one for pre-order and one as a free read, both celebrating the fifth and final book of the House of Pleasure series.
The final novel in the series is Only Pleasure Will Do, now on pre-order on Amazon.
The pleasure is all hers…
Amorina Vestry, madam of the House of Pleasure for six long years, has wrested a living out the establishment by devising a variety of ways to give men pleasure. But behind the persona of the ruthless businesswoman, schooled in the erotic arts, lurks another woman with a secret she dares tell no one. Now, in vengeance for thwarting a dastardly plan, Amorina is kidnapped and forced to commit murder to save the one person she loves unconditionally…unless the man she secretly yearns for can rescue her before it’s too late.
When Amorina Vestry goes missing, Sir Reginald Matthews, former Runner now magistrate at Bow Street, agrees to search for the very provocative woman he met a year ago and cannot seem to forget. He manages to track her down, only to be captured by the same madman who took her. Their close proximity in a make-shift prison leads inexorably to a night of passion in which Amorina lowers her guard to reveal a shocking truth. Spurred by his growing attraction to her, Reginald is determined to free them before she commits the most heinous crime imaginable.
As Reginald races to save Amorina, he comes to fear another foe as well. He may very well save his love only to find he must give her up or risk the censure of a society that will condemn her.
The dimly moving figure took his time with each riser. His eyes must’ve adjusted to the gloom by now. Did he think her a gray patch on the wall, perhaps? Over the past week, her snowy linen chemise, which she was currently using as a night gown, had grown dingy. She remained rooted to the spot she’d taken once she’d slipped into the room, scarcely daring to breathe.
Three more steps and he’d reach the ground.
She held her breath and prayed.
The man set his feet on the dirt floor and paused, cocked his head.
Willing him to move toward the back of the stairs, Amorina gathered every scrap of courage she possessed.
Shaking his head, the man turned back toward the staircase.
Amorina launched herself at the table, grabbed the ancient chair, swung it up over her head, and crashed it onto the man’s head.
At the last moment he must’ve heard her, for he threw up an arm in defense, but too late. The edge of the chair crashed into the back of his head with a sickening crack before disintegrating in a shower of wooden bits. She’d apparently underestimated efficacy of the old chair as a weapon, for the man dropped neatly at her feet.
Sobbing as relief poured through her, Amorina stood over him, part of a chair leg—the only piece of the weapon still intact—raised once more. But the figure sprawled on the ground didn’t move, and her frenzied breathing calmed. Tossing the mangled stick onto the body, she then leaped over it, and nimbly flew up the stairs to the door. Slow and silent, she grasped the handle and pulled.
It didn’t budge.
She tried to rattle the door, but it refused to move at all, as though someone had nailed it shut. Leaning her head against the stubborn wood, she swallowed tears. She was still a prisoner, although no longer alone. Heart racing, she turned to peer over the rail at the still figure below. Who was he? Why was he here? And what did he have to do with her?
Keeping a cautious eye on the man, she crept down the steps. A patch of moonlight fell on the floor not far from where he lay. She could at least satisfy her curiosity about one thing. Grasping him under his armpits, Amorina lifted him and rocked back on her heels, an effective way for a woman to move dead-drunk patrons if the need arose. This man was solidly built, to be sure, but she’d moved heavier bodies.
Four steps and the back of his head popped into the light. She laid him down, then tossed the bit of chair leg on the floor. Her hand met the good quality of the pale gray cloak, the material smooth and rich beneath her fingers. A man of some means, then. Likely a former customer, though his form rang no bell of recognition. No need to speculate. She bent and hooked her hands beneath one shoulder and heaved him over. He fell out of the light.
She tugged him back then gasped and dropped his shoulder as though her fingers had been singed. “Reginald Matthews!”
Only Pleasure Will Do is now on pre-order for $2.99 on Amazon. It releases on August 31, after which it will revert to its regular price of $4.99.
And as Amazon pre-order books don’t have a sample available, I simultaneously released the prologue to Only Pleasure Will Do, the first meeting of Amorina Vestry and Reginald Matthews. It’s called A Matter of Pleasure and is also available on Amazon and Smashwords (see below).
While making inquiries at the notorious brothel the House of Pleasure regarding a kidnapping, Bow Street Runner Reginald Matthews ends up with more than just the information he seeks from Amorina Vestry, the house’s sensual madam. Amorina’s manner reveals more than a passing interest in Matthews, which in turn leads to unforeseen consequences for them both.
Prologue to Only Pleasure Will Do, Book 5 of the House of Pleasure series
Patience at an end, Reginald knocked a fourth time, harder, making the door jump on its hinges. At last, the bolt shot back and the door opened, revealing a woman—a very attractive woman, with a pale face and dark hair pleasingly disheveled, as though she’d just risen from her bed, which of course, she had. “May I see the owner of the house, please?”
“You see her now,” she said, opening the door wider, revealing a petite form clad in a bright scarlet silk wrapper that slipped down to reveal one delicate white shoulder. “I am Amorina Vestry, Mr. Matthews,” she frowned, squinting against the light, “whatever are you doing here at this hour of the day?”
The madam’s insinuation was clear, but he ignored it to ask, “You know who I am?”
“But of course I make it my business to know all my patrons—to some degree.”
Reginald gritted his teeth and snapped, “I have never patronized your establishment, madam.”
She stared at him, a flash of hunger in her eyes as she took him in from top to toe. “Perhaps it was just wishful thinking, then,”—the hunger disappeared as quickly as it had come—“but suffice it to say, I do know who you are, Mr. Matthews, now how may I help you?”
“I have a garment, a black cloak that was found near here several weeks ago,” he gestured to the folded material clasped beneath his arm, “but which has only now surfaced from the night watch. I’m trying to ascertain its owner, Madame Vestry. May I come in?” A bare flicker of interest—or alarm—crossed her face at the mention of a black cloak, and his lips curled into a smile. His instinct to try the House of Pleasure first this morning had been exactly right.
“Of course, Mr. Matthews. I’m always eager to assist the Runners with their investigations.” The woman’s tone was smooth, but insincere. She opened the door and let him in, her gaze once more ravishing him as he walked past her.
Warmth began to build within him, in the most inconvenient of places.
A Matter of Pleasure is available on Amazon for .99 and on Smashwords for FREE! (If you go to Smashwords, you can download a MOBI copy for your Kindle.)
I hope you enjoy these awesome August specials!