HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!
This week I’m continuing snippets from my upcoming re-release Only A Mistress Will Do, Book 3 of the House of Pleasure series. I’ve recently gotten the rights back to this book and am eagerly awaiting re-publication as an indie release at the end of January.
Friendless and destitute, Miss Violet Carlton has no choice but to seek work in London’s most notorious brothel, The House of Pleasure. She steels herself for her ultimate ruin at the hands of her first customer, only to be offered a reprieve in the form of a position as the gentleman’s mistress—in name only. Grateful for his benevolence, Violet agrees to the proposition and enjoys the life of a pampered courtesan—until her dashing rescuer puts her heart in jeopardy. Violet’s growing desire for the gentleman must be squashed when she discovers he belongs to another woman.
Tristan, Lord Trevor enters the House of Pleasure bent on a final night of carousing before donning the leg-shackle of marriage. To his shock, he recognizes the woman in his bed as a lady of the ton and resolves to save her from life in a brothel. After whisking her away under his protection, Tris endeavors to find her a husband, to secure her future and stem his own intense longing for the beautiful woman. With growing anguish Tris fears he can never make Violet his own for the impediment of his coming marriage pales in comparison to the secret he must hide from her or risk her loathing him for the rest of their lives.
This snippet continues on from last week, although I’m skipping ahead a few paragraphs to Violet’s interview with Madame Vestry, who speaks first in this snippet.
“You have now come to that desperate point where you seek employment with me?” The business-like tone, neither condoning nor condemning, stiffened Violet’s resolve.
“Yes, ma’am, as of today, I have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to,” a sickening churn of her stomach that had nothing to do with hunger sent tension through her, “nothing else of value.”
“Let me see you walk, please.” With a crisp snap, Vestry pulled the curtains open and nodded to the path between the sofa and fireplace.
Violet straightened her skirts as best she could; suddenly stiff and self-conscious, she concentrated on putting one foot before the other until she came face to face with another obscene painting–she clenched her hands and averted her eyes.
Feeling more and more like a horse or a cow at Smithfield market, she did as she was told, hopefully with a bit more grace.
In reward, Vestry gave her a slight nod and said, “You speak and move as befit your station, Miss Carlton–with a little training, I suspect you will be quite popular with our patrons so I should be able to command a high price for your virginity.”
And now to finish the scene :
Violet’s feet tangled in the plush carpet.
The scant approval vanished as Vestry glared at her. “I assume you are intact?”
Oh, the shame. How could this woman suggest she had already lain with a man? Bitterness flooded her mouth and her chest ached with mortification. Finally, she managed a curt nod.
“Lie down on the sofa please.”
“I am not fool enough to take your word, Miss Carlton.” Vestry smiled mirthlessly. “A brief inspection will allow me to assure your buyer he is indeed purchasing a virgin.”