IT’S RELEASE DAY!!!
ONLY A MISTRESS WILL DO
Will a handsome rake be her salvation…or her downfall?
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.
Her head came up, back straight, forced smile plastered on her face as the door opened wide and she caught a glimpse of the man who had bought her for the night. Madame Vestry had informed her this morning that one of her regular customers had responded favorably to her invitation—she’d actually called it an invitation—and for Violet to make herself available in the green room at eight o’clock tonight.
She’d not been told who he was and somehow it mattered little to her she did not know the name of the man about to ruin her. One of the house rules forbade her to ask. If the gentleman offered his name, that was his business. The other girls had told her if she needed to put a name to the face, to think of customers as “Lord John.”
This Lord John entered the small room in a swirl of black fur and sandalwood, the spicy scent tickling Violet’s nose, making it twitch.
She tipped her head back and looked up into the swarthy face. Dark hair and piercing blue eyes, a strong jaw, and a long, straight nose. Too tall, though. He was too tall for her. The ridiculousness of the irrational thought broke through her lethargy. She forced herself up out of the chair as he strode toward her.
The smile curling his full lips would have been charming had not the gleam in his eyes betrayed his lustful intent.
“What pleasure may I give you this evening, my lord?” The words came out flat, but by God, she’d gotten them out. Now to remain standing and not faint.
One small goal at a time. She stared at the wide expanse of blue velvet jacket barely two inches from her face.
He ran the back of his hand along her cheek and goose flesh pimpled her whole body. “I do hope the pleasure will be mutual, my dear.”
Violet jerked back from his caress. Her gaze, firmly fixed on the gold buttons of his jacket, now shot to his face, expecting a leer. How could he suggest she might enjoy being debauched?
His dark brows had puckered into a surprised frown, almost reproachful. He lowered his hand.
Dear God. She couldn’t refuse him anything. Lord John owned her for the night. Whatever he wanted to do to her, be it lewd touch or soft caress, she had to submit. No matter she wanted to scream, or cry, or pummel his chest. Curse him for being a depraved wretch who reveled in her misfortunes.
That wasn’t fair. She returned her gaze to his chest. Despite her misery, she couldn’t blame him for her misfortunes or her decision to come here. He was a man bent on the usual pleasures of men, and she needed the patronage of such men to survive. If he wanted her to be pleased, then she would convince him of her pleasure. A leaden weight settled over her, grounding her. She tipped back her head and smiled at him, the practiced false smile that showed her teeth. “Then I am certain we shall both be pleased, my lord.”
A broad grin spread across his swarthy face. “Amorina has taught you well, little one. You will go far here, I believe.” He untied his cloak and tossed it carelessly onto a chair.
Violet gawked at his body—perfectly proportioned shoulders, waist, and hips, well-muscled legs—and her bravado slipped a notch. He was gorgeous, with a face like a cherub bent on mischief and a body made for sin. Somehow a devilishly handsome, virile man made the situation worse. She had assumed whoever ruined her would be old, ugly, evil. Like the deed he performed.
He touched her cheek.
She started then forced herself to remain still this time. Despite the heat of the blazing logs, uncontrollable shivers wracked her body. Twisting the fabric of her skirt helped.
Slowly, Lord John leaned down, bringing the scent of sandalwood to swirl around her head. He scattered kisses along the side of her neck. “Don’t worry, ma petite. I don’t bite, unless instructed.”
Only A Mistress Will Do is currently available on Amazon for $1.99 thru today. Tomorrow it increases to its regular price of $3.99. I hope to have it up on Smashwords by the end of today, and distributed to B & N, iTunes, and Kobo by next Friday.
Only A Mistress Will Do is going on tour! Hot Damn Book Tours is hosting my blog tour February 15-22. It you would like to be part of that tour, as a host, please contact the tour manager by clicking this link.
I’ll have more information about the tour posted on this blog in a week or so, but I can tell you now, it’s going to be a fun time!
And to celebrate the release of Mistress one more way, one random commenter will win their choice any of my books from my back list. Simply leave a comment telling me if you prefer steamy or sweet historicals and the last one you read. 🙂