Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
This week I’m switching to my upcoming June release, Only Seduction Will Do. I’m really excited for this release as Seduction is the last of the House of Pleasure books to revert back to me from Kensington. Now the whole series is mine, with new steamy covers to entice new readers. 🙂 Speaking of new, steamy covers, here’s the one I just released last week.
Alethea Forsythe has been desperately in love with the Earl of Manning since they first met last summer and although the earl has made it clear he doesn’t return her regard, Alethea fights to keep her dreams of him alive. However, in a moment of despair, she is seduced by a married man and, when she discovers she is with child, fears she is now undone. With her reputation about to be ruined, she has the choice of accepting an arranged marriage to a stranger or taking matters into her own capable hands.
Jack Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Manning, is out enjoying a little Christmas revelry with friends—which ends in a visit to The House of Pleasure. After an unusual encounter there, he winds his way home to discover a late night summons to Miss Forsythe’s home. His evening becomes even more bizarre when the lady in question throws herself on his mercy and begs he take her to wife. At twenty-three, Jack has many more wild oats to sow, but his innate sense of honor will not allow him to shirk the duty of a gentleman.
Radiantly happy, Alethea vows to be an exemplary wife to Jack, however, his acceptance of her proposal comes with its own set of unexpected conditions. In exchange for the protection of his name, Jack vows his marriage to Alethea will be in name only. Desperate to touch her husband’s heart, Alethea battles to win his trust and love. When a trial by fire tests her love and Jack’s honor, will the passion that suddenly blazes between them temper their love or consume them?
I’m beginning the snippet a little way into the second chapter. Jack Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Manning, has been summoned to a friend’s house where he is informed a young lady, Miss Forsythe who he has met and danced with during the Season wishes an audience with him. We are in Jack’s POV.
“Miss Forsythe wishes a word with you, Lord Manning,” he shot an angry glance at the lady, “alone.”
All Jack’s instincts for self-preservation leaped into high alert. Something ill was afoot and he doubted it would be to his liking one whit when it finally came out.
Miss Forsythe stood, demure for possibly the first time in her life, her gaze lowered, her hands clasped primly in front of her. The picture of an obedient woman–and as false as a Newgate penny, he’d be bound.
“I am certain anything Miss Forsythe has to say to me could be spoken in your presence, Braeton.” He shot a look of desperation at the earl. Had the girl conceived some sort of trap to spring on him, compromise him into marrying her? Jack stiffened, then for the first time since he had arrived, he relaxed. Even though unannounced, he was already betrothed–Miss Carlton had now saved him, it seemed.
And a little more for good measure…
“I believe my cousin wishes to ask a boon of you, Manning.” Braeton’s mouth twisted as though he’d bitten into a lemon. “I am aware of the nature of the request and agree she would want privacy to ask it. I won’t be far if you should need me.” Braeton bowed curtly and left.
More confused than ever, Jack turned his attention back to Miss Forsythe, who swayed slightly from side to side, fidgeting with a lace handkerchief she’d produced from somewhere. Did she expect their conversation to lead to tears?
“Won’t you please have seat, Lord Manning?” Miss Forsythe indicated the chair nearest the fire. She seated herself opposite him. Perched seemed a better word, on the edge of the brown leather chair. “I do thank you so much for attending me at such an inconvenient time.”
“No inconvenience in the least, Miss Forsythe,” Jack said waving a hand of dismissal. He settled back into the chair. “How may I be of service to you?”
She gripped her lace-edged handkerchief in one hand, the other clenched on the chair’s arm. Raising her chin, her deep blue eyes boring into his, she swallowed hard. “Would you marry me, Lord Manning?”
Only Seduction Will Do is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will release on June 30.
But don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.
The House of Pleasure series
by Jenna Jaxon