Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
This week I’m continuing with 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. 🙂 \
Only Seduction Will Do releases Wednesday, June 30!
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?
The snippet takes place 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 to ask a very unusual question: Will he marry her? We are in Jack’s POV.
The outrageousness of the question itself warred with the astounding fact that a woman had the boldness to ask it–he’d certainly been right about Miss Forsythe’s distinctly non-ladylike manner.
As he paused, stunned quite speechless, her face had turned red, a flush that started at her ample breasts and continued to her bright red hairline. She bit her lips, then took a deep breath and said, “I know this is an exceptional request, my lord, and”—she stared at her lap, her hands shaking—“most forward for a woman to even ask it.” She glanced up at him, her eyes suddenly pleading, saying, “However, my circumstances dictate desperate measures be taken.”
Cautiously, Jack eased forward in his chair. He’d recovered from the broadside hit she’d scored, but didn’t want to give the woman cause for hope. “I am not unaware of the honor you do me, Miss Forsythe, to think I might be able to aid you in your plight, but are things so very extreme? Can the circumstances be remedied only by your marriage to me, or is there some other, less drastic avenue that may be undertaken to resolve it?”
He was not unaware of the great deal of courage it had taken for the woman to propose to him–his estimation of Miss Forsythe rose, even as he cringed from the idea of marrying her. Not that she wasn’t comely–rather the reverse actually–if only she didn’t remind him so much of his sister.
And a little more for good measure…
“I fear the only remedy is marriage, my lord, although I will confess it was my choice to ask you.” She looked at him frankly, as though a Rubicon had been crossed.
“I am flattered, Miss Forsythe.” Not really so much flattered as feeling trapped. Still, he had his engagement to Miss Carlton to stand between him and the woman before him. Lord, two damsels in distress in one evening was entirely too much. He should simply put an end to this interview by informing the woman of his betrothal.
Still, something held him back.
Intrigued by Miss Forsythe’s obvious distress, his inner knight sought to rescue this damsel as well. “Can you tell me the circumstances whereby you must marry?”
A deep blush returned to her cheeks, and she pressed the handkerchief there. “I fear I cannot reveal the reason, my lord, unless you agree to accept my proposal.”
“And I cannot accept it without further information, Miss Forsythe. You must see that,” Jack snapped. Did she take him for a fool to jump at her offer without a word of explanation?
“I understand that, my lord.” Her tone had hardened, as had her eyes. They glittered in the firelight like a pair of faceted sapphires. “However, I do have a reputation to maintain.”
“And you believe I would be indiscreet should you place your confidence in me, Miss Forsythe?” The temerity of the chit. Jack shot to his feet. “This alone makes it obvious we would not suit as a couple. Trust, I gather, is one of the most basic foundations of marriage. One that we do not seem to possess between us. I will wish you a good evening.” A curt bow and he headed for the door. Time wasted save for Braeton’s excellent whiskey.
“I am increasing.” The whisper of sound caught Jack with his hand on the door latch.
Only Seduction Will Do is available on Amazon for the pre-order price of $2.99. It will release on June 30, at which time it will revert to the regular price of $3.99.
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