One of my favorite historical series is the Lords of Vice series by Alexandra Hawkins. If you haven’t read this series well then I suggest that you correct this immediately as these Lords definitely live up to their nickname and the women who bring them to heel are just as amazing. The latest book is All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess, and we have a never before seen snippet to share with you today. We also are giving away a copy of one of the other books in the series winners choice. Simply leave us note telling us why you love the series, or if you haven’t read it one of your favorite historical series.
She was finally his. The merry chase was over, and he wanted to explore every delectable inch of her.
“The mask. Remove it,” Saint commanded as he not-so-gently pushed the infamous proprietress of the Golden Pearl against the door of her bedchamber. Too ensure their privacy, he leaned closer and twisted the key in the lock. Very few were permitted entrance into Madame Venna’s sanctuary, and if Saint had his way, he would be the only male from now on who had the pleasure of viewing the room.
Not that his attention was focused on the interior of her bedchamber or its furnishings, he mused as his fingers brushed the edges of the gold mask she had donned for the evening. He had been patronizing the Golden Pearl for more than a year, and Saint had never seen Madame Venna without a half-mask. The ornate and often jewel-encrusted masks were a clever accessory that stirred speculation about the beautiful face she concealed. Every gentleman inLondonyearned for the privilege of removing the half-mask, but the young woman was frustratingly elusive and resistant to all overtures of a carnal nature.
A chaste whore. If Saint had not been so aroused by the contrary combination, he might have been applauded the woman’s ability to understand a man’s needs, perverse as they may be. Like a consummate stage player, Madame Venna portrayed her role to perfection, leaving her countless admirers willing to settle for scraps. A smile. A few words of praise. Perhaps, a brief conversation about the gossip for that day.
Until this evening.
No one had been more surprised than Saint when Madame Venna had discreetly invited him to walk with her. He still could not believe his good fortune when their casual tour of the Golden Pearl ended at her bedchamber.
He was one lucky bastard, he mused, and would be the envy of his friends when they learned that he had unmasked and most thoroughly shagged one ofLondon’s most notorious brothel madams.
Impatient, he hastily peeled off his kid gloves and allowed them to fall to the floor. Saint cared little about the gloves. He needed to touch her, flesh against flesh. With his fingertips, he gently lifted the bottom edge of her mask.
“No,” she said. Her husky, accented voice stilled his actions.
It was the proprietress’s favorite word, and he was getting tired of hearing it.
His brows lifted at her soft, adamant refusal, but it did not prevent him from lowering his face to the curve of Madame Venna’s bare right shoulder. He pressed his lips against the scented flesh and inhaled. For the past hour, he had been whispering in the lady’s ear all the tempting and naughty plans he had in store for her. The removal of her distinctive ornamentation seemed minor when he had every intention of stripping her naked and committing all sorts of wanton sensual acts until they were too exhausted to move.
His tongue licked the small indentation behind her ear, causing her to shiver. “Are you worried that I will not find you beautiful if you remove it?”
Madame Venna might be scarred beneath her half-mask, but it was unimportant to him. A few inches of marred flesh could not diminish the woman in his arms.
“Not at all, mon chéri,” she said with a trace of arrogance in her tone. Her full lips curved into a mischievous smile. “Besides, I thought you liked my masks.”
“I do,” Saint replied, amused that this woman could ignite his baser instincts with so little effort.
If Madame Venna glanced down, the proof of his desire was on prominent display. He had been lusting after this woman from their first meeting. While he respected the sentiment that this was her house, her rules, Saint was growing weary of the restraints that she had placed on him and every male who patronized the Golden Pearl.
“I thought we had moved beyond games, Madame V.”
He lightly stroked her bare throat with his fingers.
Through the almond-shaped holes in her half-mask, her shadowed gaze took on a melancholy cast. “This is the Golden Pearl. I have nothing to offer you but games, Marquis de Sainthill.”
Copyright © 2012 ALL AFTERNOON WITH A SCANDALOUS MARQUESS by Alexandra Hawkins
Simon Jefferes, the Marquess of Sainthill, has done the unthinkable—he’s fallen in love. The so-called “Saint” has spent his life gambling, dallying with women, and satisfying his every whim. And he fully intended to continue his wicked ways, until he met the mysterious, exotic, and irresistible Madame Venna—the one woman he can’t have…and the only one he’s ever wanted for more than an evening.
The proprietress of the Golden Pearl, one of London’s most exclusive brothels, Madame Venna takes pride in the lush, decadent club she’s created. With a half-mask to conceal her identity, she’s careful to safeguard something even more valuable—her heart. But Saint is determined to tear down the walls she’s built around herself, and to finally expose the truth—that Madame Venna is a woman very much in love…with him.
“Hawkins creates strong characters and dramatizes high emotion along with sensuality. Fans of Stephanie Laurens and Jo Beverley will enjoy this series.”
—Booklist on All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess
SMP jpeg of cover: http://jacketupload.macmillanusa.com/jackets/high_res/jpgs/9781250001375.jpg
Author website: http://www.alexandrahawkins.com