How to Tempt a Viscount
London, 1807A disastrous start to their marriage caused Ellen to leave her husband, Marcus Henshall, Viscount Stanley. Instead of retreating in humiliation, Ellen has been busy learning how to transform herself from a timid girl into a confident, sensual siren.Now she has returned to London—and Marcus—with a mission: to seduce her husband and show him how it feels to have desire go unrequited. But when her plan starts working, she may not be able to resist her own attraction to Marcus….
Читать How to Tempt a Viscount онлайн беплатно
How to Tempt a Viscount
A disastrous start to their marriage caused Ellen to leave her husband, Marcus Henshall, Viscount Stanley. Instead of retreating in humiliation, Ellen has been busy learning how to transform herself from a timid girl into a confident, sensual siren. Now she has returned to Londonâand Marcusâwith a mission: to seduce her husband and show him how it feels to have desire go unrequited. But when her plan starts working, she may not be able to resist her own attraction to Marcusâ¦.
How to Tempt a Viscount is very short and very steamy. It came to me after I had written Arabella and Dominicâs story in Unmasking the Dukeâs Mistress, and I began to wonder about Marcus Henshall, Viscount Stanley, the only one of Dominicâs friends who did not go to Mrs. Silverâs House of Pleasures that fateful night. And the woman who had so tamed him.
So I turned back the years to bring you Marcus and Ellenâs story of temptation and love. I sincerely hope that you like it.
With very best wishes
P.S. You might also recognise some of the characters from A Dark and Brooding Gentleman!
For Dicky - steamy bits to be censored before reading!
About the Author
Within the Duke of Arlesfordâs private box in the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, neither Viscount Stanley nor any of the friends with whom he was sitting could cease staring. But they were not watching the play.
âI did not know you had let your box, Stanley.â Arlesfordâs voice was subtle yet Marcus heard the unspoken question within the words.
Marcusâs attention did not shift from his box on the opposite side of the theatre and the lone woman who had just entered it. She could not have timed her entrance any better to pique his curiosity if she had tried, arriving only moments before the start of the play so that Marcus was provided with a fleeting glimpse of an enticing creature with golden brown curls piled high on her head, and a scarlet-edged cream silk gown cut low and moulded to a perfect body. The lights dimmed but even then the shimmering pallor of her dress marked her from the shadows, illuminating her in tantalising allure.
The actors took to the stage and a murmur rippled through the theatre, but Marcus knew it was not the start of the play exciting the theatregoersâ interest.
The woman took her time in making herself comfortable, her movements unhurried, leisurely, sensual almost, as if she had every right in the world to be sitting there in his box; as if she were waiting for him. Every eye could see that she was quite alone, save for her maid.
Sebastian Hunter, who was sitting on his right-hand side, grinned and whispered what Marcus knew every man in the house would be thinking. âNo wonder you kept quiet about that little diamond, you sly dog!â
âA trifleâ¦indiscreet, Stanley,â cautioned Arlesford sotto voce so that only Marcus would hear. âSouthampton is not exactly the other end of the country.â
Southamptonâwhere Ellen had been âvisitingâ her parents for the last four months. It was as close as anyone came to mentioning his wife. No one ever mentioned his wife. Or his marriage. No one dared.
Marcusâs face was stony yet he did not take his eyes from the woman. Whoever she was she must have known that she was stirring a scandal, perched provocatively, blatantly even, in his box as if he were exhibiting his mistress when his marriage was barely six months old. It occurred to him that perhaps Amanda had sent her to cause trouble. And as he watched, the woman turned her gaze from the players upon the stage to him. Their eyes met across the auditorium. Held for that moment too long. As if she were daring him. Teasing him. Marcusâs heart skipped a beat at the shock of the sudden recognition.
âDevil take it!â The words slipped as a breath from his lips. He stared, scarcely able to believe it and saw what he should have seen from the very beginning. âIf you will excuse me, gentlemen.â He got to his feet, and there was a rustle of movement as those in the surrounding boxes craned to see, and below in the stalls a sea of pale faces upturned in unison. His expression was grim as he glanced once more across at his own theatre box and drew her a small nod of acknowledgement. âI believe I should be sitting with my wife.â
Every jaw dropped in the Duke of Arlesfordâs theatre box and every eye widened in disbelief. Marcus did not wait to watch them drool all the more over her.
Ellen Henshall, Viscountess Stanley, took a deep breath and tried to calm the thunder of her heart and the nervous tilt of her stomach. In a few moments Marcus would be before her and this faÃ§adeâthe looks and poise, that had taken so much effort in the weavingâmust withstand the closeness of his scrutiny. A moment of doubt swept over her but then she remembered just why she was doing this. And with those memories of the first few months of her marriage came determination and a hardening of resolve. And a strength that overcame all of her anxiety.