Hello and thanks for stopping by! It’s the first day of my world tour promoting my newest release, Saving Lady Ilsa. I’m grateful to The Naughty Author Chicks for having me. First, a word about Saving Lady Ilsa. This book explores one of my favorite romantic situations that started with Cinderella, the very first of its kind: the mismatched class pairing.
Saving Lady Ilsa touches on the Cinderella experience when Ilsa Bergstrom, the abused concubine of a London merchant, is saved from a wretched existence by a handsome nobleman who whisks her away. Because I gave her such miserable hardships, I tried to give her an extra-special happy ending.
Here’s Chapter one of Secret Seduction, a free short story which takes place parallel to Bradford and Ilsa's story in the servants' quarters.
Chapter 1: Secret Seduction
Vander Talbot first spied her at his friend Winston’s country manor as she pulled sheets off the line in the golden glow of afternoon. Like William Winston, Vander was the insignificant son of a very significant man, therefore his idle time was strictly regulated, yet hardly noticed.
Unaware she was being watched, the girl swung her hips slightly, shifting from foot to foot as though dancing to a secret song. She wore no cap, and her long, coppery hair swung in gleaming waves.
Intrigued, and being a sporting young man who liked a challenge, he decided then and there to seek her out. But not as himself. Bedding a maid as Vander Talbot, third son of Duke Benton and honorable Baron Crowley, was hardly a challenge. But bedding a maid as Todd Jones, stable boy, proved a much more exciting endeavor.
He could use a good, exiting adventure to liven things up. Having planned to spend a few weeks at William’s hunting lodge anyhow, no one would miss him.
Standing high on the patio of the rear gardens with Winston, Vander watched through a gap in the juniper, unnoticed, as the girl worked. She was a lovely creature who moved with a sensual grace, though too curvy to be mistaken a ballerina. He half listened to the droll story Buford Trenton was telling, waiting for the girl to make her way back to the house so he could see her face.
When she finally turned, basket of clean linens in her arms, Vander froze to the stone beneath his feet. She was the most exquisite beauty he’d ever laid eyes upon.
Even at a distance her features were stunning. Dark lashes framed light eyes, and at that precise moment Vander would have given his left pinky finger to know their color. Luscious lips as pink as water lilies formed a secret smile, and as she passed below the patio to the servants’ entrance, Vander heard her softly humming her private song.
“Fancy a bit of that, do you?” Winston said, smiling wickedly. “Don’t waste your time, Talbot. She’s as frigid as a highborn.”
“You think I can’t seduce a simple servant girl?”
Winston laughed. “I know you can seduce a simple servant girl. I’m saying you cannot seduce that simple servant girl.”
“Care to wager on it?” Buford slurred, happily into his cups. “Ten pounds says you can’t bed her inside a week.”
“Don’t be grotesque,” Vander returned. Such sport at the expense of the servant class was an ugly offense.
He would not wager on it. But he would have her nonetheless.
* * *
The word hint for today: “if”. To be eligible for the prize you must comment at at least one of my blog appearances, and you must unjumble all the words at the end of the tour to form the phrase. More information on my contest can be found on my blog.
Thank you Naughty Author Chicks for having me. Don’t miss me tomorrow at KJ Reed’s blog for another hint and chapter two of Secret Seduction.