A Victorian take on Cinderella – with a touch of spice!
In this first novella of the Dragon Duchess series, Lady Lacilia Bloomsbury (Lacy) is bereft after her beloved father dies, leaving her with a spiteful, conniving stepmother – the Countess Bloomsbury – and a dimwitted half-sister, Sarah Jane.
When dashing Duke Darlington Moore of Blantyre Highmeadow arrives to pay his respects, Lacy’s stepmother figures out a way to blackmail him into marrying the highly undesirable Sarah Jane. After all, Blantyre has just suffered a horrible mining disaster, the duke’s estate is in jeopardy, and the countess holds a note that the duke is not able to repay.
The duke has no choice but to agree to the betrothal.
But after happenstance finds them alone in an inn one night, Lacy and Darlington uncover a burning desire for one another. One that cannot be contained. When the countess discovers the tryst, Lacy is called out as a “sexual deviant” and sent off to an asylum.
Our lovelorn Duke Darlington must make a choice. Keep his family solvent and marry a woman he does not love, or risk everything to clear Lacy, and save her from torturous “cures” where she will never feel pleasure again. With a little help from the late earl’s valet, Darlington sets off on a daring rescue.
Secrets, trysts and back-room bargains!
The Marquess of Blackshire is a prominent wealthy peer with an enviable estate and a beautiful wife, Mathilde – who also happens to be the eldest of the Dragon Duchess clan from Blantyre Highmeadow.
Mathilde has given birth six times – all girls – and the marquess is longing for an heir. There is only one problem: the twelve year marriage has yet to be consummated due to issues that must never be spoken of. Through an underground network, the marquess has arranged sexual surrogates to impregnate his wife, but all have failed in his quest for a son.
Enter the viscount, La Gata, who will be sire number seven. La Gata is perfect for the job: unencumbered, discreet, fancy blood lines, and in need of money. Not only that, but, apparently, the viscount has an impressive track record when it comes to producing male bastards.
Mathilde is desperate to please her husband, longs for a son, and worries that this might be her final pregnancy – she is one Dragon Duchess who seeks contentment and harmony above all else.
But the magic that unfolds on the nights she spends with La Gata proves too powerful, and our poor marchioness falls deeply, passionately, in love. As for the viscount? He succumbs under the bewitching powers of the heart as well, despite his better sense.
When Lacy (from book one of the series) complicates matters with her worldly advice, all manner of chaos ensues, and well-tended secrets explode into potent truths.
In TIGHT LIPPED, book 2 of the Dragon Duchess series, scandal threatens to jeopardize the solidity of a close-knit family, and love hangs in the balance.
TIGHT LIPPED will be available in mid-September.