Take it away, Raven!
When I mentioned to Doris that I was writing a new Miss Simpkins' School for Seduction story, she did a weird dance around the room, and promised me grandson cuddles if I got on with it so she could 'redit' it. (For those of you who are going eh? A wee explanation. I'm honorary Granny to her youngest, and we go through each other's M/s before we sub them, and red pen—type—them. hence redit… okay yeah, well it works for us.) snort
I didn't need the cuddle incentive, but I took it anyway. Who wouldn't? Sticky, lovely, hugs and kisses from my boy… Yum!
So I sent her the first wee bit.
She said she loved it.
Then she nagged. Believe me, in the nagging stakes, she's a winner. Not that I needed it mind you. I so enjoy writing this series, and ohh (insert swooning noises here) Luke De Freitas is hawt…
Doris agreed when I showed her his description.
Dark hair, dark eyes and a washboard stomach…
I mean… I could all but see him sitting into my study next to me as I typed, telling me what was about to happen in 'his' book. He had more than a few run ins with me and Molly, over his attitude shall we say…
Not that Jane agreed all the time either. She's not the shy retiring widow people think. But she does have a problem…
Here's the blurb…
Take one virginal widow, add Molly Simpkins School of Seduction and one obliging gentleman, and what do you get? Scandal avoided and a virgin no more?
Molly Simpkins' School for Seduction has helped many ladies of the ton to achieve their hearts desires, so helping Lady Jane Nicholby ought to be easy.
However this young widow's deep, dark secret means she can never remarry for fear of the scandal it would cause. Widows are not supposed to be virgins, after all.
Fortunately, Molly knows just the person to help her change this state of affairs. Persuading Luke De Freitas to fall in with her plans, however, will require all of her considerable skill.
A spot of blackmail should do the trick quite nicely…
See? I had so much fun with these two. Well let's be honest, like I said I'm having so much fun with the whole series. Molly's story will be out next month, and then all five stories so far will be out in a paperback in August as well. Great stuff.
Any I reckon I'll give away a copy of Flora, Lydia, or Miranda to someone who comments and tells me what name they'd like me to use—male or female—in one of the next set of stories. (bear in mind it's Regency, so it needs to fit.)
And to get you into the fight frame of mind, here's a teaser…
(Luke is bored…and talking to his dog…)
He was almost in luck. Nursing a swollen jaw with a glass of brandy, which he decided was surely acceptable after the last few hours he’d had, Luke once more spoke to Bet. “Damned if it wasn’t worth this.” He gestured to his jaw. “I might have been taken for a fool, but not an incapacitated one. Rushton will be walking with a limp and a wince for a while now. How dare she?”
“Yes, well, I could almost accept she’d taken another lover, but not in the house I paid for. Anyway it’s over and the house goes on the market tomorrow.”
He’d taken great pleasure in bundling a naked Lady Matcham, and an equally naked Rushton onto the pavement surrounded by her dresses and furbelows. She’d cried, Rushton had cursed, and Luke had laughed. That was when a wild swing by Rushton had resulted in Luke’s sore jaw and Rushton’s aching balls.
Luke experienced so much enjoyment at the sight of Alicia Matcham trying to cover herself from the prying eyes of three potboys and the Watch that he failed to retaliate. In truth, he decided seeing Rushton’s swaying bits and bobs shrivel in the unseasonably chill evening air was enough punishment for the man. The nicely timed kick Luke gave him was the icing on the cake.
He had to hope no news of the fracas got back to his father, or indeed any member of the ton. Luckily, the house he’d purchased for his mistress and himself to enjoy their liaison wasn’t in the most fashionable area of town, and the contretemps had occurred when the ton was thin on the ground. Those who were in the capital were already out at their evening activities. Luke was more than glad he hadn’t bowed to Alicia’s pressure and purchased a dwelling in a fashionable square. With luck, all that would be known was he no longer had a mistress. He made a note to let it be put about he didn’t want another one. It was time for something deeper and more meaningful. Heaven help it, maybe time for a wife? He shuddered. Please, god no. Not when the one person he could have married would probably never speak to him again.
The sound of the knocker reverberated through the house, and Luke frowned. Who on earth would be calling at—he checked the clock that ticked away on the mantle—just shy of eleven at night? Most people would be at a ball, or in bed, even if it weren’t their own. He heard the measured tread of Cuthberts, his major domo, cross the hall and felt a pang of contrition. It seemed wrong that Cuthberts had to come upstairs from his own quarters, when Luke had dismissed him for the night. However, it would be useless to say so. Cuthberts had very rigid ideas regarding propriety, and Luke answering the door came nowhere near them. It was no surprise, therefore, when a few moments later there was a discrete knock on the study door. Bet stirred and woofed as she got to her feet, all guard dog. Heavens knew she’d probably lick an intruder to death.
Cuthberts put his head around the door. “Your face looks worse now, my lord,” he said in his usually punctilious manner. “And there is a lady to see you. A Miss Simpkins.”
“Molly?” Good lord had the news of his evening reached her already? “Show her in.”
Cuthberts disappeared to return a few seconds later to usher a very elegant Molly in. She turned full circle as Cuthberts bowed and left the room, and finally brought her gaze back to Luke.
“And how is the other man? Dead?”
He laughed. “He’s fine. He just can’t walk without a wince and looks like he’s second cousin to a newly made eunuch. Enough that if he can sing he’ll make Marchesi jealous at any rate.”
“Hmm. You are an idiot, Luke. I’d heard you’d turned a new leaf and were bored of mischief.”
“I am,” Luke said in a protesting voice. “But what would you have me do, if I find my mistress sharing her favors with another in my house? Step back and say ‘oh please continue and enjoy my hospitality both of you’? I think not.”
“No,” Molly agreed with him. “Oh dear. So this is the result?” She gestured at his face. “To be honest, I had thought you ended the arrangement with Lady Matcham weeks ago. She seemed to intimate it was so.”
“That says it all,” Luke replied and grimaced as the throb in his jaw increased. “She just failed to tell me. I was cuckolded well and truly.”
“Then she is the fool not you,” Molly said. “That, I think, may well work in my favor. If your cock and balls are in full working order?”
Luke howled with laughter, and winced as pain shot through his prick and into the rest of his body. Shaking wasn’t the way to go. “I don’t know. I have had no chance to try them out. Are you offering to help me?” He raised one eyebrow cautiously. As it gave him no extra pain, he followed it with a wink.
Molly stared at him. “In a way.”
Luke knew fine his jaw dropped, because it hurt like hades. It was Molly’s turn to laugh.
“Not personally, but I do have a proposition for you.”
He sat up in his chair. “What sort of proposition? I distrust that look Molly. What are you up to?”
“Very little other than running my school, and standing godmama to the Addersley twins. However, I have a student, for want of a better word, who must lose her virginity, and learn all the little nuances of good sex. Therefore she needs an expert. I thought of you.”
Luke wondered just what Molly had eaten in her dinner. Surely no one served opiates as a side dish?
“Molly, I don’t deflower virgins.” Not even when I had the chance. “Never have, never will, unless—god forbid—I marry.”
“Oh, I think you might this time, and you’ll be glad you did, especially when, after you agree, I tell you who she is.”
“No.” He may be cutting off his nose to spite his face, and wonder just who Molly thought he would be eager to despoil, but he had ethics. Or did he? His nosiness got the better of him. “Who?”
“Not unless I have your word you’ll do it.”
“Hell, Molly, she could look like the back end of a farmer’s nag and have a voice like Maria Moorcroft. It would deflate my cock faster than you could say quim. If I could get it up in the first place.”
“After, and remember just what I know about you. Duels, smuggling.... Need I go on?”
“Threats and blackmail, Molly?” He rose to tower over her. Instead of being intimidated, she stood next to him and ran her finger over his reddened and swollen skin, scraping her nails just enough to make him wince.
“No threats or blackmail, Luke. Just good, honest promises. I’ll see myself out. Oh, and you have twenty four hours to tell me what arrangements you’ve made.”
She left the room. Luke watched the door close slowly behind her. Maybe his ethics were not as solid as he thought. He proceeded to empty the brandy bottle.
After one half hearted yelp, Bet hid under the table.
That's Luke's dilemma…
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Well what can I say?
I'm growing old disgracefully and loving it.
Dh and I live on the edge of a Scottish forest, and rattle around in a house much too big for us.
Our kids have grown up and flown the nest, but roll back up when they want to take a deep breath and smell the daisies so to speak.
I write in my study, which overlooks the garden and the lane. I'm often seen procrastinating, by checking out the wild life, looking—only looking—at the ironing basket and assuring tourists that indeed, I'm not the bed and breakfast. That would mean cooking fried eggs without breaking the yolks, and disturbing the dust bunnies as they procreate under the beds. Not to be thought of.
Being able to do what I love, and knowing people get pleasure from my writing is fantastic. Long may it last.
Happy Reading, love R x
I'm off to get my cuddles…