I can’t begin to say how excited I am that I have a new regency out. I’m even plotting out new spin off titles for this book.
Before I share a teaser specifically for my blog readers, just wanted you to know of a couple of giveaways that are going on.
There’s a release day event live on my Facebook page with opportunities to win this title, so be sure not to miss out on that. In the event that you do, I am running another exclusive giveaway for my newsletter subscribers. If you’re interested in seeing what the hype is all about, then sign up and for the latest newsletter and read the current edition here.
And without further ado…
Here’s your exclusive teaser:
Evan was nearly out of breath by the time he caught up to Lady Winston.
“Eliza! Please. Wait,” he called out, but she kept on walking. What could he have possibly have done to offend her that she wouldn’t give him the courtesy?
The stopped and turned around. “I thought I heard someone calling me, though I can’t imagine why you would. You seemed quite cozy with that woman in the shop.”
“So, you did see me. Are you jealous, my dear?”
“I am not, and if you haven’t read the latest news, you would know that the woman you were with went dreadfully out of her way to try and scare off any competition.”
He frowned. So, she had read the paper, just as his mother and sister, which turned into the most painful discussion over breakfast.
Not only did he come to Eliza’s defense, but so did his sister, which was quite unexpected, especially after only meeting once. Their mother simply excused herself, and a servant followed with her dish back to her room.
“You may recall me telling you that I have no plans of making that woman my countess, much less a mistress. I had a brief affair with her before her husband passed, and ended things when I realized she kept a few men on the side. Not exactly something to be proud about.”
“I see. What exactly will following me home accomplish, my lord?”
“Eliza, do you really want me to go over this with you in the middle of the street? Or would you accept a ride home in my carriage where we can discuss things privately?”
He watched a flurry of emotions cross her face. Anger, disappointment, and resolve.
“I accept your offer for a ride, but you should know it is all I will be accepting for the time being.”
Evan couldn’t believe she’d been so blunt. The woman was clearly exasperated, and perhaps jealous, but there was no reason to be. The only woman he wanted was her, and now she would have nothing to do with him over that business with Amelia.
They walked in silence to his carriage. He noticed Amelia stood concealed around the corner, but he knew she was there. The woman would not be sated until the whole scandal was exposed. She would also, no doubt, expose Annabelle’s conundrum and try to bring the whole lot of them crashing down; not that it would work.
His family ranked higher than hers, not to mention respectability. He and his sister would survive these waves, but not his mama. The woman would have an apoplectic fit. Perhaps it was time he moved her into the dower house. She could retain all her servants, but as far as daily operations went of the family estate, she would no longer interfere.
He assisted Eliza in who sat across from him with her hands folded in her lap.
“Will you continue to be silent with me? Is this how it will be then?” he asked.
“I have no idea what you are talking about, Evan. I simply have too much on my mind.”
He surmised that the paper would have added to her uneasiness of becoming reacquainted with society, yet he had no idea what would still be upsetting her beyond that.
“Well, if polite conversation is something you are looking for then I should like to remark on the weather. Oh, and I posted a letter to your sister telling her I had a fine time. I would dearly love to spend time with her again, but I will be returning to the cottage much sooner than expected.”
She was leaving him. Why? Had he gone too far in the corridor at the theater? Or did she have a row with her cousin over her absence last night. None of this added up.
All he could muster was, “Why?”
“If you must know, I’m not one for competing, much less for a man’s affection. As well, it would appear my cousin has been keeping a secret all these months while in seclusion. I simply do not wish to inconvenience, nor be the reason why a scandal explodes for all the ton to ridicule.”
He leaned back in his seat and watched her in silence. “Are you sure this has nothing to do with my kissing you in here and then again in the hall of the theater?”
Her cheeks reddened.
She put up her hand. “Stop. We shall never discuss those moments again. It is abundantly clear I simply do not live to the standard of society. Toss in the matter that you cannot even provide me with an honest answer where you disappeared to while at the opera last night; we are obviously ill matched.”
Evan sighed. He could not tell if he was coming or going in her presence. She was put out with him. Though he had not the slightest notion of how to rectify the matter.
Before he could invite her out again the carriage stopped. She rose to see herself out, but he reached for her arm and tugged her onto his lap.
“I have no idea how or why I’m so drawn to you, but do not leave me in such a way. I adore you,” he said. “Desire you. There is not a moment that doesn’t go by where I don’t think of you. Tell me how I can make amends.”
She wriggled in his lap which he wished she didn’t; the blasted woman was making him hard with need.
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