The first two books in my Spies of Mayfair Series are now just $3.56.
I’m offering the third book in the series, WHAT A RAKE WANTS free on kindle or pdf to the first three to comment, in exchange for an honest review.
WHAT A RAKE WANTS – The Spies of Mayfair Series Book 3
(Lord Montsimon and Lady Althea Brookwood are forced to share a bed for the night.)
The attic room had a low, sloping ceiling. A green hook rug covered the floor and a jug, basin, and towels had been placed on the tall dresser. A straight-backed chair sat in the corner and the bed against the far wall. Mrs. Fletcher’s description of the bed had been accurate: the small wooden bedstead was covered in a bright quilt and not designed for two. Althea stared at it, her throat tight with dismay, as Montsimon shut the door. His nearness in the small space was overwhelming.
Seemingly unaffected, Montsimon peeled off his coat and sat on the feather-filled mattress, which sank visibly under his weight. He looked annoyingly at home. He tugged at his cravat then undid the buttons on his shirt to reveal a strong throat and a glimpse of dark chest hair. She took in the male strength, the cleanliness and beauty of him and turned away to fuss with her cloak before hanging it over the chair.
“Would you help me off with my boots?”
“I’m hardly a valet,” she said, sounding peevish.
“Not as strong, but we shall manage,” he said with a grin. His waistcoat joined his coat on the chair. How much was he going to remove? She wished her breath would slow.
Althea took hold of the mud-splashed, black leather Hessian boot and pulled. It didn’t budge.
“Perhaps a bit harder?”
Annoyed by his manner, she gave a violent yank. The boot slid down Montsimon’s well-defined calf so fast she fell onto her derriere on the hard plank floor.
“Are you all right?” Montsimon’s grin widened as he leapt up.
“Perfectly.” She waved his hand away and climbed to her feet, resisting a rub of the damaged area. “Your other foot if you please.”
“If you’re sure?” he asked with a burst of laughter.
With a dismissive scowl, she planted her feet and taking a firm hold of the boot, eased it down more gradually. It slid off his leg without further mishap. There was something disturbingly intimate about his broad chest encased in white linen, the form-fitting grey trousers and his big stockinged feet. Had she ever seen Brookwood this way? He always came to her chamber dressed in his banyan and slippers. And she had dreaded the sight of him.
Montsimon stood, ducking his head under a beam. “You’ll never manage that dress on your own.”
She crossed her arms. “I’m keeping it on.”
“Such a pretty gown was meant for a drawing room, not for sleeping in.”
“Nevertheless, I shall sleep in it.” She perched on the chair and took off her shoes.
He frowned. “Give me a look at those.”
“Why?” She handed them to him.
He turned a shoe over in his big hands. The sole of one had worn through. “These are about to fall apart. I had no idea you wore such flimsy shoes.”
“They are meant for drawing rooms, my lord. As is my dress.”
“That gown will look like a rag in the morning. As you have nothing else to change into, you will have to bear it until we return to London.”
Why did he so often make sense? She brushed down her skirts, which were already dreadfully crushed, and was forced to agree. She wasn’t a shy, green girl; she just didn’t want to inflame Flynn’s passions. It would take very little, she suspected. But her underwear covered her and was perfectly modest. “The bed is too small. A gentleman would sleep in the chair.”
His eyebrows flew up. “It’s made of wood.”
He flapped a hand in dismissal. “I intend to sleep in that bed, my lady. Where you choose to sleep is entirely up to you. I’m going downstairs to wash at the pump. While I’m away, you can undress and hide beneath the covers.” He paused, one hand on the doorknob. “Again, do you require help to undo those impossible little buttons at your back?”
“Odd that this problem didn’t occur to me when I chose to wear it.” Her lips puckered in annoyance. While they were arguing, what remained of the night was passing. She turned her back. “If you will.” If he treated her like a servant, she would do likewise.
Her hair had begun to escape the topknot, and she swept it up out of the way, scattering pins. She tingled under the gentle touch of his fingers as they moved down her back. Her gown fell away. “What are you doing?”
“Unlacing your stays. You can’t sleep in this uncomfortable garment!”
“I had intended to,” she said, pulling away as he tugged at the laces. Too late, she felt them give.
“You have lovely hair, Althea,” he said softly.
His use of her name was very seductive. Her pulse skittered alarmingly. She spun around, clutching the bodice of her dress to her chest as her stays slipped to the floor.
Montsimon looked her up and down, warm approval in his gaze.
She backed away from him, longing for the shelter of darkness. “Once I’m in bed, shall I blow out the candle?”
“If you wish.” Montsimon closed the door behind him.