Seduction of an Earl – Excerpts

Today, Linda is sharing excerpts from The Seduction of an Earl, one of her romances from The Daughters of the Aristocracy series. Enjoy!

earl book cover.indd

EXCERPT 1
Sighing, Hannah moved back to a chair near the fireplace. Her abandoned needlework lay on the chair cushion, and her dog, Harold MacDuff, lay napping on the floor directly in front of the chair. Rather than insist he lift his huge body and move it so that she could retake her seat, Hannah directed her attention to the piano-forté. Music would do her spirits some good, she decided. Rifling through the sheets of music she’d picked out at Birchall’s the week before, she pulled out a few and began to play. 

So engrossed was she in studying the music she played, Hannah was unaware of the visitor who stood on the threshold of the parlor. It wasn’t until she completed a selection by Bach and was moving a new sheet of music into place that she noticed her father’s caller. “Oh!” she managed as a hand went to the top of her bosom.

“Brava, my lady.” Henry bowed deeply, not wanting to take his eyes off the beauty at the piano-forté. He did so to complete the courtesy. Then he had to force himself to breathe. Lady Hannah was far more beautiful up close than she had appeared in the garden the night before. The pink muslin gown she wore complemented her skin as well as her figure, the bodice fitted enough to display the fullness of her breasts. With her slender arms and long fingers uncovered, it was apparent to Henry she had long since left the schoolroom. Twenty, perhaps, he thought as he allowed his gaze to rest on her face. Had Devonville mentioned her age? If so, he couldn’t remember. His brain was suddenly a bit addled.

Hannah stood up from the piano bench and curtsied. Where was Harold? And why hadn’t he warned her there was a man awaiting her attention? She dared a quick glance at the fireplace and saw that the hairy beast still napped in front of her chair. Some guard dog you are, she thought with a bit of annoyance. As if reading her thoughts, Harold opened one eye for a moment before yawning and closing it again. “Thank you, my lord. I’m afraid it’s the first time I’ve played that piece …”

“And yet you played it perfectly. Bach himself would have to agree, I’m sure,” Henry stated with a nod as he moved toward her. He stopped directly in front of her and reached for her hand. Lifting it, he brushed his lips over the back of the knuckles. Even her hands are beautiful, he thought as he held the one a bit longer than propriety would allow. “Henry Forster, Earl of Gisborn,” he said by way of introduction.

Hannah blushed, the pink spreading over her cheeks in an instant. “You are too kind,” she answered, daring to return the man’s gaze. Gisborn? That made no sense. The Earl of Gisborn was an old fart of an earl. A wrinkled, disagreeable, mean old man. So old he was … dead, she suddenly realized.

And this man was his heir.

 EXCERPT 2
Slowly, Henry stepped into the scented water, making sure one foot was secure on the bottom of the tub before bringing his other foot up and into the tub. Hannah’s body moved forward, her head leaning to one side as she dozed. Henry lowered himself behind her, his arms along her back and gently pushing her so her knees bent a bit more. His own legs folded on either side of her body as he lowered himself to sit behind her.

Wrapping one hand around her waist, he pulled her body back against his and watched with barely contained lust as Hannah’s head lolled onto his chest. The scent of honeysuckle caught in his nostrils. He breathed deeply, the inhalation interrupted when he noticed her bare breasts. Their curves were just above the surface of the bubble-topped water, her rosy nipples beautifully on display. No longer in the warm water, they tightened into ruched buds. Kissable buds.

At that moment, Henry wanted nothing more than to reach down with his lips and kiss one of those nipples. Or both, really. And ever so slowly pull them into his mouth and suckle each until she was crying in pleasure and wet and ready for him. His cock hardening at the thought, he had to readjust Hannah’s body as it rested against him. She stirred and her head rolled to the other side of his chest, leaving the side of her neck fully exposed. Lowering his lips to the space under her ear, he ever so carefully kissed her. His tongue reached out and captured her earlobe, his lips closing over it to suckle it as lightly as he could manage given his odd position. Hannah’s slight moan spurred him to move his mouth down her neck, his kisses continuing as he sipped and suckled the skin there. In order to kiss the tops of her breasts, though, he would be forced to move her body slightly to one side. One arm cradled her side as he used the other to pull her closer.

Perhaps his lips came down too hard on the mounded curve of her breast, or perhaps the chill of her breasts being entirely out of the water roused her. Whatever it was, Hannah was suddenly wide awake.

And had there been anyone else with a bedchamber on the second floor, they would have been as well.

EXCERPT 3

“And how is George?” Hannah wondered, noticing the maid rolling the tea cart over the threshold. “Thank you, Rose, I can serve this morning,” she said as an aside. Normally, she would allow the maid to do the honors, but she knew her friend would not speak freely with a servant in the room. 

 Cocking her head to one side, Elizabeth grinned but didn’t say anything. Hannah’s eyes grew wide. “Oh! What have you two done now?” she wondered as she leaned forward to pour the tea. There was something positively salacious about having a friend who shared tales of her sexual exploits. Despite the embarrassment she felt at hearing them described in such detail, Hannah found herself looking forward to Elizabeth’s tales.

“Characters from storybooks,” Elizabeth offered, not immediately elaborating on just what she meant.

Hannah handed over a cup and saucer and poured one for herself, adding milk and sugar. “Like Cinderella and her Prince Charming?” she guessed.

A very unladylike snort erupted from Elizabeth. She lifted one foot from the floor and pulled up her gown to reveal her unfashionably large feet. “I think not,” she replied with a shake of her head. “And I’m not about to be an ugly stepsister. No, my dear, more like …” And here, she paused, for there were times her friend could be a bit of a prude, and she dared not shock the poor girl too much. Given Hannah’s appearance – she was the one who looked like a fairy princess with her cornflower blue eyes, berry colored lips, pale complexion and pale blonde hair pinned up in a mass of curls atop her head and wispy ringlets scattered about her temples – she would have been the perfect person to play the damsel-in-distress captured by a fire-breathing dragon. George, with his finely honed skill at fencing, slew the dragon, used the tip of his sword to deftly remove every last button from Elizabeth’s new French chiffon gown, and then, despite her swollen belly, had his way with her.

Her maid was, at this very moment, sewing all the buttons back onto the gown.

“Oh!” was all Hannah could say when Elizabeth described the scene.

EXCERPT 4
“So, I was wondering. Why is it Miss Inglenook and Nathaniel don’t live here at Gisborn Hall?” Hannah wondered.

Before Mrs. Batey could even begin to respond, Mrs. Chambers stepped forward. “I’ll tell you why,” she announced, a rather grim look on her face.

“Mrs. Chambers!” the housekeeper tried to admonish her.

“She’s too independent,” the cook continued, as if she hadn’t heard the housekeeper. “Always was. Why, she wouldn’t even live in the dower house exceptin’ as the old earl required her to as long as Nathan was living with her. The old earl adored that kid.”

Hannah regarded the cook in surprise. “But, where would she live if she didn’t have the dower house?”

The housekeeper leaned forward, keeping her voice very low. “His lordship would see to a house for her in the village, of course,” she remarked. “They used to have one on the outskirts of Bampton after the boy was born.”

“His lordship had to come back from Oxford every few days back then, to see to the girl,” Mrs. Chambers added, wiping her hands on a towel. “But he still saw to his studies, even after the babe was born. Finished near the top of his class, he did.”

Listening to the two women talk of Henry’s earlier life brought a smile to Hannah’s face. “He did right by her, at least,” she offered, wondering why the cook would seem upset with Sarah’s independent streak.

“And he would have married her, but the girl wouldn’t have him. Thought he was too …”

“Mrs. Chambers!” The housekeeper gave the cook a quelling look. “I’m sure the countess is well aware of her husband’s traits.”

* * * *

Remember to enter Linda’s giveaway for a chance to win great prizes:

  • Five  Ebook copies of The Seduction of an Earl
  • Two Paperback copies of The Seduction of an Earl
  • One Complete Paperback Set – The Daughters of the Aristocracy
PLEASE NOTE: Entry is open to all readers but only US residents will be eligible for paperback prizes.

To enter, you must leave a comment on any of Linda’s blog posts at Seasons of Love this week. You can also get more entries by tweeting about the giveaway each day, or by following Linda at Twitter and Pinterest. Facebook visitors, be sure to like Linda’s page for The Seduction of an Earl. All links and information are provided in the giveaway form.

Linda’s Fantastic Giveaway – Daughters of the Aristocracy

Giveaway will close at 6:00 AM (CST) on Sunday, February 9.

* * * *

I want to thank Linda for being my guest author at Seasons of Love. 

Tomorrow, I’ll be announcing the winners of her giveaway, plus sharing links on where to buy The Seduction of an Earl  and other “Daughters of the Aristocracy” romances. 

Thank you, again, Linda, for being my guest this week.

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2 Comments

  1. This sounds like a fantastic book! I’m going to be adding it to my TBR list for sure!

    • Did you enter Linda’s giveaway? She’ll be giving away The Seduction of an Earl, and other books, too. Thanks so much for dropping by. 🙂

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