A widow. A younger Man.
And a midnight visit to the wrong bedchamber.
Lady Asherton is proper, lovely and... lost. Widowed and just turned thirty -- her recent engagement promises an unexpected chance to become a mother at last.
The Marquess of Rockingham is gorgeous, exciting and loyal to his family. He's never met a woman he can't have and the world is at his feet.
He is young -- too young.
She's engaged -- to his uncle.
Two unlikely lovers are faced with a choice. Risk everything and embrace the passion of a lifetime or give in to society's expectations and endure the ashes of regret?
Lady and the Rake
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Series: Defiant Damsels
Book Number: 3 in the series
“I am so very sorry, My Lord.” Her whispered voice in the confined space immediately took him back to the previous night—throaty, emotional, and intimate in the darkness. “I needed to explain why… I’m not, I mean. I’ve never—” She halted in her explanation, seemingly at a loss for words.
“You’ve never…?” Sebastian was quite enjoying this.
“I beg of you not to tell anyone. It was a mistake. I never intended…”
“To climb into bed with me? But you did intend to climb into my uncle’s bed.” He wasn’t yet ready to take pity on her. “And, I believe, he would have been quite unsuspecting.”
“Mr. Kirkley, George, your uncle, that is… has asked me to marry him.”
Sebastian took a half step closer to her, eliminating all but a few inches between them. “Crowded in here, don’t you think?” In all honesty, he wasn’t that interested in talking about his uncle.
“I merely wanted to…” She drew in a frustrated breath. “Would you please do me the courtesy of taking me seriously? I am not the sort of woman… I…”
“Yes?” Surely, she hadn’t believed she must offer herself to Uncle George to secure his suit?
“I needed to make certain that he was able… that he was capable.” She exhaled loudly. “I needed to be certain he was not impotent.” And then she groaned.
Sebastian’s brow lifted at this revelation. “Uncle George?” It truly was an incredible notion.
“He is the kindest of gentlemen. Always considerate and treats me with the utmost respect—too much respect. I simply needed to be certain.”
“And you could only obtain such information by seducing him? You required physical proof?” Sebastian couldn’t help but wonder how his uncle would have responded.
And then he recalled how her naked body had felt pressed up against his own. Uncle George would have responded enthusiastically. If he didn’t, then he would have been a damned fool.
“It is not something a lady can simply ask a man outright, now is it?” She was beginning to sound more than a little irritated by his lack of cooperation.
“I suppose not,” Sebastian conceded, grinning in the dark.