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What is His Wife Up To?

Stonehurst’s eyes shone with mischief. “Your wife came to my establishment earlier. She offered me five guineas to f**k her.”

Deanswood spluttered and almost spat out his brandy. “She did what?”

Stonehurst leaned back and savored a second sip of his wine. “Do you want me to repeat it? After you’ve drawn everyone’s gaze? I didn’t take her money or screw her, of course. Let’s find somewhere to talk.”

Anger turned Deanswood’s features haughty and harsh. Fists curled, he glowered at his friend. Make that former friend. He’d rather beat Stonehurst senseless than talk. “You keep your bloody hands off her.”

All Deanswood had wanted was an heir and a spare. Instead, his wife barred him from her bed—unless a quick screw with no foreplay or kisses once a month counted. He’d rather have stayed single.

He’d dreamed of a wife with a warm smile and sweet nature. Curves that made his mouth water and his palms twitch would be a bonus. Leg-shackling himself to Alethea Allerton was the biggest mistake he’d ever made.

He should have made it clear that he expected to bear his children and submit to the occasional spanking. In return, he’d teach her about passion, bondage, and obedience. Until his mother-in-law collared him in the library, he’d been looking forward to his wedding night. His mother-in-law’s words had kyboshed that.

Stonehurst struggled to contain his laughter. “So, what really happened on your wedding night?”

“It’s none of your business,” Deanswood snapped.

Unabashed, Stonehurst grinned. “Your wife made it my business. Her dress sense is shocking. Is that why you couldn’t perform last night?”

Stonehurst was right. Alethea had involved him in the tangled mess of her marriage. “Did Alethea say I couldn’t… Of course, I could… Damn it, I don’t have to explain myself to you.”

“It might help to talk about it,” Stonehurst suggested.

Deanswood sighed. “Nothing else seems to. After I’d thrown Lady Babs out, my new mother-in-law collared me in the library. She read me an endless lecture on the sins of marital sex. I’d rather take a dressing down from Wellington than endure that again.”

Inwardly, Deanswood fumed. Why the hell had his wife waited until after the ceremony to send her mother to tell him she didn’t want sex? He supposed she was eager to get her grasping hands on his fortune.

When he learned his wife planned to cuckold him, his eyes narrowed and lips thinned in anger. A trip to Gentleman Jackson’s boxing salon beckoned. Going a few rounds with the champion might calm his soul.

Stonehurst’s teasing manner vanished, and he held up both hands, palm out. “I never touched her. We’re attracting too much attention. Walk with me.”

Deanswood had fought alongside Stonehurst in the Peninsular War and again at Waterloo. They’d shared too much to fall out over a woman. That said, Stonehurst enjoyed the earl’s discomfort far too much.

His Innocent Bride

Going about her mundane life in a small fishing village, Alethea never dreamed she would end up with a man like the Earl of Deanswood, yet when she caught the handsome gentleman’s eye he wasted no time in making her his wife. Unbeknownst to Alethea, however, her conniving mother has convinced Deanswood that she has no interest in the marital bed. Devastated by his seeming disinterest, Alethea searches for someone to instruct her in the ways of enticing a man.

When a friend informs Deanswood of Alethea’s plans, he decides to train his new bride himself. Soon enough, Alethea finds herself naked, blindfolded, and helplessly bound as she is thoroughly spanked and then brought to one blushing, quivering climax after another. But when Alethea’s life is threatened by her mother’s vicious scheming, can Deanswood protect his innocent bride?

Publisher’s Note: His Innocent Bride is a stand-alone novel which shares the Regency-era setting of Wickedly Used. It includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

More about Kryssie Fortune.

Kryssie reads everything and anything, from literary fiction to sizzling romance. Her earliest memory is going to the library with her mother. She can’t have been more than two at the time. Reading, especially when a book’s hot and explicit, is more than a guilty pleasure. It’s an obsession.

Kryssie loves to visit historic sites, from Hadrian’s wall to Regency Bath. The first book she fell in love with was Georgette Heyer’s The Unknown Ajax. After that, she devoured every regency book she could. After a while, they went out of fashion, but part of Kryssie’s psyche lives in in in Regency London. She longs to dance quadrilles and flirt behind fans. Of course, Kryssie’s heroines do far more than flirt.

Kryssie lives in Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast –about thirty miles from Whitby, where Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. She enjoys gardening, travel, and socializing with her author friends. You’d be surprised how many erotic romance authors live in the North of England.

He is awful! But we like him.

Lucinda! Dare I tell you what I heard the other day at my sister’s tea?

I shouldn’t spread such dastardly tales, but the news scarcely bears credence!

I know. I know. Come closer. We’ll sit in this corner near the doors to the garden and I will tell you. We don’t want everyone here to listen in. Why, I’d never forgive myself if such words got out and I was referenced as the one to have told the story!

Well, yes. Settled? No one around us. Hmm. So, here is the tale.

You’ve heard, I am certain, that the Marquess of Ridgemont has had a liaison for the past few months with a certain duchess. Yes, you have? Hmm. And that she is soon to be indisposed for the next six months? Yes. The duke is furious. But he knows not who to blame! Is it Ridgemont? Or perhaps Wales himself? Dastardly choice, isn’t it?

And now there is another problem. Ridgemont is to wed.

Well, yes, yes, everyone knows that. His mama and papa are quite insistent that he do. Finally, he must wed. But he tarries.

Oh, pardon me. I titter! He tarries and dallies, doesn’t he?

I mustn’t snort. So unladylike. Well! Onward with my tale!

Ridgemont is to wed. One of those American gels. The haughty sort. More money than any foolish woman should have. I must throw myself into the nearest ha-ha with outrage…but it is true. Glorious dark-haired, superbly sculpted Ridgemont must wed and get the American dollars he desperately needs.

I hear your question. Which girl, eh?

I do believe it is—

Oh, my! Why, Lord Ridgemont, I did not know you were here! How wonderful to see you!

The garden? With me? You’d like to walk among the roses?

Well. My, my. Let me open my fan. It is so stifling in this drawing room, isn’t it?

You won’t mind, Lucinda, will you, dearest, if I admire the roses with Ridgemont?

No, no, I won’t be but a few minutes.

What’s that, you say, my lord?

More than a few?

Ten, a least?

I say! How flattering and very exciting. Of  course, I will take your arm.

I’ll see you later, Lucinda. Don’t whisper a word of this, will you, my dear?

Thank you, thank you.

I am all yours, my dear Ridgemont!

For more about this spicy tidbit, do read SCANDALOUS HEIRESS, THOSE NOTORIOUS AMERICANS, Book 4, by Cerise DeLand.

For more about this spicy tidbit, do read SCANDALOUS HEIRESS, THOSE NOTORIOUS AMERICANS, Book 4, by Cerise DeLand.

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07LB9KFM9/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scandalous-heiress-cerise-deland/1130406401?ean=2940161284896 

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/scandalous-heiress-4

And do follow Cerise DeLand on Amazon and BookBub!

Best intentions can end in folly

Folly indeed! Not to worry dear reader for this correspondent will sort it out for you. The folly begins when Lady Cordelia “Delia” Rutledge and her family visit Sausmarez Manor on Guernsey Island in the fall of 1801. And why not? It’s the perfect stopover on their way to the continent for reasons that can only be discussed in confidence, but don’t worry. Secrets are safe inside Folly at Sausmarez Manor.

Lord Marshall Compton, Marquess of Daventry and archeologist extraordinaire, certainly isn’t aware of their visit until he offers to escort Lady Delia to see prehistoric ruins on the island. Even the best intentions can sometimes end in folly. This piece of chivalry is sure land him a fiancée he may not want, in-laws he can do without, and run-ins with the Russians. Or are they pirates? Another answer to be revealed in strictest confidence. One thing is sure. Marshall’s plans for an Indian expedition are definitely lost. Maybe.

Sausmarez Manor is home to Admiral James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez. It’s a little-known secret that Lady Delia’s father, the Earl of Deloraine, was put in charge of Nelson’s Band of Brothers. Ahem. Maybe that tiny on dit should be kept quiet. We certainly can’t have Little Boney getting wind of it.

Admiral Saumarez, Captain of the HMS Orion, has plenty of responsibilities with the naval activities and privateering going on in the region.

Not to worry on that account, dear reader. He’ll protect his home at any cost and Deloraine knows it. Saumarez’s Scandinavian ancestors have lived at Sausmarez since the 12th Century. In fact, it was only just repurchased back in 1748 using money from the capture of the world’s richest treasure ship to date. Hang on to your bonnets! That is an adventure on the high seas this correspondent will ferret out in due time. Saumarez will not lose his home again to the French, or anyone. After all, Sausmarez Manor is among the finest examples of Queen Anne Colonial architecture in all of Britain thanks to Sir Edmond Andros and his renovations.

All questions about the Folly at Sausmarez Manor are easily ascertained by following the links below. As for Deloraine and the admiral, they have work to do and thankfully for the admiral, the Rutledge girls and their mama are only there for a few weeks while they face tombs, witches, fairies, and pirates. Maybe.

A full account of the folly can be found here: Amazon   Kobo   BN   Google   iBooks

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Reunited at last, but can it last?

Can it be TRUE? Has the Viscount Deverall reunited with his long estranged wife? Lady Genevieve is well-known throughout the city for her selfless good work and perfect demeanor (if not for her fashion choices). The tall and graceful viscountess is an inspiration to young women, who are so flighty today, with their insistence on love-matches and their continued passion for French fabrics and styles (despite the fact that we are at WAR with France!). The charity which she operates, the Society for the Improvement of Friendless Children, has announced a large project which will house orphans who currently dwell in the city’s poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods, beset with crime and sin! 

            Lord Cameron, Viscount Deverall, is well-known for very different reasons, not least of which is his devastatingly handsome appearance and keen sense of style (even Brumell has offered praise!). However, his most famous exploits are too shocking for this news column to put into words. In order to spare the delicate constitutions of ladies who may be reading, I will not even hint of them. 

            For those unaware of the rumors (though they are more than rumors! No fewer than thirty members of the ton have confirmed what they saw that night!), Deverall embarrassed the new viscountess soon after their wedding in a most scandalous way (a mere three weeks into their marriage! And who WAS the unknown woman also seen that night?). Following the public transgression of a lord who should know better, the couple has not been seen together for nearly three years, and Deverall lives exclusively in his rented rooms near St. James Street. But perhaps things have changed!

            Last week, the viscount moved back into the townhouse where his viscountess has been keeping residence and maintaining the honor of her family’s name during the many years her husband has avoided all the duties of his role and title to instead dally with gamblers and the wort sort of characters. What lord puts pleasure above duty to such degree? To date, there is no heir (nor spare) to Deverall’s title! 

            What mysterious event could have occurred to cause Lady Genevieve to allow Lord Deverall back into their home? What silver lies did the admittedly charming lord spin to convince his wife to tolerate his presence? 

            If this couple can reconcile, all things may be possible. Perhaps the authorities can even capture the Black Mask, the criminal mastermind who has stolen thousands of pounds of jewelry from all over the city (not to mention a few ladies’ hearts!) And to think, I once feared the end of the Season would mean London would grow sleepy and dull!

            Even in the countryside, the potential for news beckons. It has been reported that the family of Lucien Bonaparte has purchased a grand estate in Worcestershire, where they will take up residence (still well guarded by the British army, for the estate and the nearby town represent the limit of the Bonaparte’s parole.).

            Any one of these situations may blossom into a real story. Indeed, this summer may be a season of revelations! Dear readers, I will deliver any scrap of knowledge that comes my way. 

Yours faithfully, 

Verity Truetale

Book Excerpt:

(From A Most Relentless Gentleman)

            The Season was nearly over. Summer was about to begin her reign over the city, though the warm air had not yet brought out the terrible stench of the Thames that would emerge in a few weeks. Now it was actually pleasant, the air soft and the evening light of the sky filtering through newly leafy trees. 
            As he got closer to his destination, Cameron opened the letter again. Three years of nothing, and now this. In the solitude of the carriage, he allowed himself to speculate. Was it possible Genevieve was as sick of this separation as he was? Or was her family applying some pressure to live up to expectations?
            The carriage clattered to a halt in front of a familiar house. A golden glow seeped from all the lower windows. As he strode up the walk, he heard the faint sounds of laughter and talk. Gen was entertaining. He was vaguely annoyed at the idea of her happily toasting guests after she penned a letter implying that the sky was falling.
            He knocked once, also annoyed by that. A man shouldn’t have to knock on his own front door.
            The door opened. The mouth of the maid also opened as she stared at him in shock.
            Cameron stepped inside. “Where is my wife?”
            “In the dining room…my lord,” the maid squeaked out. “Shall I…shall I announce you?”
            “Who else is in the dining room?”
            “The whole board of the Society for the Improvement of Friendless Children, my lord. And their spouses.”
            Cameron curled his lip in disdain. “Just tell her I’m waiting in her study.”
            The maid nodded, finally regaining her composure. “Yes, my lord.”
            Cameron showed himself into the study. He looked at the expansive walnut desk, the surface covered with documents and ledgers. On the wall hung several framed charcoal drawings of no artistic merit. Children could have done better, he thought, before realizing that children probably were the artists and these were gifts to their greatest patron. 
            He leaned toward one, a crude rendering of Genevieve herself. Despite the rough medium and the scant talent of the creator, something of Genevieve was in that drawing. The remarkable height, the dark hair, the direct gaze of the avenging angel.
            “What are you doing here?”
            At the sound of the voice, Cameron turned to the door, where the real Genevieve stood. The drawing faded into nothing. There she was. Tall, slender, with the dark hair curled and pinned atop her head with only a silk ribbon as an adornment—she needed no other. He took in the rest of her in a glance, and then had to do more than glance, because her gown demanded it. The neckline dipped enticingly low, treating him to an expanse of soft skin that no one but him should ever see. 
            And yet. Here she was, evidently thinking she looked perfectly acceptable to appear before the gaze of the entire board of the Society for the Improvement of Friendless Breasts.
            “I asked you a question, my lord.” Genevieve crossed her arms. He saw her left hand as she wrapped it around her elbow. No ring. He added another item to the list of things that were annoying him, along with the fact that his breeches were suddenly a little too tight.
            Cameron had to say something. 
            “Genevieve.”
            He probably should have said something wittier than that. 
            She narrowed her eyes. “Why. Are. You. Here?”

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Will the orphan thaw her frozen heart?

Ophelia Breckensole linked her elbow with her twin’s as they sauntered into the parlor. “Gabriella, did you see the way the Duke of Sheffield looked at Everleigh last evening?”

“Indeed. Like a man completely awestruck.I didn’t think he was capable of any expression except a scowl.” Chuckling, Gabriella sat on the brocade settee. One finger on her chin, she cocked her  head. “And for once, our dear cousin didn’t turn her frigid glance on another befuddled swain.” Brow arched, she gave a sage nod. “That’s very telling, dearest.”

“It was the child, you know.” Ophelia settled on the cushion beside her sister, pushing a ridiculously frilly pillow aside as she made herself comfortable. “The moment Everleigh picked the little imp up and the child stopped wailing, I could tell she was smitten.”

“Sheffield could too. I had no idea he’d adopted an orphan—one from India, no less,” Gabriella said as she poured their tea.

Setting the silver teapot down, she considered Everleigh beyond the diamond-paned windows. She strolled the lawns with the duke’s ward toddling along beside her, their hands clasped. A moment later, his grace ambled into view.

“I wonder…” Gabriella pulled her brows together in thoughtful contemplation.

Ophelia followed the direction of her sister’s focus. “We could help them along. They’ll both be here for the house party’s duration.”

Gabriella sighed and shook her head. “Everleigh would never permit it. I believe she’s truly sworn off men.” She pressed her mouth into a tense line. “’Tis no wonder, considering the vile creature she was forced to marry. I doubt anyone shed a tear when he met his violent end. I know Everleigh didn’t.”

“True, but she’s still young, and just look how magnificent she is with the little darling.” Ophelia dropped two lumps of sugar into her cup. Slowly stirring her tea, she murmured, “She so wanted children of her own.” She stopped stirring and pulled her spine straight.

Everleigh was laughing at something the duke said. Actually laughing.

And the duke?

Well, he looked about to gobble up their beautiful cousin.

“Gabriella?”

“Yes?” Her twin pulled her attention back inside the cozy parlor.

Angling her head toward the frost outlined windows, Ophelia permitted a self-satisfied smile. “What if we drop a hint or two or three in the duke’s ear on the best way to woo our cousin?”

A December with a Duke

Seductive Scoundrels Book 3

He’s entirely the wrong sort of man. That’s what makes him so utterly right.


After a horrific marriage, widow Everleigh Chatterton is cynical and leery of men. She rarely ventures into society, and when she must, she barely speaks to them. Her one regret for refusing to marry again is that she’ll never bear children. As a favor to a friend, she reluctantly agrees to attend a Christmas house-party. Unfortunately, Griffin, Duke of Sheffield is also in attendance. Even though Everleigh has previously snubbed him, she can’t deny her attraction to the confident, darkly handsome duke.


For almost a year, Griffin has searched for the perfect duchess to help care for the orphan he’s taken on. He sets his sights on the exquisite, but unapproachable widow after her sweet interactions with the child impress him. Everleigh vows she’s not interested in him or any other man. But Griffin is convinced he can thaw her icy exterior and free the warm, passionate woman lurking behind the arctic facade. Only, as he pursues her, it’s his heart that’s transformed.


Can Everleigh learn to trust and love again? Will Griffin get his Christmas wish and make her his bride? Or, has he underestimated her wounds and fears and be forced to let her go? 

Excerpt

For the second time that night, Everleigh stopped on the last riser.

 He truly didn’t know?

“Yes, my daughter, Meredith.”

She touched the locket again. A lock of wispy, thistle-down soft white hair lay tucked inside. Struggling to wrestle her grief into submission, she focused on the long case clock’s pendulum swinging back and forth.

She paced her breathing with the slow tick-tock for a handful of rhythmic beats.

Did a parent ever recover from the loss of a child?

No. Life just took on a new reality. 

“Tomorrow is the three-year anniversary of her death.”

Why had she shared that?

The Duke of Sheffield did the most startling, the most perfect thing in all the world.

He drew her into his arms and held her. He didn’t offer condolences or advice. He didn’t try to change the subject or pretend he hadn’t heard her at all.

He simply offered her comfort, and it felt so utterly splendid, just allowing someone to hold her. Someone who permitted her to show her grief for a child conceived in the worst sort of violation and violence, but who had been adored nevertheless.

For this brief interlude, Everleigh didn’t have to be strong. Didn’t have to maintain her frigid façade, and it was wonderful to be herself. That almost brought her to tears as well.

What was more astonishing was she wasn’t afraid of his touch.

How long had it been since she didn’t flinch when a man touched her?

They stood chest to chest and thigh to thigh in intimate silence for several moments until the clocked chimed the quarter hour, interrupting the tranquility. They really must join the others for dinner, or God only knew what sort of unsavory tattle might arise.

“Thank you for your kindness, Your Grace.”

She disengaged herself, more aware of him as a man than she’d any business being.

He simply nodded, though the amber starburst in his eyes glowed with a warmth she couldn’t identify.

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