“A good day to you, Saybrook. A bit early for tippling, don’t you think? But perhaps you’re drowning your sorrows over losing Lord Dulcie for your sister.”
Theo Pennington, Viscount Saybrook, set down his glass and glared at the gentleman who had so rudely interrupted his solitary perusal of the Times in the Coffee Room of White’s Gentleman’s Club. “Selsey. What nonsense are you babbling? Dulcie’s father and I are meeting later this week to iron out the details of the marriage settlements.”
“Dulcie’s father, yes. But will Dulcie agree? Fifty guineas says he’ll never show.”
Theo sat up in his chair, his eyes narrowing. He might drink like a fish, but he never gambled. And neither did Selsey—unless he was absolutely certain of winning.
“What have you heard, Selsey?”
“Ah, it’s not what I’ve heard, but what I’ve read,” Selsey said, tapping a finger aside his nose. “Haven’t taken a look at the betting book this morning, have you, Saybrook?”
Theo rose on none too steady feet—coffee was not the only beverage served in the Coffee Room—and made his way to the sideboard where the Club’s betting book lay open. There, below the bet about how soon the recently-widowed Lady Constance Wingfield would take a lover, and above the wager on how long before the new Lord Raikes would pass on his title (the previous five holders of which had all died within a twelvemonth of gaining it), he found the following:
Mr. L. Leverett wagers 500 guineas that sentiment for Benedict Pennington will prevent Viscount Dulcie from courting and stealing away Miss Polyhymnia Adler (and her dowry of Old Masters paintings) from the aforesaid B. P.
It was even worse than he’d thought. If Dulcie won this bet, he’d scuttle all Theo’s efforts to finally get his troublesome sister off of his hands. But if Dulcie lost, the wording of the wager implied it would only be because he harbored some highly irregular feelings for Theo’s brother.
Feelings, Theo worried, that Benedict was all too ready to return.
“Damnation!” he whispered under his breath as he slammed the book shut…
An honorable artist
Benedict Pennington’s greatest ambition is not to paint a masterpiece, but to make the world’s greatest art accessible to all by establishing England’s first national art museum. Success in persuading a reluctant philanthropist to donate his collection of Old Master paintings brings his dream tantalizingly close to reality. Until Viscount Dulcie, the object of Benedict’s illicit adolescent desire, begins to court the donor’s granddaughter, set on winning the paintings for himself . . .
A hedonistic viscount
Sinclair Milne, Lord Dulcie, far prefers collecting innovative art and dallying with handsome men than burdening himself with a wife. But when rivals imply Dulcie’s refusal to pursue wealthy Miss Adler and her paintings is due to lingering tender feelings for Benedict Pennington, Dulcie vows to prove them wrong. Not only will he woo her away from the holier-than-thou painter, he’ll also placate his matchmaking father in the process.
Sinner and saint—can both win at love?
But when Benedict is dragooned into painting his portrait, Dulcie finds himself once again drawn to the intense artist. Can the sinful viscount entice the wary painter into a casual liaison, one that will put neither their reputations, nor their feelings, at risk? Or will the not-so-saintly artist demand something far more vulnerable—his heart?
Publication date: September 16, 2018
ISBN (ebook): 978-0-9961937-6-4
ISBN (paperback): 978-0-9961937-7-1
Subgenre: Historical (Regency) romance; male/male romance
Page count: 352
Meet Bliss Bennet
Bliss Bennet writes smart, edgy novels for readers who love history as much as they love romance. Her Regency-set historical romance series, The Penningtons, has been praised by the Historical Novel Society’s Indie Reviews as “well worth following”; her books have been described by USA Today as “savvy, sensual, and engrossing,” by Heroes and Heartbreakersas “captivating,” and by The Reading Wench as having “everything you want in a great historical romance.” Her latest book is A Sinner without a Saint.
Despite being born and bred in New England, Bliss finds herself fascinated by the history of that country across the pond, particularly the politically-volatile period known as the English Regency. Though she’s visited Britain several times, Bliss continues to make her home in New England, along with her husband, daughter, and two monstrously fluffy black cats.
Bliss’s mild-mannered alter ego, Jackie Horne, writes about the intersection of gender and genre at the Romance Novels for Feminists blog.