Fans of Eloisa James & Julia Quinn discussion

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Monday Puzzler > 6th February 2017

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Aly is so frigging bored | 845 comments Mod
I think this author is underrated. Hope you enjoy!

The door to his study flew open with such force it actually hit the paneling on the opposite wall.
No knock, no request for permission to enter. Unprepared for such an invasion, HERO glanced up, startled. His secretary, built like a lanky scarecrow, jumped up so fast he toppled over his chair. Rising politely to his feet a little more slowly, HERO registered the angry flush on his wife’s smooth cheeks as she came into the room with an expression that promised imminent disaster. He said as smoothly as possible, “Good afternoon, my dear.”
“Here.” Marching straight to his desk, she dumped a book on top of the pile of correspondence he’d been going over.
What the devil is going on now?
HEROINE wore a light peach-colored gown, the fashionable style demure but still clinging suggestively to her enticing curves, and her beautiful eyes fairly flashed vivid anger. Realizing whatever the trouble might be he was not particularly in favor at the moment, HERO cleared his throat and said abruptly, “_____, you may go now. And please, if you will, close the door behind you.”
The young man complied with almost comical haste, and when the door clicked shut, HERO said in a cool tone, “It is quite apparent you are angry with me over something, but you know I dislike displays of emotion in front of the servants, HEROINE.”
“You dislike displays of emotion at any time, Your Grace,” his pretty wife informed him with open sarcasm, “but I thought I could reform you. I suppose that was my mistake, for all I received in return for my considerable efforts was your distrust.” Distrust. The light dawned and he cursed silently at Hudson and Sons for not keeping up their part of the bargain and staying invisible.
This was somewhat of a disaster.
“Reform me?” He stared, taken aback by the shimmer of tears in her eyes.
She put her hands on the top of his desk, and HEROINE leaned forward slightly, her fury evident.
“Did you hire someone to follow me, HERO? Did you actually think I might be having an affair with another man?”
Relief flooded through him, for it was obvious her outrage was very real. The notion she was gaining sexual knowledge by leaps and bounds in someone else’s bed was driving him more insane with jealousy each day. It was his turn to flush slightly, his cravat feeling suddenly tight.
“Perhaps we should sit down and discuss this calmly.”
“No.” Her soft mouth set in a stubborn line, HEROINE shook her head. “I do not feel calm at all and refuse to pretend otherwise. Unlike you, I am perfectly willing to let others see I have emotions.”
“I have always been reserved, HEROINE,” he said stiffly, the implied criticism in her tone stinging more than a little. “You knew that before you accepted my proposal of marriage. I am sorry it disappoints you.”
“You are more than reserved, sir, you are stuffy.”
“Stuffy?” HERO slowly lifted a brow. The accusation was said with such scathing inflection, he felt as if she’d slapped him. “I see.”
What was worse, he deserved it. A part of him almost wished she would take the satisfaction and go ahead and hit him.
“Yes, but you were improving, thanks to this.” She pointed at the book lying amidst his scattered papers.
What the hell was she talking about?
For the first time, he glanced down and registered the title, etched in scarlet letters on the leather cover. “Good God,” he muttered, “where on earth did you get this?”
“Does it matter where I found it? What matters is that it has been very informative.” He managed to stop himself from pointing out to his gorgeous bride that no lady of breeding should read the work of a loose woman who at one time made a living of selling her sexual favors and then had the audacity to publish details about her exploits. Instead he registered HEROINE’s statement with discomforting insight. “Why”—he managed to keep his tone conciliatory only with the utmost control—“did you think you needed to be so informed?”
“Because I have no intention of ending up like Lord Farrington’s wife and forced to meet you at the opera with your mistress on your arm.”
With a touch of relieved exasperation, he declared, “HEROINE, I do not have a mistress.”
“That is nice to know.” Her lower lip quivered slightly and she took a deep breath. “But what about the future? You have pointed out to me often enough the lack of fidelity in aristocratic marriages, and I have ears and hear the gossip. I do not ever want you to seek another woman’s bed because you find mine boring.”
She looked so adorably sincere HERO had to stifle the urge to haul her promptly into his arms and assure her in the most physical way possible she was in no danger of his desiring anyone else. However, he had a feeling his attentions wouldn’t be met with unbridled enthusiasm at the moment. First he needed to repair the damage.
He cleared his throat. “I can appreciate that sentiment about infidelity for I have been driving myself insane, wondering where on earth you were learning such adventurous techniques. Forgive me for even harboring a doubt, but it was logical to assume someone was tutoring you, and it wasn’t me.”
Her lashes lowered as she narrowed her eyes. “No, not you. Of course not you. You did not so much as remove my nightdress when we made love for the first few months, HERO.” It was true, a fact that held a certain level of mortification for him, especially coming from a young woman who had taken it upon herself to improve their sexual relationship.
Damn all, she was his wife. He was only attempting to be polite and protect her sensibilities.
“I was trying to be a gentleman.” He felt defensive—for what he’d done, and what he had wanted to do were two entirely different things, and his self-denial had been for her benefit.
“Lady ________ says there are no ladies or gentlemen in bed.”
“Is that so?” Moving to lean one hip on the surface next to him, he crossed his arms over his chest and stared at his wayward wife, recalling the outrageously pleasurable interludes he’d recently enjoyed as she followed the advice in the notorious book. “I take it, since you sought to change matters, I was the one you found boring.”
Silence. No denial. Now that was flattering.
Color spread up her graceful throat to stain her cheeks. Still standing on the other side of the desk, she admitted, “Not boring, for I enjoy it every time you touch me, but something was missing. What happened between us in bed was pleasurable, but not exciting.” He felt like a fool. She was perfectly right. “You wish excitement, I take it?”
“Only with you, HERO, for I love you. But, yes, I suppose I find it more exciting when you lose some of that formidable control and show how much you desire me.” Her gaze was utterly sincere, and he couldn’t help but feel humbled.
Ashamed of himself in many ways, but humbled. Still, how was he to know she had a copy of that outrageous book?
“HEROINE—”
“I am not,” she announced as if she truly meant it, “currently speaking to you.”


Stacey is Sassy (staceyissassy) | 1221 comments I haven't read it but I can take a wild guess who wrote it. :-)


message 3: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (cvenable16) | 136 comments Loved this one!


message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments Hmmmmm no clue?!


message 5: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1876 comments Mod
No idea.


message 6: by Janice (new)

Janice | 30 comments No idea either, but this is right up my alley...can't wait for the reveal.


message 7: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1124 comments No clue but I am intrigued!


message 8: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
I'm clueless, but I will be interested in the reveal.


message 9: by Phoenix77 (new)

Phoenix77 | 346 comments I've got no idea (and cheating using Google didn't work either). I'm very eager for the reveal tomorrow.


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 981 comments Yes, I read this one. The "stuffed Duke" becomes more human after this argument.


message 11: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2057 comments Mod
I am guessing it's one of two series...


message 12: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments No clue, but I like it. Can't wait for the reveal.


Aly is so frigging bored | 845 comments Mod
I;m curious to see if any of you guys were right :)

The answer is Lessons From a Scarlet Lady (Northfield, #1) by Emma Wildes Lessons From a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes


message 14: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1124 comments ooh I've never read any of Emma Wildes!
going to go look her up now!


Aly is so frigging bored | 845 comments Mod
She writes very good books. Some of them are erotic romances set in historical times. What I've read so far I liked


message 16: by Calila (new)

Calila Oh i loved that book.


message 17: by Janna (new)

Janna MacGregor | 30 comments I'm reading it right now, and loving it! Thank you, Aly, for posting this one.


Aly is so frigging bored | 845 comments Mod
Calila wrote: "Oh i loved that book."

Same here Calila!


Janna wrote: "I'm reading it right now, and loving it! Thank you, Aly, for posting this one."

I'm glad you like it Janna!


message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 634 comments Another book to add to my every-growing list


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Lessons From a Scarlet Lady (other topics)

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Emma Wildes (other topics)