Title: Mad About the Major
Series: Bachelor Chronicles, Book 8
Author: Elizabeth Boyle
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance
Follow the tour
The pampered daughter of a duke . . .
Lady Arabella Tremont has spent her entire life protected and overshadowed by her restrictive father. But she is a Tremont, after all, and the morning after she is nearly ruined at a ball by a handsome stranger, Arabella’s father demands she make an arranged match with an heir to a dukedom. In desperation, Arabella takes matters into her own hands.
Takes a London holiday with the most unsuitable of chaperones . . .
Other books in this series
Arabella blinked and tried to make sense of what was happening. Truly, he needn’t promise such a thing. He’d already made good on that pledge.
She was utterly surprised. No, make that shocked.
“All that is left to do is slip off that mask of yours, so I can see the beauty that has all of London in your thrall,” he said, as his fingers reached behind her head to untangle the ties holding it in place. “Tomorrow morning, after I’ve discovered every delectable, delightful corner of your divine body, will you perhaps tell me what happened to Mr. Spenser?”
Mr. Spenser? There had been a Mr. Spenser? Arabella couldn’t help herself, she smiled. That was quite contradictory to what Lady Davinia had claimed the other day at her mother’s afternoon in.
They call themselves Mrs. This or Mrs. That, but there never was a “mister.” None whatsoever, Davinia had told her avid audience. And Lady Davinia would know. Her brother was the worst sort of libertine.
At least that was what Aunt Josephine had said at the breakfast table the next morning. She might have said more on the subject if Papa hadn’t shushed her.
Mr. Spenser! Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to steal a march on that gossipy Lady Davinia and tell her there was a Mr. Spenser.
Meanwhile, her erstwhile seducer was continuing to outline his plans for their evening, while his fingers did their best to untie her mask.
As he described his sensual ambitions for the hours to come, starting with how he was going to remove her gown, Arabella’s eyes widened and her mouth fell open.
Such things were possible? And here she’d always thought that book Thalia Langley had passed around Miss Emery’s had been naught but French nonsense.
Yet here was this gentleman offering to do exactly that and more.
More so, from the look in his eye. The odd shiver that ran down her spine all the way to that spot between her legs at the very thought of such intimacy made Arabella realize it must be very possible.
And very pleasurable.
In that instant, she saw the man before her naked—well, she could imagine that. She had, after all, seen the Elgin Marbles. But now she saw that perfect masculine form in a new light. In the flesh, warm and hot, covering her, his lips caressing her skin, his tongue sliding over her, leaving a heated, wet trail, until he came right down to her…
“Oh, my heavens,” she whispered as her body tingled with a dangerous anticipation.
He’d finished untying the knot and was slowly working the strings away from her carefully arranged hairdo. “Come now, Mrs. Spenser, don’t be coy with me. However can you blush so—when I have no doubt you are as eager to see if I can hold up my end of the bargain as I am to prove it.” With that, he caught hold of her hand and was about to place it on his…
No, not there…
Arabella snatched her fingers back and found her voice. “Sir! What is wrong with you? I am not Mrs. Spenser!”
Even as she said the words, he had succeeded in freeing her mask and it fell away, leaving her face bared for him, her identity his to discover.
Whatever he saw, whatever he’d expected to find, it obviously wasn’t she. His eyes widened and then he hastily ripped off his own mask to get a better look. And if the way his expression changed from darkly smoky to shocked was any indication, he had all too quickly realized his mistake.
“Who the devil are you?” His tone overflowed with censure. As if this was entirely her fault.
Arabella’s temper rose as quickly as her passions had. “Me? I can tell you who I am not. Some Incognita to be bartered and bandied with.”
His eyes darkened and he looked back over his shoulder toward the ballroom. “That bastard. When I get my hands on him—”
She caught hold of his sleeve and gave it a tug to regain his attention. “I think you should be apologizing to me, not looking for someone else to molest,” she huffed. “Why, of all the common sort of ruffians I’ve had the misfortune to meet—”
Truly, she’d never met one, but he didn’t know that.
Yet Arabella wasn’t done with him. “I suspect even Mrs. Spenser would find you beneath her.”
His wolfish expression returned in a flash. “I had had rather high hopes of finding her just so—”
Against her better judgment, she silently finished the implication he’d made.
But it wasn’t the courtesan that Arabella saw beneath this man, but herself. Naked and willing. His touch had left her shivering, the brush of his lips leaving her to feel a beggar in his presence.
Take me beneath you, a very devilish part of her wanted to plead.
Instead, she folded her arms across her chest, tamping her desires back into the confines where they belonged. “You, sir, are most certainly not a gentleman.”
“If I’m not a gentleman, what does that make you? I will point out, you came quite willingly with me. What sort of milkmaid comes out to the gardens when a gentleman asks her to—”
“Oh, please do not repeat yourself!” she told him. “Do not ask me such a thing ever again!”
“Oh, please do,” came another voice. A deep and very familiar one. “I would like to know what you asked my daughter to do?”But her swain had no time to answer, because the Duke of Parkerton followed up his question by spinning the man around, and then landing a hard-fisted blow that left the devilish fellow in a heap on the ground, out cold.
Elizabeth Boyle was an antipiracy paralegal for Microsoft before settling down to write full-time. Her first novel, Brazen Angel, which won Dell's Diamond Debut Award in 1996, also won the Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best First Book, and was a finalist for Best Long Historical Romance. She lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. She is also the author of Brazen Heiress.