Award-winning author Jillian Hunter both amuses and delights with another irresistible tale of scandal and seduction.When Chloe Boscastle is caught indiscreetly kissing a man in a park, her brother Grayson-the protective patriarch of the Boscastle family-sends her off to a country manor to stay until the scandal in town subsides.
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May 29, 2005
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Excerpt from The Love Affair of an English Lord by Jillian Hunter
The late Dominic Breckland, Viscount Stratfield, was returning to life in a sea of women's underwear. From ear to ankle he fought a sensual undertow of lacy shifts and white silk stockings, his muscular arms tangled in the ties and tapes of lavender-scented buckram stays, his heavy thighs wrapped in a pair of dainty French percale pantalettes. Like a wounded beast of the night, he had eluded capture and taken refuge in the last place his pursuer would think to look.
Summoning a primitive instinct for survival, he had climbed the sturdy oak tree outside the manor house and hauled his bruised and bleeding six-foot frame over the windowsill. Hopeful he had outwitted the man who chased him, he had then collapsedýinto an open trunk stuffed with personal female attire and frivolous accessories.
He was not too exhausted to appreciate the irony of the situation.
For now at least he had managed to escape the man who was hunting for him. Yet moment by moment his life's blood was saturating an unknown woman's muslin petticoats and blush-pink stockings. Pain seared his upper body. Gritting his teeth, he unraveled from his elbow a flimsy lawn chemise embroidered with blue silk forget-me-nots. His gaze unfocused and brimming with deviltry, he examined it in the moonlight.
If he was going to die, for the second time in a month, he might as well go out on a rousing sexual fantasy. "Well," he murmured, "what sort of woman are you anyway? Fast or merely fashionable? Do I have a choice? Then give me fast."
Unfortunately the maidenly garment failed to inspire a potent sexual image in his mind. The owner did appear to possess a decent pair of breasts, although Dominic was admittedly not capable of objective appraisal in his current condition.
God help them bothýthe poor woman would suffer a heart seizure when she found his carcass buried in her drawers. It seemed to him that he had once owned this creaky old manor house, at some time in the murky past, and he tried to remember who had bought it from him. To his frustration his brain refused to focus, images flitting elusively behind his eyes like moths in the shadows.
A retired sea captain, wasn't it? Sir Hickory or Humpty Something, his wife and daughter. Their names escaped Dominic at the moment. Bleeding to death, he hoped he would be forgiven the lapse in manners.
"Humpty Dumpty had a great fall," he muttered. "But who the devil was his wife?" If he was wallowing in the women's underclothes, he ought at least to know her name.