She is held captive by his kisses.
And she never wants to be free…
For as long as she can remember, Lady Georgiana Spencer has been living in her sister’s shadow.
With her betrothed’s abandonment serving as the final nail in the coffin of her social life, her cries of despair go unheard. Until a chance meeting with a stranger at a masquerade ball opens the floodgates of desire inside her.
Having spent five years in the Far East to overcome his mother’s passing, Hamish Shaw, the Viscount of Newenham, struggles to belong. That changes the moment his eyes fall on Lady Georgiana, he realizes his place is at her side, with her skin touching his.
When Hamish makes a wager that involves Georgiana, he is forced to learn a harsh lesson. In his determination to win, he makes an oversight that might cost her life: the terms in fine lettering. And Georgiana is the fist of them.
Lady Georgiana was greatly embarrassed at the alter when her groom, the Marquess of Wernbrook’s very pregnant mistress interrupts the ceremony just before it begins. She left the church in tears and has stayed at her family home in the country rather than going to the usual hubbub of the London Seasons. This year will be different, she is going to have to face the whispers and gossips. Her sister Ester is making her social debut this year, and Georgiana is expected at all the events as well.
Hamish Shaw, Viscount of Newenham, traveled to India after his mother’s death, seeking to tame his grief by visiting with her family there. In the process of his travels he has also increased his wealth and made valuable business contacts. With his father ill, he is returning to London to begin taking over the family businesses.
His first encounter with Lady Georgiana was definitely not a proper one. He literally runs into her on the street, becoming captivated by her auburn hair and jade green eyes. He almost forgets the reason he left his carriage to begin with.
Georgiana is just as enamored of this interesting and as of yet unknown gentleman. He’s not known to her and that was unusual in her circle. Georgiana’s mother is pushing for her to commit to Jack Huxley the Marquess of Dargue’s courtship. However, she finds him to be obnoxiously arrogant with his devil may care attitude and is refusing to acknowledge he interest.
Hamish enters into a wager of sorts in order to possibly begin a coffee venture with the Marquess of Dargue. His point of contact being the Marquess of Wernbrook. He has no idea that this is the man who embarrassed the beautiful woman he endeavors to know better.
While the encounters between Hamish and Georgiana are fun, it’s the one at her sister’s ball that is most interesting.
This is a favorite scene.
Georgiana was bored. She felt as if she’d been at hundreds of balls where the talk was always the same, and everyone was playing a role. Even as she smiled and put herself out to be charming, she realized she was tired of all of it.
I just want to escape!
She had been watching Lord Newenham from the moment they entered the ballroom, hoping he would come and talk to her. He seemed more interested in chatting with her father much to her chagrin.
What would it take for me to be a man’s first choice?
She chased that errant thought away by filching a glass of wine from a passing server and swallowing it down. In her peripheral vision, she saw two ladies making their way toward her, eyes bright and just knew they wanted to ask her something inane like how it felt like to be abandoned at the altar.
Placing her glass in a potted plant by the door, she slipped out and hurried off to the garden where she could hide among the azaleas and enjoy the cool night. If she was lucky, nobody would notice she was gone for a while.
The servants, having anticipated that guests might need fresh air, had strategically placed benches beneath the trees. She walked to the large oak near the north fence and took a seat, enjoying the slight breeze and the stars twinkling up above.
She sighed happily, relieved to be out of the press of bodies and away from judging eyes. A footfall had her turning from her examination of the constellations to squint into the darkness. She did not even know how she’d heard it with the music from the orchestra pouring out the French doors to overpower the night.
“May I join you on your bench?” she jumped, turning to see that it was the Viscount standing above her, his hands crossed behind his back. She took a deep breath and nodded. His shoulders, lovingly outlined in his dark evening coat seemed to block out the sky with their breadth. She was hard put not to stare.
Slowly, he lowered himself onto the bench, leaving a suitable amount of distance between them. They sat in silence for a while, Georgiana tense, waiting for him to say something. When he did not, she gradually relaxed until she was breathing easily as she turned back to the stars.
“Do you know the story of Orion’s Belt?” his voice startled her as he broke the silence.
“Oh, um, yes I do. I attended a Ladies’ Seminary School in Bath and they had a class on Astronomy.”
He turned to look at her, eyebrows raised in surprise. “Is that so? I did not imagine you as a bluestocking.”
Georgiana snorted. “Oh? And what did you imagine me as, exactly?”
His brow furrowed as he frowned. “Forgive me. That came out extremely poorly. Rude as well. It was exceeding rude. What I meant to say was that it is a delight to discover new depths to you.”
Georgiana blinked at him in surprise, caught quite left footed at his apology rapidly followed by a compliment. Nobody had ever praised her interest in books before. “Well… thank you, I suppose.”
“Tell me more about your education. Are you interested in astronomy as a hobby or would that you were not a lady so that you could dabble in science and discover new stars?”
To her consternation, Georgiana found herself giggling. “Well, I do not think I know enough about stars to make discoveries, but I do enjoy watching them on clear nights. They are rather…” she looked up again, searching for the right word, “peaceful.”
Lord Newenham looked up as well. “I suppose you’re right. They do soothe one’s troubled breast.”
Georgiana turned to look at him, extremely taken aback by his easy acceptance of her words, his compliments, his demeanor. They might be two friends discussing matters of interest rather than a lord and a lady, bound by societal mores in an eternal dance of expectation.
“Tell me something about you that nobody else knows.” Georgiana did not know where the words came from. They just poured forth from her mouth without her permission. He cleared his throat and shifted about in his seat as if uncomfortable.
“That is a tall order,” he murmured, “but I shall try.”
He beetled his brow, seeming to think quite hard about it. The hanging lanterns illuminated the lines of his face and she stared unabashedly.
“Well, when I was three years old, I decided to follow my Father’s carriage as he left the house, unbeknownst to anyone. I wanted to see where he went all the time and why he took so long there.” He turned to her, eyes twinkling, “You know how inquisitive little boys are.”
Georgiana nodded, “Little girls too.”
“Yes, well, I walked as fast as my stubby little legs could manage but soon the carriage left me far behind and worse yet, I did not know how to get home.”
Georgiana lifted her hand to her mouth as she uttered a shocked sound. “How ghastly. What did you do?”
“Well, I did what all three-year-old brats would do in such a situation. I sat down on the road and cried.”
Georgiana was surprised into laughing quite loudly.
“Yes, yes, it was mortifying. There I was still trailing my leading strings, no shoes on and with aching feet from running after the carriage. I was at my wit’s end for what to do.”
“Well then? How did you get home?”
“Oh, well… three women came along eventually, just when I thought my stomach would eat itself. They plucked me up as if I was a package and cooed over me. I think they might have been gypsies although at the time I had no idea of such things.” He gave her a sidelong glance and a smile.
“Go on.” Georgiana leaned toward him, completely taken with the story.
“Well, lucky for me, I had on a gold bracelet that had a brooch with the family crest. The women brought me to the gate of my house and because I did not fancy the trouble I would be in with my Mother, I begged them to leave me there at the gate.”
“Did they do it?”
Lord Newenham inclined his head in a so-so gesture. “They insisted on taking me to the back door. Luckily Cook’s back was turned and so they left me there. I crept into the house and pretended I’d fallen asleep in the pantry when my governess asked me where I’d been.”
“My word, you must have been quite the terror growing up.”
The Viscount smiled. “My Mother always said I’d make her old before her time.” The smile dropped from his face as grief suffused him, “I suppose she was right.”
Georgiana reached out and gripped his arm, shuffling closer to him so she could look him in the eye. “She would not want you to feel responsible for her death,” she said quietly.
His eyes met hers and he stared bleakly, “I suppose you are right. But I cannot make myself stop.”
Her hand tightened on his arm and she was filled with an overwhelming need to comfort him. “Oh, My Lord,” she sighed helplessly.
Suddenly he sucked in a harsh breath and then his face blotted out the moon as his lips pressed down upon hers. She stiffened in surprise and he pulled away at once.
“I apologize. I… forgot myself for a moment.”
She shook her head, “No need to apologize,” she whispered, “it was a very pleasant kiss.”
Scarlett Osborne. A Guide to the Bed of her Lord: A Steamy Regency Romance (Kindle Locations 1023-1084). Scarlett Osborne.
A conversation and a kiss in the gardens, is just the beginning of this relationship. Her mother wants a higher ranking suitor for her, but the heart won’t be denied.
This is a fun romp through the London Season, as Hamish and Georgiana fall in love and Ester surprises her sister with her intuition and support. Ester also finds a gentleman she’s interested in.
The intrigue becomes a plot of betrayal and all sorts of consequences occur.
This is a fun, flirty read with a simmer to sizzle romance that fits the era.
5 Contented Purrs for Scarlett!
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Born in the Sunshine State of Florida, but of both British and Nordic descent, Scarlett Osborne grew up reading historical romances from the land of her ancestors. Fascinated with the British society of the 1800s and armed with a wild imagination, she obtained a degree in Creative Writing and immediately started her career as a Regency romance author.
A daydreamer extraordinaire, Scarlett likes to jump in the shoes of her heroines, immersing herself in her own stories, living the adventures that she wished she had experienced as a child. An avid reader and fan of the outdoors, Scarlett spends her free time either reading or going on long horseback rides along with her two sons.
Get lost in a land of enchantment, where adventure and love await around every corner…Scarlett hopes that through her heroes, you too will get to live a whirlwind romance in the Regency era, when fairytales were real and all dreams possible!