An Offer from the Marquess (Alternative Scenes)

Marquess’s alternative arrival home.

“Enough!” Vane roared and suddenly everything stopped.

The dog that could not have been tamed by two footmen, Isabel, and a maid, plopped down, all attention on his master. Isabel, who still tugged on his collar, propelled forward and fell to her knees.

Millie halted with brushes in the air, and even the dust seemed to settle in the room. The servants froze in their spots.

“What in the bloody hell is going on here?” Vane asked in a murderous whisper.

“Lady Isabel was teaching me color,” Millie said innocently.

Isabel narrowed her eyes on the treacherous child.

“Call Mrs. Ainsworth, please,” Vane asked one of the maids. The poor girl scattered away as fast as she could.

Isabel slowly got to her feet and scrubbed her disheveled hair away from her face.

“My lady?” Vane addressed her emotionlessly.

Isabel licked her lips, unwilling to cower under his stare or look away. “Welcome home, my lord.”

Before Vane could say anything more, Mrs. Ainsworth appeared in the hall.

“Mrs. Ainsworth, please take my daughter to her room and order for the bath to be prepared. Rogers, please, take Button for a turn about the gardens.”

“But Papa!” Millie looked at him pleadingly.

“Not now, Millie. I shall talk to you later. Do as you’re told.”

The girl pouted but did not argue. How in the world did he do that? One stern look, one low command, and everyone obeyed. Even the dratted dog, who didn’t seem able to sit still before, now happily wagged his tail, patiently waiting to be escorted into the garden. Isabel was about to cry from the sheer frustration. She had failed. Completely. Absolutely. Miserably.

She did not deserve such treatment from the little girl and her dog. She did not deserve the antagonism. And more than that, she certainly did not deserve the scolding from her husband, which she was quite certain to get.

She felt like a little girl who’d done something wrong and awaited her punishment. She had not felt this way since she was in her schoolroom. What had her life come to?

As soon as the last person left the room, the marquess turned toward her. “Please, explain.”

Isabel looked around the messy hall before meeting the marquess’s eyes again. Her hands shook, so she hid them in the folds of her skirt. “What exactly would you like me to explain?”

“What happened here?” he growled.

Isabel squared her shoulders. “I think this is rather self-explanatory.”

“It is really not.” Vane crossed his arms on his chest, and cocked his head to the side, showing with his entire appearance that he was not leaving this hall until he got a satisfactory explanation from Isabel.

Well, there was really no satisfactory answer. How did she explain that a sweet six-year-old turned into a monster and destroyed the old mansion in a matter of hours?

“What happened is…” Isabel looked around the hall again, only this time in helplessness. She wasn’t on top of things. In fact, she wasn’t on top of anything. 

The perfect lady, the exemplary hostess that she was, in the battle against a six-year-old girl and her dog she had lost. And now she was reprimanded by her husband like a schoolgirl. 

She was not a schoolgirl. She was supposed to be a mistress of this house. She was supposed to have everything under control. Oh, Lord! Her eyes filled up with tears and her lips began to tremble. What a mess. “What happened is…” she said again, only quieter. 

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, you are not going to cry, are you?”

Of course, I am not going to cry! She was just about to say just that when tears sprang to her eyes and a hiccup erupted from her mouth. She covered her mouth with her hand and shook her head. 

Vane raised his eyes to the ceiling, then fished out a handkerchief and came toward Isabel. She still tried to hold on to her tears and refused to look at him. As he came to stand only a foot away, Isabel raised her eyes to his, thinking he would offer his handkerchief to her. 

Instead, he took her by the chin and started wiping at her cheeks. This tiny act of kindness was what broke her steely resolve. 

Tears streaked down her cheeks freely now as she started to sob.

With a sigh, Vane took her into his arms and held her close. Isabel cried into his coat, hiccups erupting from her throat. She could not say anything, not that she wanted to. She trembled, and it was as if all her sorrow suddenly poured out of her.

The unfortunate incident with Stanhope at Evie’s ball, the side-glances, and whispers by the members of the ton, the way Vane treated her before and more importantly after the wedding.

It wasn’t easy being a mistress of an estate. It was doubly difficult when everyone regarded her with mistrust. And now when she thought she’d finally gained the trust of her tenants and servants when she thought the life was changing for the better, the little girl demeaned her in every way possible.

And if Vane had been cruel, if he’d berated her and yelled at her, she’d be able to hold it together just enough to give him the piece of her mind. But as he held her close to his chest, she did not want to fight and argue anymore. She just wanted to be weak. She wanted to be comforted.

Oh, how he must have been disgusted with her. She tried to push away from his chest, but Vane tightened his arms around her, his hand running up and down her back in soothing caresses.

“Shh…” he whispered against her hair. “Stay a moment.”

***

When Rhys finally arrived at the house, what he saw made him freeze in shock. The picture before him was as terrifying as it was comical. Millie was waving the brushes around, coloring his dull hall in vibrant colors, Button was crushing everything in his way, while Lady Isabel struggled to contain the animal as much as he could.

Rhys had spent the entire day worrying that his daughter needed saving from his new wife. He had not considered even for a moment that it was the other way around.

Now, as he stood in the middle of the ruined hall, cradling his crying wife in his arms, he felt oddly at peace. What a strange feeling to have, indeed.

He ran his hand up and down her spine, comforting her. But he felt his heart slowing down and his breathing even out as well. Somehow, holding his wife in his arms had a calming effect on him.

She was warm and soft, and fit perfectly in his arms. Rhys lowered his head and took a whiff of her floral-scented perfume.

They stood like that for a moment more, their breathing evening out and coming out in unison. The tranquil effect she’d had on him was slowly replaced by a stir of desire.

Rhys slowly edged her away before she felt his erection against her thigh and handed her his handkerchief.

Lady Isabel let out a hoarse chuckle and wiped at her cheeks. She looked around the ruins they were standing in the midst of and groaned. “I shall better start cleaning this up.”

Rhys nodded. He swallowed the large boulder lodged in his throat. Somehow he was loath to leave her. But he needed to speak to Millie and make sure she was unharmed, although it seemed like she was doing most of the harming.

Just then, Lady Isabel looked at him, her eyes rounded and her mouth slightly open. She covered her mouth with her hand and a chuckle left her.

Rhys looked down at his appearance, his cheeks heated in embarrassment. What did she see?

“What happened to you?” she said with another chuckle.

Rhys just now remembered that he was indeed covered in dust and grime from helping the villagers and then from the long road on horseback. 

“Not anything unlike what happened to you,” Rhys said with a smile. “I shall leave you to your cleaning.” I need to clean up, too.

Rhys couldn’t as well show up at Millie’s room looking like that. He needed to clean himself.

But since Millie was likely the one occupying the bath at the moment, there was only one alternative left. The blissfully freezing stream.

Scroll down for one more scene (Slight steam warning)

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Alternative waking up scene

Isabel woke up to a languid, pleasant feeling. A hand slowly glided up her thigh, and she moaned.
“Good morning,” Rhys murmured from behind her, his voice hoarse and sleepy. He curled his fingers over her skin, tickling her thigh and making her giggle.
“Good morning,” Isabel said and turned her head to look at him.
Rhys kissed her on her cheek and shifted closer to her. His hot shaft poked against her bottom. Isabel shivered pleasantly, and a peculiar ache originated at her center.
She wanted him. She wanted his shaft to fill her as it did the night before.
Rhys kissed her on the neck, then bit her lightly. His hand rounded her hip and settled between her legs. Isabel caught her breath.
Rhys swirled his fingers, finding moisture there, and grunted in approval. His other hand traveled from under her and he cupped her breast.
Isabel arched her spine, bringing the head of his shaft closer to her in the process.
Rhys hissed.
“Is something wrong?” she whispered.
“No.” Rhys bit on her earlobe. “Nothing is wrong, my darling. You just make me so hard, it is impossible for me to control myself.”
“W-Why would you want to control yourself?”
Rhys chuckled and licked her on the shoulder. “Good question,” he rasped, the warmth of his breath making her shiver.
Isabel moaned and rocked her hips back. His tip entered her body, and she whimpered.
“Rhys—”
“Yes,” he rasped and thrust into her.
Rhys circled her nipple with his hand while holding her hips and thrusting in and out of her in an unrelenting rhythm. Isabel felt hot, the sweat streaming down her body as he kept on his pace. She wanted to crawl out of her skin, but she also wanted something more.
Rhys’s fingers bit into her flesh as he kept on thrusting, the sound of his hips meeting her bottom reverberating through the room. Isabel whimpered, feeling frustrated and needing some kind of completion, needing something.
A knock on the door startled them both.
Rhys stilled, holding Isabel close to him. “Whoever it is, get out!” he growled.
“Rhys!” Isabel half turned to him. She was shaking from the sudden interruption, but she felt uncomfortable from Rhys’s rudeness.
He kissed her on the neck. “I’m sorry, darling, I just—Argh!”
With a groan, he withdrew his length and rolled off the bed. Isabel drew the sheets higher over her body. Rhys looked at her with a mourning gaze and ran his hand through his hair.
He quickly put on his breeches and stalked toward the door.
“What?” His voice was sharp.
Isabel sat up. What could have possibly happened?
Rhys murmured something in a level voice, then slunk inside. He closed the door and leaned his back against it, his eyes closed.
“What is it?” Isabel asked, with a pucker between her brows.
“Your brother,” Rhys said, then opened his eyes. “Viscount Gage is here for a visit.”

Thank you for reading the alternative scenes from “An Offer from the Marquess.” I hope you enjoyed them!

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Secrets of the Wicked Viscount (Deleted Scene)

On the day of Caroline and Kensington’s wedding, Olivia was on pins and needles. She couldn’t shake the numbness out of her limbs or her mind. She was worried for Caroline. She was concerned about Lavinia. And she was still upset with Jarvis. Because he left her to deal with her worries all on her own.

Olivia breathed deeply, but the air in the house seemed too thin. She felt suffocated.

“Are you ready to go?” her mother asked from the threshold.

“No, Mama. I am too nervous for my friends.”

Olivia’s mother frowned and walked into the room. “Why would you be worried, dearest?”

“Because.” Olivia slumped. “Caroline never wanted to get married. And today is her wedding day.”

The viscountess rubbed Olivia’s back, and she straightened.

“Nonsense, child,” her mother said. “She is marrying the duke. One of the most influential and well-to-do men in England. One cannot ask for a better husband than him.”

But what about love? Olivia frowned. She had said to Lavinia that love didn’t matter in a marriage. When had she changed her mind?

“Mama, I lack air. Please, allow me to spend a few minutes in the gardens to calm myself.”

“Dearest, everyone is gathering in the ballroom. The vicar has already arrived.”

“Please, mama.” Olivia grabbed her mother by the arms.

The viscountess heaved a sigh. “Very well. I shall accompany you.”

Olivia smiled gratefully and looped her arm through her mother’s.

They walked to the gardens in silence. Each lost in their own thoughts. When they finally reached their destination, Olivia was surprised to see Caroline pacing in the rose alcove.

Olivia’s mother disengaged from her side. “Well, there’s your friend. Perhaps she can help you alleviate your worries. I shall wait for you outside the gardens. Do be brief.” She placed a kiss on Olivia’s forehead and walked away.

Olivia took a deep breath. What was she to say to Caroline? Did she apologize for her thoughtless remarks the last time they spoke? Or was she to beg her to give up Kensington? Perhaps Olivia didn’t need to say anything at all. If she stepped into the alcove, Caroline might reassure her and take her worries away.

Olivia was about to step around the bushes and reveal herself when the dark, tall man entered the alcove. Kensington.

“If your intention is for us to be caught in a compromising position,” Kensington said to Caroline, “then there is no need. We are to be married in a few minutes.”

“That is contrary to my intention, I assure you, my lord,” Caroline answered evenly.

It wasn’t polite to eavesdrop, but Olivia was rooted to the spot, unable to move. She didn’t want to be heard skittering away, and she still wanted to speak to Caroline after the duke left.

“What is your intention, then?” Kensington asked.

“I want to dissolve our betrothal.”

Olivia leaned forward to better hear the conversation. Caroline wanted to dissolve the betrothal! Perhaps everything would work itself out after all.

The duke cocked his head to the side and studied Caroline intently. “Is that truly what you want?”

“Yes.” Caroline held her head high and looked confident under the duke’s penetrating gaze.

“Well, you can’t have it,” Kensington said.

Olivia’s mouth dropped.

“I shall dissolve our agreement whether you are against it or not,” Caroline said.

Olivia saw Kensington’s chest rise and fall as he took a deep breath. “You cannot dissolve the deal your uncle negotiated on your behalf. I do not know what he told you, Lady Caroline, but we are to be married. Our deal is final.”

“And what if I run away?”

“You will be caught.”

“You seem too eager to marry me for someone who has barely looked my way since the night of our betrothal.”

There was a long silence as Kensington watched Caroline as if trying to solve a mathematical problem. He finally said, “Your uncle made certain of it. Believe me. I wouldn’t be marrying you otherwise.”

Kensington turned on his heel and walked away.

Olivia shrunk farther into the bushes.

What had she just witnessed? Should she go and console Caroline, or should she pretend she had heard nothing?

Her dilemma was solved when Caroline smoothed her skirts and left in the opposite direction from Olivia.

***

When Olivia entered the ballroom a few minutes later, Caroline stood before the vicar, holding the duke’s hands. She looked Kensington full in the eyes, calm, resolute, and steadfast.

Olivia watched wide-eyed as Caroline vowed to love, cherish, and obey the duke. And in a few minutes more, Caroline was pronounced the Duchess of Kensington.

Thank you for reading the deleted scene of “Secrets of the Wicked Viscount” I hope you enjoyed it!

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A Return of the Wicked Earl (Extra Epilogue)

Paris, Summer 1741

Annalise stood on the pedestal in a translucent nightgown, which was cut in strategic places and barely covered any part of her body. Her breasts were peeking out of the décolletage, her creamy white skin was covered in goosebumps. Blake fought to keep himself in check and not ravish her right then and there. He wished he could go over to her and lick her from head to toe.

He wouldn’t have bothered fighting his urges, except the modiste hopped around Annalise, pinning her with needles and taking measurements.

The first few days of their wedding trip weren’t ideal. Blake hadn’t felt very calm on the ferry. He cursed his idea of traveling the moment he saw the damned vehicle. The memories of his tortures were still fresh in his mind. At least Annalise was by his side.

Or that’s what he tried to calm himself with. He convinced himself that with Annalise by his side, he could conquer the world. And perhaps he would if she didn’t spend most of the trip casting up her accounts. 

At first, they thought it was from the voyage, but after a few days in Paris, the sickness didn’t abate. Blake had been frightened out of his mind. After all, Annalise hadn’t felt sick before their damned trip. So they saw doctors and healers in Paris, but everyone said that this was a regular part of being in delicate condition. They also said that perhaps they shouldn’t have traveled while Annalise was with child. However, they reassured that Annalise and the babe were healthy. And the only thing to do was to rest and wait.

That is how three weeks after they left the English shores, they found themselves exploring the streets of Paris instead of enjoying the opera houses in Italy.

As Annalise started feeling better, she reminded him that she wanted to visit the modistes while in Paris. So there they were, with her putting on salacious outfits and tempting him.

Modiste straightened and looked Annalise over. “I need to bring more fabric from the back,” she said in French and disappeared into the back room.

Blake stood, his muscles protesting after having spent a couple of hours in a sitting position, and walked toward his wife.

“You look exquisite,” he said in a low voice and placed his hand on her slightly rounded belly.

“Do I?” Annalise turned her vulnerable eyes toward him. “I feel like a stuffed turkey.”

Blake gave a bark of laughter. Then he dipped his head. “But you are my stuffed turkey,” he said and kissed her on the lips.

Annalise melted against him before a muffled laugh escaped her lips. “That is not a compliment.”

“Isn’t it?” Blake’s eyes didn’t leave his wife’s mouth.

His hand traveled toward her back, then he grabbed her by the buttocks and moved her closer to his body so that his aroused length poked against her stomach. “I think it is,” he said and kissed her deeply.

Annalise quickly gave in under the onslaught of his kisses and was soon moaning into his mouth. There was a sound behind them and Annalise jumped back, her cheeks heated with embarrassment. Her eyes glowed and her lips were puffy from his kisses.

She looked absolutely delicious.

“Pardon, madame,” Blake addressed the modiste. “My wife looks too enticing in this new gown.”

“Oh, no pardon necessary, monsieur. Not for a kiss.”

Blake winked toward Annalise, and she narrowed her eyes at him in disapproval.

“I want ten… no twenty more gowns from you, madame,” Blake said grinning.

“Twenty?” Annalise’s mouth slacked open.

“Yes,” Blake drawled. “In various styles, colors, and… sizes. My wife is about to grow to the size of a stuffed turkey.”

“Blake!” Annalise’s cheeks turned the color of deep red.

“Oh, I understand.” Modiste laughed and continued taking the necessary measurements while Blake’s wife threw daggers with her eyes.

A few minutes later, they walked toward their hotel with unhurried steps.

Annalise took a breath and looked around. “I like it in Paris.”

“Yes? Aren’t you glad we didn’t go to Italy?”

Annalise sputtered a laugh. “No, not glad, but not upset, either. I relish having the time for just us wherever we are.” She smiled at him slyly.

Blake leaned in and kissed her on her temple.

Annalise gasped in surprise. “Blake! We are out on the street!”

“It is Paris, my sweet countess, not stuffy England. I can kiss you wherever I want.”

Annalise chuckled and tapped his fan on his arm in reproach. “Mind your behavior, my lord. Or we are to become the most scandalous couple in England.”

“We aren’t yet?” Blake frowned. “Then we have some catching up to do.”

Annalise laughed, and they entered their hotel, giggling.

“Monsieur le Comte! Une lettre pour vous!” The hotel owner stopped Blake and Annalise in their tracks.

“A letter? Merci!” Blake took the envelope and read the front. “It is for you,” he said and handed the envelope to his wife.

“From whom?”

“It says from Lady Caroline.”

“Oh!” Annalise’s features cleared, and she took the letter from Blake’s fingers. 

The touch sent tingles over his body, and Blake couldn’t wait to go up to his room and have his way with his wife.

Annalise didn’t seem to share his excitement. She was too preoccupied with the letter. She opened it in the hall and read, her eyes running over the page. 

“Oh, my!” she exclaimed. “We need to go back to England!”

Blake frowned. “Why? What is the matter?”

“Caroline is to marry Kensington in a week!”

Confusing emotions overwhelmed Blake as he thought about what that meant. All right. A quick romp in the sack and then back to England, he decided.

The End

Thank you for reading the second epilogue of “A Return of the Wicked Earl.” I hope you enjoyed it!

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A Bargain with the Rake (Extra Epilogue)

Gabriel looked tenderly at his wife, as he studied the gentle curve of her neck and the golden freckles spread upon her milky-white complexion.

She wasn’t a lady to shield herself from the sun, and this was one of the million reasons he loved her.

“All done,” the painter, a young artist Miss Emmeline, said as she put the brush aside.

Gabriel looked up with a frown.

“Oh, finally,” Evie breathed and craned her neck from side to side.

“But I am not done ogling my wife yet,” Gabriel said, feigning affront. “Can’t you paint us some more?”

Evie swatted at him. “You can ogle me all you want, just don’t make me sit in this one position anymore. And help me up.”

She raised both her hands and Gabriel tugged her up with a great show of effort.

“My God, you are heavy!” he exclaimed and wiped at his brow theatrically.

Evie’s eyes narrowed on him. “Be thankful you don’t have to carry me around all day, unlike me, who has to lug eight pounds’ worth of your heir.”

Gabriel grinned down at his grumbling wife. He bent at the waist and kissed her rounded belly.

“My heir, is he now?”

“Oh yes. I am quite certain it’s a boy. Aileen had never kicked like that. She was a proper lady even then. Just like her mother,” his duchess said with a haughty air.

Gabriel snorted a laugh. “A proper lady… Like her mother? I’d like to meet this person you’re referring to. Because the woman I am married to is a proper hellion.”

Evie arranged her lips in a sensual pout. “Can we go look at the painting now, or are you going to insult me all day?”

“Insult, my dear wife? Why, it was the highest compliment!” Gabriel wrapped his arms around her waist, tugged her closer to him, and planted a demanding kiss on her mouth.

Evie sagged under his onslaught before coming to her senses. She pushed at his chest and wriggled out of his hold.

“Gabriel!” She looked so affronted he could have thought he’d killed someone in front of her. “Not in front of the artist,” she said in a scandalized whisper.

Gabriel’s lips twitched in a smile. “All right, my dear, proper wife. Shall we go see the painting now?”

She gave him a nod and linked her arm with his.

They were in the Duke’s chambers on their Peacehaven estate. It had only come out of renovation a few months earlier and Gabriel bundled his increasing wife and journeyed there for her confinement. The moment Evie stepped into the Duke’s—now Duchess’s—chambers, her eyes watered and he knew that all that trouble he went through to renovate the mansion was worth it.

“But there’s no portrait,” she had said back then.

Gabriel knew she meant the old one of her grandparents. But he decided that having their own portrait made was the second-best option.

Their family portrait.

They reached the artist and peeked over her to see the painting. Miss Emmeline stepped aside with a grin.

It was beautiful.

Gabriel’s eyes immediately drifted to his two girls. Aileen, their two-year-old daughter, was sitting on her mother’s lap. The artist drew her first because the babe wouldn’t sit still for long periods of time.

“We’ll need to have another one made when the babe comes,” Gabriel noted.

Evie looked up at him and grinned. “Perhaps when he is older.” She turned to the artist. “Thank you so much. You will be invited to this house often, with every added member of the family.”

“Yearly,” Gabriel said proudly and received a frown from his wife.

She turned back to the artist. “And I wager all our friends are going to be commissioning their portraits from you, too.”

The girl smiled and bobbed a careless curtsy.

“Yearly?” Evie pouted as she turned toward Gabriel. “You expect me to deliver you a babe every year?”

Gabriel shrugged and led his wife out of the room.

“I expect we shall be very busy making babes, so yes. It is quite possible that you’ll have to deliver them yearly.”

Evie pursed her lips. “That’s a lot of babes.”

“We can afford them,” Gabriel said with a smile.

They walked slowly down the corridor, then down the stairs, with Evie running her hand along the walls. She always did that, marveling at the feel of the newly decorated halls.

Gabriel tried to recreate the house as best he could, to preserve as many memories for his wife of her beloved home. He succeeded in some places, fell short in others, but Evie kept looking at this entire place with wonder-filled eyes, making him feel as though he was a wizard, giving a piece of her childhood back to her.

They made their way through the house and finally reached the gardens. Laughter and shrieks of their little girl filled the place, so they had no trouble locating her and her chaperones.

“Here’s my little girl,” Evie said, as Aileen ran toward her at full speed and hugged her mother.

Mr. Cromwell and Widow Jane—now Mrs. Cromwell—followed slowly in her footsteps.

When Evie sent Mr. Cromwell into the little village of Forton, they had hoped the two old souls would find companionship together. However, when the first letters arrived from Mr. Cromwell, they were mostly complaints about ‘one bitter old widow.’

They bickered a lot, but soon everyone realized this was how they showed affection toward one another. Mr. Cromwell and Widow Jane quickly found a kindred soul in each other. Last year, they had finally tied the knot.

Gabriel took Aileen into his arms. “How about a kiss for your papa?”

Aileen kissed him on the cheek and hugged his neck before wriggled to get out of his hold, but he held fast.

“Miss Jane! Let’s climb tree!” Aileen addressed the old woman, too young to pronounce her R’s properly. She bounced in Gabriel’s arms, almost jumping out of them.

“How about a game of dominoes instead?” Widow Jane coaxed little Aileen.

“What’s to-mi-toes?” Aileen whispered with an adorable little frown.

Gabriel tapped her nose to smooth her features and she laughed. “It is a stimulating game that encourages the development of one’s mind as well as the propensity for gambling,” he said.

“Let us go, my darling. Mrs. Cromwell will teach us all,” Evie said with a wink toward Widow Jane.

“Let go, papa!” Aileen wriggled out of Gabriel’s hold and dashed toward the house.

“Careful, Lady Aileen!” Mrs. Cromwell hurried after the girl.

Gabriel cocked a brow at Evie and she sighed.

“Very well, you were right. Perhaps she’s not a perfect lady. But she will be.”

“She is perfect, just the way she is,” Gabriel whispered, and brushed a lock away from Evie’s face. “And so are you.”

Gabriel leaned in and captured her mouth with his. He kissed her tenderly at first, then opened his mouth over hers and possessed her in a passionate embrace. Evie’s hands traveled up his body until she raked her fingers through his hair and tugged him closer.

Evie broke the kiss abruptly. She put her hand on her abdomen and took a deep breath.

“Is something amiss?” Gabriel studied her features anxiously.

“Yes. I mean, no.” She grimaced. “I’ve been having these pains every few hours, but I think they are coming closer together.”

Gabriel’s eyes widened. “Are you—”

Evie smiled and nodded. “I think I am.”

“You’re in labor!” Gabriel exclaimed in wonder while his heartbeat accelerated and his palms started perspiring.

“Get ready to welcome your heir, my lord,” his wife said with a smile, but Gabriel could barely hear her through the noise of blood rushing through his head.

THE END

Thank you for reading the second epilogue of “A Bargain with the Rake.” I hope you enjoyed it!

Be sure to pre-order book 4, An Offer from a Marquess.

Thank you!

An Agreement with the Soldier (Deleted Scene)

This work of fiction contains adult themes. Do not read further to avoid explicit content.

This is unedited deleted scene from the manuscript. Events takes place between chapter 24 and 25.

The moment John saw Sam, he disengaged from the group of working men and ran toward her. He grinned as soon as he stopped in front of her and stood, waiting for his customary kiss on the cheek. Sam obliged him and he took the basket from her hands.

“Do you want to go to the stream to enjoy our lunch?” he asked, leading her away.

“Mhm,” Sam made a noise of acquiescence, tilted her head back and closed her eyes against the sun as she walked. It was a beautiful, sunny day. A rare sunny day and she wanted to enjoy it. It’s been a week since the night they spent under the stars, the most precious week of her life. She and John finally started sharing a bed together. Well, not a bed exactly, but rather a bunch of blankets by the side of the French doors in his room. First, he worried that the floor would be too hard for her, but she convinced him that she didn’t mind.

He finally agreed to spend their nights there on a condition that if she were uncomfortable, she would scramble back into his bed and sleep there. So far, she had never used that option. She would sleep on a cold, wet grass if it meant being with him. The only feeling better than falling asleep in his arms was waking up next to him. 

His nightmares came less frequently, and when they did, she managed to sooth him by gently whispering or lulling in his ear, while petting his arm. 

He told her not to wake him from nightmares, otherwise his reaction could be violent, but so far he settled down every time she soothed him. She was sure all his worries were for naught. But he was still unconvinced.

They spent most of the day together too. Their luncheon hour spread, with them eating, talking and kissing under the sun.

This was the day Isabel was supposed to arrive, and Sam was over the moon about that. She couldn’t wait to share her life with her sister. This was the happiest she ever remembered herself being, and she was ready to shout it to the entire world.

John brought her to their usual picnicking sight and spread the blanket. They followed the same ritual every day, she would set the picnicking area while he washed, then they ate and enjoyed each-other’s company. Sam settled comfortably on the blanket, watching her husband’s bare back as she performed his ablutions. He was splashing in the sun, and Sam had a sudden urge to join him. So she took off her bonnet, kicked off her slippers, rolled down her stockings and set them all aside. She tiptoed carefully to the bank of the stream and stepped into the water.

“Oh! It’s so cold!” She yelled out, frozen on the bank with just her feet in the water. She was holding her skirts over her ankles, her shoulders hunched, a grimace of pain on her face.

John turned to her and laughed. “Why did you think it was a good idea to step into a freezing stream?”

“You are knee deep and you don’t look at all cold!” She felt a cramp starting up in her toes and hastily scrambled back up the bank. John’s rumbling laugh followed her out of the water. In her haste she stepped on the pebbles or what might have been bare branches that poked at the sole of her foot. “Ow!” she yelled and raised her foot, which only worsened the pressure on the other one. 

Suddenly she felt being scooped up into the arms of her husband. She started with a yelp, but as soon as she realized what was happening locked her arms around his neck. She pressed herself closer to his chest, not caring that he was dripping water and making her gown wet as well.

John made a couple of steps and sat on a thick log, placing her carefully on his lap.

“Show it to me,” he said. “Does it still hurt?”

Sam twisted her leg and surveyed her foot. There was no bleeding, just red marks from the pebbles. “I shall live,” she said brightly.

“Good.” John lowered his head and took her mouth in a scorching kiss.

Sam laughed into his mouth before his tongue swooped inside and she forgot how to think. His hands were roaming her body as he kissed her fiercely. Sam pressed herself closer to his naked torso, running her hands over his arms. She loved the play of muscles as he tensed. She loved the feel of his silky skin beneath her fingers. She wanted to trace every inch of his body.

Sam felt his hand travelling up her skirt and squirmed. The tingle appeared between her legs and she wanted to feel him there. She shifted until she was straddling him and pressed herself against his hard, erect length. John groaned and shut his eyes tight. Sam smiled at his expression of pure bliss mixed in with agony. She lowered her hands and quickly started unbuttoning his falls, while his hand traveled farther up her skirt. He found the slit in her drawers and his fingers ventured to her private place. Sam moaned and pressed herself firmer into his hand. John chuckled, then took her earlobe into his mouth and sucked on it.

Sam squirmed, as he just played with her folds, not delving further, not satisfying her hunger.

Finally, she was able to undo the buttons on his breeches and took his erect length into her hands. It was thick and hard and incredibly hot. She moaned as her hands played with its length, traveling up and down, squeezing him. 

With a growl, John lifted her up until she hovered above him. The head of his cock lightly pressing against her center.

“John,” she whispered, easing herself down his length, taking him in, marvelling at the feeling of being filled by him. John squeezed her buttocks and looked into her eyes. She could feel his heartbeat accelerating, his breathing came out in fitful gulps. Sam carefully placed her hands on his shoulders and sat down, hard. 

John groaned and threw back his head. Sam traced her mouth over his exposed throat, licking at his Adam’s apple, venturing lower.

“Sam,” he croaked. “I can’t…” He started moving her on top of him in time with his rhythmic thrusts. Uncontrollable whimpers started leaving Sam’s throat with his every move. And she started moving her hips in time with his thrusts. John was watching every minute change in her facial features and somehow this intense perusal fed into her excitement. He placed his thumb over the pearl above her center and she lost control. She saw a blinding light erupt under her eyelids and cried out as she spent the several long moments lost in bliss.

When she came to, John was holding her close to his body, in the protective circle of his arms. His hand was drawing soothing circles on her back, his head was nestled on her shoulder. She was surrounded by his heat and she never wanted to leave. Finally, the surrounding sounds penetrated her hearing, and she heard workers’ banter and laughter, the sounds of shovels hitting the ground.

Sam felt embarrassment heat her neck. They were out in the open, somebody could have ventured further and discovered them. They probably have heard her cries of pleasure too. 

John placed a warm kiss on her shoulder and eased her away. “We need to get back,” he whispered to her. Sam could only nod. She stood carefully, with John’s help, and adjusted her clothing.

“What about luncheon?” She looked at their picnic spot, feeling forlorn. 

John was putting on his boots as he spoke, “Do you mind if we distribute the food among the workers? I’ll have a bite, but I feel like I’ve spent enough time away from work as it is. Besides, I’ve already had the tastiest treat.” He grinned at her and she blushed.

“Come.” He swept her into his arms again. “I’ll deliver my bride to her slippers. Don’t want you to hurt yourself again.”

Thank you for reading the deleted scene of “An Agreement with the Soldier.” I hope you enjoyed it!

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A Deal with the Earl (Deleted Scene)

This work of fiction contains adult themes. Do not read further to avoid explicit content.

Summer, 1808

Robert sat in a smoke filled room. Giggles and sultry whispers of the half—or perhaps already fully—naked women surrounded him. His friends were somewhere in the room too. He heard their occasional laughter and drunken murmurs. But he couldn’t see anything through the thick fog.

Robert wasn’t much of a drinker or a smoker, and since he met Annie, he wasn’t much for cheap whores either. Gabriel would be offended by this insinuation, of course. He would say that he’d have never brought cheap whores to his best friend’s bachelor party. They were the most expensive ones. Robert’s lips twitched in a smile. Expensive or not, whores did not interest him anymore. No woman did. Except for Annie.

He thought about his golden-haired bride, her coy looks, and shy advances, and decided he’d had enough of this place. 

Robert stood, but before he could make a step, a hand reached out from the fog and clasped his arm.

“Oh, no, you don’t,” came the slurred voice of his best friend. “I go through all this trouble for you. Find you the best”—a hiccup interrupted his tirade—“the best”—another hiccup—“the best whiskey in town, the best whores, the best cigars.” He waved with his hand dramatically at the surroundings, “and you’re leaving?”

“Disrespect!” shouted one of the other fops. 

Robert peered through the smoke but could not make out the identity of the offending voice’s owner. Instead, he turned back to his best friend and leaned in to see him clearer. What he saw made him chuckle. One of the ladies was straddling his friend’s lap and licking at his neck. Robert shook his head, finding the image pathetic. Now that he was getting married, nights like this seemed meaningless.

“Listen, Gabe, I appreciate what you’ve done. Really, I do. But women, spirits…” he gestured with his hands to the grand room filled with vice. “This is your thing. I am getting married on the morrow.”

“The best reason to have fun while you can,” Gabriel slurred again.

Robert made a few steps towards the door and called over his shoulder, “I will have fun when I’m married.” 

Gabriel waved the lady away, gingerly stood from his chair and followed Robert. 

Robert paused, waiting for his friend to catch up to him, studying him all the while. Gabriel’s eyes were red-rimmed, and he was sporting a two-day stubble. His shamefully wrinkled clothing indicated that this was not the first party he had attended in the last several days without changing or even stopping by his townhouse. 

Many women found Gabriel irresistible with his golden good looks and stately figure. He looked like one of those Greek gods or a fallen angel. He could get anyone he wanted with only a wink and a smile. If only they could see him now.

“Marriage is boring. I bet you two hundred pounds, your Annie,” he said in a mocking tone, “cannot do half the things these ladies are capable of.”

Robert huffed. “Of course she can’t. That’s the point. She is innocent.”

Now it was Gabriel’s turn to huff. “Please,” he drawled. “No woman is innocent. She is just not as skilled.”

“I’m not discussing Annie’s skills with you.” Rob patted his friend on his shoulder.

“Of course not.” Gabriel took on a serious expression. “You’ll also not argue that she is far from innocent.”

Robert narrowed his eyes on his friend. “Tread lightly now.”

“You should have let me seduce her. You’d see her for who she truly is. Like every one of them.” Gabriel waved his hand about the room. “Women are easy. They are good for only one thing: a tup and move on.”

“You are drunk.” Robert squeezed Gabriel’s shoulder. “And you are my best friend. These are the only reasons I am not bloodying your face right now.” He patted Gabriel good naturedly on his back, although his patience was quickly waning.

Gabriel put up his arms in mock self-defense. “All right, all right. No need to get violent. My face is my only asset.”

Robert shook his head. Sometimes he thought Gabriel actually believed that. That all he had, and all he was, was just his pretty face. 

Robert knew Gabriel, the Viscount St. Clare, from the first time Gabriel stepped into Eton. He was eight, and Robert was ten. They ran into each other on the steps and had been friends ever since. 

Gabriel was a fragile boy with sad blue eyes, and Robert wanted to watch out for him. But as they grew, they started looking out for each other. Robert was hard-working and serious. Gabriel was cynical, yet still charming. He had a face every woman in London swooned over. 

Everyone except for Annie. 

That’s what Robert loved about her most. She wasn’t led by a pretty face or the fanciest title. She hadn’t even known Robert was an heir to a duke when they met.

Robert moved toward the door. “Thank you for the grand party!” he yelled as he waved and left the room to the jeering of men and women.

Robert hopped into his carriage and banged on the carriage roof with his walking stick. He was going to see Annie, he decided. No matter what he’d promised. Robert leaned against the seat and thought about his betrothed, a smile pulling at the corners of his lips. He could not wait until tomorrow to marry her. It was ridiculous, her insistence not to see him tonight. They already precipitated the wedding vows, so he saw no reason they shouldn’t make love the night before their marriage. 

Gabriel was right, Annie had not been a virgin when they met, but she wasn’t skilled either. Not that it mattered to him in the least. Her past was her own; the future, however, was theirs. He loved her, and he was not interested in anyone else. At the moment, all he wanted to do was spend the night in her arms.

Even before the carriage halted at her residence, he opened the door and jumped out of it eagerly. As he did so many times before, he entered by the back door and shuffled quietly up the stairs, shaking off his coat on the way. No need to waste time on disrobing in her room. He trailed the too familiar corridor, smiling to himself and anticipating her surprised look when she saw him. 

He finally reached the door and paused with a hand on the knob. He heard strange noises coming from inside the room. Strange grunting sounds and whimpers… A struggle?

He pushed the door open with a crush and rushed in. What he saw made his blood run cold. He stopped dead in the middle of the room and felt his heart freezing over at the sight before him. His Annie, his beautiful, innocent Annie, was crouching on all fours, naked, on top of a man and sucking on his cock. She was doing it skillfully and whimpering in arousal. The man was twisting her hair in his hands and urging her on. She hadn’t stopped right away when he entered. Instead, as she saw him, she slowly withdrew the cock from her mouth. Too slowly, as if for show. As if enjoying every last taste of the man she was servicing and wanting Robert to see. Then she sat up, licked her lips, and looked at him defiantly.

“I told you not to come tonight,” she said with all her dignity. She sat there with her golden blond hair tumbling down her shoulders in a tangled mess, her cheeks rosy, her blue eyes bright, her mouth swollen. A woman recently and thoroughly fucked.

“Yes,” he sneered, “that’s the problem, isn’t it?” With every word, he felt his heart covering more and more with ice and his soul filling with disgust for the woman he had thought himself in love with only moments ago. He expected to be angry, to want to rage and howl at the moon, to throw things like a madman, but somehow, he couldn’t be bothered to scrounge up enough to care.

“You can’t refuse to marry me now.” She threw her hair off her forehead, thrusting her full breasts to their full advantage. “You’ll only breed scandal onto your family.”

“As opposed to marrying a whore?” Robert scoffed.

“Oh, I won’t be a whore.” She stood from the bed in all her naked glory. Her hips swaying and breasts bobbing. “I will be a duchess.”

“Really? Is that what you think?” He looked at her and realized that everything that happened between them had been an act. She had never been this confident and defiant, with hatred clearly present in her eyes. She was truly ugly at this moment.

“You are bound by honor to marry me. You bedded me. You announced our engagement. And only a lady can cry off the engagement.”

“You think I care about that? More than I care about that,” he indicated with his chin to the bed in disgust, “that weasel in your bed?”

At that moment, the weasel finally sat up and made himself known. Robert almost choked on his surprise. It was his cousin, Eric, the one who introduced Annie to him.

“Surprised, cuz?” Eric asked from the bed.

“I guess I shouldn’t be,” Robert spat in disgust. He knew Eric had been infatuated with Annie when Robert started courting her. Still, he was under the impression that she didn’t return the feelings. Now that he thought about it, he realized he didn’t know Annie at all. “But if what you wanted was to be with her, then you’ve got her.” Robert turned to leave, bile rising in his throat.

“What, no threat of duel? You will not defend her honor?” Eric sneered the last word.

Robert huffed a bitter laugh, “Honor?” He looked over at his naked former lover, trying to understand what prompted him to want and spend the rest of his life with her in the first place. “She has no honor.” 

Robert made a few steps towards the door before throwing over his shoulder, “besides, she is not worth your life.”

“You’ll marry me, Clydesdale!” he heard a hissing voice behind him as he shut the door.

A few minutes later, Robert was back at the club. He sauntered toward the private room Gabriel had rented for their party. The smoke had cleared a little, so he could see several men were out cold on the floor. Gabriel was playing vighn-et-un with the whores. That was the sight for the ages. Robert almost chuckled.

He walked further into the room and silently took a seat beside his friend. Gabriel was silent as Robert poured himself a drink and took a sip. He was still silent when Robert lit a cigar. He dealt him in and raised a brow.

Robert looked at his hand and cleared his throat. “You were right,” he said, pushing the chips in the middle of the table. “Women are good for just one thing. And that isn’t marriage.”

Gabriel didn’t press any further. He didn’t gloat either. He simply turned his gaze toward his own hand of cards. “I’m sorry, brother,” was all he said.

Thank you for reading the deleted scene of “A Deal with the Earl.” I hope you enjoyed it!

Did you know that the easiest way to support an author you like is by leaving a review? That’s right! Reviews help me find more readers who’ll enjoy my story. And it helps the readers find my story too.

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To Fall for a Duke by Christmas (Extra Epilogue)

Peacehaven, June 5th, 1757.

Niamh was sitting on her favorite bench, looking out to the sea and inhaling the comforting scent of water and salt. This peaceful view was one of the main reasons Peacehaven was her favorite estate. What could be better than having an easy access to the sea after all?

She heard footsteps from behind her and smiled to herself.

“What a magnificent view,” came her husband’s lovely voice.

She turned to see him smiling down at her. He made a few steps and sat beside her on the bench.

“Did the meeting go well?” she asked, inching closer to him, and burrowing inside his heat.

“Yes. It went well. The money from your bookshop is now successfully invested into something called a condensing steam engine. I know how you loved the shop and I promise to give you one as soon as all our work pays off,” David said, placing his arm around her. “It doesn’t get us out of all the debt yet. But with your frugality, I think we will be in a safe financial state in no time.”

“We have to,” Niamh said, as she looked away and put her hand protectively over her stomach.

“By the way, I just received the news. My aunt gave birth a month or so ago. I have an heir presumptive as it seems.” His smile turned gentle as his gaze settled on her slightly rounded belly. “Which means, there is no pressure on this babe. Personally, I would love a little fiery girl. And,” he paused and looked her up and down suggestively, “I am sure we can make a few more babes after that.”

Niamh laughed and placed her head on his shoulder. She felt him nuzzling into her shiny locks, inhaling her scent. She loved how peaceful it was on his Sussex estate. She loved their evenings together by the sea. Soon, their little family would grow, and she was looking toward it immensely.

David’s hand was circling her belly with calming, yet arousing strokes. Niamh turned her head toward him and kissed his jaw. David glanced down at her with a smile before nipping on her lips. She retaliated by placing a hot, openmouthed kiss on his mouth. With a low groan, David took her by the waist and sat her astride his hips.

“What are you doing?” Niamh laughed against his mouth as she settled more comfortably atop him.

“Debauching my wife.” David put his hands inside her skirts and shifted them higher, tracing the shape of her calves and thighs. He kissed her deeply, licking into her warm mouth as she tangled her tongue with his.

“Not here,” she whispered against his mouth, realizing they were still outside during the bright, sunny day.

“Why not?” David’s hands finally reached her bare bottom, and he pulled her closer to his groin, so she could feel his aroused state.

Niamh moaned at the sensation before disengaging her mouth from his once again.

“Somebody will see,” she whispered. But David was already opening his falls under her skirts. “David!” she let out an indignant shriek as he pulled her closer to him once more until she hovered over his hard, hot cock.

“Feel this?” He rubbed her against his hard flesh. Niamh closed her eyes and moaned in satisfaction. “I can’t wait any longer, sweet.”

Niamh couldn’t wait either. She put her hands on his shoulders and levered herself against his cock before sliding her way down his length inch by agonizing inch. David groaned. It felt so good, so incredibly wonderful, this feeling of being filled by him. Of having him in her arms, inside her flesh. David took her mouth with his and shoved his tongue inside her, plunging deep, then withdrawing and plunging again in an erotic rhythm. Niamh couldn’t take it anymore. With one sharp movement, she sat down fully atop him.

“Niamh,” David moaned against her lips. “Oh God, Niamh.”

His cock was fully inside her now. Her sensitive, soft flesh stretched and filled with his hot and hard one. David groaned into her mouth before Niamh lifted her head and started moving atop him. She lifted her hips a little before lowering them once again until his cock filled her to the hilt. She rubbed her hidden nub against him with each movement. David took her by the hips and started moving with her, helping her keep her rhythm, thrusting his cock inside her again and again. The feeling of flesh meeting flesh was so blissful, Niamh couldn’t help but moan with every contact.

David opened his mouth and bit her lightly on her shoulder. The pain only heightening the sensation of pleasure. Niamh felt the climax approaching. She lifted her head to the sky, as the white bursts of pure pleasure enveloped her, and she let out a short cry. David quickened the rhythm of his hips, plunging into her deeper until he joined her in the bliss. He hugged her close to him, still inside her, burying his head between her shoulder and neck.

Niamh regained her wits a few moments later. She looked around. They were still sitting on the same bench, overlooking the sea. The sun was shining brightly in the sky. The waves were crashing against the rocks. David was still inside her. She wriggled as if to get up, but David’s arms tightened around her. One more minute, she decided, settling back.

“What do you want to name our babe?” he asked suddenly.

“Mm?” Niamh raised her head and looked at him. David ran his hand against her belly before asking again. “Our babe. What do you want to name him?”

“Liam,” she said with a soft smile, “if it’s your fierce heir.”

“What if it’s a girl?”

Niamh thought for a moment. “I’ve always liked the name Eabha.”

“Eabha,” David said thoughtfully. “I love it.”

Niamh sighed contentedly before lowering her head back to his shoulder. She didn’t need the beautiful views, the seas, or the castles. Everything she ever needed was right there in her arms.

THE END

Thank you for reading the second epilogue of “To Fall for a Duke by Christmas” novella. I hope you enjoyed it!

Be sure to read the story of Niamh and David’s granddaughter, in A Bargain with the Rake.

Thank you!

Street Team Terms and Conditions

What is a Street Team?

Street team is a readers group formed from a group of people who are fan of a particular author’s work. In this case, Miss Sadie Bosque’s.

Who are Street Team members?

Street Team members are fans. People who are excited about Bosque’s work and are ready to push it for everyone to see. They can be book bloggers, avid reviewers, active goodreads users.

Ready to Join Sadie Bosque’s Street team?

General requirements:
  • Adult readers only (18+ years old).
    Sadie Bosque’s work contains adult material unsuitable for people under 18 years of age.
  • Active goodreads users. Should be interested in adding Bosque’s books to Listopia and/or voting on them; commenting on her books, status updates, events and/or liking sharing them.
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  • Book Enthusiasts. If you are not an active Social Media user but you’re an enthusiastic reader, you love ebooks, paperbacks, getting swag and are gushing on books, you’re also welcome. We need swag testers, proof checkers and many other things as Bosque is out of the USA and can’t receive the swag and proofs and do it herself.
Technical requirements
  • As Street Team, you will have a special facebook group where you could coordinate your efforts and discuss new releases, as well as be the first ones to get the special content.
  • Street Team members may not share, reproduce, distribute, or publish any provided work in any form.
  • Books are copyrighted material, so help the fight against piracy and support your local indie authors!

ARC Reader terms and conditions

What is an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy)

Advance Readers Copy is a finished or almost finished version of a book, given out for free to select group of readers for a free honest review.

Who is an ARC reader?

ARC readers are usually avid, voracious readers. They love getting exclusive free books before they are published. They are also either compulsive reviewers or book bloggers.

Ready to join Sadie Bosque’s ARC team?

General requirements
  • Adult readers only (18+ years old).
    Sadie Bosque’s work contains adult material unsuitable for people under 18 years of age.
  • Reviews should be posted on Amazon or Goodreads. Bookstagram, facebook and other blogs are optional, but welcome. If you don’t leave reviews on amazon, but have a personal or other blog with a decent exposure, you’re welcome to apply.
  • You are not required to read and review every book.
    As ARC Readers, you will receive calls to ARC read each piece of work together with description, word count and a Blurb. You do NOT need to respond every time. Only when the work resonates with you and you have free time.
Technical requirements
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    This is for copyright and anti-piracy measures.
  • ARC readers may not share, reproduce, distribute, or publish any provided work in any form.
    Books are copyrighted material, so help the fight against piracy and support your local indie authors!
Content of Reviews
  • You are receiving an ARC for an honest and voluntary review.
    Please indicate so in your Amazon review. Failure to do so may result in your review being rejected. Perfect spot for a disclaimer is at the end of the review.
  • No major spoilers, please. Your review is your own. But please, refrain from giving out major spoilers as it can impair other readers’ experience.
  • Late reviews. Sometimes life gets in a way. You will be receiving several emails to remind you to leave your review. If for some reason, you feel like you will not be leaving a review to a particular book (any reason), please, email Sadie and let her know.