Monday, July 6, 2015

Cerise went to #Paris and shares 5 FAB.U.LOUS FREE things to do there!

You know I love to share my travels, especially to Paris and soon (be still my heart) to England and Bath!

But for Paris, ah, ma cherie, I have good news for you!

Aside from spending money, the best thing to do in Paris is spend time!

5. Walk along the Seine
Throw the guidebooks away for a day. Especially if that day is sunny. Take the Metro. Walk.
Go to Point Zero, which is a point in front of Notre Dame from which all points in France are measured!

Stroll along the river to admire the vendors with old postcards, prints, paintings, clothing and snacks!
Take pictures and breathe in the Paris air.

Buy an ice, if you must. But inhale the aromas of French roast coffee and baking croissants. Admire the flowers. I've never seen such blooms.

Walk over to the Place des Vosges, ordered built by Henri IV and a favorite place for Parisians today to take a picnic!

Doors at entrance to
Napoleon's Tomb
4. Go to St. Louis's Dome. Walk inside to visit Napoleon Bonaparte's Tomb.

Gives me chills every time I see it.

What a man he must have been.

Be sure to pay homage to General Foch who was the last of four French generals to lead the French military in La Grande Guerre, in the First World War.

Carried by a member of each of the branches of the French military, his coffin denotes the sorrow of the French who suffered enormous the destruction to home and civilians during that first global conflict.
General Foch carried by his French comrades
in Les Invalides

3. Visit the train stations!
I know you think I'm nuts, but really, they are a slice of architectural beauty. My favorite is Gare (pronounced not Gar, as in garage, but Garrrrrrrr) de L'Est. This Station of the East is a beauty opened in 1849 and it retains all the glorious expansive beauty of the Belle Epoch. Look at the fan windows. Admire the wide concourse. Both were innovations in their day.

Now imagine through here traveled millions of French and American soldiers from 1914 to 1919. Why?
The fronts were to the north of Paris for all Entente forces. The American front for the American Expeditionary Forces was to the north and east and the best way to get to them, if not by truck convoy, was by train. Often these train tracks did not couple and forces had to wait for hours for the arrival of another train on an adjoining track. Needless to say, the journey was long and arduous.

The cars, during wartime, were overcrowded, stinky, few seats available, without WCs (bathrooms, to Americans) and without any refreshment or dining cars.

People fled the fighting and the bombs and the invading armies on these trains. Carrying their chickens, their family photo albums, their clothes, millions boarded these trains and fled south. Many never returned. Villages were abandoned to the men fighting with sabers, rifles, flares, chemical gases and cannon.

2.  Take the Metro to Montemarte and walk into the square where you will find dozens of artists selling their wares. 

If walking distances is a challenge, get off the Metro at Lamark and walk up up up the stairs.  Good for the gluts, you see. (Yes, then another set of steps to the square!)

Dart into the many galleries to admire works by contemporary artists.

Walk down the steps toward Rue de Caulingcourt (named after one of Napoleon I's closest friends, ambassador to Russia and famous general). Note The Agile Rabbit on your right where dozens of Impressionist painters and sculptors and writers went nightly to drink and inspire each other!

Stroll along the Rue and walk into a wine shop for your vin. Next door, buy a cheese (dozens to choose from) and a demi baguette. Further along is a fabulous shop whose owner rotisseries chickens and little potatoes in a little roaster right out there on the sidewalk!

Take them all home or to your hotel and feast!

1. Walk along the Champs Elysee and discover Musee D'Orsay, Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens! 

Pack a lunch to sit in the gardens! Buy a sandwich of brie and ham, a chocolate croissant and coffee and admire what was saved for you by a Nazi general who refused Hitler's order to burn Paris in August 1944. Drop into Laduree and buy scrumptious macaroons.

Sit and imagine you are Marie Antoinette or Josephine or even Napoleon I or his nephew, Napoleon III admiring the view. Yes, on this site there once stood a Tuileries Palace where Marie Antoinette hid from the Revolutionaries and where Josephine bemoaned Napoleon's affairs. Admire what Napoleon saved and improved about Paris which include the bridges that bear his N emblem, river transportation, water availability and many roads into the capital.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Need a sexy butler? Doesn't every gal? And a man who catches spies? Cerise has 2 men for you!

Debuts everywhere July 22!
This month I'm excited about 2 men~one is Drayton Worth in THE INCOMPARABLES box set of 6 fab.u.lous Regency romances for 99 cents and my hot-to-the-touch bangin' butler in HER BEGUILING BUTLER!

Drayton Worth caught spies during the Napoleonic Wars and one of them was the husband of the woman he adored. Catching Henri Montroy meant ruining Emma Bedlow. But 5 years after Waterloo, Dray seizes the opportunity to make her his. And he starts by giving her the house next door to his own!

Dray stars in INTERLUDE WITH A BARON, #4 in my Regency Romp series and in this box set!)

THE INCOMPARABLES features 6 wonderful stories by 6 regency authors you will adore!

A best seller already at ARe and AMAZON worldwide!


As for the delectable butler in HER BEGUILING BUTLER, Mr. Finnley is the hottest darn man servant you've ever met! And every gal needs a man to wait on her, true? He debuts July 22!!!!

A lady shouldn’t desire her butler. But what’s a woman to do when the man fascinates her? She must taste him…or dismiss him.

And how does a man kill his scandalous desire to kiss his charming employer? Especially when he must protect her from an unknown villain…as well as his dastardly need to possess her.   

Finnley starts a new series, DELIGHTFUL DOINGS IN DUDLEY CRESCENT, about...ahem...affairs in proper English households between the lords and ladies and their staff. Among staff we have HIS TEMPTING GOVERNESS and HIS NAUGHTY MAID.

And for more news, join my newsletter mailing list!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Romancing the Wolf box set out today! Yummy excerpt by Jennifer Kacey!

Violet's Shadow on Amazon  Violet's Shadow on Barnes and Noble   Violet's Shadow on Kobo   ibookslogo

 Available for PreOrder now!!!
 Coming out on June 30th 2015!!!!
Romancing the Wolf
Sexy and we know it! They’re on the hunt after your heart. Discover 11 brand new passionate tales of friendship, desire, wolves, survival, and redemption. Escape to another world, another place, and another romance…
Warning: Contains wild heroes and heroines, tempestuous passion, old secrets, new discoveries, and pack ties binding them together. Sometimes love’s greatest challenge is romancing the wolf…

Jennifer Kacey - Violet's Shadow (Shadow Mates) 
  Two weeks alone in a secluded cabin is music to Violet’s ears. Until she sees a shadow in the forest with red glowing eyes. Red eyes she’s seen in her dreams for as long as she can remember. Eyes that make her want to forget the rest of the world. But she doesn’t believe in fairy tales anymore.
Rayden was sent to protect her.  To keep her safe.  Nothing more than to guide her as she transitions into a Shadow and takes her rightful place in the pack.  What he finds instead is the mate he’s been unwilling to search for and a passion so fierce he’ll never be able to walk away.
   Violet’s spent her entire life aching to belong and she finally finds it in the pack of Shadows she is destined to join.  Everything she’s ever wanted in life and love is finally at her fingertips if she’s brave enough to embrace…her Shadow.

Excerpt –
  Violet Clare slammed the flimsy wooden door to her cabin, then threw the lock. It was somewhere around an inch of steel away from comforting. Retreating while keeping her eyes trained on the only entry point, she strained to identify what she could do to avoid the inevitable if the animal wanted in.   With only moonlight illuminating the cabin she tried to convince her heart to evac out of her throat and settle into a more subdued rhythm. Instead, it had a mind of its own, and continued on the Jesus,   Mary and what the fuck gravy train it was currently joy riding atop.
   It was out there. Chasing after her. She’d seen him. Not him. It. A shadow. Or a wolf. Both?
   At least she thought it was a wolf. But wolves weren’t so damn big and they sure as hell weren’t born with red, almost glowing eyes…
   Remove the almost part.
   Emphasi on the what the fuck part.
   “It’s just a dream,” she whispered, trying desperately to stop shaking. “Only another dream. And   I’m going to wake up. I am.”
   Shaking her head didn’t work. Squeezing her eyes shut did nothing, but freak her out more.
   Beyond the cabin, in the shadows of the huge pine trees—no from the shadows of the trees a wolf had appeared. Watching her. It was like something out of a children’s book. Not moving a single muscle but she knew every fiber of his being was ready to…what?
   Pounce. Attack. Seduce?
   “Heheheheeeheheeee—” A high-pitched giggle, the love child of her frayed nerves and anticipation, bubbled out until she slapped a hand over her mouth.
   Holy nut house, Batman! Her mother had told her for as long as she could remember to get her head out of the clouds. Fairytales weren’t real and the sooner she learned to live in the real world the better off she’d be. At twenty-five, she still couldn’t seem to get that one right.
   If someone needed a random prediction of the future she couldn’t control? She was their girl. For as long as she could remember, she experienced foresight—visions which came true. Every. Single. Time.  She’d been hiding her freaky ability since the first time she’d made the mistake of telling her mother something she knew was going to happen. When her predictions came true, her mom had been furious. Violet’s backside still stung when she thought about how angry her Mom had been.   Scared even. So she’d tried to act the part. Perfect daughter. Perfect student. Perfect employee. Living a lie in the real world? It didn’t fit her so well. Never had.
But what if her dreams were true? She shook her head again as she continued to retreat from the door. Not possible. It’s just not possible. A wolf with red eyes appearing right outside a cabin she’d rented and only one other person knew she was at.
The travel agent promised her a remote, picturesque secluded getaway located in the middle of a protected forest in East Texas. Perfect for a couple weeks of rest and relaxation in the summer where nature walks abound and it was almost expected to sunbathe for hours—all described in the brochure. Didn’t say anything about creatures stalking her in the forest or appearing out of thin fucking air.
“It’s beautiful there,” the travel agent told her as she’d booked Violet’s flights from where she lived in Destin, Florida. “It will be a trip to remember. Fresh air, sunshine, and you’ll be surrounded by wild flowers.”
   “Wild flowers my ass,” Violet murmured as she finally hit the far wall. Being jarred out of her inner monologue, she ran clammy hands across the wood behind her. A weapon wasn’t forth coming along the wall as her heart got good and comfy on its seat on the holy shit train to freakoutville.
Violet slid down the wall and wrapped her arms over her knees seeing nothing but the pair of bright red eyes following her all the way to the cabin as she’d sprinted for the only structure within fifty miles. Out for a walk to get some fresh air, she’d caught a whole heck of a lot more nature than she’d planned on. God she had felt the gaze on her like a caress. Her body had responded like someone had licked her up the middle. Her breathing grew labored, her nipples pebbled and wetness coated the lips of her pussy preparing to be penetrated clear through to her soul. Adrenaline coursed through her veins as if she’d had someone seducing her for hours. A lover dedicated to showing her what it was going to feel like when she came so hard reality fell away and the only thing left was her desire staring at her with those red eyes. The same red eyes she’d been dreaming of for the entire twenty-five years she’d been breathing. She’d known them forever. Which is why she’d run. Terrified he was real. More terrified he wasn’t.
   Fear and desire fought for dominance inside her and she had no idea how to process either.
   She closed her eyes, tucked her hair behind her ears and held her breath, straining to listen.    Rationalizing came next and she hoped going crazy had some kind of user’s manual or flow chart like the five stages of grief.
   Step one. Run through the forest at night like a crazy woman. Check.
   Two. Embrace the crazy person laugh. Check.
   Three. Sit in a dark cabin, hiding from the boogeyman and rationalize everything that happened in the last few minutes, ending with the assertion you most certainly are NOT crazy?
   Yes it had been dark out, and yes she had partaken in a glass of wine with dinner, but she wasn’t crazy.
   Double. Check.
   This was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime so she could find some direction. Figure out what she really wanted to do with her life, but her focus was shittier than a fertilizer convention. And now here she sat, huddled in the corner, wondering what she could use for a weapon. Damn. Not the best time to remember her cell phone didn’t work out here either.
   A couple weeks alone in the wilderness to take stock of her life was supposed to be uneventful to downright boring so she could decide what she was going to do when she got home. It seemed destiny had arrived a few days early to get the low down on the here and now.
   Well the here and now was about to pee herself if—
   Her inner Oprah went mute when a faint creak sounded right outside the door. Someone or something had just stepped onto the porch.
   Yesterday it could have been the wind or a bunny. Cause bunnies are soft and cuddly and a bunny didn’t eat people, right? But her current circumstances were so not yesterday.
   A louder snort echoed outside, followed by another creak and a dark shadow passing across the small crack under the door.
  “I’ve waited for you for years and when I find you, you run?”
  What. The. Hell.

Desiree Holt- Heart of the Wolf (The Devora)
Saranna DeWylde The Ardennes Curse (Woolven Secret)
Virginia Nelson - Odd Mate (The Odd Series)

Gayle Donnelly – Running with the Wolf (The Cascadia Wolves)
Cara Carnes - Redemption’s Forgiveness (The Rending)
Brandy Walker – Under Her Spell (Keystone Predators)
Rebecca Royce - Always (Dragon Wars)
Heather Long - Wolf with Benefits (Wolves of Willow Bend)
Melissa Schroeder - The Alpha's Saving Grace (Lonestar Wolf Pack)

Need something to wet your whistle?
May I suggest a delicious bite out of the Members Only series........ :P
The books in the Members Only Series can be found here...

Stand Alone

Jennifer Kacey is a writer, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Can't stop till you get enough #Waterloo? Cerise's list of blogs, movies, books!

I MAD to have more, you need a fix?
 ARe    KOBO
know, dear heart. You are addicted now to all the Waterloo info! Hungering, in withdrawal, quite

I have a few really yummy ones for you!

Aside from reading the oh, let us estimate...429+ novels, blogs, books which debuted this past year on the 200th anniversary, here is another list with url links for you to gorge yourself on the goodies!

Want to go to the Duchess of Richmond's Ball?
Read author Eileen Dreyer's multi-day blog about her attendance this year!

What to Wear to the Ball?
See yesterday's post here,

Who Rode What Horse to the battlefield?
NAPOLEON rode a horse named Marengo...or did he?

WELLINGTON rode a horse named Copenhagen!

What happened in the 3 day battle?

Did Napoleon deserve to lose?
Read what this noted Napoleonic historian has to say in his 900+ page biography! (Yes, I read it. Yes, it is worth the gross expenditure of time, my darlings.)

How did the world learn about who won and lost?

Did the Scots really dance over swords?

Need a schmaltzy movie about the love story of Napoleon and Josephine?

Want to see what the battlefield looks like today?

Monday, June 22, 2015


Ever wonder how much is really true about what you read in historicals?
We all do!
I want to share with you 5 statements that are true in my story in the 99 cent smash hit, THE INCOMPARABLES, INTERLUDE WITH A BARON.

1. When the book opens (and the box set), Drayton Worth goes to a ball in Brussels.

Did a ball really occur?

Indeed it did!

The Duke of Lennox was put in charge of the defense of the city. His wife, who was the Duchess of Richmond (and Lennox), gave a ball for most general staff, officers in town, foreign officers and others who were invited by any of the above.

A glittering affair, the ball is recreated each year. There was one the other night in Brussels to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the battle.

2. In the scene in the novel where Drayton follows the spy and sees part of the battle, Dray sees French Eagles captured during the fray.

Is it true that the Scots Greys (armed cavalry) seized French Eagles from men of the French line?
Already a BestSeller on

Yes. This is true.  To this day, the Scots Greys have that French Imperial Eagle and are very proud of it's capture.

3. In all of the stories in THE INCOMPARABLES, the heroes are founders of a men's club in St. James' where they house and assist veterans of the Allied forces who fought in the 3-day battles which we collectively call Waterloo.

Is there such a club?

No. The Incomparable Club is a fiction which we six authors created to give us a basis for our collaboration and to give our men a link, so to speak.

4. In many of the novels, we six authors state that veterans were not cared for after the victory at Waterloo.

Is this true?

The Incomparables: 6 Heroes of Waterloo and the 6 Ladies They Adore
Yes. It is. Men who enlisted did so with the knowledge that they would be discharged after the wars were concluded. There was no provision for pay, disability, aid to widows or orphans or death benefits. All of these are benefits which were created mostly after standing armies became the norm in the mid-1800s.

5. Our hero, Drayton Worth lives temporarily in Queen Square. He also leases a house next door.

Does Queen Square exist?

Yes. It does! Queen Square is actually a square with garden in the center in Bloomsbury area of London. Begun between 1716 and 1725, it survives to this day and is a center for medical facilities and professionals. 

Here are pictures!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

INTERLUDE WITH A BARON, Fashions make perfect! #Regency dress in #historical #romance by Cerise DeLand

Nothing makes a lover of Regency romances more shivery and steamy than picturing in her mind's eye the luscious clothes of men and women who live in the novels.

With Beau Brummel the leading contender for Clothes Horse of the Ton—and his friend the Prince Regent close behind—many were dedicated to wearing proper attire for every hour of the day.

Here are just a few delights from INTERLUDE WITH A BARON, currently among the box set of THE INCOMPARABLES, the set of 6 Waterloo commemorative novels for 99 cents. (This terrific bargain features big, luscious stories of 6 Heroes of Waterloo and the 6 Ladies They Adore by 6 Incomparable Regency Authors including Dominique Eastwick, Sabrina York, Suzanna Medeiros, Suzi Love, Lynne Connelly and me, too!)

For the ball gown Emma Bedlow wears, here is a gorgeous piece beautifully preserved.  A Regency gown circa 1821, this dress is made of silk gauze with embroidered blue leaves in silk, trimmed in silk net and blue satin, puffed sleeves with silk tassels and trimmed in blue silk net and ribbons. I change the blue to aqua marine to match my heroine's eyes. And yes, our hero Drayton Worth ordered the gown made especially for her!

A Morning Dress, or robe and neglige of cambric and muslin, fastened at the front with bows and tassels. Imagine having those undone in the bedroom by the man of your choice! Drayton Worth does—and loves every moment! But then, so does Emma!

And what might he be wearing?
Well!  He has to look as on pointe as she, mustn't he?

Here is his attire when he calls on her that first day she moves in to her new house in Queen Square in London. Unbeknown to her, he temporarily lives next door in this smaller abode he owns. His main house lies in St. James Square, but a fire there months ago has meant he's had to call for renovations.

Here is Dray's marvelous afternoon attire. Buckskin breeches, a fabulous coat and oh, wow, to the cravat. But the boots are the Be All And End All, don't you think?

Do buy THE INCOMPARABLES! Only 99 cents for fab.u.lous Regency novels! For a limited time at this price, too.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cerise DeLand's excerpts #Waterloo in #regency box set The Incomparables, out now!

Amazon    ARe    KOBO
The Incomparables: 6 Heroes of Waterloo and the 6 Ladies They Adore

This limited edition box set includes 6 scorching romances that commemorate the 200th anniversary of the June 18, 1815 Battle of Waterloo.

From the Duchess of Richmond’s ball in Brussels to the Battle of Waterloo and beyond, join these six unforgettable heroes as they journey back from the physical and emotional trials of war and discover the passion that thrills the body can also heal the heart. 

Coming June 18th from bestselling and award winning historical romance authors Cerise DeLand, Sabrina York, Suzi Love, Lynne Connolly, Suzanna Mederios and Dominique Eastwick.

Order now: Amazon    ARe    KOBO

Read more about this steamy collection!

Interlude with a Baron by Cerise DeLand
Emma wants only an interlude with the man she’s adored for years. But Drayton Worth has spent five years riddled with guilt for hurting her—and he’s determined to have more than a few nights in her bed.

Tarnished Honor by Sabrina York
Daniel Sinclair is a broken man with war wounds that are physical and spiritual. He’s weighed down by grief and guilt and tormented by his tarnished honor. When he meets Fia Lennox, a beautiful and brave Highland lass in dire need of his protection, he sees in her his chance for redemption…or utter damnation. Because despite his valiant attempts to resist her, he cannot.

Love After Waterloo by Suzi Love
When Lady Melton and her son join Captain Belling and the last wounded soldiers evacuating from Waterloo to London, she expects clashes with army deserters but doesn’t anticipate how falling in love with the antagonistic captain will change her life.

Dreaming of Waterloo by Lynne Connolly
Paul “Lucky” Sherstone daren’t even let his wife too close because of his headaches and the living nightmares he can’t dispel. Hetty hardly knows the man who comes back from war, but one thing she does know—she still wants him.

The Captain’s Heart by Suzanna Mederios
A man who is determined to fulfill his duty at the expense of his own happiness, a woman who wants only one taste of true passion, and a case of mistaken identity. Can Captain Edward Hathaway and Grace Kent overcome the guilt that continues to haunt them both and find true love?

For Love or Revenge by Dominique Eastwick

Captain Roarke Wooldridge is about to find out that sometimes love does heal all wounds.But when his need for revenge collides with desires he never believed he would feel again, will he be able to put aside the scars of Waterloo to embrace his future?

  “Excuse me, will you?” Dray dismissed himself from the group. He had four days to talk with all these people. What lured Dray was his favorite puzzle. The famous Marlthorpe maze.
  He escaped through the French doors opening to the veranda and the complex design of the evergreens. He loved this labyrinth, its path copied from an ancient Greek oracle. For many years, he’d come here to Marlthorpe’s springtime party and sought out the serenity of the garden and the mental exercise it afforded. Puzzles were his favorite pastime when he was not making money.
Starting down the entrance, he paused a moment to consider the right turn or the left. He’d tried the left last year and found it led to a circular route back to the entry. Right then, it would be. The yews had grown two inches or more since last spring and the enclosure was quiet, comforting. That is, it was until he heard giggles from another quarter of the shrubbery.
  The sounds were those of a young child and a woman.
  “Come now, Christine,” the female voice was low, breathless. It had a distinctive rasp.
  Dray halted.
  “You must put on your mask, dearest. You have the advantage if you can see!” The woman laughed though she tried to sound stern.
  And Dray swallowed, drowning his instincts about the identity of the lady who chased her daughter in the garden.
   The child shrieked in delight, then pattered away.
  Rustlings in the bushes gave evidence of the two running.
  “I found you!” the woman said.
  “Not fair. Not fair, Miss Bedlow.” The girl objected but laughed nonetheless.
   Miss Bedlow? How could it be?  
   Dray stared at the wall of greenery.
   The two chuckled and chased each other.
   The woman stopped. “Wait, Christine!”
   He spun around, following the sounds, his head whirling with the shock and the possibility that Emma Bedlow was a guest at this party. That she played with a child.
   And that she was in this garden and he was, too. After years of taking care to never cross her path, how ironic that he could come to a house party on a spring afternoon in Berkshire and be so near.
   He stood, confounded by his choices. Call to her. See her. In truth, over the next three days, he would eventually be near her. To converse. To dine. To dance. Better to face her alone now than later in a room filled with curious spectators.
  So be it. Following their voices, he tracked her and her charge down one path and left across another. Luck was with him and he recalled one lane with the grey stone bench…and another one with the potted white roses along the east barrier.
  The noises stopped.
  The girl asked a question and Emma answered, walking toward him and laughing.
  Anxious, fretful, he turned a corner.
   Let his eyes revel in the sight of her.
   She was holding hands with a girl and beginning a children’s roundelay.
  The girl broke away from her, racing around like a little animal and not watching where she was going, she ran right into Dray.
   With a grunt, she froze and peered up at him.
   Dray caught the child with hands to her shoulders. She squirmed and pleaded with him to let her go.
   But Dray had no presence of mind to do it. He gazed at Em, his soul drinking in her pale green gown, her fuller figure, her wealth of midnight hair. He had died of thirst for years to see her—and he rejoiced that she appeared hale and hearty, even happy, if also at the moment, shocked to stillness.
  What to say to her? What to call her? He wouldn’t address her by her title. That was one she’d hated, never wanted. And since the autumn, she told it about that she wished to discard her married name for her maiden.
  “My lady, how wonderful to see you again.”
  She gaped at him as she blinked and stepped backward. “My lord.”
  “I had no idea you were here.”
   “I—I was amusing her, tiring her before…”
   He tore his gaze from hers and looked at the girl with a critical eye. The child was too old to be hers and Montroy’s. Was she ten? Eleven? Twelve years old, at the very most. When he’d last seen Em after Waterloo, she’d been married only a year and the anniversary of that great battle would be five years in June. This child was not hers.
  He peered at her. “You are invited to the house party?”
   Emma shook her head so forcefully that her shining hair, so thick, fell from her pins, draping her shoulders with fat curls. “ Yes. But I will not attend.”
   He took a step nearer. She was as lovely—no, even more beautiful than she’d been as an eighteen-year-old dancing in his arms at the Dunstables’ ball. Now she was what? Twenty-four? Twenty-five?   Her cheeks were plumper. Her exotic aqua eyes round with shock. Her form was fuller. A woman, no longer a girl. A woman who had seen too much agony and deserved all the laughter and light she could garner in her lifetime.
   “I don’t understand. Are you not a guest?”
  “I am acting governess to the earl of Tunbridge’s daughter. Forgive me. This is Lady Christine, my lord. My dear, I present Baron Lansdowne.”
   While the girl murmured how she was pleased to meet him, he took a second to realize Em used the formal title of Naill Wainwright. Astonishing, too, was that this child was Naill’s, the one no one ever saw and often remarked might not exist.
   “You are employed?”
   “I am.”
   That confused him. She had money. He’d made certain of it. His sum complemented that from her mother’s dowry, which her father had not been able to throw after bad schemes, grasping mistresses and cards. “Will you come inside and—?”
   “No, my lord.” She stiffened and never took her eyes from him. “I cannot.”
  “I am so delighted to see you, Em.”
   She looked as if she were about to cry. But she took hold of her charge’s hand. “I must go.”
   “Wait, Em. I must talk to you.” Make amends.
   “I do not wish to speak with you. Go about your party, my lord. Say nothing, I beg you, of this or me to anyone.”
   The Elgin family had invited her. They had evidently accepted that she needed careful assistance to enter society again. He didn’t understand why she hung back.
   Unless she was angry at him.
  And he couldn’t blame her. “Em, I mean you no harm.”
   She put up a hand. “Please, Dray. I must do this my way. Let me go in peace.”

   And since she had had so little of it in her life, he did as she asked and watched her leave him. As she always did.
Regency Romp series
which begins with
followed by
and wihtin a few weeks, the third in series~

Not read the others?
Start now!
Then watch for MASQUERADE in a few weeks!
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