Author Lorraine Heath is back with the fourth book in her Sins for All Seasons series with The Duchess in His Bed. We are so excited to share an exclusive excerpt from the book.
About The Duchess in His Bed
As owner of the Elysium Club which caters to women’s fantasies, Aiden Trewlove is accustomed to introducing adventurous ladies to sin and vice. But he is uncharacteristically intrigued by the mysterious beauty who visits his club one night, yearning to indulge in the forbidden…with him. Drawn to her indomitable spirit, he breaks his rule of never becoming personally involved with his clientele and is determined to fully awaken her desires.
A recent widow, Selena Sheffield, Duchess of Lushing, has never known passion, not until Aiden’s slow, sensual seduction leads her on a journey of discovery and incredible pleasure. But her reasons for visiting the notorious club are not all that they seem.
As Selena’s motives become complicated by love, she finds herself with a most unexpected choice: forge ahead with a secret plan that could secure her future — or follow her heart which could prove ruinous.
Aiden Trewlove escorted the lady into the dim light where he could get a better look at her. In contrast to his, her hair was the shade of wheat with the barest hint of red, as though she’d eaten strawberries as a child and the fruit had become part of her. But it was her eyes that drew him in, the blue of the hottest flames dancing upon a hearth, and he had the unsettling thought that with her he could get burned.
Not likely. He was not one to become overly involved with a lady. Having watched as one had nearly destroyed his brother when they were younger, randy and wild, Aiden had made a vow to never allow any woman to capture his heart. He would enjoy them, ensure they enjoyed time spent with him, but he’d walk away if he ever felt a spark that threatened more than a casual encounter, more than a frolic between the sheets.
He’d noticed this one the moment she entered his establishment, although he made note of everyone who came and went. It wasn’t unusual for a woman, upon first arriving at his club, to be a bit shy, to hover in a corner, to be hesitant about going forward and embracing what he offered. But this one had been neither shy nor hovering nor hesitant. She’d been watching. Not the dice games or the cards or the roulette wheel. Not the well-dressed men walking through offering champagne, brandy and port. Not the young bucks leaning over a lady’s shoulder whispering tips on how to play and compliments into her ear. No, none of that had caught her attention or sparked her curiosity. She’d been watching him.
He’d felt the caress of her gaze like a physical force traveling the length of him, and the urge to preen had hit him strong. But he was not one for preening. She either liked what she saw or she didn’t. Based on the fact that her hand was now nestled in the crook of his elbow, he assumed she liked.
He was desperate to see her without the mask that covered three-quarters of her face, leaving only her mouth and chin visible. Her chin reminded him of the bottom half of a heart, but more delicate, finely etched by fate’s gentle hand. The gods had taken care in creating this one.
She had luscious lips, a rosy pink, not red. His mind started to wander to other areas of her that might be pink, and he abruptly brought it back to the task at hand. Too soon to travel there. Besides he didn’t need to be walking about the place, looking as though he’d stuffed a tent pole in his trousers. He was introducing these ladies to sin not decadence. “Do you have an interest in these games?”
“I wouldn’t know. I’ve not played them.”
“So you only have an interest in that which you know? Where’s your sense of adventure, darling?”
“I’m here, aren’t I? My presence must demonstrate I’m in possession of a great deal.”
“But you’re not entirely comfortable with your surroundings or your daring to come here.”
“I suppose the mask was a hint, but no, I’m not. I had to give myself several lectures before convincing myself to come.”
“Nothing will happen here that you do not want to happen.”
She looked up at him, a bit of deviltry reflected in the blue depths. “So I will not lose my coins should I sit down at the tables?”
He laughed, grinned at her. “Point well made.”
“I’d not expected to see men playing,” she said.
“They’re tutoring their partners. These games are not what ladies play in the afternoon while sipping tea. Would you like me to fetch you a tutor?” Even as the words escaped his mouth from habit, his gut tightened with the thought of anyone leaning in and whispering advice into the delicate shell of her ear.
“I have no interest in learning card play.”
“Perhaps this will interest you more.”
He led her through a doorway into a room his brother had envisioned for elegant meals with white linen-covered tables and candles flickering on them. What use had adventurous women for such boring dining options? He still had the flickering candles, but they stood on tall pillars providing the barest of light over fainting couches and mounds of pillows where ladies lounged while men placed grapes between their lips or handed them glasses of wine. Young bucks knelt before them, holding a platter of food while they ate to their hearts’ content. Some women invited the men to join them while they dined, some merely wanted to be served. Whatever their pleasure, the gentlemen were hired to provide it.
“Have you a hunger to be sated?” he asked suggestively. “A thirst to be quenched?”
About the Author:
Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.
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