I am an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. I especially love romance and adore writing about people falling in love. I live a lot in the worlds I create and I actively speak to my characters (out loud). I have a warrior way "never give up on my dream." When I am not writing, I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese Anime and playing video games with my love. I also have a horrible weakness for Ice cream. :)
A Secret on Christmas Eve with Stacy Reid
Lady Victoria Rathbourne and Lord Justin Bollard, the Earl of Ainsley, are my heroine and hero from the Scandalous House of Calydon series book 6! (To be published in 2016) Enjoy this exclusive sneak peek into their romance which hints at secrets galore!
Tonight must be the last night she would indulge in such wantonly reckless behavior. Lady Victoria adjusted the mask on her face, and patted her wig, ensuring they were fitted securely. It was Christmas Eve, only a few hours before midnight, and she was supposed to be catching up on sleep for the festivities tomorrow. Instead, she had snuck out to the conservatory to meet Justin Bollard, the Earl of Ainsley, a guest of the Duchess of Calydon. He was part owner of the gaming club Decadence, one of the most shocking and scandalous clubs of the haute monde, which Victoria had been secretly visiting for weeks. A spark of rebellion had lighted inside of her for the past few hours and had only grown. She had been Lord Ainsley’s partner in a game of charades, and she had been seated beside him at dinner, and the man had looked through her. A deep seated need to rattle him had unfurled inside her, so she had sent him a note that read:
How interesting we frequent the same intimate social gatherings, Lady Scarlett.
He’d given her that name the first night she’d visited Decadence in her scandalous red dress.
Reckless. Foolish. And disastrous.
Only close friends and family members were present at Sherring Cross. He only had about a dozen ladies’ identities to analyze. Then before she could decide to rescind her ill-advised impulse, his swift and scandalous reply had been discreetly delivered.
Lady Scarlett, how delightful. I have dreamt of your kisses, of feeling the touch of your skin under my tongue and fingertips. Am I to finally place a name to my tormentor? Meet me in the conservatory at midnight.
No signature, simply the seal of his club, Decadence—a pair of lips kissing an apple, and without a doubt a clear reminder she was out of her league. And even more ridiculous, she had snuck away from the main house in the blistering cold to meet him. What had she been thinking? She made to leave but a sound had her spinning around, and her breath caught in her throat.
Serious hazel eyes examined her frame, and his gaze was as shocking, intense and as physical as a caress. She could also see the sharp cunning in his eyes.
“Lady...Scarlett,” he greeted with a deceptively charming smile.
Surely the man had not discovered that his Lady Scarlett was actually Lady Victoria, sister to the Duchess of Calydon?
Unable to help herself, she responded, “Lord Dissolute.”
When she’d visited his club for the first time, somehow, inexplicably she had caught the attention of the known rake, Justin Bollard, the earl of Ainsley. It had been thrilling…and frightening.
“Do you know who I am?” She had to know if she had foolishly botched everything.
A sensual smile curved his lips. “I suspect.”
Her heart lurched. Was this a ploy to reveal her identity...or did he truly know?
He reached the darkened corner where she lingered, and stood so close the hem of her nightdress swirled around his legs. He raised his hands and dragged his thumb across the pad of her bottom lip. They had been dancing around each other for several nights now, and never had he been so forward...been so improper.
“I never imagined I would find you here. And to think I had almost declined the duchess’ invitation because I wanted to stay at Decadence to see if you would visit.”
She shifted restlessly. “I must go.”
“You’ve only just arrived.”
“Yes, and it was reckless of me to come, to even send you the note.”
Intent eyes peered down at her. “Why did you?”
“My reasons are my own.” Victoria winced. She had wanted to sound nonchalant; instead her answer had been a bit too breathless.
“Share with me your thoughts, and I will reveal a secret of mine.”
She raised a brow. “You have nothing with which to tempt me, my lord.”
He placed a hand on his chest as if wounded, but his eyes gleamed with amusement. And if she was not mistaken, desire.
He leaned in distressingly close, placing one of his hands on the wall above her shoulder. “I will give you the secret code to my club.”
Excitement zipped through her blood. She knew such a code existed, and it would give her carte blanche to come and go as she pleased. Oh the wretched man. He was drawing her deeper into his web.
“I’ve been told only five people in all of London know the code.”
He gave a lazy shrug. “Six, but who’s counting?”
A smile tugged at her lips. “And my thoughts are all you want in return?” What was she saying? She should be running from this highly improper and reckless encounter. But the torment, the boredom that had pushed her to sneak out and gain entrance to the club, held her rooted.
“You know what I want.”
Disappointment sliced through her. Of course, her name. Lady Scarlett and Lady Victoria were nothing alike. As Lady Scarlett she was daring, provocative, her clothes bordering on indecent, and she wore a black, short hair wig. As Lady Victoria she acted the genteel daughter of an earl, dressed demurely, and had waist length, blonde hair...and was so nice. He would never imagine they were the same. He hadn’t even suspected it when she had sat beside him at dinner a few hours past.
“You want my name,” she said on a sigh. He would be sorely disappointed for she would never reveal it, not even to be introduced to a world of sin, excitement, and vice whenever she wished.
“It is not your name I require. I will learn all of you in due time, and I am a patient man.”
“I want to taste you.”
She blinked and he smiled, and the wickedness in it was devastating to her senses.
“One kiss...and you get the much sought after code.”
Heat pooled in her veins. Not much of a trade-off. She had wanted to kiss this man from the first time she met him several weeks ago. They had come shockingly close only once. It had been so fleeting, a mere brush of lips, but it had shaken Victoria to her core, and in her bemusement the earl’s deft fingers had almost untied her mask. She had been saved by the timely appearance by the Duke of Mondvale. Though she had fled Lord Ainsley’s tempting presence, she had dreamt of what it would have been like to be kissed by the sensual Lord Dissolute. She tipped on her toes and encircled her hands around his neck. “Yes,” she said before she could change her mind.
His head dipped and his breath wafted across her lips. “Revenant,” he whispered. “The code you seek is revenant.”
She nodded, her throat too tight to respond.
“Tell me, Lady Victoria, have you never heard the saying that the eyes are the windows to the soul?”
Her heart slammed hard, and before she could respond, he took her mouth in a wet, carnal kiss.
His dark seduction will be her undoing…After being cruelly jilted by a lord who claimed to adore her, Miss Payton Peppiwell swore her future husband would be as ordinary as she. Now if only her family would listen to her. Then she meets Mikhail Konstantinovich, an untitled horse breeder, in a highly improper and scandalous encounter. Never had Payton expected to be so attracted to the dark, intriguing man, who seduces her to recklessness with a mere stare.Mikhail abhors anything to do with intimacy. Yet Miss Peppiwell stirs hunger and a need long forgotten in him. But Mikhail has a dark past—one that means his lust must be sated in a way entirely unsuitable for a lady. But his biggest secret will be the hardest for Payton to overcome: Mikhail is not only titled, he’s a prince…
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- 1 $10 Gift Card (Amazon or B&N) + a Signed copy of The Duke's Shotgun Wedding
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