Summer Secrets of the Soho Club
(7 Regency Novellas + 2 BONUS READS)
By popular demand The Soho Club is back - with a hot new collection set across the Regency Summer. My summer Soho novella is A Delicate Investigation.
When it comes to the family you're born into, ambition and treason can triumph over love and loyalty. A Delicate Investigation brings the Ryan sisters face to face with an adversary they know far too well.
The Regent's estranged wife is now the Queen - or is she? Her Highness has enemies, and fiercely protective children.
James Lovedale, brother to the Prime Minister's secretary, finds himself transported from debtor's prison to The Soho Club, where the proprietress has work for him. The work? A 'simple burglary' - that's too well-compensated not to be suspicious. His one aim is to complete his work, collect his booty, and leave England for good: Until he's persuaded to take tea with the alluring Miss Ward.
Miss Edwinna (Eadie) Ward, the queen's foster-daughter, will do anything to protect her family. When her brother's accused of theft, she turns to Ada Jenkisnon (nee Ryan), whose connection to her found family is closer than she guessed. Together, they attempt to discover the true thief - but there's problem...can you guess what it is?
Your Steamy Taster...
She bit her lip, reaching for another cannolo. She licked at the cream. “I must beg your pardon,” she said finally, closing the book on her lap. “It’s a scandalous opening.”
“In my experience, those are the best kind,” he said absently, watching her nibble her pastry. “Go on,” he said, his voice deepening. “What did it say to alarm a woman who critiques Fanny Hill?” His gaze never left her mouth, those darkening irises locked on her lips.
“It says nuns or concubines are the originators of cannoli.”
“That certainly explains their shape.” He sounded amused.
“Similar to a cigarillo,” Eadie said quietly. “I – I suppose tobacco is common among London gentleman, Mr Lovedale?”
He shrugged. “I know of many who indulge, Miss Ward. Men, and women.” His eyebrows lifted as he flicked another glance towards the door. “I’ve not brought my pouch, but I can ring for it.”
Eadie shook her head. Now that he’d found her, she didn’t wish to be alone. She didn’t want them interrupted either. The cigarillo had been her most pressing concern, but she’d no proof it belonged to Mr Lovedale. She tried not to think about why this seemed important. I do not want him to be a part of this plot. For a plot it must be.
“Miss Ward?” Mr Lovedale asked again. “Do you wish to smoke?”
“No,” Eadie replied clearly. “I’ve read smoking has a sedative effect.” Her gaze locked on his. “I do not care to sleep in your company, Mr Lovedale.”
“Do you care to resume your reading, then?” He studied her second head-shake curiously. Without taking his eyes from hers, he reached for the plate, taking up the last pastry. “There’s only one left.” His gaze flicked to her lips.
“You ought to have it, sir. Indulge yourself.”
“It would be a greater indulgence to watch you taste it.” His heated stare focused on her mouth.
Eadie’s eyes widened. “You wish to watch me…eat?” “Yes.” He held it before her like a divine offering. “Will you indulge me, Miss Ward?”
Eadie gazed steadily into Mr Lovedale’s eyes. His iris-blue tones deepened as she watched. “Oltre al piacere, c'è sempre il rimorso, dall'indulgere alle nostre passioni; e, dopo tutto, cosa hai da temere?”
“I’m afraid you’ll have to translate.” His voice grew hushed, raw.
“I’m quoting Dumas, a famous lover. He said, ‘besides the pleasure, there is always remorse, from the indulgence of our passions; and, after all, what have you to fear?’”
His gaze didn’t flicker. “Are you afraid of this, Miss Ward?”
“Edwinna,” she murmured, unable to look away from the heat in his gaze, or the dark flush in his face. “I mean, Eadie. And no.” She saw him swallow as she raised her hand toward the cannolo – then stopped.
He sighed. “Miss Ward—”
“I’m not afraid,” she repeated, gradually unbuttoning her glove. “Eadie,” she said again, working her way from elbow to wrist, taking her time with each tiny button, slipping satin knobs from hard little loops.
Mr Lovedale seemed determined to count each glove-button, iris-blue gaze tracking each movement until her silk fell away, exposing her bare arm. Her empty palm soon held his dessert. She touched her tongue to the tip, licking at the cream, tempting herself. And Mr Lovedale? Was Eadie tempting him? Warm thrills ran through her body.
“Like this, Mr Lovedale?”
“Yes,” he breathed as though he might close his eyes, but he didn’t. His stare riveted on her face as though she were the most fascinating exhibit he’d ever seen. Eadie finished licking, and took a bite, revelling in the moan from her gentleman. She took another, until she’d eaten exactly half.
“Shall I swallow the rest?”