An anonymous author has turned English society upside down, and only one man can protect her identity from being revealed, and her life from being destroyed, in this sexy new romance from reader favourite Jacquie D'Alessandro.
The scandalous book, A Ladies Guide to the Pursuit of Personal Happiness and Marital Fulfilment has taken English society by storm. The slim but erotically explicit volume was penned by an unknown author, and now all of London is trying to discover the mysterious writer's true identity. But the search doesn't scare Catherine Ashfield, Viscountess Bickley, the proper woman who transcribed the book for her dear friend, a very elderly and experienced widow. Disgusted by the shallow values and morals of the town, Catherine was excited to help her friend and set the uppity nobility on its ear. And maybe by giving women a little more knowledge they could finally have happier marriages, instead of loveless unions as she had her with her own late husband.
But Catherine didn't anticipate the violent backlash against the book. With threats being made against the unknown author, Catherine fears for her safety and that of her son. When she is the victim of a near fatal accident, she wonders how hidden her identity truly is.
Knowing she needs protection, she turns to her brother's best friend, an accomplished pugilist and fencer. She invites him to stay at her country estate under the guise of a simple visit, not realizing that she has invited a fugitive with a dangerous past into her homeâa man she soon finds herself powerfully attracted to...
Today's Modern Woman should strive for personal enlightenment,independence, and forthrightness. The perfectplace to begin this quest for assertiveness is in the bedchamber...
A Ladies' Guide to the Pursuit of Personal Happiness and Intimate Fulfillment
by Charles Brightmore
"Scandalous, that's what it is," came an outraged malewhisper. "My wife has somehow secured a copy of thatdeuced Ladies' Guide."
"How do you know?" came another gruff male whisper.
"Damned obvious, what with the way she's been acting.Been spewing out nonsense about 'today's modernwoman' and 'independence' like a steaming teakettle.Just yesterday she marched into my private study andproceeded to question me regarding my gambling markersand the amount of time I spend at White's!"
Sharp intakes of breath followed. "Outrageous," mutteredthe gruff whisperer.
"Precisely what I told her."
"What did you do?"
"Why, I marched her right out of my study, called for acarriage, and sent her to Asprey's to pick out a newbauble to occupy her mind."
"Excellent. I assume your strategy worked?"
"Unfortunately not as well as I'd hoped. Last night Ifound her awaiting me in my bedchamber. Gave me quite aturn, I tell you. Especially as I'd just left my mistress andwas thoroughly worn-out. Bloody hell, a wife's not supposedto make such demands, or have such expectations."
"My wife did the same thing just last week," came athird aggrieved whisper. "Entered my bedchamber, bold asyou please, pushed me onto the mattress, then ... well, Ican only describe it as to say she jumped upon me. Completelydeflated my lungs and damn near crushed me. As Ilie there, immobile with shock, fighting for my very breath,she says in a most impatient tone, 'Bump your arse a bit.'Can you imagine such undignified goings-on? Then, justwhen I thought I couldn't be more astonished, she demandedto know why I'd never ... "
The voice lowered further and Lady Catherine Ashfield, Viscountess Bickley, leaned closer to the Orientalscreen that secreted her presence from the gentlemen onthe other side.
" ... This Charles Brightmore must be stopped," whisperedone of the gentlemen.
"I agree. A disaster of gargantuan proportions, that'swhat he's brought upon us. Why, if my daughter readsthat cursed Guide, I'll never marry off the foolish chit. Independence,indeed. Completely insupportable. ThisGuide could well prove even worse than the uproar incitedby that Wollstonecraft woman's writings. Nothingbut ridiculous reformists' balderdash."
Murmurs of agreement followed that pronouncement. Then the whisperer continued, "And as for the bedchamber,women are demanding enough creatures as it is, alwayswanting a new gown or earbobs or carriage or thelike. 'Tis outrageous that their expectations should extendto that. Especially a woman of my wife's age, who is themother of two grown children. Unseemly, that's what it is."
"Couldn't agree more. Should I ever find myself in thecompany of this Brightmore bastard, I'll personallywring his bloody neck. Tarring and feathering is too goodfor him. Everyone I've spoken to feels certain that'Charles Brightmore' is a pseudonym, and coward that heis, he's refused to step forward and identify himself. Thebetting book at White's is a frenzy of wagers on the subjectof his identity. Damn it all, what sort of man wouldthink, let alone write, such unseemly ideas?"
"Well, I stopped at White's just before coming here,and the latest theory proposes the possibility that CharlesBrightmore is in fact a woman. Indeed, I heard ... "
The gentleman's low-pitched words were drowned outby a trill of nearby feminine laughter. Catherine inchedcloser, all but...