Lady Unveiled ~ The Cuckold Conspiracy (A Snippet)
I was really hoping to get this book up for pre-order before Christmas – and I have. At last, all of Lord Partington’s daughters get the happiness they deserve in Lady Unveiled ~ The Cuckold Conspiracy, Book 5 in my sizzling, intrigue-filled Regency romance laced with mystery and espionage.
It’s true that there is one sister who doesn’t deserve quite the same quantity of happiness as her worthy sisters but you can be the judge of whether Araminta gets her just desserts.
So here’s just a snippet of what’s in store. There’ll also be the reappearance of other characters who appeared in the first four books. Lady Julia from Book 1 turns up as the piano teacher to Lissa’s governessing charge. (Though, of course, we know Lady Julia is a devious sort and this is just a cover for the fact she’s Lord Beecham’s mistress.)
Naturally Araminta and Hetty’s darling babies play a vital role while Sybil and Stephen from Her Gilded Prison (Book 1) show how a much older woman can retain the love of her adoring young lover.
But it’s Christmas, and everyone has limited time so without further ado, here is the blurb for Lady Unveiled. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a lovely New Year. I’m about to start packing the car for a 9 hour drive to our property in South Australia’s beautiful Clare Valley. Actually, while there, I intend to do some short videos of me in my 1780s polonaise chatting to the alpacas by the macadamia trees which I’ll post on my website. My pilot husband has just bought a drone and my 12-year-old nephew is very cluey about iMovie, so we’ll see what we can come up with.
Lady Unveiled ~ The Cuckold Conspiracy Blurb
Kitty has the love of the man of her dreams but as London’s most acclaimed actress and a member of the demimondaine, she accepts she can never be kind and handsome Lord Silverton’s lawful wedded wife.
When Kitty comes to the aid of shy, accident-prone and kind-hearted Octavia Mandelton, her sense of justice causes her to make the most difficult decision of her life: Give up the man she loves. For Octavia is still betrothed to Lord Silverton who’d rescued Kitty in dramatic circumstances only weeks before.
Cast adrift, Kitty joins forces with her sister, Lissa, a talented artist posing as a governess in order to bring to justice a dangerous spy, villainous Lord Debenham. Complicating matters is the fact Debenham is married to their half-sister, vain and beautiful Araminta.
However, Araminta has a dark secret which only Kitty knows and which she realizes she is duty-bound to expose if she’s to achieve justice and win happiness for deserving Lissa and Lissa’s enterprising sweetheart, Ralph Tunley, long-suffering secretary to Lord Debenham.
All seems set for a happy ending when Kitty tumbles into mortal danger. A danger from which only a truly honorable man can save her. A man like Silverton who must now make the hardest choice of his life if he’s to live with his conscience.
Here’s an excerpt…
It was Lucinda’s angry, discordant note on the piano that brought Lissa’s head up from her sewing, not the muffled and completely inappropriate giggles of her employer’s special friend. Seated on an elegant blue and silver silk-striped settee by the window, Lord Beecham seemed wholly occupied with his increasingly regular guest, Lady Julia, and apparently impervious to his ward’s attempt to regain his attention.
Lissa was under no illusions that Lord Beecham and Lady Julia – or Lady Ledger, wife of Sir Archie Ledger if she were happy to be properly identified, which, judging by the surreptitious fondling the pair were engaged in today – she would not – were in the midst of a torrid affair.
The supposed earl’s daughter fallen on hard times was supposedly a family friend who arrived at Lord Beecham’s London townhouse at regular intervals, heavily veiled, to instruct Miss Lucinda Martindale in the musical arts. Lady Julia, however, could not – as far as Lissa could tell – play a note. At least, Lissa had never heard her play a note, though she’d heard a lot of other noise emanating from Lady Julia during her visits to his lordship’s bedroom between music lessons.
At a painful combination of bs, cs and ds, which Lissa knew should never be played together, Lucinda finally got Lord Beecham’s attention.
“What an infernal noise!” he exclaimed, the dewy adoration as he’d gazed at Lady Julia instantly replaced by a thunderous scowl as he jerked his head round to look at Lucinda. “I spend a fortune on your musical education! Surely I should expect better than that!”
Lucinda’s mobile face went through a gamut of emotions: devastation then outrage, however her mouth remained pursed. It was quite obvious the girl was desperately in love with her benefactor into whose care she’d been placed the year before upon the death of her parents and younger brother during a scarlet fever outbreak in their village. But while Lucinda was obstinate and demanding of her governess, she had never, as far as Lissa knew, openly challenged Lord Beecham.
Nevertheless, there was an underlying challenge now in the girl’s demure: “Perhaps Lady Julia would care to demonstrate how Paescelbel’s Canon in D should really sound.”
Lady Julia, who had attempted to discreetly put at least several inches between her thigh and that of his Lordship’s on the settee, smiled sweetly. “My dear, I don’t want to show you up.” She patted her bright golden hair, then purred, “Please, play it again. With just a little more practice you will have mastered it, and Lord Beecham and I are quite happy for you to entertain us with a little background music while I continue to outline to him how I believe your general carriage, demeanor and…might I add without offence…character itself, might be improved sufficiently to make your come-out without undue embarrassment to either yourself or his Lordship.”
Lissa was interested to see how Lucinda would take this. With her head still bowed over her embroidery frame, she sent a veiled look that took in the flashing eyes above the pretty, pert nose of her young charge and Lord Beacham’s wolfish, apparent approval of Lady Julia’s saccharine demeanor.
In the two months Lissa had spent in Lord Beecham’s employ, she had not warmed to her charge, for all she knew she ought to pity the girl. It was true that she’d established more control over Lucinda than Lucinda’s previous governess. Lucinda no longer tried to undermine her at every opportunity or threw tantrums and it appeared Lissa’s policy of being firm but distant appeared to have worked. But there was little affection between the pair.
Lucinda was the first to drop her eyes from Lady Julia’s scrutiny. Her shoulders slumped and she turned back to her music which she started to play once again, this time softly and with no discordant notes. Lucinda was rather good at most things, if she put her mind to it.
Meanwhile Lissa strained to hear what Lady Julia and Lord Beecham were discussing. It was one of the reasons she’d been placed in this position by her ‘real’ employer, Sir William Deane, late of the Foreign Office. The fact that Lissa could apparently appear as nondescript as the wallpaper was to her advantage for she’d already gleaned several tidbits which had been well-received as points of interest by Sir William.
Her ears pricked up at a reference to Lord Silverton, not a name she’d expected to hear in this drawing room but a name that induced mixed feelings since she’d learned her younger sister, Kitty, now a celebrated actress, had become his mistress.
For months Lissa had been desperate to make contact with Kitty however she feared Kitty’s unbridled love of chatter and her reputation for indiscretions might compromise Lissa’s dangerous work in espionage. She’d therefore refrained from directly seeking her out, though she kept as much of a sisterly eye upon her as she could, from afar.
[End of Extract]