by Beverley Oakley
The Beautiful, Brazen Brightwells Series, book 1
Rake’s Honour is a light-hearted Regency romp laced with intrigue and dirty double-dealing. “Fun and Perverse” and a “Steamy page-turner” are some of the review headings. It was great fun to write, also.
It’s about a gentleman rogue, a proper yet passionate Miss, strict society rules and illicit, steamy trysts as spirited debutante Fanny Brightwell gambles upon marriage to the man of her dreams.
When a jealous contender for her affections upsets her best laid plans, its time for Fanny to up the ante and ensure that everyone gets what they deserve.
Order in Digital Format
Publish Date: 20 January, 2014
Heat Rating: Sizzling Romance
*An erotic Regency Romp shortlisted Favourite Historical for 2012 by Australian Romance Readers Association.
Praise for Rogues Honor
Reviewer: Dolce Amore – 5 Stars
“What a splendid book! I loved every moment of it. Ms. Beverley Oakley created an original and amazing plot. She keeps our attention through the whole book. And the characters… what can I say? Outstanding! I loved Mis Fanny and adore Lord Fenton. I enjoyed with their misunderstanding and I was delighted by their torrid and passionate meetings. And the end… made me burst out laughing. It rocks!
5 stars for her and I can hardly wait to read her new release… Ms. Beverley Oakley, I’m not above begging for more! I expect I won’t have to wait too much longer for it, you are now one of my favorite writers.”
Just Erotic Romance Reviews
Reviewer: Barbara McCormick – 5 Stars
“…The characters in Rake’s Honour, a Regency romance, leap off the page and into the reader’s heart….Ms. Oakley brings the setting and time period to life without lengthy descriptions of society’s strict rules. The sex, oh my goodness, the sex is hot and in unusual settings as Fenton and Fanny must hide what they are up to from the eyes of judgmental society.
Supporting characters like Fanny’s younger sister and her friend and confidante, Lord Quamby, bring added life to a lush story. The pacing is just perfect, keeping you in your chair reading right through to the end. The “mamas” are ever present, placing demands on their children to marry well for family’s sake. In the end, Rake’s Honour is about satisfying society’s demands while still finding ways to remain true to oneself and one’s heart. For these reasons, Rake’s Honour earns an honored spot on my re-read stack.”
Read an Excerpt
The following takes place after Fanny rushes from the arms of the wealthy milksop, Lord Alverley, whom she’d agreed to meet for a clandestine lover’s tryst in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
The moon was high in the sky now, a golden orb above the revellers in masquerade who promenaded along the river’s edge. Other revellers lolled in boats upon the water.
Rather than shame, Fanny felt slivers of excitement, not for the events already played out with Alverley — they were best forgotten — but for the sudden anticipation of what might happen during the next few minutes in the river barge with this handsome stranger … if she were bold enough.
She sucked in a breath. Would he kiss her? Did she want him to?
Having experienced her first kiss in Alverley’s thin-armed embrace this evening, she wasn’t sure such an unsatisfactory mingling of tongues and saliva deserved the title of kiss. But an opportunity had been handed to her on a platter. If Fanny was destined to become the wife of Lord Slyther, the handsome pirate beside her, she decided, would provide the benchmark of comparison.
The voice of reason perched upon her shoulder.
If mama were ever to find out…
She shuddered. If anyone at all were ever to find out. Yet how would they and what was her crime – if it could ever be laid at her door?
Her companion studied her, an interested twist to his mouth, a curl of dark hair falling across his forehead in Byronic imitation.
“How disappointing. Not a fair Cyprian? So if I offered you five shillings for a quick tumble you’d turn me down?”
She stared at him, unsure she’d heard him correctly before her suppressed anticipation was swept away by outrage. “How dare you!” Any cautious, properly brought-up young lady would have considered the indignity of Alverley’s let-down infinitely preferable to a horribly compromising situation with a stranger. She was a fool!
Fanny scrambled to her feet causing the small vessel to rock perilously and the river man to round upon them with an angry curse.
“Careful or you’ll drown us all.” With another lazy smile her rescuer – or was he to be her ravisher after all by the time he was done with her? — tugged at her hand. Clumsily, she landed across his lap, her head thumping against his chest. So hard and broad. So unlike Alverley’s.
Arms like steel bands encircled her upper body and knees as he held her tucked against him like a baby.
Fanny realized she had behaved like a baby. He’d been teasing her. She pretended to be so worldly but in truth she knew nothing of men. At least, handsome men possessed of confidence and humour; men who could offer her what she wanted: a pocket book that would please her mama, a title her sister and brother could trade upon and …
Wistful longing for the seemingly unobtainable stayed her struggles as she stared up at him and his face fractured in her imagination before reassembling into the incarnation of all she could desire and more: a man who promised excitement and adventure at the very least.
“Many people lose their nerve on the water—” His eyes glinted mere inches above her face with wicked pleasure — “and while I’ve neglected to bring along my burnt feathers a kiss works wonders for warding off the vapours.”
Oh, she was tempted but was this one more miscalculation?
However a demeaning struggle which might pitch them all into the Thames seemed an extreme reaction, Fanny decided, when this man’s close proximity was the antithesis of distasteful.
Yes, the antithesis, she decided, her bones going soft as his long, elegant fingers caressed her hair, her throat and shoulders with surprising gentleness, for he had shifted her so her head rested in his lap. She gazed up at his face, with all the glory of the starlit sky behind him, closing her eyes as her companion contoured her décolletage with gentle fingertips causing her mind to spin with wicked, sensuous thoughts.
She never would accept Lord Slyther. Like a patient toad he was waiting to crawl back out of the wings to repeat his offer of three months ago, revelling in the knowledge that Fanny was cornered.
When his hand brushed across her breast she caught her breath.
“The unworldly virgin is out for adventure,” her pirate lover murmured, lowering his head to whisper in her ear, “and if I’m not to be accused of nefarious deeds I think our encounter should end here.”
The desolation of his withdrawal caused her to open her eyes and cry out, “My companion earlier this evening kissed me and it was horrible.”
He quirked an eyebrow in enquiry.
“You just promised to kiss me!”
“I can’t promise it won’t be just as horrible.”
She reached up and stroked the plane of his cheek, contouring his high cheekbones before resting her forefinger tentatively upon his lower lip. With a glint in his eye, he bit down gently and hot lustful longing speared through her.
“I’m prepared to take that risk.”
“In that case, my bold ingenue …” He brought his mouth down to hers, murmuring against her lips, “let me show you one of the things for which I am reknowned.”