Author Jane Lark has crafted numerous entertaining and sensual romances and she's back this week as part of the delightful box set Magical Weddings: 15 Enchanting Romances. Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Ms. Lark's contribution, The Jealous Love of a Scoundrel, along with a look behind the story's creation.......
If you love ghosts, witches, time travel--anything paranormal--military romance, historical romance, or romantic comedy, don't miss this engaging boxed set!
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How do you fight a calling that comes from your soul?
Lillian is in love with her charming protector. He brings her gifts and gives himself to her at night, but she knows nothing of his days; all she knows is that with Peter visiting her she is happier than she has ever been. The way he touches her and treats her is so different from other men.
Emily is excited, hopeful and expectant, waiting on the moment that everything seems to be leading towards. Lord Peter Brooke has courted her for a year; she is awaiting his proposal, certain it will come very soon, and everything he does indicates that it will.
Peter is torn; his soul is seeking one thing, but his mind wants another, and what about his heart? Where does his heart lie?
Peter and Lillian
Her room was full of flowers. The three largest bouquets had come from him. She was sitting before her table and mirror, brushing out her hair. She put the brush down and stood when she saw him, smiling broadly, then she looked at Harry and Mark.
“I have brought my friends to meet you. This is Mark Harper.”
She curtsied, but Mark swept about Peter and caught up her hand, lifting her out of the curtsy as he pressed a lingering kiss on the back of her hand. The force of a punch, similar to the one Drew had once thrown at him, hit Peter in the face. Now he knew how Drew had felt. Seeing Mark hold her hand twisted nausea in his stomach.
Peter stripped off his gloves and put them on the side, by her make-up, and took off his hat too.
He was staying then…
Of course he was; nothing would pull him away now that he was in the room with her.
“And Mr Harry Webster,” Peter completed.
Harry stepped about Peter’s other side and as Lillian curtsied again, Mark passed over her hand. Harry barely held it, merely stared at her in a way that measured her up.
They had shared women for years, like whores were no different than sharing wine. But now Peter’s gaze hovered on her hand in Harry’s and jealousy bit into his chest.
Why the hell is this cutting me?
Harry let her hand go.
Lillian looked at Peter, at last, and she moved forward, but instead of taking the hand he held out, she gripped his shoulders and lifted to her toes, then kissed his cheek in a gentle blessing. “Hello, Peter. I did not know you were coming tonight.”
He gripped her chin and pressed a quick kiss on her red lips. “I could not stay away. I am not supposed to be here.” It was true. He had to face up to the truth tomorrow; he could not keep delaying what he should do.
Peter and Emily
Peter swallowed as the butler walked away. The staff were used to him calling; they were not used to him asking for Emily’s father, they would know, as Smithfield would, what he wanted to say.
Of course Drew had never done this; he’d stolen his bloody bride away and set the world spinning behind him. Peter had been forced to do his courting with the strictest supervision to avoid any risk of him playing the same game. But then why would he? He was eminently suited to Emily, she was untitled, and she may come with a reasonable dowry but Peter had a pile of his own money; he did not need hers. Drew had been fortune hunting.
“Lord Brooke…” Smithfield appeared from the dining room where Emily was probably eating. He smiled profusely.
Of course he did; he was gaining a title for his daughter and a wealthy son-in-law. For a man who had worked his way up in society it was a coup.
“Mr Smithfield.” Peter lifted off his hat and swallowed again.
The man raised a hand to lead the way to the small room which served as a gentleman’s retiring room at night and his office in the day.
Peter swallowed. His palms were sticky with sweat. The butler had not returned to take his hat and so he gripped it before him, awkwardly.
He cleared his throat as Smithfield looked at him expectantly.
He must say the words. He wished for this. “I have come to ask for Emily’s hand in marriage, if you will agree to the match, sir?”
Smithfield’s lips parted in an even wider approving smile. “You need hardly ask. You have been calling here for so long I do not doubt your constancy at all.”
Constancy. The word pierced through Peter’s chest, and he coughed again as his throat dried further. Images of Lillian lying in the bed back at the Bristol Hotel, played through his mind.
“….I do not think we need to discuss financial things. Emily has her dowry, but obviously you are well set up.”
One hand let go of his hat, closed then opened as Peter took a breath. This is what I want. “I have your permission to speak with Emily then?”
“You do indeed, Lord Brooke.”
Smithfield stepped forward and gripped Peter’s hand with both of his. “Congratulations.”
“Emily has not said yes yet.”
“She will, Lord Brooke.”
Like all of my historical books, the inspiration for The Jealous Love of a Scoundrel came from a true story. It was Emma Hart’s rise from an actress who formed classical poses, and sat for artists, to become Lady Hamilton, which inspired Lillian’s and Peter’s story.
Jane is a Kindle bestselling author and a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romances, and she’s a sucker for a love story. Her first successful novel was The Illicit Love of a Courtesan. “I love the feeling of falling in love and it’s wonderful to be able to do it time and time again in fiction.” She loves writing intense relationships and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations.
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