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The war is over for the nation but not for the new Duke of Ormond. With death and debt stalking his every waking moment, caught between blackmailers and his brother’s deepest secret, Alexander’s dreams lie in tatters but he never surrendered on the battlefields of the Peninsular and he’s not about to admit defeat now. Even if that means marrying a woman he has never laid eyes on before.
With her father’s warnings still fresh in her mind and her imperfections obvious to any who know her, Elizabeth’s options for freedom are diminishing with every trembling step. Available suitors are few and far between. Marriage to a debt ridden, aging fortune hunter will not be easy but with no other alternatives and destitution threatening she cannot escape her fate.
Falling in love hadn't been a possibility Alexander ever considered but one glance at his beautiful bride’s tear filled onyx eyes has his blood surging through his veins, his heart pounding in his chest and he can no longer hide his emotions behind a facade of polite indifference.
Elizabeth hadn’t expected him to be handsome. She hadn’t expected him to greet her with a sparkling sapphire gaze. She hadn’t expected gentle fingertips on her skin or her heart to break at the tender words on his lips.
With Ormond and the family jewels at stake, Alexander’s resolve to defeat his enemies is soon put to the test as rumour, intrigue and scandal threaten his and Elizabeth’s blossoming affections. There is clearly another plan. There had always been another plan. A plan of greed and vengeance devised to ruin Ormond and its descendants for all time.
Silence of Scandal is a light-hearted, easy read suitable for age 16 and upwards. (Contains some swearing and sensual love scenes)
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Lady Anne Chartris and Mister Giles Denvers had just a few flirtatious moments together in Silence of Scandal, but they were clearly made for one another.
Book 3 in the Unrivalled Regency Series
She had been creating havoc since the moment he had first set eyes on her, but avoiding the outrageous yet beautiful Lady Charlotte, had become almost impossible. With her delightful innocence and her exquisite looks, she had entangled herself firmly in his heart.
If only Geoffrey could act upon the riotous emotions that tormented him through day and night, but even as she stood half-naked in front of him, he knew that it was impossible for a stable hand to marry a Lady. Though he had saved her guardians life, the new Lord Caithwell would have him flogged if he knew the thoughts that tortured Geoffrey’s every waking moment.
Now, what with the Duke of Ormond ordering him to accompany Lady Charlotte on her first season in London, Geoffrey’s equilibrium is about to be shattered. Protecting the vivacious woman from the felons who would attempt to steal her fabled Caithwell diamond will be difficult enough, but the thought of any other man even so much as dancing with her was enough to bring Geoffrey out in a cold sweat.
He didn’t think his heart could take it. He needed a distraction from the impossibility of having her for himself. Perhaps riding in Lord Davenport’s annual steeplechase would be a fitting diversion from the delights of the woman he could never win.
Perhaps he would triumph and take the thousand guinea prize. Or maybe he would lose not only the woman he loves, but also his life as rivals for her hand and her priceless heirloom, gamble on the outcome.
A Gallant Gamble is a 16+ (sensual, sexual content) stand-alone read in the Unrivalled Regency series, however, the books are best read in order to fully appreciate all the characters and situations.
Book 4 in the Unrivalled Regency series.
Lavenham has been waiting for its new Earl. Crippling debts and years of neglect have transformed the once genteel mansion into a crumbling ruin. If its heir doesn’t come home soon, there will be little but the title for him to claim.
Sent to Jamaica as punishment for attempted murder, Lord Edward Ellesworth had a lot to learn about himself and his beyond arrogant attitude. Now, standing on Lavenham’s imposing doorstep, where there once stood a plump and pompous prig, five years of almost unendurable misery and overwhelming responsibility have changed him beyond recognition.
Simon hadn’t meant to love Edward, but taking the flogging meant for himself had secured far more than Simon’s everlasting devotion. He only needed to open his mouth and tell the man the truth. A truth he’d kept well hidden under ragged and baggy garments for almost seven years. His only friend on the Jamaican plantation had warned him to trust no one. Now installed in the adjacent bedroom at Lavenham, can Simon entrust the new Earl with his secrets as well as his heart?
Have circumstances changed Edward into the Earl he was always meant to become, or could the unconditional love of a mute, orphaned boy, change him even more?
Dangerous Deceptions is an endearing love story suitable for anyone age 16 and upwards. As part of the Unrivalled Regency series, Dangerous Deceptions is a stand-alone story, but the series is best read in order to fully appreciate the depth of the characters and previous situations.
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Book 5 in the Unrivalled Regency Series
She had been banished to avoid the scandal, but now an even worse horror lurks. Running was Annabel’s only choice, her last chance to escape evil’s loathsome clutches. If only she had accepted Lord Latham’s generous offer, but her heart would not allow her to accept anything less than a marriage founded on love. And he didn’t love her.
He had missed his chance to have her once before. He wasn’t about to allow this second opportunity slip through his fingers. If it meant he had to beat off all other contenders for her heart, to chase her down, and insist that she accept his offer, Charles would go to any lengths to do it.
But with dread and foreboding inching closer every day, Annabel’s luck is running out. Will she be caught in terror’s vile grasp, or will she accomplish another Elusive Escape?
An Elusive Escape contains some sensual love scenes and is an endearing love story suitable for anyone age 16 and upwards. As part of the Unrivalled Regency series, An Elusive Escape is a stand-alone story, but the series is best read in order to fully appreciate the depth of the characters and previous situations.
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Women adore him, fight over him, lust after him. He has never been short of a conquest, but with a beautiful, blonde temptress residing in the house, Callum’s engaging disposition and cheery humour have all but deserted him.
The indignation sparkling from her crystal eyes captivated him from the first, and now he can barely keep himself under control. But she is far more than a mere distraction. As if her enticing curves and subtle fragrance were not enough, her determination, her interests, and her scintillating conversation are driving him wild with frustration.
But to want her is futile. Leaving aside her noble connections and his honour, the weight of age old guilt will not release him from his obligations. As intolerable as the situation is, he must hold firm and resist her delightful charms. For she is an innocent and he is a murderer.
How could her father be so cruel? He abandoned her and left her penniless, his own reputation clearly more important than her life. Fortunately her new friends hadn’t deserted her; they embraced her into their family, and Callum’s with it. How could she ever live without them, or him? Educated to a standard far beyond his rank, Beatrice had never met a man like him. His playful manners kept a smile on her lips; his magnetic allure and dizzying kisses drugged her beyond reason. Leaving him would be near impossible.
With his dark past about to catch up with him, and the teaching position offered to her, there were no other options. It was heartbreaking that his loyal dedication and her want for self-reliance meant she couldn’t embrace Callum within her future too. One last touch of his lips is all she can have.
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Can a gentle kiss beneath the mistletoe seal your fate? Especially when given by the deliciously handsome but ostracized, Lord Jeremy Rookwood.
But a kiss is a kiss, even if meant in innocence. And an indiscretion seen in public can only lead to disaster, destruction, and desolation. Especially when Elisa Rowallan’s newly announced fiancé is not the giver of the kiss, but an evil, money grabbing murderer with only one object in mind. Her!
Five years after first meeting one fateful night, Jeremy is still smitten and Elisa clearly in love, but desperation turns their happiness into instant despair. With her life in peril, and danger lurking behind every shadow, has Jeremy’s innocent indiscretion sealed Elisa’s fate, or can they outrun the malevolence that pursues them into a frosty night?To buy Innocent Indiscretions, please click here or on any of the images.
Elisa’s eyes widened as she recalled Charlotte telling her of the new Christmas tradition. Kissing beneath the Mistletoe.
“But you cannot put it there. I am to greet my guests just by the entrance. I cannot possibly kiss all who enter.” Her cheeks flamed as she spoke. She had never been kissed by anyone, let alone someone who might know how to kiss back. Panic surged.
Charlotte laughed, her eyes twinkling as she wafted her hand like a fan.
“But you could kiss those who deserve one most. Like Lord Jeremy Rookwood.” She ignored Elisa’s sudden gasp of breath. “It will be his first public outing after the death of his father, I believe. I suspect he will be as nervous as you and could do with a little encouragement.”
“Charlotte!” Elisa’s cry was as heated as her cheeks. So he had been invited and was obviously expected. How could Charlotte spring this news upon her so suddenly! She pressed her hand to her chest in the vain hope of stilling her rapidly thumping heart. “I am not going to kiss Lord Rookwood. Or any other man. It would be too unseemly.” Her lips trembled at the thought as Forbes stretched up onto his toes and managed to pin the berried ball to the doorframe, but she had no time for further protests as several things happened at once.
Music struck up as a crowd hurried in through the door at the other end of the ballroom. Elisa’s friends and rescuers began the procession. Alexander, Duke of Ormond and his wife, Lily, resplendent in understated elegance, led the parade. Giles Denvers and his wife, Lady Anne, followed, and other close friends gathered behind.
A gust of wind made the hundreds of candles flicker as another footman threw open the front door of the house and began announcing the first guests. Charlotte grabbed Elisa’s hand and pulled her into her place just as Sir Geoffrey, Charlotte’s husband, appeared at their side.
The next few minutes were a whirlwind of names and charming faces, silk dresses and jewels. Some she knew from the neighbourhood, but others were completely new. Elisa wasn’t sure that she would remember half of the guests, let alone all.
Her smile never left her face as well wishers either kissed her hand or her cheek. She bobbed so many curtsey’s in return for salutations, she wasn’t sure that her knees would be strong enough to stand dancing, but the line eventually trailed away as the last guests arrived. Geoffrey glanced at the door several times, but at last he turned back towards the ballroom.
She couldn’t help glancing up as she walked through the doorway, surprised to see the mistletoe ball almost denuded of berries, but Forbes’ grin told her of his ruse. Between many giggles and much laughter, he had handed out sprigs for the guests to kiss beneath.
“There is but one berry left, Miss, however, Lord Jeremy Rookwood is yet to arrive.”
The blush, which had left her cheeks, returned rapidly.
“Perhaps he has changed his mind and is not going to come. Besides, he barely knows me. And what he might have remembered, he has probably forgot. It was barely a day’s acquaintance. You need not keep the berry on my behalf. Why not save the last sprig for your own enjoyment with Mrs. Forbes.” She laughed as the smile instantly left Forbes’ lips and his hollow cheeks paled.
“No indeed, my Lady! Mrs. Forbes kissing beneath the mistletoe? The very idea!” His eyes widened in apparent horror moments before something caught his attention. “Ah! There is the door once again! The last lucky charm will not be wasted after all.” Berry in hand, he spun round in relief as the bell clanged, but he stopped dead at the under footman’s words.
‘Lord Johnathan Rowallan, and Lord Albert Carter.’
Geoffrey Talbot’s steady hand at Elisa’s elbow stopped her dropping to the floor as the doorman announced her long estranged father and his aging, bewhiskered friend.
Lord Rowallan gave an infinitesimal bow of his head.
“Sir Geoffrey. I am afraid that your invitation arrived too late for a written response. My wife is unable to attend, but I hope you don’t mind me introducing a distinguished friend.” The man ignored his own daughter completely as he indicated his elderly companion.
Geoffrey’s brows creased. Charlotte had sent the invitations out several weeks previously. Everyone else had managed to return a timely response, but it was too late to object to the pair’s unexpected arrival. Lord Carter had already stepped forwards. Geoffrey hadn’t met the man before, but he had heard the rumours. Three marriages. Three young brides. Three tragic deaths. He stared for a long moment, assessing the man. Medium height, but not heavy set. Old, definitely, but clearly fit. A hard blue stare, his eyelids never blinking. The hairs at Geoffrey’s nape stood on end, but his innate good manners came to the fore and he returned the slight bow.
“I don’t believe we have had the honour, Lord Carter.” He acknowledged the older man who stared openly at Elisa.
Lord Carter’s icy eyes travelled over the young woman, lingering on her décolletage for far longer than was polite. He glanced back at Geoffrey only when the ensuing silence became uncomfortable and someone coughed to gain his attention. Gathering his senses, Lord Carter responded to his host.
“No indeed, Sir Geoffrey, we have not had the opportunity for introductions before. I understand that you rarely travel to town, and I am rarely away from it. But I am here to remedy that omission on this happy occasion.” Ignoring Geoffrey’s outstretched hand, he leaned forward and grabbed Elisa’s. His thin lips brushed the lace edged glove and Elisa recoiled as a waft of foul breath touched her wrist. She trembled and moved a step closer to Geoffrey’s side.
Geoffrey’s frown deepened as he noticed his ward’s shudder.
“Yes, a joint coming out, Christmas, and twenty first birthday are an excellent excuse for a small party.”
Lord Carter lifted his chin.
“And an engagement too. I am here to announce my betrothal.”
Geoffrey bowed once again.
“My felicitations, Lord Carter. Might I ask who your bride might be, and if she will be joining our party?”
Lord Carter’s high pitched snigger set his cigar stained whiskers quivering.
“But you jest, Sir. Of course she will be joining us. She is already here.”
Dread rising, Elisa watched as Geoffrey glanced towards the gathered guests who looked on from the ballroom with interest.
Geoffrey’s smile became so rigid, his jaw appeared about to crack as he cast his eyes over the crowd.
“Oh ho! Some news reaches me before it does all the gossips! I am agog to know who you can possibly mean.” He kept his smile in place and his tone light and jovial, though his eyes didn’t twinkle as normal.
His Lordship raised his bushy eyebrows and waggled them dramatically as he stared at Elisa.
“Why, Lady Elisa Rowllan, of course! We have been betrothed for some time but her father thought this the perfect opportunity to make our engagement public.”
Geoffrey let out a great bellow of laughter as he glanced warily at Elisa.
“Ah, my Lord, your jest is a good one and I usually appreciate such a joke, but you must be three times Miss Rowallan’s age. This is Christmas, not April Fools. Come, let me introduce you to the rest of Elisa’s guests. There are plenty of dowagers amongst them. Perhaps you might find a more suitable and more accommodating prospect there.” He attempted to turn the elderly man towards the ballroom, but Lord Rowallan intervened.
“I see that my daughter has not informed you of her situation. I don’t know why I should be surprised. Elisa has always thought she knows best.” He narrowed his eyes at his daughter and smoothed his hair as a sudden gust of air ruffled it. “She has been betrothed to Lord Carter since her sixteenth birthday. They will be married in a week, on the eve of her twenty-first.”
Elisa stepped back, her hand pressed against her throat in horror.
“No, father! You cannot be serious. You will not marry me off to a man I don’t know. I absolutely refuse.”
Lord Rowallan looked down his long nose.
“I see you have not learned to control yourself during your years of exile, but regardless of your lack of propriety, you cannot refuse. You have not yet reached your majority. Until your birthday on Christmas eve, you will bow to my will.”
With a wolf-like smile, Lord Carter showed a row of crooked, yellow teeth. He tapped a bony finger on Geoffrey’s arm.
“Sir Geoffrey, I can assure you that Miss Rowallan has known of this arrangement for a long time. My arrival here to claim her hand can be of no surprise. I wonder that she has never mentioned my interest to you, but I have waited as long as I can. We must be married before this Christmas eve.”
Furious at Lord Rowallan’s presumption after five years of ignoring his only daughter, Geoffrey shook the reptile’s clasping hand from his jacket and was about to show both men the door, when a movement caught his eye.
It seemed that another late guest had been allowed entrance. The newcomer approached the startled group, sliding his coat from his shoulders and handing it to Forbes. Forbes raised an eyebrow at the man, glanced quickly at his master’s sudden smile, and shoved his foot against the ballroom door as he handed the new guest something back.
Tawny haired and long limbed, Lord Jeremy Rookwood strode across the hallway, bypassed a startled Lord Carter, and stood in front of Elisa.
“Lady Elisa. Please forgive my tardiness. My driver missed the way.” He bowed over her hand and she gasped as he held up a small sprig of leaves attached to a lone white berry.
“Jeremy?” He had come! “It must be five years.” She wasn’t sure that her eyes deceived her.
Jeremy smiled gently and reached out to touch her cheek.
“Five years too long, Lady Elisa,” he growled before dipping his head and covering the astonished woman’s mouth with his own.
To buy Innocent Indiscretions, please click here or on any of the images.
Other books by Jackie Williams
Untamed Regency Series
A Bed of Wild Roses A Promise of Pure Gardenias
Running Scarred Scarred Beginnings Forever Scarred Scarred Horizon Scarred Survival Scarred Surrender
Hidden Gems Romantic Mystery Series
Contemporary Romance (French Themes)
A Fallen Fortune Echo Beach Treasured Dreams
The Garden of Eden/Emerald Eyes/A Deathly disguise
Contemporary/New Adult Romance
A Perfect Summer Delicious Desires Silent Treatment Tinted Lenses
Jackie's Naughty Side
A Hole in One (The Front Nine)