(is an ADULT title)
In life there are choices…
Spinster Iris Hedley was once the darling of the ton until her father lost his fortune through an illness of the mind. Reduced to living as a penniless guest while her father rots in debtors prison, she’s determined to escape unscrupulous robbers who’ve set her to spy on the ton by the only means possible—by becoming a wealthy man's mistress. Unfortunately for Iris, her proper upbringing never covered intimacy or seduction so she asks the one man she trusts for help with private lessons in the duties of a mistress.
…in love there is but one
Martin Andrews, the Earl of Louth, may have a soft spot for tiny Iris Hedley, especially after her father fled London with a horde of debtors nipping at his heels. Her request for lessons in seduction leaves him reeling and although tempted, it’s an offer he must refuse for her own good. Convinced she’s headed for heartbreak, he sets out to prove that surrendering to wicked pleasure is not worth the sacrifice of her future only discover that her problems are more complicated than his own.
Iris Hedley was not afraid of the world, although a series of unfortunate events had taken away everything that had once been comforting in it. At one and twenty years of age, she should have been settled into marriage like so many of her former friends, rather than left on the shelf and a secret visitor to the Marshalsea Prison for indebted gentlemen.
“Come and eat, Father,” she urged gently as she polished Alexander Hedley’s spoon so it gleamed as brightly as the poor dented thing could manage then placed it beside the smuggled repast she’d served up to him. Oh, how there were times when the memory of her former happy home life caused a lump to form in her throat, and made her miss what had been lost in recent years.
Unfortunately, as had become his habit, her father did not budge from his slump on the edge of his cot in the room he shared with two other men in the musty barracks. He’d once been a fine man, wealthy, possessed of great wit and intelligence, courted by those in society who valued such things highly. Now he stared off into space quite often, absorbed in his own thoughts and lost in his memories of the past. The change had begun prior to his imprisonment and she feared for him. Her father had not taken his confinement well, but she supposed few independent gentlemen did. He was not in his right mind. He hadn’t been himself in a long time.
He grumbled, “Goose again?”
Cold goose breast and turnip soup was a luxury in this place, but Iris didn’t dare remind him of his situation. She was grateful Lady Heathcote’s cook set aside this meal every day, but she was always aware she spent someone else’s coin to care for her father. Pointing out that fact only added to his distress. “Yes, Papa. Come and sit down now so I might share it with you.”
As hoped, her father brightened at the news she would share the meal with him and perched on the stool beside the makeshift table. She handed him the spoon so he could start on his soup. “I cannot stay long today. Lady Heathcote has given me a list of errands to run on her behalf before tonight’s entertainment.”
Her father stared at the spoon a moment then snatched up the bowl of cooled soup and drank from it directly. He shuddered, wiped his mouth with the napkin and then glanced sidelong at her plate, where a single slice of goose rested. “Lady Heathcote has servants to do errands,” he grumbled. “And you should be resting so you are prepared for the evening.”
“I don’t mind helping her. Running errands to the dressmaker gives me something to do with my days, and in a small way makes up for the burden of providing me with food and lodgings. I am indebted to her.” Esme, a popular widow of independent fortune, had taken her in before her father had fled the country and his debts. She didn’t like to imagine what would have happened to her without Esme.
Pre-orderAmazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Add to Goodreads
About Heather Boyd
Bestselling historical author Heather Boyd believes every character she creates deserves their own happily-ever-after, no matter how much trouble she puts them through. With that goal in mind, she writes sizzling regency romance stories that skirt the boundaries of propriety to keep readers enthralled until the wee hours of the morning. Heather has published over twenty novels and shorter works. Catch her latest news www.heather-boyd.com. She lives north of Sydney, Australia, and does her best to wrangle her testosterone-fuelled family (including cat Morpheus) into submission.
Connect with Heather:
Website | Twitter | Facebook Page | Mailing list