Authors: Tamara Gill
Tags: #Tamara Gill, #Historical Erotic Romance, #ton, #Erotic Romance, #Historical, #London
To Sin with Scandal
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
To Sin with Scandal Copyright Tamara Gill
Cover Art by Fiona Jayde
This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any existing means without written permission from the publisher. Contact Noble Romance Publishing, LLC at PO Box 467423, Atlanta, GA 31146.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. The characters are products of the author's imagination and used fictitiously.
One night of passion with the notorious rake, Lord Scandal. Every need satisfied, nothing expected in return. All Lady Miranda Fitsimmon has to do is keep her rendezvous with the man secret from the ton and her heart inured to the memory of their past.
Lord Scandal, otherwise known as Lord Sedley, no longer desires such meaningless liaisons in the ton. His taste for bed sport has changed. He only desires one woman to warm his sheets. And when the woman he thought never to see grace his home walks into his library and expects all her desires to be sated, his resolve to redeem himself is tested.
Can one night of sin give them both what they crave the most? Or will past wounds be too deep to forgive and forget?
To Sin with Scandal
By Tamara Gill
"Please, hand me the invitation, Anna." Miranda added a hint of warning to her tone, which her headstrong, sometimes selfish friend, chose to ignore.
Anna fanned herself with the card. "Not if you intend to waste such an opportunity. You must promise me you will go. Lord Scandal does not bestow his favours on everyone," Anna said, with a pointed stare. "You must attend."
Miranda looked across the Lord Augustine Ballroom floor and watched the unsavoury rake ogle the widow, Lady Marshall's breasts. Extremely easy this night, considering the low cut of her gown. Lord Scandal, or formally known to the ton as Lord Sedley, was not a man to toy with. His dark, hooded eyes and cropped hair gave him the air of a man who took what he wanted and gave no quarter to the ton and their strictures.
But he had been so different once . . . .
They had been children then. New to the ways of the season and what society expected of them. New to what touches in the night by desired hands could do.
Miranda thought back to the last night she was with him. Seven years. A lifetime ago.
Lord Sedley had courted her and lavished attention on her whenever a secluded corner or hidden closet presented itself. A smile quirked her lips at the memories of their trysts. Of how his lips, eager and hungry, would tempt her to sins no lady of eighteen years should ever commit.
"Miranda, love me," Sedley had said, pulling her onto his lap in a deserted parlour, the muted sounds of a waltz fading to insignificance when he moved his hands to lift the hem of her gown.
Miranda had chuckled at his antics. "Love you, dear sir," she said, clasping his shoulders and looking down at him. "I thought I already bestowed such favours."
He pulled her onto his lap, and her legs straddled his. Wicked lips brushed hers with a fierce longing that left her breathless. "No. Not in that way." He adjusted her seat and brought her heated core up against his own, his hands kneading her bottom. "In this way."
Miranda bit her lip, as his hard and willing rod pressed against her sex.
Delicious shivers she had come to crave ran from her core to spark in every part of her body. She clasped his dark locks and ran a hand over his chest and down until the semi-stretchy material of his pantaloons met her fingers. "You would love me before we are married?"
"I burn for you with every moment of my life," he said on a gasp when her fingers examined the hard ridge in his pants. Miranda squirmed as he pulled down the front of her gown and took one puckered nipple into his mouth. "Please," he begged, his voice wracked with need.
Unable to deny him anything, Miranda fumbled to free his pulsing manhood.
A forbidden action that sent a tremor of fear through her when she noted his size.
Was it even possible, this loving between two people with . . . that? All trepidation had dissolved when he took her lips in haste, his tongue swirling with her own, dragging her along into a firestorm of desire.
The head of his penis brushed her curls, and Miranda moaned at the velvety stroke.
"Miranda . . . ."
She clasped his shoulders and lowered herself onto him, the large head stretching her at the most private of parts. "Merrick, you're too large."
He rolled her onto her back and came up against her. "No, we'll fit, I promise."
He paused, his face marred with concern. Fear. "Please, let me try. I will be careful."
Miranda lifted her knees to hook her legs around his hips. "I trust you," she said, and tried to relax, knowing he would never intentionally hurt her.
The door handle turned.
"Miranda? Are you in here?" Both of them stilled at the familiar voice of her mother. "Lady Mont, are you sure you saw my daughter enter this room?"
Sedley met her terrified gaze while he tried to hide them farther into the depths of the settee, its back the only thing between her and ruination.
The woman with her mother sighed. "Perhaps I was mistaken. Shall we try the library, my lady? Your daughter is fond of books, is she not?"
The door closed with a snap, and Miranda pushed Sedley off and jumped to her feet. She pulled at her bodice and covered her breasts, then settled her skirts about her ankles. "We cannot do this, my lord. If you wish for more, you know what you must do."
Sedley ran a hand through his hair, sighed, and slumped back into the chair, his still engorged penis jutting up against his stomach. Miranda averted her gaze to his face and tried to ignore the heat on her skin. "I have a meeting tomorrow with my uncle in Kent. I shall be free the day after to call on your father, and you, if you would do me the honour?" he said.
Miranda knelt before him and cupped his stubble-roughened jaw. "You mean to be mine, my lord?"
"I do," he had told her and kissed away her tears of joy.
It all should have ended well with a betrothal and a marriage in the coming days and weeks. And yet, not twelve hours later, the future she longed for was shattered by seeing Lord Sedley in a clandestine meeting with another woman.
Miranda pushed away the memories that stabbed at her like a knife and put her mind to the daring plan Anna proposed. A shiver ran over her skin when Lord Sedley's cold, calculating gaze met hers, and her stomach clenched. Miranda swallowed and looked away, cursed herself for a ninny when she did so. Tomorrow night she was to seduce him and tonight she could not even hold his eye? She shook her head at her own pathetic antics and snatched the card from Anna's hand.
Her friend smiled and sipped her champagne. "Remember what I told you.
Explain I was unable to attend, and I wished for his lordship not to go unsatisfied."
Heat stole up Miranda's cheeks at the implication of the words. Aware she was gaping, she shut her mouth with a snap. This is what she wanted, after all. One night with
. . . him.
Anna laughed. "Oh, don't be such a prude. At least you're no longer tied to the sanctity of marriage. Pity my husband wouldn't expire early like Lord Fitsimmon and leave me a wealthy widow. Why, could you imagine all the fun I could have then, my dear?"
"What should I do if he refuses to . . . that is to say . . . ?"
"My dear Miranda, have you seen what a delicious morsel you are for men who give meaning to the word, 'rake'? With your dark, bountiful locks and beautiful skin, well, what's not to like?" Anna paused and threw her a searching gaze. "And anyway, did I not hear some years ago Lord Sedley was sweet on you? So much so, the word 'marriage' was mentioned?"
"It does not signify what was between me and his lordship. Our friendship was a long time ago, and Lord Sedley made it plainly obvious his desires lay elsewhere."
Anna patted her arm and chuckled. "You should not always believe what your eyes tell you; I find they can blind you at the most inappropriate moment." She paused. "You never did tell what happened. Care to enlighten me?"
"No," Miranda said, nodding to a passing acquaintance. "I would not."
Her friend sighed. "Miranda, dear, it seems to me your previous relationship with Lord Sedley was not pleasing. So why do you wish to bed him? I mean, I have no qualms handing over my invitation to you, but if he will only cause you heartache, I strongly recommend staying away. Why not seek a man with whom you have no unpleasant history for such a rendezvous?"
Miranda took a sip of champagne and flicked a glance in Lord Sedley's direction, watched another man's wife trail a finger suggestively down his arm. He made as if to turn to her but stopped himself. "Sedley cannot continue with this scandalous life forever. It may be my only chance to sample lovemaking with an experienced man. He—" Her words faltered when Lord Sedley caught her watching him still.
Miranda turned her gaze toward the dancing couples. "Lord Sedley refused to see me when I requested he call soon after my mourning ended. I made a terrible error of judgement many years ago, and he has not forgiven me. If I'm admitted into his home, my wishes for the night obvious, surely he would not turn me away."
"So, you have heard the rumour." Anna pulled her toward two chairs, partly hidden by a large, potted fern, and sat.
"That Lord Scandal is putting aside his scandalous life? Yes, I've heard,"
Miranda said, lowering herself to the second chair.
Anna gave her a comforting smile. "And you are frightened he has attained a tender for some other lady, and your chance to be with him may be at an end?"
"Yes." Miranda blinked back the tears that threatened. The thought of another woman married to him and having his children tore her in two. It would be too hard to bear.
Anna smiled. "Lord Scandal will not turn you away, Miranda. Why, even now his eyes are undressing Lady Cavendish. No, Lord Scandal is still a thorn in every husband's side and perhaps will continue to be so for some time yet. And you will end the night in his bed, sated beyond your imagination, I promise you."
Miranda's mouth dried at the concept, and she prayed she was up to such a folly with a man who had once broken her youthful, foolish heart.
Lord Sedley looked over the crowded ballroom with a disinterested air. No woman present sparked an ounce of interest in him. Well, perhaps one.
Lady Miranda Fitsimmon was as beautiful and pure as always. Hair as dark as a moonless night, she sparkled like a diamond among paste. His gaze moved across to her friend, Lady Anna Cameron, and his eyes narrowed. No two women could be so unalike, and yet, fast friends they were, and reverently loyal to one another.
He swallowed a sigh of discontent and finished his brandy, relieved to have escaped Lady Cavendish. He should go home and forget this eve, this year, his entire life. Lord Scandal was at an end. No longer did he wish for one-night sex romps with women of his sphere. To give and receive pleasure for pleasure's sake no longer held the same excitement it once had. The whole process now palled, offended his sensibilities, hardened his heart, and led him to believe all women cheated on their husbands.
All but one.
"You'll make Lady Marshall and Lady Cavendish jealous if you keep eyeing Miranda Fitsimmon like you are. Do I suspect my brother is mooning over a woman?" Thomas asked, one eyebrow raised questioningly.
Sedley leant against the doorframe and ignored the taunt. "Sadly, you are mistaken. Lady Miranda is as cold as the Thames in winter." He beckoned a footman carrying drinks. "Where is Annabelle? I see the object of your constant mooning is absent from your side."
His brother grinned. "She says she is too large for polite company and refused to join me. I'm actually on my way home and noticed you standing here . . . alone."
Sedley met his brother's gaze. "Annabelle is only five months gone; surely she can grace the ton with her distinguished airs for a month or so yet," he said, trying to keep the sarcasm from his tone. His brother's next words indicated he had failed.