Giselle Marks

Regency Romance and Fantasy Author

Sample from The Marquis’s Mistake by Giselle Marks

on December 8, 2013

Sebastian Vernon and his father, the Duke, reached Chalcombe House before the Wynstanley carriage arrived. In fact, Sebastian had waited on his father’s toilette to be completed before they set out for Grosvenor Square. While his father went into the drawing room to greet their hosts, Sebastian stayed in the hall waiting for the Wynstanley carriage. He handed Lady Sophia and Miss Lambent from the carriage, telling Lewis, whose job it was, to stay inside. As he escorted Alicia into the house, she hissed at him.

TMM cover

Cover of “The Marquis’s Mistake” by Sarah J Waldock

“How did you know my dress was pink? Have you bribed the servants to keep an eye on me?”

“Never thought of that, would you like me to? I simply asked Madelaine what she thought you’d be wearing tonight and she said pink. You might have changed your mind but pink goes well with white and cream and the pale green of the other dresses I have seen you in too. They wouldn’t have gone with the blue dress you wore to the Overton’s Ball, but it seemed good odds they’d look well with your dress.”

“Of course, I wouldn’t like you to bribe the servants. I don’t like the thought of you spying on me. Anyway, you didn’t notice me at the Overton’s Ball so how do you remember what I was wearing?”

“Just because I didn’t know who you were, does not mean I did not notice you. I was working through my grandmother’s list. I was intending to seek an introduction to you anyway, you looked sweet.”

He lifted her cloak from her shoulders and handed it to Lewis. Sir Anthony and Lady Sophia had already entered the drawing room, following the butler, Pemberton, and had not noticed Sebastian and Alicia hanging back. Lewis went to organise refreshments.

“I suppose rakes notice all the girls’ dresses,” she said sarcastically.

“Absolutely, rakes are very good at noticing things like that,” he said, pulling her in the wrong direction and opening a door to the rose salon, a small room the Chalcombes rarely used. A fire was burning merrily but there were no lamps or candles lit. Sebastian shut the door behind them.

“Rakes also always notice when they are alone with the lady of their choice,” Sebastian said huskily, and bent his head to kiss her. He softly caressed her lips and his tongue licked the crease between them. She found she was opening her mouth and allowing his tongue inside. Her hands lifted of their own accord to his chest and clutched the lapels of his midnight blue coat, while he deepened the kiss and pulled her closer to him. Part of Alicia knew she should push him away and slap his face again, but for a few short minutes, the sensations obliterated all sensible thought. His tongue flickered inside her mouth as if it would know all of her, with his lips massaging hers in the most seductive way. Alicia’s breasts swelled and tightened. Her nipples strained at the fabric of her dress. An ache started deep inside her. Any strength in her muscles seemed to drain away; only the support of Sebastian’s arms allowed her to remain standing. The kiss intensified, Alicia was kissing Sebastian back, one of her hands crept up entwining in his wavy curls.

Finally, he drew away from her mouth and stepped back slightly, without letting go of her. His breathing was a little fast but Alicia felt stupefied. How could one kiss render her into a total imbecile, she wondered? Eventually, normal feeling began to come back to her legs and her heart beat slowed, but the ache deep inside her stayed to taunt her.

“We will be missed,” said Sebastian. “Are you all right?”

“All right? I must look like I’ve just been kissed by a rake. How dare you, Sebastian?”

“Rakes always kiss pretty girls. Didn’t your governess warn you?”

They stopped in the hall and examined themselves carefully in the mirror. Sebastian straightened his coat and his cravat, and ran his fingers through his hair to re-establish his Coupe á Vent haircut to its normal ordered disorder. Alicia found that although Sebastian had slightly crumpled her dress, her hair and toilette had not been disarranged, but her mouth was much redder than usual and was tender to touch. She looked at Sebastian and his mouth look just as bruised. Her eyes flashed fire at him.

***

Sebastian was amused by her anger, but thought she looked more aroused than angry.

“We will wait one minute to compose ourselves before we enter. I wonder why they haven’t missed us.”

“They will know what we were doing. You are trying to compromise me.”

“I am trying to convince you to marry me. My expressions of undying love didn’t sway you. I thought I would demonstrate how much I want you. They will guess I pressed my suit a little. But I trust not enough for Chalcombe to put a hole in me. Did you find my kiss so unpleasant?”

“You know I did not, I suppose rakes are very skilled at kissing. Why should Edward want to shoot you?”

“Some rakes are very skilled at kissing and other things. Edward promised to call me out if I dared to seduce you.”

“He wouldn’t, would he? Aren’t you frightened?”

“He would. I am counted a good shot but honour would insist I delope. So I would have to stand there quivering like a blancmanger while he put a hole in me.”

“You don’t look frightened to me.”

“Don’t I? I am absolutely terrified you will persist in refusing to marry me.”

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