Spurred by the steamy memoirs of an anonymous mistress, young widow Carolyn Turner falls for the sensual promise of rakish Daniel Sutton, Earl Surbrooke, in this winning but uneven historical romance from D'Alessandro (Never a Lady). With visions of clandestine trysts planted in her head, Carolyn feels, despite herself, a powerful draw toward the disreputable Daniel; the conflicted feelings, it turns out, are mutual, but soon they decide to become lovers, if only to work the desire out of their systems. Meanwhile, Daniel's former lovers are being murdered one by one, and he's the primary suspect. As the real killer draws closer, Daniel must protect Carolyn, clear his name and try not to lose his heart in the process. Though the murder plot proves dispensable, the dialogue between Daniel and Carolyn is charming, and they're allowed plenty of space to grow as characters. Supporting characters are forgettable, but the love story makes a pleasant diversion that should satisfy fans of the genre. (Jan.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Confessions at Midnightby Jacquie D'Alessandro
Carolyn Turner, Viscountess Wingate, is absolutely shocked by the Ladies Literary Society of London's latest selection. Memoirs of a Mistress is scandalously explicit and downright wicked . . . and it's stirring feelings within Carolyn that she hasn't felt . . . well, ever! She's sure that this steamy read is the only reason she's succumbing to the charms of… See more details below
Carolyn Turner, Viscountess Wingate, is absolutely shocked by the Ladies Literary Society of London's latest selection. Memoirs of a Mistress is scandalously explicit and downright wicked . . . and it's stirring feelings within Carolyn that she hasn't felt . . . well, ever! She's sure that this steamy read is the only reason she's succumbing to the charms of notorious rogue Daniel Sutton, Lord Surbrooke. She couldn't possibly be falling for the rascal and his illicit caresses . . . or could she?
The last thing Daniel wanted was to be shackled by marriage vows. He lusted after Carolyn, sure, but he never imagined that once he lured her to his bed he'd never want to let her go. Yet only when a murderer targets his beloved will he be spurred to confess his true love . . . and claim Carolyn as his bride.
Read an Excerpt
Confessions at Midnight
His hand slipped beneath my gown to slowly glide up my leg. The muted sounds of the party came through the library door, and I knew we risked being discovered. But I simply did not care . . .
Memoirs of a Mistress by An Anonymous Lady
When we chose this book to read, I had no idea it would be so . . . explicit," murmured Carolyn Turner, Viscountess Wingate.
She clutched her slim, leather-bound—and much perused—volume of Memoirs of a Mistress and glanced around her drawing room at her three guests, who, along with her, comprised the Ladies Literary Society of London. All three faces, she noted, bore scarlet blushes identical to the one scorching her own cheeks. Quite understandable, as one of her guests was only newly married and the other two were virginal innocents.
Virginal, yes. Innocents—no longer, thanks to the Memoirs.
Of course, in spite of having been married for seven years, she herself still had never dreamed of, let alone experienced, half the things described in the scandalous book that had recently taken Society by storm. Before her beloved Edward's untimely death three years ago, she'd believed they shared every conceivable pleasure with each other.
Based on her reading of the Memoirs, apparently not.
Her sister Sarah, the new Marchioness Langston by virtue of her recent marriage, cleared her throat. "Well, the entire point of forming our little Ladies Literary Society was to forsake the classics for more forbidden fare."
"True," said Lady JulianneBradley, whose normally porcelain complexion now resembled a fiery sunset, "but there is forbidden, then there is this." She held up her own copy of the book and Carolyn noted that many of the pages appeared decidedly dog-eared. Julianne leaned forward, and although they were alone in the room, she lowered her voice. "If Mother ever discovered I'd read such shocking things, she'd . . ." Julianne briefly squeezed her eyes shut. "Oh, I cannot even imagine it."
"She'd fly into the boughs as she always does," chimed in Lady Emily Stapleford with her usual forthrightness. "She'd demand her hartshorn, then, once recovered, I wager she'd confiscate your copy in order to read it for herself." Emily grinned at Julianne over the rim of her teacup. "In which case you'd not only be confined to your bedchamber for the remainder of your natural days, but you'd never get your book back. So make certain she doesn't find out."
Julianne's color deepened, and she quickly added another sugar lump to her tea. "As I've absolutely nothing to which I can compare anything I've read in the Memoirs, I can't help but wonder if half the things the author describes are even . . ."
"Anatomically possible?" finished Emily. "Yes, I wondered the same thing." Her gaze bounced between Carolyn and Sarah. "Well?"
Sarah pushed up her spectacles then fanned herself with her napkin. "I'm hardly an expert, as I've only been married two months. But from what I can tell . . ."
Her voice trailed off, and Emily leaned forward so far she nearly tipped from her chair. "Yes?"
"Everything she describes is . . . possible."
Emily sat back and whooshed out a long breath. "Never say so." Her amazed gaze shifted to Carolyn. "Do you concur?"
Carolyn pressed her hands against her book, which rested in her lap. Snippets from the scorching story of the Anonymous Lady's sexual exploits sifted through her mind and she felt as if the pages set her gown on fire.
"Certainly possible," she agreed, even though she wasn't quite positive. But really, weren't most things possible?
"But are they . . . enjoyable?" asked Julianne, her blue eyes round. "Because I must say, some of them sound rather . . . messy."
An image flashed through Carolyn's mind . . . of Edward's handsome face hovering above hers, his flesh buried deep inside her. The indescribable joy of that intimacy.
"Definitely enjoyable," Carolyn and Sarah said in unison.
"Even what she describes on page forty-two?" Emily asked in a breathless voice, rifling through the pages of her book.
Carolyn didn't need to look at page forty-two to know what was described there—she'd read the highly sensual passage so many times she could recite it by rote. Still, she fell in with the group and opened her book. Her gaze fell upon the Anonymous Lady's vivid description of a quick tryst in which her lover took her against the library wall between courses at a dinner party.
"Possible," Carolyn murmured, picturing the carnal image of the lady's legs wrapped around her lover's hips while he thrust into her, hard and deep. Although Edward had never made love to her in such a rough and . . . ungentlemanly way, she supposed it was possible—provided the gentleman was quite strong and vigorous, the lady quite agile and filled with stamina, and they were both quite determined.
"And, um, definitely enjoyable," added Sarah.
Three gazes immediately flew to Sarah. Surely her sister hadn't—
But one look at her sister's dreamy expression glowing behind her spectacles made it clear that Sarah knew of what she spoke, a fact that unsettled Carolyn in a way she didn't quite understand.
Emily cleared her throat. "I . . . see. Well, what about that bit on page fifty-three? Surely a man wouldn't do that . . . would he?"
"And the other on page sixty-one?" added Julianne. "Surely a woman wouldn't do that . . . would she?"
Again Carolyn knew precisely to what her friends referred without looking at the book. Her face flamed hotter and she found herself shifting in her seat from the same disconcerting sensations that had plagued her during her entire reading of the Memoirs.
Readings, her inner voice interjected, emphasizing the plural.
She shot her pesky inner voice an inward frown. Very well, readings. Many, many readings. Alone in her bed, her mind overflowing with carnal images that left her overheated.Confessions at Midnight. Copyright © by Jacquie D'Alessandro. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. <%END%>
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