"Victorian England is a man�s world. And no one knows this better than Phillipa Jones who must fight society's conventions along with chauvinistic ship captains and a greedy yet undeniably handsome Viscount to keep her late husband�s shipping business afloat. Unfortunately, one moment of weakness and a case of mistaken identities will place her in a compromising position, which will see everything she�s worked for come to ruins including her reputation.
To My Readers:This is Koko's first attempt at writing an historical erotic romance and hopefully I've allowed you to escape the doldrums of everyday life with my slice of fiction."
THE MERRY WIDOW by Koko Brown
Copyright � Koko Brown, 2009
All Rights Reserved, RED SAGE PUBLISHING, INC.
EXCERPT FROM THE MERRY WIDOW
"I heard he's hung like a horse.�
Phillipa Jones's violet eyes swung up from the stack of missives in front of her to settle disapprovingly on her office clerk. Despite celebrating her fourth year anniversary at the job this past summer, Lucy never ceased to amaze. Her brand of frankness was more suited to the docklands than a place of business. "Miss Pemberton, I'm sure that piece of information may be of interest to those within your own set, but��
�Pardon me, ma'am," Lucy said with dignity, "but it's not just me set. It's the entire ton that knows it as well. Why, just last week, I read in the Evening Marlborough about him fuck�I mean having a dalliance with a certain Italian duchess at the opera.�
Phillipa pursed her lips at the mention of the daily newspaper, which had become popular for its weekly gossip column, the �Ruffler of Victorian Feathers.� As if she didn't have enough to worry about as a female business owner. She also had to worry about her recent decision being uncovered by the 'all knowing and all seeing' Lady Cherbourg.
�O' course, they ain't mentioned his name for they never do, but everyone knows who the honorable Viscount of Equine is.�
�Viscount of Equine?� Phillipa's lips twitched in bridled amusement.
�Yes, it's a reference to his cock. Like I said, hung like a� � Lucy didn't finish, but her brassy curls bounced around her face as she nodded in excitement.
Phillipa was not entirely unfamiliar with the male sex organ, but she couldn't help the blush staining her cheeks. Proper ladies just didn't speak so freely on such a subject, not even in intimate circles. Once again, she questioned her hiring of her young charge in order to her provide her with a better opportunity than the one she would have faced working on her back or eking out a pittance as a washwoman.
�Despite Lord Bellomont's special attributes, Miss Pemberton, I will not see him,� Phillipa replied brusquely. �Furthermore, I know very well that this is his third visit, but I am not interested and will never be interested in anything he has to say. Harry and I built this shipping company from one small frigate to the five steam liners we have today all with the sweat off our backs. And I will not see it lain to waste regardless of the large purse he's offering. Now please go back out there and tell his Lordship good day.�
�Yes, ma�am.� Lucy turned to do her bidding but came back around, a queer look etched on her face. �Mrs. Jones, I almost forgot. Your coach is �ere. Oscar arrived right before the Viscount came calling.�
Phillipa looked up so suddenly her spectacles slipped down her nose. �My coach? What time is it?� she asked, reaching inside her jacket pocket.
�It's a quarter past three, ma'am.�
Phillipa confirmed the time on the silver pocket watch Harry had given her thirteen years earlier, on her 25th birthday. Despite its age, it still told accurate time.
Hell's bells! she groaned. She'd been so busy with making sure the books would be closed by the end of the month she'd almost forgotten what was happening tonight.
�While you tidy up your loose ends, I�ll get rid of �is Lordship.�
�Thank you, Lucy.� Phillipa snapped the watch closed, the click resounded loudly in the quiet room. It was even more quiet now because she no longer shared it with Harry. Yet despite his passing and her subsequent taking over of the business, her routine had not changed. She always started work promptly at eight o�clock and she never left her offices before six o'clock. Her driver arriving three hours early was due to only one thing�this was the evening of her first visit from Madame Valant's stable of young gentlemen.
Rising from her desk, she walked over to the coat tree in the corner and removed the black bonnet hanging from the branch.