Angelique needs a scandal so outrageous it will shock all of Paris, and she has managed to find the two men who will help her enact it.
In the France of Louis XIV, Angelique Beaulieu's step—father is forcing her to marry the aging and degenerate Marquis D'Arly.
Made desperate by the Marquis' threats of violence, Angelique visits a notorious Parisian hötel where patrons indulge in wild sexual adventures. There, she meets the angelic looking Christophe and his dark and brooding friend Armand. The three of them indulge in an orgy of sensual delight.
Angelique believes her actions have freed her from the Marquis…until she is abducted and learns that her connection to Christophe and Armand has become a threat to her very existence.
General Release Date: 16th July 2012
"I have chosen a husband for you," the Vicomte de Valenne announced. His cold gaze swept over his stepdaughter. "You are to wed the Marquis D’Arly."
Angelique Beaulieu’s eyes widened. Her self-centred stepfather seldom stirred himself to any effort on her behalf. Unease prickled her skin. "I look forward to meeting the Marquis when the social season commences again," Angelique said dutifully. "By winter, I will be out of full mourning and able to attend some quiet gatherings. If I find the Marquis acceptable..."
"The Marquis wants a bride now," he snapped. "The connection is advantageous. If we wait, his choice will settle on another." Her stepfather leaned towards her, one arm raised, his mouth a thin slash. "I expect your obedience and gratitude for the time and money I have spent on your upkeep these last ten years."
"I am indeed grateful, Papa," Angelique said. She did not remind him that her late father’s fortune paid for her upkeep and the Vicomte’s lavish expenditures. The pretence of docility kept the Vicomte’s temper at bay, a lesson she had learned well during her mother’s long illness. "But it is only seven months since Mama died."
"I will not wait for some useless social convention," her stepfather replied. "You are already over nineteen. You have spent the years when you should have been attracting a suitor caring for your mother in her illness. This may be your only chance of finding a husband. You will not refuse this offer." His hand clenched into a fist and Angelique felt the blood drain from her cheeks. She hated the beatings, the humiliation, the sly smirks from the footmen, and the compassionate glances from the servants who remembered her father and happier times. How could marriage be worse than what she had already endured?
A small ember of optimism kindled into life. Her betrothal could be the beginning of a better future, where she would be mistress of her own household—safe and content, perhaps even loved…
* * * *
Angelique's hopes crumbled to dry, bitter ash when she entered the salon that afternoon and laid eyes on the Marquis D'Arly. The Marquis was old-far older than her stepfather. His white skin clung to his cheekbones like creased wet parchment. He stared at her with pale, cold blue eyes and his narrow mouth twisted into a leer.
All her strength of will went into holding her hand out to greet the Marquis, but nothing could stop the shudder that passed through her when he bent and pressed his scaly lips to her fingers. As the tremor shook her, he looked up and something bright and febrile flashed in his eyes.
"Sit down, my dear," the Marquis said, his voice sounding like the rasp of leaves in a dry winter wind.
Angelique moved towards one of the delicate, spindle-legged chairs, but her stepfather directed her to the sofa with one jerk of his chin. Then, defying all rules of decorum, he strode from the room, leaving her alone in the salon with the Marquis. He slid onto the seat next to her, the stuffy summer heat worsened by his miasma of age, sweat and overly sweet perfume. His foul breath poisoned the air as he leaned too close. She pressed herself into the cushioned sofa, fighting the urge to gag.
"So coy!" his whisper grated across her strained nerves. "I am delighted to find you as innocent as I have been promised. Your little cunt will be tight and wet when I take you."
Burning with shocked embarrassment and praying she had somehow misheard, she tried to pull away, to put some distance between them. One of the Marquis' hands snapped out with snakelike speed and held her fast. The other hand slid up her thigh, delving inwards, pressing the layers of her underskirts against her.
She gasped and began to struggle in earnest, her heart racing. "Let me go. This is not seemly."
Word Count: 24,243
Book Length: NOVELLA
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS
Alysha Ellis lives in Australia and when she isn't busy drinking champagne, eating chocolate and letting her inner tart run free, she writes erotic comedy. Her favourite quote comes from Mae West… A hard man is good to find. Who could argue with that? Alysha tries very hard to be bad, because bad girls have all the fun.
Reviewed by Whipped Cream Reviews
Ms. Ellis did do a great job of creating the desperation that Angelique felt at her unlucky hand that was dealt to her...Overall, the book was a good read and anyone who enjoys historicals with a bit...
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