The Maid of Milan

How much would you pay for a clear conscience? Adelaide Leeson wants to prove herself worthy of her husband, a man of noble aspirations who married her when she was at her lowest ebb.
Lord Tristan Leeson is a model of diplomacy and self-control, even curbing the fiery impulses of his youth to maintain the calm relations deemed essential by his mother-in-law to preserve his wife’s health.
A visit from his boyhood friend, feted poet Lord James Dewhurst, author of the sensational Maid of Milan, persuades Tristan that leaving the countryside behind for the London Season will be in everyone’s interests. But as Tristan’s political career rises and Adelaide revels in society’s adulation, the secrets of the past are uncovered. And there’s a high price to pay for a life of deception.

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Description

The following scene takes place when Adelaide has discovered that not only is she in love with the husband she reluctantly consented to wed, but that she wants him to be in no doubt about her desire to take intimacy to a higher level. Adelaide’s mother has perpetuated a lie to hide her daughter’s sinful past, telling Tristan that Adelaide is an invalid who must be kept calm at all costs if she is not to succumb to hysteria.

“Addy–?”

Tossing aside the bed covers, Adelaide shifted to make room for him, snuggling against his chest when he yielded slightly, nevertheless terrified of his reaction. She was blatantly seducing – no, trying to seduce – her husband for the first time in her life and she had no idea whether he’d be horrified or delighted. She just knew she had to convey to him her receptiveness for taking intimacy to a higher level.

So far so good. He was breathing more rapidly, she noticed, as he carefully removed his boots. She willed him to hurry. She was on fire. She closed her eyes in anticipation, her mind whirling with all the possibilities of what she might say, but the words with which she’d intended to unburden her heart were lost in the passion of his kiss.

Scorching. It shocked her, as did the speed with which he moved now as he caged her body with his, his hands roaming over her as he trailed hot kisses along her jawline, down her neck, across her décolletage. Adelaide arched with impatience, resisting the urge to be the one to unbutton his trousers.

‘God, Addy, I love you,’ he muttered as he gripped the hem of her shift to raise it, nuzzling her neck. ‘I’ve never loved any woman as I love you. Are you sure you want—?’

Her reassurance that she’d never wanted anything so much was truncated by a sharp rap on the door and her mother’s nasal whine on the other side. ‘Addy? I’ve brought you something to help you sleep. Can I come in?’

Horrified, she and Tristan bolted upright as the door knob turned.

‘Wait, mother!’ Addy pulled the covers up to her chin as Tristan leapt to the floor, straightening his cravat and pulling on his boots with lightning speed.

‘Why, Tristan …?’ Mrs Henley’s cloying smile didn’t fool Adelaide. ‘I didn’t know you were here. I’m so sorry to interrupt.’

Adelaide felt like seizing the mug her mother carried with such false solicitude and hurling it at the wall. Instead, she hurled herself back down onto her bed with a sob as her husband bowed before leaving the room.

2 reviews for The Maid of Milan

  1. admin

    “I raced through The Maid of Milan as I couldn’t put it down. I love books about flawed people, and believe me, the people in this book are flawed. Except for hero Tristan, that is, who is a thoroughly nice man and very attractive, too.” ~ Amazon reader.

  2. admin

    “Villains make for an exciting novel and I was rooting all the way through the book for Adelaide and Tristan to realise what a cruel manipulative woman Adelaide’s mother was, and for James to get his comeuppance. The book is written very well, with excellent characterisation and a fast pace. It was a really enjoyable read and I thoroughly recommend it.” ~ Amazon reader.

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