Friday, 25 December 2020

A Bride for Lord Redfield - Arabella Sheen EXCERPT 2


A Bride for Lord Redfield


Arabella Sheen

A risqué regency romp enjoyed by both servants and masters as love and passion is discovered―above and below stairs―in his lordship’s household.

Chapter 1 – Emily

Robert was handsome, tall, and shapely. And dressed in his uniform, he looked strikingly masculine. But until now, he had never really had the opportunity to approach her. Not like this. And she had purposefully kept him at a distance.
Of course, he had made advances. He had teased and flirted like all the footmen did, but he had never actually achieved anything except the occasional stolen kiss.
In the cellar or laundry room when no one was looking, he had cornered her and tried his luck, but she had always managed to fob him off and keep him at bay…until now. It appeared things were coming to a head, and she sensed he was beginning to want more than she was willing to give at present.
Girls in her position had to be careful. She couldn’t afford to lose her job. And any liaison―innocent or not―with another servant would be noticed and frowned upon.
“Are you going to let me take you to the traveling fair this weekend?” he asked. “Or are you going to watch the jesters and puppet shows with Cliff? I’ve seen the way he looks at you, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t already―”
“Don’t you dare, Robert Manson. Don’t you dare think something like that has happened between Cliff and me.”
Cliff was the stable hand who looked after Lord Redfield’s carriages and horses. Nothing had happened between her and Cliff, and even if something had, that was no concern of Robert’s. Was it?
“Then give me a kiss to prove there’s nothing between you and Cliff,” he said with a grin. “And I mean a real kiss. You’re pretty enough to have all of us running around after you. You might look prim and proper with your fair curls covered beneath your lace cap and your shapely figure concealed under your dress, but you aren’t really prim and proper, are you?”
Without Emily realizing what was happening, Robert had captured both her hands in his. He was forcing them, twisting them behind her back until he was able to grasp them tightly in one hand. They were face to face. Torso to torso. And beneath her clothes, she could feel the hardness of his awakening manhood pressing against her thigh.
An ache was beginning to grow between her legs, and warmth spread throughout her. Robert always had the ability to set her pulses racing, and that was the case now.
With his free hand, he took hold of her face. Then, with the demanding firmness of his mouth, he once again lunged, ravishing her lips with his.
“Stop it, Robert,” she gasped breathless.
“Stop what?” he said between kisses.
She laughed cheekily. “You know what I mean.”
His kisses were deepening, becoming urgent. His tongue traced the outline of her lips, and he slowly pried them open before penetrating her mouth.
Emily could feel him, smell him, and taste him. And although she wanted to give in to her desire, she had to resist.
Robert released her hands, and somehow, of their own accord, they were now around his neck, pulling him down toward her. She was kissing him back. She couldn’t resist…her desire was ignited, and it was equal to his.
Pushing aside the neckline of her dress, he reached for the drawstrings on her chemise. He began playing with them, pulling on the ties, and as he tugged them loose, a glimpse of her breasts was revealed to him.
“You want me, Emily. I know you do.”
“I can’t. We can’t. Not now, Robert. I have things to do. Rooms to prepare. Lord Redfield will have a house full of guests this weekend, and nothing is in readiness. It’s going to be chaos if I don’t prepare the bedchambers.”
“And it’s going to be chaos if you do, especially in Mrs. Greenwood’s bedchamber,” said Robert with a laugh.
“What do you mean? What do you know?” Emily asked, curious.
Did Robert know something she didn’t?
“If you make it worth my while, I might tell you,” he said with a bold smile and a wink.
Emily’s heart skipped a beat. Not because of Robert’s veiled promise of lovemaking, but because over Robert’s shoulder, she could see the door to the breakfast room was being opened. Someone was about to enter.
Quickly, she turned away to conceal her flushed face and exposed cleavage from view. Then surreptitiously, sliding to one side, she stood in front of the service lift, pretending to be busy.
“Is there a problem?” said a low voice.
“Mr. Henderson, sir. I was just helping Emily finish up here.” Robert was taking the brunt of Mr. Henderson’s censorious glare. “Her ladyship is in the morning room, and she asked me to collect her shawl.”
Walking over to the chair, Robert retrieved the forgotten silk wrap.
Luckily for Emily, Robert had given her just enough time to covertly straighten her garments before turning back into the room.
“I’m nearly done here, Mr. Henderson,” she said, and gave her ruffled lace cap one last jiggle before tucking a few stray hairs neatly back into place. “And if Mrs. Clements doesn’t need me for anything urgent, I’d best get on and get the bedchambers ready for his lordship’s guests.”
“Then see to it,” said Mr. Henderson. “And be smart about it. The guests will be arriving anytime now, and they will want to unpack and rest before this evening’s entertainment begins.”
Emily knew only too well that tonight was going to be busy―for everyone.
About a week ago, a meeting had been held in the staff dining room below stairs. Mr. Henderson had called everyone together and explained that while at the town house, Lord Redfield intended to give a ball for his friends. But it was only when Mr. Stephens, Lord Redfield’s secretary, provided housekeeping with a list of guests and the rooms her ladyship wished to have made ready, that everyone, including the gardener, knew something big was happening.
The names on the list pointed to only one thing, and that was that Lord Redfield was about to propose marriage to Miss Rosalinda Mills.
It was known throughout the servants’ hall that the master had recently packed an overnight portmanteau and had driven his phaeton and grays to Lippon. According to Bishop, the head groom, who had accompanied the master on the journey, they had stabled the team at The King’s Arms and his lordship, having obtained lodging at the inn for the night, had then gone on to call upon his aunt, Lady Whitaker.
That act alone, according to speculation in the servants’ hall, could mean only one thing. His lordship had gone to Lippon to seek the hand in marriage of Miss Rosalinda.
His lordship’s aunt, Lady Whitaker, was Miss Rosalinda’s godmother. And as Miss Rosalinda had lost her parents at an early age and was raised by Lady Whitaker in Sir Whitaker’s household, it was assumed Lord Redfield had approached his aunt for consent to marry her goddaughter.
Of course, all this was conjecture, but Emily, sure that all would be proven true this afternoon when the guests arrived, was full of excitement.
After Mr. Henderson and Robert left the breakfast room, and when everything had been brought to order, Emily made her way upstairs to prepare the bedchambers for the visitors.
* * * *

A Bride for Lord Redfield
Copyright © 2019, Arabella Sheen
ISBN: 9781949300277
Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Electronic Publication: February 2019
Editor: Lynne Sully
Cover: Fantasia Frog Designs

eBooks are not transferable. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

About Arabella Sheen 
Arabella Sheen is a British author of contemporary romance and likes nothing more than the challenge of starting a new novel with fresh ideas and inspiring characters.
One of the many things Arabella loves to do is to read. And when she’s not researching or writing about romance, she is either on her allotment sowing and planting with the seasons or she is curled on the sofa with a book, while pandering to the demands of her attention seeking cat.
Having lived and worked in the Netherlands as a theatre nurse for nearly twenty years, she now lives in the south west of England with her family.
Arabella hopes her readers have as much pleasure from her romance stories as she has in writing them.

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A Bride for Lord Redfield

Book Blurb: A Bride for Lord Redfield

A risqué regency romp enjoyed by both servants and masters as love and passion is discovered―above and below stairs―in his lordship’s household.

At Redfield House, everyone is busy with preparations for a ball, and rumor is rife in the servants’ quarters that the master is about to propose.
Lord Thomas Redfield realizes the time has come for him to take a wife and that this duty can no longer be delayed. The only trouble is…he isn’t sure the desire he once felt for Catherine, the woman he was previously betrothed to, is over and a new life with Rosalinda can begin.
Can Lord Redfield take Miss Rosalinda Mills for his wife, and will she agree to an engagement knowing he could still be in love with Catherine?
As the weekend unfolds and the fun begins, a bevy of illicit encounters are enjoyed between maids, footmen, grooms, and guests, while his lordship inwardly struggles with the problem of finding a wife.

Content Warning: contains passionate, sensual love scenes

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