The Viscount's Pleasure House
Suzi Love -
I hope you enjoy The Viscount's Pleasure House, the first book in my Pleasure House Series. I loved writing this book because the darker side of London in the late Regency/ early Victorian eras fascinates me.
I love exploring the many-layers and ever-changing aspects of society from the end of the Regency through to Queen Victoria's very early reign.
On the surface, everything was fashionable gowns and exquisite manners. Underneath, London bubbled with every sort of vice and brothels were found on every second corner in some areas.
My titled heroes and heroines may appear to live privileged lives in and around London, but these strong characters challenge traditional manners, morals, and occupations, either through necessity or desire, and expose the seamier sides of tonnish life.
Therefore, my books often have a grittier side, as I try to make history fun, one year at a time.
Lady Chrissie Wellsby and her two country friends research dozens of rogues before selecting the notorious Viscount Hawkesbury, owner of London’s most exclusive and expensive brothel, to educate them in erotic seduction. The ladies abandon respectability and coerce Justin Tremayne into letting them visit The Pleasure House and to teaching them the sensual tricks mistresses and prostitutes use to entertain men.
Though Justin believes three naive ladies will see the debauched romps in his themed rooms, cover their eyes and ears, and run back to their sheltered lives, he underestimates the desperation of abandoned women who imagine a wider knowledge of sex will keep the men in their lives at home, in their own beds. But despite watching several of their friends, men and women, perform raunchy acts at his brothel, the ladies insist on participating in the last of Justin’s infamous Sultan’s galas, held in numerous silk tents and outdoor bathing areas on his estate.
Justin concedes to Chrissie’s demands only to gain information about his long-lost mother and sisters, but the world-weary viscount falls head over heels in love with his emotionally bruised pupil. He yearns for a wife, children, and an uncomplicated wife, but can he convinced Chrissie to take a chance and marry again? Because Justin never wants to leave her bed.
Book Excerpt -
Justin, Viscount Hawkesbury, stepped closer and in reaction the black-clad lady moved back. As if remembering her reasons for coming, she shook her head and moved that same pace forward. Not as close as before, yet near enough to appear fearless.
He sighed, and rubbed a fist across his aching eyes. “I’m fatigued, out of sorts, and my friends and I have business to conduct. Either join in, or leave.”
He waved towards the door, hoping she’d walk out and leave him in peace, but also hoping, ridiculously, that she’d unveil, undress, and stay. Because something about this particular woman was different. Something about her stirred his first true sexual interest in many months.
He smiled a little. “I’d still like to see a little more of you. I can’t even see the color of your hair.” He pointed towards her groin. “Top or bottom. Here, let me unbutton you,” he said, his fingers set to work on her top button, brushing the soft skin of her nape as he did so.
She flinched and held tight to the gaping neck of her dress with clenched fists. “Please. Listen to me. I’m not seeking employment.”
“Ah, then you’re simply a bitch in heat like all the others. Wanting a lusty tale to recount to your upper-class friends over tea and cake. Perhaps compare notes on Viscount Hawkesbury’s infamous prowess.”
Her quick series of breaths hissed and sizzled like water spitting on hot coals. He heard the girls tut-tutting nearby, but taunting, teasing, and arousing the lioness who’d dared brave his den so late at night had proved too delicious a temptation to resist. Only one more jest at her expense and then he’d summon the butler and a couple of strong footmen, and bid her farewell.
He turned, slowly and deliberately, and spoke to his two friends. “Gentlemen, which of you is capable of keeping your prick upright long enough to provide such a lusty lady with the thrill she so clearly came to my house seeking?”
Justin knew that in their heightened state of inebriation, neither Bart nor Thomas would be capable of servicing any girl tonight. And the Virile Viscount had given up such jaunts. The only business he involved himself in now was the palace and even then he kept a very low profile. By next month, he’d no longer own that either. His pleasuring days were finished. Investing in the rapidly expanding railway tracks and steam engines was far more profitable, and respectable, for a man who hoped to bring his mother and sisters home to live with him.
Thomas, red-faced, lurched to his feet. “I say, Justin, she seems like a lady.”
“Thomas, you should know by now, on the outside they’re all ladies. However, underneath they all seek the same thing.”
The woman flinched. Justin yawned, not bothering to cover his mouth, and then collapsed back into his armchair. Leaning his head back on the headrest, he laughed.
“My love, if you’ve better to show me than them, do as I’ve asked. Undress!”
She muttered something that sounded like, “Rude swine.”
He laughed and indicated the empty space on the chaise longue beside Bart. “If you’re suffering personal timidity, at least take a seat and watch. Give the girls your opinion on what tricks attract gentlemen the fastest. What do you do to entice a man?”
Her hands fisted at her sides but she stood her ground. “I realize you’re amusing yourself at my expense, but I give you fair warning, my lord. If you continue with these childish taunts and force me to leave without letting me speak to you, in private, you’ll regret it later.”
He pointed to the door. “And I’m also issuing a warning. Join in or leave. Perkins will show you out. I’ve run out of patience with the so-called weaker sex and the schemes and lies that women seem to delight in bringing to my door. ”
Bart spat out an uncouth curse while Thomas muttered under his breath, both scolding him for his rudeness. Disgust suddenly flooded Justin’s body and the heart he’d assumed was frozen in his chest clenched, hard. Despite being forced into unseemly money making ventures, the three of them had vowed to remain, at heart at least, gentlemen. They all needed to take their places in society, which was why Justin never usually entertained this sort of female at his house. Too many watching neighbors and too many wagging tongues in this respectable neighborhood.
Had he now passed the point of no return? Had the indecent acts he’d committed, all to either survive or earn his some of the ready, tainted his thinking to this extent? It terrified him that his morals were as lost as those idiots who assumed a title and riches gave a man leeway to be rude, arrogant, and even to inflict pain on those they considered inferior.
He’d picked out this woman and had intended on using her as an example, encouraging her to pass along his message to long line of societal whores who would continue to plague him. He wanted to stand in the street and scream and yell, “The Virile Viscount is finished!”
Behavior such as his here showed the arrogance he’d always deplored. Rude attacks on a woman were despicable, and it was especially ill-bred of him to tease and taunt what he now suspected was a well-bred lady. But he’d underestimated the woman’s pluck, or perhaps her determination to make herself heard.
“Be warned, my lord, I shall return.. Early. Very Early. And if you refuse to speak with me, I’ll haunt your house until you are prepared to listen to me.”
Her ferocious expression made him burst out laughing again. Bart wiggled his eyebrows in a suggestive manner and held out his hand to encourage the woman to take a seat on the thigh of the woman he still held.
“I like her, Justin. Can I have her?”
“Feel free, Bart. If you dare! Though I suspect Thomas is correct. I’ve come to the unwilling, and unfortunate, conclusion that she’s not here to audition for the Harem.”
“Certainly not.” Her tone was icy. “I’m offering you an exchange. Your skill in tutoring my friends in return for information.”
“Regrettably, my services are no longer for hire.”
She inhaled so sharply he swore her ribs vibrated. Then she made her announcement. “If I leave this room, I’ll take with me what may be your last chance to see your mother. Alive, at any rate.”
Website - http://www.suzilove.com