Maggie Robinson

Lords of Passion

Lords of Passion
Kensington Brava ♦ November 30, 2010
ISBN-13: 9780758251077 ♦ ISBN-10: 0758251076

Read an Excerpt » | Read the Reviews »

This dazzling new historical collection delivers a trio of heroes who are bold, dashing, and unforgettable in every way…

“Not Quite a Courtesan” by Maggie Robinson

Sensible bluestocking Prudence Thorn has been too busy keeping her cousin Sophy out of trouble to experience any adventures of her own. But when Sophy begs Prudence’s help in saving her marriage, Pru encounters handsome, worldly Darius Shaw. And under Darius’s skilled tutelage, Pru learns just how delightful a little scandal can be…

“Beauty and the Brute” by Virginia Henley

It’s been three years since Lady Sarah Caversham set eyes on arrogant Charles Lennox—the husband her father chose for her to settle a gambling debt. Now Charles has returned, unaware that the innocent ingénue he wed is determined to turn their marriage of convenience into a blissfully passionate affair…

“How to Seduce a Wife” by Kate Pearce

Louisa March’s new husband, Nicholas, is a perfect gentleman in bed—much to her disappointment. She longs for the kind of fevered passion found in her beloved romance novels. But when she dares him to seduce her properly, she discovers that Nicholas is more than ready to meet her challenge, over and over again…

Mass Market Re-Release:
November 6, 2012
ISBN-10: 0758271565

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Read an Excerpt

The walls of the dining room were even worse than the walls of the parlor. Life-size life studies hung on every side. Breasts, buttocks, rapturous smiles—Pru had no choice but to focus on her food and eat as quickly as she could without choking to death. Mr. Shaw seemed untroubled by the scenery, tucking into the slapdash lunch that his man assembled with gusto. Between bites he did everything in his power to assure her that his brother Cyrus was worthy of Sophy, but she remained unconvinced.Her reluctance must have been obvious, for at last he pushed himself away from the table. “Mrs. Thorne, I have proof that my brother wants to be a better man. He has refused all his life to take part in the family business.”“And that makes him responsible? One who is idle and lives off the work of others?”

“Hear me out. The Shaws are not precisely respectable, I am sorry to say. My father founded an importing company and attempted to train both his sons to take it over when he passed. Cyrus would have nothing to do with it, and rightfully so. His sensibilities are far too refined, too delicate.”

“Good lord. What is it that you import? Opium? White slaves?”

“Nothing quite so egregious, but some in the ton might find the items equally repugnant. Come. Allow me to open one of the crates and you can see for yourself.”

Pru felt herself pale. What horror could be inside the box? A shrunken head? A voodoo doll? She spent a great deal of time reading about the fantastical finds of great explorers and naturalists. She’d really had very little else to do as she sat by her mother’s bedside. But to actually lay eyes on such things—she was by turns curious and terrified.

And continued to feel both emotions as she watched Mr. Shaw remove his jacket and roll up the sleeves of his linen shirt. His browned arms were sprinkled with fine dark hair. Charles had been fair, looked rather golden in the firelight. Pru shut her eyes at the unwelcome image. She did not remember what he looked like. She didn’t.

Mr. Shaw rummaged through a leather satchel and unearthed a crowbar. With a few quick flicks of his wrist, the lid of the box popped open. Straw spilled out onto the rug, and Mr. Shaw sneezed quite violently.

“Damn. I mean drat. Pardon my language, Mrs. Thorne, but I seem to have an aversion to straw.” He pinched the bridge of his nose in an unsuccessful attempt to quell the second, even more alarming, sneeze. He fished a handkerchief out of his pocket. His eyes looked watery and red already.

Pru counted the number of crates “How on earth will you be able to unpack all these boxes?”

“My man Malcolm will help. He’s a useful fellow, although he doesn’t have a gentle touch. He’s dropped more than his fair share of valuables.” He stuck an arm into the straw and pulled out a bronze chalice. “This is as good a place to instruct you on the Shaws’ wicked business. Step a little closer, Mrs. Thorne.”

“I will not, you silly man. Bring it out into the hallway where you will not be subjected to the packing material any longer than you need be.”

“Why, Mrs. Thorne, I’m flattered. Are you concerned about my health?”

“I don’t wish to be sneezed on. What are you waiting for?”

Mr. Shaw grinned. “How did your cousin dare defy you? You frighten me to death.”

“Nonsense,” Pru grumbled, not letting herself be swayed by the twinkle in his eyes. Very fine eyes—hazel green with bits of gold. They navigated through the stack of boxes to the black-and-white tiled hallway. The chalice gleamed in the shaft of sun from the front door’s sidelights.

“Very detailed work, isn’t it?” Pru began, but then she saw all the details. “Good heavens.”

“I believe it’s meant to be Hell, actually. See the little cloven hooves? Shaw Antiquities specializes in sensual, some might even say pornographic, artwork and artifacts. We are the go-to people for those collectors who fancy something a bit different from the run-of-the-mill Staffordshire dog. I’ve traveled the globe to fulfill the wishes of my clients, always on the look-out for the rare and randy.”

“I—I see,” Pru said faintly. She certainly did. And despite her innate objections, her eyes remained open and in wonder at the cavalcade of sex acts depicted on the chalice. She squeaked. “That is possible?”

“Everything is anatomically correct and within the purview of a normally limber and morally ambiguous man,” Mr. Shaw said, his twinkle now blinding.

Pru knew she was blushing, could feel the heat blossom from her breasts to her hairline. She wiped a bit of damp from her brow, inadvertently loosening the corkscrew curl she had pomaded down. She had just the one curl on her temple in her mass of straight, boring hair, a twirling little worm that got caught in her eyelashes. She blinked it back and aimed for a look of indifference.

“I really must be going, Mr. Shaw. I suppose I should thank you for showing me part of your collection, but I would be lying if I told you I felt any gratitude at all. This is—you are—I don’t know what I shall tell Sophy about the family she’s married into.”

“You may tell her that Cyrus has no hand in the family business. And assure yourself that after I dispose of this lot, Shaw Antiquities will shutter its doors for good. I’ll have enough to invest in something more respectable, and I’m tired of traveling. It’s time I settled down. Like my brother.”

Somehow Pru could not see this man at the center of domestic tranquility, surrounded by dogs and children. Instead, a vision came of him robed, riding an Arabian stallion, flashing a scimitar. And in the next second, she was beside him, veiled and warm from the desert sun. There would be sugared dates and roasted lamb at the oasis, and long lovemaking in a silken tent beneath a brilliant moon. They would whisper hours into the night, the gentle breeze beyond rattling the palm leaves.

“Mrs. Thorne, I say, are you all right? You look flushed. I would be happy to escort you home.”

Mr. Shaw had brought her back to reality. How long had she been standing in the hallway with these inappropriate thoughts? She focused on the tile at her feet.

“That won’t be necessary. As you know, Jane Street is conveniently close to the best addresses. I shall walk.”

“I know you did not bring a maid or footman with you.”

“How could I? It would have been even more scandalous to involve one of the servants in this scheme. Poor Sophy. Even if your brother is innocent of having an affair, I cannot think he will make her a good husband.”

“Give him a chance, Mrs. Thorne. We Shaws are full of surprises.”

Pru snorted. She fetched her gloves and reticule from the parlor sofa, and pinned her veiled hat to her chignon. “Good day, Mr. Shaw.”

“I hope we meet again soon.”

Pru was glad he could not see her face. Mr. Shaw was not a man she trusted herself to meet again.

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Read the Reviews

“This lively book collects three well-matched historical romance novellas set in England. In Henley’s BEAUTY AND THE BRUTE, high-born teens Charles and Sarah are wedded to settle Charles’s father’s gambling debts. Mortal enemies on their wedding day, they part for three years, only to reunite as strangers and experience unexpected passion. In Pearce’s HOW TO SEDUCE A WIFE, prim young Louisa March yearns to feel pleasure in the bedroom. Her husband, Nicholas, wants to help her, but doesn’t know how. Could a Mayfair madam help them? In Robinson’s delicious NOT QUITE A COURTESAN, a young heiress gets far more than she bargains for when she marries into a family of swindlers short on cash but long on charm. Readers will float away on the literary flair of these escapist tales, each touched with just the right amount of eroticism.”

“Passion or sex can be serious or fun and these three talented authors show the many sides of desire. Readers will delight as fantasies are played out and passion is given free rein, and while there is plenty of lust, there is also trust, love and tenderness — enough to please any reader seeking pleasure.”

— 4 Stars RT Rating from RT Book Reviews

“LORDS OF PASSION is a luscious anthology of three erotic Regency romance novellas featuring three heroes of varying birth and backgrounds, but all thoroughly well studied in the ways of love and the art of intimacy. Oh to be their heroines!

The LORDS OF PASSION collection could not have found a more wonderful culmination than Ms. Robinson’s NOT QUITE A COURTESAN. Perhaps it’s the self-aware rake in Darius Shaw that is so appealing, or perhaps his straightforward manner in how he deals with Pru, or perhaps how something in Pru’s stringent propriety resonates with Darius making him gravitate towards her – whatever it is, it’s totally enchanting. The repartee between Darius and Pru, Darius and his steward, even between Pru and his steward, is clever and laugh-out-loud amusing. The lovemaking scenes are heart-stoppingly, monstrously sweet, and so erotic that readers will suffer from dry mouth. Put simply… NOT QUITE A COURTESAN is superb!”

“Like the unique artifacts for which Darius searches the world, Robinson’s NOT QUITE A COURTESAN is a treasure. Well written, this story flows smoothly, with humor and a satisfying depth of emotion. Intelligent, practical, take-charge Pru is the perfect foil for Darius’s sensual, teasing nature and the banter between them is an absolute delight. From beginning to end, their journey is romantic, sensual, and thoroughly enjoyable. I admit, I hated to say goodbye.”

— The Romance Dish

“Wonderfully decadent, LORDS OF PASSION, a captivating anthology by three very talented authors, is a book that readers will want to read over and over again. The three stories are enriched with compelling and complex characters, creative plots, humor, love and plenty of steamy sensual scenes. Readers will be unable to tear themselves away from this book and these marvelous stories, as they read about unfulfilled heroines and reformed rakes, whose fantasies are played out and their desires satisfied in very imaginative ways. As I look forward to more works by these phenomenal authors, be sure to get your own copy of LORDS OF PASSION. You won’t regret it!”

— Romance Junkies

“LORDS OF PASSION is a delightful anthology with sweet heroines and heroes who will melt your heart. A great read!”

“NOT QUITE A COURTESAN is so well-written and near perfection that I can’t wait to dive into another Maggie Robinson tale!”

“Maggie Robinson’s NOT QUITE A COURTESAN wraps things up with a thoroughly enjoyable romp. Darius and Prudence are a hoot. As Pru joins in the inventorying they fall in love, Darius gets semi-respectable and Pru gets seriously loosened up. And it’s funny. Really funny.”

— All About Romance

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