Series: Book #1 in the Scandalous Ballroom Encounters series
Author: Victoria Vale
Release date: February 14, 2015
Genre: Regency era Erotic Romance
Formats: e-book only (Coming soon in audio)
Blurb: Scandalous Ballroom Encounters is a series of erotic romances set against the dazzling, opulent backdrop of the Regency era in London, England. Lords and Ladies were expected to behave with propriety during those times … but what happened behind closed doors, when no one could witness the debauched and lusty encounters between members of the nobility?
Margaret Seymour is bored by the stifling constraints of society dictating her behavior as a debutante in search of a husband. Her prospects are promising by the standards of London society, yet, not one of them causes her heart to flutter, or her head to fill with scintillating, forbidden fantasies. Those feelings are reserved for Camden Rycroft, Duke of Avonleah—a man who isn’t even aware of her existence.
While attending a scandalous Vauxhall Gardens masquerade, Margaret finds herself in the duke’s arms. His promise of a night of pleasure is tempting, but is it worth it when Avonleah is a known rake notorious for his short attention span and avoidance of marriage?
Camden Rycroft is intrigued by the masked vixen he encounters in the Gardens. After one night with her leaves him hungry for more, his desire for her turns into a fiery obsession. Despite the scandal that could ensue from their affair, he finds himself unable to extract himself from a situation destined to end in pain. When faced with losing Margaret to a potential husband, will he rise to the occasion, or risk living without her?
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When he turned to face her, he was confronted by her back. She’d turned away from him, pretending to inspect an ornate vase set upon a table that was a work of art in and of itself. The arrangement of flowers bursting from the top of it were lovely, but hardly worthy of her intense scrutiny. Camden grinned as he approached. She was trying to avoid conversation with him.
“Well, well,” he murmured, pausing just before the toes of his evening shoes touched the hem of her gown. “Miss Margaret Seymour, we meet at last.”
She tensed, her back going stiff. “Your Grace—”
“Camden,” he insisted, his voice dropping to a low whisper.
“Your Grace,” she rasped through gritted teeth. “Please, this is quite unseemly.”
He stole a glance over his shoulder to ensure they went unseen. His broad shoulders all but shielded her from the rest of the room, and the others were too entrenched in their own conversations to notice them. He brought his hand up, allowing his fingers to trail from the nape of her neck, down to where her dress began, then further, tracing the row of tiny buttons running down the back of the garment.
“My name, love,” he murmured, his eyes fixating on the curve of her neck and almost-bare shoulders. “I want to hear you say it again, as you did the night we were together. You whispered it when I teased your perfect tits with my tongue. You moaned it when I tasted your sweet little cunt. You screamed it when I fucked you.”
She shivered as he shifted, just a bit closer. So close now, that his breath rustled the stray hairs caressing the back of her neck. Her shudder caused his cock to pulsate with painful insistence. The thrill of being near her again overcame his good sense and he lowered his head toward her, his lips brushing the back of her neck.
“Camden,” she mewled, swaying back toward him. The swell of her ass brushed against his crotch, almost crippling him.
He gritted his teeth and moved until he was beside of her and fought against the erection begging to be sheathed. “That’s better,” he growled. “Now, what have you done to yourself?” He pretended to inspect the arrangement as well, but studied her in his peripheral vision. Her milky white and pale green gown was lovely, yet hardly did her justice; not as the scarlet getup she’d worn to the masquerade had.
She frowned, turning her head a tick and spearing him with a confused glance. “I beg your pardon?”
“What happened to the vivacious little vixen I spent the night with?” he demanded, his voice raising a bit. “The one who waltzed with me beneath the stars and kissed me so boldly in public? The one who gave me one of the best nights of my life before running out in the morning without a nary a good-bye? What have you done with her?”
She squared her shoulders, avoiding his gaze once more. “You are mistaken if you believe the woman you met is the woman I truly am. I wore more than one mask that night, Camden. This is who I am. Miss Margaret Seymour, daughter of Baron Lisbroke and Lady Seymour. Prim and proper lady. For God’s sake, I am not even allowed to waltz in public yet.”
Camden heard the derision in her tone. The woman she claimed to be was not who she truly wished to be, that much was clear. “I don’t believe you,” he said. “I believe this mask—the one you wear now—is the true façade. It is no wonder I never noticed you. How could I, when you’ve hidden your true self away?”
She lowered her eyes to the carpet, though her shoulders remained squared, her head erect. “In case you hadn’t noticed, the ton isn’t exactly forgiving toward women who step outside the dictates of society—especially when one is not of high rank like, say, a duchess.”
He frowned at that. Damn her, she was right and now he felt like a bloody fool for the things he’d said. Of course she played the role of the biddable daughter and debutante. She could never make a good match otherwise. Although, now, if she did make a good match she’d have the devil of a time explaining her lack of virginity. While many women of the ton were familiar with ways of tricking their bridegrooms into believing they’d deflowered a virgin, Maggie did not seem the type to stoop to deceit.
Her dilemma wasn’t his concern. Not when she’d assured him that a night with him had been her deepest desire. If Cranfield was too dense to know the difference between a real maidenhead and a false one, then the man deserved what he got.
“Meet me tonight,” he whispered, ensuring once more that they went unheard. “You can be yourself with me, you know that.”
“I cannot,” she said. “The first time was a risk. To do it again would be …”
“The fulfillment of your wildest dreams,” he said, when she’d trailed off. “You confessed as much to me, remember? However, you did not allow me to prove my prowess beyond the one time we made love. Don’t you want to know what it’s like to straddle me and ride my cock? Or to rest on your hands and knees while I fuck you from behind, giving me the perfect view of that pretty little backside?”
She bit her lower lip and her eyes slid closed. “Camden, please.”
“Yes,” he murmured, “there will be plenty of that. Yes, Camden. Please, Camden. More, Camden. You want it, Maggie, and so do I. Come to me tonight.”
Her eyes flew open, darting as she seemed to think over his proposal. He held his breath. She was on the verge of capitulating, he could feel it.
“You can spend the rest of your life as a stuffy, boring, married lady if that’s what you wish,” he continued. “But before then, you should know what true pleasure is. Do something for yourself, something you truly want, before you’re forced to bend to duty.”
A breath of a moment passed between them before she replied. Her answer was a whispered, tortured sound. “Yes. I want that.”
He grinned. “Good girl.”
About the author:
Victoria Vale has written over two dozen Romance and Young Adult novels under various pseudonyms. As a lover of erotic romance, she enjoys nothing more than a sexy hero paired with a sassy heroine, flavored with a dash of spice and lots of heat. A wife and mother of three, she enjoys reading (of course), cooking, sewing … and other activities that aren’t appropriate for inclusion in a biography.
Visit her online: www.eroticromancebyvicki.com
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I really enjoyed the first book in the Scandalous Ballroom Encounter Series. It is a bold and thrilling tale of finding one’s own way through life and not allowing anyone to make decisions for them. Maggie is a fierce and sassy heroine I liked a lot. Camden endeared himself to me with his rakish and charming ways. I loved these characters together, the smoldering passion that leaped off the pages and the excitement that there will be more to this series soon!!