Author Jude Knight has a new book out, the long-awaited happily-ever-after for her “wild rake”, Lord Aldridge, who has appeared in many of her earlier books:
To Tame the Wild Rake
The whole world knows Aldridge is a wicked sinner. They used to be right.
The ton has labelled Charlotte a saint for her virtue and good works. They don’t know the ruinous secret she hides.
Then an implacable enemy reveals all. The past that haunts them wounds their nearest relatives and turns any hope of a future to ashes.
Must they choose between family and one another?
This, then, must be the Rose, for whom Aldridge had worn a black armband for a year. Some said he had never got over her, and here she was, in portrait form, above the head of Aldridge’s bed, into which he brought other women. I will never understand men. Charlotte leaned onto the bed to better illuminate the portrait. “She was very beautiful.”
“She was.” Aldridge’s voice made her jump, and she jerked around, then gasped as candle wax splashed onto the bed.
“Oh! I have spilt wax on the covers. I am so sorry.”
“I did not intend to startle you,” Aldridge said, the words apologetic though the tone was more reserved. He was leaning against the door, his arms folded, elegant as ever in an evening coat and perfectly tied cravat. He wore pantaloons, however, rather than breeches, and his feet were encased in embroidered slippers.
“Will you step through here, Lady Charlotte, and tell me how I may be of service to you?” he said. “Do not worry about the bedspread. I am sure it can be cleaned.”
He gestured to the door she had entered by, and she led the way. She did not believe she had ever blushed as much in her life as she had this evening. “I am so embarrassed,” she told Aldridge as he closed the door between them and the bedchamber. “I was curious, but I should not have gone where I had not been invited.”
That won her his real smile; the one that lit his eyes. “The saying about curiosity and cats comes to mind, Cherry, except that you are safe in my wicked lair.” He spread his hands. “Did I not give you an open invitation when I said you could call on me at any time? What may I do for you, Cherry? Is there trouble? Ask me for anything in my power.”
She blurted her answer. “You.”
Until that single word, Aldridge had been holding onto his reason by the slimmest of threads. Seeing the woman he yearned for propelled him into a state of frustrated lust; even thinking about her had that effect. But when he found her in his playroom, examining his collection of framed erotica with open curiosity, he needed to step back into the passage, and take several deep breaths under cover of sending Richards away.
Which might have been a mistake, since it left the two of them alone. Be a gentleman, he instructed himself, sternly. At least he could trust himself not to frighten her, as he would if he touched her in even the most innocent of the ways that poured through his fevered mind. And, since she would not initiate anything, poor darling, they were both safe, and so Aldridge told her.
But then he asked what she wanted of him and her answer set him reeling. You? What does she mean, ‘you’? As a husband? As a donor for one of her charities? As an escort on a damned-fool errand? He took a deep breath, blinking slowly, as the most riotous part of him put its own interpretation on the single syllable and signalled its approval.
A gentleman, he reminded himself.
“For what, exactly?” he asked, pleased that he sounded calm. Or do I sound reluctant? “Anything you wish, of course, Cherry.”
She nibbled at her upper lip, frowning. “I am not sure how to say it, Anthony.”
“Think about it while I pour you a brandy,” he suggested. He suspected he might need one.
About the Author
Jude always wanted to be a novelist. She started in her teens, but life kept getting in the way. Years passed, and with them dozens of unfinished manuscripts. The fear grew. What if she tried, failed, and lost the dream forever? The years since 2014 have brought 10 novels, 13 novella, 4 volumes of short stories, 3 awards, and hundreds of positive reviews. The dream is alive.
Jude write historical fiction with a large helping of romance, a splash of Regency, and a twist of suspense. She then tries to figure out how to slot the story into a genre category. She’s mad keen on history, enjoys what happens to people in the crucible of a passionate relationship, and loves to use a good mystery and some real danger as mechanisms to torture her characters.
Dip your toe into her world with one of her lunch-time reads collections or a novella, or dive into a novel. And let her know what you think.
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