An Improper Proposal
Book Six, The Distinguished Rogues Series
By Heather Boyd
Release Date: June 9, 2015
In life there are choices…
Spinster Iris Hedley was once the darling of the ton until her father lost his fortune through an illness of the mind. Reduced to living as a penniless guest while her father rots in debtors prison, she’s determined to escape unscrupulous robbers who’ve set her to spy on the ton by the only
means possible—by becoming a wealthy mans mistress. Unfortunately for Iris, her proper upbringing never covered intimacy or seduction so she asks the one man she trusts for help with private lessons in the duties of a mistress.
…in love there is but one
Martin Andrews, the Earl of Louth, may have a soft spot for tiny Iris Hedley, especially after her father fled London with a horde of debtors nipping at his heels. Her request for lessons in seduction leaves him reeling and although tempted it’s an offer he must refuse for her own good.
Convinced she’s headed for heartbreak, he sets out to prove that surrendering to wicked pleasure is not worth the sacrifice of her future only to discover that her problems are more complicated than his own.
The world crashed down on Martin Andrew, Lord Louth’s, head at precisely eleven o’clock in the morning in the private residence he owned on Pollen Street, London. “What do you mean Vivian is dead?”
Mrs. Hughes, his former mistress’s housekeeper, looked on him with sorrowful eyes. “She died several days ago, my lord.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“I am sorry to be the bearer of such sad news.” Mrs. Hughes winced. “I know you have no reason to mourn Mrs. Rose after all the trouble she put you through, but I thought you would want to know.”
Martin turned away to hide his reaction. Shock. Dismay. Grief. He might not have been Vivian’s protector anymore but he had cared enough about her welfare to allow her to lease the house long after their arrangement had ended. He had not laid eyes on Vivian in six months or more, at her request, nor had he shared a bed with her in closer to eight, also by her request.
Another protector had snatched Vivian up a few days after their parting, ensuring no reconciliation was ever possible between them. The bitter sting of discovering she loved another had tainted their last words to each other, and now he could never make peace with her.
He glanced around, at last noticing the house was draped in mourning colors. “Is she here?”
“No, my lord.” The housekeeper clasped her hands together at her waist. “Lord Fallow took her body and made arrangements for a private burial. He was beside himself and would not permit us to see her or attend services.”
Martin nodded slowly, an uncomfortable ache building in his chest. He might not have been Vivian’s choice as a protector, but she had been in his life for a long time and he wished he’d known about her passing sooner. “Did she suffer?”
There was nothing Vivian had hated more than discomfort or being inconvenienced. He hoped her death had been swift and painless.
“No more than any woman,” Mrs. Hughes informed him. “I thought everything was well but her death took me by surprise.”
Martin turned slowly, unable to believe his ears. “What do you mean by ‘no more than any woman’? She is dead, for heaven’s sake.”
Mrs. Hughes regarded him with widened eyes. “She delivered her daughter easily, looked up into my face smiling, and when I returned to her after taking the girl away for wrapping, she was gone. So suddenly. Without a whimper of protest or warning.”
“Daughter?” Martin staggered back a step. “She was with child?”
About Heather Boyd
Bestselling historical author Heather Boyd believes every character she creates deserves their own happily-ever-after, no matter how much trouble she puts them through. With that goal in mind, she writes sizzling regency romance stories that skirt the boundaries of propriety to keep readers enthralled until the wee hours of the morning. Heather has published over twenty novels and shorter works. Catch her latest news www.heather-boyd.com. She lives north of Sydney, Australia, and does her best to wrangle her testosterone-fuelled family (including cat Morpheus) into submission.