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ONLY MARRIAGE WILL DO
The House of Pleasure, Book 2
BY JENNA JAXON
Happily-ever-afters don’t always begin at “I do.”
When the man of her dreams rescues Lady Juliet Ferrers from the villain claiming to be her husband, she is sure she has found her one true love. But is she free to marry him? Not to be deterred, Juliet arranges for her hero to escort her to her family estate in far off Northern England—hoping that along the way she can win his love—and his hand…
Captivated by Juliet’s sweetness and beauty, Captain Amiable Dawson can’t help but be spellbound by the promise of a life with her. But the spell breaks when questions arise about her marital status. Soon the upstanding Amiable is unsure if he is indeed married to Juliet. And when his rival absconds with her, Amiable must choose between the law of the land and his heart’s desire to rescue Juliet once more…
ONLY MARRIAGE WILL DO
The House of Pleasure, Book 2
BY JENNA JAXON
The Inspiration Behind Only Marriage Will Do…
When I first began writing in early 2009, I started reading historical romances non-stop to get a feel for the genre. I started with my fave author, Kathleen Woodiwiss, who wrote in all sorts of periods, but quickly branched off into LisOna Kleypas, Mary Balogh, Samantha James, and Jo Beverley. Of all these authors, Jo Beverley was the one that held me most spellbound. The first work I read of hers was a novella called The Determined Bride, set in the Georgian period and I simply fell in love. In love with Jo Beverley’s writing and with the Georgian period. I love her Regencies also, but the earlier period is much wilder, much bawdier, more dangerous. Men still fought duels with swords and wore very colorful clothing. The perfect time period for a scandalous romance.
And so The House of Pleasure series was born (the name of the brothel where several scenes from all the novels in the series are set) with Only Scandal Will Do. It had all those wonderful things like kidnappings, brothel auctions, and swordplay. My characters and I had a blast as the plot unfolded.
So I sailed right into the second novel, Only Marriage Will Do, about the sister of the hero of Scandal, who goes missing at the end of book one. I used information that had been woven throughout Only Scandal Will Do as back story for this totally new hero, Captain Amiable Dawson, and heroine, Lady Juliet Ferrers.
Amiable, whose name simply sprang forth during the writing of Scandal like Athena from Zeus’s forehead. I’ve never heard that word used as a name before, but there it was and I thought it was very different and cool, so Amiable he became. Dawson may have been from the hero of Titanic, Jack Dawson, but I’m not really sure about that.
His story is intertwined with Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam’s, the heroine of Scandal, as he is coming to see Katarina, whom he wanted to marry, only to find out she’s already wed to the Marquess of Dalbury. But that is how he meets Lady Juliet, at the beginning of Marriage.
Book one was all about scandal and how it brings the hero and heroine together. Only Marriage Will Do is all about marriage, the question throughout being to whom is Lady Juliet actually married. And again the setting of the untamed Georgian period makes for some wild and exciting adventures for the hero and heroine: a journey north at breakneck speed, an abduction by the evil viscount, and torture at the hands of the same man.
My great thanks to Jo Beverley for introducing me to the romance of the eighteenth century. I can hardly wait to travel back again and start book number three.
July 2, 1761
The brass lion-head knocker under Amiable Dawson’s hand sent a sharp rap through the dark walnut door of Dunham House for the second time. The hot July sun hadn’t done his temper any good as he waited on the marble stoop for entrance to the Marquess of Dalbury’s townhouse. He’d been in a foul mood ever since the news of his beloved Katarina’s marriage to the marquess had reached him. Blast it to hell, the girl had accepted his proposal. At least he could make sure she was well and well taken care of by this man she had married.
At last a short, dark-haired maid opened the door. She took one look at him, gasped, and stepped back into the house. Her eyes widened and she glanced to her right, wringing her hands. “Who may I say—”
A man shouted from within. “No, I do not believe you.”
“I do not care what you believe. I told you the truth.” A woman’s voice, raised and sharp with terror, sent a chill through Amiable.
Katarina. What in God’s name?
He barged past the stunned girl and strode down the hall toward the commotion. He burst through the doorway, expecting to defend the woman he loved, only to stop dead at the sight of a man lunging across a sofa and grasping a woman by the wrist. Amiable had half drawn his sword before he realized the woman was not Katarina, but a complete stranger. He dropped it back into its scabbard. None of his affair after all.
The young man, foppishly dressed in a robin’s egg blue satin coat dripping too many layers of frothy lace at throat and wrists, looked at Amiable, a snarl on his lips.
Taking advantage of the distraction, the woman wrenched her arm from the man’s grip. “Praise God. He has arrived at last.” She staggered as she righted herself. “Now you will have to believe me, Philippe.”
The fop scrambled back off the sofa and groped for a black lacquer walking stick that lay on the floor. Lips pressed together, he glowered at the woman. “That remains to be seen, ma chère. In any case, I have shown you the papers. They speak for themselves.”
The woman ran from behind the sofa to Amiable’s side, grazed a kiss over his cheek, and whispered, “For God’s sake, help me. I am alone and he wants to force me to go with him. Please, agree with whatever I say.”
He smiled into her pleading face, then grasped her hands and gave them a gentle squeeze to signal his acquiescence. “Whatever is the matter, my dear?” Hell if he knew. However, he could play his part, even with little information. Let the lady lead and he’d follow as well as he could.
The woman swayed toward him, then took a deep breath. “My dear, may I present Viscount St. Cyr?” She nodded toward the fop. “Philippe, my husband, the Earl of Manning.”
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has just finished her fifth full length novel, To Woo A Wicked Widow, set in Regency England and the first book in her five part series, The Widow’s Club.
Only Scandal Will Do, the first book in her Georgian House of Pleasure series, is available in both e-book and print. Only Marriage Will Do, second book in the series, is due to release early in 2015. Her medieval trilogy, Time Enough to Love, is published by Rising Phoenix Publications. Betrothal,Book 1, Betrayal,Book 2, and Beleaguered,Book 3 are now all available.
Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.
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