When her father dies, Cordelia Brownlow's future looks bleak. She has no money and must sell Ashworth, the family house, in order to pay the debts of honor that her father ran up. The offer her cousin, Lady Dennyson, makes to buy Ashworth and keep Cordelia on as a companion seems like the answer to her prayers. But Lady Juliet Dennyson has an unusual idea of the duties (and pleasures) of a 'companion', and Cordelia finds herself falling in love with the lady who shows her delights of the body she's never imagined. Lady Juliet has secrets in her past and they threaten to spill over into the present, destroying her relationship with Cordelia. Can Lady Juliet learn to live with her past – and can Cordelia accept it, too?
Warnings: This title contains reference to incest, dubious consent and rape.
Word Count: 18,283
"You bought my house, not me!" I said.
Her smile, that incredible, bewitching smile, flashed out.
"Au contraire, Cordelia. I purchased the house in order to possess you. Did your solicitor not make it clear? The house -- and you as my…" she paused, "…companion. Without you?" A delicate shrug of the shoulders. "No bargain. I want my pleasure, and I am prepared to pay for it."
The thought of being my lady's pleasure -- I must confess, it made my heart beat faster. It made it throb between my legs. But still I protested.
"I am not -- I have never been for sale, Lady Juliet." I raised my chin, and my hair cascaded down my back. "I belong to no one."
I turned to flounce up the stairs but she was swift in her response. Firm little fingers grasped my wrist, preventing my escape.
"Oh yes, my dear," she said quietly, her eyes fixed on my own. "You are mine."
She tugged on my arm and I slipped, falling unsteadily into her waiting arms. Before I could recover, she had pressed her lips to mine in a kiss that made my pulse race.
I broke away. My (admittedly limited) education told me that declarations of love were inappropriate from a woman; convention and propriety spoke more firmly still against such exchanges between two women.
"Cordelia." Her voice was compelling, and I hesitated, torn between my desire and what I knew was right. "I order you to come with me!"
An order! I could not, I told my conscience, refuse a specific demand. I was, after all, only a companion. If Lady Juliet ordered my obedience I had nothing to do but comply.
"Yes, my lady."
I followed her to her room, my head bowed in submission. She waited by the door, saw me in, then locked it behind me, slipping the key between the curves of her breasts.
She smiled at me, and in that moment I became utterly hers.
This book was added to our catalog on Friday 11 March, 2016.