The Arrival of Lily Curtis
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by Rachel Brimble
Description: At the mention of an arranged marriage, Elizabeth Caughley feels her life is over at the age of three and twenty?so she hatches an escape plan. She will reinvent herself as a housemaid. Overnight, Elizabeth becomes Lily - on the understanding if her attempt at independence fails, she will return home and marry a man of her parents' choosing. Viscount Westrop will ensure his legacy is passed to his own son one day. Even though he feels insurmountable pity for the unborn child already, he knows how much pain a broken promise can cause and will do what is right. But with the arrival of his new housemaid, his plans are thrown into disarray. Lily is funny and feisty and the most beautiful creature on earth - Andrew is thunderstruck. But if anyone suspects how much he wants to ravish her and endlessly love her, Andrew's lineage will undoubtedly be in peril.
eBook Publisher: The Wild Rose Press/English Tea Rose, 2010
Filament eBookStore Release Date: August 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [334 KB]
Reading time: 216-302 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Belatedly coming to her senses, Lily finally dropped her gaze and curtsied.
"My lord," she croaked.
It felt like an age before she heard the masculine sound of his cough as he cleared his throat. She looked up through lowered lashes to watch him slowly place his drink on a small side table. Sweat broke out on her palms when he came towards her.
"You must be the new housemaid," he said. "Lily, isn't it?"
"Lily. Please. Won't you at least do me the honor of seeing your face when I am speaking to you?"
Lily lifted her head and met eyes as blue as a crisp winter sky. He said nothing as he continued to study her. His gaze brushed over her hair, her neck, her breasts. Lily flicked a glance left and right as her body traitorously heated beneath his scrutiny. The other gentlemen were carefully watching the exchange. Their curious eyes darted back and forth between the two, undeniable amusement twitching their lips.
"Are you ready to be seated in the dining room, my lord?" Lily said, standing a little straighter.
"Your meal, sir?"
He blinked and the tension broke. He hastily threw a look at his friends before turning to meet her eyes once more. He straightened his spine and regally lifted his chin. Lily held his gaze, noticed that his eyes now burned with something she couldn't quite decipher but whatever it was triggered her natural defenses to high alert. The curiosity when he had looked at her not a moment before had vanished, only to be replaced with mischief--or was it guilt? Whatever it was had him puffing out his broad chest making it impossibly wider.
His smile turned wolverine. "Oh, I'm more than ready to eat, Lily. I'm positively salivating."
Lily smarted as his friends burst into a flurry of mocking laughter. She gritted her teeth but kept her gaze locked on his. The tone of his voice had disguised neither the implication nor his obvious enjoyment at her expense. A flame of indignation ignited inside of her. She had dealt with dandies and philanderers on more than one occasion without any slip to her composure.
She wanted to mock him back. Was he embarrassed at having been caught staring so openly at a mere maid? Did he find her interesting? Pretty maybe?
But then Lily remembered her dress--or rather her breasts. Heat flooded her face.
Her face would be the last thing to catch his attention! So he was a viscount. Did that make him any less of a hot-blooded male? She thought not. Well, Elizabeth wouldn't stand to be made a mockery of and neither would Lily.
Her smile was slow and intentionally provocative. "I am so pleased, sir. For I would hate for you to have to endure cold soup." Her gaze lingered down to his crotch. "After all, you and your guests are quite obviously still chilled from an afternoon of riding."