Lydia finds herself interested in her handsome neighbour. Lord Danbye thinks his sweet little minx is adorable, but he is twice her age.

It is the Year of our Lord, 1671. Nineteen-year-old Lydia Robins has a penchant for mischief. No matter where she goes or who she’s with, she will find herself in some kind of trouble. Her neighbour, the dashing, powerful Lord Danbye, Earl of Barnham, feels it is his duty to protect her, and although attracted to him, she finds his high-handed attitude rather irksome.

When she’s invited to become a lady-in-waiting, he forewarns of the dangers at court, but she ignores him and travels to Whitehall regardless. Finding herself embroiled in the sensuality, drama and intrigue of court life, Lydia must negotiate her path between truth and lies, rogues and royalty, and most of all refrain from getting into trouble with the handsome Lord Danbye who has promised to watch over her when he visits the court. But Lydia has already had first-hand experience of his protection and it is something she would rather not repeat. Or would she?

Lydia finds herself not only having to deal with the daily affairs of court life, but also her emotions when confronted with the handsome earl. A tale of love, passion and intrigue, set in the majestic court of Charles II.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy historical contains sexual scenes and a theme of power exchange.

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Excerpt

He stood up and walked over to her. Placing his hand on her chin, he made her look up at him. “I promised your parents that I would keep you safe and I intend to do just that, so you will explain to me, right this minute, what business you have with John Churchill or I will make you tell me.”

Lydia’s stomach did a nervous flip. “If you think you are going to spank me, then you can think again!”

“If you do not tell me, I will spank you. Make no bones about it, Miss Robins.”

His eyes were dark with anger, his jaw set tight, and it should have warned Lydia to comply but her stubborn nature made her refuse to reveal anything to him. He was being far too overbearing and she would tell him so. “Fie! You can threaten me all you like but I will tell you nothing!”

Muttering an oath, he placed a firm hand on her arm and dragged her over to the bed. She tried to dig her feet in and struggled like fury, but it had no effect and she soon found herself face down over his lap, her skirts thrown over her back and a stinging slap landing firmly on her bottom.

She shrieked loudly and kicked her legs but Lord Danbye ignored her, pinning her firmly against his waist. “You are far too wilful,” he admonished her.

He brought his hand swinging down and delivered several well-aimed swats to her rounded bottom. Lydia protested loudly, but he ignored her complaints, intent on administering a sound spanking for her bad attitude.

“Ouch! Aow!” she wailed. “That hurts!”

“Good, I hope it does,” he admonished sternly.

He gave her another five sharp smacks, and then laying his palm over one buttock as a warning, he asked her again, “Tell me what business you have with John Churchill or I will continue spanking you until you do.”

Lydia’s bottom was smarting like fury and she knew he meant what he said. But the king had warned her to tell no one of her mission. But she would have to tell him something, else he carry on with spanking her. Reluctantly, she told him that the letter was from Lady Castlemaine to John and she was just the messenger. Which was the truth, or at least, partly the truth.

Lord Danbye immediately released his tight grip and let her go. She jumped up, wasting not a moment to rub her poor bruised posterior better whilst shooting him a look of discontent.