To Take This Lord
Brides of Bath, Book 4
(Previously published in mass market paperback as An Improper Proposal)
Heat Index: Hot
Length: 82,000 words
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George Pembroke, the Viscount Sedgewick, is a man bent on self-destruction. Even though it's been two years since his cherished wife died on childbed, George continues to rely on liquor to blunt his grief.
Worried about him and his children, George's sisters urge him to ask spinster Sally Spenser – a longtime family friend – to help care for his daughter and son. Sally's the perfect person. She's of high birth, has no money, and she adores his children. But George can't ask an earl's niece to become a servant! However. . .since he'll never love again, why not make Sally his viscountess? It would be a marriage in name only. For the children.
Sally's deep love of the children and fear that their father might marry an unfeeling stepmother that prompt Sally to agree George's proposal. Even though it will be unbearable living under the roof of the man she loves and knowing she can never have him.
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WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
"Does a wonderful job building simmering sexual tension between her opinionated, outspoken heroine and deliciously tortured, conflicted hero." – Booklist
"5 Stars – highly recommended." – Huntress Reviews
"Bolen's writing has a certain elegance that lends itself to the era and creates the perfect atmosphere for her enchanting romances." – Romantic Times
"Sexual tension sizzles." – Happily Ever After
"An emotionally compelling novel that kept me reading well after midnight." – In Print
"A pleasant completion to The Brides of Bath series." – The Best Reviews
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The same thought resonated with each step up the staircase. If only she were coming to my bed. "You curled your hair tonight," he observed.
"Now that you no longer need me every moment, I shall start having my hair curled again."
He came to a stop and turned to gaze somberly at her slender face. "Don't."
"But I thought you liked me with curly hair!"
"I did, but I've come to appreciate you as nature made you, and no one could please me more."
Her hand brushed the burned side of his face. "Thank you, George, that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me."
He took her hand and pressed his lips into the cup of her palm. Her breath swooped. God, but he wanted to ask her to allow him in her bed tonight. But he knew he couldn't casually sleep with Sally.
He could only take her body after she knew she possessed his soul.
He started back up the stairs, an awkward silence engulfing them. From the top of the stairs, they walked midway down the hall to the viscountess's chambers and came to a stop.
"Good night, my lady," he said morosely.
She drew in her breath. "George?"
He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. "What, my dear?"
"Please don't worry that you will offend me by refusing, and I shouldn't wish to hurt you or exhaust you for the world, but I thought, perhaps, you might wish to . . . to come into my chamber tonight."
Cheryl Bolen is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen Regency-set historical romance novels. Her books have placed in several writing contests, including the Daphne du Maurier, and have been translated into 11 languages. She was named Notable New Author in 1999, and in 2006 she won the Holt Medallion (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent) for Best Short Historical Novel. In 2012 she won Best Historical in the International Digital Awards for eBooks published the prior year, and one of her 2011 novellas won Best Historical Novella. Her books have become Barnes & Noble and Amazon bestsellers. A former journalist who admits to a fascination with dead Englishwomen, Cheryl is a regular contributor to The Regency Plume, The Regency Reader, and The Quizzing Glass. Many of her articles can found on her website, www.CherylBolen.com, and more recent ones on her blog, www.CherylsRegencyRamblings.wordpress.com. Readers are welcomed at both places. Cheryl holds a dual degree in English and journalism from the University of Texas, and she earned a master's degree from the University of Houston. She and her professor husband are the parents of two sons, one who is an attorney, and the other a journalist. Her favorite things to do are watching the Longhorns, reading letters and diaries of Georgian Englishmen, and traveling to England.