Top Ten Favorite Lines from Only A Mistress Will Do
I suppose any author has pet or favorite lines in each of their books. I find I am no exception. And even though some of my favorite lines may not make sense out of context in this post, if you later read Mistress and come across them, I hope you will understand why I liked them so much. These aren’t in any particular order, except #1 is probably my all-time favorite line for the book. 🙂 Some of these are more than a single line, so you can get the sense of it.
1. “It will hurt, but not very much, and not for very long.”
No, not for very long. Only for the rest of her life.
2. The boy kept shoving, squeezing her foot until she winced in pain, but she gritted her teeth, put her shoulder to the door and pushed back.
3. However, like a reckless moth compelled toward the blaze with the ultimate power to destroy it, he had returned again and again, fluttering closer and closer to her entrancing flame.
4. The magic of the harp coursed through her as it always had and she plucked the strings with sure fingers, all her soul, all her love, all her passion flowing into the piece. She had nothing to give him as a remembrance of her, save this, so she’d make sure it would remain with him for the rest of his life.
5. A blur of movement to his right and the tip of a rapier pricked his chest.
6. A fleeting curl of her lips passed for a smile.
7. If this affair lasted much longer he’d become a tosspot and probably happier so.
8. “Had I a sword or a pistol this piece of filth would never rise from this spot. He’s nothing more than a rabid dog that wants killing.”
9. With his cravat askew, his jacket pulled open, and his wig cocked at an impossible angle, he [Lord Downing] could have been mistaken for an inmate escaped from Bedlam.
10. “By God, Trevor.” Lord Downing took a step toward him. “You cannot speak this way before my wife.”
“My pardon to Lady Downing, although I believe she has swooned again.”
That last exchange never fails to make me laugh, but you will have to read what comes before it to know why I think it’s hysterical. 🙂
The man of her dreams . . . belongs to another woman.
Destitute and without friends, Violet Carlton is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another . . .
Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves. . . .
“What pleasure may I give you this evening, my lord?” Violet forced the words out over and over. Wild laughter in the hallway, faint strains of a pianoforte, and the lewd grunts from the room next door twisted her stomach, yet she kept repeating the phrase. The raucous sounds of the brothel had become more familiar during the week, but still set her on edge.
Footsteps approached once more, slowed, stopped.
Violet’s heart pounded, her rapid breathing keeping pace. The huge bed to her right drew her attention for perhaps the hundredth time. Was this the moment? She seized the arms of the velvet chair, fighting to hold herself in place. Her nails sank into the soft fabric as she struggled to slow her breaths.
The handle lowered.
Her head came up, back straight, forced smile plastered on her face as the door opened wide and she caught a glimpse of the man who had bought her for the night. Madame Vestry had informed her this morning that one of her regular customers had responded favorably to her invitation—she’d actually called it an invitation—and for Violet to make herself available in the green room at eight o’clock tonight.
She’d not been told who he was and somehow it mattered little to her she did not know the name of the man about to ruin her. One of the house rules forbade her to ask. If the gentleman offered his name, that was his business. The other girls had told her if she needed to put a name to the face, to think of customers as “Lord John.”
This Lord John entered the small room in a swirl of black fur and sandalwood, the spicy scent tickling Violet’s nose, making it twitch.
She tipped her head back and looked up into the swarthy face. Dark hair and piercing blue eyes, a strong jaw, and a long, straight nose. Too tall, though. He was too tall for her. The ridiculousness of the irrational thought broke through her lethargy. She forced herself up out of the chair as he strode toward her.
The smile curling his full lips would have been charming had not the gleam in his eyes betrayed his lustful intent.
“Good evening, Cassandra.” His deep baritone voice sent a frisson of dread through her. “Such a lovely name for a lovely temptress.”
“What pleasure may I give you this evening, my lord?” The words came out flat, but by God, she’d gotten them out. Now to remain standing and not faint. One small goal at a time. She stared at the wide expanse of blue velvet jacket barely two inches from her face.
He ran the back of his hand along her cheek and goose flesh pimpled her whole body. “I do hope the pleasure will be mutual, my dear.”
Violet jerked back from his caress. Her gaze, firmly fixed on the gold buttons of his jacket, now shot to his face, expecting a leer. How could he suggest she might enjoy being debauched?
His dark brows had puckered into a surprised frown, almost reproachful. He lowered his hand.
Dear God. She couldn’t refuse him anything. Lord John owned her for the night. Whatever he wanted to do to her, be it lewd touch or soft caress, she had to submit. No matter she wanted to scream, or cry, or pummel his chest. Curse him for being a depraved wretch who reveled in her misfortunes.
That wasn’t fair. She returned her gaze to his chest. Despite her misery, she couldn’t blame him for her misfortunes or her decision to come here. He was a man bent on the usual pleasures of men, and she needed the patronage of such men to survive. If he wanted her to be pleased, then she would convince him of her pleasure. A leaden weight settled over her, grounding her. She tipped back her head and smiled at him, the practiced false smile that showed her teeth. “Then I am certain we shall both be pleased, my lord.”
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical in all time periods because passion is timeless. She 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’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as Vice-President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has three series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France.
She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.
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