Both Ambrose and Alexandra want nothing to do with falling in love, but will a
“gentleman’s bet” cause the stakes to be higher than either bargained for?
Find out in RAKEHELL’S SEDUCTION, book 2 in Lauren Smith’s Seduction series.
Ambrose Worthing is no gentleman. He’s a proud cold-hearted rake who’s determined to stay a bachelor forever. He enjoys bedding a different woman every night without the risk of falling in love. When he hears about a wager over the seduction and ruination of the daughter of his father’s best friend, he knows he must intervene. Committing himself to the bet, he agrees to seduce Lady Alexandra Rockford—for her own good. He never expected the lady in question to be a beautiful, fiery creature who has passions of her own that call to his guarded heart.
SHE’S VOWED NEVER TO FALL IN LOVE AGAIN
Alexandra Rockford has sworn off men, her heart still broken from the false promises of a childhood sweetheart who left her to marry an heiress. When she stumbles into Ambrose outside of a country ball, she knows the rake is trouble. His smile, his touch, his forbidden kiss are all too tempting but being with him would ruin her. Determined to enjoy herself without falling in love, Alex can’t help but let her defenses down with the too charming rake. But when she discovers Ambrose is seducing her to win a bet, it will take everything Ambrose has to prove to her that he is worthy to love her.
Add The Rakehell’s Seduction to your GOODREADS TBR pile!
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of
the main characters and why? Stars you would pick to play your characters.
If The Rakehell’s Seduction was optioned for a movie I would love to have the stars act out the heartbreaking scene where Alexandra has been kidnapped by a man named Darlington so Darlington can win a five thousand pound wager by seducing her publically. Ambrose, the hero, was once friends with Darlington and he comes to her rescue, but Alexandra knows that Ambrose was also trying to win the wager. She knows she must be ruined by either Ambrose the man she loves, or Darlington, and she must choose even with a broken heart. I believe this scene would really show the characters chemistry and the angst of the love story at it’s darkest moment. I’d choose Henry Cavill to play Ambrose and Felicity Jones to play Alexandra. Here’s the scene:
Alex was sitting in a chair by the unlit fire, staring at nothing. She was aware of shivering, but the sensation seemed so distant, as though her mind and her body had separated ways long ago.
Ambrose had come to Lothbrook to seduce her. She was nothing more than a wager to him, a five-thousand-pound challenge. He’d won far too easily.
First Marshall and now this…
She curled her arms around her chest and lowered her head, closing her eyes as tears leaked down her cheeks. How was she going to survive this? It was as though she’d been ripped away from the safety of her heart’s inner fortress and thrown naked on a flat field, unable to protect herself from the world. There was no going back, no way to rebuild those inner walls. It was too late because she’d fallen in love with Ambrose and he’d used her heart against her.
She stiffened her spine and tried to figure out what she was going to do. Any moment now the man who’d started the wager would arrive, and she’d be forced to confront him. What should she do? Fight off Vaughn if he tried to touch her? He’d promised he wouldn’t, but what if he changed his mind or Langley demanded he touch her? Yes, she would fight if it came to that. She’d never been a wilting flower, and she was not about to let any man change that about her. Even though her heart was shattered, her pride and righteous fury were making her strong enough to survive. Langley would regret making that bet and so would Darlington for bringing her here.
The sound of a key turning in the lock attracted her focus, and she tensed. Was now the time for Darlington to ruin her? The door opened, her lips parted in shock, and her heart jumped in a treacherous wave of relief. Ambrose stood there, his face pale and his eyes haunted with shadows.
He closed the door and rushed over to her, taking her into his arms and seating himself in the chair with her on his lap. His quick actions surprised her, and she wasn’t ready to push him away even though half of her was struggling inside with her rage and hurt. The other half of her was relieved to be safe in his arms. But she knew she wasn’t safe, would never be safe again from heartache when it came to this man.
“You are all right, thank God,” he murmured, his arms banding tightly around her.
It would be so easy to give in, to let her heart surrender again and seek shelter and comfort in his embrace. If only he’d never agreed to take the wager to ruin her, she could have stayed here in his arms, feeling the warmth of his breath against her cheek and breathing in his scent of leather and sandalwood. Her eyes prickled with tears as reality crashed down around her, and she shoved at his chest. He was too startled to stop her as she climbed off his lap and darted away. She shouldn’t have let him touch her or hold her. It was too painful, even so much that it eclipsed her anger at him.
“Alex, I’m here to help.”
She put precious distance between them, pulling her dressing gown closed like a shield.
“Please, don’t touch me—don’t come any closer,” she whispered.
He stared at her, his eyes worried, his brow furrowed, and she realized he didn’t know why she was angry with him.
“I know about your involvement in the wager.” She paused, and the room grew deathly silent, like a tomb that had not been disturbed for centuries. He stared at her as he slowly stood from the chair. Lines of weariness carved paths around his mouth and eyes, which she’d once considered evidence of his love of laughter. When he didn’t speak, she continued.
“You came to seduce me for five thousand pounds.” The words tasted bitter on her tongue. Ambrose stood but didn’t try to come closer.
“It was never about the money, Alex.” His voice was deceptively soft, like a man attempting to soothe a spooked horse.
“Oh?” She laughed bitterly.
“No,” he growled, a scowl marring his features.
“Five thousand pounds is a lot of money.”
“It is, and I never intended to take it.”
“Was that because you were more interested in the challenge itself?” She knew her voice sounded shrill, but she couldn’t seem to stop herself.
“No. Damnation, woman, let me speak.” He moved toward her. “We don’t have much time. A man named George Langley is on his way here. He’s the man who wishes to see you ruined. We must oblige him.”
“Why?” Alex demanded.
He stared at her for a long second, then drew in a slow breath. “Because if we don’t, all those other men at White’s will come after you, Alex. You will never be safe, not until the wager is deemed satisfied. That has been my goal from the start. To protect you from those other men. Not even marrying you would have saved you. Public ruination is their goal, and that doesn’t require you to be unwed. They would not hesitate to rape you, Alex. Do you understand? They are bad men who want that money and will do anything to get it.”
That thought stopped her cold. She hadn’t realized it could be that serious.
“But…” She faltered as she realized Ambrose was right. “What do we have to do to stop them?”
“Langley will need to see you compromised. I’m sorry, my love, but that means you and I in bed…” She saw him swallow thickly, and he continued. “Or you may choose Darlington in bed. Your choice.”
Ambrose or Darlington? There was no choice. She hated and loved Ambrose at the same time, and he was the only one she could trust in that moment.
“You. I choose you.”
Amazon Best-Selling Author Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.