Seduced Read Online Virginia Henley

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 200
Estimated words: 181867 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 909(@200wpm)___ 727(@250wpm)___ 606(@300wpm)

Shorn of her glorious raven tresses and dressed as a man, Lady Antonia Lamb became Lord Anthony Lamb, desperate to keep the property entailed to her twin brother, who is missing at sea. Trapped—and liberated—by her masquerade, Tony meets her new guardian, the devastatingly dangerous Adam Savage, who has returned from his plantation in Ceylon, determined to turn the innocent “boy” into a worldly man.
A rake whose scarred face and ice-blue eyes make strong women weak, Adam Savage, legendary adventurer, vowed to take young Tony to the fleshpots of London; to teach him everything a young heir should know. But not even Savage guesses Tony’s deepest secret, a masquerade destined to erupt in passionate abandon on one scorching, unforgetable night.


Chapter 1

Lady Antonia Lamb stood before the oval cheval glass, a worried frown marring her lovely brow. She was classically beautiful with black-fringed, wide green eyes above delicately sculpted cheekbones and full, generous mouth. With impatient hands she swept the cloud of dark hair that fell past her waist back over her shoulders to reveal high, young breasts thrusting up from her lacy corset.

“They’re so small!” she lamented.

Her maternal grandmother, Lady Rosalind Randolph, put down her chocolate cup and said dryly, “It isn’t size that counts, it’s firmness. The champagne glass was molded from Marie Antoinette’s small breast, which was declared perfection. Much good perfection will do her with the rabble of Paris,” Roz added irreverently.

Her eyes assessed the tall, slim figure of her grand-daughter, noting with satisfaction the nineteen-inch waist and the lovely long legs. It brought back memories of her own debut when she had been sixteen.

“The men will be at your feet, Antonia, you haven’t a thing to worry about. The last ball I attended looked like a competition for hideousness. Lady Denham, who’s as thin as a damned lat, wore an exaggerated bosom of stuck-out gauze. She looked exactly like a pouter pigeon and had the absurd idea it was becoming. The Duchess of Bedford was aiming, I think, to copy the Navy’s new colors of blue and white, but her gown was a screaming shade I can only describe as woad. Fortunately no one noticed because they couldn’t take their eyes off her blue, powdered hair, replete with battleship. Damned woman held court for an hour repeating the unedifying eloquence of her hairdresser, Legros, no pun intended.” Roz struck a pose to mimic: “Three weeks is as long as a head can go well in the summer without being opened.”

Antonia’s eyes brimmed with laughter. She flicked a snowy curl on the creation sitting on her dressing table, made a pretty moue with her mouth, and said, “Oh, Roz, I was so looking forward to wearing my first wig, but you’ve quite put me off.”

“Good! They are nothing but monstrous germ gatherers of horsehair, hemp-wool, and powder. I shall thank God when they go out of style, for daytime wear at least.”

“I suspect you are trying to build my confidence. The Duchess of Devonshire is such a renowned beauty and I know her preseason ball next week will overflow with beautifully gowned and bejeweled ladies.” Antonia had little confidence in her looks, in fact she had no idea she was beautiful. All her life whenever anyone had met her they had said things like “How unfortunate you don’t have your mother’s coloring,” or “You are tall as your brother, yet I remember your mother being dainty as a kitten.”

“Not all of them are ladies, darling,” Roz drawled dryly. “Least of all Georgiana herself! Besides, it isn’t the women you’ll have to compete with, it’s the men. ‘Skiffy’ Skeffington’s face was painted with white lead, he reeked of civet cat, and the raffish Carlton House set wore red high-heels to a man.”

“Skiffy, what a preposterous name,” Antonia said, “I can’t wait to see him.”

“Not nearly as preposterous as his real name, poor devil It’s Lumley,” Roz confided. “I swear he carried a snuffbox, sword stick, handkerchief, fan, head scratcher, patch box, and a muff. He resembled an infernal juggler from the circus!”

“You’re exaggerating again. I’m sure he only carries a muff in winter.”

“Oh, no. The very latest fashion in the London Magazine is a summer muff of swansdown. We must get you one when we go up to town next week. It’s all the rage to be eccentric, but then is it any wonder when King George himself is raving mad?” Without seeming to pause for breath Roz said, “Now let’s get Molly in here. I want to see what the new ballgown looks like.”

Antonia could feel excitement beginning to build inside her. Until a few weeks ago, leaving Stoke behind for the London town-house had meant only an opportunity to haunt the bookshops for volumes on stately homes, their furnishings, and gardens that Antonia found fascinating. Then her grandmother, Lady Rosalind Randolph, and her grandmother’s great friend, Lady Frances Jersey, had decided Antonia was old enough for her first season. Suddenly, instead of spending her days riding and sailing with Anthony, her twin, she stood for endless hours being fitted for ballgowns, took dancing lessons, and listened to advice on how to bludgeon eligible young lords into offering for her hand in marriage.