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Authors: Kate Pearce

Simply Sinful

BOOK: Simply Sinful
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Books by Kate Pearce



Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.




This book is dedicated to the ladies in my life: my Mother and
five sisters, my critique group (Susan, Amy, Dana and Cheri),
and my friends at RWAOnline. And I can’t forget to mention
one man—my husband, who believed in me right from the
start. I love you all.



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24



Beecham Hall, Henham, Essex
April 16th, 1817
My dearest James,
Thank you for the beautiful hothouse flowers and fruit you sent from London to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was very thoughtful of you.
You ask if there is anything else you can do for me. I hesitate to write this, but as I see you so rarely it is the only way I can be sure that you will respond to me. There is something you can do. I want you to come home and give me a child.
With fondest love,
Lady James Beecham


m I really so pathetic?” Peter Howard murmured.

He turned to his companion and discovered she was attempting to hide a smile. He mock-frowned at her as he refilled his champagne glass from the bottle that sat between them.

“I do not think you pathetic, my friend.” Madame Helene toasted him with her glass and then bent to kiss the cheek of the naked young man who lounged at her feet. “Why do you say such a thing?”

Peter gestured at the crowd of revelers in the large public salon behind them. The gold and scarlet décor provided a perfect foil for the more daring members of the
, many of whom were in a state of undress and engaged in riotous sexual pursuits not often seen in public. Madame’s exclusive House of Pleasure offered every erotic experience a man or woman might dream of.

“You rule over an excellent establishment, Helene, but there is nothing here that excites me anymore.”

Helene put down her glass and began to stroke the young man’s long black hair. “What do you crave then? If you can imagine it, I am sure I can provide it.”

“I’m not sure I know what I want.” Peter noticed a disruption at the far end of the salon where Lord James “Beau” Beecham and his disreputable companions were seated. “Perhaps it is because all my erstwhile drinking companions are settling down. The Harcourt twins are both married and so is Valentin.”

Of course, he was still welcome in Sara and Valentin’s bed but somehow it no longer seemed enough. He frowned as the noise in the salon increased and looked over his shoulder. Beau Beecham stood on the table now, his hands cupping the breasts of a half-naked inebriated duchess. His cronies shouted crude suggestions as he deftly removed the lady’s corset.

When Peter turned back, Joseph, Helene’s latest conquest, was trying to crawl onto the chaise lounge between them. Even the sight of Joseph’s well-muscled buttocks and erect cock failed to arouse Peter’s interest.

“Perhaps I am getting old,” Peter said, as Helene ran the tip of her index finger around the crown of Joseph’s erection. Her blond hair fell in soft ringlets around her face. Her gown was so sheer that her pert and youthful body looked naked in the candlelight. Peter had no idea of her true age, and he wasn’t fool enough to ask.

Joseph moaned as Helene’s long nail flicked over his engorged flesh.

“You are not old,
mon ami

“Jaded, then.”

Peter drank more champagne. In his thirty-five years he’d probably had more sexual partners than anyone at Madame Helene’s. Not all of them by choice. Being enslaved in a Turkish brothel for seven long years had ensured that his sexual expertise was limitless and that he never wanted to be owned or forced by anyone again.

Helene bent her head to lick Joseph’s cock, her small pointed tongue as dainty as a kitten’s. When she straightened, her lips glistened with pre-cum.

“Jaded, you?” She regarded Peter closely, one hand lazily working Joseph’s cock. “Maybe you just want different things.”

Peter grimaced. “Like a wife and a family? Who would have me? I’m employed in trade and have no aristocratic blood to make me eligible. The only reason I have an entrée into the
is because of Valentin’s high-and-mighty connections.”

Lord Valentin Sokorvsky was not only heir to a marquis, he was Peter’s best friend and occasional lover. They had been slaves together until their release at the age of eighteen. Their strong bond had helped Peter survive the brutal, sadistic world of the brothel and supported him through the difficult years of his return to the almost-forgotten land of his birth.

Valentin had found a woman who loved and accepted him and his scarred past. Peter had no reason to believe he would find another such paragon. He wasn’t even sure if that was what he truly wanted. He’d always enjoyed sex in all its forms, craved it even, but now he found it impossible to decide what he needed.

Helene pushed Joseph away as he tried to suckle at her breast. He slid to the floor in an untidy heap and pouted. She leaned forward to touch Peter’s arm. “Do you wish to talk to me privately?”

Peter glanced down at Joseph, who had wrapped a hand around his cock and was busy pumping himself to completion. Joseph would pay for that act of disobedience. Helene preferred to control the sexual outpourings of her chosen lovers.

“No, I think I’ll go home and drown my sorrows in a bottle of brandy. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

Helene stood up and grasped his wrist. “Peter…”

He studied the narrow fingers that encircled his wrist like a dainty manacle. “Helene, let me go.”

Her grip tightened, and he fought off a now-familiar choking sensation.

“Why? What are you afraid of?”

“That I have become nothing more than a pity fuck for my friends and that that is all I will ever have in my life.”

. He hadn’t meant to speak the truth. Strange that after all this time his composure could be shaken so easily. Helene let go of his wrist and stepped back.

He drew in a deep, steadying breath and forced a smile. “Please accept my apologies. I must be drunker than I realized.”

She nodded, her expression as carefully blank as his own. “Of course. I will accompany you down to the front hall. I need to show my face around the salons again this evening to make sure everything is running smoothly.”

Joseph grunted as his cum spurted through his fingers. Helene swept past him without a glance in a swirl of diaphanous draperies. She snapped her fingers and one of the footmen appeared. She pointed at Joseph.

“Please make sure that this ‘gentleman’ is sent home. And make sure his name is added to the list of those who are no longer welcome here.”

“That was rather harsh, Helene.” Peter strolled at her side as she began her tour of the large, noisy salon. “He seemed very young.” They stopped at the magnificent buffet. Helene picked a fat purple grape and popped it into her mouth.

“Joseph is an ignorant fool. He is too intent on gaining his own pleasure to have any regard for mine.” She sighed. “His stamina is remarkable. I thought to train him, but it seems he is simply too selfish to learn.”

Peter realized he was almost smiling again. Helene had a gift for understanding men and their less-than-complicated natures. “Is that how you see your role? To teach the young males of the
how to bring a woman pleasure?”

She raised an eyebrow. “It is not my primary purpose. But it is a useful one,
? Society should be grateful to me rather than pretending I don’t exist outside of these doors.”

His gaze wandered over the ornate room, the expensive fittings and fixtures, the lavish buffet.

“Is it enough for you, Helene? Is this what you want?”

He frowned. What was wrong with him tonight? When had he ever cared to think of the future? As a slave he had simply endured. But since Valentin’s marriage two years ago, he had started to change, started to want something more.

Helene shrugged, the gesture French and totally feminine. “I have built this place with my own hands. It is enough for now.”

He nodded as they continued around the perimeter of the room. Like recognized like. In her past were secrets that resonated with Peter. He could understand her deep need to make herself financially secure. She never spoke of her youth, yet he knew she had suffered as much as he and Valentin. She touched his cheek.

“You know that you are welcome to share my bed tonight, if you prefer not to go home.”

He swung around to face her, his good humor evaporating. “Did you hear what I said earlier? I refuse to end up in anyone’s bed just because they feel sorry for me.”

She pouted, her blue eyes filled with amusement. “Actually, I was feeling sorry for myself. With Joseph gone, I have no one to fuck.”

He started to laugh. She had a reputation as a voracious lover. He’d never had any desire to find out if the rumor that she could wear out three strong men in a night and still manage a fourth for breakfast was true. He kissed her hand.

“It’s an intriguing offer, but I must decline. I have few friends in this world and you are one of them. I’d hate to lose years of friendship over a night of ill-judged passion.”

She glanced around the packed salon. “Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to find someone else. Joseph was black haired so I’ll try for a blonde or a redhead.”

“Do you collect their scalps as well?”

Helene rapped his knuckles with her fan and headed toward the noisiest corner of the room. “Of course not. I wouldn’t have room to display them all.” She pressed Peter’s arm and pointed at the man who stood on the table in front of them. “What about him?”

“Beau Beecham? I’m surprised you haven’t had him already. He seems to have fucked every other woman in town.”

Peter studied the tall, commanding figure of Lord James Beecham, the heir presumptive of the childless Duke of Hertford. He wore a dark brown coat that almost matched his eyes and thick curling hair. A black waistcoat, buff breeches and shining top boots completed his immaculate dress.

Helene glanced up at Peter. “You do not like him?”

“I hardly know him. But he has a reputation as a rake and a gambler.”

Mon Dieu
, he is a devil indeed.”

Peter shrugged. “I suppose he is no worse than any other pampered sprig of the nobility.”

“But still, you do not like him.”

“He treats women despicably and yet they still flock around him like mindless sheep.” He groaned. “Dammit, I
beginning to sound like a Methodist preacher.”

BOOK: Simply Sinful
7.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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