A new week, a new round of Seductive Studs. I’m sharing from my new release, Gryffon Hall, a fantasy inspired by Beauty and the Beast and spiced up with an m/m romance. In this scene, Wryler has arrived at Gryffon Hall with his aunt Otillia. They’ve found out over breakfast that Rouchet insists on proceeding with the ceremony right away. Wryler speaks first.
“Please. We’re to be wed this very night. Call me Aeric.”
Mouth suddenly quite dry, Wryler looked up at Rouchet. Wed this very night. He licked his lips and formed the word with difficulty.
“Aeric.” He’d forgotten what he was going to ask.
“That sounds much nicer.” Rouchet had a hand on the back of his chair and with the other reached out for one of Wryler’s. Wryler nearly jumped in surprise but held still, blushing only a little. Rouchet’s hand was rough and hot and could snap all of Wryler’s fingers with a squeeze, yet his grip was gentle. “You have a request? Whatever you wish, I will do my utmost to satisfy.”
“I… It’s nothing, really. I wondered if I might see the library.”
“Wryler!” Otillia exclaimed. “You have no time for sightseeing. Now that Lord Rouchet insists on having the ceremony tonight, we must away at once to your chamber to finish your—”
“I would be delighted to escort you there myself, Wryler,” Rouchet said, speaking over Otillia as if she hadn’t uttered a peep. Wryler’s aunt flushed a deep red, and Farina’s eyes looked like they might pop out of her head. “Please excuse us, Lady Otillia. It will only be a brief excursion, and I will return your nephew to you in ample time. Unless you wish to join us?”
“As if I had a moment to spare!” Otillia looked like she might leap to her feet, but sighed and reached for another jam tart. “If you’re not at my door in an hour’s time, Wryler, I’ll send that useless manservant of yours to fetch you. If I can find him.” She shook her head and muttered, “So much to do in one day.”
Rouchet stepped back and gestured for Wryler to walk ahead of him. Wryler bowed to his aunt, who released him with a testy wave. He walked stiffly down the long stretch of the room, aware of Rouchet on his heels. He’d wanted to escape to the library, to be alone with his favorite people—dead scholars in books—and gather his thoughts. He’d certainly had no intention of prolonging his contact with Rouchet. It was damn awkward, is what it was.
Get through the wedding night. Submit to whatever has to happen, and then hopefully Rouchet will go on his way, ignoring his spouse like so many husbands do.
Ah, little chance of that Wryler.
Fated to be born the useless fourth son of the Lord of Glimmerveen, Wryler dreams of getting married and escaping the rustic confines of his father’s castle. A wealthy merchant’s son seems to hold the key to Wryler’s safe if somewhat dreary future. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger on the eve of Wryler’s betrothal sends his plans into disarray and Wryler finds himself traded off in marriage to one of the most notorious rogues in the land.
Is Lord Aeric Rouchet the scoundrel he appears to be, or is he something much worse? Separated from his family and thrust into a strange and dangerous new life at the foreboding Gryffon Hall, Wryler must unravel the secret of his husband’s shadowed life and defeat the curse which threatens not only his growing affection for the barbarian in his bed, but the lives of everyone the Lord of Gryffon Hall is sworn to protect.
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