By Suzi Love, author of The Viscount’s Pleasure House
Do you believe reformed rakes make the best husbands?
Think of the bad boys you’ve seen in movies. They always win the girl, don’t they? And manage to live happily ever after with their wives and children and yet remain as sexy as hell while they age disgracefully.
Oh, yes, there’s something about a bad boy that calls to even the most straight-laced woman and tempts her to do things she wouldn’t usually do. To go a little crazy. To live on the wild side, if only for a short time.
My hero in The Viscount’s Pleasure House has had plenty of practice at being a rogue, but will he reform and make a wonderfully supportive husband for my heroine? Only time will tell.
Justin has spent three years entertaining the lords and ladies of London’s upper classes in both his exclusive London brothel and the themed events he stages at the Bath house on his country estate.
And though Justin became a rake for the most noble of reasons, to earn enough coin to search for his family, his time as London’s most notorious peer earned him the title of the Virile Viscount, a name he reputedly lives up to. That is, until he meets the one woman who can reform his wicked ways. The one woman for whom he’d give up everything he’s known, and done, before. He’ll do anything to earn her hand in marriage, and her willing body in his bed.
Now what woman wouldn’t want a man with that sort of expertise in the bedroom for their husband? Who wouldn’t want to be the object of desire for a man so determined to win a lady’s heart. Sigh! Especially as we know most rakes have had troubled pasts they are determined to put behind them.
So I’m confident that Justin, as a newly reformed rake, will become both an excellent husband and an extremely patient sexual tutor for Lady Chrissie Wellsby. The poor lady was deprived of pleasure in the bedroom during her entire marriage, so it’s no wonder she’s now ready to be a little more daring. To engage in a little dalliance.
Ladies of the higher classes in London around 1840 were taught to turn their backs on establishments suspected of being houses of ill repute. True ladies pretended ignorance of the reasons why brothels existed. Gentlemen were admonished to never mention the lady birds they escorted to the theatre to their oh-so-proper families. Wives must never ask their husbands if they kept a mistress, or even two. All this pretense of propriety existed despite the city almost having a brothel on every corner in many areas of London.
But how could any inquisitive young lady, visiting London for the first time, be expected to avoid looking at the often grand entrances to reportedly low class establishments as they passed them by in their carriage?
How could they avoid eye contact with a woman under the protection of a man, especially if the man escorting them along Bond Street happened to be their brother, or cousin, or perhaps their father? Yet a young lady was taught to pass them by while shopping without acknowledging male members of her own family. What a strange set of moral women were expected to follow!
Despite knowing they are throwing caution and strict morality to the wind, Chrissie and her three friends long to experience a more exciting side of life. They demand to see everything Justin provides for his rich patrons and refuse to leave Justin’s brothel until they have peeked into every room. And who can blame such deprived ladies if their tiny taste of wickedness makes them long to experience more, and more, especially if their men are sinfully good looking and sinfully knowledgeable in bedroom matters.
How about you? Did you marry a bad boy? Would you like to? And more importantly, do you think reformed rogues make the best husbands, both in bed and out?