Excerpt from Mistress By Mistake
16 May, 1816
Evaline woke up to a gray, drizzly morning and a splitting headache that hurt all the way down to her toes. Her first thoughts were that
her misery was so acute, she must be dying. When at last she cracked her eyes open to view her blurry surroundings, she discovered she
was lying in the center of the most enormous bed she could ever imagine. It was quite comfortable, too, with fresh scented linens and
nothing lumpy or dubious in the mattress. If not for the headache she might have assumed she had already died and gone to heaven.
Because of the headache, it seemed more likely she had died, but this was certainly not heaven. Suddenly the events of last night came
back to her in a deluge of images and she realized she might have every reason to expect herself to end up somewhere other than saintly
Good God, what had she done? She’d drunk an entire bottle of wine then allowed a strange man to… No, she couldn’t even think about
that! What on earth had come over her? It had to have been a dream, but even that was shocking. She was Evaline Pinchley, prim and
proper and the very picture of maidenly caution. That couldn’t possibly have been her last night, writhing around on a bench with an
unknown man! Sweet saints above, all these dreadful memories simply couldn’t be her own!
She peeped around the room. No man in sight. Thankfully, she appeared to be quite alone. A quick look under the covers assured her she
was still wearing her night clothes, although they were a bit rumpled. But at least they were there! Perhaps it had all been simply a dream,
That didn’t explain her presence in this bed, though. This was clearly not the cozy, feminine room she had been assigned when she and
her aunt had arrived at Hartwood yesterday. No, this was someone else’s room—grand and decidedly masculine. But whose?
She simply needed to be calm and think for a moment. What was the last thing she remembered? Oh, yes. Her breasts. In the moonlight.
And him touching them, touching her… good lord, but she remembered that, all right. Gracious, just thinking of it now sent waves of
something tingly all through her body. That really didn't help the headache one bit, either.
Dear heavens but she simply couldn't have done those things last night! She never would have allowed it, would she? Her traitorous body
told her she had most definitely allowed it. And liked it! Heavens, what was she to do?
Oh, this was dreadful. If anyone found out about it, there’d be no end to the shame. All of England would hear how she'd lived up to
expectations and become a wanton woman; a woman just like her grandmother. She’d become what her parents had tried so hard to
protect her from. And worst of all, she couldn't even remember it!
One good thing, though. She may not have gotten the gentleman's name, but at least she knew who it was not: Lord Dashford himself.
The wine was sweet, the moonlight seductive, but waking in a
stranger’s bed was a big, big mistake!
Viscount Randolph Dashford isn’t a bad person; he’s simply
pretending to be one to avoid matrimony.
Heiress Evaline Pinchley isn’t usually a sotted wanton; she’s
merely celebrating her birthday.
One full moon and one empty Madeira bottle later,
Evaline wakes to find herself in Dashford's bed!
While Evaline tries to salvage what dignity she can from this
colossal blunder, family secrets and would-be fiancés run rampant
around her. Just when it seems she might find a way out of the
mess she's made, Evaline realizes things are worse than imagined.
She's lost her heart to Dashford,
and that could be the biggest mistake of them all.
Mistress by Mistake
(Book 1--Warwickshire Series)