Compromised by your best friend…by Bronwen Evans

Invitation_to_Passion_(revised-final)_@_300_-72_dpi_low_res_2In my soon to be released Regency romance, INVITATION TO PASSION, book #3 in my Invitation To series, my hero, Richard Craven, through no fault of his own compromises Madeline Knight, his best friends younger sister, a young lady he’s thought of like a sister. What must it be like to suddenly find yourself marrying someone whom is merely a friend?

Think about the wedding night! For Richard, the wedding night was easier because men are easily visually aroused, and Madeline is very beautiful. For Madeline (Maddy), the night is easy because she’s been secretly in lust with Richard for the last two years.

However, is lust and respect enough to build a marriage on? Their situation isn’t helped by the fact Richard thinks he’s in love with another woman…

Here’s the blurb:

Consummate rake, Lord Richard Craven, has his heartbroken when the woman he loves is forced into an arranged marriage to a violent brute. To make matters worse, circumstances force him to marry Lady Madeline Knight—a woman he views more like a sister—only for fate to play the cruelest of tricks. Shortly after his wedding his former lover is widowed, and Richard learns she could be pregnant with his child.

Madeline Knight thought she was doing the right thing when she saved Richard Craven from his lover’s irate husband. Now her silly schoolgirl crush has left her married to a man who’s in love with another woman. Consumed with guilt over trapping Richard, she tries her best to be the perfect wife and win his heart. Failure is not an option. For if she fails she loses everything, she loves him too much not to set him free…

While Richard and Madeline confront the reality of their marriage, Madeline’s life comes under threat. A family enemy is set on revenge. Will Richard learn the truth of his heart, and what is truly precious to him, before the unknown enemy destroys their world?

How does he compromise her? Let’s see:

Richard moved to the door and cracked it open. “Christ, its Wrentham walking this way.”

Sarah’s face turned ashen and Maddy instantly comprehended the peril the two lovers were in.

“I have a plan. Sarah can slip through the secret door to the study, and then make her way down the west corridor back to the ballroom. You will stay here with me so Charles has no proof you were with Sarah. If you’re here with me, Wrentham might believe you couldn’t possibly have been with his wife.”

“Then what are you and I doing here?”

She swallowed hard at Richard’s question. “I’ll pretend your assignation is with me.”

Richard’s face reddened. “I don’t think that’s wise…” Sarah let out a wail at his refusal. “Charles would take great delight in discrediting me if he sees me with you.”

“I can’t see any other choice. If we all escape through the secret door, his suspicions will be raised. He’s looked everywhere for his wife. If anyone has told him she was with you, we had best disprove that notion.” Maddy clapped her hands. “Quickly, we don’t have time for dramatics.”

Richard finally nodded and hurried Sarah to the bookcase. He pulled the secret lever and the wall of books slid back revealing a narrow corridor. He kissed Sarah and pushed her gently inside. “Go. Tidy yourself and make your way back to the ballroom. I’ll send word later.”

The false wall of books slid back into place, leaving the library filled with thwarted silence. Richard ran a hand through his hair.

Maddy whispered, “You can thank me later.”

“I ought to wring your bloody neck for risking your reputation on this stupid stint. I could take Wrentham.”

“Oh, yes. That would be the perfect answer. Kill Wrentham and be hung for murder. Then who would protect Sarah?”

“Bloody hell. What a mess,” the anger in his voice gone, replaced with sadness.

No sooner had Richard walked back to stand at Maddy’s side, than the door crashed open. Lord Wrentham stood in the doorway a towering mass of wrath.

Richard, his clothes in disarray, moved to stand in front of her to shield her from Wrentham’s view.

“Get your hands off my wife.” Charles’s bellow shook the room. The music in the ballroom was all that saved them from having the entire household hear his allegation.

Wrentham wasn’t stupid. She would have to play the part of Richard’s paramour if this rouse was to be believed.

Madeline reached around Richard’s body and slipped her hand inside his shirt, tingling as she found his bare chest. She pulled her gown off her shoulders, exposing more of her bosom than was decent.

However, she had not expected the feminine gasp that accompanied her maneuver. Her sister-in-law was with Lord Wrentham. She peered round Richard’s wide shoulders and tried to catch Rheda’s eye.

“Richard, how could you. Rufus will kill you.” Rheda’s anguished cry saw Maddy drop her hand from Richard’s heated skin.

There was no point hiding. Maddy stepped out from behind Richard, but she couldn’t explain the situation without putting Richard’s life in danger.

“Not content to bed other men’s wives, it appears you’ve lowered yourself further. Have you no honor? Now you’ve taken to bedding your friend’s sister.” Lord Wrentham turned to Rheda. “I apologize for exposing Mr. Craven’s salaciousness. I’d love to stay and watch your husband kill him, but I need to find my wife.”

Maddy put her hand on Richard’s back willing him to hold his tongue. She could feel the muscles beneath knot with fury.

Just when she’d thought the situation couldn’t get worse, she heard a voice that made her senses scream flee.

“Rheda, Lord Wrentham, what are you doing in the library?”


“Is there another party going on in here?” Another woman’s voice joined the conversation. She stood unseen in the corridor. Maddy didn’t recognize the voice but she sounded elderly.

Silence greeted the newcomers.

Bron_300x421-2_2Maddy took a step back. She watched Rufus understand the scene in front of him and in dismay saw his face turn purple with rage. “Maddy,” he yelled and everything that followed became a blur.

She heard Rheda scream, “Rufus, no,” while Richard put his hands out and stated, “Let me explain…”

Her brother did not wait for any explanation. He let out a string of curses before he launched himself on Richard, tackling him to the ground and nearly knocking Maddy off her feet.

The book will be released on 30 June 2014 for pre-order. Due out mid- July 2014

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7 thoughts on “Compromised by your best friend…by Bronwen Evans

    • Unfortunately it is because my editor wants me to work on it more, plus my other books I am under contract for. It will be up for preorder shortly. Release days 29 July. Sorry!

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