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Also by this author: Unexpected Circumstances
As Alexandra tries to conform to her new life, she soon discovers that betrayal lies inside the castle walls. When noblewomen plot against her, Alexandra ends up on the receiving end of Branford’s rage. Earning the trust of her wary husband will be no easy task for the young handmaid.
Branford may know his way around their bedchamber, but he’s finding himself ill-prepared to handle the duties of both prince and husband. His missteps bring down the wrath of the queen, and he will have to do everything in his power to atone for his transgressions. Branford must find a way to open his heart to his new wife if either of them has a chance of overcoming the treachery ahead.
ARC provided by Author/Publisher for honest review.
The Seduction is the second part to the Unexpected Circumstances series and I just loved it. Now, this must be read in order to understand what is going on plus if you havent read it, you are missing out on a great series! This picks up right after The Handmaid, and trust me you are definitely pulling for this couple. What I loved about this one is even though that are obstacles that are in their way, we still have Brandford, who’s intent is seducing his wife. He learns a valuable lesson while Alexandra must realize she is no longer a commoner. Ms Savage has made some well developed characters and a well thought out storyline. Next comes the consummation of their union and I cannot wait to read it!
This series will pull you in from the get go and it has made me realize how much I missed historicals. Like I said before in my other review, Ms Savage knows what she is writing and she truly is a force to be reckoned with!
When we reached the door to our rooms, Branford threw it open and pushed me inside. My body screamed for me to run—either back out the door or at least to the other side of the room—but my mind knew the action would be fruitless. With a push from Branford’s palm on my back, I was jarred against the wall in the morning room.
Before I could turn, I heard Branford’s roar followed by a crashing sound, and I nearly threw myself right out the eastward- facing window. He had lifted one of the couches and thrown it into the wall near the fireplace, breaking off chunks of the wooden legs and causing it to collapse in a heap. I could see his hands grabbing for the small table next to the door right before he flung it toward me. It splintered into pieces against the stone, and I finally found my voice long enough to scream.
“I just want to know how”—Branford snarled as he slowly stalked closer—“how in the world did you do it? How did you get me to pick you? Did Edgar plant nothing but spies in his audience? Tell me!”
He grabbed a large log from the stack near the fire and flung it into the shutters of the window, causing further damage as he marched across the room. He towered over me as I raised my arms up to protect my head and face.
“Please, Branford!” I cried. “I’m sorry…I’m sorry…”
Branford’s fist slammed into the wall right next to my head, and I screamed again. There was no point in trying to explain—it would have been the same as when the carriage driver had begged for mercy, and there was no one here to stay Branford’s hand. I had no doubt that he was going to kill me.
“Tell me how!” he screamed right next to my head, and I jumped. “And to think I was buying that innocent little servant girl act of yours!”
“No…Branford…I didn’t…I swear…”
“No more lies!” Again, his fist hit the wall next to me, and I squeezed my eyes shut. Tears flowed freely down my cheeks, but I made no move to stop them. I tried to cover my head with my arms, but Branford grabbed my wrists and held them to my sides. “How did you do it? How did you get past all my senses?”
“Please don’t get rid of me!” I finally cried out and then covered my mouth with my hand, horrified.
“Oh, Alexandra!” Branford shook his head. “Why would you think such a thing?”
I had to look into his eyes because he sounded so sincere, and I needed to understand.
“Because I’m not good enough,” I said. “I’m only a handmaid. I don’t know how to be your wife. I have no idea how to behave as the wife of a prince.”
“Alexandra,” he said, slowly drawing my name out. “I’m not going to send you away.”
“You could,” I whispered, “or worse.”
“Alexandra,” Branford repeated, his voice nearly as quiet as my own. “Have I given you any reason to think I would do such a thing?”
Sunniva’s words about assertiveness and being noble of heart came back to me. Maybe he hadn’t said as much in my presence, but he hadn’t said anything to the contrary, either.
“You haven’t given me reason to think you would not.”
“Why would I cast you out?” Branford asked.
Did he want me to list all the reasons again, or was he looking for something else? I was certain I had spent more time second- guessing myself in the last two days than I had in my entire life.
“You have…you could…there could be someone else you want to choose instead,” I whispered.
“What on earth are you talking about?”
I took a deep breath and decided if I didn’t say it now, I probably never would.
“I saw you…last night,” I said, hesitating a moment. I took a deep breath. “You were with that pretty woman from the court.”
I felt his chest muscles contract under the side of my face, and his arms gripped me tighter for a moment before he relaxed again.
“What do you mean, you saw me?”
“You were in the garden,” I said. “While I was waiting for you, I went out to see what it looked like at night. You were there…with that lady.”
“You were talking…and I heard you say…” I paused, both to try to remember his exact words as well as wonder what on earth I thought I was doing. If my words were taken as an accusation—right or wrong—against my husband and prince, the consequences could be dire. He owned me, and if he decided to
either cast me out for the favor of a new wife or keep me to the side as he entertained himself with someone else, there would be nothing
I could do about it.
“Say what, Alexandra?”
“That you would have to replace me.”
I had felt it before—pushed up against my stomach at times when he was full of desire and need. But to do this…to actually touch his male flesh with my hand? I felt a cold shiver race between my shoulder blades, and if his hand had not been on top of mine, I probably would have pulled away. At the same time, I found myself strangely intrigued. What would it feel like in my hand? What would it look like? I had never seen a man without his clothing and had never given much thought what he looked like underneath.
Earlier, Branford had told me he wanted to see me—to see me bare.
It was something he desired, and I found myself wondering what he looked like as well.
“You don’t have to, Alexandra,” Branford said. I looked up to meet his gaze. His lips turned up in his half smile. “But I am your husband, and at some point, you will become fairly familiar with it.” I knew I had to be blushing a deeper crimson than I ever had before. Branford chuckled softly and then brought his lips to my forehead.
“Whenever you want to,” he said. “It’s not going anywhere, I promise.”
“I just…I mean…I never…”
“I should hope not,” Branford said with mock indignation. “I would be quite affronted if I ever heard of any man getting close enough to you to show you such a thing.”
I smiled, and then a giggle escaped my mouth. I turned my face into Branford’s chest since his hand prevented me from covering my laughter with my fingers.
“Do you want me to help?” he asked quietly.
“Help?” I could barely hear my own voice. Without another word, Branford used his hand to push mine lower. I felt the edge of his trousers at first, and then my fingers came into contact with the very end of him, round and bulging under his clothes. He didn’t pause but continued to move my hand lower until my fingers rested on top of it with only the thin linen separating my flesh from his.
I closed my eyes and pressed my teeth against my bottom lip. Even through the fabric of his pants, I could feel the heat of him in my palm. I heard Branford’s shuddering breath, and he moved my hand all the way down to the base and then back up to the tip. It was warm, and it was hard, and it was…huge.
There was no way…no possible way…it couldn’t…it couldn’t…