Performing for a Wicked Lord (Preview)

Chapter One

The sun was already filtering through the threadbare curtains as Anna blinked open her eyes for the first time that morning. She had slept with such intensity that she couldn’t even remember dropping off, and for several moments she was quite dumbfounded. 

Blinking sleep from her eyes and yawning as she sat upon the rickety bed, the metal frame creaking, realisation suddenly dawned on her. 

I’m going to be late! 

As if to reinforce the thought, the bells of the nearby church began to toll. 

Anna should have been up even before the sun. By the time it was rising, she should have been at the theatre. Mr Sykes would have her guts for garters if she turned up late. 

She wasted no time in clambering from the bed, slipping her stockinged feet directly into her shoes so as to not to risk getting any splinters off the poorly maintained floor. 

The room she rented above The Grapevine Inn wasn’t the most comfortable of residences, but it was all she could afford.

After adjusting the front fastenings on the dress she had fallen asleep in the night before, she grabbed the small navy velvet reticule that contained her most prized possessions and hurried from the room, grabbing her shawl from the back of the door as she went. 

The stairs creaked as she hurried down, though for once she did not need to worry about disturbing anybody.

The inn was alive with activity, only adding to Anna’s anxiety. Having been used to being the early bird for so long, it was a worry to see so many others up and about.

If only I could be in two places at once, she thought as she hurried, as fast as a young woman dared without making herself look improper, out of the door, offering Mrs Marks, the landlord’s wife, a wave as she went. 

“Ain’t you be wanting breakfast?” She heard the sallow-faced woman call after her before the door swung shut.

Normally Anna would have graciously accepted the honeyed bread Mrs Marks served first thing in the morning, but images of her red-faced, double-chinned boss were making her feel sick to her stomach. Mrs Marks would have to content herself with feeding her numerous other residents.

The worn heels of Anna’s shoes were making it exceedingly difficult to hurry along the cobbled pavements of London, and she began to regret picking up her shawl, for it clung over her shoulders, making her perspire. The morning was much warmer than anticipated, and she could have sworn she had heard two elderly men speaking in the inn the night before on how it was supposed to rain. If only she were a lady, she might have had a parasol to ward off the sun that scorched her eyes. Or maybe even a carriage to recline in while some poor misfortunate man carried her about town. 

More fool me for listening to drunkards. She scolded herself, half-running, half-stumbling around the corner and onto the street where the theatre lay. 

The front appeared to be all closed up, men and women passing by in ignorance of the practice that would be taking place inside. 

“I’m sorry.”

“Pardon me.” 

“Excuse me.” 

Anna squirmed and squeezed her way through passersby in an attempt to gain entry to the alleyway and the stage door at the back of the theatre. Both men and women alike exclaimed raucously, unimpressed by Anna’s haste. Their scolding glares were enough to make her blush and avert her eyes. 

Were there more people around this morning, or was it just her imagination? 

The moment that she finally stepped out of the bright sunlight and into the dim corridor at the back of the building, she was accosted. A hand grabbed her forearm so suddenly that it made her jolt. 

Her heart leapt into her throat, and she had to clamp her hand over her mouth to capture the yelp that tried to escape her lips. 

Blinking away the splotches in her vision caused by the sun outside, she scowled down at her arm and the short woman who had attached herself to it. 

“My goodness, Daisy!” Anna exclaimed, dropping her hand from her mouth to her chest, panting heavily to regain control over herself. “You almost scared me half to death.” 

“Then I guess it serves you right!” Daisy retorted. She pinched Anna’s forearm just so. 

“Ouch!” Anna snatched her arm away, rubbing the burning area where her best friend had pinched her. “What was that for?” 

“It might be for being late, or it might be for making me lie to Mr Sykes about where you were. I haven’t quite decided yet,” Daisy grumbled, although her mossy green eyes were alight with good humour.

“He noticed?” Anna gulped and began to fiddle with the drawstrings on her reticule. Her blonde hair was sticking out at odds and ends around her face, and she could only hope it would disguise the discomfort on her face. 

“Of course, he noticed. You are his star. This theatre is dark without your glowing presence, my dear.” Daisy’s voice was both friendly, and yet mocking, speaking as though she were Mr Sykes talking to one of the aristocracy of how superior his performers were. 

“What did you tell him?” Anna asked. Anxiously, she brushed a strand of hair from her face to examine her friend’s expression. 

It was just then that she felt eyes watching her from down the corridor. She didn’t need to look up to know who was walking towards them from the direction of the performers’ changing rooms. She could smell the strong scent of lavender that followed the raven-haired actress everywhere. 

“She told him that you had gone to powder your nose,” Florence’s voice was sickly sweet, but her face was pinched and sour as it always was. There had never been any love lost between the two of them, not since Florence had taken it upon herself to be offended for how Mr Sykes had put her aside the moment Anna arrived. 

Anna always tried not to let the older actress’s attitude get to her, but the more attention Mr Sykes gave to her, the more Florence became intolerable. 

“You should probably come up with some better excuses or you’ll be tossed out on your ear soon enough.” Florence eyed her as she passed, smoothing her silk skirts, the last remnants of the favours she had been afforded before Anna arrived. 

“Do not listen to her,” Daisy whispered in a hushed voice as the older actress disappeared up the stairs to the stage where chattering had begun, signalling that the other performers were ready to begin rehearsal. “She is just aggrieved that you are the star now, and she cannot get away with half the things she did before you arrived.” 

Anna blushed. She didn’t understand it. Even more so, she didn’t want it. She hated all the attention. She always had, but she knew it was the only thing keeping a roof over her head. Without her work at the theatre and the private performances awarded to her by Mr Sykes’ patrons, she would not be able to pay for the room she rented at the inn. 

“Did he believe you?” Anna asked, trying to ignore the knot in her gut she got every time Florence showed her displeasure. 

“At first, but I do believe he was beginning to question it.” Daisy shrugged and then added, “Perhaps tomorrow you will be on time?” 

Anna let out a huge sigh of exasperation and nodded before she began to make her way down the hall toward the changing room. She had to put her reticule somewhere safe before rehearsal began. Mr Sykes wasn’t one for allowing personal possessions to be left lying around.

When she heard the sound of Daisy’s heels clicking behind, following her, she hissed under her breath, “Maybe if he wishes for us to be here at the crack of dawn, he shouldn’t have us putting on performances until after midnight.” 

Daisy’s gasp assured Anna that her complaint had been heard, but her friend did not reply until she had firmly closed the changing room door behind them. 

“Don’t allow Mr Sykes or any of the other performers to hear you say anything like that,” Daisy warned. She placed a hand on Anna’s forearm once more and gave it a gentle squeeze. When Anna looked up, her friend was gazing at her with sympathy in her green eyes. “I know it can be tiring being Sykes’ prized performer, but you mustn’t complain.” 

Daisy was right. Anna knew it just as her best friend did. As soon as anyone heard her complaining, it would likely be relayed to Mr Sykes, and like any man, he would not be accepting of any one of his employees complaining. 

“I know.” Anna forced a smile. “And don’t worry, I’ll keep my mouth firmly closed in company.” 

The next words that came from her friend’s lips made Anna feel like screaming in a most inappropriate manner. 

“Good because from what I have heard, Mr Sykes has had many requests from the aristocracy after your performance last night.” Daisy’s eyes shone with excitement, and if Anna didn’t know any better, she could have sworn she grew taller. “I also hear they are willing to pay handsomely for their own private performance by Anna, the girl with the voice of an angel.” Daisy gave a flourish of her hand and gestured the length of Anna as she gave an exaggerated bow. 

Anna’s cheeks blushed instantly. She had heard all the things people were saying about her. She had even read an article in the London paper about the angel-voiced beauty performing at London’s most up and coming theatre. Mr Sykes had been most adamant to be sure that she knew to keep up the good work. 

The problem was, although she loved to sing, she hated all of the attention her voice awarded her. 

Perhaps if the aristocracy paid so well for their servants as they did their entertainment, I might not have become an orphan at ten and four, Anna thought. She had to bite the inside of her lip to stop herself from saying the words aloud. 

It appeared that she hadn’t needed to. Daisy stopped with her overzealous performing, and admiration and gripped hold of both Anna’s hands in her own. 

She squeezed firmly until Anna forced herself to look her in the eye. 

“Look, Anna, I know that you have somewhat of a grudge against the aristocracy, but I can’t for the life of me imagine why you would be so against performing when their money could so easily get you out of here.” She sighed, releasing one of Anna’s hands so that she could gesture around at the room. 

Of course, you wouldn’t. Anna thought, remembering how her best friend’s parents were a mill worker and a tavern worker. She had no idea the kind of loss that Anna had suffered in her short life. 

Anna clutched her reticule with the hand that Daisy had freed, and she could feel the small hair comb and pocket watch that had once belonged to her mother and father. 

When she didn’t say anything, Daisy insisted, “Please, will you at least try to take a fancy to the invitations. They might do all of us some good if you can earn the favour of a member of the ton.” 

Anna felt the colour drain from her face at even the thought of it, but she forced herself to smile again. 

“I will try,” she promised. Her only problem was that whenever she saw the well-dressed, pompous aristocracy, all she could think about was the cruelty that had befallen her parents. 

“Good.” Daisy looked placated by Anna’s promise, and she squeezed her hand once more before insisting, “We should make our way to the stage. Practise can’t begin without the star of the show.” 

“You go ahead.” Anna gave a gentle tug on her hand and was relieved when her friend released her. “I will be out in a moment. I just need to freshen up.” 

Daisy raised a brow but did not question her, and a moment later, Anna found herself alone. 

She crossed the room, struggling around the clothing rails and chests that housed the theatre’s extensive costumes, and arrived at the table that had long been her own. A small swath of white material hung from the corner of the looking glass that sat atop the table. On it had been sown the initials ‘D’ and ‘A’, a small depiction of a flower that reminded her of a cornflower sitting between them. 

“Oh, Daisy.” Anna smiled and felt a tear roll down her cheek at the beautiful keepsake. What would I do without you? she thought. Removing the material from the edge of the looking glass, she realised that it was, in fact, a handkerchief. After using it to wipe away her tear, she pulled open the drawstrings of her reticule and delicately placed it inside with her other treasured possessions. 

The loneliness that had shadowed Anna’s life ever since the deaths of her parents was only ever pushed away by the friendship she had found with Daisy. 

I can’t let her down. Anna decided. With that, she placed her reticule in the drawer of her table beneath a pile of old scripts and readjusted her hair in the looking glass before making her way out to the stage. 

As she headed out the door, she could have sworn she heard her mother’s sweet voice whisper in her ear, Do what you must, my sweetheart. 

Chapter Two

“Are you quite sure I cannot fetch you anything while you wait, sir?” Gordon asked from where he stood straight-backed beside the entryway door. Gordon had been a butler within the Copperfield Household for two generations, the likeliest reasons being his desire to keep all in the household happy. 

“No, thank you, Gordon. I am sure she shall be down in a moment,” Henrik replied. He ran a hand through his hair, instantly regretting it when he remembered the hair oil his valet had combed through to keep it combed back from his face. 

With a grimace, he reached into the breast pocket of his silk waistcoat and wrung his fingers on it. 

“Damned stuff,” he hissed under his breath. Gordon showed no disgust at his master’s complaint, only reaching into his own pocket for a freshly folded handkerchief and handed it to Henrik. 

“How many of my handkerchiefs do you carry?” Henrik asked, ever curious as to how Gordon always seemed to know what he might need at any given moment. 

“A good butler is always prepared for any situation, my lord,” Gordon explained, never removing his gaze from a spot on the far wall, though Henrik was sure he saw a glint of pride in the man’s eye. 

“Perhaps I ought to ask one of the maids to be sure that your sister is well?” Gordon suggested moments later when Henrik used the chain to pull his watch from his waist pocket. 

“I am sure she is well.” Henrik shook his head. There would be no point in Gordon rushing around when his sister was likely to be taking her time over readying herself as she always did. Gordon did not look convinced, though Henrik guessed the concern that flashed across the butler’s face was more to do with their potential tardiness than his sister’s health. After all, she had always been of excellent health. Even when they had been children, Henrik had barely ever known his sister to be ill. 

Late, on the other hand, she had been quite often, and it appeared only to be becoming worse the more mature she became. 

It wasn’t until Henrik heard footsteps parading down the landing above his head that he turned his face towards the top of the stairs. 

As he was sure he would, he found his sister in perfect health at the very top of the stairs, her lady’s maid following like a lapdog close behind, head bowed while her mistress walked with head held high. 

“Ahh, sister, I was beginning to think that you might never join me.” Henrik sighed deeply, shoving his pocket watch back into place and adjusting the chain so that it sat just right. His sister would not thank him if he had even one hair out of place. 

“One cannot rush when readying for one of the highlights of the Season,” Caterina insisted. She practically floated down the stairs, her slippered feet gliding down the steps as if she were walking on air. Ever graceful, Caterina Copperfield, now Caterina Mayweather due to her recent marriage, had a way of always getting what she wanted. 

“One also must not be late when it comes to such events,” Henrik responded, not entirely sure whether he would call a night at the theatre one of the Season’s highlights. 

“Perhaps if I were any later we might miss it altogether?” Caterina chortled playfully as she joined her brother at the bottom of the stairs. “We both know you are loath to go in the first place, dear brother.” 

She reached for his offered arm and placed her delicate, satin-gloved hand in the crook of his elbow. 

“I promised that I would escort you, did I not?” Henrik spoke through gritted teeth, remembering how his sister had whittled him down like a carpenter with a skilled blade on a block of wood until he had agreed to accompany her to the latest show. 

Caterina smiled at him, her brown eyes aglow with satisfaction and affection. 

“I couldn’t very well go alone,” she pointed out. “And from what I have heard, I would miss out on quite the show.” 

Henrik rolled his eyes at his sister, determined to get his misgivings out of his system before they entered the eye of the public. 

“Yes, yes, the woman with the voice of an angel.” Henrik bit the inside of his cheek with frustration. He had heard it all before. 

No doubt this beautiful young woman with the voice of a celestial being would really be a well-rounded, middle-aged woman with the voice of a tavern singer. Henrik would rather have remained home and stuck his sister’s sewing needles in his ears, but there was nothing he could deny her, and if she wished to see a show, then it was a show she would see. 

“Come,” Henrik urged her forward, gesturing for Gordon to open the entryway door. “I promised you a good time during your trip to London.” 

He heard the sound of a horse nickering in the front courtyard and knew that the carriage was ready to whisk them away into town. 

“And I promise I shall do my best to keep the hounds at bay,” Caterina vowed. Henrik did not need to ask to know what she was talking about. They both knew the real reason he was so reluctant to attend the show. It was not just the theatre, but anywhere he went. Ever since his father’s death, he had become Lord Copperfield, and from that moment, he had been accosted by more businessmen than he cared to count. Each one of them determined to snare a little of his time or money for a new venture. 

“I would appreciate that greatly.” Henrik smiled his gratitude to his sister, relieved that she understood his reluctance to go out in public. 

With his free hand, he squeezed her fingers as they sat at the crook of his elbow before helping her up into the carriage. 

As soon as he stepped inside and the door was closed behind him, they would be whisked away to the theatre, and he would be plunged into the wolf’s den once more. He would be confronted by greedy and pompous businessmen, their wives adamant to make their eldest daughters a good marriage, and even more lords determined to find out how his business was fairing, eager to be sure their successes were larger. 

Life in the public eye was a constant stream of shows, balls, and parties, each one more tedious than the next and all Henrik wanted to do was forget about it all. 

“Are you well, Brother?” Caterina’s concerned voice caused Henrik to jump out of his own thoughts with a start. His skin crawled with gooseflesh as he realised that he had been peering out of the carriage window for the entire ride from the Copperfield estate. 

His sister sat opposite him, stroking her hands over her rich purple skirts with anticipation. She eyed him curiously, bemused at how he managed to distance himself. 

Henrik cleared his throat, feeling as though he had not spoken for an age. “I am.” 

Caterina continued to eye him. “We can return to the estate if you are not feeling up to it.” 

Though she spoke with sincerity, Henrik could see the look in her eyes that suggested it was the last thing she wanted to do. 

“I promised that we would see a show while you were in London, and we are here now,” Henrik pointed out just as the footman pulled open the carriage door. 

“As long as you are sure,” Caterina responded, but Henrik was already removing himself from the carriage. The sooner the show was over, the better. He could happily return to the Copperfield estate as soon as the curtains were drawn at the end of the second act, knowing he had fulfilled his promise to his darling sister. 

The valet stood with head bowed, holding the door open and Henrik glanced at the theatre looming ahead before he turned to help his sister from the carriage. 

“It appears that everyone else may have already taken to their seats,” he pointed out, seeing that save for the theatre’s attendants, there didn’t appear to be anyone else about. 

“Lord Copperfield!” One of the attendants hurried down the steps, his head lowered, stopping at the bottom only to bow low before he approached, “If you would please follow me to your seats. I’m afraid the show is about to begin.” 

“They were expecting us?” Caterina looked up in surprise, still clutching Henrik’s elbow as she allowed him to lead her up the steps, following the theatre attendant. 

“With your constant desire for tardiness, I believe it was necessary to book a box seat so as to not to disturb any of the other viewers,” Henrik offered his sister a playful smile. 

“Why, Brother, do you always think of everything?” Caterina’s words were cut off as they entered the theatre. Although a wall separated them from the main amphitheatre, the sound of shouting could be heard, breaking the silence. 

“We must hurry,” Caterina insisted. She practically dragged Henrik up the stairs to the box seat, where the attendant was awaiting them. He silently hovered as Henrik and Caterina removed their outer coat and shawl and draped them over his outstretched arms. Then he bowed and removed them from the room before another man took his place to offer drinks. 

“Bring wine,” Caterina insisted, although she had already taken to her seat, her opera glasses already held firmly to her face. 

The attendant looked to Henrik, who was straightening his waistcoat.

“As she says,” he insisted, slightly annoyed at the fact that the attendant couldn’t take his sister’s word as an instruction, without first looking to him. He was relieved to find that she hadn’t noticed when he settled down beside her. 

He leaned as far back in the chair as humanly possible while his sister did quite the opposite. She sat so on edge, with her elbows practically touching the railing, that she may as well have been standing. 

“I am sure you won’t miss anything from up here,” he assured her, a deep sigh rumbling in his chest. 

Already, the shrill voices and over-expressive tones of the performers were giving him pains in his temples. A part of him wished to place his fingers in his ears and close his eyes. 

“Oh, Henrik, do wipe that distasteful look off your face and pay attention,” Caterina scolded. She had barely looked at him out of the corner of her eye. Much like their mother, she knew him well, and it didn’t take much for her to notice when he was disinterested. 

“You may find you actually like it if you give it a chance,” she insisted. She tapped him on the knee, and he suddenly realised that he had, in fact, closed his eyes. 

Blinking them open, he looked at his sister to see her holding out the opera glasses. 

“Come,” she insisted, shoving them more purposefully into his hand. 

“I said I would bring you to a show. I never promised to watch.” He groaned but took the long golden stem of the glasses all the same. It was warm where Caterina’s hand had been gripping it tightly. 

“Don’t you need them?” he protested, but Caterina had already pulled a second pair into view, and she practically beamed at him with satisfaction. 

It was just then that everything fell utterly silent. For a moment, Henrik feared that he had suddenly lost his hearing. Then he heard her voice, low and mournful yet sweet and soft as a lullaby. 

Henrik was instantly relieved that Caterina had insisted he pay attention, for she may have noticed if he had suddenly sat up in his seat to get a look at the woman on stage. 

At the back, men and women stood, heads bowed as they hummed a mournful backing tune to the melancholic song. Yet, it was the woman who stood in the foreground of the stage that instantly caught his attention. Not only was her voice hypnotising, her fair hair cascaded in glossy ringlet curls all around her shoulders, brushing below her slender waist. Creamy skin almost as pale as the white slip dress she wore, glowed in the light of the theatre. 

Henrik felt as though he could scarcely breathe for fear that he might frighten away the purity that stood before him. The rosy blush to her cheeks was nothing compared to the heat he felt in his own, nor did it compare to the inferno he felt in his loins when gazing upon the sheer material that clung to every one of her curves. Rosebuds tipped her breasts beneath the pure material.

Had Henrik not been so entranced by her, he may have noticed that everyone else in the theatre had leaned forward in their seats. Mouths hung open everywhere, and utter silence only added to the power of the woman’s voice as she sang of lost love, her very tone bringing tears to the eyes of even the most stony hearted among the audience. 

“Brother?” Caterina’s hand on his shoulder made him jump with surprise. The moment he leaned back in his seat, he realised that his arm was aching so terribly he could barely lower it to place the opera glasses on the table beside him. 

“Is it finally over?” Henrik asked, feigning disinterest. The truth was, he had been so enamoured by the woman’s beauty and her voice that he had been quite swept away from reality. 

“I would have thought you would have guessed that when the curtains closed for a second time,” Caterina said with a chuckle. She looked at him with obvious amusement, and Henrik struggled to hide his embarrassment. He had never been quite so taken before so as to completely fall apart in front of others. 

“I do believe you are in need of a handkerchief, brother,” Caterina reached into her reticule and pulled out a hard-pressed white square of material which she passed to him with even more amusement on her face. “I also believe we must go and congratulate the performers. I have never once seen you weep, and I can only imagine that it was their magnificent performance which moved you so.” 

Henrik struggled to clear his throat past the lump that had begun to form there, and he quickly regained control of himself, turning away from his sister and the attendant behind them so that he could wipe his face. 

“I do believe I have dust in my eye. Thank you, sister.” 

He wiped at his eyes before offering the handkerchief back to his sister. She held her hand up and shook her head. 

“Keep it in remembrance of this wondrous occasion.” 

Her eyes glimmered with amusement, and she pulled on the drawstrings of her reticule to close it before pushing herself to her feet. 

“Might you escort us down to the performers?” she asked, turning to the attendant. Although she asked politely, and there appeared to be room in her tone for argument, they all knew that there really was no refusing. 

Henrik had known from the moment he had agreed to go with her to the show that he would be forced to endure a tedious trip around the theatre to congratulate the performers on a job well done. Performing the niceties that were expected of him was another thing that left him wishing he could become a recluse. 

But a strange thing happened upon Caterina’s mention of visiting the performers. Henrik was instantly aware of the lack of foreboding he usually felt. In its place was a warm sensation in his chest, something the likes of which he had never felt before. 

“Of course, my lady.” The attendant bowed respectfully before holding the door of the box seat open to allow them to step through. 

Following the attendant with his sister holding onto his arm, Henrik couldn’t feel as though he was walking the longest journey of his life. His feet itched to get to their destination, and the warmth in his chest grew until he could barely contain it. 

What in heaven’s name is wrong with me? he asked himself. He was so deeply involved in trying to figure out these new sensations that he completely missed the people around him who were braying for his attention. To his relief, he realised that his sister had kept her promise, talking as if she were keeping him so busy with conversation that he had no time to look up until they finally came to the room where the performers awaited them. 

As soon as they arrived, Henrik found himself surveying the room. His eyes roamed in search of one face, and yet he found that no matter how hard he looked, he could not find her. 

Have I imagined her? he wondered, growing more and more impatient at not being able to pick her out of the crowd. 

Caterina dragged him through several conversations with lesser performers, congratulating those who had all but melted into the background. 

Then as they congratulated the final performer and Henrik had all but given up hope, he spotted the face he had so hoped to see up close. 

She was even more beautiful than he remembered. Her hair had been pulled back from her face and tied by a green ribbon at the nape of her neck. Several unruly curls bounced about her face as she conversed with the many admiring patrons who had attended the show. 

From all the way across the room, Henrik watched her. He saw the way she moved with such grace and beauty, the way she bowed her head politely to the aristocracy who lined up to thank her for her entertainment. Though she wore a brilliant smile, Henrik realised that he could still see the same sorrow in her eyes that she had worn while on stage. Even beyond that, he noticed the exhaustion that clouded her gaze and the way her cheeks puffed with exasperation whenever she thought that no one was watching. 

She longs to be away from here, he thought. Just as I did before I saw her. 

“Caterina, please excuse me,” Henrik spoke up for what felt like the first time in hours. “I’m afraid I must use the restroom.” 

“But the star of the show is right there, and she appears to finally be free!” Caterina protested. 

“Then I shall leave you in the capable hands of Lord Steerforth and his wife.” Henrik removed his sister’s hand from the crook of his elbow and guided her toward one of the other patrons, a gentleman he had known practically all his life. 

“Steerforth, might you escort my dear sister for me?” he asked even as their group floated ever closer to the angel. 

I shall not be one of the tedious aristocracy keeping her here when she is so exhausted, he told himself, relieved when his close friend nodded. 

“I would be happy to.” Steerforth nodded and offered his free arm to Henrik’s sister. 

“We must hurry before she is swept up again,” Lady Steerforth insisted, dragging her husband forward to greet the woman who had stolen the show. 

Henrik watched from a distance, unable to stop from noticing how uncomfortable the singer looked among the aristocracy. The prim and proper of the audience seemed utterly oblivious to her suffering but having felt so uncomfortable himself, Henrik was unable to miss it. 

Resigning himself to admiring from afar, Henrik remained out of sight, sure that his sister would call attention to him if she saw him. 

A beauty such as she should not be made to feel uncomfortable, he told himself even though everything in him desired to rush forward and address her. His fingers itched to take her hand in his and kiss her velvety knuckles. The tips of those very same fingers longed to caress her pink-blushed cheek and expose her ear beneath her fair hair so that he might whisper to her. 

Keep your distance, man, he scolded himself. This is most improper. 

“Performing for a Wicked Lord” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

The ravishing performer Anna Coleman has long promised herself to never get involved with the cruel world of high society. Yet, her grasping boss will keep forcing her to perform for the people she blames for her parent’s death. Little did she know that soon a charming Earl in disguise will appear in her life and the flame of desire will slowly start burning her heart.

Will Anna’s passionate feelings prove to be strong enough to shatter her hatred?

Lord Henrik Copperfield has all the virtues a noble man can have; charm, intelligence, and a huge inheritance. Tired of the ton and his famous bachelor title, he will see his life turning upside down after an inevitable night at the theater. When he finds himself mesmerised by the voice of the fiery Anna, he will come up with a plan to conquer the dreamy woman who hates aristocracy.

If only Henrik’s way to Anna’s heart was filled with roses….

As fate conspires to bring them together once more, Henrick and Anna are unable to tame their flaming emotions and so, their lustful affair begins. However, will Henrick’s secret identity ruin any hope of a common future together? As high society’s restrictions tighten the grip around them, will Anna’s and Henrik’s tantalising romance blossom or will it be doomed once and for all?

“Performing for a Wicked Lord” is a historical romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

Get your copy from Amazon!

9 thoughts on “Performing for a Wicked Lord (Preview)”

    1. This sounds like a very intriguing plot. Like both of the main characters. Great job in “setting the stage”. Looking forward to the romance and suspense promised in this blurb.

  1. Very interesting preview liked it very much, can’t wait for the book I’m sure it will be as good as other books of yours I have read thank you for interesting reads.

  2. Hi Lucy..
    Very intriguing and interesting characters in your new book and enjoyed the chapters..
    It seems unlikely that a romance will blossom from them but nobody knows what fate has in store and Henrik already feels drawn towards her in lust ..just hope love develops for them …Val

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