Shey – Cos frankly I had to kick your butts into gear.
Shey- it is kind as you’re getting till you get back into line.
‘Had her mind really whispered Lady Margaret this morning? James Flint Blackmoore. Pig. Pig. Complete. Absolute. Pig. Bastard. Now, that’s what she should have thought.’
Her gorge rose even though she had something on him now. A shipload in fact. Rescind the rules? In her dreams. His too. The bastard could take what he got and welcome.
Malmesbury would father the heir to the Beaumont dukedom. Count Vellagio wasn’t a contender. What she’d logged in her book about him this afternoon said it would be a huge mistake anyway. The same for the Duke of Southey—young, certainly, but a drunk with quiffed hair and filthy fingernails.
No, Malmesbury was the best. The only. Intelligent without being painful, fashionable yet not a dandy, and retaining enough of his looks at the age of fifty not to be outright repulsive.
“Gentlemen, you know as well as I do, this is an unusual evening.” Shivers ran up and down Lady Fury Shelton’s spine as she stood in the center of her darkened antechamber.
With its festooned corners and gold-scrolled furniture, the carmine-walled room was the best place for such an assignation, although the tiled floor and the cool clang of evening bells snaking in through the parted shutters made it chillier than usual. The candlelight glinting on the pale oval of Messalina’s face on the hanging above the bed, too. Earlier, the air had been hotter than a boiled lobster. She’d had to change twice in the space of an hour because she was too.
“Hear, hear.” Southey raised his crystal glass.
Where else, but to his obviously parched lips. A toast to her? Already it was obviously beyond his capability to sit down facing her as the other men were, with their drinks untouched on the tiny tables beside them, the epitome of good manners.
“My interviews are complete. Shortly, I will make my choice. Then, having done so, I will invite the said gentleman to this bedroom, where he will perform his duty as often as necessary.”
“All in one night. I say, that’s a tall order for a man. Isn’t it, chaps?”
For Southey, yes, it would be. Given the state in which he’d arrived at her door this afternoon, and what he’d sunk of her amaretto and limoncello in the meantime, it was a miracle he could still stand there against the marble fireplace. Never mind anything else.
But she wasn’t about to debate the subject. Maybe she was fit to snap the spine of the tooled leather book she was clutching–a pity it wasn’t his throat—the Moon could not look serener.
“I say, Fury, how the blazes are you going to tell right away?” Southey hiccupped. “Don’t them things take weeks and weeks to find out?”
“The one chosen will be here for weeks. Those not chosen,”—him in other words–“will leave within the hour. I think we may be clear that at any time in the future, should any one of you breathe a word to anyone about this, I will find out. I have sufficient information in this book here to ruin each and every one of you. Make no mistake, I will use it.”
“By God, Fury, you don’t need to talk like that about any of us, I’m sure,” Malmesbury, who had so far watched the proceedings with an amused smile, muttered. “You want to get one over on Thomas; I, for one, don’t blame you. We all saw him sneaking about with that Porto Antican tart when you first arrived.”
“Yes.” Who hadn’t?
“And do you think we’re unaware what his illness has done to him? The rages? The drinking? The way he keeps you here like a pet poodle?”
That too. Thomas wasn’t who she was getting one over on, but she couldn’t very well say so here.
She held in her hands every dirty little secret concerning these men. All documented in the yellow, dog-eared pages of her book. The leaves also contained letters, bills, testimonies, transactions. She kept it all beneath lock and key. So they obeyed her.
In fact, she kept dirty secrets on every member of the aristocracy she came into contact with, so she was safe for another hour, another day. She was hardly about to lose that balance of control by admitting this wasn’t about Thomas.
No. She could have paid a Porto Antican organ grinder to father her child and walked away, no questions asked. The one at the end of the harbor was handsome enough. But Lady Margaret would smell an organ grinder’s bastard at a hundred paces. Hadn’t the woman scented Fury?
Malmesbury shifted in his chair. “Where is he, by the way?”
“Who? Thomas? Thomas is visiting his father.”
“Even if he wasn’t, Thomas wants you to know me well. That is why he’s gone.” She hesitated. Thomas would spare her this next lie, although there was more than one grain of truth in it now. “Sadly, it is more than he can do himself these days. Now, I must ask you all to return to your chambers and wait. My mind is almost made up. Susan, here, will call in due course for the chosen one to return. And we’ll begin.”
“Dash it, that’s good to know.” Southey thumped his glass down on the marble mantelpiece.
In addition to his drinking, his casual mistreatment of the Murano goblet, while not worth an entry in her book, made him all the more unsuitable. What careless traits might a child inherit? Besides, his odor as he staggered past her made her stomach heave. It took every ounce of her self-control to remain where she was, inhaling the fragrance of the citrus-scented candle Susan had lit to disperse the gloom.
He paused and turned toward her. “All this cloak and dagger stuff is killing, you know.”
“Yes. Certainly for some.”
“What if you can’t … you know?”
“Oh, I’m sure I can.”
Malmesbury got to his feet. “I shall wait then, Fury.”
There was no doubt his palms itched to touch her, but she shrank from letting him. It didn’t bode well for later, but at least he didn’t smell. There wasn’t a single crease in his immaculate silver frock coat. And his shoe buckles not only shone, they sparkled. His valet must be remarkable, whoever he was.
Count Vellagio was silent as the crypt. Speaking limited English—and not much more Italian—he always was, unless it was absolutely necessary.
It was one mercy at least.
“Oh, I will fetch the chosen one, will I?” Susan folded her arms across her ample bosom, the instant the door closed.
Fury managed two steps and sank down at her dressing table. “Just cover the bruises, will you? I can’t have them on show. It might affect the conception-–or at least it might affect their ability to perform. They see that and God knows what they’ll think. I know I would.” She tossed the book into the open drawer. “So?”
“If I have to take a stick to your back, I will.”
“A stick? That’s fine talk, when I think of all I’ve done for you.”
“I know you mean well,” Fury wheedled, dabbing a little perfume on her wrists. “But I believe it’s important for a woman to look her best, regardless of the situation. So don’t argue. I honestly can’t take arguing tonight. I don’t know if I can take anything more.”
“Look your best? For a bunch of drunken old faggots. Sadistic old faggots. Do you know what I heard about Vellagio today?”
Fury picked up her powder puff. When it came to looking her best, she might as well make a start, if Susan wasn’t going to help. “Whatever it was, you shouldn’t have been listening.”
“It was at the market. How could I help it?”
“By covering your ears. Anyway, I thought you didn’t speak Italian?”
“He uses boys. Young boys. Whether they want to or not. He whips them too.”
For a moment Fury stared at the marbled surface of the table. If she could draw strength from its veins to hers, that would be nice. If she could draw strength from anything, in fact. But she was past that now. All she could do was choose one of these old faggots.
“Really? Well, I heard it was young girls. But whichever it is, while I know you mean well, you’re not in my situation. In fact, it’s hard to think of anyone who is. But if anyone was, I’m sure they’d do what I’m doing.”
“We both know it’s this or nothing. I can’t … I won’t be cast off without a penny. Not again. It was bad enough the first time. And anyway, it’s no more than Lady Margaret deserves.” Wincing, she swept the dark fall of hair back from her neck. “Now, please, a little powder—”
“A little powder?” Susan folder her arms tighter. “It will take more than a little powder to cover that mess this time.”
“Just think like Lady Macbeth, will you? And stop arguing. You’ve done it before.” Fury raised her head as a gust of wind blew in through the open shutters. “Anyway, the men aren’t all old. Or faggots.”
“Fine. Have it your own way.” Fury almost ceased breathing as Susan secured the shutters, then bustled across the floor. “You know you always do. Though I’m not thinking of Lady Margaret. Or of what she deserves, either. I’m thinking of you.”
“Then don’t. You know I don’t require it.”
“I’m thinking you should just tell that old toad where to stuff her money. You could find a protector here in Genoa. A woman like you.”
“A woman like me?” Fury met her green-eyed reflection in the not-yet-paid-for glass. “And what would that be, exactly?” Long ago she’d stopped wondering, buffeted by fortune’s changing winds. Forced to snatch what she could to survive. Always knowing one false foot-fall would bring her down. “Anyway, why would I want a protector? Thomas was that, at the start. Now look at me, without a penny to my name again. No. I’ve had my fill of protectors. I want to guarantee my future. The future of … Well …” Her eyes dulled in the glass. “You know as well as I do the things that are dear.”
“But madam, if you didn’t have the money to pay certain bills, my sister wouldn’t—”
“That’s what you say, when we all know money is the most important thing on the planet.” She dabbed a little rouge on her cheeks. “You know the dire nature of my predicament, what I must guarantee and why. That damned old bag hated me from the first. Don’t tell me she doesn’t lie awake at nights just thinking of new ways to torture and humiliate me. But poisoning Thomas’s father against me? Cajoling him on his death bed into insisting Thomas must provide an heir before succeeding to the dukedom? What kind of new low was that? One I would never stoop to. In fact, now I think about it, I don’t know anyone else who would. Well, it’s one blessing at least that Lady Margaret lives in England and I’m here. Even if, in other ways, that’s a torture to me.”
Susan sprinkled a dusting of powder onto the dressing table as if she were measuring the ingredients for a cake, and then wiped her hands down her apron. “Indeed I do, madam, I just think, in fact I know—”
Despite herself, Fury touched what glittered around her neck. The single midnight-blue pendant Thomas had given her two Christmases ago. The copy of it, rather. Because that, like this, was also burning necessity. Her Hatton Garden jewel-maker had served her well, though. Thomas had never once suspected a thing of her need for that kind of money, and how it ran to far more than blackmail.
“Before you say another word on the subject, Susan–-as I know you’re going to and you should know I don’t want to hear–-even this jewel here wouldn’t pay for what I need to guarantee for Storm. It’s like me. Fake.”
“Undervalued is what I’d say. What about blackmail, then? That book—”
“Blackmail is messy, which is why I’m locking the book away again.”
“It’s not my business, but when I think of all the years you’ve bribed dressmakers and housemaids and coachmen to get what’s in it …”
“Out of necessity only. Knowing that at any time, this could all tumble down. No. This is the best way. Besides, think how good it will feel, finally outfoxing Lady Margaret. She insists on an heir. She gets one. Do you really think I’m going to care if the old bat coos over some child that’s not Thomas’s? When that’s going to be the very best feeling in the world? Well?”
“You might not say that in nine months time.”
“I can’t think of a reason why not.”
“So, who are you considering, madam? Southey? He’s certainly the youngest.”
“Well, now I can’t possibly lower myself to having Vellagio, I’m thinking Malmesbury, actually.”
“Malmesbury?” Susan’s fingers didn’t falter, but Fury sensed her start of surprise. Not in admiration of her sense of judgment either.
“Oh, I do admit that Southey would probably be less trouble and far more malleable. But Malmesbury’s hardly one-legged and toothless. I’m sure he knows how to treat a woman properly. Besides, so long as he’s—not like Thomas—what does it matter?”
Truth to tell, if anyone could understand her predicament, Thomas would have. For her sake, he’d tried ensuring an heir. But these last six months, as what pressed on his brain swelled, well … she certainly didn’t want any man treating her like Thomas had.
“That would be hard, madam, given the things His Grace did to you.”
“Well, we must remember, he wasn’t always like that. No. I think I’ve decided, Malmesbury, and I … Well, I think I should just go along there and get it over with. The sooner the better, don’t you think?” She smoothed a smoky curl into place on her forehead. “Besides, my reckoning is, he positively expects it.”
“What? Malmesbury? That old–”
“I don’t see either matters, since they’re not going to be on very long.”
“Just the same.” She fastened on the sapphire drops. “You obviously didn’t see the way he stared there just now. I very much doubt he can contain himself.”
“The old goat.”
“Well. Who knows? If he’s a randy one, it might even be rather fun.” She marveled at herself for laughing when shadows ringed her eyes. But there, so long as she got through this, what did it matter?
Susan’s hand rested on her shoulder. “Then I’ll get him for you, madam, if this is truly your choice.”
“No.” Fun or not—and she thought not—the notion of admitting him here, to the bed she’d shared with Thomas, didn’t seem quite right somehow, even if she did manage to conceive the Beaumont heir. “I—I’ll do it. I need to calm my nerves. What bedroom is he in again? I confess I’ve forgotten.”
“The Blue Chamber.”
“Well then, think of England, as they say. Wish me luck. And remember to lock the drawer. However I choose to use it, that book is still the world to me. We must see it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.”
She rose, smoothed her dress—indigo silk, a perfect match for her hair and eyes– and took the candlestick.
If she did this, she forfeited forever her claim to be a respectable woman. Who was going to know though? Apart from herself, Susan and Malmesbury. That old coot would marry her in a second, if she gave the word. It was all the more reason to choose him. So why worry when the only thing that could possibly stand in her way was herself?
If she didn’t execute this task, then she faced being in the same position as she had been in seven years ago. It was fine at eighteen. But now, she needed to secure some things. Once she had, think of how free she’d be of men and all their machinations. For the first time ever. Women, too.
The Blue Chamber stood at the far end of the landing near the stairs, and she padded there noiselessly in the arc of the flickering candle, past the disapproving busts of the villa-owner Signor Santa-Rosa’s ancestors and the draped apertures, which she sometimes imagined hid more secrets than she did.
Malmesbury would be surprised to see her. Irresistibly dressed, jeweled, perfumed in a floating cloud of jasmine, and, hopefully, willing—as much as she could make herself, anyway. Who would know that beneath the rustling indigo silk, the heady, intoxicating jasmine she had bathed in earlier, she was like a skittish colt, ready to bolt? Was this how Marie Antoinette felt going to her execution? The queen’s deeds were certainly questionable. But her courage now? That was to be admired.
Besides, surprise could sometimes be the best method of attack. A man was, after all, a man. And, as she’d said to Susan, it might even be rather fun. If it wasn’t, well, in addition to swiftly retiring to her own bedroom, bolting the door and lying with cool lavender scented cloths on her forehead, there was her book, wasn’t there?
If he put a hand on her that was less than seemly, what she’d say to him on the subject of his murkier dealings would certainly ensure it would be fun the next time, if not before. Oh, this was going to be just fine.
Drawing a breath to quell her hammering heart, she raised her hand to tap on the door.
“Hello, sweetheart.” A low, American Southern voice drawled. Not from the other side of the door where she expected to hear something, but almost in her ear.
“Imagine seeing you here.”
Rule One: There will be no kissing. Rule two: You will be fully clothed at all times…
Widowed Lady Fury Shelton hasn’t lost everything—yet. As long as she produces the heir to the Beaumont dukedom, she just might be able to keep her position. And her secrets. But when the callously irresistible Captain James “Flint” Blackmoore sails back into her life, Lady Fury panics. She must find a way to protect herself—and her future—from the man she’d rather see rotting in hell than sleeping in her bed. If she must bed him to keep her secrets, so be it. But she doesn’t have to like it. A set of firm rules for the bedroom will ensure that nothing goes awry. Because above all else, she must stop herself from wanting the one thing that Flint can never give her. His heart.
Ex-privateer Flint Blackmoore has never been good at following the rules. Now, once again embroiled in a situation with the aptly named Lady Fury, he has no idea why he doesn’t simply do the wise thing and walk away. He knows he’s playing with fire, and that getting involved with her again is more dangerous than anything on the high seas. But he can’t understand why she’s so determined to hate him. He isn’t sure if the secret she keeps will make things harder—or easier—for him, but as the battle in the bedroom heats up, he knows at least one thing. Those silly rules of hers will have to go…
I give myself very good advice … https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/i-give-myself-very-good-advice/
Same picture, “take one!”
Two posts, just like twins.
Do you remember one of
Shehanne Moore’s themes
is attraction to scoundrels,
who underneath their rakish,
handsome appearance is a warm heart?
While I had Shehanne’s books here
in my apartment, somehow the
incredible rascals got in
through crack under
the door. . .
I bet these baby hamsters would
melt even a Viking or a Pirate’s
cold, cutthroat heart.
I reviewed the following books
by Shehanne Moore:
~ “The Viking and the Courtesan”
~ “The Unraveling of Lady Fury”
Should Shehanne be responsible
for progeny who developed
without her knowledge
nor her consent?
I’ve been circling back to
the summer book series,
meanwhile a new book has
been written and published by
a few of our fellow writing bloggers.
Here’s more of fascinating
“Loving Lady Lazuli,”
(London Jewel Thieves, Book 1)
(London Jewel Thieves, Book 2)
“His Judas Bride”
“The Writer and the Rake”
Find Shehanne at:
So, do you know any solutions
for mhttps://witlessdatingafterfifty.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/shehannes-mischievous-hamstahs-juniors/y Hamsters Invasion?
Same picture, “take two!” 😎
Many titillating scandals are
fully intended to lead to love.
Should shenanigans transpire. . .
Let the romance begin!
“Hamstahs” at Shehanne Moore’s
blog are fabulous, truly fashionable.
Have you seen their hats?
👒 🎓 ⛑ 🎩
I admire them, lest I turn my back
accidentally! You need to stay on your
toes with ’em rascals.
decide as the famous singer so
aptly suggested to, “Get it on,” in
the glass box you purchased.
It was going to be a terrarium!
Succulent plants, not critter
babies were going to add
to my oxygen supply.
I think you’ll remember her
Lady Fury and Lady Malice
from your reading the books
I recommended this summer.
I’m hoping other strong,
demanding and exciting women
characters have inhabited your mind.
Shehanne’s books are already
part of your favorites. Of course,
the good feelings may extend
to men in those thrilling
and romantic novels.
Have you seen the way
Ms. Moore allows
her hamsters to
My pleasure today is to review
My pleasure today is to review
Shehanne Moore’s exciting book,
“The Unraveling of Lady Fury.”
There’s a back story worth sharing,
an unbelievable event left
Fury Celia Fontanelli on a quay
by a pirate-style Captain who didn’t
look back, commandeering his
large ship, the Calypso, off
into the Caribbean.
Fury had to keep going ~
life wasn’t going to be “easy”
nor ever “uncomplicated.”
Establishing her good manners,
throwing herself into society
with a goal to capture a
fine Gentleman who
could marry her.
These days we might say:
Fury needed to be
“back on the market.”
Establishing her genteel persona,
Lady Fury gets married to
Don’t worry, this is not a
Unfortunately, Thomas is
long gone before the first page.
The setting is in Genoa, 1820.
An important mission must be
achieved, a Beaumont heir!
How this comes about, who
will be chosen from three
There’s Count Vellagio,
The Duke Malmesbury
or the Duke of Southey.
There’s a sexy scoundrel,
thrown in for good measure:
Captain James Flint Blackmoor.
This is a taut, tightly wound
plot in the beginning,
until the unraveling
starts to take apart Lady Fury’s
resolve and staunch “rules”
which actually form a contract.
❤ 💓 💕 💘 💋 💗 👄 💟 💞 💖 ❤
So much fun, such steamy scenes
ensue. Please invest in a pretty fan,
to prevent swooning from the heat
generated from two remarkable
and most memorable leading
characters, Lady Fury and
“Flint” which varies to
on her mercurial
moods and temper.
It has depth in emotions
and secret plot development,
motivating change and surprises.
The side characters like Susan,
Lady Fury’s personal attendant
(her maid, friend and confidante)
and the brothel keeper, Frau Berthe,
provide practicality and humor
in equally measured doses.
There’s not just Fury;
but a Storm ahead!
I hesitate to say too much,
preferring to recommend highly
this exceptional historical
I would give
5 of 5 stars.
Please check out
blog which has the
invention of a word:
which needs to be
added to all
and if you are interested in her other
books, please look at her other blog:
Have a sizzling read
and terrific Tuesday!
“What did you say to her?”
“What do you think? I told her that her precious son was lost at sea.”
“You didn’t!” Fury did her best to keep her voice lowered, even though the Blue Chamber stood at the other end of the landing. The prescience that this only made things worse intensified. As if Thomas’s ghost had risen up to haunt her for pushing him on that staircase and keeping him in a box. “How could you?”
He frowned. “Because you didn’t leave me a whole lot of choice with that little story you told about his holiness, the Pope.”
“What was I supposed to say? That Thomas is lying dead at the bottom of the bay, because you put him there, after I kicked him down the stairs and kept him in a box in the cellar for several days?”
He canted his jaw. “Well, how about a thank-you for getting you out the hole you were in?”
“It wasn’t a hole. I just didn’t know he was a freemason. They keep these things secret.”
“And you didn’t seem to know he was a protestant either. Is there anything you do know?”
They were going to quarrel. It was not the place with Lady Margaret along the corridor. Maybe Flint had left Susan with her. But no doubt Lady Margaret had disposed of her and had her ear to the wall. Then there was Malmesbury. The thought of Malmesbury made Fury sick to the pit of her stomach.
“Flint, I am grateful. It’s just her. Lady Margaret. You have no idea how much she hates me.”
“Isn’t that funny? She was soon guzzling out my hand.”
Of all the nasty, recalcitrant, self-seeking toads. She supposed she should just be grateful. Even Lady Margaret wasn’t immune to this man. But when Fury thought of all she had suffered at that woman’s hands, and Thomas too, because of her silly dictate…
“Of course, you like to imagine.”
It was just the thought of Flint encountering that lack of immunity with other women. Women far younger and more beautiful than Lady Margaret. He was going to now. There was no question of it. Despair engulfed her.
It wasn’t wrong he was so handsome, so beautiful. It wasn’t wrong she had succumbed to him as all other women did. It was terrible.
Sighing deeply, he turned his face to the side. “Look, I did it for you.”
“Me?” Oh, that was rich.
“Hell. It’s not exactly like it’s a lie, you stop and think about it for a moment. It’s probably quite smart. Smartest thing either of us could come up with in the circumstances. ’Specially if his body ever washes up.”
Dudes, can we kindly stop arguing, so you can get ready for the special Halloween party that will be the culmination of all your work? You know the business of asking each of my fictional couples about Halloween where they are from?
We are blogging Italy today because Lady Fury lives there for most of the book.
Fury and Flint hero and heroine from the Unraveling of Lady Fury are here, so how about you roll with the questions?
Lady Fury : I thought you said they were funny, sweetly articulate creatures who would make every effort to ask us interestingly worded questions?
Lady Fury : And you said they weren’t aggressive?
Captain Flint : If I told you the reason I’m down to nine fingers and they bite worse than you, you would never have agreed to this.
Shehanne : Okay, dudes…. Before she strops off can we maybe have a question? Or better still an answer?
Lady Fury : Putting aside the fact that there is trick and treating, and talking historically, Italy celebrates All Saints on November 1st and All Souls on November 2nd.
It’s an ancient tradition that can be traced back to Ancient Greece and it is celebrated differently from region to region. In some they leave an empty chair, in others, they light bonfires……
That is a picture of The Beans of the Dead biscuits, fave dei morti, an Italian biscuit, eaten at this time. But since it involves using your pointer finger to make them and you are likely to have eaten those, I am giving you this other recipe instead because there are rules about these things.
My recipe card is, of course, so much better than these other trashy heroines of Shehanne’s brought along to bore you with.
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 100g (4 oz) whole almonds
- 1 tube red decorating icing
- Combine the butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer; gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt, continually beating; chill for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 160 C / Gas mark 3. Lightly grease baking trays.
- Remove dough from fridge in small amounts. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon at a time onto a piece of greaseproof paper. Use the paper to roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped biscuit. Press one almond into one end of each biscuit to give the appearance of a long fingernail. Squeeze biscuit near the tip and again near the centre of each to give the impression of knuckles. You can also cut into the dough with a sharp knife at the same points to help give a more finger-like appearance.
Arrange the shaped biscuits on the baking trays.
- Remove the almond from the end of each biscuit; squeeze a small amount of red icing into the cavity; replace the almond to cause the icing to ooze out around the tip of the biscuit.
Captain Flint. Of course we will be. Here’s the lanterns. Fury here sculpted them with her teeth,
Captain Flint : That’s a pity, I was going to leave them for your party. This one kind of reminded me of you guys.
If it had ears that is.
Lady Fury. Why don’t you shut up? You can see they don’t think it looks anything like them. We want to get back to the children, alive.
Captain Flint : This here’s the napkins.
Sorry. You know, next to Fury, you’re my favourite critters. Of course I meant….
Lady Fury : And here’s something else from me. A little spell…..
Lady Fury :You know, I think I did that rather well. Now, do we have any spare boxes?