Lord and Master Trilogy
Publication date: March 20, 2017
Genres: Erotica, Romance, Suspense
You think you know Luna Gregory?
Maybe you see what her boss, the Marchioness of Lionsbridge, sees: the best PA she’s ever had, a 26-year-old fixer who makes problems disappear with four quiet words—‘Leave it with me.’ Or you see a remote, untouchable Ice Princess who the 500-year-old Arborage Estate’s heir presumptive longs to crush under his heel. Possibly, if you’re looking carefully, you see Luna as her friends see her: the quiet one, touched by childhood tragedy, who laughs at their jokes and has their backs no matter what.
But ultimately it takes charismatic, devastatingly attractive Swedish entrepreneur Stefan Lundgren, third in line to inherit the estate, to glimpse the intelligent, fiercely independent woman under Luna’s calm exterior. And what he sees he wants, this woman in ten thousand who is meant for him, body writhing beneath his in the dark of night, her inner self slowly revealing itself to him. Or so he believes.
But Luna has built an entire life predicated on concealment, on maintaining control and hiding dark things in drawers. It will take the entirety of the Lord and Master trilogy, from the manicured gardens of Arborage, to the wilds of Shetland, to the streets of Stockholm, for her to step out of the shadows in the face of a new threat to Arborage.
You think you know Luna? You don’t.
The Lord and Master trilogy:
Lord and Master
Her Master’s Servant
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She arrived at a heavy oak door where a small card with her name had been fixed, pushing it open to reveal a large room with mullioned windows overlooking the lawn below. Tucked into an alcove on the right-hand side of the room was a four-poster bed complete with curtains. There was no carpet on the hardwood floor, so out of habit she lifted one leg, then the other to remove her heels before entering.
The room was wreathed in shadows, with only a small lamp on the wooden desk opposite the bed casting a feeble light. Luna approached the desk and idly examined its contents: a small globe, a stack of university study guides, various sporting paraphernalia. She picked up a cricket ball, ran her fingers along the stitching in its seam, then replaced it on the desk. Turning to the large portrait beside the desk, she stood face to face with a teenaged boy holding a King Charles Spaniel, laughter in his eyes.
‘Hello, James,’ she said softly. For this had been the room of the Marchioness’s only son, James Wellstone, who had died in a boating accident fourteen years ago. From what she could see, the room had remained largely untouched since his death, though clearly the cleaning staff had kept it tidy. She was frankly amazed it had been assigned to her, or indeed to anyone attending the party. Knowing how keenly the Marchioness still felt his loss, Luna couldn’t imagine her countenancing this.
Luna walked to her backpack, sitting on the floor in the middle of the room. As she bent to retrieve it, she caught a motion in the darkness beside her and jumped. Ah, it was a standing mirror – she was jumping at her own reflection. Shaking her head at her nerves, she lowered her backpack and moved closer to the mirror, studying herself.
Her eyes, as ever, were enormous and translucent, and her skin was deathly pale; she certainly looked the part of a ghost. Gaze scanning downward, however, Luna experienced a burgeoning sense of unease. For the first time, she noticed that the gauzy material in the bodice clung to her in a way that left no doubt she wasn’t wearing a bra. It was, well… if she’d been a little less dismayed, Luna might have felt justifiably proud, because they looked phenomenal, the curved tops of her breasts pressing against the gauze as they descended gracefully into the scattering of sequins and beading that covered her nipples.
Craning her neck, she observed that the scooped back of the dress was more revealing than she’d appreciated, exposing not just most of her spine but the curve of her waist as well. And the skirt. Bloody hell, Kayla was right, her booty was… hard to miss. Biting her lip, Luna frowned at her reflection. This really, really wasn’t the look she’d been going for tonight.
‘Quite an eyeful, isn’t it,’ came a voice from behind her. Luna spun around to see Stefan sat cross-legged on the bed, half obscured by its drapes and the stygian gloom of his cousin’s room.
‘Jesus!’ she gasped, placing a hand on her chest, where her heart was fluttering against the gauze like a hummingbird against a net. Then, ‘This is your room.’
‘No, as you can see, it’s James’s.’ His teeth flashed coldly in the darkness. As Luna’s eyes adjusted to the dark she saw that he’d removed his jacket and cufflinks and rolled up his shirt sleeves. His feet were bare and he looked so… like himself. So like the Stefan she knew.
Realisation dawning, she said, ‘Augusta put you in here, I assume?’
‘For my sins.’ His smile was self-deprecating and in spite of herself Luna smiled in return. She couldn’t think of a worse fate than being installed in his dead cousin’s room, expected to replace the irreplaceable.
They stayed where they were for a moment, a silent truce in force. But then Luna lifted her backpack onto her shoulders and said, ‘I have to go.’
Suddenly, he was off the bed like a big game cat, springing toward her, grabbing her shoulders and lifting her up onto her toes.
‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Yes, because that’s what you do, isn’t it.’ And then he was dragging her toward the door, throwing it open, his fingers digging into her shoulders. ‘You should go, Luna,’ he told her. ‘Nothing good will come of you staying here, I can promise you that.’
She heard the sound of muffled laughter and the tinkling of glass bottles from down the hall.
‘And that, if I’m not mistaken, is your American friend, helping herself to my family’s house uninvited,’ he said. ‘She’ll be around the corner any second now and she’ll see you here with me. So you’d better run, just like you always do.’ His face hardened and he shook her brutally. Luna made a noise, of pain or protest, she wasn’t sure which, and the undercurrent between them shifted.
Lowering his head till it was within millimetres of her own, Stefan angled his face against hers and, like a snake being charmed, Luna mirrored him, her eyelids lowering, growing heavy along with his. ‘Run, Luna,’ he said softly. And reached to her shoulders, lifting the straps there, lowering her backpack to the floor. ‘You aren’t safe here,’ he said, removing her shoes from her hand, dropping them next to the backpack. ‘Run,’ he repeated, the fingers of one hand digging into her chignon while the other pushed the door shut, turning the key in the lock.
He shoved her against it then, reaching his hands up to the yoke of her dress. She heard it tearing, felt the muscles in his arms flexing against her collarbone, heard the sound of beads and sequins showering to the floor as he ripped it to her waist and tore it off her.
‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you,’ he said, lifting her into his arms and carrying her to the bed.
I live on a farm in Lancashire, England with my husband, four children, one dog and one cat. Like Luna Gregory, the lead character of the Lord and Master trilogy, I make my living as a personal assistant.
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