Cover reveal WipItUp! Yeah! This is for my new release, due out this weekend, A Strict Gentleman, and to celebrate a preview.
Kelly is no ordinary Victorian maid. She’s arrived at the house under false pretences and via a magic mirror. Transported back in time, she is stuck and can’t get home. Now desperate, she needs a job. Henry has summoned his housekeeper, Mrs Collins, to discuss whether she is an appropriate addition to his household.
The girl let out a horrified gasp. “Please, sir, don’t throw me out!” Kelly pleaded.
She dropped to her knees in the middle of his fine Persian rug and clasped her hands together as if in prayer. Henry’s stomach knotted in excitement—a pose of supplication and given willingly. Having a loving wife kneel at his feet and offer herself to him without fear was a dream he had yet to fulfil. No woman of his class had yet to show the grace, meekness and devotion he required. It was with a heavy heart, he had decided to remain a bachelor and re-direct his passions to the art of skilled disciplining and the understanding of the submissive soul.
As she sank to the floor, tears splashed down her cheeks. It was not the first time Henry had witnessed a young woman weeping, quite the contrary, he had seen it many times. Typically, they would be clutching a bare bottom, whether bent over or stood in the corner. A few hopped about on their toes. Crying was not a necessity for him. It could be cathartic for an emotional girl and restorative in nature, while for others it was a response to pain. Those that did prefer to howl and caterwaul in protest relied on such vocalisations to counteract the discomfort. Indeed, Henry had heard many forms of crying.
Kelly’s was quite different. It was wretched. She appeared lost and dejected. Her shoulders were hunched, her body collapsed in on itself and she was close to forming a forlorn bundle on the rug.
“Good grief,” Mrs Collins exclaimed. “Up, girl.”
Kelly presented a tear stained face to Henry and locked her gaze on him, ignoring the housekeeper. Her agonised expression was almost affecting him. Damnation, it was stirring him to elicit an emotional response. He clung onto his austere manner, the rock of his life, through dogged determination. Without it, he would probably live an irresponsible life, like Arthur.