Authors Sue Brown, Lisa Worrall and Patricia Logan are pleased to come together in a trio of tales that will tease and tantilize their readers.
Get ready for The Masquerade Trilogy....
The Layered Mask by Sue Brown
Book 1 in The Masquerade Trilogy
Available February 4th, 2012
Gay (M/M), Historical, Regency, Holiday, Valentine's Day
The sense of foreboding that had settled over Downe like a heavy cloak as his peaceful world became disrupted lightened as he rode away from the house. It was cold, to be sure, but the deep freeze of the winter had lessened its grip on London.
It was still early enough that most of the ton had not shifted from their beds, and Rotten Row was empty aside from a few dedicated riders, giving him time to appreciate the peace and quiet before the almost constant clamour that pervaded London's streets took hold. Gideon's hooves scattered the sand as he trotted down the avenue. Downe felt his bad mood dissipating under the feel of the fine horseflesh beneath him. Taking some deep breaths, he coaxed Gideon into a canter, only to curse under his breath as he had to slow down almost immediately to avoid a horse careening erratically across his path. Perched atop was a lady who appeared to have fainted. Downe could see her slumped across the neck of her horse. He slowed Gideon to let them go past and then turned his horse so that he could ride alongside the woman, trying not to spook the horse. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see another rider approaching from the other side. Between them they managed to calm the horse long enough for Downe to reach over and get the reins. As the three horses drew to a halt, the woman slumped even further over to one side, and Downe had to prevent her from falling off the horse. "Sissy... Serena. Are you all right?" Downe looked up to see the other rider leap from his horse and approach the woman, helping him to lift her back more firmly onto the horse. To Downe's relief, the lady coughed and opened her eyes, sitting up more solidly. She stared at Downe in confusion. Her eyes were very blue, although somewhat fogged at the moment. "What happened?" she asked, raising a trembling hand to her mouth. "You lost control of your horse," Downe said sternly. "It was fortunate that this gentleman and I were close at hand to assist you." "You never lose control like that, Sissy." The young man's voice was cultured but had a distinct country accent that Downe found hard to place. Downe looked over the drooping woman to see the man staring worriedly up at her. He raised his head to look at Downe who noticed that, under his dark, curly hair, his eyes were also blue, but a darker shade, like a tempestuous sea, with dark eyebrows, pressed together in a worried frown. He was also very young; at Downe's guess, some years younger than the woman between them. "This lady is your sister?" he asked the man somewhat curtly. At the other man's nod, he said "I shall leave you in his care then, madam. I suggest you ride on a tamer horse until you are used to London streets." A deep frown furrowed the younger man's brow. "Sissy... Serena... is used to London streets and normally she is an excellent horsewoman." Serena had straightened up by this time. "Hush, Edwin." That tone was definitely that of an older sibling. Downe had been on the receiving end many a time. "Please accept my apologies, sir. As my brother says, I am used to riding in London. I have no idea what happened today. Thank you for your assistance, sir. I think maybe I should go home now, Edwin." Downe had a feeling he'd been dismissed. "My pleasure, madam," he said, and bowed his head, backing his horse away to allow Edwin to guide her horse, although he didn't stop watching as the couple rode away. Telling himself it was just in case the lady needed his assistance again, Downe couldn't help straying to the fine seat of the young man. In spite of his youth, it had been a while since Downe had seen a man as striking as... Downe cursed under his breath as he realised he had failed to discover the young man's name. And he really wanted to find out who he was. Those disconcerting dark blue eyes had burned themselves into Downe's brain.
The Slave's Mask by Patricia Logan
Book 2 in The Masquerade Trilogy
BDSM, Gay (M/M), Historical, Holiday, Valentine's Day
Madame Gizelle was far from being a girl. Why, the woman must have nearly sixty years under that dress but she was as well preserved as any woman half her age. Anthony had to admire a woman who knew how to take care of herself. Her face certainly didn't show her age and to be factual, neither did her shapely curves. The length of her dress was cut scandalously high, to show a turn of ankle above the high heeled slippers she wore. Her neckline was cut equally low, showing off two very plump corseted breasts perched high above. A hint of rouged nipple peeked above the barely concealing imported French lace. Her silk dress of the highest quality was cut in the Empire style, a tight ribbon wound round her body beneath her breasts, forcing them even higher, and the fabric of the gown draped her body to show off her curves. Anthony, though not interested in female flesh, appreciated the simple cut of the gown and much preferred it to the ridiculous wide hoops that adorned the southern belles back home.
"Ah Gizelle, you make me wish for simpler times, spent with my head in the lap of woman like you, stretched out on the settee so that I can gaze into your beautiful eyes." Gizelle burst into laughter at the blackguard's silken lies. "Anthony," she purred, slipping her elbow in his, as she led him to the sofa. "I am so glad that you stopped in tonight. I have the most wonderful new man to introduce you to. I believe he will fit your tastes perfectly." Anthony raised an eyebrow as he sat in the spot she patted very close to her on the small couch. One of the reasons Anthony frequented Pleasure House was that, generally speaking, he never left unsatisfied. Madame Gizelle had a keen eye for whores and high quality males were so rare. On his last trip to Madame's, he had left quite happy and much lighter in the purse. "How long will you be staying this time, my darling?" Gizelle asked. "Not terribly long, perhaps a fortnight," he replied. He watched as her lips turned into a charmingly pouty moue. "Oh dear Captain, then we must make the most of your visit." She stood suddenly and offered her hand, grasping his large paw in her tiny one. "Come dearest, I will introduce you to Francois, freshly arrived from France. I think you will like this one." Anthony's cock throbbed as he stood and followed the petite woman to the next floor where several doors lined the corridor. The house was richly appointed, but from the outside, you'd never know it. Upon its interior walls were the finest works of art. Hanging from the ceilings were sparkling crystal chandeliers, and thick Persian rugs hugged the ground. They padded silently to a room at the end of the hall. Madame knocked once on the portal and then pushed her way in, bringing Anthony in her wake. Once inside the opulent chamber, she closed the door. "Francois?" she said into the room. Anthony heard movement in the corner, on the other side of the bed, and in the dim candlelight, a form rose from its seated position at the small secretary. The man moved into the candlelight, toward the pair, and only a moment later, Anthony got a good look at the man he'd be spending the next few hours with. He was small, just the kind of man Anthony liked. His white blond hair was past shoulder length and his light-colored eyes were large. He wore a fashionable goatee, which was closely trimmed to his face, and after one quick glance up to see Anthony, his client for the evening, he kept his eyes downcast, a perfectly submissive pose. Anthony was more than a little intrigued. "Francois, this is Captain Anthony. You will entertain him this evening. You must do everything he asks and he will be kind to you." The young man glanced quickly at Madame Gizelle and nodded almost imperceptively. Anthony couldn't detect fear from the young man and he was more than anxious to put his theory to the test. "Well then, Captain, I must take my leave for the evening," she said, unwinding her elbow from his as she made for the door. "Enjoy, Captain, bon appétit." Anthony's cock throbbed in his tight britches. "Sleep well, Madame, and my gratitude," he said.
Behind the Mask by Lisa Worrall
Book 3 in The Masquerade Trilogy
Gay (M/M), Contemporary, Valentine's Day, Interracial, Holiday