A four-book series by four authors set in the Roaring Twenties
Blurb for Ruined by Alicia Dean:
After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped.
When Vince Taggart’s childhood friend disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza may be the key to finding his missing friend.
The next night at Oscar’s party, Eliza tried to put the missing girls out of her mind. The penthouse was filled with people; everyone seemed to be in an exceptionally good mood.
She moved across the room and chatted with Oscar’s guests. Her enthusiasm for the position had dimmed, but really, she’d overreacted at the Jubilee. Betty and her husband had been nice people. The music and dancing were incredible. She’d never seen people move like that. Other than some uncomfortable pawing, Betty had been right, Gregor hadn’t made a pass at her. She could do this. The money was fabulous, and employment was not easy to find—especially for a female immigrant.
She forced herself to relax and enjoy the party. She’d been here for three hours, and Oscar hadn’t asked her—correction, insisted—that she leave with anyone. Maybe this would be like the other nights and she could just mingle and drink and entertain guests—here, under Oscar’s roof. Tonight, she wore the last of her new gowns, a black, figure hugging knee-length with fringe along the hem that went down to her ankles. She felt daring…pretty, even. She’d have to go shopping if she didn’t want to start rotating the same dresses all over again. At least she had plenty of funds to buy new things. Oscar had been more than generous. His many moods confused her. He could scare the bloody daylights out of her one moment, then become kind and giving in the next.
Oscar and a tall man with thick, dark hair approached. “Eliza, my dear, I would like you to meet Thomas Killman.”
She took his hand. He was handsome, if a little fleshy. “How do you do.”
“Delighted, my dear.” He bent and placed a wet kiss on the back of her hand. She resisted the urge to rub the saliva off on her dress.
“I would like you to be Mr. Killman’s companion for the evening.”
Eliza smiled. At least she wouldn’t have to leave with this one. “Of course. It will be my pleasure.”
His brows lifted, and a broad smile broke over his face. “Indeed?”
Oscar took her arm and led her a few paces away, out of Mr. Killman’s earshot. “This is going to be a little different arrangement tonight. You’ll have to be extra nice to him.”
“I’m always nice, Oscar. I smile and I’m polite. I even let them kiss me if they want. I will be his escort for the entire evening. As late as he wants.”
“That’s fine. But he’s going to want more than an escort.” He narrowed his eyes. “More than a kiss.”
“More than a kiss?” Her heart thudded madly. “I—I don’t understand.”
“Eliza, please. You aren’t really that naïve, are you? You will have sex with him.”
The room spun and her ears rang. She must not have heard him correctly. “Wh—what did you say?” The words came out in a squeak from her strangled throat.
“I believe you know exactly what I said.”
The world dropped out from under her. She would not do something so, so depraved.
“No!” She’d meant to keep her voice low, but when heads turned her way, she realized she’d shouted the word.
All pretense of civility left Oscar’s features. He tightened his lips and gripped her arm. “You heard me. You’ll have to sleep with him. All the other girls do that sort of thing. You’ve just managed to avoid it so far. But he picked you.”
This was the reason she left England. Her mother warned her on her deathbed that once the Earl was gone, she needed to run. Lord Renwald would make her his whore. She’d run, but not far enough. She’d barely escaped the same thing Oscar was trying to make her.
*** Available now for Amazon pre-order for only 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99 when the stories release on February 26!***
This book is part of a fun series I did in conjunction with three of my writer friends. We have been meeting for martinis at the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma nearly every Friday for the past four years. From those get-togethers, we developed the idea to write a series centered around a Martini Club. Those stories are finally completed, and we’re pleased to present the Martini Club 4 series…
Rebellious by Amanda McCabe – Can an aristocratic lady melt the cold heart of a Russian gangster?
Ruined by Alicia Dean – She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans.
Reckless by Kathy L Wheeler – Lady Margaret turned Lady Bootlegger.
Runaway by Krysta Scott – Can she prove her innocence before more than her dreams are destroyed?
Find all four at this link
Left to Right: Krysta Scott, Amanda McCabe, Kathy L Wheeler, Alicia Dean
Martini Club 4 FB page: https://www.facebook.com/martiniclub4