Ok, their estate in Yorkshire? Peacock Oak. Poor Alex WALON, I hope that’s not an endorsement of his endowment, or the sexual preferences of his brother.
Melicent’s mother apparently feels “sick as cushion,” whatever that means, and is a pain in the ass. Melicent is hiding downstairs writing. Writing the scandalous gossip? Nope. Architectural guides. Seems she’s also a technical writer. What a woman of excellent depth of talent!
And of course she doesn’t recognize her husband when he arrives, partially because it makes for a moment of tension, and partially because she was expecting the doctor for her hypochondriac pain in the ass mother. Yet again – characters are either the height of awful or noble and emo. But not so emo that I want to kill them.
Melicent is intimidated by her husband, his polish and style contrasting with her cold cottage, histrionic mother, and embarrassed financial straits. Although why she’s in such financial straits I’m not sure I get. She nurses a crush on her husband (awwwww, I love that) and a bucket of hurt feelings over his indifference and callous dismissal of her, but a sense of relief that within moments, he’s kissed her cheek, looked at her with an interest thick with intentions, and tossed her drunk brother, the feckless Aloysius, into a fountain.
“One way and another, Alex’s arrival in their household had set the cat amongst the pigeons.”
There’s going to be eating? In a Harlequin Morsel of Historical Romance? WORD UP.
So where was Melicent’s monthly allowance? Why was she managing a drunken feckless Aloysius, and a hypochondriac tyrant mother? And why was Melicent leaving Lord Alex WALON alone in her sitting room, the manuscript pages of her latest fiesty novel available for his prurient eyes?
Because it makes for some hot reading, yo. Word up to Lady Melicent.
Of course, the lust is coded as love within the text, despite his indifference to her earlier and his anger at her after that:
“Melicent stood in the doorway, dressed in an unfashionable evening gown. He found that he wanted to rip it off her and make love to her on the carpet.”
Was it “make love,” or fuck her silly? There’s a difference, but when you’re reading a Harlequin Morsel, the emotional connection must immediately be entwined with the sexual attraction. I mean, we’re working with a limited timeline here.
That said, Alex is so taken with his lustful thoughts, the new prose he’s stumbled across in her desk, and her lush pink lips that he kisses her with passion because he can’t help himself.
They broke apart as the dinner gong sounded. Melicent was panting, her hair ruffled, lips soft and damp, eyes wide and dark with desire. Alex felt another spear of lust go through him.
And with that violent thought, here endeth chapter two. Chapter three: they head into the dining room to eat mutton. HOT HOT HOT!