The Sapphire Club, housed within the walls of a large, secluded estate just outside London, is a place where rules don’t exist. Only one’s imagination hampers fulfillment of one’s deepest held sexual desires.
London’s nobility, men and women alike, seek its sheltering walls, for there, they truly find themselves.
In my prior posts today, I’ve put up excerpts from book one, Lucien & Serenity, and book two, Prentice & Desiree, in the Sapphire Club series. Please check them out and avail yourself of the sale that Musa Publishing is conducting in celebration of the September 12th release of Prentice & Desiree.
What’s next for the series?
For the denizens of London, the Sapphire Club provides a haven from the prying eyes of servants and family. The noble men and women of London Society let their hair down, and drop their clothes, in preparation for a spanking good time amongst like-minded people.
One of the charter members of the club is Phillip Allard, the Duke of Thornhill. Phillip is a darker character than Prentice Hyde or Lucien Damrill, because Phillip has carried a secret for most of his forty years. Phillip enjoys the company of men and women, but craves a permanent relationship with a man.
In this unedited scene, we get a glimpse into Phillip’s world. Believe me, there is so much more to his story and to the man.
Happy to leave the confines of Mrs. Evelina Fortesque’s apartments, Phillip Allard, the Duke of Thornhill, boarded his coach for the hour-long ride to St. John’s Wood and the sanctuary of the Sapphire Club.
To his relief, his tempestuous relationship with Evelina had run its course. Her belligerence drove him to the club and into the favored company of Haynes, a young man who Phillip suspected wanted more from him than he wished to give.
As a peace offering, he gifted her with an extravagant emerald and diamond necklace and matching earbobs—a fitting end to their association.
“You’re going to that fucking male whore, aren’t you,” she’d shouted, loud enough to rattle the walls.
Though consumed with the urge to slap her for the insult to Haynes, he handed her his peace offering and left, in adherence to his dictate that to incite an argument with a mad woman benefitted no one.
Evelina’s affections, if indeed they ever existed, waned after she met a much older, more marriage minded gentleman who often teetered between life and death. When Charles Fortesque died some months before, Evelina increased her demands, which sounded a death knell to her and Phillip’s affair.
This night, Phillip wished her well, and then left as she hurled the vilest of insults his way.
To his delight, the Sapphire Club offered a rosier end to an increasingly distasteful situation.
Lucien Damrill, the club’s owner, glanced up from his work when Phillip entered his office. “Good evening, Your Grace.”
“Hampton informs me of your wish to see me before I go upstairs.”
Lucien nodded. “Yes. With your sanction, I will assign a new man to your room. Unfortunately, Haynes doesn’t wish to see you any longer.”
Stung, Phillip rose to his full six foot, four inch height. “And why the hell not?”
“He didn’t say and I didn’t question him when he informed me of his decision.”
Phillip ambled to the fireplace. “I am sorry to hear that. I thought we got on rather well.”
“I had a visit a few days ago from a gentleman who acknowledges to similar tastes. He made quite an impression on Serenity, and I trust her as she is rarely wrong about a person’s character.”
“Is this man here this evening?”
Lucien nodded. “He is. I invited him with you in mind.”
“I need a session first. Please make the introductions afterward. Are you available?”
“Yes, Your Grace. If you like, I’ll ask Baron Upton to observe.”
“No, meet me in the room first.”
“As you wish.”
Phillip left ahead of Damrill and made for his room on the second floor, his hands fisted. He disliked change, save for that of his own arrangement. Though he hadn’t a special affection for Haynes, the man’s abrupt and wordless defection injured him.
Damrill followed him into the room and then gathered his implements while Phillip removed his clothing.
Phillip lay face down across a wooden bench and raised his arms above his head.
“Do you wish the restraints?”
Lucien tightened the leather straps around Phillip’s ankles and his wrists before he took up Phillip’s preferred flogger.
The lashes flushed the tension from his body. With a clearer mind, Evelina’s nonsense meant nothing, and neither did Haynes’s refusal to see him. The pain radiated down his legs, up his spine, so comfortable, so familiar. The heat activated each nerve, and energized the raw desire he’d built during the day.
Phillip groaned as the leather tendrils connected time and again. Each stroke heightened his sexual arousal.
All too soon, Lucien released the restraints.
“I’ve missed your hand, Lucien. You make that flogger sing.”
“I am happy for your satisfaction.” Lucien handed Phillip a dressing gown. “Shall I ask the baron to join you now?”
Phillip hesitated for a moment. “No. I should like to enjoy the aftermath in solitude. Please have him join me in thirty minutes, if you will.”
Lucien nodded. “As you wish.”
Some of the tension returned at the prospect of meeting someone new. He’d grown used to Haynes and as he thought about, found no reason for his reluctance to seek something deeper.
While the young man’s good looks and adept hands tempted, Phillip held back for reasons that seemed, in retrospect, foolish. Sexually, Haynes gave him everything he wanted, but the young man believed more existed between them than actually did.
Phillip poured himself a drink and sat gingerly on an upholstered chair to contemplate his meeting with Baron Upton.
Unwilling to meet the baron in a dressing gown, he slipped on his trousers and shirt, but forewent the cravat and shoes. After he washed his face and combed his hair, he sat again, his legs crossed. His burning arse focused his thoughts, and soon, excitement rose within him at meeting a new man.
The warmth from a long draught of his drink filled him just as a light knock sounded.
A tall, handsome man strode in with a confident air. His bright, appealing smile enlivened the room and set Phillip on notice that this person had surety of self.
Phillip held the arms of the chair to prevent a precipitous leap to take the baron into his arms.
“Good evening, Your Grace, I am Alexander Chilton. Mr. Damrill suggested we have much in common.”
When Alexander came forward, his hand extended, Phillip shook it, and then held on to the warmth. “I am pleased to meet you. Damrill said you were a baron?”
“Yes, a courtesy title, and one I employ only when its use is advantageous.”
Phillip smiled at Chilton’s candidness. “Please sit. Join me for a brandy while we talk.”
Alexander poured himself a drink, after he examined the interesting stem of the snifter. “A woman’s torso. How interesting.”
“Damrill has a singular sense of taste.”
Phillip pried his stare away as his guest settled in the chair opposite him. “You are aware of the reason I requested this meeting?”
Alexander raised his chin, in an admirable show of self-confidence. “Yes, I am Your Grace, and I will say that I took membership at the Sapphire Club because of similar interests.”
Mark your calendars. Thornhill’s Dilemma is scheduled for release on November 7th. In it, we catch up with Lucien, Serenity, Prentice and Desiree and find out what has transpired in the intervening years.
I invite you to take advantage of Musa Publishing’s celebratory sale. Click the ad to purchase.
Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.
Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.
Musa Publishing has contracted a great many of Brita’s historical romances, including the rewritten and expanded, best-selling Sapphire Club series.
Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.
A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.
Readers can find more information about Brita Addams at any of the following places:
Monthly column at The Novel Approach