Jefferson, Jessica: Compromising Miss Tisdale
COMPROMISING MISS TISDALE
By Jessica Jefferson
The Earl of Bristol, Duncan Maddox, has returned to London after years of familial imposed exile. As the second son, he has led a life filled with frivolity, leisure, and a healthy dose of debauchery. Now his older brother has died, leaving the family’s flailing legacy in Duncan’s unwilling arms.
At the behest of his uncle, Duncan is advised to do the one thing that could provide instant fortune and respectability – he must marry. But there is only one prospect who meets the unique requirements to solve all the Earl’s problems – the lovely Miss Ambrosia Tisdale. But securing the prudent daughter of a Viscount’s hand proves to be more challenging than this scandal ridden second son of an Earl has bargained for.
With scandal, extortion, treachery, and even love itself threatening to keep him from his goal, will Duncan succeed in compromising Miss Tisdale?
Duncan spun her around the room with a grace that was unprecedented, despite her extensive experience. She was suddenly very aware of her own awkward steps. Ambrosia raised her eyes to look into his, taking note of just how many lines crinkled at the corners when he smiled – which was often. He smiled much like her sister Tamsin – unadulterated, as if no care in the world can dampen their spirits. She was often jealous of her sister’s easy joy, but as she basked under the light of his, she too felt a bit more carefree.
And that was what attracted her to this wicked man – the expectations of society, of her family, and herself were made lighter by proxy.
The music coming from the orchestra drowned out the other couples and the spinning made her feel as if she were in some sort of inebriated state, despite only indulging in only two cups of ratafia. Ambrosia was by no means a dainty woman, but in his arms she felt as if she were light as air.
Duncan appeared cheerful, but not nearly as heady as she felt. “I hope you find my dancing agreeable. It is somewhat an area of pride for me. When I was younger, my uncle insisted I learn to dance well, and years later I am eternally grateful for the skill. In fact, I’ve been told many times that it is certainly the best thing I do . . . on two feet.” The gold flecks in his eyes flashed with the wicked innuendo of his statement.
THIS WRITING HOBBY – WHAT MY HUSBAND THINKS I DO
My husband’s an angel. Really, a true sweetheart. But, he’s not a writer.
Now, that I got that out of the way . . .
For the past year, most evenings I’ve sat down at my computer and tinked away at the keyboard. I know I told him I was writing a book, but I don’t think he truly understand what I meant by ‘writing a book’. He thought by ‘writing a book’ I meant more like ‘checking my Facebook obsessively’ or ‘shopping online’. He clearly thought this was to be a hobby and nothing more.
When I finaled in the Windy City RWA’s contest, I called him (he was out of town on business). Mine is one of those high voices that turn super-sonic chipmunk when I get excited. But despite my squealing, he somehow made out what I was saying and told me good job. Good job?? I asked if he knew what that meant, and he said he did. Only I knew he didn’t. When the certificate came in the mail, he was excited over it. I told him the certificate was irrelevant. The real prize was having my manuscript reviewed by editors and published authors, and the chance to submit my book to a publishing house and have it actually be read.
He kept going back to the certificate. “Should we frame it?” he asked.
When I received my offer, I may have pulled a Tom Cruise on my couch. He told me great job, and then asked how much it was going to cost. I explained to him that when someone publishes your book, you don’t pay anything. He seemed doubtful.
He eventually shared with me that none of this had him yet and he didn’t quite know how to react. I told him it better hurry up and hit him or I was going to. For as long as I remember I’ve had two goals in life – to become a published author and to lose thirty pounds. Of course, publishing was way more realistic than losing that much weight, but it was still a pretty lofty goal. Achievement of this dream should have been met with a certain amount of excitement, right?
I guess I can’t fault him for not being hit yet. There’s nothing concrete to show for my work this early in the process. There’s no hard copy to touch, nor has there been any royalties paid. It is a bit surreal, even for myself.
But, he does help me. He watches the kids so I can write. He picks up some of the slack around the house so I can get edits done. He may not understand much about this new career change, but he goes and above to support my hobby. And I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it – almost Chicago. Jessica originally attended college in hopes of achieving an English degree and writing the next great American novel. Ten years later she was working as a registered nurse and reading historical romance when she decided to give writing another go-round.
Jessica writes likes she speaks, which has a tendency to be fast paced and humorous. Jessica is heavily inspired by sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy to transport the reader into a story they miss long after the last page is read. She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read her random romance musings.
Follow me at https://twitter.com/authorJessicaJ
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