The Trouble With Grace
by Jenn LeBlanc
She has to marry…
Celeste Moravia Agathe Alain needs to find a husband and she believes Quintin Wyntor will do just fine. She’s hopeful they can come to a mutual agreement, one in which he will not have need to visit her bed and claim his rights as her husband.
She follows Quinn after a ball hoping to find him with a mistress but what she sees isn’t just shocking—it changes her life forever.
Stumbling onto Quinn with his lover awakens something in Celeste she never knew existed. Until now she had no idea what lust or physical love was, and while she still doesn’t want to be touched…she does want to discover more about herself and what it is about seeing the two men together that makes her feel so alive.
But Quinn and Calder discover her trespass and Celeste is afraid she’s destroyed any chance of Quinn being happy.
Getting closer to Quinn is dangerous because he’s hurt and wants to use intimacy to heal—something she isn’t interested in—but somehow Celeste knows that his happiness is tied to hers, and none of them will be able to live unless she finds a way for Calder and Quinn to be together.
This book is the story of Celeste and has her happily for now. It is also the beginning of Calder and Quinn’s story which will be continued in THE SPARE AND THE HEIR when they will get their happily ever after this summer.
THE BOOKS IN THE LORDS OF TIME SERIES:
THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE : BOOK ONE in the Lords of Time Series
THE DUKE AND THE DOMINA : BOOK TWO in the Lords of Time Series
THE TROUBLE WITH GRACE : BOOK THREE in the Lords of Time Series
THE SPARE AND THE HEIR : BOOK FOUR in the Lords of Time Series
THE DUKE AND THE BARON : a Lords of Time companion novel
From the Author
About the cover(s):
I couldn’t choose, so there will be four different covers available at the different retailers. Each cover says something a little bit different about our Celeste.
A note about the characters:
Celeste Moravia Agathe Alain is grey asexual autochlorissexual.
Her hero, Quinn, is bisexual.
His hero, Calder, is gay.
This book is Celeste’s story, it’s her HEA, the next book is Calder and Quinn’s HEA.
So, when I say he’s her hero, it’s not in the traditional romance genre sense. Except it also is.
This book is the story of Celeste and has her happily for now. It is also the beginning of Calder and Quinn’s story which will be continued in THE SPARE AND THE HEIR when they will get their happily ever after SOON.
Celeste bit her lip and turned from the open door, but biting her lip wasn’t enough, so she covered her mouth with both hands. She couldn’t believe what she’d just witnessed.
She slid down the wall, rested her forehead on her knees, and covered her head with her arms. She wasn’t sure what to do next. When she’d followed Quinn here after the ball, this was the last thing she’d expected to see. Well, fine, possibly not the last thing, but it certainly wasn’t in her top ten, by any means. She gazed up to the sky and pinched the bridge of her nose. How was she ever going to look him in the eyes and not think of this?
She couldn’t. There was no way. That was…the most amazing thing she’d ever seen. Her body felt like it was on fire, like…she wasn’t sure how to describe it even to herself. Her skin was vibrating. It was alive, as though her blood sang and pooled in her belly, dripping slowly to places she’d never felt before.
Perhaps this feeling was the one that people had forever been trying to describe to her, but she’d never understood—having never once experienced it. Not even when she’d tried to touch herself.
She wanted to touch herself now, right here on this balcony outside Quinn’s cousin’s house. She didn’t, of course, but she wanted to.
Oh dear God, Quinn and his cousin. She heard a noise and squished herself as far into the corner of the balcony as she could, tried to make herself smaller, bowed her head to hide behind her riot of black locks. She glanced sidelong over her arms and saw Quinn, still just a towel on, walk to the balustrade and tilt his head up at the sky. His chest heaved—was he crying? Her heart skipped.
Calder had been quite mean to him. He’d been…she’d always thought Calder to be the most respectful and gentlemanly of men. Not that she’d had much interaction with him, but what she’d had, this was someone else altogether, so angry, so…passionate. The thought of it sent goose bumps across her skin, and she clenched a fist against her mouth once more to prevent any sound.
Quinn shook his head and looked down, covering his face with his hands and running them through his hair. He turned and went back into the room, and Celeste leaned over, looking through the door as he dropped the towel—I should stop looking, shouldn’t I?—and reached for his clothing.
She didn’t stop looking. She couldn’t stop looking. She’d never seen such beautiful bodies. She’d wanted to reach out and touch them, but at the same time, they terrified her. She would rather touch a statue, something safe, something that wouldn’t want, or need, to touch her back. Those bodies, she wanted to watch them move, she wanted to see them dance. She knew it would be amazing. She wanted to see them do what they’d just done, again and again.
She kept her eyes on Quinn as he yanked on his ruined clothing. She resisted the urge to help him, wanting so very much to console him somehow, to help him button his shirt and find his coat. He had one button left and six holes on his trousers, and she could see that if he just crossed the top button hole across the front to the opposite remaining button on his trousers, that one remaining button might just keep his trousers on until he could make it home.
But she didn’t.
And she felt horrible because of it.
She felt it was such an invasion of his privacy to watch this, and of course, that made her feel even worse that watching this—watching this man pick his dignity up off the floor and attempt to put himself back together—was much more intimate than watching Calder fuck this man across the floor.
She turned away and leaned into the wall and tried to breathe. She shouldn’t have followed him. She shouldn’t be here. If she could take it all back…she stared up at the sky.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. But I wouldn’t take it back,” she whispered at the sky. “God help me, I wouldn’t take it back.”
She heard Quinn coming toward the balcony and turned away again, hoping for one more moment of blind luck in which she wouldn’t be discovered…
About the Author:
Walnut (but not THAT Walnut).
RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Born and raised in beautiful Colorado and never wanting to leave—very nearly with a camera in hand—I am currently on an extended vacation to Los Angeles. I started my own family, went to college, started a business objectifying all the beautiful people, trying to get used to humidity wrecking havoc with my hair, texting with only RuPaul’s Drag Race gifs, and totally beating the daylights out of a ninja, all with a camera in hand.
Spending my days in parenting chat rooms I got highly adept with one-handed typing and I can still type just about as fast with one hand as I can with two. It’s a great talent to have when engrossed in a scene and in need of a hit of caffeine.
I live and thrive off chaos and the constant flow of the creative process. I would wear shorts and flip-flops year-round in Colorado—much to the chagrin of my friends and family.
Once I finished my first novel I quickly remembered: I was born a photographer.
From the realization that someone ELSE would be shooting the cover of MY book my control-freak took over. What started as an easy cover shoot ballooned into this ground-breaking new kind of media, designed specifically for digital book readers. The Illustrated Romance.
The images from my book started a ruckus, and from there, #StudioSmexy was born, I’ve since shot over 1,000 romance novel covers, and currently shoot custom images for very special clients.
My second novel ABSOLUTE SURRENDER did its own ninja impersonation with the charts on Amazon, and the third book is fixing to attack any minute now.
You can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram sharing eye candy (NSFW) and being a total rock star.
Facebook Twitter StudioSmexy