She’s the other sister…
Overshadowed by the beauty of her older sister, Lillian is better known as the other Tisdale; unremarkable and unsure how she will ever deliver on the promise of her family's name.
He’s a rake in need of reforming…
Will Colton leads a frivolous existence, embracing notoriety instead of managing his family’s fortune. Determined to forget his financial burden and his father’s growing resentment, he maintains a lifestyle dedicated to pleasure and self-indulgence. When Will is invited to the Tisdale estate for an extended holiday, he never expects to become friends with the forgettable Lillian. But when a family secret comes to light, he must choose between leaving London and protecting the honor of one woman or staying and risking the reputation of another.
Upon his return, Will finds the girl he left behind has come out of the shadows and into her own. Lillian’s finally the center of attention, and not all of it good. With his own reputation in tatters, can a reformed rake lure her out of the hands of London's bachelors and back into his own arms? Can he escape his past and reclaim her heart, or has he lost her forever?
Her stomach rumbled. Lilly wrapped a knitted throw around her shoulders and left her room in search of food. She padded quietly down the hall, careful not to wake her sisters as she passed each of their rooms.
The kitchen was deserted except for a faint glow from the hearth. There were some oatmeal cakes under a glass dome on the largest work bench at the center of the room. She helped herself to one, then poured herself a glass of buttermilk to help wash it down.
“What kind of cakes are those?”
She startled, the sound of the voice causing her to drop the glass. It shattered against the stone, sending buttermilk splattering across the floor.
He smiled lazily. “It would appear this time you’ve found my hiding spot.”
Lilly pulled the wrap tighter around her shoulders, suddenly aware that she was wearing only her robe and nightclothes. “So it would seem.”
“I’ll help you clean that up,” he said, standing up from his own stool. He faltered a little, one of his legs giving way out from under him. He clasped the side of the wood bench, saving himself from a less than elegant tumble.
It was then that she smelled the strong odor of whiskey. “Mr. Colton, have you been imbibing?”
He grinned, his eyelids heavy. “Yes, I have. But a more telling question would be, am I drunk?”
She steadied her own self against the bench. “Well, are you?”
“Almost,” he said. Then he winked.
“You stay there,” she commanded, taking an old cloth from a bucket by the hearth. “You don’t appear as if you’d be much help, given your current state.” Lilly started to pick up the broken pieces of glass from the floor, aware of his gaze on her. Self-consciously, she finished wiping up the mess and returned the rag back to its bucket.
“I suppose I’ll head back to my room now,” she said, her voice wavering slightly. There was something particularly unnerving about being alone with a man deep in his cups ... and at the same time, she couldn’t help but feel a bit excited by the prospect.
“Don’t go,” he said, propping an elbow on the table and setting his cheek in his hand. “You haven’t touched your cake.”
She looked down at the cake, her appetite replaced with anxiety. “I suppose I’m not as hungry as I thought.”
He patted the table. “Then give me the cake and just stay and talk with me.”
“If my sister finds you ...” She could only imagine the trouble she’d be in if Ambrosia were to find her sharing midnight oat cakes with a scoundrel like Will Colton.
He shook his head. “She won’t. Just one cake, then I swear I’ll go back to my room like a good boy.”
Lilly looked around the room, then perched herself on the edge of the stool. “One cake, then straight to your room with you. Ambrosia won’t take kindly to you wandering about the house in your condition.”
He eagerly reached out, snatching the cake off her plate. “These are quite good.”
She nodded. “Cook’s oatmeal cakes are the reason Thomas comes home so often.”
Lilly watched him eagerly devour the treat, then lick each one of his fingers, making small noises of gratification.
It was the single most sensual thing she’d ever witnessed in her life.
About the Author:
Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago. She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy. She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.
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Chasing the Other Tisdale, Compromising Miss Tisdale and Taming Miss Tisdale from Soul Mate Publishing, available now on Amazon!