Convincing Arthur— Novella
Convincing Series, Book #1
Regency-set M/M erotic romance
Release date: 7/21/2009
Word count: 24,949
Page count: 85 (pdf)
Publisher: Loose Id
Story Behind the Story - for behind the scenes info on the book
Mr. Leopold Thornton missed his chance ten years ago. He isn't about to let this one pass him by.
Given Leopold's reputation for vice and debauchery, Mr. Arthur Barrington has a fair idea why the wickedly handsome man invites him to his country estate. A hunting excursion? Unlikely. Especially considering Arthur is the only guest invited to the estate. He shouldn't even consider the invitation, but a few days of meaningless sex could be just the thing to take his mind off the recent disappointing end of a ten year relationship. Then he can return to London, to his thriving law practice, and quietly search for an amiable man who understands the meaning of the word discreet and who recognizes the value of commitment.
There was a time when Leopold wasn't such a rakehell. When every night didn't end with an empty bottle of whisky. When he believed in the rewards of patience. When he didn't give himself over to just anyone who would have him. Old habits die hard, especially when tempted by six feet of solid muscle, but Leopold will only have a few days to convince Arthur he can be that man again - that his affection is genuine and he's worthy of Arthur's heart.
Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.
© Ava March
Thornton opened the third door on the left and gestured for Arthur to enter. "I hope it meets with your satisfaction," he said in a silken tone as Arthur passed him.
Was that whisky on his breath? Somehow Arthur kept from rolling his eyes. When wasn't the man foxed, or at the least, slightly inebriated? Thornton likely forwent tea in favor of a stiff drink with breakfast.
Arthur stepped into the bedchamber decorated in muted autumn greens and browns. A small seating area was angled in front of the mahogany mantled fireplace, and a large bed stood off to one side. The tan drapes covering the two windows were closed, blocking the view of the grounds behind the house.
A footman arrived, carrying Arthur's trunk in front of his well-rounded belly. He deposited the trunk on the short table beside the dresser. "Shall I unpack for you, sir?"
"No. I can manage it myself."
With a nod, the footman left the room, closing the door and leaving Arthur alone with Thornton.
The man leaned a shoulder against the door and crossed his arms over his chest. "Care for a bite to eat? The kitchen can prepare whatever you'd like."
"No, thank you. I stopped at an inn along the way. Dreadful stuff, but edible." Needing to give himself something to do, Arthur set his bag down, flipped the latches on his trunk and began to unpack, putting his folded clothes into the dresser. His fingers hovered over his underclothes and then he snatched them up and put them with his shirts. What did it matter if Thornton saw his drawers? He'd see them soon enough, if the man's hungry stare was any indication of his intentions.
"Leave out whatever you need pressed. A servant will see to it."
Arthur nodded his thanks. He shook out the wrinkled bottle green coat and draped it over the straight backed chair at the nearby desk.
"Care for a nightcap?"
"Why? Do you need one?" ...more.
Oh hell, why had he said that? He was Thornton's guest, not his keeper.
Thankfully Thornton didn't appear put-out by the rude comment. "No. You're here. I thought you might prefer a drink after the trials of your day."
He let out a harrumph as he set his shaving hit on the washstand. "I feared the carriage would be stuck on the side of the road forever, and I?d have to walk the rest of the way. Traveling is severely overrated."
Thornton quirked one dark eyebrow. "That it is," he replied, with a familiarity that held a hint of their old friendship.
A pang of regret gripped his heart. Thornton had been a good friend there for a while. They now moved in vastly different social circles, frequented different haunts, though sometimes happened upon each other on the street or at a club. Occasionally he saw Thornton at his father's house, lurking about, when Arthur paid a business call. But the days of meeting him at a tavern for a drink were long gone. Perhaps this holiday together could be a way to rekindle their friendship? No, no. What was he thinking?
They had nothing in common except a shared attraction to those of their own gender.
"So, that nightcap...yes or no?"
"Thank you but no." Arthur closed his empty trunk. "Do you think the weather will hold tomorrow?"
"It should. The sky was clear last I looked. I take it you want to be out with a firearm in hand before dawn." A grimace flicked across Thornton's face.
"Yes. Is that a problem?"
"No. I can drag myself out of bed at such an ungodly hour...for you."
The click of a lock sliding home reverberated in the room. Thornton pushed from the door and crossed to Arthur. Thornton didn't walk; he prowled with a distinctly leonine grace. Head tipped down, the edges of his lips curved in a knowing smirk that left no doubt as to his intentions.
Arthur stiffened. While he wouldn't deny a strong physical attraction to Thornton, he also could not deny the trepidation leeching back into his stomach. He hadn't expected to be buggered within minutes of arrival.
Thornton slowed as he came nearer, as if giving Arthur the opportunity to voice his refusal or bolt for the door. He didn't take it. He held his ground, the attraction crackling in the air between them, lighting up his senses in a way he had never experienced before. His breaths came short and shallow, his chest suddenly working under the force of them.
Thornton took one more step, closing the last remaining distance, his gaze locked with Arthur's. He placed a hand on the dresser beside Arthur, blocking the path to escape, and slowly, ever so slowly, leaned even closer. So close Arthur could make out the midnight blue flecks in his heavily-lidded gray eyes. The faint scents of whisky, the enticing spice of cologne, and clean male skin wafted around him. Warm breath fanned Arthur's parted lips; teasing, tempting. A tremble of anticipation rocked him.
"You refused supper. You refused a nightcap." The words were low, a mere rumble of sound. Thornton's mouth barely moved. Then he dipped his head at the last moment before their lips touched.
Disappointment began to crash through Arthur when a hand palmed the placket of his trousers, long fingers wrapping around his hardening prick.
Thornton looked up at him through his black forelock, his eyes blazing with lust. "Is there anything I can tempt you with tonight?"
"Regency doesn't get any better than this. The love scenes are both tender and lava-hot... The period part of this period piece is, as always with Ms. March, executed flawlessly... - Whipped Cream Erotic Romance Reviews
"Convincing Arthur is a surprising good book that literally knocked my socks off." - Erotic Horizon Reviews
"Convincing Arthur was a truly great read. ... The love scenes are written very well - very steamy, yet also very sweet. Ava March is now on my auto-buy list." - Smexy Books
"Ava March has written a very captivating historical romance. This is the kind of story that will leave any reader panting and these are characters that one would not mind visiting again." - Sensual Ecataromance
"Ava March's descriptive writing pulled me into the era, as always, and allowed me to feel the chill in the air, and the currents of desire and need passing through the characters. I loved reading Convincing Arthur and look forward to reading future releases from this talented author." - Literary Nymphs Reviews
"I am quickly becoming a big fan of Ava March and Convincing Arthur is just one more reason. What a great book! Well-written and fleshed-out characters make for a wonderful read that I gobbled up in one sitting." - Reviews by Jessewave
"...it's quite original, and daring as well." Reviewed by Elisa Rolle