Blackmailing His Bride – Court of Paravel Read Online Brianna Hale

Categories Genre: Erotic, Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 68
Estimated words: 64675 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 323(@200wpm)___ 259(@250wpm)___ 216(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

Blackmailing His Bride - Court of Paravel

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Brianna Hale

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
B08TCB9BF4
Book Information:

I bled and struggled in darkness to place King Anson on the throne, and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep him there. I’ve never asked for anything in return. I don’t want recognition. I don’t need thanks.
But the moment I lay eyes on her, I want Sachelle Balzac.
A family calamity has Sachelle neck-deep in trouble that goes all the way to the top. I’m the only one who can keep her secret safe, but my protection comes with a price.
I want everything from Sachelle, and I’m going to get it any way I can. She says it’s blackmail. I say seduction.
Either way, I win.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The Paravel books continue chronologically. It’s recommended that they’re read in order.
Books by Author:

Brianna Hale



Prologue

Jakob

One week after the reopening of the Court

I stand on the front step of Balzac House and press the bell. It shrieks my presence to those within. The other mansions in this neighborhood are softened by trailing ivy or net curtains hanging in well-lit windows, but Balzac House presents an icy façade of white marble columns, stark privet hedges and tall, blank windows.

I straighten the unfamiliar black tie and jacket and pass a hand over my combed hair. The back of my neck prickles and I have to resist the urge not to turn quickly and search the shadows of the front garden for gunmen.

That was the old Paravel. This is the new one. I’m in charge now, and people look over their shoulders for me.

The door is opened by a liveried servant. “Good evening, sir. Can I help you?”

It’s a novelty, this. Using the front door. Letting myself be seen. “I have an appointment with His Grace, the Duke.”

The wizened old man in white gloves regards me doubtfully. “I wasn’t aware that His Grace…”

A crisp, feminine voice speaks from within the house. “It’s all right, Fenchurch. The Duke didn’t ask Mr. Rasmussen to come here. I did.”

Fenchurch steps back, and I see elegant and beautiful Duchess Balzac standing in the hall, spine ramrod straight, wearing a wool skirt and jacket. She glances distractedly over her shoulder. “You’d better come in, Mr. Rasmussen. I have to explain before they get here.”

They?

I follow her into the house and then into the lounge. Duke Balzac is seated in the large armchair by the empty fireplace, face pallid and circles beneath his eyes. His fine suit of gray wool is loose on his body, making him seem closer to ninety years old rather than the sixty he is. His younger daughter sits on the nearby sofa, and the older daughter stands anxiously by his side.

My eyes are drawn to the older one, as they always are. Today she’s paler than usual, but her beauty is still radiant. Her tight skirt clings to her curvy hips and her throat is luminous. Lady Sachelle Balzac elevates any room she’s in. My mouth goes dry at the sight of her.

The Duchess approaches her husband, speaking softly. “Darling, Mr. Rasmussen is here. He’ll make sure nothing unpleasant happens when they get here.”

My gaze snaps back to the Duchess. “Your Grace, what exactly am I doing here?”

Lady Sachelle places a hand on the back of her father’s chair and gazes at me.

Fully at me.

Only me.

“Lord Anthony has a terrible temper. Mum thought this was best.”

Duchess Balzac pats my lapel jacket like I’m an obedient dog. “I want you on hand in case things become heated. The King’s told me how competent you are.”

Unease and irritation slip down my spine. It’s not my job to mediate family spats. Over her shoulder, Lady Sachelle gazes at me imploringly, and suddenly I couldn’t move even if someone held a gun to my head.

While I’m staring at her beautiful face, the doorbell rings. A man enters the room, younger than the Duke but clearly related to the family. Lord Anthony, Duke Balzac’s little brother, and Briar Balzac’s father. Or so everyone thought. It got into the papers that she’s illegitimate and now she’s been thrown out of Court.

Lord Anthony looks around at the assembled members of the Balzac clan with angry, flashing eyes. Duke Balzac braces both hands on the arms of his chair and struggles to his feet. “Anthony. Thank you for coming. Where are Lady Anne and Briar?”

“Just say what you want to say,” Lord Anthony says tightly. “I want to get back to my family. It’s been one hell of a week.”

For that branch of the Balzac family, I’ll bet it has. Gossip has been racing around the Court ever since it opened a week ago, and Briar’s the first casualty.

“I thought that this matter had better be dealt with privately,” the Duke says, every syllable seeming to drain a little more color from his face. “It’s a mercy the truth came out quickly. The girl will have no problem adjusting back to life without a title. I’m sure she can find work in some factory.”

Lord Anthony’s face darkens. “The girl is my daughter. Briar. You never had a problem using her name before. Are you saying she has no place at Court?”


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