A House East of Regent Street
a novella featured in the anthology
Strangers in the Night

The war with Napoleon won at last, seaman Jack Merion turns his attention and prize money toward real estate. Jack's a rich man now, and he intends to invest in a house that was once a fashionable brothel. But a mysterious Miss Myles also wants the house -- and she's willing to meet all Jack's terms. With interest. And with pleasure.

The Kensington Brava anthology Strangers In The Night also features work by award-winning Brava authors Susan Johnson and Katherine O'Neal.

 

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Strangers In The Night

December
2004
Kensington Brava

 

 

 

“The jewel of this collection is Pam Rosenthal’s A House East of Regent Street with its mature and realistic protagonists. Sailor and war hero Jack Merion and former prostitute "Cleo" Myles make love in a different room of Jack’s new house each day. The framing device makes Jack’s romantic education a playful forum for the author’s sophisticated treatment of social, age and gender conventions in the Regency romance. Most refreshing is a heroine who simmers with sexuality at the age of thirty-eight, allowing this forty-something reviewer (and many other readers) to delight in identifying with her. – Jan Steckel, Affaire de Coeur (read the whole review) (posted 4.17.06)

" . . . . a very hot anthology." Maura, Coffee Time Romance (read the whole review) (posted 3.02.06)

“. . . a very interesting, poignant, and well-written story with a love scene at the staircase that will send genteel readers into seizures. . . adventurous, different, and unconventional.” -- Mrs. Giggles (read the whole review) (posted 5.09.05)

Romantic Times BOOKclub nominates Strangers in the Night for Best Historical Anthology. (posted 01.12.05)

"Pam Rosenthal has become one of my favorite historical authors, and... House East Of Regent Street is her finest work to date. I thoroughly enjoyed both characters and couldn't wait to see what they were planning next!

If you like gutsy heroines teaming up with manly men, Strangers In The Night is a perfect choice.  Each heroine is bold and daring... the men are not quite sure how to deal with [them]... and it makes for passionate reading!" -- Tracy Farnsworth, Roundtable Reviews (read the whole review) (posted 12.09.04)

“When both Jack Merion, a newly wealthy seaman, and Miss Cleo Myles desire a house... that happens to be a former brothel, they devise a titillating way... to use [it]: Cleo will meet Jack each day in a different room to play out any and all fantasies. But there are some surprises up Cleo’s sleeve as she helps Jack pursue his passions and ignites her own. Rosenthal delivers a true banquet of delights.” -- Kathe Robin, Romantic Times BOOKClub (posted 12.02.04)

“Three authors of erotic romance dish up steamy tales. Pam Rosenthal pens a hot historical about a returning soldier and a mysterious Miss Myles, both of whom want the same thing. Katherine O'Neal shows what happens when two seasoned con artists fall for the dirtiest trick of all -- love. In Susan Johnson's story, an amoral viscount meets his match in a woman who acts just like a man.” -- Waldenbooks RomanceReader (posted 12.02.04)

“...a wonderful erotic read with plenty of action to keep you interested. Jack knows what he wants and knows just how to get it; he is a master at manipulation. Miss Myles wants the house attached to her past and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it, even if that does mean being at the sexual mercy of Jack. Readers certainly won’t be bored with this story, Pam Rosenthal has penned another historical winner that readers will remember long after the story has ended.” -- Angel Brewer, Romance Junkies (read the whole review) (posted 12.02.04)

 

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"A House East of Regent Street"
a novella in the anthology
Strangers In The Night
by Pam Rosenthal
December 2004

“All right then,” a hint of a smile played about the corner of her mouth. “Would you agree that we’ve established that I am no longer young, that you were a sailor and I was a whore, and that you are rich and I am not?”

He nodded.

“Good,” she told him. “Well, anyway, you’re right that I came here to make a bargain. You’ve got something we want, but luckily ... well, turn about’s fair play, you know. So perhaps now you’ll tell me what I’ll have to do, in return for your granting us a lease on the property you bought today.”

But he’d had enough of playing the buffoon in this comedy. After all, he was the one with the money.

“Quite right, quite right, Miss Myles.

“But I’m sure you’ll be more comfortable if you remove that cloak. It’s very warm in here.”

Pleasant, anyway, to watch the fledgling smile fade from her lips.

She rose, loosened the ties below her chin, and allowed the dark velvet to slide down to the floor around her. Her gown underneath was pale and gauzy -- a very fine pearl gray muslin, piped in the velvet, and cut very low in the front.

Oh yes.

She stood in front of him a little longer than she needed to, before sinking into a sort of mock curtsey at his feet, remaining there long enough to afford him a splendid view of her breasts -- firm white flesh, delicate blue veins, even a peek at her darkly sculpted nipples.

(But of course it wasn’t really a curtsy -- he’d been mad to imagine a curtsy, even for a moment. She was merely picking up the cloak she’d dropped.)

And having picked it up, she rose quickly, draped the cloak over a slender forearm, and regained her chair, the velvet flowing over her legs, her back straighter even than before.

Carefully, he reached for his brandy. The glass was cold in his hands, the alcohol hot in his throat.

“Yes, well...” It was time to speak, but his tongue felt swollen. He took another sip, rolled it around his mouth, and cleared his throat.

“You’ll meet me at the house at three in the afternoon for the next five days. A different room each time, I’ll specify which. You’ll do everything I ask. Don’t worry, I’ve no diseases, nothing of that sort. Though I’ve been told I can be rather ... demanding. Still, nothing you haven’t, ah, handled, I’m sure.

“And if you do your best to please me -- but I’m sure you will, I’m sure you always did -- at the end of the week I’ll lease the property to Soulard and wish the two of you all due prosperity of it.”

She nodded. If he’d insulted her, she was doing a masterful job of hiding it.

(And why, he wondered miserably, had he felt obliged to boast? “Demanding” indeed.)

Not only didn’t she seem insulted; she seemed mightily uninterested -- except in specifying the terms of their agreement.

“Because of course, Mr. Merion, the rents we could afford to pay you would never make you back the sum you offered Mr. Wilson. But you already know that.”

She fumbled in her reticule, handed him a sheet of figures. He cast his eye over it quickly: the calculations were reasonably accurate, even if lacking in a few fine points of accounting. Jack hadn’t gotten rich by missing the fine points. Still, she -- or Soulard, or both of them together -- had grasped the general idea.

“Quite right. I’d be renting to you at a loss.”

“A considerable one. And you’re not the sort of man who does business at a loss. Let’s be clear on this, Mr. Merion.”

He narrowed his eyes. “The difference -- the loss I’ll absorb -- is my fee to you for services rendered. I want to be assured that you will do everything I wish.”

She gave a small, rather Gallic, and very cynical shrug.

“If you promise to sign over the lease to us at a rate we can afford,” she told him, “you can have me any way you like. As many times as you may demand, and of course making use of any of the house’s facilities, if you’re pleased to do so.”

“Any way you like,” she repeated. “Even in those ways that you can’t seem to believe a woman could enjoy.”

“And don’t worry,” she added. “You’ll get your money’s worth.”

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