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Her Vixen Actress

Her Vixen Actress

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A romance between a lady playwright and an actress working for a Regency theater.

Main Tropes:

  • F/F
  • Opposites attract
  • Masked ball

Synopsis

One has a fiery temper. The other is governed by rigid self-control. Will an unexpected pair become a comedy of errors or a legendary love story?

England, 1782. Grace Dashwood longs to woo London’s theater-goers. But the up-and-coming actress’s glamorous good looks and sexy charm aren’t enough to win her a place on the city’s cutthroat stage. Until she meets an earnest lady playwright who has the connections she covets… and a ravishing beauty she wants to explore.

Frances Smythe clings to her prim-and-proper manner. So the quiet writer’s patience stretches to a breaking point with the redheaded whirlwind of a performer, even as she senses the first red- hot sparks of passion. But when she finally yields to the woman’s dramatic pleas for aid, she’s rewarded with a delectable kiss that leaves her aching for more taboo trysts.

Shocked to have caught a wealthy man’s eye, Grace can’t bring herself to accept his patronage in the face of her unexplored desires. But Frances’s fear of intimacy plunges the duo into an impossible limbo as she refuses to fully commit her emotions.

Will their tangled connection get tied up in knots or weave a tapestry of happily ever after?

Buy Her Vixen Actress to lift the curtain on forbidden affections today!

TW: non-graphic mentions of situations of dubious consent (NOT between the main couple).

Intro Into Chapter 1

Beautiful strangers did not enter that room in the leased-out maze of Henrietta Street, number eight, particularly often. Indeed, this must have been the first time Frances saw that happen.

It would have been a lie to claim the event took place without any warning since they had arranged for the woman to call upon her this morning. But that didn’t mean Frances was not surprised she actually did so. Frances’s sleep-deprived brain squeezed the woman’s name out after a meaningful pause.

Beautiful young actresses like Grace Dashwood usually had little trouble finding warm acquaintances in London to while away the rare free hours with. Frances had never been the first choice for such visits, and she knew it.

And yet, here Miss Dashwood stood, fresh as a daisy, her hair flaming like a torch beneath the chip hat.

‘May I come in?’ she asked, smiling.

Frances felt even more awkward than before. ‘Yes, of course.’ She stepped aside. ‘I beg your pardon for the mess.’

‘What mess?’ The redhead turned to her with genuine surprise in her wide-open, cornflower-blue eyes. ‘I doubt I have ever seen a lodging as neatly kept as yours.’

The compliment made Frances’s cheeks burn and her skin tingle with pleasure. ‘You are too kind, Miss Dashwood. Pray let me offer you some tea.’

‘There is no need.’ The actress lowered her eyes, her long eyelashes casting shadows on her face. ‘I want to spare you the expense.’

Something in this frank little mention, the barefaced acknowledgment things did indeed cost money, endeared the visitor to Frances to no end. Some might have called her overcautious, even tight-fisted,  and Frances knew it was not easy to find a fellow pragmatic soul in the world of smoke and mirrors that was the theatre.

‘It would be an honour for me to serve a guest well,’ Frances said. ‘Especially a guest as fair – I mean to say as tired – as you.’

‘Do you really think me so?’ Grace Dashwood asked innocently when Frances returned with the tea chest.

‘Tired? Why, it was obvious that you are new in town. I have never seen you at any of the theatres of Covent Garden nor oratorios or other musical entertainments. It was reasonable to conclude that you have only recently arrived from the’ – Provinces sound rude – ‘North.’

‘No.’ Grace’s eyes sparkled mischievously. ‘Do you really think me fair, Miss Smythe?’

Frances pretended to fumble with the keys for longer than strictly necessary, and she took out some of the herbal mixture that comprised the cheap pekoe souchong tea with exquisite slowness. All the while, she was watching her visitor out of the corner of her eye.

Was Grace Dashwood fair? The answer would have been yes, had Frances not been worried that the word might have been too bland. The actress was of a petite height, but instead of being a Lydia Languish-like pallid creature, she had wide hips, admirable round breasts, and the kind of ripe, strawberry-red lips that spoke of unending vivacity. Her red curls tumbled down her shoulders in a barely pinned waterfall instead of rising in a sculpted hairstyle – common sense told Frances that was likely because her visitor had no means to visit a hairdresser, but her sense of the beautiful didn’t want to listen. As opposed to yesterday’s brilliant evening in Vauxhall Gardens, Miss Dashwood was wearing a plain dress; however, the white sarcenet cloak embracing her shoulders was the same.

While taking her time preparing the tea, Frances recalled her initial meeting with Grace Dashwood. Had the Drury Lane actors not wanted to celebrate the premiere of that ridiculous Richard Coeur de Lion musical entertainment and not dragged Frances along with them for a night on the town, this meeting would never have happened. At Vauxhall Gardens, Frances had spotted a woman in a white cloak that seemed to float in the darkness by itself, as if belonging to a ghost, a flutter of a long-gone past. The redheaded woman walked alone in a way that at first made Frances take her for a lady of ill repute – and yet Frances was unable to turn her eyes away as would have been proper.

 Frances’s company pulled her forward, and proper etiquette getting the better of her, Frances turned away from the captivating woman. She was not the sort to approach strange women in pleasure gardens, however great her fascination. A few moments later, something light and warm bumped into Frances’s back, and she turned to look into the eyes of the redhead in white.

‘How clumsy of me,’ the woman said, and smiled. ‘Pray forgive me.’

‘I already have,’ Frances replied truthfully, and propelled by some nameless impulse,  she asked, ‘Miss…?’

‘Dashwood. Grace Dashwood.’

Like a slight movement starting an avalanche, this prompted a great many exclamations and introductions in turn.

‘I think I’ve seen you once in Hull,’ someone said. ‘You’ve played Priscilla Hoyden, didn’t you?’

‘Guilty as charged.’ Grace Dashwood winked at them, but it was Frances she linked arms with.

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