Ask For It
England, 1770. Beneath the silk and lace of London society lies a secret, elite organization of spies. Protecting the Crown from its enemies is hazardous, but for Marcus Ashford, protecting his heart from an unyielding passion is the far greater peril…
A matter of dangerous intrigue...
As an agent to the Crown, Marcus Ashford, the Earl of Westfield, has fought numerous sword fights, been shot twice, and dodged more than any man’s fair share of cannon fire. And yet nothing excites him more than the primitive hunger his former fiance, Elizabeth, arouses. Years ago, she’d jilted him for the boyishly charming Lord Hawthorne. But now, the elegant widow is his to defend, and he will do so while tending to her other, more carnal needs, showing her the depth of a real man’s desire…
...and undeniable pleasure
Dangerous secrets led to the murder of Lady Hawthorne’s husband. Secrets she now holds in a diary many would kill to obtain. But to entrust herself to the protection of the most seductive man she’s ever known? Outrageous. Unthinkable. Irresistible. For it was Marcus’s strong passions and burning desire that frightened her into abandoning him years ago…and her answering craving has never waned. Now, he means to be at her service, in every sense. And perhaps the only sensible course isn’t to resist temptation, but to surrender to it completely…
More About the Story
- Although it wasn't the first of Sylvia's books to be published, Ask For It was her first manuscript.
- Check out the frequently asked questions about the series »
Share this Excerpt
“Thank you for allowing me to repair myself here,” Elizabeth said softly from the doorway that led to the bedroom.
She’d used the room that was meant to be hers–that of the lady of the house. Turning to face her, he saw her staring down at her clasped hands. “William would have known something was amiss if I’d returned home looking a mess.”
Marcus studied her, noting the dark circles that rimmed her eyes. Was she having trouble sleeping? Was he tormenting her dreams the way she tormented his?
“Is your family not in residence?” she asked, looking about as if she could find them. “Lady Westfield? Paul and Robert?”
“My mother writes that Robert’s latest experiment is delaying their arrival. So that leaves you and me quite alone.”
“Oh.” She bit her lower lip.
“Elizabeth, this matter has become extremely dangerous. Once the man who attacked you recovers, he will come after you again. If he has associates, they won’t wait.”
She nodded. “I’m aware of the situation. I will be on my guard.”
“That’s insufficient. I want you to be guarded, night and day, not just outriders when you go out. I want someone with you at all times, even when you sleep.”
“Impossible. William will know something is amiss if I have guards at the house.”
Marcus set the glass down. “William is more than capable of making his own decisions. Why don’t you allow him to decide if he can be of assistance to you?”
She rested her hands on her hips. “Because I have made the decision. He is finally free of that damned agency. His wife is with child. I refuse to risk his life and Margaret’s happiness for nothing.”
“You are not nothing,” he growled.
“Consider what happened today.”
He stood. “I cannot stop considering it. It rules my thoughts.”
“You were almost killed.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I was there…” Her voice broke and turning on her heel, she strode toward the door.
He moved swiftly to block her egress. “I’ve not finished speaking, madam.”
“I am finished listening.” She attempted to step around him, but he sidestepped quickly into her path. “Damn you. You are so bloody arrogant.”
She poked him in the chest with her finger and he stilled the movement with his hand. It was then he noticed her trembling.
She stared up at him, so tiny and delicate but formidable in her fury. The thought of her injured made his stomach clench. Deep in her eyes, he saw fear and his heart went out to her.
“Spitfire,” he murmured, pulling her toward him. His fingertips tingled from the touch of her ungloved hand. Her skin was so soft, like satin. His thumb brushed over the pulse at her wrist and it leapt to match his own quickened heartbeat. “You were so brave today.”
“Your charm won’t work on me.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.” He tugged her closer.
She snorted. “Despite everything I say, you still insist on attempting to seduce me.”
“Merely attempting? Not succeeding?” He laced his fingers with hers and found her hand cold. “I must try harder then.”
Violet eyes glittered dangerously, but then he’d always liked a bit of danger. At least she was not thinking about the assailant anymore. Her hand was quickly warming within his. He intended to warm the rest of her as well.
“You are trying quite hard enough.” Elizabeth took a step back.
He followed, directing her backward steps toward his bedroom, which waited on the other side of the private sitting room.
“Have women always fallen all over themselves for you?”
Arching a brow, he replied, “I’m not certain how I should answer that.”
“Try the truth.”
“Then yes, they have.”
He laughed and squeezed her fingers. “Ah… Jealousy was always the emotion most easily inspired in you.”
“I am not jealous. Other women can have you with my blessing.”
“Not yet.” He smiled when her scowl deepened. Stepping nearer, he slipped their joined hands around her back and tugged her to him.
Her gaze narrowed. “What are you about?”
“I’m distracting you. You are overwrought.”
“I am not.”
Her lips parted as his head lowered. He smelled gunpowder and her heady vanilla rose scent beneath that. Her palm grew damp within his and he nuzzled his nose against hers.
“You were magnificent this afternoon.” He brushed his mouth across hers and felt her sigh against his lips. He nibbled gently. “Although it disturbs you to have shot a man, you don’t regret it. You would do it again. For me.”
He groaned, lost in the sound of her voice and the sweetness of her taste. His entire body was hard and aching from holding her so closely. “Yes, love?”
“I don’t want you,” she breathed.
“You will.” He sealed his mouth over hers.
Ask For It is Book 1 in The Georgian Series. The full series reading order is as follows:
- Aspen Gold Readers’ Choice Award Double Finalist Bad Boys Ahoy! and Ask For It have been named finalists in the erotic category of the Aspen Gold Readers’ Choice Award, which is judged by readers!
- Booksellers’ Best Award Double Finalist Bad Boys Ahoy! has been named a finalist for Best Long Historical in the Booksellers’ Best Award contest, and Ask For It has been named a finalist for Best First Book!
- Write Touch Readers’ Choice Award Finalist Ask For It is named a finalist for the 2007 Write Touch Readers’ Choice Award!
- National Readers’ Choice Award Double Finalist Ask For It has been named a finalist for the 2007 National Readers’ Choice Award in two categories — Best First Book and Best Erotic Romance!
- Passionate Plume Contest Finalist Ask For It has been named a finalist for Best Historical in the Passionate Plume contest!
- HOLT Medallion Double Finalist Ask For It has been named a finalist in two categories of the HOLT Medallion contest — Best Spicy Romance and Best First Book!
- Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award Nominee Ask For It has been named a nominee for the Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Single Title Historical.
- Judge a Book by its Cover Contest Finalist The cover of Ask For It has been named a finalist in the historical category of the Judge a Book by Its Cover contest.
- EPPIE Award Nominee Ask For It has been named a finalist for the 2007 EPPIE for Best Erotic Romance Historical Fiction.
- Gateway to the Rest Winner Ask For It (formerly titled Almost Too Much) has been named the winner of the historical category in the Gateway to the Rest contest, as selected by HarperCollins Avon editor Kelly Harms.
“Day expertly crafts a potent sense of sexual chemistry between her irresistibly arrogant, sinfully sexy hero and the one woman clever enough to be his equal. With its surfeit of sensually detailed love scenes and vividly descriptive writing, Ask for It is perfect for readers who prefer their historical romances filled with plenty of sizzling passion and dangerous drama.” — August 2006
- RT BOOKreviews Magazine:
“Day spins a marvelously sensual novel of suspense that tantalizes our senses, as well as challenges our minds to solve the mystery surrounding the lovers. Day is a writer whose flair for sensuality and storytelling will take her far.” — July 2006
- Road to Romance:
Reviewer's Choice Award! “Sylvia Day has moved to the top of my auto-buy list and I hope her pen is full of ink because I’m anxious to read more of her work. Ask for It is a delicious tale of danger, secrets, undeniable chemistry, intrigue and full of excellent writing. The 1770s setting is brought to life in this story, the characters are memorable and the passion explosive. This is a one-sitting read, so find a quiet corner, grab a sweet chardonnay and be prepared to be entranced.” — July 2006
- Romance Reader at Heart:
Top Pick! “Sylvia Day’s new release, Ask for It, is on fire! This book is hot! If you want a super sexy read with an intriguing plot and steamy sex, Ask for It is just the book for you! Ask for It is a Top Pick read for me. I love a book that not only has an interesting plot, but also sex scenes that take my breath away. The sex between Marcus and Elizabeth is so hot, the pages actually sizzle! Sylvia Day is one of my new favorite authors!” — July 2006
- Romance Junkies:
“Sylvia Day once again proves that there’s nothing she can’t write that isn’t simply breathtaking. Ask For It will sweep readers back in time and surround you with fascinating characters, a thrilling plot, and intense sex scenes. This is one of those stories where the more you read, the more you need to know, and then there’s that incredible feeling of awe once all the pieces come together and suddenly everything makes sense.” — July 2006
- Midwest Book Reviews:
“Georgian romance fans will be asking for more works like this delightful historical romantic suspense that hooks the audience from the onset into a one sitting read. The action-packed story line is filled with suspense and tension as antagonists are willing to kill again to obtain the journal. The heat between Elizabeth and Marcus will burn fingers… Eighteenth century romance readers will have a wonderful day with this fine historical.” — July 2006
- Fallen Angels Reviews:
“Ask For It is this reader’s first Sylvia Day story and it will definitely not be my last. Instantly grabbing my attention and holding it captive until the very last page, I was amazed at the engaging plot, suspenseful elements, and emotional journeys that Marcus and Elizabeth endured. Their desire for one another is sizzling hot and tender at the same time. The wonderful imagery within these pages will take the readers back to a time in history where men ride in on horseback to save the day.” — July 2006
“Ask For It is a scorching hot love affair penned by one of the queens of sensual romance, Sylvia Day. It is so easy to loose oneself in Ms. Day’s creation that you will not want to come back at the end of this compelling novel. One twist after another keeps the story plot fresh and interesting. And the love scenes, oh my, will leave you hot and bothered. Need I say more? Ask For It by Sylvia Day is this year’s boudoir read!” — July 2006
- Just Erotic Romance Reviews:
“What seemed to be a predictable premise took on a whole new meaning as the characters’ angst and heart rending quest to love without hurting each other told a story that is truly beautiful. Sylvia Day writes with finesse and humor that keeps her characters interesting yet believably flawed. The story has a fair amount of action and intrigue, which thankfully does not overshadow the love story. I thoroughly enjoyed Ask For It and this talented writer who continues to deliver.” — July 2006
- Romance Reviews Today:
“Sylvia Day has a writing style that is incomparable. We are immediately drawn into the story and must hang on for the ride. Oh, how devastated Marcus was all those years ago, and the pain he experienced has only simmered beneath his captivating outward persona. Elizabeth, deep inside, has always known Marcus would never give up.” — July 2006
- A Romance Review:
“Ask For It is an intensely erotic historical romance reminiscent of Susan Johnson’s classic historical romances. Ask For It has everything you could want: a beautifully detailed setting, strong characters that grow and change and exciting erotic love scenes. I look forward to reading many more such gorgeous stories from Sylvia Day.” — July 2006
- Joyfully Reviewed:
“I loved the atmosphere within Ask For It. From the bedrooms and ballrooms of Georgian London to the beaches of Essex, Sylvia Day is able to make this world come alive.” — July 2006
- Love Romances:
“Ask For It is the newest historical romance by Sylvia Day. It is a wonderful story of love lost and love found. The story moves at a quick pace with tons of action but the heart of it is Elizabeth and Marcus. It will make you laugh, cry and above all, believe that love rules all. With this newest historical novel, Ms. Day has definitely become one of the brightest stars in this genre!” — July 2006
- Romance Divas:
“Ask For It is an exciting read, filled with the erotically intense passion and deeply developed characters fans of Sylvia Day are rapidly coming to expect. The love scenes will leave readers breathless, while the tautly written mystery makes the pages fly past. From cover to cover, Sylvia Day has written the most exciting historical of the decade.” — July 2006
Blogger and Reader Reviews
- "CHIEDIMI DI AMARTI ( Ask for It ) è il primo romanzo della serie Georgiana, così chiamata dall’ambientazione delle storie che la compongono." — Extra Passion 13 - Sylvia DAY - Chiedimi di amarti
- "With Ask For It, Day proves again that she's a writer whose career is on the rise." — By the Book: Alyssa's Book Blog: Ask For It