AVAILABLE APRIL 29TH, 2015
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Sparks fly in the finale of the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James Place series, as the last wicked rogue meets his match.
When Rosalind Sharpe gains the attention of the deliciously wicked Duke of Avendale, she’s torn between her distracting attraction to the notorious rogue and the knowledge that he—rich as Croesus—is the perfect target for a deception that will put her swindling days behind her.
However, Avendale is no fool. After he discovers the tantalizing lady packing up to leave London with his coins in tow, he confronts her with a scandalous proposition: she can have all the money she requires…for a week in his bed.
Desperate for the funds, Rose agrees, but on one condition: he must never question her motives. Avendale quickly sees beneath her mask and discovers she is more than passion and pleasure—she is everything he has ever desired. But claiming her requires he unveil her secrets and lose her forever. Unless he can put his own dark past aside and risk everything for a chance at love.
She was out of her league with him. He would not be easily manipulated. But something inside her yearned to accept the challenge. Things had become too easy of late. She was bored. She hadn’t realized it until that moment. There was no life, no excitement in her anymore. She simply existed. But he brought a spark to her. He interested her. She thought he might have secrets as dark as her own. Drawing them from him would be a challenge, might prove to be to her advantage.
“You offend me with your insinuation,” she said.
“If that were true, you would have slapped me by now. You’re a widow, not an innocent miss. The other ladies here interest me not in the least, because they are naive. I prefer a woman who is seasoned.”
“And you judge me to be seasoned?”
“You intrigue me, Rosalind.”
“You’re taking liberties with your informality.”
“I believe your protests are false. You want me to take liberties. It’s the reason you haven’t left in a huff.” He narrowed his eyes. “No, you are not one to huff about. I think you would make me pay in other ways.”
Oh, yes, he had the right of it. She most certainly would make him pay in other ways. Might still do so. But for now they were merely taking measure of each other.
“I find you equally intriguing, Your Grace, but I fear I have been too long away from the social scene. My skills at being coy are sadly lacking.”
“You don’t have to play false with me. I prefer honesty.”
“Then know that I find myself attracted to you, although I’m not sure it’s wise on either of our parts.”
“But it could be enjoyable.”
She had no doubt of that. He was a man not lacking in confidence. He could show her a jolly good time, but she knew far too little about him. Her purpose here tonight was not to settle on one, but too amass many admirers. He was distracting her from her plans.
The waltz came to an end, but he didn’t release her immediately. He simply held her scandalously close, allowing the minutes to tick by as though there were no one to see, no one who possessed a tongue to wag. If she were a young girl of nineteen, with a father or brother to speak for her, she would find herself betrothed by midnight.
“What else is there to see here?” she asked.
“I believe you’ve seen it all. Perhaps we have run out of reasons to stay.”
How she was tempted to accept his invitation, to go with him wherever he wished to go. But she had planned too long to be reckless now.
“I spied a draped balcony in a far corner of the main room.” She suspected it was from there that he’d observed her earlier. “I should very much like to see it. How does one get to it?”
“One must possess a key.”
She angled her chin. “Do not take this as flattery, Your Grace, but rather the truth being spoken. You strike me as a man who would possess a key.”