Size: 5.00 x 8.00 in
Like any good rogue, he was after a lady.
Saving a young heiress from wedding a scoundrel might just ease Charley Everly’s boredom with his current assignment. He’s been looking for a lady: beautiful, rich, Spanish, and the key to a traitor.
Could Grace Kingsley be the one?
Falling—literally—into the arms of the ton’s most outrageous rogue seems a risky path of escape, but Maria Graciela Kingsley y Romero has no other choice. Only the great Earl of Shaldon can help her, and he is not to be found.
So his son will have to do.
His lady had not made an appearance tonight, not that he’d have any reason to expect her at a Kingsley soirée.
Charles Rupert Armstrong Everly took a long drag upon his cigarillo and surveyed the shadowed tangles of the garden.
Lady Kingsley had failed to place inviting lanterns outside to lure ball-goers into wickedness. And in all the preparations for the Kingsleys’ grand party, no servant had been sent to sweep away dead leaves from the previous autumn, or chase away whatever vermin were rustling around in them.
Of course, Lady Kingsley had also discouragingly locked the ballroom’s terrace doors.
He and his old school chum, Quentin Penderbrook, had required little more than a minor diversion and their wits to manage the Kingsley servants and the flimsy terrace door lock.READ MORE
“Kingsley is pockets to let, I hear,” Penderbrook said. “Wonder how he financed this grand display?” He took a long drag. “The heiress, I suppose. As my aunt used to say, you need money to draw in the grand mark.”
“Your aunt was a font of wisdom.”
Penderbrook laughed. “Outspoken, she was, for a clergyman’s wife. It’s a pity I don’t have a title. I wonder if my chance of a position in the Home Office would suffice for the Kingsleys? From what I saw, the girl looks to be a beauty.”
Charley tapped off a bit of ash. “She looks to be a handful.”
His friend laughed. “You didn’t see her up close, as I did, Everly.”
That was true enough. They’d been dragged off to this ball by his sister, Lady Perpetua Everly, and had arrived blessedly late. From the crowded distance of the ballroom floor, the heiress’s back bore the usual outline of white muslin and piled up hair. “I’m speaking from general principles. Spanish women.”
“Ah. Spanish women. Well, you would know.”
He would, and he did. He was looking for a Spanish woman, wealthy and beautiful. He had tracked down more than a few in this pre-coronation social whirl.
“She’ll be miserable if he throws her to that slimy fish,” Penderbrook said.
The door clicked behind them and a lady appeared, the light behind her shadowing her face. Nothing, however—not the furbelows and flounces on her white dress, not the dim light—nothing could hide that figure.
Speech failed him—as it never did. He dropped his tobacco and bowed, his eyes traveling over her, down and up. She was exquisite.
She cast a trembling glance back, and he caught his breath, tasting the fear rolling off her.
A ray of light from the ballroom flashed in her eyes as they widened.
Before he could even stutter, she put a finger to her lips and disappeared down the crumbled stairs to the brush below, as quick and as wispy as a water wraith, albeit a curvy one.COLLAPSE