A Regency Romantic Suspense
He’s the most irritating, inscrutable, insufferable lord in the kingdom.
Also nosy, managing, and manipulative, and a man who’s made an art of revenge.
She ought to know better than to encourage his attentions. But…he’s rich, and when an impossible debt from her past comes due, theft seems the only answer.
What had he missed about her?
She’s nobly born, and proper. If he wanted a wife, she’d be perfect. Not to mention, he’d very much like her in his bed.
But she’s gone missing, along with a priceless painting he needs for revenge on one last enemy.
Avenging his own honor is everything—until that of his lady is threatened.
Find out what happens when the invincible Spy Lord meets his match!
Publisher: Havenlock Press
She drew a fingertip along the crease of the canvas where it had been tightened against the wooden stretchers, marveling that such a fragile thing should hold up so well. Along one edge, dark marks, ink perhaps, had bled through from the underside. Lifting the edge and peering closer, she could make out a series of numbers.
The work was much smaller than the Caravaggio she’d seen. It was about the size of the small landscape that hung in the bedroom she shared with Lady Perry. She spread her hands wide, taking its measure.READ MORE
Rolled up, it would fit nicely in the gold-painted rolling pin.
“Where is my daughter?”
Alarm pounded through her. She dropped her hands to her side and froze, eyes shut tight against the flare of panic.
Bloody Shaldon tracked her everywhere.
Warmth touched her waist like a bolt from on high, sending hot desire wriggling inside her. Since his turn with the laudanum, Shaldon wouldn’t stop touching her.
When this was over, she would think seriously about taking a lover, if she could find some gentleman as appealing as Shaldon who would have her, as old and poor as she was.
She glanced over her shoulder, seeing only his beard-shadowed jaw. “I couldn’t resist the temptation.” Her voice shook and she eased in a breath. “I’ve never seen a real masterpiece.”
“It is remarkable, I suppose.”
Unlike many of his peers, Shaldon didn’t collect art. Shaldon House boasted only family portraits and a few paintings of favorite horses and landscapes. His interest lay in collecting and squashing his enemies.
Her heart pounded wildly. If all went right, she would soon be in that number.
“Have you seen Lady Perry, my dear?”
His breath tickled her ear, and the hand at the back of her waist slid a bit further around, bending her to him.
She lifted his hand away and turned to face him.
Dark eyes sparkled in the candlelight, completely unreadable. She rooted her feet resisting the urge to step away, risking the nearness. She could see the pulse in his temple and—
“You are bleeding, Shaldon.”
A bead of blood sparkled and threatened to roll down his cheek. His neckcloth was loose and stained red where he must have mopped at his wound. Under the neckcloth, his shirt flapped, more blood coloring the white linen there.
She dug in her pocket for her handkerchief and pressed it to his head. His hand wrapped hers and his gaze softened, setting her insides melting again.
When this was over, she was definitely seeking a lover. Not Shaldon, of course. Not him. She must not fall any further into his enticements.
She drew her hand away and studied the wound. “Sit down, my lord.” She nudged him into a chair, pressing the cloth to his head again. “We’ll hold this here for a few moments. Do close your eyes.”
His lip quirked. “Why?”
“I can see the pulse in your temple pounding. You must take deep breaths and calm yourself.”
“Must I?” he asked, lifting a corner of his mouth in a half-smile. “I find that difficult to do when I’m around you, Jane.”COLLAPSE
Lady Jane is in desperate need of 1,000 pounds to pay off her son’s gambling debt. But how can she come up with the money without attracting attention to her precarious situation? The answer stares her straight in the face when she stumbles upon a painting Shaldon, the Spy Lord, covets to reap revenge on an old enemy. Can she get away with stealing a prized possession from Shaldon or will she become his next target for revenge when he discovers it and her gone?
Shaldon wants Lady Jane under his roof and in his bed. Her independent spirit awakens emotions dormant for many years. When she and his painting disappear, he believes his old rival, the Duque, has captured them both. He does some digging and realizes Lady Jane is right under his nose. But why would she need to steal it? The more he uncovers, the more his true feelings for her surface. He loves her. His new mission: to prove to her he’s a changed man. Can he leave his past life behind and forge a new future with Lady Jane?
What a beautiful mature romance by one of my favourite Regency romance authors. Not only does this include an older couple, both past their prime (according to the Ton), but the children of both Jane and Shaldon help to bring these two together.
The best part, for me, is the bantering between Lady Jane and Shaldon. She certainly keeps him on his toes and with one look, one touch, he unleashes passion in her she never knew existed. They hold tight to their secrets, afraid to reveal them, but when both of their lives are at stake, they’ll have no choice but to succumb to the love they share.
There’s plenty of action, spy intrigue and suspense. There’s even a duel with a surprise participant. I whipped through the pages as fast as possible because I simply needed to know what happened next.
This is book five in the Sons of the Spy Lord series yet it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read the other books in the series and I didn’t have any trouble understanding what was going on and the multitude of characters.
If you’re looking for a romantic suspense set in the Regency era, pick this up today. If you’re looking for a historical romance with a mature couple, you’ll love Avenging the Earl’s Lady.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author in the hopes I'd review it.
Favorite Character/Quote: Lady Jane. From the first page, I connected with her spirit and fortitude. She’s gone through so much and has a right to hate Shaldon yet she can’t help but fall in love with him. Her strength lies in her love for both her son and for Shaldon. She’s his equal in every way and I loved every minute of her story.