by Julianne MacLean
$5.99 US / $7.99 Can
So begins a very wicked correspondence between the scandal-ridden Marquess of Rawdon and Clara Wilson, an heiress with more than a few of her own secrets to hide. Clara has come all the way to London to find respectability, but she has always craved excitement, and adventure has always sough her out.
This time, excitement is a man unlike any she has ever met before, one who is stunning, brilliant, and definitely not what her mother has in mind. Clara's cautious younger sister Adele warns her to be wary and remember her past follies, but her spirited older sister Sophia urges her to risk it all for love. Clara knows the answer lies somewhere in between, but with her heart and her future on the line, the staked will never be higher . . .
"Why ever not, love? You're here, aren't you? And we seem to have developed a rather intoxicating rapport."
"Here? Where is here, exactly?"
Segar's expression darkened. "You don't know where you are?"
"I'm afraid I don't. I would appreciate it if you enlightened me."
All the warmth and seduction from only seconds ago vanished from his voice like a drop of water on a hot stove. "This is a private ball, madam. Only those with an invitation are permitted to enter." He closed his eyes. "Please tell me you're married."
Clara's brows flew up under the half-mask, which suddenly felt very tight on her face. "Married!" She lowered her voice to a whisper. "No! And if I were, I would certainly not be here having this indecent conversation with you!"
He took her by the elbow and began to escort her back the the ballroom. "You need to leave. Don't speak to anyone else. Get out of here now, and for God's sake, don't tell anyone where you were. Do you understand?"
"What I understand is that I should never have danced with you."
He stopped and looked down at her, his eyes fierce and dark. "You were, in fact, very fortunate to have danced with me. You are a tempting little flower, and another man might not have been so understanding. Or so apt to let you go . . ."
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