“Unmasking the Earl” is up for pre-order now.
Devastated by the disappearance of his sister, the Earl of Stranraer has gone to extraordinary lengths to find the notorious rake responsible, and enters his household incognito to wreak his vengeance. But his enemy has an unexpected protector—the innocent but headstrong Miss Cassandra Blythe.
Cassie is determined to learn the art of seduction. But she is blindsided by her body’s thrilling response to the wrong man—a mysterious servant who shows up at the most inauspicious moments to spoil her lessons in love with warnings of her imminent ruin. When she learns the handsome servant’s identity and the reason for his deception, she resolves to help Stranraer, but only if he abandons his vow to destroy his enemy.
The earl is sorely tempted give the meddlesome beauty a lesson in seduction she’ll never forget. But she turns the tables, and he gets his own lesson in forgiveness…and love.
“Ready to just grab her things and chase out the door, Cassie’s heart dropped like a stone when she saw the looming form of Ganstridge right next to the coat stand.
For a second she saw alarm on his face, but then his expression turned grim, and he strode toward her.
Damnation! He wasn’t going to drag her into a cupboard again, was he?
When he took her by the elbow, she feared the worst. Then why wasn’t she screaming and shouting for Wycherley or one of the footmen to rescue her?
She barely had time to register where she was going as the brute dragged her to the end of the corridor, through the kitchen, and into a tiny scullery with a lead-lined sink at one end.
When he closed the door behind them, she readied herself for another tirade.
But it didn’t come.
Instead, he held her by the shoulders and captured her gaze with his. “What has that damned libertine done now? Just say the word and I’ll teach him a lesson he’ll never forget.”
Cassie gaped up at him, struck with sudden insight. He wasn’t angry with her. He was angry at Wycherley.
She swallowed hard. Now they were in close proximity, she once again felt the lure of this man’s powerful body. And the fact that he was prepared to champion her made him almost…admirable. The urge to cling to him and accept the comfort of his arms was close to overwhelming her.
She shook the thought away. Julian. This was all about Julian. Soon, if all went according to plan, it would be his arms that were offered in comfort, his fists that were prepared to do battle for her—although she sincerely hoped the need would never arise.
The idea of Ganstridge chasing into the parlor and spilling Wycherley’s blood on the rug was not a pleasant one. Even though the captain had won honor at Waterloo, he had not the muscle to best his strapping servant.
She forced a smile, saying, “Oh, it was nothing. I’m being foolish.”
“This whole enterprise of yours is foolish,” Ganstridge replied. “But I’ve already told you that. Perhaps now you realize how dangerous being alone with a man can be?”
She blinked, uncertain for a moment if he was referring to himself, or to Wycherley. Both of them had managed to set her heart pounding, but for very different reasons.
“I know I’m taking a risk,” she said, looking away. His gaze was far too penetrating. And disturbing.
“Then stop doing it,” he said simply. “Put it all behind you and hope no one ever finds out. If you use Wycherley’s idea of courtship to win your ideal man, you’ll end up with a lover, but not with a husband.”
Her heart fluttered on hearing the word “lover” on his lips. He was certainly very blunt. And completely out of order.