Gabriel Campbell, Duke of Lynford never intended to carry that title, but when his reckless brother gets himself killed in a duel over a woman, Gabe has no choice. Now he’s sworn off love, blaming the woman that broke his brother’s heart and led to his untimely death.
Lilith Crisp, Lady Thornton, knew from a young age that pretty girls grow up and get married off to the highest bidder. Being paraded around London as her husband’s trophy has taught her some unique skills and now she can manipulate any man for his darkest secrets.
Gabriel’s position in the Brotherhood of the Sword leads him directly to Lilith’s door. For Gabe, Lilith is the one woman he’s always wanted, and Lilith is now forced to deal with a man who seems immune to her charms. But a secret about Lilith’s niece brings them together to face a danger that threatens not only their lives, but the fate of England’s Crown. Resisting Lilith is getting more and more difficult and Gabe finally recognizes that he can’t keep blaming her for his brother’s fate. Finding love means forgiving the past and that might be the one thing they simply can’t do…
Gracious, had he always been this handsome? She frowned. “You obviously need me, or think you do, for something involving Thornton,” she said. “Perhaps you have resources that would assist me. We could trust each other, for this brief amount of time, to get what we need. Then we move on,” she said.
He shoved off the sideboard. “Will you give me access to Thornton’s belongings so I can proceed with this investigation?”
She nodded. “I will.”
“And in return?”
“Protection for Isabel and myself. No questions asked.”
She inclined her head. “Other than those involving Thornton, of course.”
“What do you mean no?”
“There is more. You know why Isabel needs this protection, and it is not simply because of Thornton’s wrongdoings. I require more information.”
Lilith eyed him, but said nothing. She risked much to trust him even this much, but to give even more.
“I cannot adequately protect you if I do not know the entire story,” he said.
She inhaled. “Very well. You help me find out who Isabel truly is. It is obvious that someone is after her. I feel strongly that it is because of who she is, and not because of Thornton.
But until I know the truth, I don’t feel as though I can truly protect her.”
“That I can do.” He held his hand out to her. “It is a bargain.”
“Seal it with a kiss?” she asked on a jest, then immediately regretted it. She wasn’t so certain she could endure another of his kisses. Much to her surprise he leaned down and placed a chaste kiss on her forehead. Emotion swirled through her, and inexplicably, tears pricked at her eyes. He had taken her silly moment of humor and turned it into something real and authentic.
She turned away. “I shall go and check on my charge.”
“We will leave in an hour to go and explore Thornton’s belongings,” he said.
“Very well.” The bargain was struck, and she was now set to working with Gabriel. Of all the men in London, he was the last one whom she’d ever thought would trust her, and she herself had vowed to never trust any man. It might be temporary, but she realized that she would enjoy this brief alliance for as long as she could.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m one of those writers who always knew that she wanted to be a writer. It took me a while, however, to figure out precisely what I wanted to write. Reading Kathleen Woodiwiss’ A Rose in Winter sealed the deal for me and I’ve been reading and writing romance ever since. I should have known I was destined for this when my Barbies insisted on hosting elaborate masquerade parties, complete with stolen kisses in the moonlight.
I’m the youngest of three children, so of course I’m the favorite. I was raised in central Texas, in the beautiful Hill Country, right smack-dab between Austin and San Antonio. My parents were high school sweethearts and married a week after my mother graduated – they both needed their parents’ permission to marry since they were so young. So I blame them and their amazing marriage for the fact that I’m a hopeless romantic.
I’m married to the most amazingly supportive man. He’s so proud of my career, and loves to tell people, “My wife is a romance novelist.” We live in the Austin area, where my husband is a university professor. He’s ridiculously smart, but remains goofy enough to make me laugh every day. We’re the parents of two beautiful and precocious little girls who keep me quite busy during the day. We also have two very spoiled cats who are of no help at all when it comes to my writing, although they sometimes nap in the same room where I sit diligently working.