London, 1819. Four years ago, Darius, the Earl of Redgrave fled London two weeks before his wedding to Lady Mary’s sister and married another woman. Now a widower, he has returned to seek a new wife.
One woman catches his eye . . .
At first, Lady Mary doesn’t recognize the handsome lord as the cad who ran out on her sister. After giving him the cut direct in a London ballroom, she finds herself running into him everywhere she goes, and fighting a forbidden attraction. Not only has Mary sworn off men, Redgrave is so very wrong for her. But she cannot stop thinking of his kisses. Redgrave means to stay away from Mary but it is impossible. Passion between two people who can never be together is a dangerous game.
A slight knock on the bedchamber door jolted them apart. “My lady, I have your gown for tonight. ’Tis pressed. May I hang it in your wardrobe?”
“Oh, goodness,” Mary whispered, pulling her bodice up. She turned her back to him. “Fasten my gown, and hurry.”
“Ah, I will be right there, Baxter. I was just taking a short nap.” She looked at him over her shoulder. “Hurry up.”
He leaned close to her ear. “Mary, have you forgotten when your maid comes into the room she is most likely going to see me?”
“Oh God.” She whirled around, looking at every corner. “What will we do with you?”
“My lady? Is everything all right?”
“Yes. Yes, just fine Baxter. I will be right there. Just give me a moment.” She glanced in the mirror and pushed back the loose strands of her hair, shifting her bodice to straighten it.
Redgrave strode to the window and looked down. It was a fall, but if he hung from the window frame, he could drop to the ground and probably only break a leg or two, but most likely not his neck. Mary hurried to his side. “You can’t climb out the window, one of the women might see you.” She wrung her hands. “What are we going to do?”
“I’ll have to hide in the wardrobe.”
“She wants to put the gown in the wardrobe,” she whispered furiously.
A loud knocking came from the door. “My lady, are you sure you are all right? Shall I get one of the footmen to open the door? Is it stuck?”
“No!” She pushed Redgrave toward the wardrobe. “Climb in. I’ll handle Baxter.”
He eased into the tight space and Mary closed the door, leaving him in pitch-black darkness.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Callie Hutton, USA Today bestselling author writes both Western Historical and Regency romance with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). She also pens an occasional contemporary or two.
Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs, two adult children, a daughter-in-law, twin grandsons and her top cheerleader husband (although thankfully not all in the same home!). Living in the Midwest provides plenty of opportunities for Callie do pursue her interests: researching history, meeting readers, spending time with family and discovering new adventures.
Callie loves to hear from readers and welcomes the opportunity to become friends, both in person or virtually. Find her online: www.calliehutton.com
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