SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT: The Earl’s Wager by Rebecca Thomas

Earl's Wager

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When straight laced earl, Will Sutton, is challenged to turn the obstinate American ward of his friend into a biddable lady suitable for the Marriage Mart, he gladly takes the wager. Then has to decide whether the prize–a prime racing stud horse–is worth changing the impudent beauty’s temperament he’s come to enjoy. Greatly.

One headstrong miss. One stuffy lord. One friendly wager. What could go wrong?

Will Sutton, the Earl of Grandleigh, believes he can save the family’s impoverished estate by investing in a racehorse, but the price is too steep. His brother-in-law offers him a deal: tutor his American ward in proper English customs, so she’ll be marriage material, and Will can have one of his horses. Maybe Miss Georgia Duvall prefers being a jockey, is obstinate and high spirited, but once she’s cleaned up and presentable, he’ll have no trouble finding her a quality suitor. She might even be quite pretty beneath the racetrack dust.

The last thing Georgia Duvall wants is to be married off to an English peer. But she won’t defy her father’s wishes, and sets her cap for the oldest lord she can find—a man who’ll die quickly and leave her alone to manage her inheritance. The Earl of Grandleigh might think he’ll teach her manners and marry her off to someone younger than eighty, but there hasn’t been an obstacle yet Georgia can’t overcome. Including a stuffy, overbearing English lord.

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EXCERPT

Georgia’s gaze lingered on him innocently, and yet Will was certain there was more to what she was saying. And perhaps she wasn’t quite as innocent as Marsdale would have him believe. “Perhaps you can tutor me in the ways I might capture his attention?”

She circled him, never removing her gaze from him. What exactly was she asking? “I’m not quite sure what you mean, Miss Duvall, but rest assured I’m here to help. I found the perfect match for my sister, and I’ll do the same for you.”

“Yes, I understand, my lord. So I’m wondering how to pique his interest. Can you answer that question, or should I ask Oliver?”

He swallowed and narrowed his gaze. “No, no need to ask Oliver. You could talk to the gentleman about the weather, or ask after his health, or maybe you can ask if he…” Will wasn’t sure what to say. Maybe he wasn’t up to the task of procuring a match for someone other than his sister, after all, because the way she looked at him seemed to spell trouble. “If he has hounds, perhaps?”

She blinked several times, eyeing him oddly.

Everything about her said she was an innocent maid, but she was American. Maybe women were different there, and he just wasn’t used to their behavior. Most women—no not most, no women—who were young and unmarried ever held his gaze so long with such keen challenge punctuating a seemingly guileless question.

Stopping directly in front of him, she peered up at him, standing inappropriately close. “I’m to ask him if he has hounds?”

“Yes, you could,” he blurted, then cleared his throat. He took a step back, but he didn’t want her to know she confused him, so he rounded the corner of the table instead.

“I was thinking more along the lines of flirting.” Her delicate brow arched. “How do I flirt with him—that is how I want to capture his attention.”

He gulped. “That wasn’t what I had in mind. I don’t think it’s what Oliver had in mind either. Maybe we should sit down?” He gestured toward the damask-covered sofa and matching wingback chair. Even if she didn’t need to sit down, he did.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Earl's Wager-RebeccaThomasRebecca Thomas enjoys a love-hate relationship with Alaska. She lives there with her husband and sons. When she isn’t reading, writing, or playing board games, she can be found taking long walks in the woods dreaming up her next story.

A reluctant reader as a child, she didn’t become interested in books until her teen years when she discovered historical romance. Now she loves all sub-genres of romance and can’t decide which one is her favorite.

Rebecca was employed in the airline industry for several years before working in her current position as a program manager in higher education.

Author Website: http://www.authorrebeccathomas.com/
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