BOOK BLURB: Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancée, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna’s long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth—to the rakishly handsome artistocrat himself.
Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He’s drawn to her sharp mind, indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him—ladies simply don’t dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can’t help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry’s world—or in his heart.
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Bugger it all.
It was her one full day off for the week, and she had planned to spend several lovely hours perusing the volumes for sale at Adams and Sons before a frugal luncheon at the nearby tea shop. She’d been saving for weeks just for this day, and she’d really rather not have it ruined by some spoiled rake.
Mary moved behind a shelf, hoping that out of sight might mean out of mind for the fellow. She took down The History of Herodotus and pretended to scan the little book while keeping an eye on the shop door. Perhaps he’d leave the bookshop and then she could continue with—
“Sweetheart, whatever are you about?”
The male voice was soft and deep and murmured in her ear from right behind her.
It was only by the greatest use of self-control that Mary didn’t shriek and fling poor Herodotus up in the air.
Slowly she turned and leveled her very best nursery stare at the beautiful aristocrat. It was a stare that made small children immediately put away their toys and ready themselves for bed, but alas, it appeared to be ineffective on males over the age of two.
The one in front of her was at least eight and twenty, and he merely grinned down at her and said, “Is it a wager of some sort?”
When he smiled the comely aristocrat did the impossible and became even more attractive. He already had deep-blue eyes—set off wonderfully by a dark-blue coat, black waistcoat, and snowy white neckcloth—curling jet-black hair clubbed back into a tail, a strong jaw, and a wide, sensual mouth, but when the man smiled, he revealed white, even teeth and dimples on either side of his mouth.
AUTHOR BIO: Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.”
She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.