Cole Sawyer, Army Ranger, has just returned from a devastating tour of duty in Afghanistan. He blames himself for the death of a group of soldiers, because the suicide bomber that he didn’t shoot was a woman; he hesitated a beat, and that was all it took. He reacts on instinct the day he sees a bank robbery start to unfold, but moments later, the real robbers escape, with Lisa Meador’s toddler son! Frantic to save her child, she and Cole engage in a pursuit that will cross Texas.
Ann Colbert–recently married to the charming Glenn Stacey–is struck by a sudden blow: her father dies, leaving her alone in Boston. After receiving a desperate, half-finished letter from her childhood nurse, Miss Lucy, Ann rushes to fly to her childhood home in Devon. There, she meets the cousins she’d never known: the Thornes of Valicombe, a crumbling old mansion. After learning of Miss Lucy’s sudden death just days before, Ann sets herself up in her nurse’s cottage, determined to wait for her husband to arrive. Glenn never appears, however, and Ann finds herself drawn into a terrible intrigue.
Allison Weatherby and her mother–both widowed and impoverished– would have been in trouble without the generous care of Thorne d’Aumont, Marquess of Silverthorne. Having grown up with him and his cousin, James Betterton, Allison has always trusted Thorne completely. She might just be falling in love with him . . . and she thinks, he with her. Then, one night, Thorne proposes the impossible: to make Allison his mistress–but not his wife. Affronted and disillusioned, she flees Thorne’s household . . . perhaps to her own destruction.
After a three-year affair that ended in heart-break, Louise Amberley is determined not to make the same mistake again. Therefore, when Otto Winther–a charming, handsome Dane–pursues the young travel-writer, she insists he wed her before she’ll let him into her bed. Unfortunately for Louise, her infatuation allows her to be rushed into a quick, secret wedding–before she discovers a series of devastating secrets about her new spouse.
Gabi Rafferty has been more-or-less happily raising her young daughter Ashley alone, until her ex, who had signed away his rights years ago, turned up, and started causing trouble. Gabi flees, and ends up at Yosemite, where a friend she hasn’t seen since high school works. Ranger Jeff Thompson, married once himself, is still kicking himself over his past with Gabi–until the day she shows up at the park.
Gabi Rafferty’s peaceful vacation with her daughter, Ashley, is interrupted by the news that her violent ex-husband has resurfaced and is suing for visitation. Terrified, Gabi grabs Ashley and starts driving to Yosemite Park. A few months earlier, she’d seen a handsome ranger’s photograph in the newspaper. Now, the only place she can feel safe is under that the protection of that man–the high school sweetheart who’d vanished into thin air so many years ago.
Miles Fletcher, a dandy who has made his living by dealing in beautiful art, is about to inherit his ailing uncle’s vast estate. After Uncle Lester has an unusually good night at the card table, he sends Miles to a house party to “save an innocent lamb from being fleeced.” Little does Miles know that the innocent lamb–one Aurora Ramsay–would be a diamond in the rough. Little does he know that they would strike a bargain: she will teach him how to run a farm, and in exchange he will teach her the skills necessary to secure a wealthy husband. And little does he know that he would fall in love with her.
Her parents always thought she was a Changeling. Her godmother, recognizing her otherworldliness, dubbed her “Elfa” during her christening. Throughout her childhood, she communed with the woods and buried herself in books. But when she learns that her father intends to force her older sister to wed their neighbor in exchange for a disputed forest, Elfa knows she must act. After all, Caroline is in love with another man. The only sensible solution is for the quirky seventeen-year-old to convince the Duke of Lynchester to marry her instead.
It was not a fashionable night to be seen in the streets of London.
—The Duke’s Wager
Although not as striking as the opening lines of Jane Austin’s Northanger Abbey or Pride and Prejudice, with this sentence author Edith Layton introduces a side of the Ton to which we are rarely exposed. No, this is not White’s or Almack’s. This is London’s demi-monde, where aristocrats hunt for new courtesans and trade those they’ve tired of to less prestigious and attractive friends. It is also a side where innocents can get themselves into a great deal of trouble. Regina Berryman, who has just arrived from the country to live with her new guardian, is determined to spend a night at the Opera, even if her uncle is away on a business trip. Little does she know that she’s picked the wrong night–and caught the eyes of London’s two most profligate rakes.
Liane Mason has moved back in with her father, on his slowly deteriorating ranch, after her now-ex-husband was sent to prison. She has to heal from her physical wounds, as well as the emotional ones, and try to raise two kids, too! Old high-school flame Jake Whitaker is no help; her father had taken him in after he lost a leg fighting forest fires, and she’s been avoiding him. Until four escaped felons change everything for them all…