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.
Continue reading “The Duke’s Wager”
When a group of old friends liven up their card game by putting unusual stakes on the table–distasteful duties and worthless old things that they would like to get rid of–it’s all in good fun. That is, until their drunken guest, the young Vicomte Duvalier, offers up his old maiden aunt in exchange for a worthless Irish bog! Disgusted by the wager but constrained by honor to play his hand, the Earl of Rotherham plays to lose. But the woman who shows up on his doorstep is not the dowdy old spinster that he’d been led to expect.
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The wealthy, raven-haired Fiona Cartwright has powerful enemies. She has spurned too many suitors, among them the dangerous Lord Morney, who had tried to make her his mistress. To exact revenge on the “Snow Maiden,” Lord Morney offers the only man who has caught Fiona’s eye ten thousand pounds to court her and get their engagement announced in the gazettes. Then the proud, impoverished Highlander is free to abandon Fiona at the altar. For Wallace Frazer, the wager is impossible to refuse–even if it is distasteful. After all, it was Fiona’s father who had driven his people from their land, wringing every penny of the fortune she inherited from his clan’s suffering.
Continue reading “The Highland Brooch”