Murder, mystery and romance in Regency England.
Poor Maddie Tate. Widowed with two children. An ordinary sort of female, no more memorable than a potted palm. Seven and twenty years of age.
Lucky Angel Jarrow. Temptation incarnate, lazy and spoiled – and why should he not be, when the whole world adores him, save for the notable exception of his wife?
Maddie Tate and Angel Jarrow. In the ordinary course of events, their paths might never cross. But then comes the Burlington House bal masque, when Maddie witnesses something she should not, and flees straight into Angel’s arms.
And he discovers that he does not want to let her go.
Mysterious masqueraders. Misbehaving monarchs. Political perfidy.
While in the background the ton twitters, and a fascinated London follows the Regent’s preparations for his Grand Jubilee.
Angel knew from long experience when a woman needed kissing, and this woman needed kissing now. By him. Here in Lady Rutherford’s garden. Where they were seated, once again, on a convenient bench.
He’d give her a friendly kiss, Angel decided, as atonement for his unsettling talk of danger and death; an affectionate kiss, not the kind that scorched paint off every building in the vicinity. He would soothe instead of arouse, and enable her to forget her troubles for a brief space of time.
At least that was Angel’s intention when he took her in his arms.
She said faintly, “We must not,”and relaxed against him nonetheless.
Angel knew they mustn’t. But the scent of her flooded his nostrils, and her breasts were soft against his chest, and she smelled of peppermint again.
By the time Angel managed to wrestle his baser instincts into submission, which was no little while later, Mrs. Tate was again arranged across his lap. Angel had no notion how she’d gotten there. He didn’t want her to leave. She nipped his earlobe. He groaned.
Maddie opened her eyes, regarded him with bemusement, and then sprang to her feet. She tugged up her bodice, twitched down her skirt, smoothed her hair, so flagrantly flustered that Angel experienced another sharp stab of desire. He wanted to drag her beneath him on the bench, feel her body arch against his, hear her beg him for completion, notions so heady that it took him a moment to realize Maddie was indeed speaking to him. She concluded, “I fear I have little self-control where you are concerned.”
Angel smiled at her. “Whereas I have none at all.”
“Why should you?” she said somberly. “When females are forever flinging themselves at your feet? This cannot happen again. I am not for you, or you for me.”
Angel didn’t follow her out of the pavilion. He was in the grip of some strong emotion. It took him several moments to recognize it as regret.
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