When faced with losing his father’s support, notorious rake Lord Julian Luvington sets his sights on Lady Sarah. She is as respectable as they come, just what his father ordered. But the lady shall not be easily won.
Lady Sarah Roseington is determined to marry for love or not at all, and she will do anything to obtain the freedom granted to men. A blackguard like Lord Luvington could destroy her hard-won reputation, but marriage to him also offers her the opportunities she cannot achieve on her own. What’s a lady to do?
When Lord Luvington refuses to abandon his pursuit, Lady Sarah proposes an arrangement. Only the price may be more than either bargained for. Lady Sarah could lose more than her social standing and Julian could lose his heart.
“Shall we sit for a moment? I wish to explain.” He pressed his arm against her hand then loosened it again.
She looked away. “Very well. Though I cannot imagine what you might say to change things.” She hesitated for a moment, reluctant to release her grip on him before she lowered herself onto the bench. The stone’s cool exterior seeped through her skirts, a welcome contrast to the warmth radiating through her. She rested one hand on her lap and waved her fan with the other.
Lord Luvington positioned himself on the bench a smidgen closer than was proper, angling himself so he faced her. The fresh spring scents of foliage and flowers took on a heady intensity as she stared fixedly at the hedge in front of her. Her face flamed though she could not credit it to the heat of the atmosphere.
She needed to take control of the situation before it swept her away. “Speak your piece and be done with it. I do not wish to linger over long.” He flashed a toe-curling grin just before she glanced away.
“What I said in the park was the truth. Is the truth. But there is more to it than just my need of a respectable wife.”
“Do tell.” She lowered her fan to her lap, its ribbons trailing in the breeze.
“I have come to care for you, admire you, even. You are a fascinating and attractive woman.”
She plucked at her satin skirts as the heat climbed back into her face.
“It is true that I will no longer receive my stipend if I fail to secure a proper society wife. It is the very reason I began looking for one. I shall not deny it, but nor is it the reason I continue to pursue you.” He reached up and brushed a curl that had escaped her bonnet away from her cheek.
His fingers left a tingling trail in their wake, and something inside her began to crumble. She glanced down at the path they had just walked.
“I would like the chance to make this right. Allow me to court you, Lady Sarah. Let us discover if there might be something real between us.”
She glanced at him, unsure how to respond. Her mind screamed no, but her heart and soul begged for him. She wanted to reach out and run her hand across his strong jaw, feel his lips pressed against hers, discover what it felt like to be in his arms.
“Spend the rest of the party in my company, Lady Sarah. Grant me one afternoon to change your mind.”
A wave of tingles ran down her and congregated in her abdomen at his smile. This was dangerous, and she knew it. And yet…
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Bestselling author Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. When she is not writing she can be found reading, crocheting, traveling, practicing her photography skills, or spending time with her family.
Amanda lives along the Lake Huron shoreline in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long-standing love affair with sugary junk food.