Anne Brotherton is tired of being an heiress. Why can’t men like her for her sharp mind and kind heart rather than her impressive dowry? When she meets Marcus Lithgow she thinks she's found the right man, until she learns he's nothing but an unscrupulous fortune hunter.
It's been years since Marcus set foot in England—why toy with the ton when he can fleece wealthy fools in Paris and Rome? Everything changes when he inherits a ramshackle estate. Marcus's first and only chance at a respectable life needs funding...the kind Anne Brotherton can provide. Such a wallflower should be ripe for the picking. So why does Marcus feel like he's the one hanging by a thread?
She nearly falls for Marcus's smooth seduction. But when Anne realizes she's being strung along, a lust for revenge empowers her like never before. Two can play at the game of deception. The game of love, however, has its own rules...
Indie Bound; http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062199515
Marcus was half asleep, but the moment the door opened his mind was alert and his muscles tensed. Not even his late-night indulgence at a local tavern could erase the instincts developed over a lifetime.
"Good morning, my lord."
He relaxed and groaned. He was in Londonwhere no one wanted to kill him. Yet. After several months he should be used to being woken by that odiously cheerful voice, but he’d never had a personal servant before and wasn’t entirely sure why he had one now.
"Lovely day, sir. Not raining at all."
"Your praise of the English weather is, as always, unfounded in fact. I wish I were back in Italy. Even in November it’s warmer than this hellhole."
"Now, now, sir. You’re only saying that because you haven’t had your tea." Marcus heard the tray deposited on the table without so much as a clink of china. He blinked sullenly as Travis swished open the curtain to admit the leaden London light. "Sit up and I’ll bring you a cup."
As he swallowed the hot drink, his head and his temper improved. Not having to make his own breakfast was the greatest advantage of having acquired such a superior attendant and pretty much the only one. Travis was a nuisance and one Marcus couldn’t shake off. The man clung like a burr. Served him right for saving the valet’s life. Next time he’d know better than to engage in unnecessary acts of altruism.
"And how was Mrs. Weston’s rout?" Travis delivered his question with the disinterested expression
of the well-trained servant, but Marcus knew how anxious he was to hear. He swallowed his tea, feeling the warm liquid enliven his chilled sinews, and let Travis wait.
"Another cup," he requested.
Travis poured the tea and waited some more, his long, lugubrious face not at all the kind of features
Marcus preferred to wake up to.
"Did your former employers confide in you about their engagements?"
"Not the marchese, sir. But he was foreign." Just the first of the nobleman’s heinous faults in
the eyes of his valet. "My previous master, Lord Sutton, was sometimes good enough to remark on the events of an evening."
"That must have been fascinating."
"Lord Sutton is a gentleman of great propriety."
"That bad, eh?" Draining his second cup, Marcus put an end to the torture. For the moment.
"Your information was correct. Miss Brotherton was there and I made her acquaintance."
"She seems an agreeable girl."
"So I’ve heard." Travis’s head bobbled eagerly.
"It will be a fortunate man who wins Miss Brotherton’s hand."
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