The author of The Millionaire Rogue returns to her dazzling series about a bygone era filled with romance, espionage, and one dangerously seductive diamond…
Mr. Henry Lake spent the past twelve years uncovering the most scandalous secrets of Europe’s wealthy and powerful, serving as one of His Majesty’s most decorated spies. But when a mission to find the legendary French Blue diamond brings him back to London, and face to face with a beautiful noblewoman he once loved, it’s his own hidden passions that are uncovered…
Lady Caroline, dowager Duchess of Berry, knows better than to lose her head over a man. After an embarrassing romantic entanglement forced her into a loveless marriage and early widowhood, she learned to never trust in desire, especially when it comes to the man who once broke her heart. Only, despite her good sense, she finds Henry impossible to resist—even when he once again places her in deathly danger…
Henry brought the bottle to his lips and took one enormous, savage pull. The cognac burned brightly as it slid down his throat, but it did nothing to loosen the knot in the center of his chest.
He’d seen her.
The her. Caroline.
Out of the tens and hundreds and thousands of people in London, he’d locked eyes with the one person he didn’t want to see across the emerald expanse of Hyde Park.
The one person he’d sworn, twelve years before, to keep far from the violence of the life he’d chosen.
Violence that found him even in the midst of Hyde Park’s shimmering tranquility. He’d had the distinct feeling he was being followed, hence his mad dash, the way he kept his fingers clamped down on the pistol tucked into his waistcoat.
Nothing came of his suspicion, praise God. Still, she’d seen him. And he’d seen her.
Even now his blood rushed hot at the memory of her face. She was just as beautiful as she’d been at seventeen, impossibly lovely. Those wide brown eyes, the dark, curling lashes he’d found so provocative a decade ago; the soft curve of her chin, the windswept way her temples sloped to sharp cheeks and smooth lips.
God, those lips.
She was beautiful, yes. But in that beautiful face he’d seen no trace of a smile, none of the lines that came from laughing too hard and too often. His entire body tightened when he thought about the look in her eyes: soft in all the wrong ways, like a wounded animal’s, and watery. She’d been pale, almost drawn, and thin; he saw no evidence of the curves he’d enjoyed so liberally in his bed twelve years before.
Henry told himself she was still heartbroken over the loss of her husband; in Paris he’d received the news of the Earl of Berry’s passing. That explained her pallor, the wet unhappiness in her gaze. He couldn’t stand the thought that she’d loved, and been loved in return, by someone else (and his former best friend, at that). And yet the idea that Henry was responsible for her sorrow, that she had not found contentment in his absence, was even worse.
His best friend. Caroline had married him not two months after Henry left England. Even now he still burned with jealousy that Osbourne had given Caroline what Henry could not. A home, a title, a family.
Things a lovely girl like her deserved. Things that would make her happy.
He slid his fingers into the hair at the nape of his neck and pulled, hard. God but it was complicated. He couldn’t tell if he felt relieved, riled, remorseful. He drowned in all those things and more.
|Author Jessica Peterson|
Jessica Peterson Bio:
Jessica Peterson began reading romance to escape the decidedly unromantic awkwardness of her teenage years. Having found solace in the likes of Rhett Butler and Mr. Darcy, it wasn’t long before she began creating tall, dark, and handsome heroes of her own.
A graduate of Duke University, Jessica worked at an investment bank before leaving to pursue her writerly dreams. She lives with her husband, the tall, dark, and handsome Mr. Peterson, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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