Spotlight & Giveaway: A Little Bit Scandalous by Robyn DeHart

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A Little Bit Scandalous
Forbidden Love Series Book Three
Robyn DeHart
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: 8-12-13
ISBN: 978-1-62266-229-6
Number of pages: 212
A woman in search of a gamble…

Mathematics prodigy, Caroline Jellico, plans to support herself by winning big in the gaming hells of London—while dressed as a boy. She’s tired of waiting for the elusive Roe to notice her. She’ll marry him or no man.

A gambler in need of redemption…

Monroe Grisham, Duke of Chanceworth, needs to marry off his beautiful young ward and ensure she attaches herself to the right man, not an irresponsible cad like him. But all grown up now, Caroline’s presence is an utter distraction. One he can neither act on nor deny.

A game of seduction…

But when Roe and Caroline meet across the gaming table, all bets are off. Seduction is in the cards and the winner will take all…or lose everything.
Purchase: Amazon

Caroline checked her cards again, then mentally ran through the ones that would remain in the deck. It was a risk to take another card, but she felt certain her calculations were correct and would result in a win. She eyed the dealer, then inclined her head, indicating she wanted another card. The man’s eyebrows rose, but he dealt her a card nonetheless. A three, precisely the card she needed to bring her total to twenty. She would win this hand. The rest of the table turned their hands over. The dealer chuckled. “You’ve won again, boy,” he said.

She gave a tight smile and accepted the money shoved in her direction. It was a good night, though it seemed the other players were beginning to get annoyed with her. She’d introduced herself with a fake name the first night she’d come, but no one seemed to remember it or her for the first several visits. Then they noticed she was winning, and winning regularly. They simply called her “the boy,” which was fine by her. Maybe if they all heard that enough, they’d believe it and no one would question or even consider she was anything but.

“That’s seven hands in a row, boy,” the man next to her said. He was a tall man with broad hands and long fingers. She thought she remembered people calling him Cabot. He’d been coming to play the last week or so. “Pretty good luck.”

“Perhaps it is more skill than luck,” Caroline said, using the lower voice she had perfected over the last month. She’d heard once that people saw what they wanted to see, or in this case, heard what they wanted to hear. She dressed as a boy, spoke as a boy, and thankfully, no one had suspected otherwise.

The man laughed, a jovial and authentic laugh. “And cocky, too.” Cabot popped Caroline on the back so firmly the motion jarred her teeth. “I like that. Name’s Cabot.”

It wasn’t arrogance, but she wouldn’t correct him. “Grey,” she told him. If all the men here thought her winning streak was luck, then they hadn’t noticed her counting. The prideful part of her wanted them to know, wanted them to be impressed with her skill, but pride had no place in this. She was here to earn funds so she could finally be in charge of her own life, finally be beholden to no one.

Another man joined their table, one she recognized from her other visits to Rodale’s. He was a butler for the Earl of Bromley and he was an incorrigible gossip. She suspected he talked as much as he did to simultaneously entertain himself and distract the other players. Caroline was pleased he’d joined their table instead of one of the other three in the room.

Cabot gestured toward the butler. “Finley, you’re not usually off work on Wednesdays. Did you get sacked?”

Finley smiled and picked up his cards. “I did no such thing. Lord Bromley and his wife have gone to the countryside for the week. His sisters are too occupied vying for the affections of Viscount Hopkins this evening, so I decided to come and see how the likes of you are doing.” His eyes moved around the table as he checked his opponents. “Appears I chose a good night to come.”

“The boy’s showing us up,” Cabot said.

All eyes turned back to her. Caroline shrugged. “I enjoy the game.”

They returned to their hands. After the second round, Finley nodded toward Cabot. “How’s your injury healing?”

Cabot lifted his cane and tapped it against his leg. “The break is all but healed, but the damn bite hasn’t. At least, not quickly enough.” He shook his head. “The doctor says I should be back as new in a couple of months. Can’t travel until the damn wound heals, though.”

“Snakes,” Finley said with a shudder. “That’s what you get for traveling to some god-forsaken country. You ask me, London is dangerous enough as it is.”

“I didn’t ask you,” Cabot said. “Besides, someone has to go out there and find all the treasures that the blokes in the other room like to look at in the museums. Might as well be me.”

Cabot was obviously some sort of explorer or archaeologist. Caroline couldn’t afford to be distracted by their conversation, as interesting as that might be. She kept her eyes on the cards and her mind in the game, keeping careful count with each hand.

“What’s the new gossip?” Erickson asked Finley.

Finley eyed the man, who was at least twice his size, and then shook his head.

“Come on, I know you’ve got something,” Erickson insisted.

“Very well,” Finley said after a long pause. “Lady Abernathy’s youngest daughter eloped with one of their footmen.”

Cabot let out a low whistle. “That will no doubt cause quite the scandal.”

“Yes,” Finley said. “Especially since it was said that the Earl of Burkfield had expressed intentions to court the girl.”

Caroline won another hand, as did two other players since the dealer ended up with only eighteen. She always loved it when Finley showed up and fed them gossip. It worked two-fold for her—kept the other players distracted, but also gave her that improper glimpse into London’s most elite families. She couldn’t help it; she truly loved to hear the gossip from this side of the stairs, as it were. If they only knew how the commoners spoke about them, laughed about them.

They played another hand in silence before Finley spoke again.

“It would seem Mrs. Williams, the housekeeper next door, had an affair with Lord Rochester’s brother,” Finley said. “She’s twice his age.”

The door connecting the main room to the back room opened. Normally, the only people who crossed that doorway were employees of Rodale’s. At the moment, though, another man stood in the room. A hush fell over the floor.

“What the devil is he doing on this side?” Finley asked.

“Looks gentry. Perhaps he’s looking for you,” Cabot said with a chuckle. “Have you been gossiping about him? Who is he?”

Finley ignored Cabot.

The man’s large frame was imposing standing there in his greatcoat, waistcoat, and cravat. Cabot was correct in his assumption. This man was quite obviously a gentleman. From where Caroline sat, she could not clearly make out his face.

“Your Grace,” another dealer said. “I believe you’ve come through the wrong door.”

The man shook his head. “No, I’ve come to play. Where’s the boy?”

His voice carried across the room and seemed to echo in the silence. Caroline knew that voice. Nerves fluttered to life in her belly. Her mouth went dry. She fought the urge to gather her winnings and run out of there. There, standing in the same room as her, was Monroe Grisham, Duke of Chanceworth, and her legal guardian. The man she’d once tried to give her heart to. The man who had turned her down flatly with nothing more than a no.

Ah, the foolish fancying of her youth. Thank goodness she had recovered from that particular folly. Still, she hadn’t seen him since she’d left London nearly six years before. But there he was, the very man who had taught her how to play this game.

The boy. She was the boy.

Damnation! Roe Grisham had come to play her.

About the Author:

A life-long lover of stories and adventure, it was either become a stuntwoman for the movies or live out those adventures from the safety of her PJ's and computer. Award-winning author, Robyn DeHart chose the latter and couldn't be happier for doing so. Known for her unique plotlines and authentic characters, Robyn is a favorite among readers and reviewers.

Publishers' Weekly claims her books as "sizzling romance" while the Chicago Tribune dubs her "wonderfully entertaining." Robyn is an award-winning author as well as being a four-time RT Bookclub Reviewers' Choice award nominee, and a three-time RomCon Reader's Crown nominee.

Look for Robyn's new trilogy on forbidden love coming from Entangled: A Little Bit Wicked (fall 2012), A Little Bit Sinful (spring 2013) and A Little Bit Scandalous (summer 2013).

Also in 2013, she'll launch a new historical romantic suspense series with NAL, the first in the series is The Secrets of Mia Danvers (2013).

Robyn lives in Texas with her brainy husband, two precocious little girls and two spoiled cats.

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SAHM to four rowdy kids. Avid reader and blogger.


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