He wasn't looking for a wife
Gavan St. Cloud, the Marquess of Penwyth, appeared in Priscilla Whitmore's millinery shoppe wanting only to purchase fripperies for his latest mistress. He never expected that his orderly world would be turned upside-down by a beautiful, blue-eyed temptress who treated his attentions with disdain. Until that moment, Gavan lived in an orderly world, where you married for love then found your pleasures elsewheredidn't Priscilla know what she was doing to him?
Priscilla knew full well what men-especially ones like Gavan-wanted from a woman, but that didn't mean she had to give in. True, the breathtakingly handsome aristocrat had ladylike Priss thinking is some very shocking ways. But she had been hurt before, and wasn't about to make the same mistake twice.
Yet neither realize they've been touched by magic-intoxicating, irresistibleand soon they're powerless to resist the passion growing between them.
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Eve Byron lives in Aurora, Colorado.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Castell Eryri, Wales
"Damned to perdition," the Reverend Price said in his usual monotone.
Damned. Gavan St. Aldan scribbled the word on a sheet of foolscap in front of him. He'd propped his head on one hand minutes--or hours?--ago to keep it from lolling to the side should he fall asleep. Damned to boredom. He drew a line from the phrase and with a flourish wrote "Bored." Bored to tears ... bored senseless ... bored stiff. The words sprouted from his quill with blots of ink at first, then fading as the tip dried.
"Curses and legends indeed. You are perpetuating the danger they present, my lord. You are jeopardizing the well-being of everyone in the district with your tolerance."
What was the reverend talking about? Gavan stifled the urge to ask as he sank his quill into the inkpot and widened his eyes to keep them from falling shut.
"Can you not see that by allowing Whitmore to dig about and explore old burial mounds, you are encouraging your people--the very people for whom you are responsible--to return to the old ways?"
Whitmore. Gavan scrawled. Finally, Price had come to a point of sorts. A rather dull point, but a point nonetheless. He really should have foreseen this when he'd given his blessing to Whitmore to search for "artifacts and truth" as the man had put it. Such idealistic fervor was ...
Tedious ... Pitiable ... Enviable ...
Frowning at the last word, Gavan crossed it out. Whitmore, in his opinion, was definitely not to be envied. Liked, definitely. He'd taken to Mr. William Whitmore immediately for his open manner and even more open admiration of Gavan's rather plain sister. A man who saw the beauty beneath the surface was rare indeed--a fact evidenced by Gwyneth's spinster state at the age of twenty-eight.
Whitmore had arrived a fortnight past with hat in hand to request permission to explore the St. Aldan holdings. By the time they had completed the meal Gwyneth had offered in the name of hospitality, Gavan had granted their guest free rein of the district. Since then he'd seen precious little of his sister and the family hound, who preferred to follow her and Whitmore about outside rather than sit quietly at Gavan's feet while he worked over plans for his newest projects.
"And where is your sister now?" Price asked in a rather pathetic imitation of outrage. Gavan's head jerked as he snapped his eyes open and favored the vicar with a cold stare. Tolerant of the clergy he might be, but no one below a king questioned a St. Aldan.
Price backed up a step, toppling into a chair as the backs of his knees hit the seat.
"Please do sit down, Mr. Price," Gavan said dryly, and returned to doodling on the paper.
Price regained his feet and strode toward the desk. "Begging your pardon, my lord, but I must again inquire as to the whereabouts of your sister, if I am to protect her immortal soul."
"Lady Gwyneth is out." In love, he scrawled the width of the paper. "With my blessing. Do you question that?" he asked with calm detachment, not giving a damn what the vicar thought.
Price sputtered, his mouth flapping like a banner in a gate. "I must question it," the tall string of a man said with more passion than Gavan had thought possible. "It is my duty to protect the souls of my flock, whether they like it or not."
"Like what?" Gwyneth asked as she sailed into the library in a flurry of bright skirts and even brighter cheeks, her cape billowing around her. "Has someone sinned again, vicar?" Halting beside Gavan, she leaned over to buss his cheek as Daisy slid to a halt on his other side and nuzzled his arm for a pat.
Gavan glared at the greyhound in accusation at her defection. If the dog had been here instead of gallivanting with Gwyneth, he could have at least played fetch with her while suffering through Price's rant.
"I don't precisely know, my lady. Have they?" Price fixed a penetrating glare on her.
"Oh dear, I see I am found out," Gwyneth said. "I knew I shouldn't have taken the last of the chocolate this morning. What sin would that be? Gluttony or greed?"
"You mock the Lord's word?"
"No sir, I would not mock God, but really Mr. Price, you are so diligent and somber you invite a bit of jest."
Somber. Gavan scrawled along the edge of the page. Irritating. Pompous--
Gwyneth reached across Gavan and pulled the quill from his hand to write on the paper. Get rid of him. Life and death!
As she slipped the quill back into his hold, Gavan shot a glance at his sister and frowned at the realization that the high color in her cheeks was more from haste than excitement, the shine in her eyes more from distress than exuberance. Of course with Gwyneth's penchant for drama, life and death could be anything from spilled milk in the kitchen to famine throughout the land.
"Of course, you are correct, my lady." Price drew up to his full height, an action that seemed to stretch him to even more height. "But, surely you understand why I must. If not I, then who will save us from ourselves?"
Daisy imparted her opinion with a low growl.
Gavan tossed the quill onto the table, preferring to deal with whatever had brought on Gwyneth's anxiety than with Price's ever-present air of doom and gloom. Gwyneth, at least, Was entertaining and always presented him with a challenge in devising a way to calm her. "You have an entire parish, sir, and we are but two. Would your time not be better spent in the village?"
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Descrizione libro Avon, 1999. Mass Market Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0380803658
Descrizione libro Avon, 1999. Mass Market Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0380803658
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Codice libro della libreria 97803808036511.0