A report of a most disconcerting occurrence has been received by this humble reporter: the disappearance in Yorkshire of a Lady of Quality!
It is a known fact that this Lady—we shall call her Lady J—has in the recent weeks become enmeshed in the Affairs of a certain Lord S. These would be Affairs of State as it were, given the Lord in question’s heroic service to the Crown during the past decades which have contributed greatly to the safety of these Isles.
It was most particularly noted that Lady J was absent from the wedding of Lady P, the noble daughter of Lord S. Lady P’s perilous adventures were reported in these pages some weeks ago. (https://bluestockingbelles.net/was-the-lady-rescued-or-retrieved/) Given the previous intimacy of Lady J and the family of Lord S, her absence from the nuptial festivities has been remarked upon by all and sundry.
I rush to assure you that in spite of rumors and whispers to the contrary, we have it on good account that no disparagement falls on the Lady’s character. Nay, those who know report only the greatest concerns over her whereabouts and doubts of her safe return to the society of her peers.
Rest assured your humble correspondent is pursuing all avenues of inquiry to learn more on this alarming story.
About the Book, Avenging the Earl’s Lady
He’s the most irritating, inscrutable, insufferable lord in the kingdom.
Also nosy, managing, and manipulative, and a man who’s made an art of revenge. She ought to know better than to encourage his attentions. But…he’s rich, and when an impossible debt from her past comes due, theft seems the only answer.
What had he missed about her?
She’s nobly born, and proper. If he wanted a wife, she’d be perfect. Not to mention, he’d very much like her in his bed. But she’s gone missing, along with a priceless painting he needs for revenge on one last enemy. Avenging his own honor is everything—until that of his lady is threatened.
Find out what happens when the invincible Spy Lord meets his match!
Available November 12. Preorder now at these retailers:
She drew a fingertip along the crease of the canvas where it had been tightened against the wooden stretchers, marveling that such a fragile thing should hold up so well. Along one edge, dark marks, ink perhaps, had bled through from the underside. Lifting the edge and peering closer, she could make out a series of numbers.
The work was much smaller than the Caravaggio she’d seen. It was about the size of the small landscape that hung in the bedroom she shared with Lady Perry. She spread her hands wide, taking its measure.
Rolled up, it would fit nicely in the gold-painted rolling pin.
“Where is my daughter?”
Alarm pounded through her. She dropped her hands to her side and froze, eyes shut tight against the flare of panic.
Bloody Shaldon tracked her everywhere.
Warmth touched her waist like a bolt from on high, sending hot desire wriggling inside her. Since his turn with the laudanum, Shaldon wouldn’t stop touching her.
When this was over, she would think seriously about taking a lover, if she could find some gentleman as appealing as Shaldon who would have her, as old and poor as she was.
She glanced over her shoulder, seeing only his beard-shadowed jaw. “I couldn’t resist the temptation.” Her voice shook and she eased in a breath. “I’ve never seen a real masterpiece.”
“It is remarkable, I suppose.”
Unlike many of his peers, Shaldon didn’t collect art. Shaldon House boasted only family portraits and a few paintings of favorite horses and landscapes. His interest lay in collecting and squashing his enemies.
Her heart pounded wildly. If all went right, she would soon be in that number.
“Have you seen Lady Perry, my dear?”
His breath tickled her ear, and the hand at the back of her waist slid a bit further around, bending her to him.
She lifted his hand away and turned to face him.
Dark eyes sparkled in the candlelight, completely unreadable. She rooted her feet resisting the urge to step away, risking the nearness. She could see the pulse in his temple and—
“You are bleeding, Shaldon.”
A bead of blood sparkled and threatened to roll down his cheek. His neckcloth was loose and stained red where he must have mopped at his wound. Under the neckcloth, his shirt flapped, more blood coloring the white linen there.
She dug in her pocket for her handkerchief and pressed it to his head. His hand wrapped hers and his gaze softened, setting her insides melting again.
When this was over, she was definitely seeking a lover. Not Shaldon, of course. Not him. She must not fall any further into his enticements.
She drew her hand away and studied the wound. “Sit down, my lord.” She nudged him into a chair, pressing the cloth to his head again. “We’ll hold this here for a few moments. Do close your eyes.”
His lip quirked. “Why?”
“I can see the pulse in your temple pounding. You must take deep breaths and calm yourself.”
“Must I?” he asked, lifting a corner of his mouth in a half-smile. “I find that difficult to do when I’m around you, Jane.”
About the Author
Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but her true passion is the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband, her spunky, blonde, rescued terrier, and the blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.
She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!
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