In the Heart of the Highlander. I’ll give away one copy (no geographical restrictions) to one commenter who recommends another book they’ve read that was “too funny.”
Mary watched Lord Raeburn bite into his biscuit. Despite her hunger, she was suddenly shy to do the same and put both her pieces back on her plate.
He glared at her. His eyes were the darkest brown, nearly black, fringed with long thick lashes. “Why are you staring at me? Do I have food stuck in my horrible beard?” he asked.
“I was not staring.” And his beard wasn’t so horrible, really.
“I wasn’t. Well, I mean, you’re right here next to me. Where else am I to look?” Mary asked reasonably, not feeling reasonable at all.
Lord Raeburn pointed toward the window with one long finger. “The view is generally conceded to be the attraction here.”
“Fine.” Mary turned her head, unmoved by the grandeur of the mountains. She’d rather look at the man in front of her, but she kept her eyes fixed to a faraway peak.
“So, what did he do?”
Was that an eagle? No matter. If she wanted to see an eagle, she could go to a zoo. Or America. “Who?”
Lord Raeburn sighed. “Bauer, Miss Arden. Did he remove all your clothes and make advances?”
She would not look at him. Would not. “I wore a hospital gown that covered me from neck to ankle. If the man is overly fond of bare toes, he showed no evidence of it.”
“Did he promise to see you again?”
“He arranged for a hydropathic treatment this afternoon, but one of the attendants will do it. He is, as you know, sitting with me tonight at dinner.” Mary was not looking forward to it, but she had to earn the generous fee somehow.
“I’ll be there too.”
“I cannot stop you from eating, but I implore you to keep your distance.”
She heard him take a sip of his tea. He did not slurp.
“I sent him a note this morning as Mrs. Evensong suggested.”
She couldn’t help herself. She turned her head a fraction and saw the spark of mischief in his dark eyes. “And what did you say in it, my lord?”
“Only that I’d decided to best him at his own game. That I had intentions of introducing you to the pleasures of the flesh as quickly as possible. That the best man would win.”
Mary’s mouth was dry, so she took her own sip of now tepid tea. “Indeed. And has he replied?”
“He has. I don’t expect him to play fair, so be on your guard.”
“Wh-what do you mean?” Was Bauer going to lurk in the corridors and snatch her away to some dark private room? The hotel was vast, a rabbit warren just as Lord Raeburn said. She’d never be found. Mary might have to resort to using her hatpin, another thing she’d practiced at Miss Ambrose’s. Her school days were so far behind her, she hoped she remembered how.
“Expect a roomful of roses from the hotel’s hothouse, or something equally banal. Bauer doesn’t have much imagination.”
“There’s nothing wrong with roses,” Mary said with relief. Receiving roses was preferable to being kidnapped.
Lord Raeburn simply snorted, then ate the rest of his biscuit.
“When is your treatment?” he asked, once he’d fingered his beard for any errant bits.
She should never have said anything about his beard. Aunt Mim would lecture her. The clients were always right, even when it was clear they were wrong. It was none of Mary’s business if Lord Raeburn had a beard down to his bottom.
Well, that was anatomically impossible. It would go down his front, right to—
Book #2 in the Ladies Unlaced series
She has exactly what he needs—and desires…
Ever since Mary Evensong’s elderly Aunt Mim got sick, Mary’s masqueraded as the owner of the Evensong Agency, finding housemaids and husbands and solving pesky problems for the peerage. Someday she’d like to shake off her silvery wig and spectacles and be the young woman she truly is, but desperate clients are waiting for “Mrs. Evensong” at the office.
Like a scandalous Scottish baron. Honor forbids Lord Alec Raeburn from explaining the suspicious circumstances surrounding his wife’s death, but he knows who’s responsible. He just needs to hire an actress to lure the scoundrel into a trap.
After listening to Raeburn’s story—and seeing him in his kilt—Mary knows the perfect person. Letting her red hair down, she heads off to the Scottish Highlands to pose as a seductress, but soon finds herself with more than her virtue at stake in a tug-of-war between two powerful men. She could wind up in danger—or in the heart of the highlander.
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Maggie has generously offered a copy of In the Heart of the Highlander to a lucky commenter!