Mr. Charles Norris needs help finding a wife…
For he has the unfortunate habit of falling for each Season's loveliest debutante, only to have his heart broken when she weds another. Surely Lady Marjorie Penwhistle can help him. She's sensible, clever, knows the ton, and must marry a peer, which he is not. Since she's decidedly out of his reach, Charles is free to enjoy her refreshing honesty—and her unexpectedly enticing kisses…
Lady Marjorie Penwhistle doesn't want a husband…
At least not the titled-but-unbearable suitors her mother is determined she wed. She'd rather stay unmarried and look after her eccentric brother. Still, advising Mr. Norris is a most exciting secret diversion. After all, how hard will it be to match-make someone so forthright, honorable, and downright handsome? It's not as if she's in danger of finding Charles all-too-irresistible herself…
Once in the carriage, seated across from her brother, Marjorie tried to remain calm. Those words in the cryptic note nagged at her— “negotiate the terms.” What on earth could he mean by that? Her imagination suggested every scenario from her hand in marriage, to her virtue, or one of her family’s properties. But if he wanted a property, couldn’t he have negotiated that with George? Her brother was the head of the family and quite capable of such a negotiation.
Oh, God, would he want . . . favors? Her stomach twisted as she tried to recall anything she could about Charles Norris. He was a gentleman—at least he had been raised that way. His brother, heir to the viscountcy, was a highly respected man with an excellent reputation.
In short order, the carriage pulled up in front of the townhouse on fashionable Bury Street, not far from St. James’s Square. The streets were deserted, but well lit by gas lamps hissing in the quiet of the night. With a deep sigh, Marjorie stepped down from the carriage, ignoring the concerned look of their footman, and walked up the steps to the front door. Twisting the bell, she stepped back, clutching her fists to her stomach in a desperate attempt to squelch the sick nervousness settling there. She barely had time to collect herself when the door opened to a tall Indian man wearing a traditional dhoti and white turban.
“Lady Marjorie, please come in. Mr. Norris is expecting you.”
“Lovely,” Marjorie said, stepping into the dimly lit entry hall.
“This way.” The servant walked down a long, dark hall, which only added to the trepidation in her heart. She thought she heard a strange grunting sound coming from the direction of their path, and she stopped dead.
The man turned toward her inquiringly.
“I . . . Are there no lights?”
“Ah, forgive my rudeness. I am used to walking these halls in the darkness and quite forgot you are not familiar with this house.” He pulled a match from his pocket and lit a wall sconce. “Better, no?”
Marjorie smiled. “Much better, thank you.”
“Now we can contin—” His sentence was interrupted by a very loud and very foul curse. “Nighttime can be difficult for Mr. Norris,” the Indian said cryptically, before continuing down the hall.
“Perhaps another time would be better?” Marjorie called after him.
He turned again, smiling pleasantly. “This way, my lady.”
With a sigh of resignation, Marjorie began walking toward the end of the hall, stopping when the man knocked softly at a door, which showed a dim light underneath. Here they would no doubt find the loud and foul-mouthed Mr. Norris.
“Goddamnit, Prajit, if she ain’t here yet, leave me the fuck alone!”
“Perhaps I should come back at a more respectable hour, sir?”
Charles spun around from his spot by the fire where he’d stood, hoping the warmth of the flames would soothe the agonizing pain shooting through his leg. He muttered yet another curse, clenched his jaw, and forced a smile, which even he knew probably made him look like a madman.
“Lady Marjorie, I apologize for the lateness of the hour, but I wanted this resolved as soon as possible.”
Through the haze of pain, he was aware the lady was dressed for a ball, and he had enough wits about him to realize she’d been pulled from said ball to attend him. “And I apologize again for taking you from what I imagine was a pleasant evening.”
“Perhaps more pleasant than this,” she said, raising one brow in her lovely face.
Now that she was in front of him, he realized he remembered her quite well. It was rather difficult to meet Lady Marjorie Penwhistle and not remember her. She was, in fact, every Englishman’s fantasy of what an English woman should look like—if one preferred darkhaired beauties as opposed to blondes. Her complexion was near perfection, creamy and smooth with the slightest blush along her delicate cheekbones. Her nose was small, her chin perhaps a bit strong (a gift, no doubt, from her mother), but she was in no way mannish. Her eyes were dark, and in this light, he couldn’t tell if they were dark blue or perhaps brown. Her entire countenance gave her an air of authority and intelligence—and coldness. No, he wasn’t the least bit attracted to her.
She would be perfect for him.
Book release date - 2/3/15
Jane Goodger started her writing career as a journalist. She worked for several small, community papers before covering crime at a Connecticut daily, where she discovered life can be cruel and doesn’t often have a happy ending. Taking mattered into her own hands, Jane decided to recreate a world where all women are successful and brilliant, all men are kind, sexy, and gorgeous, and every story ends happily. She likes this world much better. Jane lives with her husband and three children in New England. You can visit her at www.janegoodger.com.
Social links: https://twitter.com/JaneGoodger; https://www.facebook.com/JaneGoodgerBooks
Purchase link: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/31066