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A Regency romp about a young lady who vows revenge on the rakish lord who loved and left her, only to find herself unexpectedly caught in Cupid's net along with the handsome viscount when her plan to love and leave him backfires.
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
Something wicked this way comes.
-- Macbeth, Act IV, Scene i
Lady Georgiana Halley watched Dare enter the ballroom and wondered why the soles of his boots didn't smoke, he was so well traveled on the path to Hell. The rest of him certainly smoldered, dark and devilishly seductive, as he made his way toward the gaming rooms. He didn't even notice when Elinor Blythem turned her back on him.
"I really do hate that man," she murmured.
"Beg pardon?" Lord Luxley loped by her, the country dance sending him leaping in a circle with her at the center.
"Nothing, my lord. I'm only thinking aloud."
"Well, share your thoughts with me, Lady Georgiana." He touched her hand, turned, and vanished for a moment behind Miss Partrey as they wound through the line again. "Nothing pleases me so much as the sound of your voice."
Except, perhaps, for the gold clinking in my purse. Georgiana sighed. She was becoming far too jaded. "You are too kind, my lord."
"That is an impossibility where you are concerned."
They circled around again, and Georgiana scowled at Dare's broad back as the scoundrel strolled out of sight, probably to go smoke a cheroot and drink with his blackguard friends. The evening had been so pleasant before Dare had intruded. Her aunt was hosting the soiree, so she couldn't imagine that anyone had even invited him.
Her dance partner joined her again, and she favored the handsome, golden-haired baron with a determined smile. She would just have to put that devil Dare out of her thoughts. "You are energetic tonight, Lord Luxley."
"You inspire me," he said, sounding winded.The dance came to a close. While the baron dug in his waistcoat for a handkerchief, Georgiana caught sight of Lucinda Barrett and Evelyn Ruddick, standing with their heads together at the refreshment table."Thank you, my lord," she said to her partner, curtsying before he could offer to take her on a stroll around the room. "You've exhausted me beyond recall. If you'll excuse me?""Oh. I-- of course, my lady.""Luxley?" Lucinda exclaimed from behind her ivory-jibbed fan as Georgiana joined them. "How did that happen?"Georgiana gave in to a genuine smile. "He wanted to recite the poem he'd written in my honor, and the only way to stop him after the first stanza was to agree to a dance.""He wrote you a poem?" Evelyn looped her hand around Georgiana's arm and led the way to the chairs lining one side of the room."He did." Grateful to see Luxley select one of the debutantes as his next victim, Georgiana accepted a glass of Madeira from one of the footman. After three hours of quadrilles, waltzes, and country dances, her feet ached. "And you know what rhymes with Georgiana, don't you?"Evelyn wrinkled her brow, her gray eyes twinkling. "No, what?"
"Nothing. He just put 'iana' after every ending word. In iambic- trimeter, yet. 'Oh, Georgiana, your beauty is my sunlightiana, your hair is finer than goldiana, your --'"
Lucinda made a choking sound. "Dear Lord, stop that at once. Georgie, you have the most astounding ability to make gentlemen do and say the most ridiculous things."
Georgiana shook her head, pushing a goldiana curl out of her eyes as it came loose from one of its ivory clips. "My money has that ability. Not me."
"You shouldn't be so cynical. After all, he did go to the effort of writing you a poem, awful or not," Evelyn said.
"Yes, you're right. It's very sad that I've become so jaded at a mere four-and-twenty, isn't it?"
"Are you going to choose Luxley for your lesson?"
Evelyn asked. "It seems to me, he could stand to learn a few things -- namely about how dim women aren't.
The RakeBy: Suzanne Enoch