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Too Wicked to Tame by Sophie Jordan - Romance>Historical Other
Would a Reluctant Beauty Ever Wed . . .
Headstrong Lady Portia Derring has an impeccable pedigree . . . and not a penny to her name. Which is why she is alone on the rain-swept Yorkshire moor, waiting for a wealthy earl she has never met but whom her family insists she wed. When she's nearly trampled by the blackguard's stallion, Portia is more determined than ever to refuse Heath Moreton's suit. Handsome devil he may be, but she could never marry a rogue who's so clearly out of control!
A Wild, Incorrigible Beast?
An avowed bachelor, scion of the notorious "Mad" Moreton clan, Heath won't be shackled in matrimony. Why then does this rain-drenched beauty excite him so? Desire consumes him, but the eminently beddable lady resists his well-practiced seductions. Now only one route remains: Heath must ignore his bad blood, vanquish his inner beast . . . and prove to Portia that she's the only woman capable of taming his heart.
Reader Rating: 0.0 Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
"I'm going to carve out his lying tongue," Lady Portia Derring bit out as she surveyed the stretch of empty road nestled among thick, spiny gorse and rocky hills, desperate to catch a glimpse of her errant driver.
An icy wind pulled at her bonnet. Her fingers, stiff and aching from the cold, clung to the frayed ribbons dangling beneath her chin. Even horribly out of fashion, the straw confection was her best bonnet and she wasn't inclined to lose it.
"Looking out that window again?" Nettie asked.
Falling back against the seat, Portia heaved a sigh and announced, "We're stranded. John's not coming back."
"He'll be back," her maid replied with a decided lack of worry as she stretched her generous curves along the threadbare squabs. "Take a nap."
Portia frowned at Nettie. "And let highwaymen take us unaware? Splendid idea, that."
Nettie yawned widely, offering Portia a view of the tonsils far back in her throat. She closed and opened her mouth several times with a vulgar smacking sound before adding, "What's got your nose out of joint?"
Portia gestured about them at the motionless carriage, a feeling of frustration sweeping over her. "In case you failed to notice, we've been abandoned by our sot of a driver." She nodded to the window where the sky deepened to a smoky purple. "I don't relish the idea of spending the night in this rickety carriage."
Nettie lifted a reddish brow and glanced out the window. Portia followed her gaze, eyeing the craggy limestone terrain, then the dark clouds scuttling across the sky, distracted at the sight of such raw beauty. Miles away from civilization. From family and words like duty, responsibilityÃ¢ÂÂmarriage. Her heart lifted, her precarious situation suddenly not feeling so calamitous. The invisible band about her chest loosened, allowing her to take her first easy breath in years.
Nettie clucked her tongue. "You really did it this time for the ol' bird to send you all the way out here."
Portia flicked a piece of lint off her blue merino skirt and stifled the retort that burned on her tongue. "I don't know what you mean," she lied. "I've done nothing. Nothing at all."
"Nothin'," her cheeky maid snorted. "That's about the gist of it. Five years of nothin'. Well, your time's run out." She nodded as though pleased. "I heard what your grandmother said."
"Listening at keyholes again?" Portia accused.
"Either you choose or they will. And if you ask me, they should have put an end to your contrary ways long ago."
"No one's asking you," Portia snapped.
Shrugging, the round-cheeked maid looked out the window again, granting Portia a meager moment of peace before demanding, "Ain't there rich enough nabobs in Town? Hardly seems possible any swell lives in this godforsaken land." Shaking her coppery head, Nettie turned to glare at her in a way that left no doubt whom she held responsible for their ejection from Town. "Tell me we're at least almost there."
"John didn't say, but we must be near." Not that her driver had said much before staggering down the road, his vow to return within the hour echoing hollowly even then. Especially when issued through gin-laced breath. "I should have taken the mail coach," she muttered.
Not that Grandmother would have permitted such a thing. A Derring never resorted to public transport. No matter how desperate. There were appearances to be kept, after all. A Derring must not appear destitute. Even if they happened to be.
"Bet you wish you'd chosen one of those swells back in Town now, eh?"
Portia stifled a grimace and looked out the window again, careful not to reveal her decided lack of regret. What was one suitor to fend off when she was accustomed to the...
Too Wicked to TameBy: Sophie Jordan