It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green)
Julie Anne Long
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More than one beautiful woman's hopeshave been dashed on the rocky shoals ofJonathan Redmond's heart. With his rivetinggood looks and Redmond wealth and power,the world is his oyster—until an ultimatumfrom his father and a chilling gypsy prophecysend him hurtling headlong toward a fatehe'll do anything to avoid: matrimony.
Intoxicating, elusive Thomasina de Ballesteroshas the bloods of London at her feet. But noneof them knows the real Tommy—the one witha shocking pedigree, a few too many secrets,and a healthy scorn for rakes like Jonathan.
She's everything Jonathan never wanted.But on one fateful midnight, he's drawn intoTommy's world of risk, danger . . . and a desirehe'd never dreamed possible. And suddenlyhe's re-thinking everything . . . includingthe possibility that succumbing to prophecymight just mean surrendering to love.
would always save her from herself. She was now the Earl of Ardmay’s concern. And he was possibly the only man on the planet who could handle her. Yet how on earth could he have known this about Tommy? He was about to learn more about her, and he wasn’t certain whether he wanted to, and yet everything in him rebelled at the idea of her hurling herself off a bridge because no one else had ever pulled her back by her metaphorical elbows. A conviction settled over him. He inhaled deeply, and
though she thought she were a bloody queen; or the smile that implied everyone in the ballroom was her loyal subject; or that gown—a violet blue, like a certain pair of eyes, silk, achingly stylish. It had likely cost a queen’s ransom. Primarily she hated her because of the hand resting on her waist. She in fact couldn’t take her eyes away from the hand resting on Lady Grace’s waist. And in the rational depths of her mind, which still hadn’t recovered to their full pragmatic strength in the
opportunity to find out. THE COUNTESS MIRABEAU was dressed as an Egyptian today, or rather, her interpretation of an Egyptian. A gold armband wound round her arm, and kohl was drawn round her eyes. Tommy wished she could paint her eyes with kohl, because the blue shadows beneath them were just a little too apparent, and some of the poets were incorporating them into the metaphors they were using to flatter her. Her lids began to lower as she stood listening to Argosy describe the sort of
them—that says something entirely different. It says the mill belongs to me. I’ll tell you about that next. For that’s where your choice comes in. First, I wanted you to know, Tommy . . . that I chose a bride from a deck of cards yesterday.” She reared back. And now shock slowly iced her palms and the pit of her stomach. She longed to look over her shoulder. Longed to flee. But she was trapped here now. Surely . . . surely the mill wasn’t an apology, or a thank you for services rendered? Was
instance, when he’d last worked for her. Dubious occupations, in fact, seemed to be one unifying characteristic of the people who lived in her building. It was where her mother had ultimately died, young, ill, and penniless, and it was where Tommy, when she’d found her way back to it, had cobbled together a motley family of sorts, for they had loved her mother. Her rooms were small and as snug as a shoe, filled with the few fine things her mother had left behind when she died, and she was