The Harlot Countess (Wicked Deceptions)
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Maggie, Lady Hawkins, had a debut she'd rather forget--along with her first marriage. Today, the political cartoonist is a new woman. A thoroughly modern woman. So much so that her clamoring public believes she's a man...
FACT: Drawing under a male pseudonym, Maggie is known as Lemarc. Her (his!) favorite object of ridicule: Simon Barrett, Earl of Winchester. He's a rising star in Parliament--and a former confidant and love interest of Maggie's who believed a rumor that vexes her to this day.
FICTION: Maggie is the Half-Irish Harlot who seduced her best friend's husband on the eve of their wedding. She is to be feared and loathed as she will lift her skirts for anything in breeches.
Still crushed by Simon's betrayal, Maggie has no intention of letting the ton crush her as well. In fact, Lemarc's cartoons have made Simon a laughingstock...but now it appears that Maggie may have been wrong about what happened years ago, and that Simon has been secretly yearning for her since...forever. Could it be that the heart is mightier than the pen and the sword after all?
- The Courtesan Duchess
- The Harlot Countess
- The Lady Hellion
his peers would suffer if he continued to be portrayed as a buffoon. Mayhap it was time to suggest a certain artist apply his skills elsewhere. And if said suggestion was perceived as a threat, well then, so be it. “Shall we go inside?” A bell tinkled over the door as Simon entered, Quint on his heels. A spacious room, the shop had rows of windows set high, right up to the ceiling, allowing light to bounce off every available surface, even on a gray winter day such as this. Framed art crowded
Lemarc’s version.” “But it’s close enough we can assume this is what Lemarc attempted to paint. He didn’t have one in front of him, however, so did it from memory.” Quint slapped Simon on the back. “Well done! I knew you were smarter than you appeared—” “Easy, man. I am still able to pin you to the ground with one hand tied behind my back.” His friend chuckled and picked up the grouse painting. “I believe we can discount this one altogether, then.” “I agree. Lemarc likely had seen one in his
garment as quickly as the others and then reclined back on his bed, leaving her wearing only her thin shift. Simon slid his arms back above his head, almost as if he were trying not to touch her. “Will you remove it, so I can watch?” Maggie bit her lip. She hadn’t removed her clothing in front of a man before; her maid always undressed her, even during her marriage. But she wasn’t shy with Simon. Perhaps she should be, but he’d already seen most of her and anyway, what was one more pair of
you.” “Show me,” he said, though it came out more like a plea than an order. She climbed onto the massive bed and bent to press her mouth to the inside of his knee. The muscles in his leg jumped. Encouraged, she kissed her way up his thigh. The salty heat of his skin, the slight tickle of the wiry hair . . . She felt drugged on the smell and taste of him as she used her teeth and her tongue to mark her path, while Simon’s rapid exhalations echoed in the quiet of the bedchamber. She nipped his
his mind. You broke my heart once. I shall not give you the chance to do it again. Julia had alluded to it in London, but hearing Maggie admit it changed everything. No longer would he wait. He meant to break down the walls she kept up between them. If she’d cared for him once, she could do so again. He merely needed to wage a clever, careful campaign. So for the moment, he chose to avoid disagreeing with her. Instead he would employ strategy, much as he did when trying to win votes. “Have you