Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, Book 1)
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From the New York Times bestselling author of To Desire a Devil comes this thrilling tale of danger, desire, and dark passions.
A MAN CONTROLLED BY HIS DESIRES . . .
Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London's most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand-she's spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk . . .
A WOMAN HAUNTED BY HER PAST . . .
Caire makes a simple offer-in return for Temperance's help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London's high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control-one that may well destroy them both.
A BARGAIN NEITHER COULD REFUSE
quite horrible.” A muffled giggle came from behind them. Temperance turned and to her horror saw that they weren’t alone. Lady Hero, in a striking silvery-blue dress, had somehow entered the little hallway and, what was worse, had obviously heard her. “Oh. I’m sorry,” Temperance muttered, beginning a curtsy and then changing her mind halfway down and popping back up too fast. “I didn’t mean… that is… uh…” “She is rather horrible,” Lady Hero said, smiling faintly. “But if you will credit it
he didn’t care. It was odd; she’d always thought she’d love someone who saw only the best in her when all along it was the man who saw everything—the good and the bad—who she loved. And now it was too late. Her throat was raw, and Temperance realized she was screaming, trying to crawl forward, Winter’s hold on her arm preventing her. And then a small form appeared, walking from the smoke and flames. Mary Whitsun emerged from the burning home like a miracle. She saw Temperance and ran to her.
snap of a piece of coal falling. He waited patiently, caressing the silver head of his cane. Then she faced him fully. “You’re right. Your money does not tempt me. It’s a stopgap measure that would only delay our eventual eviction.” He cocked his head, watching as she carefully licked those lush lips, preparing her argument, no doubt. He felt the beat of the pulse beneath his skin, his body’s response to her feminine vitality. “What do you want, then, Mrs. Dews?” She met his gaze levelly,
over her head. Her lips were a deep red, her cheeks flushed, and the dawning sun gave her skin a golden glaze. She was almost too beautiful, lying next to him, to be real. Only the tangle of her dark hair saved her from perfection. Thank God. He’d bought and used perfection before, and it no longer interested him. His blood stirred now for a real woman. One untidy lock of hair trailed across a cheek, down her neck, sticking a bit sweatily, and curled at the top of one exposed breast. Round and
She yanked wildly at her bonds. “Explain,” he demanded. “Let me go!” “No.” “You don’t know me!” she screamed. Her mouth was wide, and tears had started at her eyes. “I’m not good; I’m not a saint. I need to work at the home.” He pressed his nose to hers. “Why?” “Because it’s a good and true thing to do. It doesn’t matter a whit how I feel about it.” “You’re doing penance, aren’t you?” he whispered. She shook her head, red-faced, the tears running into her tangled hair. “I don’t deserve—”