Ranney’s second novel in her breathtaking series, an unconventional woman and a former scoundrel embark on a daring mission of desire.
Once the ton’s most notorious rake, Dalton MacIain has returned from his
expedition to America during the Civil War-wounded and a changed man. Instead
of attending soirees, he now spends his time as a recluse. But Dalton’s peace
is disturbed when Minerva Todd barges into his London townhouse, insisting he
help search for her missing brother Neville. Though Dalton would love to spend
more time with the bewitching beauty, he has no interest in finding Neville-for
he blames him for his injury.
infuriating man than the Earl of Rathsmere yet she is intrigued by the torrid
rumors she has heard about him…and the fierce attraction pulling her toward
persistence-or the desire she awakens in him, compelling him to discover her
brother’s fate. But when danger surrounds them, Dalton fears he will lose the
tantalizing, thoroughly unpredictable woman he has come to love.
She didn’t know what part of the letter made her angrier, the fact that he had gone off to see if he was brave, or his thought that women should simply agree to anything a man suggested.
Sitting at her desk, she calmly folded the letter and held it against her chest.
She would not cry. Tears did nothing but make her eyes and nose red and congest her breathing. They didn’t solve the situation. They didn’t make her feel less guilty.
He had never mentioned America to her. What did he know about their war? Did he simply want to go into battle to see if he could survive it?
Dear God, had he survived it?
That was the one question no one could answer.
She replaced the letter in the drawer of her desk and sat quietly, thinking of her next move. If she wrote the earl again, he would probably ignore her, as he’d already done five times. If she returned to his house tomorrow, encountered his secretary again and marshaled her arguments better, was there any guarantee Mr. Howington would listen?
She had only been jesting when she was talking to Mrs. Beauchamp, but perhaps she should engage in a little subterfuge. Every house needed servants, and the earl’s large home must require quite a number of them in order to run smoothly.
The plan being born in her imagination died a swift death. Mr. Howington had seen her. Perhaps she could attempt to engage the housekeeper’s help. Or bribe one of the servants to turn the other way when she gained entrance to the house.
She had to find a way in to see the Earl of Rathsmere. She had to find out what happened to Neville.
How could she live another day without knowing?
five. Her first published work was The Maple Leaf, read over the school
intercom when she was in the first grade. In addition to wanting to be a
violinist (her parents had a special violin crafted for her when she was
seven), she wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher, and, most of all, a writer.
Though the violin was discarded early, she still admits to a fascination with
the law, and she volunteers as a teacher whenever needed. Writing, however, has
remained the overwhelming love of her life.