His lust for revenge will be his downfall…
London, 1815. Eliza Somerton has a dangerous secret. As the daughter of the infamous art forger who duped half the ton, she’s rebuilt her life under a new name. But when an old forgery goes up for auction, her father’s enemy, Grayson Montgomery, outbids her and presents her with an unimaginable choice: help him find her father or he’ll ruin her.
For years, Grayson, the Earl of Huntingdon and one of London’s top art critics, has sought justice. His well-laid plans finally come to fruition when he learns of his enemy’s beautiful daughter. But Eliza possesses a sensuality and independent spirit that weakens his resolve, and as the heat between them sizzles, what started as revenge soon blossoms into something sinful…
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Tina Gabrielle, an award-winning author, is an attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She's the author of adventurous Regency romances In The Barrister's Bed, In The Barrister's Chambers, Lady Of Scandal, and A Perfect Scandal from Kensington Books. "A Spy Unmasked" is the first book in her new Regency romance series, "In The Crown's Secret Service," and will be released from Entangled Publishing on November 10, 2014. "At The Spy's Pleasure" will be available in April 2015. Tina's books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and her first book, Lady Of Scandal, was nominated as best first historical by Romantic Times Book Reviews.
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Grayson sipped a flute of champagne and watched as men made fools of themselves vying for Eliza’s attention. He couldn’t blame them. She looked exquisite tonight in the enticing sapphire gown that hugged her curves and displayed the lush mounds of her breasts. Another gentleman wandered over, increasing the number to four men who surrounded her. Every protective instinct made him want to stake his claim, but he couldn’t act as Eliza’s escort. They must appear to have been invited separately. He said her reputation mattered to him, and it did.
Still, he was perturbed, and he experienced an animalistic possessiveness. A young buck reached for her rapidly filling dance card and scribbled his name.
The orchestra struck up a waltz, and Grayson acted on impulse. He strode forward and elbowed his way past the men until he reached Eliza’s side.
“The lady’s first waltz is already taken.” Grayson took her arm and whisked her away from her admirers and to the parquet dance floor.
He rested his hand on her slim waist and caught the music. She followed his lead and it occurred to him that she had no reason to know the waltz, but she was proficient in the steps.
“Where did you learn how to dance?” he asked.
Eliza arched a brow. “You mean how could a shopkeeper know how to waltz?”
“I didn’t mean to insult—”
She smiled up at him, and his pulse increased. “I’m teasing, my lord. I’ve been practicing these past two weeks with Amelia.”
He whirled her around the dance floor, their bodies inches apart. Her delicate lavender perfume teased him, and he could scarcely think about his steps due to the tumult of desire he felt for her. He was tempted to spin her straight out to the terrace and find a secluded spot in the gardens. To claim those red lips and peel the magnificent gown down her slim shoulders.
“What are you thinking?” she asked.
Other than making love to you?
“The gallery, remember?” he said. “I’ll slip away during the champagne toast celebrating the viscountess’s birthday.”
“Where should I meet you?”
“I don’t want you to meet me. I want you to stay at the ball,” he said firmly.
She raised her chin and boldly met his gaze. “No.”
The music began to fade as the waltz ended and the orchestra prepared for its next ensemble. Grayson grasped her hand, fully intending to whisk her behind a potted palm where he could argue with her when, out of the corner of his eye, he spotted the young buck who had last written on Eliza’s dance card eagerly waiting for her at the edge of the parquet floor. Grayson pivoted, steering her toward the open French doors leading to the terrace.
Cool night air engulfed him. Torches burned bright, illuminating the slate tiles of the terrace and the well-sculpted gardens below. A pair of gentleman smoking cheroots lounged in the corner. Grayson led Eliza to the opposite corner and leaned against the balustrade.
“I insist you stay here. I have to pick the lock. It may not be safe,” he said.
Her magnificent green eyes shone defiantly in the torchlight. “I did not come all this way to be set aside. I’m coming with you.”
Infuriating woman. He didn’t know whether he wanted to vehemently argue with her or kiss her senseless.
“Fine. The viscount’s private gallery is at the top of the stairs. We’ll have to go up through the servants’ staircase. If we’re caught, we are lovers looking for a secluded room for a rendezvous, understand?”
“I’m an exceptional actress, remember?”
How could he forget?
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