Caroline Torrington is large, and she wears glasses. Not the sort of woman to attract the attention of London's most notorious rake unless he is after her fortune. Lucas, Lord Foxhaven, noted for his wild and reckless behavior, is once again in dispute with his father over his financial excesses. Only his childhood friend Caro can help him out of his predicament and perhaps find a way to his heart.
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Michele Ann Young Regency Author
The outside door banged against the stone wall. Caro, heart pounding, a hot wet plate pressed to her chest, swung around. She watched, slack-jawed, as a horse and black-coated rider clattered beneath the great stone arch into the vaulted chamber.
The antiquated flambeaux quivered in their iron wall sconces sending shadows dancing wildly across the walls.
The inrush of cold air stirred the hair on her nape. A shiver ran down her back. Speak of the devil and he was sure to appear. Lucas Rivers, Viscount Foxhaven, her erstwhile best friend and rejected suitor, certainly fit the bill. Long jet hair scraped back in a queue demonized the chiselled planes and angles of his face in the flickering light. A slash of black brow winged up to match the wry twist to his firm lips.
Her foolish heart tumbled over. By dint of will, she curbed a smile of welcome. The ton might find his antics amusing, but he’d get no encouragement from her, not any more.
How on earth had he managed to run her to earth? Or was he drunk and had simply lost his way? “If you are here for the trophy ride, you need to enter through the front door, otherwise you’ll find the stables across the courtyard.” She sounded remarkably calm given the beast’s size and the way it seemed to steal the air, replacing it with the smell of leather and horse.
He cracked a familiar short laugh. “I know where the stables are.” His deep voice resonated off the ancient stone walls and strummed every nerve in her body.
Butterflies seemed to take wing in her stomach. “What do you want, Foxhaven?”
“You. Your sisters said I would find you here.” He ran a disparaging glance around the cavernous room. “I didn’t think you’d sunk this low.”
Not low enough, if his presence meant anything. A spurt of anger stiffened her shoulders. “There is nothing wrong with honest toil.”
He glowered. “It won’t wash Caro. I’m not leaving until you agree to marry me.”
“Then you stay and I will leave.”
The stallion moved deeper into the kitchen, metal-clad hooves striking sparks on the flagstone floor, blocking her exit. “I mean it.”
She glared at him. “You had your answer a year ago? I see no reason to change my mind.”
His sardonic gaze swept over the shapeless black gown and the mobcap she’d borrowed from Lizzie, her maid. “Really? I suppose you would sooner wash dishes than marry me?”