Season for Scandal: Tangled Reins/Fair Juno [NOOK Book]

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens takes your breath away with two charming romances...



TANGLED REINS



Miss Dorothea Darent has no intention of ...
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Season for Scandal: Tangled Reins/Fair Juno

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens takes your breath away with two charming romances...



TANGLED REINS



Miss Dorothea Darent has no intention of ever getting married, certainly not to a rogue such as the Marquis of Hazelmere. A disreputable scoundrel, he is captivated when they meet by chance and is determined to win her heart, even while she's busy dazzling the rest of London society. Now Dorothea has a choice to make: stick with her plan to remain a respectable spinster, or run into the arms of her dashing stranger....



FAIR JUNO



When the Earl of Merton suddenly finds himself playing the knight in shining armor to a damsel in distress, he knows his days as a notorious rake are numbered. But though the lady seems grateful for his assistance, she flees the scene without revealing her name. And though past scandals and present dangers threaten his pursuit of the mysterious lady, he knows she is to be his destiny.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426833601
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 2/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 54,564
  • File size: 2 MB

Read an Excerpt

A Season For Scandal


By Stephanie Laurens

MIRA

Copyright © 2005 Stephanie Laurens
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0778321207

Martin Cambden Willesden, fifth Earl of Merton, strode purposefully along the first-floor corridor of the Hermitage, his principal country residence. The scowl marring his striking features would have warned any who knew him that he was in a foul mood. A common saying among the men of the 7th Hussars had been that if any emotion showed on Major Willesden's face the portents were bad. And, thought ex-Major Willesden savagely, I've every right to feel furious.

Recalled from pleasant exile in the Bahamas, forced to leave behind the most satisfying mistress he had ever mounted, he had landed in gloomy London to face an uphill battle to extricate the family fortunes from the appalling state they had, apparently unaided, tumbled into. Matthews, the elder, of Matthews and Sons, his and his family's man of business, had warned him that the Hermitage was in need of attention and would not, in its present state, meet with his approval. He had thought that was all part of the old man's attempt to persuade him to return to England without delay. He should have recalled Matthews' habit of understatement. Martin's lips thinned. The grim look in his grey eyes deepened. The Hermitage was in even worse case than the investments he had spent the last three weeks reorganising.

As he paced the length of the corridor, the crisp clack of bootheels penetrated his reverie. In a state bordering on shock, Martin stopped and stared down. There were no runners! Just bare wooden boards and, to his critical eye, they were not even wellpolished.

Slowly, his grey gaze lifted to take in the sombre tones of decaying wallpaper framed by faded and musty hangings. A pervasive chill inhabited the gloom.

His frown now black, the Earl of Merton swore -- and added yet another item to the catalogue of matters requiring immediate attention. If he was ever to visit the Hermitage again, let alone reside for more than a day, the place would have to be done up. Downstairs was bad enough -- but this! Description failed him.

Setting aside his aggravation, Martin resumed his determined progress towards the Dowager Countess's rooms. Since his arrival eight hours ago, he had postponed the inevitable meeting with his mother on the grounds of dealing with the problems crippling his major estate. The excuse had not been exaggeration. But the critical decisions had been made; the reins were now firmly in his grasp.

Despite such success, his hopes for the coming interview were less than certain. Curiosity brushed shoulders with a lingering wariness he had not thought he still possessed.

His mother, Lady Catherine Willesden, the Dowager Countess of Merton, had terrorised her household for as long as Martin could recall. The only ones apparently immune from her domination had been his father and himself. His father she had excused. He had not been so favoured.

He halted outside the plain wooden door that gave access to the Dowager's apartments. Despite all that lay between them, she was his mother. A mother he had not seen for thirteen years and whom he remembered as a cold, calculating woman with no room in her heart for him. How much of the blame for the decay of his ancestral acres could be laid at her door? The question puzzled him, for he knew her pride. In fact, he had a good few questions, including how she would deal with him now; the answers lay beyond the door facing him.

Recognising the instinctive squaring of his shoulders as his habit when about to enter his colonel's domain, Martin's lips twitched. Without more ado, he raised a fist to the plain panels and knocked. Hearing a clear instruction to enter, he opened the door and complied.

He paused just beyond the threshold, his hand on the doorknob and, with a practised air of languid ease, scanned the room. What he saw answered some of his questions.

The tall, upright figure in the chair before the windows was much as he remembered, more gaunt with hair three shades greyer, perhaps, but still retaining that calm air of determination he so vividly recalled. It was the sight of the gnarled and twisted hands resting, useless, in her lap and the peculiar rigidity of her pose that alerted him to the truth. They had told him she kept to her room, a victim of rheumatism. He had interpreted that as a fashionable response to a relatively minor ailment. Now, reality stared him in the face. His mother was an invalid, bound to her chair.

Pity stabbed him, sharp and fresh. He remembered her as an active woman, riding and dancing with the best of them. Then his eyes locked with hers, chilly grey, haughty as ever -- and more defensive than he had ever seen them. Instantly, he knew that pity was the very last thing his mother would accept from him.

Despite the real shock, his face remained impassive. Unhurriedly, he closed the door and strolled into the room, taking a moment to acknowledge the round-eyed stare of the only other occupant of the large chamber -- his eldest brother's relict, Melissa.

Catherine Willesden sat in her high-backed chair and watched her third son approach, her features as impassive as his. Her lips thinned as she took in his long, powerful frame, and the subtle elegance that cloaked it. The light fell on his features as he drew nearer. Her sharp eyes were quick to detect the hardness behind the elegance, a ruthless determination, a hedonism ill-concealed by the veneer of polite manners. It was a characteristic she was honest enough to recognise.

Then he was before her. To her horror, he reached for her hand. She would have stopped him if she'd been able but the words stuck in her throat, trapped by her pride. Warm, strong fingers closed over her gnarled fingers. Her surprise was swamped beneath a sudden rush of emotions as Martin's dark head bent and she felt his lips brush her wrinkled skin. Gently, he replaced her hand in her lap and dutifully kissed her cheek.

"Mama."

The single word, uttered in a gravelly voice deeper than she recalled, jolted Lady Catherine to reality. She blinked rapidly. Her heart was beating faster. Ridiculous! She fixed her son with a frown, struggling to infuse an arctic bleakness into her grey eyes. The slight smile which played about his mouth suggested that he was well aware he had thrown her off balance. But she was determined to keep this black sheep firmly beneath her thumb. She could, and would, ensure he brought no further scandal upon the family.

"I believe, sir, that I sent instructions that you were to attend me here immediately you reached England?"

Entirely unperturbed by his mother's icy glare, Martin strolled to the empty fireplace, one black brow rising in polite surprise. "Didn't my secretary write to you?"

Indignation flared in Lady Catherine's pale eyes. "If you are referring to a note from a Mr Wetherall informing me that the Earl of Merton was occupied with taking up the reins of his inheritance and would call on me at his earliest convenience, I received it, sirrah! What I want to know is what the meaning of it is. And why, once you finally arrived, it took you an entire day to remember the way to my rooms!"

Continues...


Excerpted from A Season For Scandal by Stephanie Laurens Copyright © 2005 by Stephanie Laurens.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 10, 2013

    If you love Regency romance, these tales are for you!

    These two works by Stephanie Laurens were my introduction to her and I have been a fan since picking them up in 2007. Her characters are vibrant and fun, and I love how she weaves them into a community that then leads us on other journeys, separate, yet connected. I have purchased Nook books to replace or supplement my dog-eared paperbacks because I enjoy her stories over and over.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Must Read for Regency Fans!

    Stephanie Laurens is one of my favorite authors who never fails to entertain -- some are just better than others. All of Stephanie's books are "must read" for anyone who loves Regency or historical romances. This two-for-one collection of a couple of her earliest books is a treat.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2007

    Refreshing

    I must say that I disagree with the other reviews. I liked this book very much, it is not as outstanding as her other series, but I found the characters refreshing and the romance was beautiful. The men actually took time to get to know the ladies and declare their love for them not after sex, but before. I do recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2005

    Summary by Publisher

    This book is comprised of two earlier books from Stephanie Laurens: Tangled Reins & Fair Juno. Tangled Reins: Miss Dorothea Darent has no intention of ever getting married, certainly not to a rogue such as the Marquis of Hazelmere. A disreputable scoundrel, he is captivated when they meet by chance and is determined to win her heart, even while she's busy dazzling the rest of London society. Now Dorothea has a choice to make: stick with her plan to remain a respectable spinster, or run into the arms of her dashing stranger... Fair Juno: When the Early of Merton suddenly finds himself playing the knight in shining armor to a damsel in distress, he knows his days as a notorious rake are numbered. But though the lady seems grateful for his assistance, she flees the scene without revealing her name. And though past scandals and present dangers threaten his pursuit of the mysterious lady, he knows she is to be his destiny.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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