Her Scandalous Intentions

Her Scandalous Intentions

4.5 7
by Sari Robins

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In a dazzling debut, newcomer Sari Robins pens a fast–paced, richly romantic Regency historical in a style that combines liveliness, creativity and emotion, sure to delight romance fans.


In a dazzling debut, newcomer Sari Robins pens a fast–paced, richly romantic Regency historical in a style that combines liveliness, creativity and emotion, sure to delight romance fans.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With its conventional plot and cookie-cutter protagonists, Robins's Regency-era debut doesn't break any new ground, but fans of romance-cum-espionage adventures will take pleasure in the characters' easy banter and daring escapades. James Morgan, a duke who is now spying for the Crown, finds himself in a quandary after he mistakes sweet, charitable Charlotte Hastings for a traitorous thief intent on financing Napoleon's restoration to power. James intends to wring a confession from Charlotte during a weekend party, but when he is caught in her room, he claims she's his betrothed in order to save her reputation. Believing James may be a traitor, Charlotte initially refuses to go along with his charade, so he kidnaps her and endures several groin injuries before the avuncular General Cumseby, a friend to both, sets the matter to rights. Though the two no longer suspect one another, they still have their pretend betrothal, which proves useful as they join forces to ferret out the real villain. James and Charlotte spend as much time working together as they do arguing, but their silent caring for one another shines through even when they're at odds. Neither a humorous romp nor a saga, this will appeal to readers who enjoy steely heroes and strong-willed heroines who give as good as they get. (Dec. 3)

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Chapter One

Clouds drifted lazily overhead, intermittently blocking the sun and making shadows dance across the green meadow below. With her straw hat beside her on the grass, the cool breeze gently lifted Charlotte's long auburn locks and caressed her neck. She stifled a sigh. Coming to Southbridge had been a mistake. Charlotte resolved to weather this house party and keep a low profile, if that was possible with the matchmaking Balstrams. Still, it was lovely to be in the country again.

Having escaped the festivities, she sat atop a low-lying hill overlooking a small meadow and its surrounding clusters of trees. Charlotte felt as if she could be a million miles from London instead of a mere day's carriage ride. She drew idly in her notebook, lamenting Henrietta's influence in bringing her to this house party in the first instance.

"You must come to our gathering, Charlotte," her friendhad avowed. "It will be the event -- outside London, of course. Mama says there'll be many eligible bachelors at the house party and you must make haste, or Mr. Blanton will begin pressing his suit again. I would hate to see you married to a man you cannot tolerate."

"Do not pretend you're so concerned for my unmarried state, Henrietta," Charlotte chided playfully. "You just want the pretense of my attendance to mask your trysts with your darling Mr. Frickerby."

"What utter nonsense, Charlotte. I'm too polite by far to point out that you are nearly two years my senior and not getting any younger."

Charlotte crossed her arms and raised a dubious brow.

"And what if I do want to be with my beloved?" Henrietta answered candidly. "Wouldit hurt for you to be a little helpful while getting yourself out? It will be a whole week and Stuart and I can have many, ah, moments, together."

Charlotte suppressed a smile. "I'm quite sure your parents wouldn't appreciate your finer moments with Mr. Frickerby. Perhaps there is something to their dissatisfaction with his suit?"

"I know that with you there to ease Mama's and Papa's concerns, they'll learn to accept our union. You know how Mama and Papa adore you. They are forever going on about how 'Charlotte would never do this,' or 'Charlotte is such a proper young lady.'"

"I wish your parents would talk to my Aunt Sylvie about all my sterling attributes." She sighed. "Just this week she was telling me how improper it is for me to volunteer at the veterans' hospital."

"You know she's not opposed to your charitable work; she just prefers you do it less personally. I cannot argue with her there, Charlotte." Henrietta shuddered dramatically. "The one time you took me to that dreadful place nearly had me in the vapors. What a fright that horrible man gave me."

"That 'horrible man' was trying to direct you to the general's office. You were lost, if I recall."

"But he spoke to me!"

"How else did you expect him to tell you the way? Drawyou a picture?" Charlotte shook her head, exasperated."These men are facing terrible difficulties. Yet many do itwith humor and great fortitude. I gain much from my friendships there."

"What could you possibly have in common with those men? What could you talk about?"

"You'd be surprised. I've learned some of the most fascinating things." She smiled mischievously.

"Such as?"

"Such as what happens between a husband and a wife."

Henrietta's eyes widened in shock. "They actually talk to you about such matters? Scandalous!"

"Oh, no. But if you spend enough time around the fellows, it is amazing what one picks up. These men have experienced much more than you or I."

"Of course they have, Charlotte. They are men." Henrietta said. "That's exactly why their experiences are not necessarily useful to us."

"I disagree. Why, just the other day, Lieutenant Freeman was teaching me how to defend myself."

Henrietta huffed, "Defend yourself? That's what gentlemen are for, Charlotte.

"You never know when you might need to fend off the overenthusiastic suitor, Henrietta. It's remarkable what one can accomplish with one's elbows and knees."

"I do not need to fend off anyone. I have my Stuart, and despite the unsavory habits you're developing, my parents are still under the impression that you are perfect. So will you help me or not?"

Charlotte hesitated; a week away with a house full of eligible bachelors and matchmaking mamas did not fit within her plans for remaining unnoticed. But Henrietta had whined, "Please, Charlotte? I am so much in love. Are you going to deny me true happiness?" Charlotte somehow doubted that what Henrietta felt for Stuart Frickerby was more than a passing infatuation; she could barely stay attached to anything from sunrise to sunset. Still, who was she to stand in the way of her friend's great wish? Finally she relented, not only because of Henrietta's begging, but because she wanted to avoid her Aunt Sylvie's displeasure.

As soon as Charlotte had completed six months of mourning for her father, Aunt Sylvie had campaigned for her to find a suitable husband. "Charlotte, you must become more social, and this party is exactly the kind of engagement in which to do so. I understand that the Duke of Girard himself will be attending. He is the best ton. It is high time you took the matter of securing a husband seriously. I will not have you settling for one of your broken soldiers. You are a beautiful young lady, and you'd do so well if you'd only apply yourself."

Charlotte's attempts at deflecting Aunt Sylvie did little good. Even reminding her aunt of the difficulties of the last few years, when her father lay ill and dying, did not help. During that time, no one had questioned her lack of interest in marriage ...

Her Scandalous Intentions. Copyright © by Sari Robins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Sari Robins was born and raised in New York, married a Southern gentleman, and now lives with her family in Georgia. Having spent years working as a tax attorney, she realized that deep inside her beat the heart of an author. Since leaving her law practice behind, she hasn’t looked back. She gets to be more creative in her writing than she ever could have with a legal brief. She loves writing fiction, particularly narratives set in England’s Regency period--the setting for her exciting Andersen Hall series which began with One Wicked Night, More Than a Scandal, What to Wear to a Seduction, and When Seducing a Spy. Stay tuned for the next installment of the Andersen Hall series, due out in 2008!

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Her Scandalous Intentions 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a fun fling through Regency England, this is the book to buy. A romantic adventure with flawed (don't you hate when they're not?) characters that have to overcome their personal demons while dealing with the pesky problem of staying alive. The heroine, a sweet, generous woman who never seems to really fit in, catches the dangerous hero just as he leaves a secret rendevous. A government spy, he's immediately suspicious of her seeming naivete and cannot imagine her presence is coincidental. Obviously, he's got trust issues. They return to their hosts at the house party, but that night, the lady is attacked and our hero comes to her rescue. Unfortunately, the noise that ensues only manages to cast the two in an uncompromising light when the rest of the household comes to see what's happened. What follows is a sham engagement that's as heated as their arguements. It's a really fun read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1814, Charlotte Hastings attends a party in Southbridge, England though she would prefer to continue her work at the veterans¿ hospital in London. While by herself sketching, she observes the Duke of Girard James Morgan meeting with a frightened person. Unable to resist she draws the encounter, but James comes over and takes the picture from her. James believes that Charlotte is the future fiancee of his odious cousin Mortimer Blanton, who stole property that probably is being used to finance Napoleon¿s return to France. When thugs assault Charlotte in her room, James rescues her. However, the other guests catch them so he claims she is his fiancee. He takes her ¿prisoner¿ because he realizes that she has a document he needs, but where she hid it he does not know. As Charlotte and James become acquainted with one another, they fall in love, but both mistrust the other believing that their beloved is a Napoleonic agent. Fans of Regency romantic suspense will take great delight with Sari Robin¿s wonderful debut novel, HER SCANDALOUS INTENTIONS. The story line is brimming with action as the innocent Charlotte lands in the middle of an espionage mess while the tainted James tries to figure out her role in the fiasco. Though it takes a bit too long for the reader to receive that critical dramatic irony of knowing why before the hero does, sub-genre fans will rejoice while looking forward for more works from an obviously talented author. Harriet Klausner
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