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How does one seduce a bride?
Step One: Lay bare her mysteries...
Daisy Tanner has taken the ton by storm and Leland Grant, Viscount Haye, wants to know everything about this ravishing, secretive woman who is tempting his friend into marriage. Though his rakish reputation is the stuff of legend, Leland is curiously undone by this exquisite creature who threatens to turn his ...
How does one seduce a bride?
Step One: Lay bare her mysteries...
Daisy Tanner has taken the ton by storm and Leland Grant, Viscount Haye, wants to know everything about this ravishing, secretive woman who is tempting his friend into marriage. Though his rakish reputation is the stuff of legend, Leland is curiously undone by this exquisite creature who threatens to turn his footloose single life topsy–turvy. Never has he wanted a woman more...
Step Two: Strip her of her inhibitions...
Having survived a difficult past, Daisy now desires the security of an uncomplicated marriage with some safe, undemanding gentleman. How dare this dashing rogue Lord Haye distract her with his suspicions...and unbalance her with his sensuous promises? If Daisy isn't careful, her scandalous history could become common knowledge. Worse still, she might actually fall in love with this notorious seducer whose touch excites her like nothing has before...
"I'm flattered, my dear, and no mistake," the gentleman said as he gently unlocked the lovely young woman's dimpled arms from around his neck. "But believe me, I'm not worth your time."
She let her arms drop, but didn't move away. She pressed her body to his, put a dainty hand on his chest, looked up at him, and pouted.
"No, in all honesty," he said with a rueful smile, stepping back a pace. "You're such a tempting little delicacy, but I am simply not in the market. Now, Carlton, over there, is," he said, tilting a shoulder toward a short gentleman across the green room. "He's a baron, to boot! Plus he's wealthy, amiable, and very generous when he's pleased. And," he added, raising one long finger to make his point, "I have heard women call him 'cuddly.' Mind, I find that appellation nauseating, but I would. I've no desire to cuddle him. But I'll bet he'd want to do just that with you. So," he added, giving her rounded little rump an encouraging pat, "why don't you just go ask him if he's interested in acquiring your so delectable person?"
She looked at the plump gentleman he'd indicated, looked back at the tall, thin, exquisitely dressed gentleman before her, and sighed. Then she winked at him, and turned. She strolled off toward thebaron Carlton with an exaggerated wriggle of her scantily clad bottom.
"Good evening, Haye," an older gentleman standing nearby said in an amused voice. "Giving up sweets for Lent, are we?"
"Give you good evening too, Egremont," Leland Grant, Viscount Haye, said in an amused drawl. "Well met. I saw you earlier but didn't have a chance to speak with you. How have you been?"
"I've been fine, thank you, although I hear the latest gossip has me at death's door or up to no good."
"That's what you get for wanting privacy," Leland said. "I've been up to worse and they've said less because my life is an open book."
"A spicy one," the earl commented. "And about as open as a miser's purse. You show only surface; the rest is hidden deep."
"Indeed?" the viscount drawled. "Well, if you say so. However, I agree I've found that tossing gossips warm red meat keeps them full and happy, and not likely to ask for more."
The earl smiled. He was more than a decade older than the viscount, but they'd been friends since they'd met the year before at the earl's adopted son's wedding. The Viscount Haye had turned out to be the long-lost half brother of the illegitimate Daffyd, whose wedding it had been. The earl and the viscount had found much in common and become friends. This puzzled the earl's friends and amused the viscount's cronies, because two more dissimilar men were hard to find.
Leland, Viscount Haye, was a wildly successful womanizer. He loved women and they loved him, but he was resolutely single and lived in high style, entertaining females of all classes and conditions. The earl was still in love with his late wife, and only occasionally formed brief relationships with discreet women.
Geoffrey Sauvage, Earl of Egremont, was bookish, reclusive, a man with a gentle nature. The viscount Haye was said to be amazingly trivial, but also enormously fashionable and in demand, even though he possessed a cutting sense of humor.
They couldn't have looked more different. The earl was a solidly built, muscular, middle-aged gentleman of medium height, who still had his thick brown hair, strong white teeth, and a face that was deemed handsome even though it was unfashionably tanned.
The viscount had just passed his thirtieth birthday. He was tall and very thin, with a long, bony, elegant face, and was languid and affected in speech and movement. But his lean body was deceptively strong. Most people he knew didn't know that, or that he could move with killing force if needed, because most of the time he used only his killing wit.
They were different in age, face, and manner. But the two men got along splendidly.
The earl had discovered that the viscount's care-for-nothing manner concealed a sympathetic heart and a strong sense of justice. He appreciated the viscount's sense of humor, agreed with his politics, and was aware that the younger man hid his true nature except when with friends. The earl's own son and adopted sons were among those few, and since he missed his newly wed sons, the earl was glad for the viscount's company. He found it stimulating.
The viscount thought of the earl as the father he'd not only never had, but never expected to find. He appreciated the older man's experience of the world, compassion, and quiet wisdom.
And so the viscount was surprised to find the earl in the green room at the theater, because that was where men went after the play to make assignations with the actresses and dancers, most of whom were for sale, or at least for rent.
He raised a thin eyebrow in inquiry.
The earl knew what he was asking. "Miss Fanny La Fey, the star of the play, is an old friend of mine," the earl said. "I came to congratulate her. Nothing more."
Leland glanced over at a startlingly bright-haired woman in a gown so flimsy that her modesty was preserved only because of the crush of admirers surrounding her. He raised the eyebrow higher.
"We're friends from the bad old days," the earl explained, "She and I met on a distant shore. She's a rarely determined young woman. I'm happy she also found her way safely back home."
"Ah!" Leland said. Both eyebrows went up. He hadn't known that the actress had been in prison.
The Earl of Egremont had been wrongly accused of a crime before he'd come into the title he'd never expected to inherit. He and his son had been sent to Botany Bay. . . .
Excerpted from How to Seduce a Bride by Edith Layton Copyright © 2006 by Edith Layton. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted December 9, 2008
At the employer-employee review Zeus warns demigoddess Kyra that her performance is unsatisfactory as she has not accomplished much since their last counseling one century ago. He explains to the distraught Muse of Good Fortune that she is on probation and if she fails to improve her outcomes, she will be terminated. He gives her one month in Vegas to make the grade. --- Socrates Themopolis hires Jake Lennox to determine who is skimming money from his Vegas located Acropolis I casino and hotel as the place is packed but losing a million a month. Jake pretends to be Socrates¿ nephew so he can easily get around. When he meets employee Kyra he is attracted to her, but her behavior seems just off kilter making his suspect she might be the thief yet hoping she is not. As they fall in love, Kyra must choose between immortality and a life with Jake. --- ALMOST A GODDESS is a fun romantic fantasy starring a likable demigoddess and a caring mortal. Each brings baggage to the craps table as both wonder whether they will shoot snake eyes or sevens when it comes to betting on the other. The interaction between Zeus and Kyra is priceless as Judi McCoy provides an amusing enchanting tale that will have readers pondering for love or immortality. --- Harriet Klausner
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Posted January 26, 2010
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