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If Wishes Were Earls (Rhymes with Love Series #3)

If Wishes Were Earls (Rhymes with Love Series #3)

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by Elizabeth Boyle, Susan Duerden
     
 

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When you wish upon an earl …

Harriet Hathaway has only ever wanted one man: the Earl of Roxley.
After a passionate interlude at a house party, Harriet is convinced Roxley will do the right thing and propose. But when she returns to London, she finds the roguish earl on the verge of proposing to another.

Harriet refuses to believe that

Overview

When you wish upon an earl …

Harriet Hathaway has only ever wanted one man: the Earl of Roxley.
After a passionate interlude at a house party, Harriet is convinced Roxley will do the right thing and propose. But when she returns to London, she finds the roguish earl on the verge of proposing to another.

Harriet refuses to believe that her hopes of a happily-ever-after are completely lost—for she can see the desire still flickering in the earl’s eyes when he looks at her from across the dance floor. And when they are alone …
there is one wish neither can deny.

… the most extraordinary things can happen.

The Earl of Roxley is in a dangerous fix—and to keep Harriet safe he must hold her at arm’s length. He won’t entangle her in the murderous mystery that is threatening to destroy his family and his future. But keeping Harriet
Hathaway out of his troubles proves as impossible as it is to keep the determined beauty from stealing his heart.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/25/2013
The curse of Kempton has been broken with the marriages of Tabitha Timmons and Daphne Dale (in previous Rhymes with Love novels And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake and Along Came a Duke). Now their best friend, Harriet “Harry” Hathaway, has set her cap for the Earl of Roxley. Harry is no simpering London miss and does not hesitate to interfere with Roxley’s plans to marry the oh-so-proper and well-dowried Miss Murray. Meanwhile, Roxley realizes his imminent social and financial ruin is being orchestrated by an unseen enemy, and the scheme is somehow related to a years-old mystery involving a legendary diamond necklace and his parents’ deaths. Frequent flashbacks disrupt the flow, but the conspiracy is complex and well-plotted. Roxley and Harry’s lovemaking is bold and direct, and their passionate interludes would be hot enough to singe the sheets except that “there was never a demmed bed around.” Some inconsistencies mar this otherwise satisfying Regency romance that perfectly fits Harry’s outrageous personality. (Jan.)
Booklist on IF WISHES WERE EARLS
“Witty dialogue, charming characters, and a heartbreakingly romantic plot enlivened with snippets from the heroine’s beloved Miss Darby books and seasoned with a pinch of mystery make Boyle’s latest, cleverly constructed Rhymes with Love series historical an absolute knockout.”
Historical Novel Society on IF WISHES WERE EARLS
“Written with a quirky sense of humor that spills onto nearly every page, If Wishes Were Earls is a madcap story that will entertain anyone who has enjoyed the previous books... [A] light-hearted and amusing tale.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781482990003
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
12/31/2013
Series:
Rhymes with Love Series, #3
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

If Wishes Were Earls


By Elizabeth Boyle

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Boyle
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-208909-0



Chapter 1
I have seen one night be the ruin of many a good man.
Lt. Throckmorten to Miss Darby
from Miss Darby's Reckless Bargain
London, April 1811
Eight months later
Every gambler knows the moment when his luck
changes.
And not for the good. Luck is too fickle of a lover
to whisper in a gamester's ear to encourage him to
double down.
No, when she turns her back on a fellow, he knows
it. As sure as all the air in the room has rushed out.
Like a fish out of water, he suddenly finds himself
grasping at anything that might return her bright
favor to his dark and empty pockets.
So it was with Tiberius Maximus Marshom, the 7th
Earl of Roxley.
Roxley, who took wagers that no one else would,

18 Elizabeth Boyle
and won . . . The earl who always had pockets of
vowels that only needed collecting was now dodging
friends and ducking out of White's to avoid the embar-
rassment of his current dire financial straits.
And his shocking turn of luck was what had
brought him here. To the City. To the offices of one
Aloysius Murray.
“So you see, my lord,” the merchant was saying, his
hands folded atop a pile of notes, “you have no choice
but to make my daughter your wife.”
The earl looked across the wide expanse of the
man's desk at a fellow he hadn't even known existed
until two days ago when he'd received Mr. Murray's
summons. Still, despite the gravity before him, Roxley
could not resist smiling.
It was all he could do. A Marshom through and
through, he knew he was trapped, but he was certainly
not going to let this mushroom, this Mr. Murray with
his most likely equally uncouth daughter, know that
he had Roxley in a corner.
Mr. Murray pushed the papers across the top of the
desk. “I've managed to buy out all your vowels, all your
debts. You're solvent, for the time being. I think a kindly
given 'thank you' would be in order.” He paused for a
moment and then added belatedly, “My lord.”
Roxley looked at the pile of notes and scribbled
promises and realized that his hopes of reclaiming all
that he'd managed to lose over the past eight months—
his money, his position with the Home Office, his
standing (what there had been of it)— was for naught.
His legendary luck was gone.
If he were inclined to be honest— which he rarely
was— he could point to the exact moment when Fair
Fortune had abandoned him.

If Wishes Were Earls 19
Eight months ago. The third of August, 1810, to be
exact. The night he'd kissed Miss Harriet Hathaway.
And since we've established that the Earl of Roxley
possessed very little honesty, kissing had been the
least of his sins that night with the aforementioned
Miss Hathaway.
He'd demmed well ruined her.
But enough of contemplating an evening of mad-
ness— it wasn't his insatiable desire for Harriet that
had gotten him into this mess.
Oh, Harry what have I done? he thought as he looked
at his all his wrongdoings piled up atop this cit's desk
and knowing that no matter how much he . . .
Well, admitting how he felt for Harriet Hathaway
was just too much honesty for one day. Especially
this one.
When he was having to face his ruin. A reckoning
of sorts.
If it was only the money, only his own ill- choices,
that would be one thing. But there was more to this
than just a gambler's reversal. His every instinct clam-
ored that this was all a greater trap, a snare, but why
and how, he couldn't say.
More to the point, he couldn't let this calamity touch
anyone else.
As it had Mr. Ludwick, his man of business. Roxley's
gut clenched every time he thought of the fellow—
disappearing in the middle of the night with a good
portion of Roxley's money.
Yet Ludwick wasn't the sort. And that was the prob-
lem. There was no explanation for his abrupt depar-
ture. None.
Further, the man's vanishing act had been followed
by the revelation of a string of soured investments.

20 Elizabeth Boyle
Wagers began going bad. Files for the Home Office
stolen from his house. None of it truly connected, yet
he couldn't help feeling that there was a thread that
tied it all together, winding its evil around his life.
But who was pulling it, and why, escaped Roxley
entirely.
Sensing the earl's hesitancy, Mr. Murray pressed his
case, pulling out a now familiar document.
The mortgage on Foxgrove.
The one property of his that wasn't entailed. The
one with all the income that kept the Marshoms afloat.
Without Foxgrove . . .
Mr. Murray ran a stubby, ink- stained finger over the
deed. “I've always fancied a house in the country. How
is this village? This Kempton?”
“Kempton, you ask?” Roxley replied, wrenching his
gaze up from the man's covetous reach on his prop-
erty. “Oh, you won't like it. Cursed, it is.”
Mr. Murray stilled at this, then burst out in a loud,
braying laugh. “I was told to expect you to be a bit of
a cut- up, but that! Cursed, he says.” He laughed again,
more like brayed.
Good God, Roxley could only hope Murray's daugh-
ter didn't laugh like that. But to keep Foxgrove . . . to
keep his family out of debtor's prison, Roxley knew he
could bear almost anything.
And if he did his utmost to make this mushroom's
daughter miserable for the next forty years, he'd never
have to hear that sound again.
That was, if anything, a small condolence.
“I have a mind to drive down next week,” Mr.
Murray was saying. “Probably needs renovations like
the rest of the piles of stones you gentry keep.”
Roxley ruffled at this. For his residences were his

If Wishes Were
(Continues...)

Excerpted from If Wishes Were Earls by Elizabeth Boyle. Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Boyle. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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.

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Boyle is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous romance novels. Since first being published in 1996, she has won the RITA Award and a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She resides in Seattle with her husband and two sons.

Susan Duerden is a critically-acclaimed audiobook narrator. Her reading of The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht earned her an AudioFile Best Voice Award and a Booklist Editors’ Choice Award. Among her other narrations are Chime by Franny Billingsley, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, and When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James.

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