One Rogue Too Many

One Rogue Too Many

4.2 14
by Samantha Grace
     
 

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"Another winning marriage of romance and wit in this delightful Regency."-Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Lady Vivian Defies a Duke

From the Betting Book at Brook's Gentleman's Club:
Wager: £2,000 that Lord Ellis will throw the first punch when he discovers Lord Throne is wooing a certain duke's sister.

…  See more details below

Overview

"Another winning marriage of romance and wit in this delightful Regency."-Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Lady Vivian Defies a Duke

From the Betting Book at Brook's Gentleman's Club:
Wager: £2,000 that Lord Ellis will throw the first punch when he discovers Lord Throne is wooing a certain duke's sister.

All Bets Are Off When the Game is Love

Lady Gabrielle is thrilled when Anthony Keaton, earl of Ellis, asks for her hand in marriage. She's not so pleased when he then leaves the country and four months pass without a word. Clearly, the scoundrel has changed his mind and is too cowardly to tell her. There's nothing to do but go back on the marriage mart...

When Anthony returns to town and finds his ultimate rival has set sights on Gabby, his continual battle of one-upmanship with Sebastian Thorne ceases to be a game. Anthony is determined to win back the woman who holds his heart-but he's not expecting Gabby herself to up the stakes...

Rival Rogues series:
One Rogue Too Many
In Bed with a Rogue
The Best of Both Rogues

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/18/2013
Grace (Lady Vivian Defies a Duke) woos readers in true Regency style as two suitors vie for one woman’s commitment. When Anthony Keaton, Earl of Ellis, returns to London after a four-month absence, he looks forward to announcing his betrothal to Lady Gabrielle Forest. Gabby and Anthony have known each other for years, and he’s finally realized that she’s “the wife he should have married long ago.” But Gabby doesn’t trust Anthony, especially after his unexplained absence and gossip about the illegitimacy of his daughter, so she begins keeping company with the seductive Lord Sebastian Thorne. Anthony doggedly courts Gabby, who cleverly engages him in competition with Sebastian to make him prove himself, knowing that only Anthony could ever hold her heart. Then Sebastian (who feels “a conscience a bloody nuisance”) compromises her and forces her to make a choice. The contest is filled with humor and witty repartee, balanced with occasional melodrama. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Filled with humor and witty repartee... Grace woos readers in true Regency style as two suitors vie for one woman's commitment." - Publishers Weekly

"A merry romp... Grace captures the essence and atmosphere of the era." - RT Book Reviews

"I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a page turner and fun. This looks to be a promising series and I look forward to the following books." - Romance Reader Girl

"ONE ROGUE TOO MANY is the first book I've read by this author but I really enjoyed it and plan on trying more." - Fresh Fiction

"This is the first book that I have read by Samantha Grace and it definitely won't be my last. I have put all of the Beau Monde Bachelor stories on my TBR pile. I'm so glad to have found a new author to read!" - Historical Romance Lover

"A fun read... Very sweet!" - From the TBR Pile

"Grace's flair for crafting engaging characters and light touch when it comes to humor and charm result in another sexy, Regency-set historical. " - Booklist

"Rivalry, marriage proposals, betrayal, secrets, well-drawn characters, plot twists, romance and true love all add up to a story that readers will not soon forge." - Blue Ribbon Reviews

"The characters are always interesting, the dialogue is lively and the romance and story is always well-plotted." - Books Like Breathing

"I liked these flawed and unsure characters right away... a charming book." - Once Upon a Book

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402286599
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
01/07/2014
Series:
Rival Rogues , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
102,860
File size:
873 KB

Read an Excerpt

Prologue


Late October 1811


"What are you drawing now, bug?"


Gabby's hand stilled and she turned toward Anthony with a wide smile, setting her sketchbook and charcoal beside her on the garden bench. "That's Lady Bug to you, my lord."


She wasn't sure when she had begun to consider his nickname for her a term of endearment rather than the insult she was sure he had intended years ago. Perhaps her attitude toward him was a recent change, a transformation that had come over her during this break between school terms, but affection for him swelled within her chest.


He swept up her drawing and plopped beside her on the bench. "Your nose is red, little bug. Why are you sitting in the cold?"


She made a show of pulling her pelisse tighter around her, but she no longer sensed the chill with him near. "My muse cares little for my comfort. Inspiration strikes when it is least convenient."


"Would you like me to speak with her on your behalf?" He playfully bumped her shoulder then held her sketchbook up to scrutinize it. He glanced up and turned his head one way then the other, his lovely blond brows forming a V over his glorious blue eyes.


Gabby sighed softly, melting inside. Anthony had returned from his second year at Oxford, no longer a boy, but a handsome prince. She'd had plenty of time to revel in his perfection since he resumed posing for her not long after his return to the country. Her favorite sketch rested between the pages of her journal, hidden beneath her mattress.


No matter that she was thirteen and likely was viewed by the adults around her as too young to know her heart. She loved Anthony Keaton, the Earl of Ellis. Besides, she would be fourteen in a month. She was on the verge of becoming a woman.


Anthony's gaze landed on her and flared.


She blinked and quickly looked away as a burst of heat consumed her. He had caught her in the act of pining for him.


He cleared his throat, shifting away from her.


Her stomach took a dive, but she refused to believe his movement held any significance. Only weeks earlier he had grasped her hand when they'd stood side by side at his mother's grave site, his stoic expression ripping Gabby apart when she sensed the tremors coursing through him. He'd held on tighter while the men shoveled every last spade of dirt on his mother's resting spot and refused to relinquish Gabby's hand until their small group of mourners had reached Ellis Hall. He was reluctant to leave her now, too, which was the reason he'd sought her out before her father's coach carried him and her brother back to school. She sensed it deep within her bones.


He tapped her drawing. "Where, pray tell, do you see a lady in dance?"


"Right there." She nodded toward the aged oak standing sentry at the edge of the garden. "Can't you see it?"


"The tree?" He squinted. "The tree is dancing."


She rolled her eyes, hopped up from the bench, and marched toward the oak. "The tree isn't dancing, you dolt. Look at the lines of the bark." With a pointed finger, she indicated the outline of the figure that jumped out at her. It was as plain as the pleasing nose on his face. "Here is the curve of her arm and her side. And see how her hip is rounded here and then the length of her leg."


Anthony set the sketchbook aside and came over to examine the bark. He dragged his finger over the grooves in the tree. "How did you see it?"


She warmed at the awe present in his tone. "I see it. I don't know how."


He glanced down at her, his blue eyes alight with something that made her stomach quiver.


This wasn't how he typically looked at her. His admiration was becoming an uncomfortable fit. She scoffed to hide her true reaction. "How do you not see it?"


He grinned. "I do now." He patted her shoulder, his touch branding her as his. "Thank you, bug. There is no telling the number of extraordinary things I miss when you aren't around to point them out."


She barely contained her happy sigh. Clasping her hands behind her back, she swayed, debating on whether to give him the gift she'd found earlier in the summer. Perhaps it would seem childish to him. Or it might be seen as one of those extraordinary things he had mentioned.


She held a finger up. "Wait here." Then she dashed for the house. At the French doors, she stopped and turned toward him. "Promise you won't go anywhere?"


"I promise, but hurry. The coach will be leaving soon."


Gabby ran inside and up the staircase, grateful she didn't cross paths with anyone who would scold her for unladylike behavior.


In her chambers, she hurried to her vanity to retrieve her simple treasure from the jewel box before rushing back to the garden. Anthony was still there, his cheeks pink from the cold air.


Her fingers tightened around her gift, the edges digging into her palm.


His smile seemed sad and unsettled her. She came forward slowly, doubting her decision to lay her feelings out to him.


"I am sorry about your mother," she said. "You mustn't ever think you are alone now."


"But I am. I'm an orphan with no family."


She shook her head. "We are your family. You have us."


Anthony had spent more time at their home than his neighboring estate for as long as she could remember. He had to know she spoke the truth.


"I'm fond of your family, Gabby, but that doesn't make them mine."


She came forward on a rush of emotion and grasped his hand. "We are yours. I am." She shoved the heart-shaped stone into his hand.


He uncurled his fingers and stared down at her offering. A shadow fell over his features. His lips turned down. "Gabby, I-"


Her brother flung the outside door open. "Ellis, what are you doing out here? It's time to go." Drew sauntered into the gardens, either oblivious to the fact he was interrupting or uncaring. Like Anthony, he was dressed in travel attire.


Anthony trapped the stone in his fist and tossed a jaunty grin toward her brother. "I wanted a breath of fresh air, and I stumbled upon the bug doing her sketches."


There was no endearment attached to the name this time, and Gabby shrank back. She had been the target of their taunts too often to lower her guard.


Drew gestured toward Anthony. "What's in your hand?"


Anthony snorted. "Nothing. Let's get out of here."


His derision drove a spike into her chest.


Drew was not easily distracted, however, and grabbed for Anthony's hand. "Come on. Give it over. You're holding on like it's a piece of gold."


"I am not!" Anthony stopped resisting and opened his fist.


Drew laughed. "A rock? What use do you have for a rock?"


Anthony's gaze lingered on her, his expression grim. "I told you it was nothing." He walked to the edge of the garden, drew his arm back, and flung it so far Gabby couldn't see where it landed.


Her heart seized and her throat burned. She drew a deep breath to keep from crying.


Her brother came forward and gathered her in an awkward hug. "Now, don't start crying again, princess. I will be back again before you know it."


A soft sob escaped her despite her determination to keep her tears inside.


Anthony shoved his hands into his pockets and studied the ground. "I'll wait by the coach."


And then he walked away without even saying good-bye, leaving her trust and love for him trampled and broken on the ground.

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Meet the Author

Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney's Robin Hood. She didn't care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn't want the warm fuzzies to end. Now Samantha enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publisher's Weekly describes her stories as "fresh and romantic" with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.

Part-time hospice social worker, moonlighting author, and pilates nut, she enjoys a happy and hectic life with her real life hero and two kids in the Midwest. Visit her at: www.samanthagraceauthor.com.

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