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Rory: The Rakehills of Rochester [NOOK Book]

Overview

The devilishly handsome Rayborne brothers are infamous throughout the ton for their illicit behavior. But when their fortunes are jeopardized--unless they wed--each must find the woman who can satisfy his every carnal desire. . .

With a penchant for seducing married women, Rory Rayborne is injured once again in a duel. When he awakens, he's delighted to discover Shannon O'Connor, a stunning maid, caring for him. Aroused and intrigued by the mysterious woman, Rory is determined ...

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Rory: The Rakehills of Rochester

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Overview

The devilishly handsome Rayborne brothers are infamous throughout the ton for their illicit behavior. But when their fortunes are jeopardized--unless they wed--each must find the woman who can satisfy his every carnal desire. . .

With a penchant for seducing married women, Rory Rayborne is injured once again in a duel. When he awakens, he's delighted to discover Shannon O'Connor, a stunning maid, caring for him. Aroused and intrigued by the mysterious woman, Rory is determined to find out her secrets. But first he plans to thoroughly seduce her with the most scorching, irresistible passion. . .

Praise for the novels of Julia Templeton

"Very sensual and exciting."
--Fresh Fiction on The Bargain

"A passionate historical tale. . .breathtaking!"
--Romance Junkies on The Bargain


"A journey of the heart. . .a love story we will never forget!"
--Night Owl Romance on Return To Me

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758268235
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Series: Rakehells of Rochester , #3
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 335,353
  • File size: 3 MB

First Chapter

RORY


By JULIA TEMPLETON

APHRODISIA BOOKS

Copyright © 2011 Julia Templeton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-3817-7


Chapter One

Rory squinted against the early morning light. Dew glistened on the plush, green lawns, and the first glimmer of sun filtered through the tree branches.

All in all, it was a beautiful day to die.

The man at his back started to tremble, and Rory wondered if the quick-tempered lord wasn't regretting calling him out so hastily. No doubt, like Rory, the earl was replaying last night's events in his head and wishing for a different outcome.

The dinner party had been an elegant affair, and from the moment Rory had walked into Lord and Lady Cordland's townhouse, Lady Cordland had set her sights on him. He had no more taken his seat at the dinner table when her hand had clamped on to his thigh. She had then proceeded to give him a come-hither look that could not be misinterpreted.

When she'd left the table between the second and third courses, he followed a discretionary few minutes later, and nearly walked right past her when she reached out and caught him by the arm, jerked him into the parlor, and shoved her hand down his pants.

It had been a fevered and quite exciting coupling, especially given the fact that thirty guests chatted and dined on the other side of the wall, including Lady Cordland's husband and his young mistress, his wife's own cousin.

"We can forget about this with an apology," Cordland said in an unsteady voice, bringing Rory back to the present.

Hell could freeze over before Rory would apologize to the pompous pig. Why was it all right for Cordland to fuck his mistress under his own roof and beneath his wife's nose, but God forbid Lady Cordland do the same?

Rory scanned the park where he had met at least five dozen men in his short life. In the distance, he saw a carriage with the Cordland crest emblazoned on the door, and he wondered if Lady Cordland sat within, awaiting the outcome.

Victor, his brother, had recently mentioned Rory's fondness for fucking only married women. A gross exaggeration, but still, he did prefer married women because they were usually so cautious when compared to their younger counterparts. Perhaps he should steer clear of them in the immediate future.

"Do I take your silence as acquiescence?" Lord Cordland asked, his voice hopeful.

"My silence means no," Rory replied matter-of-factly, rolling up his sleeves.

Rory's second, an old friend from Oxford, stood on the sidelines, looking blurry-eyed and terrified that he might have to step in. He need not be so concerned. Rory had never had to use his second.

"Gentlemen, you will walk off ten paces, and when I say turn, you shall turn and fire," the man in charge said in a booming voice that made Rory cringe. His head still hurt from drinking too much whiskey last night, and the pot of tea he had drunk had not helped in the least.

Taking a deep breath, he released it and then lifted the pistol, readying himself for the count.

Damn, but he was still not thinking clearly, and his hand shook, another sign he'd been drinking too much of late. Indeed, it seemed as though he had been in a perpetual state of drunkenness since his brothers had married and he'd realized how ill his father truly was.

Life, which had been fun and exciting for so many years, had suddenly turned lonely, mundane, and exceedingly boring, and the future appeared so bleak ... especially without his father in it. Their father had always been incredibly kind and patient, save for his latest ultimatum that all his sons marry—an idea no doubt forced upon him by Rory's mother.

Was she really going to push him to marry now that both Sinjin and Victor had done so? In his mind, she was getting greedy. He was the youngest, had the lowest title and the least to offer a bride, so why did it really matter that he marry?

"One, two ..."

As the count continued, Rory took a step, then another, his mind racing. Life had lost its spark, and he sincerely doubted that finding a wife would help him regain that which he'd lost. Unless she was truly exceptional, but he had yet to find such a woman, even with his mother's assistance.

"Eight ... nine ... ten!"

The number was shouted and Rory turned, raised his pistol, and for whatever reason, did not pull the trigger.

He heard the roar of his opponent's gun, felt the rip of the bullet tear through his flesh, followed by the sensation of blood seeping through his shirt.

How come he didn't feel any pain?

Lord Cordland's expression was triumphant ... and then his eyes widened when Rory continued to stay on his feet. Dizziness washed over him, but he fought it off and cocked the hammer.

The man put his hands out and shook his head. "No, dear God, no!"

Rory frowned. There was a second where he considered sparing the wretched man's life; then without thought of consequence, he squeezed the trigger.

Lord Cordland hit the ground with a gasp, the blow fatal, square between the eyes.

"Bloody good shot!" Rory's second yelled as the surgeon rushed forward, followed by Lord Cordland's second, who glared daggers at him.

Glancing down at the blossoming color on his shirt, Rory closed his eyes as a wave of dizziness came over him.

"My lord," the groom said from directly beside him, his voice tinged with concern.

When had he hit the ground? Rory wondered as the cold, wet grass soaked through his shirt and trousers. He grit his teeth. Oh yes, now he was definitely beginning to feel the pain.

"Get the carriage!" he heard the groom yell. Those were the last words he heard before the world went black.

Shannon was concerned when Lord Graston's younger brother was brought to the Twickenham manor house on the River Thames with a bullet wound to the shoulder.

Thank goodness the surgeon had done his part by removing the bullet and was at the moment stitching the wound closed. There was not much a person could do now but wait to see if fever took hold. She hoped earnestly that her ministrations would help him, because all of London and Rochester would sincerely feel the young baron's loss if he were to die.

Her experience with helping the sick would come in handy in the days and weeks ahead. While volunteering at the Dublin hospital, death had claimed a good number of the patients, and she had seen and learned enough to realize the young man on the bed was gravely ill. His skin had turned a startling white, almost gray, and the bullet wound was bright red. He had lost so very much blood that she was concerned he would not survive.

Word had already been sent to Lord Graston in Wales, and the rest of the family would be alerted to Rory's condition, but unfortunately, his eldest brother, Sinjin, and his wife were on their honeymoon, and his mother, Lady Rochester, was staying close to her ailing husband at their country estate. The poor woman would be sick with grief and worry when she heard the news about her youngest.

Until his family's arrival, at least the handsome lord would not be lacking in concerned companions. Already all the female servants in the mansion were aflutter, each wanting to tend to the handsome lord; but it had been Edward, Lord and Lady Graston's trusted butler, who had put Shannon in charge of his care. Upon Rory's arrival in a rented carriage, Edward had lined up the servants and asked who had experience in caring for the wounded. She had immediately raised her hand.

Following Edward into the dining room where Rory had first been brought, Shannon had very nearly tripped over her feet when she'd seen the half-naked lord thrashing on the dining room table, where male servants, including her brother, Zachary, did their best to hold him down.

Rory moaned in his sleep, his handsome face wincing in pain as the physician applied the bandage. How she wished Lady and Lord Graston were here. She knew his lordship would go to any lengths to save his beloved brother. Until such a time as her employers returned from their trip to Wales, she would have to do her best to keep him alive.

"Make sure the dressing is changed often," the physician said, putting his items back in his bag. "I shall come tomorrow to check on him."

"Thank you, sir," Edward said, escorting him out of the chamber. He was shutting the door when he paused. "Let me know if you need anything, Shannon."

Shannon nodded. "I will."

Shannon rinsed the rag in the bowl of cool water that sat on a side table beside the bed and looked at her patient. Even pale and wounded, he was beauty personified. A living testament to the male form, like Adonis, so striking he made one pause.

She recalled when last she'd seen him. He'd visited Lady Graston at her London townhouse, and Shannon had served him tea while he awaited Lady Marilyn's arrival. The way he'd watched her through those long, thick lashes had made her nervous. She'd been so dumbstruck by his beauty and attention that it was all she could do to remember her own name.

His hair had been long then, but now it was downright rakish, falling past his broad shoulders and curling up at the ends. His nose was perfectly proportioned, his lips full and lovely, and his teeth white and straight.

With a trembling hand, she wiped his brow with the cool rag, past a chiseled cheekbone, over the strong jaw and chin, to his neck. His pulse fluttered erratically at the base of his throat, and she circled it with her index finger.

Her gaze lingered over his wide chest and flat, muscled belly. She noted a long, silver scar that ran along his ribs, and wondered if, like his current injury, the old wound had been compliments of another woman's husband.

Such a scandalous reputation.

Her cheeks turned pink as her gaze shifted to the sheet that hung low at his hips. Why was it when she was around him she felt hot and sensitive, her nipples tight, and the blood in her veins burned?

As she stared at him, she could not help but wonder what it would feel like to be taken by him, to be one of his many lovers.

Glancing at the sheets bunched about his groin, she once again wet the rag and squeezed out the excess water. Her pulse skittered as her hand moved down the thick cords of his neck, over the wide chest, taking great care to avoid his wound, and swirling around the flat disk of a nipple, before sliding over the muscled planes of his belly.

His cock bucked beneath the sheets. She gasped and swallowed past the tightness of her throat. Before she knew what she was doing, her hand hovered over the sheet, directly above his manhood. Just one peek, that's all. Nothing more.

She glanced at the door, then ever so slightly pulled the sheet down. Her thighs tightened as she stared at the impressive cock: long and thick, and heavily veined with a plum-sized crown. Warmth swirled in her stomach and lower still.

The chamber door creaked open and she jumped, yanking the sheet up with a yelp.

"How is he doing?" Zachary asked, shutting the door firmly behind him.

With heart pumping nearly out of her chest, she released an inward sigh of relief. Thank goodness it was just her brother. Hoping he had not seen what she'd been doing, she licked her dry lips. "It is difficult to say. I just hope he continues to sleep through the night."

"He is fortunate," Zachary said, looking and sounding distracted. "Many would not survive such a wound."

Shannon nodded in agreement and set the rag back into the bowl. "Indeed. I have heard it whispered that he is experienced on the dueling field. The other servants were saying the pistol must have jammed, else the opponent would have never gotten a shot off."

"Or perhaps his luck has run out."

The words held an ominous undertone. She stared at Zachary and could see concern in his eyes.

Fear rushed along her spine. "What is it, Zach?"

He pressed his lips together. His throat convulsed as he swallowed hard. "I'm afraid our luck has run out, Shannon."

"What do you mean?" she asked, and she could hear the fear in her voice.

"Clinton has found us."

Chapter Two

Shannon's heartbeat was a roar in her ears. "Do you mean to tell me you saw Clinton?"

Zachary shook his head. "No, not Clinton. But there was a man that followed me from the livery into the tobacco shop. Whenever I looked over my shoulder, there he was, staring at me."

"Perhaps you looked familiar to him?"

"It is possible," he said in a voice that suggested no such thing. "But every time I glanced at him, he quickly looked away. I have a bad feeling, Shannon. The hair on my neck was standing on end, and I could not shake the feeling of doom I experienced. He has found us. I feel it in my bones."

She hated such talk. For these past six months Zachary had been her rock, the strong one, and she had looked to him to keep her focused and positive. She didn't like hearing him sound so defeated. "What did he look like?"

"I would say fifty years old or so. He had a stocky build, gray hair, and a thick mustache."

"How did you lose him?"

"I darted down an alleyway and passed through the back door of a restaurant."

"He didn't follow you down the alley?"

"I didn't stick around long enough to find out. I was supposed to return to the park to meet Floyd, but I couldn't take the chance in returning just in case the gray-haired man had seen me."

Floyd was Lord and Lady Graston's senior coachman, who had taken Zachary under his wing. The older man often brought him along on errands. "You walked back?"

"Ran is more like it. Floyd picked me up en route. I know he thought I was crazy, especially when I told him that I didn't see him at the park and decided to walk back to the manor. I don't think he believed me. In fact, he kept asking if I was all right."

The last thing they needed was to raise suspicion among their peers. "Well, at least you weren't followed back to the manor."

Zachary raked a hand through his long blond locks. "We need to be on alert. If we see this man again, I'm afraid we might have to start running."

Always it was running. Fear of discovery had been plaguing them since leaving Ireland. Each place they went, they took on one miserable job after another. They rarely spoke of the future anymore, both of them uncertain if they would ever have the freedom they craved.

Working for Lord and Lady Graston had been their best jobs so far, and they both counted the day that Lord Graston walked into Lady Dante's dress shop as one of the luckiest days of their lives.

Because of that fateful encounter, they now had a roof over their heads and three meals a day, plus a generous wage they could not possibly make anywhere else. Lord and Lady Graston had taken them into their household and treated them like family, and the thought of leaving was excruciating.

Some of the fear she was experiencing must have shown on her face because Zachary squeezed her hand. "Do not fret, sister. We just need to be vigilant. Maybe like you said, the man was merely going in the same direction ... but just to be cautious, I shall request all errands be done by another."

"I think that is wise."

"And you should stay close to the manor as well," he said, walking across the room and looking out the window.

Her stomach twisted into a knot. And here she had started to relax, to not fear and always look over her shoulder. In fact, she had enjoyed her days off where she would go into the city. It had been nice to just get away from the manor. And Shannon had savored those trips, enjoying watching the sights: the finely dressed ladies in their expensive gowns as they walked before pretty storefronts, and handsome men in tailored suits who did more perusing of women than they did the merchandise in the windows.

Those trips served to remind her of the days she and her mother had gone shopping. Her father, though not a titled lord, had made his fortune in business and, in turn, had become a respected member of society. Her family had dined with the wealthiest, most influential people of Ireland, and her parents had hoped she would make a good marriage.

That is, until her parents' untimely death six months ago, when the fire their cousin, Clinton, had started had taken their lives. Her parents had taken in Clinton as a child when his father had been killed in a hunting accident. Her father had given Clinton a home and, as he grew to manhood, a place in his company. Clinton had enjoyed all the luxuries his position had afforded him, but it wasn't enough.

On the night of March 12, under the cover of darkness, he had started the blaze.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from RORY by JULIA TEMPLETON Copyright © 2011 by Julia Templeton. Excerpted by permission of APHRODISIA BOOKS. 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

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Rory finds love in his most comfortable frequented habitat, the boudoir

    Like his brothers, Rory Rayborne is a legend amidst the Ton for his sexual prowess. Rory enjoys his encounters and trysts, but is also a realist. He is well aware that his free womanizing days are nearing an end as like his siblings he needs to marry for money as his Mother Betsy threatened to cut off her three out of control rakehell offspring. He hopes to find someone who can also match him in the bed.

    In a duel over a woman, Rory is severely injured. His seconds take him to his brother's home where maid Shannon O'Connor is assigned to take care of him. Unable to resist the mysterious aura she emits, Rory seduces Shannon in an attempt to find out what dark secret she hides. Shannon fears she and her brother have been discovered by a homicidal relative who wants both of them dead at the same her heart belongs to her seducer whose mother has a widow in mind for her last bachelor son.

    The final Rakehells of Rochester Regency romance (see Sinjin and Victor) contains a strong erotic undercurrent from the first time the nurse and the patient meet. This work is fast-paced and readers will enjoy the erotic scenes because they are part of the storyline. Fans will enjoy the youngest brother's sexploits as Rory finds love in his most comfortable frequented habitat, the boudoir.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    Naughty & nice

    I really loved this book. This series is such a wonderful blend of a great plot & naughty pleasures. It was such a treat to read finally read Rorys tale. I was left wondering will there every be a story for Anna???
    200 pgs

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  • Posted May 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Makes you fall in love all over again

    This was a wonderful book. To watch such a larger than life rake be brought to his knees was such fun! It was nice to get to watch the stories of the rest of brothers. I tell you such 3 handsome men all in one series is heaven.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Did not disappoint

    Love Julia Templeton - loved Rory. Was the perfect story for the last of the brothers. She's one of the few authors who just can't write fast enough for me! Honestly there isn't one of her books I haven't enjoyed but I had been waiting for the last of the Rakehells of Rochester books, so I was afraid it wasn't going to live up to expectations but it was great. You could read it stand alone, Victor and Sinjin are barely in this book, but I would read their books first just because it adds to the story a little.

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