The Last Days of a Rake

The Last Days of a Rake

2.3 120
by Donna Lea Simpson
     
 

In Love & Scandal, Collette Jardiniere is outraged when notorious roué Charles Jameson appears to take credit for The Last Days of a Rake, a novel she wrote under the pseudonym Colin Jenkins to satisfy Victorian convention.

Can a rake be true to himself, yet remain free from sin?

Edgar Lankin has lived the life of rake, a man

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Overview

In Love & Scandal, Collette Jardiniere is outraged when notorious roué Charles Jameson appears to take credit for The Last Days of a Rake, a novel she wrote under the pseudonym Colin Jenkins to satisfy Victorian convention.

Can a rake be true to himself, yet remain free from sin?

Edgar Lankin has lived the life of rake, a man who cares for nothing but the pleasures of the flesh. But it is the seduction—and abandonment—of a gentle maiden that turns him from mere gadabout to immoral cad. Too late, Lankin realizes his self-centered ways have left him incapable of finding enjoyment in anything. Now on his deathbed, he relates the shocking tale of his wasted life to John Hamilton, a school chum who chose a different path.

In telling his story, can Lankin find redemption for the trail of ruined lives he leaves behind?

Companion piece to Love & Scandal by Donna Lea Simpson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426890192
Publisher:
Carina Press
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
27,394
File size:
0 MB

Read an Excerpt

The shadow of Sheikh al-Kaatib's private jet raced over the desert sands, heading west into the blaze of the afternoon sun.

Inside the plane seven passengers sat in silence. They had exhausted their conversation days ago. Besides, there was much to think about. Three closed their eyes, deliberated and slept. Another three opened notebooks and tapped busily. The seventh passenger tilted back his seat and looked out the window.

A hundred years ago we crossed this desert on camels, Ilias Aboud mused. He could almost see the sway of a camel caravan. Its men would have measured time by the sun and stars and the distance to the next oasis. They would have lived by rules forced on them by the harsh landscape: hospitality to the stranger, loyalty to one's kin.

War had been brief. A raid, not a sustained campaign. The desert lacked the resources to sustain an army. Men tended their livestock and their trade. Violence flared and died in the face of the overwhelming task of surviving. You counted your wealth in camels and children, and thanked God.

But that was before the strangers and their discovery of oil. Suddenly there was money enough to indulge in the foolishness of war. Vehicles shrank the desert, and people let go of its ways to embrace city life.

And city life was pleasant.

Ilias smiled. His wife and two-year-old son awaited him in Istanbul. He would take a taxi from the airport and be home in time for the evening meal. He would kiss his son and answer his questions. Since little Yusef had learned the word why he used it continuously. Why must he eat carrot? Why didn't the cat have to eat carrot? Why didn't he have a tail like the cat?

It would be good to be home. After Yusef went to bed, he and Salwa would talk a little about the meeting and a lot about family news and local gossip. Then they too would retire and find comfort in reunion. Joy, peace, love. His family kept him sane.

"More fruit juice, sir? Or coffee? There is baklava."

Startled from his thoughts, Ilias glanced at the steward and the glistening jug of juice the man held. Ice cubes tinkled.

"No. Nothing, thank you."

The steward nodded and whisked away Ilias's empty glass. He walked on to the next passenger. "Sir, would you—"

The engines cut out. No warning, just an eerie silence with the impact of a bomb. The steward's eyes went wide and he ran for the cockpit. Fruit juice sloshed and spilled, falling sticky on the cream carpet.

Ilias clenched his hands, counting. One, two, three...the engines remained silent.

There was still a chance. They wouldn't make Istanbul but the plane would glide for a short while. Could the pilot land it in the desert without engines? Sheikh al-Kaatib would employ the best pilots.

"God, into your care I consign my family and myself."

Wind tore at the plane, a violent downdraft that shoved the nose down. A man screamed. Terror of imminent death drained the blood from Ilias's plump face. He would return to the desert, after all. Violently.

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