The Viscount's Wicked Ways [NOOK Book]

Overview

He has a way with women . . .

Thomas Ashe, the brooding Viscount Blackfield, is a man any lady would shun. But Patience Harrington, try as she might, has never been a proper lady. Her bumbled London season left her with no marital prospects and no recourse but to accept her father's invitation to travel to gloomy Blackfield Castle. Surely, spending a few nights in the presence of priceless antiques and a devilish viscount can't be as bad as ...

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The Viscount's Wicked Ways

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Overview

He has a way with women . . .

Thomas Ashe, the brooding Viscount Blackfield, is a man any lady would shun. But Patience Harrington, try as she might, has never been a proper lady. Her bumbled London season left her with no marital prospects and no recourse but to accept her father's invitation to travel to gloomy Blackfield Castle. Surely, spending a few nights in the presence of priceless antiques and a devilish viscount can't be as bad as facing the ton gossip.

Focused solely on his secret government project, Thomas cares little for the valuable antiques he's recently inherited. The troublesome young woman who has come to assess them, however, stirs his senses in every way. Patience is a distraction Thomas can ill afford—a beautiful temptation that makes him ache with desire. For a spy is threatening to destroy all he has built, and Patience is hiding something. With so much at stake, Thomas must do whatever it takes to seduce the truth from Patience's lips before lives—and his own heart—are lost.

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Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times BOOKclub
“Here’s a fresh, vibrant talent who cannot be ignored.”
Romantic TimesBOOKclub
"Here’s a fresh, vibrant talent who cannot be ignored."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061758430
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 220,731
  • File size: 866 KB

Meet the Author

Anne Mallory is a lifelong romance reader who soldher first novel to Avon Books after becoming a finalistin RWA’s Golden Heart contest. In Total Surrender isher eleventh book. A native Michigander, Anne currentlylives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Read an Excerpt

The Viscount's Wicked Ways


By Anne Mallory

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Anne Mallory
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060872926

Chapter One

Patience Harrington shivered with excitement and anticipation as she stared at the massive doors adorned with pointed crowns, sinister ravens, and trailing ivy. The work of the carvings was intricately and painstakingly detailed, as if hewn in offering to an ancient god of the underworld.

Lightning split the sky, illuminating the courtyard, turrets, and stone carvings of the night-shrouded castle. A thunderous boom shook the ground beneath her feet, causing her to wonder if Hades was just then reaching up to seize his gift.

The bestial sculptures lining the courtyard called out to her. Protectors fending off evil spirits. Heroes slaying dragons. Warriors surging into the fray armed and ready to best the enemy.

A low groan shifted her attention back to the castle's magnificent doors as one slowly swung open. A distinguished figure stood backlit in the doorway -- an archangel welcoming them to heaven -- or a demon summoning them to hell.

The figure motioned them inside.

Patience took an enthusiastic breath, pushed up her spectacles, and walked into the large, marble vestibule. A towering ceiling and stark frescoes were her first impressions of the main hall. The ceiling captured the fierce battle between the ancient Greek godsand the Titans. The battle with Cronus was at center, the hundred-handed, fifty-headed Hecatonchires, the Gigantes, and Cyclopes forming a ring of arms, heads, bodies, and eyes around the edges. The shadowed gods cast their eyes upon the travelers as if to judge their worth.

Patience reveled in the feel of the art and of the myth. Of the pure atmosphere of the lightning-kissed illusions and the rumblings as the sky stroked the earth. This was the real joy of her work. The feel of it. The imaginings. The true sensory experience. Later she would delve closer to poke and prod, to examine, dissect, and discuss, but for the moment she would simply feel and enjoy.

She was jostled from behind as one of her fellow travelers pushed forward to escape the storm and enter behind her. She realized the great doors had only been opened partway, to keep out the sheeting rain, and that she was blocking the entrance. She immediately shifted to the side, giving the jostler an apologetic smile and lift of her shoulders. It was just her luck that it was Mrs. Tecking, the person least amused by Patience's somewhat frequent flights of fancy.

Chastened by the glare she received from the impatient blonde, Patience stepped aside before continuing her perusal of Blackfield Castle's entrance hall.

A cantilevered staircase dominated the space, its mahogany railing rising majestically upward. Newel warriors guarded each landing, warning invaders of dire consequences if they continued their ascent.

Colorful rugs, fierce statues, decorative entrance tables, and priceless paintings framed in gold leaf adorned the floor and walls around, under, and over the grand staircase. Strange-looking sconces cast a golden light that alternated between somber and soothing depending on where she looked. Patience was impressed by the way the hall could feel both intimidating and inviting at the same time.

"Welcome to Blackfield Castle, I am Kenfield, Lord Blackfield's butler," the distinguished man who had opened the door announced, as Patience finally had the presence of mind to shake out her sodden skirts.

"Foul weather we are having," her cousin John remarked cheerfully, as he reached out a lanky hand to pass his walking stick, greatcoat, and hat to a footman. His sandy brown hair was damp around the edges and had already started to curl. Chocolate brown eyes absorbed the room much in the same way that Patience's had. "It's wonderful to be here."

"Indeed," Mr. Frederick Tecking said in his dry and somewhat absentminded fashion, his hazel eyes focused single-mindedly on a marble statue of Minerva in one of the hall's nooks. It was the first comment he had made in nearly an hour, and it was not surprising that it had taken a Roman antiquity to do it. "Odd chandelier though," he muttered, never taking his eyes off the statue.

Patience blinked and looked up. An enormous cut-glass chandelier hung from the ceiling. And Mr. Tecking was right. There was something unusual about it.

Before she could discover what it was, the butler gestured to a room on the left. "Please make yourself comfortable. Dry yourselves by the fire. I will inform Lady Caroline of your arrival, and your servants will be shown to their quarters."

Patience smiled as she watched her maid Tilly, who looked as excited as a woman a third her age, scoot down the hall. She, too, had looked upon this trip as an adventure.

The servants climbed the stairs as Patience, John, and the Teckings walked into the ornate room. A fire blazed in a large fireplace. A plaster frieze depicting nymphs and woodland creatures rose above the chimneypiece and surrounded the hearth. A large variety of furniture was positioned in front of the fire, and Patience's three traveling companions eased into the comfortable settees, relaxing after the last miserable hour of their journey.

Patience, on the other hand, began to examine the frieze. Tiny leaves and intricate vines were exquisitely crafted along with the nearly animate sculptured forest creatures. She ran her fingers along the edges, marveling at the artisan's skill.

"Please do sit down, Miss Harrington. You're making me extremely nervous." Patience restrained a sigh. "Do excuse my excitement, Mrs. Tecking. This is so wonderfully done." She continued to study the lovely carvings beneath her fingertips.

"I daresay, Miss Harrington, you will have the next three weeks to study the woodwork, the plaster, and artifacts to your heart's content, but only this first chance to make a good impression on Lady Caroline and her nephew Lord Blackfield. Wouldn't you say, Freddie?"

Mr. Tecking absently patted his wife's hand. "There, there, dear, it's been a long trip. You're a bit overwrought."

Continues...


Excerpted from The Viscount's Wicked Ways by Anne Mallory Copyright © 2006 by Anne Mallory. Excerpted by permission.
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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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 3, 2013

    Loved it!!

    like always Anne Mallory books do not disappoint..Such a good page turner you don't want to go to sleep til you finish her books, and this one is no different.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Not the greatest

    Didn't particularly enjoy this book as I had some of the author's others. Not as entertaining and it seemed several explanations had been left out as though the book was too long and for editing reasons just took out parts of the story, so it didn't run seamless to me in some instances. But the chemistry between Thomas and Patience as good.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Thomas and Patience- I LOVED IT!

    Lord Blackfield, a gorgeous, masculine hunk of pure grade "A" beef, with his sharp wit and dark mysteries, along with Patience, an antiquarian (one who studies antiques for museums) and is beautiful and vivacious under her spectacles with long flowing hair. Their romance was a whirlwind that I enjoyed so much, that I laughed hysterically reading the last chapter. I love Anne Mallory's erotic and sexual scenes as well as, the witty elements to her stories. This one is a must, as all other Anne Mallory romances...I have read them all!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A charmer

    Patience Harrington has never been able to behave to the standard of the Ton. So when she fumbles her Season, Patience is left with one option offered by her father. She is to visit ominous Blackfield Castle to appraise and catalogue the antiques.---- Viscount Blackfield, Thomas Ashe, does not want any visitors especially one as distracting as the lovely Patience even for a few nights. He wants her to leave, but she refuses insisting she will first finish her task of assessing the antiques he inherited even though he does not seem to care about anything except brooding and glaring at her. In reality, Thomas struggles to stay focused on uncovering who endangers so many lives. Still for the first time since he became a spy, Thomas is unable to keep alert and concentrate on his inquiries as he desires Patience who he believes has been sent by his enemy to spy on him. Perhaps he can kiss the truth out of her lips.----- This is a fun gothic historical romance that uses amusing scenarios to refresh and lighten the usual serious tone of the sub-genre. Thomas is out of patience with his desire that he fears hides his unwanted guest¿s nefarious activities while Patience ponders whether her host is the Frankenstein monster. Fans will enjoy this gender war starring two terrific combatants who misconceive everything about the other except love.----- Harriet Klausner

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