Wicked (St. John-Duras Series #2)
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Wicked (St. John-Duras Series #2)

4.0 44
by Susan Johnson
     
 

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Serena Blythe's plan to escape a life of servitude had gone terribly awry. So she took the only course left to her. She sneaked aboard a sleek yacht about to set sail—and found herself face-to-face with a dangerous, sensual stranger. Beau St. Jules, the Earl of Rochefort, had long surpassed his father's notoriety as a libertine. Less well known was his role as

Overview

Serena Blythe's plan to escape a life of servitude had gone terribly awry. So she took the only course left to her. She sneaked aboard a sleek yacht about to set sail—and found herself face-to-face with a dangerous, sensual stranger. Beau St. Jules, the Earl of Rochefort, had long surpassed his father's notoriety as a libertine. Less well known was his role as intelligence-gatherer for England. Yet even on a mission to seek vital war information, he couldn't resist practicing his well-polished seduction on the beautiful, disarmingly innocent stowaway. And in the weeks to come, with battles breaking out on the continent and Serena's life in peril, St. Jules would risk everything to rescue the one woman who'd finally captured his heart.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
By the author of Brazen

"Susan Johnson is a queen of erotic, exciting romance who soars to new heights with each novel."
Romantic Times

"Susan Johnson writes an extremely gripping story...with her knowledge of the period and her exquisite sensual scenes, she is an exceptional writer!"
Affaire de Coeur

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Best known for her erotic love scenes, Johnson (Brazen) continues to play to her strength with her latest sizzling release. Becoming a governess after the death of her father, Serena Blythe has dreams of becoming a painter. After years of saving, she is about to depart for Italy to study when the ship on which she has booked passage is hijacked with all her money and worldly possessions. Determined to reach Florence as planned, Serena stows away on a ship belonging to the dangerously handsome Beau St. Jules, London's most notorious rogue. The Earl of Rochefort had already surpassed his father's reputation as a libertine, and that's saying something, considering his father is the Duke of Seth (fans will remember him as Sinjin St. John). As is her forte, Johnson provides about 250 pages of unadulterated sex. It's not for the prudish but Johnson fans will love it. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553572148
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Series:
St. John-Duras Series , #2
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
637,023
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.20(d)

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Read an Excerpt

"Your life sounds idyllic. Unlike mine of late," Serena said with a fleeting grimace. "But I intend to change that."

Frantic warning bells went off in Beau's consciousness. Had she deliberately come on board? Were her designing relatives even now in hot pursuit? Or were they explaining the ruinous details to his father instead? "How, exactly," he softly inquired, his dark eyes wary, "do you plan on facilitating those changes?"

"Don't be alarmed." She suddenly grinned feeling gloriously alive again after so many years. "I have no designs on you."

He laughed, his good spirits instantly restored. "Candid women have always appealed to me."

"While men with yachts are out of my league." Her smile was dazzling. "But why don't you deal us another hand," she cheerfully said, "and I'll see what I can do about mending my fortunes."

She was either completely ingenuous or the most skillful coquette. But he had more than enough money to indulge her and she amused him immensely.

He dealt the cards.

And when the beefsteaks arrived some time later, the cards were put away and they both tucked into the succulent meat with gusto.

She ate with a kind of quiet intensity, absorbed in the food and the act of eating. It made him consider his casual acceptance of all the privileges in his life with a new regard—but only briefly, because he was very young, very wealthy, too handsome for complete humility, and beset by intense carnal impulses that were profoundly immune to principle.

He'd simply offer her a liberal settlement when the Siren docked in Naples, he thought, discarding any further moral scruples.

He glanced at the clock.

Three-thirty.

They'd be making love in the golden light of dawn...or sooner perhaps, he thought with a faint smile, reaching across the small table to refill her wineglass.

"This must be heaven or very near ...." Serena murmured, looking up from cutting another portion of beefsteak. "I can't thank you enough."

"Remy deserves all the credit."

"You're very disarming. And kind."

"You're very beautiful, Miss Blythe. And a damned good cardplayer."

"Papa practiced with me. He was an accomplished player when he wasn't drinking."

"Have you thought of making your fortune in the gaming rooms instead of wasting your time as an underpaid governess?"

"No," she softly said, her gaze direct.

"Forgive me. I mean no rudeness. But the demi-monde is not without its charm."

"I'm sure it is not for a man," she said, taking a squarely cut piece of steak off her fork with perfect white teeth. "However, I'm going to art school in Florence," she went on, beginning to chew. "And I shall make my living painting."

"Painting what?"

She chewed a moment more, savoring the flavors, then swallowed. "Portraits, of course. Where the money is. I shall be flattering in the extreme. I'm very good, you know."

"I'm sure you are." And he intended to find out how good she was in other ways as well. "Why don't I give you your first commission?" He'd stopped eating but he'd not stopped drinking and he gazed at her over the rim of his wineglass.

"I don't have my paints. They're on the Betty Lee with my luggage."

"We have to dock in Lisbon to alert the authorities to the man Horton. Why not buy your paints there? How much would you charge for my portrait?"

Her gazed shifted from her plate. "Nothing for you. You've been generous in the extreme. I'd be honored to paint you"—She paused and smiled—"whoever you are."

"Beau St. Jules."

"The Beau St. Jules?" She put her flatware down and openly studied him. "The darling of the broadsheets...London's premier rake who's outsinned his father, the Saint?" A note of teasing had entered her voice, a familiar, intimate inflection occasioned by the numerous glasses of wine she'd drunk. "Should I be alarmed?"

He shook his head, amusement in his eyes. "I'm very ordinary," he modestly said, this man who fueled the scandal sheets and stood stud to all the London beauties. "You needn't be alarmed."

He wasn't, of course—ordinary in any way. He was the gold standard, she didn't doubt, by which male beauty was judged. His perfect features and artfully cropped black hair reminded her of classic Greek sculpture; his overt masculinity, however, was much less the refined cultural ideal. He was startlingly male.

"Aren't rakes older? You're very young," she declared. And gorgeous as a young god, she decided, although the cachet of his notorious reputation probably wasn't based on his beauty alone. He was very charming.

He shrugged at her comment on his age. He'd begun his carnal amusements very young, he could have said but, circumspect, asked instead, "How old are you?" His smile was warm, personal. "Out in the world on your own?"

"Twenty-three." Her voice held a small defiance; a single lady of three-and-twenty was considered a spinster in any society.

"A very nice age," he pleasantly noted, his dark eyes lazily half-lidded. "Do you like floating islands?"

She looked at him blankly.

"The dessert."

"Oh, yes, of course." She smiled. "I should save room then."

By all means, he licentiously thought, nodding a smiling approval, filling their wineglasses once more. Save room for me—because I'm coming in...

Meet the Author

Susan Johnson (b. 1939) is the bestselling author of more than 50 romance novels and books of erotic fiction noted for their frank sexuality. Blaze, Brazen, and Wicked are some of her most popular books. A native of the Midwest, Johnson also writes the Billionaire Erotica series under the pen name CC Gibbs.

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Wicked (St. John-Duras Series #2) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I always thought that the mark of a truly great romance, is that if you took out all of the sex, you'd still have a great story. If you did that here, there would be like 75 pages left. If you'd rather have sex than plot, this would be a great book, its more erotica than romance novel. As I said, if that's what you want great, read it, but if you buy it expecting a great love story with steamy sex, you will likely be disappointed. For me personally, a book filled with infidelity isn't romantic in the least.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lets make some sex scenes together......jim
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First thing that turned me off were the ' endearing' terms that the couple used. Really distracting. The lady behaves like a whore despite the fact that she is abhorrent to that title throughout the book. Generally no plot and skimpy romance. Definetly not Johnson's best and definetly not hot.
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