Lady Evangeline Stuart chose to wed a tyrant with a title, or so society believes. That was five years ago—five long years that she could have spent with her first and only love: Lord Hadley Fullerton, the second son of the Duke of Claymore. Now Evangeline is a widow, and her soul cries out for Hadley. But when they see each other at last, everything has changed. The passion in his eyes has been corrupted by betrayal. Somehow Evangeline must regain Hadley’s trust—without revealing the secret that would spoil the seduction.
Hadley is determined not to be distracted by Evangeline. He and the other Libertine Scholars are in pursuit of an enemy who has been striking at them from the shadows, and Evangeline’s mere presence could be dangerous. But with one smile, one touch, one taste of Evangeline’s lips, Hadley’s resolve is overpowered by far more pleasant memories. As the two enter into a discreet affair, Hadley vows to give her his body, never his heart. That, she will have to earn.
Look for the enchanting Disgraced Lords series from Bronwen Evans:
A KISS OF LIES | A PROMISE OF MORE | A TOUCH OF PASSION | A WHISPER OF DESIRE | A TASTE OF SEDUCTION | A NIGHT OF FOREVER
And don’t miss her novels in the Imperfect Lords series:
ADDICTED TO THE DUKE | DRAWN TO THE MARQUESS | ATTRACTED TO THE EARL
“Balanced by the constant undercurrent of attraction and mystery . . . [the] fifth Disgraced Lords Regency romance reunites two lovers who were separated by misunderstandings and time.”—Publishers Weekly
“A thrilling read that engages you from the very first moment. Mystery and intrigue mixed into a heart-warming love story that holds you to the very end.”—Pamela Labud, author of A Most Delicate Pursuit
“A Taste of Seduction is absolutely delicious, with excitement, emotion, and heat. It’s a love story that will make you sigh with satisfaction.”—USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke
“A Taste of Seduction is a riveting, adventurous story of suspense and passion that will leave readers begging for more from the talented Bronwen Evans!”—Award-winning author Vanessa Kelly
Includes an excerpt from the next Disgraced Lords title.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
London, England, 1816
The door slammed shut behind him, the sound echoing in the quiet street. Standing on the top step, Hadley loosened his cravat to make it easier to swallow over the lump in his throat. He gazed along the row of fashionable but smallish townhouses. They all looked the same, but he wondered if the people who lived inside were as empty of life as the house behind him.
A sighed escaped as he looked down his body. All dressed up and nowhere to go. No one was waiting for him. Missing him. Wanting him . . .
Philomena had wanted him.
The first woman he’d let close since Evangeline had decided that a title and money were more important than love.
It was never easy sounding the death knell on an arrangement with another mistress. He liked Philomena. She was easy. Easy to talk to, very easy to look at, and very easy to desire. Not a friend per se, but neither was she simply a mistress. Was there an in-between?
He kicked at a loose cobblestone.
As Hadley sauntered down the steps to the street, he tried to summon hurt or disappointment, but he’d only be fooling himself. All he felt was hollowness.
He had hoped Philomena might be a tad upset that their arrangement had to end, but she knew she could find another protector at the snap of her little fingers. She was beautiful, if not a little vapid, but her innate sensuality drew men like a moth seeking a flame. He’d often wondered why she had lowered herself to becoming the mistress of a mere second son, albeit the second son of a duke. It certainly wasn’t for the money. She could have earned more elsewhere.
Perhaps that was why she’d been special to him. She had wanted to be his mistress. She had chosen to be his mistress.
She’d chosen him.
It hadn’t been solely about the coin he could provide.
To her credit, she hadn’t cried, screamed, or carried on when he informed her that their time was at an end. Not after he’d explained why. At month’s end his brother, the Duke of Claymore, would announce Hadley’s engagement to Lady Claire Hampton. Hadley had promised his brother that he would start his new life as honorably as was possible with an arranged marriage.
Goddamn his brother.
Two years ago it had seemed so easy to agree with his brother’s request that he marry Claire. Now that the time was drawing near, however, he wished he could take his promise back, but he’d given his word. If a man went back on his word, how could he be trusted? A cold sweat made his shirt stick to his skin. His time was running out.
Hadley had more to worry about than an unwanted arranged marriage. A villainess as evil as any man, De Palma had to be stopped before she hurt any more of his friends or even himself. She had started a war with the Libertine Scholars in revenge for something their fathers had done to her many years ago.
He could not marry Claire and expose her to De Palma’s evil either. The Libertine Scholars had three weeks to unmask their foe, or Claire might become a target as well.
After what had happened to Marisa, Maitland Spencer’s wife . . . he wouldn’t wish her fate on any woman, not even Claire.
At the corner of the street he looked back at the quaint townhouse with deep regret. He’d been fond of Philomena and their time together.
Christ, he needed a drink. He pulled out his pocket watch.
Shortly he was expected for dinner at the townhouse of his fellow Libertine Scholar the Earl of Markham, Christian Trent, but he couldn’t face all the happily married couples without fortifying himself first.
A drink at White’s was required. He could hail a hack, but it was a fine afternoon, if a tad cool, and perhaps a walk would help him release his frustrations.
It took him more than half an hour to walk to White’s. Upon arrival, he spied a fellow Libertine Scholar, Arend Aubury, Baron de Labourd, sitting at their favorite table. Arend was the only other unmarried Libertine Scholar, and the two tended to spend more time together these days.
Arend saw him and waved one of the servants over, asking for another glass. There was a bottle of France’s finest brandy on the table.
As he took his seat, Arend commented, “You look as if you could do with a drink.”
Hadley grimaced and took the proffered glass from his friend. “It’s been one of those days when I wished I’d simply stayed in bed.”
“But not the bed of your now ex-mistress, it would seem,” Arend replied with a raised eyebrow.
Hadley turned in his chair and looked around the room. Men were staring and joking, and it was obvious they were talking about him. “It would appear news travels quicker than a man can walk.”
“Care to share why you brought your arrangement with the lovely Philomena to an end so suddenly?”
“Why? Are you interested in employing her?”