Confessions of a Scoundrel

Confessions of a Scoundrel

by Karen Hawkins

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380820801
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Series: Talisman Ring Series , #2
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 387,285
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Karen Hawkins was raised in Tennessee, a member of a huge extended family that included her brother and sister, an adopted sister, numerous foster siblings, and various exchange students. In order to escape the chaos (and while hiding when it was her turn to do the dishes), she would huddle under the comforter on her bed with a flashlight and a book, a habit she still embraces to this day.

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Confessions of a Scoundrel

Chapter One

Brandon St. John is a very sensual man. Whenever he looks at me, I get the most delicious shivers right down to my toes, just as if -- Oh! Sorry. forgot I was talking to you.

Miss Liza Pritchard to her fiancé, Sir Royce Pemberly, on Bond Street, while shopping for a present for Sir Royce's sister

"He's dead."

From the depths of a brandy-fumed slumber, Brandon St. John heard every word, recognizing his younger brother's voice instantly.

Damn it, what is Devon doing in my dreams? Devon was an annoyance when Brandon was awake. During sleep, he was a positive menace.

"He cannot be dead," someone else answered. "He's too stubborn to die in such a neat fashion, stretched out in his own bed."

Brandon groaned at the new voice -- it belonged to his half-brother, Anthony Elliot, the Earl of Greyley.

Just to make Brandon's dream a true nightmare, Marcus, his oldest brother, added in a deep voice, "Brandon is not dead; he was snoring when we came in."

"A pity we can't set him afire," Devon said cheerfully. "That would wake him."

Someone grabbed Brand's foot, jerking him the rest of the way into wakefulness. "Go away," he ordered, his voice muffled by his pillow.

Devon shook him again. "Rise, Brand! You've work to do."

"I've sleep to sleep, first," he muttered.

But there was no swaying Devon. "Get up!" he demanded.

Brandon started to lift his head, but the pounding behind his temples made him think better of it. "Poole!" he called in a rusty voice. Poole served as Brand'svalet, butler, and general manservant. "Where is that man? I need my pistol."

"Pistol?" Anthony's voice deepened with amusement. "Are you going hunting?"

"Yes," Brand answered. "I'm going hunting for the damned rodents who've infested my chambers."

"Poole cannot fetch your weapon now," Devon said, always eager to spread bad news. "We told him we were famished and he's gone to find us some breakfast."

Bloody hell, what a horrid way to start the day. Brandon hated mornings. They were filled with annoyingly cheerful people who liked to aggravate other, more important individuals who needed extra sleep to make up for the fact that they had not slept the night before.

"Perhaps we should call for a nice cool pitcher of water," Anthony said, his deep lazy voice filtering through the air. "That should get this slugabed on his feet."

Brand pulled the pillow over his head. His throat felt like the bottom of a salt barrel -- scratchy and dry. And that was just the beginning of his complaints; his head ached, his stomach roiled, and the inside of his mouth tasted like chalk.

He had a vague memory of the night before. Of a beautiful woman with reddish gold hair and a card game where the stakes had gone from guineas to articles of clothing to other, far more stimulating wagers. Celeste was perfect for him in every way -- beautiful, intelligent, talented in bed, and married to someone else. No man could ask for more. Except Brandon.

Marcus's dry voice came from the foot of the bed. "It appears our brother has had yet another difficult night."

Brandon would have shrugged if it hadn't meant he'd have to move. Marcus was wrong -- it hadn't been a difficult night at all. And that was the problem. No matter how much Brandon enjoyed a dalliance, within two weeks he inevitably found himself looking for a new challenge.

The sad truth was that every amusement of late had seemed flat. Brandon was living beneath a horrible pall -- a feeling that somehow, some way, he was missing out on something important.

What maudlin nonsense. Brandy apparently had the unfortunate side effect of making one mawkish. From now on, he'd stick to port. Brandon lifted his aching head and forced his lids to rise. Blinding light pierced his eyes. He groaned, and then groped blindly for the half-finished glass of brandy that rested beside his bed. He gulped it down, his throat stinging as he thunked the glass back on the stand.

"Hair of the dog?" Anthony said with amusement.

Brandon wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and turned to squint over his shoulder. "Just tell me what you want and then get the hell out of here."

"How rude," Devon said. "I expected a greeting, at least."

"From Brandon?" Anthony appeared astonished. "Unless you wear skirts, have a full bosom and a husband, Brandon will not give you the time of day."

Brandon tried to decide whether to glare or just ignore Anthony. Truthfully, of all his brothers, Brand was closest to his half-brother. Anthony's sleepy air was a hoax -- he had more energy and determination than any man half his size. And he had a sharp wit that always made Brandon grin.

Not now, of course. No one could smile at this time of the morning. Brand eyed his half-brother blearily. "I thought you were still on your honeymoon."

"Anna and I returned last night, just in time for the meeting."

Oh bloody hell, the meeting. Brandon rubbed his temples. "I'd forgotten."

"We noticed," Marcus said, his blue gaze coolly reproachful. The oldest, he ruled the family fortune, his life and those of the younger members of the St. John family with an iron fist.

As the next oldest in line, Brandon should have been deeply involved in the family financial endeavors. But even at an early age, Marcus's unrelenting need to control everything and everyone around him -- especially the family fortune -- had set Brandon's teeth on edge.

Thus it was that at the genteel age of twenty-two, when most of his friends were drinking and whoring their way through London, Brandon had collected what money he could and purchased two ill-kempt estates outside of Shropeshire. That had been many years ago and the estates were now merged into one, a very productive and profitable venture providing Brandon with an astonishing income. It had been years since he'd drawn on his St. John accounts, a fact that had infuriated Marcus even more.

Confessions of a Scoundrel. Copyright © by Karen Hawkins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Confessions of a Scoundrel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The main characters are equally intriguing with fast tongues and sharp whit. If they don't have you hooked then the butler will. He is hilarious and adds humor with a touch of kindness that had me hooked. Many a night I spent in bed till the wee hours with my husband snoring and me and my little book light reading and reading. I highly recommend you take this book to bed with you, you won't be able to put it down!
montano on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Delightful escape! Finally a heroine who goes toe to toe with the typical overbearing Regency. Verena gives Brandon as good as she gets. The story moves briskly with plenty of mystery and lovemaking. The ending feels a bit truncated but it's a minor complaint for such a fun read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mmm just as good 3 time as it was the frist time
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Hairbear26 More than 1 year ago
Not her best. LIKED THE characters but the story was a little weak.
Guest More than 1 year ago
BOOKS ABOUT THE ST. JOHNS CAN'T BE BEAT. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THIS PARTICULAR STORY AND WHY IT DIDN'T GET 5 STARS WAS THE ENDLESS PERSUIT OF A KISS. PAGES AND PAGES AND CHAPTER UPON CHAPTER WRITTEN ABOUT A WAGERED KISS. TOO BAD BECAUSE ALL THE OTHER ST. JOHN BROTHERS WOULD HAVE JUST TAKEN WHAT WAS THEIRS AND NOT KEPT NAGGING THE WOMAN. DO READ ALL THE BOOKS IN ORDER SO YOU WILL NOT WONDER WHO HAS DONE WHAT.