A misfit in proper society, Lady Georgiana will risk her future for a night of pleasure with Captain Wrath.
Lady Georgiana Knolls is a misfit in proper society, only there because her brother insists she have a Season and learn what it means to be ‘a lady'. The rules and etiquette forced upon unmarried women of her class are stifling and she breaks them more often and more publicly than is wise.
Which is how she meets Captain Wrath. His arrogance and confidence are nearly a match for her own and for a chance of pleasure with him, she will risk the future she's been waiting for.
After years at sea, Captain Wrath is ready to resume the mantle of the Earl of Rathbridge. His first good deed? To save his best friend's sister from blackmail by offering her the protection of his name...as her fiancé. The faux betrothal turns real when he realizes she is the same beauty who's been sharing his bed since his return.
The earl is ready to make things right, but to do that, he will have to unmask a blackmailer, convince his best friend that he is suitable marriage material for his beloved sister and prove to Georgie that becoming his wife won't stifle the independence she craves.
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Copyright © Zoë Mullins 2018. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
Rath was surprised that Lisette recognized him when he presented himself at the private entrance to her personal rooms at Chez de Sauveterre. The last leg of the trip had been difficult, the storms seeming endless. He hadn’t shaved in weeks, his hair needed a good wash and his clothes, though still well-cut, were caked with dirt, saltwater and blood. He did not look the part of a peer of the realm, or a partner in Sinclair Knolls, one of the most prosperous shipping and import interests in England.
Lisette had taken one look at him, seen behind the filth and grime and flung herself into his arms. His former mistress was ten years his senior but nothing in her countenance betrayed her age. Though in her mid-forties now, she still looked fresh and carefree, with her white-blonde hair pulled back in a loose knot. Her blue eyes swam with tears at the sight of him.
It was always at Lisette’s home that he regained his land legs. His coachman followed behind him with a small trunk filled with the clothes and toiletries that would turn the feared Captain Wrath into the Rowan Grayson Sinclair, the Earl of Rathbridge or that devilish Lord Sin, as some still called him.
He assured her of his health and general well-being before being seen up to a private guest room. He was relieved to see Gisele and Richards awaiting him in his room. They must have received word that his ship had at last made port.
He wrapped an arm around Richards’ shoulders and kissed Gissy on the forehead. They had been his faithful servants for years and appreciating their company, he regretted that he saw so little of them.
He’d met Richards when he had been a footman in his parents employ, but the young man had shown potential. Upon setting up his own lodgings in Albany, Rath had asked him to become his personal valet. By then, Gisele went where Richards went, and had taken on the role of housekeeper, cook and maid.
Tonight, the two worked together, putting to rest the fearsome Lord Wrath and revealing the gentleman beneath. Richards stripped him out of the offensive rags, and Gisele ran to dispose of them. Richards was nothing if not serious about his work, and Rath knew by the look he gave the sodden clothing that Richards was planning to take them out back and burn them. Rath hid a grin. He would never see the ‘offensive garments’ again. Richards set them by the door and turned back to the trunk, pulling out Rath’s more fashionable London attire.
“Not the jacket, not tonight.”
Richards lifted his brow as if to admonish him. The world, however, would not end if he showed up downstairs in his waistcoat and shirtsleeves. He glared back at Richards, who frowned, but silently relented.
Gisele laughed at them both. “You two have the same argument each time you come home.”
“That was hardly an argument,” Richards grumbled. “It’s hard to argue with a man who looks like a naked caveman. We must do something about that hair and beard, my lord.”
“Of course, Richie.”
“Come on, caveman.” Gisele held out her hand. “I happen to like you naked and hairy. Though not so filthy as you are now.”
“I thought you liked me dirty?” he teased, and saw a look pass between her and Richards. “Good lord, has she finally taken pity on you and agreed to marry you, Richie?”
“Aye, my lord. I’ve made her my wife.”
“You should have said, man.” He reached out to grab a towel and wrapped it around his waist.
Gisele tugged the towel off him playfully. “Pssh, my lord. He’s seen you tup me. He’s helped you tup me. There is no need to be missish about showing me your stick now.”
Richards laughed. “No, my lord. Modesty would be quite out of place. Get in your tub and let Gissy and I clean you up.”
Rath shook his head but couldn’t stop from grinning. He had always expected the two would wed, had encouraged it after Gisele had birthed Richards’ second child. That she’d finally consented was a cause for celebration.
He leaned back in the hot tub and let them take care of him. Gissy washed his hair first, then moved on to washing his body with a scented cloth. Richards had pulled a stool close to the tub side and had prepared a basin of hot water. He began the process of shaving him, which meant cutting the length of whiskers first.
Rath never considered himself a prissy man. He wasn’t a fop. He did for himself for months at a time while at sea, but he did enjoy the feeling of another running a razor or a soft cloth over his skin.
Gisele rang for more water and a parade of young boys brought hot pots into the room. When he stood, she and Richards took turns rinsing him clean with the hot water, before Gissy wrapped him in soft towels. She led him over to the dressing table where Richards completed his transformation by trimming his unruly hair to a respectable, but still unfashionable length.
“You will always look the pirate, my lord,” Gisele said, crawling onto his lap as Richards continued to towel his hair dry.
“Sssh, that’s our secret, Gis.” He laughed as she kissed his newly shaven chin and jaw.