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Love Only Once (Malory Family Series #1)

Love Only Once (Malory Family Series #1)

4.4 120
by Johanna Lindsey

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The exquisite niece of Lord Edward and Lady Charlotte Malory, Regina Ashton is outraged over her abduction by the arrogant, devilishly handsome Nicholas Eden—and is determined to make the rogue pay . . . with his heart.

A golden-haired seducer, Nicholas has been hardened by a painful secret in his past. And now that he has besmirched Reggie's good name,


The exquisite niece of Lord Edward and Lady Charlotte Malory, Regina Ashton is outraged over her abduction by the arrogant, devilishly handsome Nicholas Eden—and is determined to make the rogue pay . . . with his heart.

A golden-haired seducer, Nicholas has been hardened by a painful secret in his past. And now that he has besmirched Reggie's good name, the hot-tempered lady has vowed to wed him. Her fiery beauty stirs Nicholas as no woman ever has—and the rake arouses Reggie's passion to an unendurable level. Such uncontrolled desires can lead only to dangerous misunderstandings . . . and, perhaps, to a love that can live only once in a lifetime.

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Romantic Times
Creates fairy tales that come true!

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Malory Family Series , #1
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665 KB

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Chapter One

1817 London

The fingers holding the brandy decanter The long and delicate. Selena Eddington was vain about her hands. She showed them off whenever a chance presented itself, as it did just then. She brought the decanter to Nicholas instead of taking his glass to the brandy. This served another purpose, as well, for she was able to stand in front of him as he reclined on the plush blue sofa, the fire at her back, her figure outlined provocatively through her thin muslin evening dress. Even a hardened rake like Nicholas Eden could still appreciate a lovely body.

A large ruby winked on her left hand as she steadied his glass and poured the brandy. Her wedding ring. She still wore it proudly, though she had been a widow for two years. More rubies circled her throat, but even spectacular rubies did not detract from her décolletage, exceedingly low, which allowed a mere three inches of material before the cinched high waist of the empire gown fell in straight lines to her trim ankles. The gown was a deep, dark magenta, and suited beautifully both the rubies and Selena.

"Are you listening to me, Nicky?"

Nicholas had that irritating pensive look about him that she recognized more and more of late. He was not listening to a word she was saying but was deep in thoughts that surely didn't include her. He hadn't even glanced at her while she poured his brandy.

"Honestly, Nicky, it's not at all flattering the way you go off and leave me when we're in a room alone together." She stood her ground in front of him until he looked up at her.

"What's that, my dear?" Her hazel eyes flashed. She would have stompedher foot if she'd dared let him see her vile temper. How provoking he was, how indifferent, how ... impossible! If only he weren't such a good catch.

Mindful of her deportment, she said evenly, "The ball, Nicky. I have been going on about it, but you're not paying attention. If you like, I will change the subject, but only if you promise you won't be late coming for me tomorrow night."

"What ball?"

Selena gasped, truly surprised. He was not foxed, and he was not being blasé. The infuriating man really had no idea what she was talking about.

"Don't tease me, Nicky. The Shepford ball. You know how much I have been looking forward to it."

"Ah, yes," he said dryly. "The ball to outdo them all, and this only the beginning of the season."

She pretended not to notice his tone. "You also know how long I have waited for an invitation to one of the Duchess of Shepford's affairs. This ball promises to be her grandest in years. Simply everyone who is anyone will be there."


Selena counted slowly to five. "So I will die if I am even the tiniest bit late."

His lips turned up in the familiar mocking smile. "You die much too often, my dear. You shouldn't take the social whirl so seriously."

"I should be like you?"

She would have called that retort back if she'd been able to. Her temper was very close to being unleashed, and that would be disastrous. She knew how he deplored excess of emotion in anyone — though it was all right for him to let loose his temper, which could be quite unpleasant.

Nicholas simply shrugged. "Call me eccentric, my dear, one of the few who doesn't give a bloody damn for the lot of them."

How true that was. He ignored and even insulted whomever he pleased. He made friends with anyone he pleased, too, even known bastards who were snubbed by society. And he never, ever, pandered to anyone. He was every bit as arrogant as people said he was. But he could also be devastatingly charming — when he wanted to be.

Miraculously, Selena kept a tight rein on her temper. "Nevertheless, Nicky, you did promise to escort me to the Shepford ball."

"Did I?" he drawled.

"Yes, you did," she managed evenly. "And you will promise not to be late in coming for me, won't you?"

He shrugged again. "How can I promise such a thing, my dear? I cannot foresee the future. There is no telling what might arise tomorrow to delay me."

She very nearly screamed. There was nothing to delay him except his own perfidious indifference, and they both knew it. It was not to be borne!

Selena made a quick decision and said nonchalantly, "Very well, Nicky. Since this is so important to me and I can't depend on you, I will find myself another escort and simply hope that you will eventually show up at the ball." Two could play his game.

"On such short notice?" he asked.

"'You doubt I can?" she challenged.

He smiled, his gaze moving over her appreciatively. "No, indeed. I believe you will have very little trouble replacing me."

Selena turned her back on him before he could see how the remark affected her. Had that been a warning? Oh, how sure of himself he was. It would serve him right if she broke off their affair. No mistress of his had ever done so.

He was always the one to end an affair. He was always the one in charge. How would he react if she dropped him? Would it throw him into a rage? Would it force his hand? This merited serious consideration.

Nicholas Eden stretched more comfortably on the sofa and watched Selena pick up her glass of sherry, then lie down on the thick fur rug in front of the fire, her back to him. His lips curled sardonically. How alluring her pose was, but of course she knew that. Selena always knew precisely what she was doing.

Meet the Author

One of the world's most successful authors of historical romance, every one of Johanna Lindsey's previous novels has been a national bestseller, and several of her titles have reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Ms. Lindsey lives in New England with her family.

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Love Only Once 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 120 reviews.
Leslee_FL More than 1 year ago
This book did an excellent job at setting the stage for all 10 books in the series! I read through all of them in a month or so, just couldn't get enough of the Malory's! Johanna Lindsey introduces us to the Malory family very thoroughly without being boring. Since each Malory is in all of the books, it's good to know the timeline of events and where things pick up from. The only new characters are the husbands and wives each Malory marries into their family. Love Only Once introduces us to Lady Regina who is like a Tom Boy on the side with a lady's upbringing. She is mischievous and is adored immensely by all of her uncles. (pretty much she gets what she wants, but it's always for their benefit (and hers)) I was never bored, nor did it ever seem slow. There is adventure, sexual tensions, excitement, and love and much more in this series. I hope you'll enjoy it, I recommend taking the series in order!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Regan!! She's pretty, smart, sassy, and yet, she's all heart too. Nicholas is handsome and sexy, a great character!! (Although James and Tony are better!!) Funny and romantic. A Must Read!!! I can't wait until Jeremy's story comes out! 'Hell's bells, isn't it about time?!'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked this book. Regina was a strong female , something I like in books. Simpering girls who need rescued at every turn are boring. I felt Nicolas was far too over the top with his disdain for marriage. His problems ,(once confronted) were solved rather quickly. Still it was a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love love love!! i love this whole series i never get tired of reading about the mallorys :)
LaButterflyLoca More than 1 year ago
You will fall in love with this family they take care of each other and protect anyone that is family imagine being a rival of one of them and falling in love with another? Its all a surprise to Nicholas Eden he would never imagine himself leg shackled. This is the beginning of a series of love stories that you just like I will enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got kind of bored of it half way also. But, its the beginning of a series, it's best to read the first one anyway so you'll get a better understanding of the characters in ther rest of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiko1021 More than 1 year ago
I can't say enough about this book, except that if you decide to read it, be prepared not to be able to put it down. Regina is sweet, hot-tempered, and spirited, and you will admire her. As for Nicholas, you might hate him at first, but you will come to love him because Lindsey shows us that deep down he is vulnerable and terrified of rejection. A great book and terrific beginning to this series. I can't wait to read the stories of the other Malory characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Top read! Four loveable uncles, a beautiful and charming niece, and humorous rakehell with a secret. I laughed so much. Worth the read.
julieford More than 1 year ago
Johanna Lindsey has created a wonderful love story. This is the story of Regina Ashton, beloved niece of the 4 Mallory brothers and Nicholas Eden, a Viscount with a dark secret. Nicholas mistakenly kidnaps Regina and is forced to marry her due to the scandal he created. This book is comical, sweet and filled with love. I have the whole series and have re-read them many times over. I highly recommend this book.
PamMS More than 1 year ago
First of a great series
jazmanjo More than 1 year ago
I love historical romances an this author has a wonderful set of Malory Series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the Mallory Series I own most of them, they are humorous and I just cant put them down once I start reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Johanna books but I got bored half way through this one........ Not to much lust scenes if thats what your into..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all her books!
Cawann More than 1 year ago
loved it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down!!
annabannanna05 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book and a fantastic beginning to the Malory Family Series.
Deia More than 1 year ago
I love how Johanna Lindsey weaves her multi stories together. She brings such layers and attitude to life within the her writing. I can believe in these characters and their life, even in the outrageous story line. The Malory's and Anderson's have become one of my favorite fictional families.
PenPalAz More than 1 year ago
This cute historical romance is the start to a wonderful series involving the Malory family. Although the beginning is a slow read, the plot warms considerably. Regina is a lovable firecracker of a woman and Nicholas is the playboy turned family man we love to hate. We also learn a little bit of the Malory family background. Great start to a wonderful series.
Francine More than 1 year ago
Johanna's done it again! I loved this book, could not put it down. The characters were very lively. My favorites were Regina and Nicholas. This is good escapist reading.
Anonymous 18 days ago
This is the best romance novel that I have read. Loved it
Anonymous 3 months ago
A very good read truly enjoyed it!!!
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