One Wicked Night of Passion Can Change Everything
To escape her tyrannical father's designs, Miss Lillian Kane gambles her reputation and transforms herself from insipid Miss Wallflower to Daring Sensation, dazzling Polite Society and the opportune attention of a notable marquis in the process. But when her kindly protector is wrongly accused of murder and dragged off to Newgate Prison, suddenly Lillian needs more than a pretty face and a plan. She needs Nicholas Redford, the one man in London who wants nothing to do with her.
Nick is not about to imperil his good name or that of his fledgling inquiry firm by helping a murderous scoundrel elude justice, no matter how enticing the man's mistress. But the exquisite Miss Kane is not as she appears, the dashing investigator soon learns. And it is only after one wicked night of passion that Nick realizes that of all dark places where danger lurks, the most unsuspecting is his heart.
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About the Author
Sari Robins was born and raised in New York, married a Southern gentleman, and now lives with her family in Georgia. Having spent years working as a tax attorney, she realized that deep inside her beat the heart of an author. Since leaving her law practice behind, she hasn’t looked back. She gets to be more creative in her writing than she ever could have with a legal brief. She loves writing fiction, particularly narratives set in England’s Regency period--the setting for her exciting Andersen Hall series which began with One Wicked Night, More Than a Scandal, What to Wear to a Seduction, and When Seducing a Spy. Stay tuned for the next installment of the Andersen Hall series, due out in 2008!
Read an Excerpt
One Wicked Night
Chapter OneThirteen months later
Lillian sat alone at the dining room table in her dishabille, enjoying a cup of cocoa and the Morning Post.
"Bravo, Mr. Redford," she whispered to the empty room. There it was, the notice that she had been searching for during the past few months.
Mister Nicholas Redford
15 Girard Square, London
She had followed his illustrious career in the papers with the apt attention of a woman in thrall. Although slightly mortified by her fascination, no one knew of it except her dear friend Fanny, who would never tell a soul, so she saw little harm. In fact, the man was fodder for her most sensational flights of fancy, and Lillian was not about to give up her favorite escape. There were nights when she excused herself from festivities simply to enjoy the company of his deliciously imagined kisses.
Often the dashing police officer was a crusader saving her from a marauding infidel, or from a ruf- fian come to steal her away. She schooled herself to recognize that these were girlish fantasies and not in any way related to the lead performer himself. She wondered if she would ever encounter the handsome Mr. Redford again.
The only excuse she could have for seeing him was to retain his services, something she could not quite imagine doing. What excuse could she have to retain an enquiry agent? The possibility of hunting down her natural father flitted through her mind, but she instantly dismissed it. Beyond having caused her mother infinite heartbreak, the dastard had deserted the poor lady when she had been with child. Such an unfeeling blackguard did not deserve to be found.
So Redford would remain a deliciously decadent player in her imaginary fantasies; her own private champion. Looking around to ensure that no one was near, she folded the newspaper along the lines of the advertisement and gently tore along the edge.
"Happy birthday, darling," Dillon yawned, ambling into the room.
The paper ripped across the wording with a loud tear. "Blast," she muttered, flipping over the broadsheet and pushing it aside before he could see.
"You woke early for me?" she asked. He was the picture of a young boy roused from sleep, with his tousled blond hair and air of lethargy. She smiled up at him affectionately. "Now I know that I rank." "Of course you do, darling," he intoned, rubbing his red-rimmed eyes. "I wanted to be the first to thank you for being born." He bussed her on the lips, and his clove-scented breath reminded her of an escapade long ago.
"Do you recall our first kiss?"
"How could I forget?" He grinned. "The butler found us in the pantry."
"How is crotchety Mr. Jenkins?"
"Still scaring the cook and chasing the maids, I'm afraid. But father will not let him go. Says he keeps everyone out of his hair, and he will not give that up." He sat down beside her. "Speaking of which ..." Reaching into his gown pocket, he pulled out a velvet-covered box and set it on the table. "For you."
"I do not need gifts, Dillon. You have given me so much already."
She bit her lip, knowing that this gift came with unstated terms. Opening the lid, she gasped. Diamonds glittered like a circle of stars on black velvet. "It is far too indulgent," she avowed quietly.
Lifting the bracelet, he draped it across her wrist. "Nonsense, you are worth every gem."
It felt like a manacle, heavy with its demands made with luminous insistence. She yanked her sleeve down, extinguishing the glare. "It is a beautiful gesture, Dillon. But it will not make me change my mind."
"Do not be so cynical. It is a gift for your birthday."
"Dillon ... "
He shrugged. "So what if we want you to stay when the year is out? It is encouragement only, nothing more."
"I will not be a puppet dancing on your father's strings -- "
"But you will destroy me, instead." He crossed his arms, anger infusing his handsome features.
"Stop being dramatic." Carefully, she placed the dazzling bracelet back in the case and closed it with a snap. "My plans are not subject to debate, by either you or your father."
"I can give you all the money that you need -- "
"The waters might flow between you and your father, but there are expectations involved and you know it."
"He has been more than reasonable -- "
"Which is why I endeavor to deal plainly with you both. I told you from the onset of this arrangement that it is only until my four-and-twentieth birthday."
"How can you deny him his happiness when he has done so much for you?"
She stood, frustrated. They had been over this ground before. Granted, they only seemed to discuss it on or around her birthday, almost as if Dillon discarded the thought until then, but they had agreed. "His efforts were not completely selfless, but more importantly, it is about my happiness, not his. I will stand on my own two feet when I am able and not rely on the generosity of others."
"It was never a handout between us." Dillon frowned with injury. "We have been friends since birth, and I would never turn my back on you."
His accusation hung in the air, but she was not about to let him make her feel guilty. She moved to the window, staring out at the enclosed rear garden. "Will you be joining us today at Mr. Wigley's Great Room?"
"I have already seen the Panoramic View of St. Petersburg."
"Fanny has not. Besides, I, at least, was unable to absorb the entire scene in one viewing. I have examined it twice already and continue to be pleasantly surprised." She glanced at him, hoping for a truce. "Please join us for my birthday outing."One Wicked Night. Copyright © by Sari Robins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In 1810, Lillian Kane shocks the Ton when she refuses to marry Marques Dillon Mayborn, but instead shows HER SCANDALOUS INTENTIONS by becoming his mistress. Lillian likes Dillon, but does not love him. The mistress is a sham to fool her odious stepfather Cornelius who wants Lillian to marry one of his chosen losers so he can control her trust fund that she inherits when she turns twenty-four.----- In 1811, a desperate Cornelius gains an advantage when the distraught brother of Dillon, Russell, talks with him. They arrange a plot to get Dillon away from Lillian so that her stepfather can abduct her. Russell thinks that his ally wants him to wed his stepdaughter, but Cornelius has other plans. Meanwhile, the Solicitor General Dagwood arrests Dillon charging him with the murder of Lady Langham. Knowing he is innocent, Lillian turns to Enquiry Agent Nicholas Redford to prove her contention. As he works the case for his client, Nicholas realizes that she is the target of an odious scheme even as they fall in love.----- ONE WICKED NIGHT is an engaging Regency romantic suspense that grips readers once they understand the motives of key players. The story line moves rather quickly from the time Dillon goes to Newgate until the final confrontation. Though Cornelius is as odious as they come, fans will appreciate Dillon¿s sacrifice, an enlightened Lady, and the courage of the lead couple that all come together in a fabulous tale.----- Harriet Klausner
Another good read by this author. I thoroughly enjoyed how interesting the storyline was.
What I loved about this was the hero's initial hatred of the heroine after he thinks she's snubbed him on their first meeting. After that, she's got an uphill battle to win the heart of a man who takes pride in being unaffected by her. He ends up being the only person who really knows her for who she is and not by the public persona that she hides behind. This Author's great at creating fun, interesting and smart characters who can take you on a non stop ride. This is a fun read and you won't put it down till you're done.