Lord Drake Varisey, Marquess of Winchelsea, eldest son and heir of the Duke of Wolverstone, must foil a plot that threatens to shake the foundations of the realm, but the very last lady-nay, noblewoman-he needs assisting him is Lady Louisa Cynster, known throughout the ton as Lady Wild.
For the past nine years, Louisa has suspected that Drake might well be the ideal husband for her, even though he's assiduous in avoiding her. But she's now twenty-seven and enough is enough. She believes propinquity will reveal exactly what it is that lies between them, and what better opportunity to work closely with Drake than this latest mission with which he patently needs her help?
Unable to deny Louisa's abilities or the value of her assistance and powerless to curb her willfulness, Drake is forced to grit his teeth and acquiesce to her sticking by his side if only to ensure her safety. But all too soon, his true feelings for her surface sufficiently for her, perspicacious as she is, to see through his denials, which she then interprets as a challenge.
Even while they gather information, tease out clues, increasingly desperately search for the missing gunpowder, and doggedly pursue the killer responsible for an ever-escalating tally of dead men, thrown together through the hours, he and she learn to trust and appreciate each other. And fed by constant exposure-and blatantly encouraged by her-their desires and hungers swell and grow...
As the barriers between them crumble, the attraction he has for so long restrained burgeons and balloons, until goaded by her near-death, it erupts, and he seizes her-only to be seized in return.
Linked irrevocably and with their wills melded and merged by passion's fire, with time running out and the evil mastermind's deadline looming, together, they focus their considerable talents and make one last push to learn the critical truths-to find the gunpowder and unmask the villain behind this far-reaching plot.
Only to discover that they have significantly less time than they'd thought, that the villain's target is even more crucially fundamental to the realm than they'd imagined, and it's going to take all that Drake is-as well as all that Louisa as Lady Wild can bring to bear-to defuse the threat, capture the villain, and make all safe and right again.
As they race to the ultimate confrontation, the future of all England rests on their shoulders.
Third volume in a trilogy. A historical romance with gothic overtones layered over an intrigue. A full length novel of 129,000 words.
Praise for the works of Stephanie Laurens
"Stephanie Laurens' heroines are marvelous tributes to Georgette Heyer: feisty and strong." Cathy Kelly
"Stephanie Laurens never fails to entertain and charm her readers with vibrant plots, snappy dialogue, and unforgettable characters." Historical Romance Reviews.
"Stephanie Laurens plays into readers' fantasies like a master and claims their hearts time and again." Romantic Times Magazine
About the Author
Stephanie Laurens, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career when her novels about the masterful Cynster cousins captivated readers, making her one of the romance world's most beloved and popular authors. She subsequently introduced the equally unforgettable members of the Bastion Club, as well as several other series. Currently living outside Melbourne, Australia, with her husband and two cats, she has been writing historical romance novels in her signature "Errol Flynn meets Jane Austen" style for more than twenty years.
Matthew Brenher, originally from London, now lives in Los Angeles. His theatrical background includes performances in no fewer than twenty Shakespearean productions, including Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, and the title role in Henry V. In Los Angeles, he played Claudius in Hamlet, Cassio in Othello, Antony in Antony & Cleopatra, Antipholous of Syracuse in Comedy of Errors, and Orsino in Twelfth Night. Other theater includes: Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, Trigorin in The Seagull, Alistair in Shaw's The Millionairess, Jerry in Pinter's Betrayal, the title role in Dracula, and George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, for which he was awarded best performance by a lead actor/drama by Stage Scene LA 2009-2010. He's performed in new plays, most recently in A Bitter Fruit for Palestine, Vulcan in Love's Mistress at the famous Globe theater in London, and Petko in an acclaimed production of The Mapletree Game. On television, he played "Mad" Marcus for six months in the now defunct British soap Brookside. Other television includes: Rules of Engagement, Bodyguards, The Blind Date, Starhunter, The Grid, Eastenders, and Nostradamus. Films include Execution, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Stay Shy, and The Boy Who would Be King. He works in commercials and industrials and is an accomplished voice-over artist.