To Romance a Charming Rogue

To Romance a Charming Rogue

by Nicole Jordan
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To Romance a Charming Rogue by Nicole Jordan

The bold games of passion play out with delicious consequences in this fourth novel of Nicole Jordan’s seductive new series, The Courtship Wars.

Two years ago, lively beauty Eleanor Pierce spied her dashing betrothed, Damon Stafford, Viscount Wrexham, with his former mistress and furiously ended their engagement. Now the charming rake is back in London, meddling in Eleanor’s affairs, bent on thwarting her new suitor. And when Damon’s intoxicating kisses rekindle her deepest longing, Eleanor loses her heart . . . again. But as she has no intention of allowing history to repeat itself, she embarks on a plan of tantalizing seduction, vowing to tame the rogue before she surrenders to his wicked, willful desires.

Determined to stop another man from wooing and winning the woman he loves, Damon knows that claiming Eleanor’s heart is all that matters. But this scandalously bold beauty means to beat him at his own game of romance–a game he is ready and willing to lose.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345510105
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/24/2009
Series: Courtship Wars Series , #4
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 868,886
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Nicole Jordan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous historical romances. She lives with her real-life hero (her husband) in the Rocky Mountains of Utah, where she is at work on her next enthralling tale about the sparks that fly when Regency lovers play the matrimonial mating game.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Never appear to be too captivated by a gentleman, particularly if it is true. Revealing your weakness for him will give him the upper hand, and a woman needs all the power she can muster if she is to triumph.
—An Anonymous Lady, Advice to Young Ladies on Capturing a Husband

London, September 1817

“Eleanor, my dear, the worst has happened! Wrexham is here.”

Her heart leaping at her aunt’s disconcerting news, Lady Eleanor Pierce froze on the sidelines of the crowded hall. “Here? Tonight? At Carlton House?”

“Indeed. His arrival was just announced.” Elea?nor’s proper aunt and chaperone, Lady Beldon, made a sour face. “The nerve of him! He should have the decency to respect your sensibilities.”

Eleanor agreed that Damon Stafford, Viscount Wrexham, had a great deal of nerve. In truth, Damon was the boldest man of her acquaintance. But she had braced her sensibilities against the impact of seeing him again—or so she’d believed until just this moment.

Eleanor smiled in an effort to pretend composure and to slow her all too rapid heartbeat. “I daresay Lord Wrexham has a right to attend Prinny’s fete, Aunt Beatrix. No doubt he was invited, just as we were.”

George, Prince of Wales and currently England’s Regent, regularly entertained at Carlton House, his garishly grand London residence. And Lady Beldon was sometimes included on the guest list, since her late husband had been an intimate of the pleasure-loving Regent’s set.

Tonight the overheated mansion was filled with a crush of elegant gentry and aristocrats. Yet a surreptitious glance around the thronged hall told Eleanor that the charming rake who had once won her heart and then trampled on it was nowhere in sight.

“You make too much of the matter,” Eleanor murmured, hiding her relief. “Wrexham is perfectly at liberty to move about society as he pleases.”

Her Aunt Beatrix gave her a piercing stare. “Surely you do not mean to defend him? After he treated you so abominably?”

“No, certainly not. But I am resigned to meeting him again. It must happen eventually. He has been in London for a sennight, and we move in similar circles.”

Lady Beldon shook her head in disgust, then studied her niece more closely. “Perhaps we should take our leave, Eleanor. I will tender our excuses to Prinny—”

“I have no intention of running from Lord Wrexham, dearest Aunt.”

“Then you must prepare yourself. He may appear at any moment.”

Nodding distractedly, Eleanor drew a deep breath. She was as prepared as she would ever be to encounter the wickedly charming nobleman who had been her betrothed.

She’d had several days’ warning that Damon had returned to London after a two-year absence, since Lady Beldon’s friends were eager to keep her abreast of society gossip. Eleanor had carefully planned what she would say to him, and how she would act. She would be gracious and cool and completely indifferent, showing him common politeness but no more.

“I am capable of facing him with equanimity,” she avowed, her calm assertion belying the butterflies rioting in her stomach.

Aunt Beatrix, however, was neither convinced nor willing to excuse his lordship’s past sins. “You should not be compelled to face that scoundrel. Were he a true gentleman, he would have the good manners to stay away.”

“He has stayed away,” Eleanor said with a dry edge to her tone. “For two years.”

“Even so, his absence was not long enough! Indeed, I think he should be banned from polite society entirely.”

Regrettably, Damon’s crime against her didn’t quite justify so severe a punishment, Eleanor reflected. “I suspect banishment might be a bit too harsh, darling Auntie.”

“Not in the least. And I will never forgive myself for introducing you to that wicked rogue.”

“You are not to blame. You did not actually introduce us, if you will recall.”

The elder woman waved an elegant hand in dismissal. “Wrexham met you at my annual house party, which amounts to the same thing as an introduction. Had I not welcomed him into our home, you would never have been exposed to heartbreak and ridicule. But he was a friend of Marcus’s. How could we know he would turn out to be such a libertine?”

How indeed? Eleanor wondered silently.

Her beloved older brother Marcus had thought very highly of Damon until the eventful dissolution of her betrothal—as had she. With his stirring good looks and his reckless, devil-may-care charm, Damon was every young lady’s illicit fantasy, and every matron’s worry.

As far as motherly natures went, Beatrix Attree, Viscountess Beldon, harbored very few nurturing instincts. Yet she’d taken in Eleanor after her parents’ deaths when she was but ten years old, and had been her chaperone ever since. And Beatrix loved Eleanor as much as she was capable of loving anyone.

Her ladyship was an aristocrat to the core, and she had strict notions of what was proper for the nobility. In the beginning she’d made allowances for Lord Wrexham, despite his rather wild reputation, because he held an illustrious title that went back several hundred years and a fortune that was even larger than Eleanor’s.

For her own part, Eleanor had cared little for Damon’s title or wealth. It was the nobleman himself who inspired her ardor. The first moment they met, she’d felt a lightning bolt of attraction for him, as well as a connection she rarely experienced with any other man.

Falling in love with him had been ridiculously easy.

Of course, her foolishness in succumbing to his irresistible allure could possibly be excused by her relative youth at the time. She was only nineteen then, and in her girlish heart she had yearned for a wildly romantic love. A suitor who made her burn, who made her feel feverish and desired, just as Damon did.

She’d been spellbound for those few short weeks of their whirlwind courtship and engagement, believing they were ideally matched, that Damon was the man of her dreams. She had expected—hoped—to live with him happily ever after as his wife. Until that fateful morning two years ago when she spied him driving in Hyde Park with his beautiful mistress, not only not bothering to hide his affair but actually flaunting it.

Feeling grievously hurt and betrayed, Eleanor had immediately terminated their engagement and vowed to have nothing more to do with Damon. He had broken her heart as well as severely embarrassing her and savaging her pride. Even now, she couldn’t quell her lingering resentment. Yet she refused to cower at the thought of facing him—

“Well,” Lady Beldon announced, breaking into her niece’s thoughts, “if you insist on staying tonight, you would do well to keep Prince Lazzara by your side in the event Wrexham has the gall to approach you.”

“I shall, Aunt. His highness only stepped away to fetch some refreshments for us.”

An Italian nobleman, Principe Antonio Lazzara di Terrasini had come to England in the company of his elder distant cousin, il Signor Umberto Vecchi, who was a diplomat to the British court. Reportedly the prince was in the market for a bride and was considering Lady Eleanor for the position.

Eleanor well knew that her chief attractions had little to do with her character or intellect. She was a notable heiress in her own right, due to the extensive fortune left to her by her mother. She was also the daughter of a baron, and now the sister of an earl, since her elder brother Marcus had recently inherited the Danvers earldom from his own distant relation.

However, she hadn’t yet decided how seriously she wished to be considered as Prince Lazzara’s future princess. Admittedly she was attracted to him. His sensual voice and melting dark eyes were the very essence of romance. He was also handsome, engaging, charming, and witty—and from all reports, as much of a rake as Damon had ever been.

And after her disastrous betrothal to Damon— followed by a second, even briefer betrothal to another nobleman shortly afterward—Eleanor was adamant that the next time she became engaged, it would be for good. More crucially, she would only marry a man whom she loved and who loved her in return.

Just then a hush fell over one end of the hall. Eleanor suspected that Prinny had entered with his entourage. But when her aunt stiffened and muttered “Speak of the devil” under her breath, Eleanor realized that it was not only His Royal Highness who had attracted attention.

Damon Stafford, Viscount Wrexham, stood beside the Regent, drawing all eyes, including hers.

The company began bowing and scraping fawningly to Prinny, while Lord Wrexham casually surveyed the elite gathering—and the gathering returned the favor.

What People are Saying About This

Karen Hawkins

"To Romance a Charming Rogue is Nicole Jordan at her finest! Sexy, sensual, and sparkling with wit, this book is a complete charmer!"--(New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins)

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To Romance a Charming Rogue 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1815 Lady Eleanor Pierce met Damon Stafford and fell in love. The Viscount shared her regard and soon they were engaged. She knew he was her life mate, but she ended their engagement when Damon flaunted his mistress in front of the ton. Heartbroken, she assumed she will end up on the shelf, but vowed to hold her head up high in polite society.

Two years later at a gala at Carleton House, Eleanor and Damon see each other for the first time since she ended their betrothal. Both feel the sparks of attraction. However, though he planned to ignore her and his heart, he is concerned over her safety as Italian nobleman Antonio Lazzara, who is courting Eleanor in hopes she will marry him, has been the victim of several dangerous accidents. Someone wants him dead and collateral damage means nothing to this adversary. Vowing to keep her safe, both try to hide their hearts, but love makes that increasingly difficult to maintain.

Though the romantic tango between the lead characters seems at times caught in a cul de sac, Regency romance fans will enjoy the ¿Courtship Wars¿ between a brave heroine and a remorseful champion as neither dare expose their feelings for fear of rejection. Eleanor¿s courage makes the tale as she knows she never stopped loving Damon and to be with him is wonderful yet frustrating. His guilt feeling for what he did to her makes the Viscount a refreshing Regency rake. Sub-genre readers will enjoy their two step back and forth romance.

Harriet Klausner
LovesRomance More than 1 year ago
Loved this followup to the first 3 Courtship Wars stroies. Eleanor and Damon were made for each other, and it was great fun watching them figure that out. The twists in the plot were interesting, especially trying to figure out who was trying to hurt the prince. And several of the action scenes were very exciting. But it was the fireworks and love between the two main characters that made the book for me.
JRLTN More than 1 year ago
Nicole Jordan is one of my favorite authors, and she has written another terrific romance. Even if you're unfamiliar with the series, you will enjoy Eleanor's story and be compelled to read the first 3 books in the series to find out more about the other characters' stories. Read most anything by Nicole Jordan and you will be thoroughly entertained!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jordan's Courtship Wars just keep getting better. Great characters, sexy hero, witty dialogue, heart-tugging emotion, hot love scenes, and a bit of mystery make this book a wonderful read. I can't wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read all of Nicole Jordan's books, some three or four times, but my favorites are about the Loring sisters and their friends and family. Each of the Courtship Wars novels is different, and it's fascinating to watch the characters find their love matches after trials and tribulations. Now Marcus's sprited sister Eleanor has to decide how to handle the irresistable nobleman who once broke her heart - and she does so with delicious aplomb. More kudos to a wonderful author.
RobertaNew More than 1 year ago
Jordan never fails to disappoint! Absolutlely love Eleanor's and Damon's story. It's sizzing, touching, charming, exciting... in short, pure entertainment. Can't wait for the next book in this great series.
readerWriterJG More than 1 year ago
In her usual charming and steamy style, Jordan delivers another good one.The past ladies from the previous 3 novels appear a bit as we all like to see. Also recommend Brenda Joyce novels for their similar level of plot appeal and romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love her writing! Characters are great. Once I start reading I cannot put book down. I wish she would publish more often.
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Not even close to her other great books. I found it stupid
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This book was not as good as I wanted it to be. The characters werent shown very well and they just seemed silly throughout the whole book. About half way in I stopped reading the book; then about a week later I picked it up to finish it, thinking since to the reviews were so good maybe the rest will be better. It turned out to be a waste of my time. I dont recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read. Now if you want something just to burn a few hours this is your book.
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