Regency England Has Gone To The Wolves!
It Takes A Beast...
Grayson Hadley is in his own special hell-being treated like a wayward pup by the tutor employed to turn him into a true gentleman. So when he meets a hot-blooded American beauty with the mark of a Lycan, he's only too glad to slip his leash.
To Bring This Lady To Heel
Accustomed to running wild in the swamps of Louisiana, Miss Liviana Mayeux is shipped off to her grandfather's in London to learn a thing or two about polite society. At first she scoffs at the English Lycans' apparent tameness. Little does Livi realize how very close she is to unleashing the passion that lies just beneath the surface...
Praise for The Wolf Who Loved Me:
"A fast-paced, sweet story...the sensuality attains just the right level to make a gal want a wolf of her own."-Booklist
"A true enchanting delight...I swear Lydia Dare just keeps getting better and better."-Yankee Romance Reviewers
"A sensual, fun, witty romance."-Night Owl Reviews
"Completely entertaining and fun."-Long and Short Reviews: Best Book of the Month
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Bristol shipyard, October 1820
Miss Liviana Mayeux shivered, and she cursed her father anew. Blast him for sending her to such a horrid place. She could very likely freeze to death before her feet touched solid land. The frosty English air swirled about her ankles and stung her lungs as she took a deep breath. She would never survive this ordeal. Never. She wasn't meant to live in a climate such as this. Papa, of all people, should have known that.
When a shove to her back moved her forward, Livi stepped off the gangplank onto British soil and pulled her pelisse tighter around her shoulders, rubbing her hands along her arms and hoping against hope that warmth would finally seep into her bones. How in the world had her mother lived in this godforsaken frozen wasteland? Livi was certain her blood was much too thin, not to mention too hot, to survive here. Why had Papa done this to her?
She glanced back at Vespucci's Marauder, one of her father's many vessels and her floating home since she'd set sail from New Orleans, and contemplated stowing away for the frigate's return trip across the Atlantic. Wouldn't Papa be surprised if she returned to Louisiana all on her own? What would he do with her then? He'd have to come up with a different plan to turn her into a lady, wouldn't he? Unless she could convince him otherwise. Not that she'd had much luck with that the last time.
"Mademoiselle Mayeux!" Captain Broussard called, breaking her reverie. The swarthy Frenchman waved his tricorn hat in the air to catch her attention as seamen bustled in front of him along the docks.
She certainly couldn't sneak back on the frigate with Captain Broussard watching her. Livi suppressed a scowl as her maid touched her shoulder. "Over there, Miss Livi. The captain is waiting for us."
"Marie, I don't suppose you'd distract him so I could escape back onto the ship?" she asked hopefully. "I've got all of Maman's jewelry with me. You can have whatever you'd like."
Her maid glowered at her. "There are many men I wouldn't be afraid of crossing, miss, but Philippe Mayeux isn't one of them."
"Papa's not all that fearsome," Livi protested. Only on the night of the full moon, but the rest of the time Papa was as gentle as a lapdog. Or mostly, anyway. However, he had been adamant when he'd announced that Livi would sail the Atlantic to live with the grandfather she'd never met. Papa had been quite unreasonable about the entire affair, which was very unlike him, all things considered. He usually couldn't care less if she ran around in trousers or rode her gelding astride or caught crawfish with her brothers. Not until that blasted, busybody Father Antonio had insisted Livi was too wild for polite society.
Marie gave Livi a gentle push from behind, urging her forward. "Go on, miss. The captain is waiting for us."
There was nothing for it. With Broussard before her and Marie behind her, Livi had no hope for escape. Well, at least not at the moment. She'd think of something. She had to. She couldn't live in England, of all places. And she certainly was not about to be turned into an English lady. The idea made her stomach roil more than the choppy ocean ever had along her voyage.
The icy wind whipped about her skirts as Livi pushed her way through a crowd of sailors and dockworkers to where the captain awaited her. Bon Dieu! How did anyone live here? Wretched, freezing place. What she wouldn't give to be exploring warm swamps back home with Armand and Etienne right now. Livi clasped a hand to her head to keep her bonnet from blowing away in the wind and she scowled. Papa had never threatened to send her brothers across the Atlantic to become gentlemen. It was wholly unfair to send her away to turn her into a lady.
Captain Broussard stepped through the throng of men and offered his hand to Livi. "Mademoiselle Mayeux." He gestured to a dour-looking young man adorned in a drab black coat. "This is Monsieur Turner. He works for Lord Holmesfield. He'll see you the rest of the way."
Mr. Turner looked Livi up and down as though he disbelieved she could possibly be the granddaughter of an earl. "Miss Mayeux?"
Livi stood her tallest. She'd known pirates and trappers and soldiers in her day, and she was not about to be cowed by some English servant, no matter if he did work for her grandfather. "You'll be retrieving my trunks, Mr. Turner?"
The man tried, unsuccessfully, to smother an arrogant smile. "Just Turner will suffice, madam." Then he gestured to a crested carriage a short distance away. "Let's get you settled and then I'll retrieve your things."
Settled. Just as soon as he turned his back, Livi could make her escape. But then Marie linked her arm with Livi's and huddled close to her. "This wind will do terrible things to your hair," her maid whispered.
Livi sighed. How did she keep forgetting about Marie? Probably because at home, Marie never played the role of chaperone. At home Marie never cared what she did or didn't do. But ever since Marie had given her word to Papa to keep Livi safe, her maid had become a blasted nuisance. She couldn't possibly escape with Marie holding on to her. "I can't walk with you so close," she complained.
Marie snorted. "Non. You mean you can't run off with me so close. Do you think I just met you, miss? I made a promise to Mr. Mayeux, and I'll see you delivered to Lord Holmesfield if it's the last thing I do."
Livi frowned as she followed Turner to the carriage he'd pointed out. "I don't know what you're talking about, Marie. Where would I go if I ran off?"
Her maid harrumphed and muttered something, though it was drowned out by the whipping, briny-scented wind.
Where would she go, indeed?
Hadley Hall, Derbyshire
Grayson Hadley looked at the cup of tea before him. Certainly Lady Sophia had lost her mind. He did know how to drink tea, for God's sake. He'd learned to drink from a teacup around the same time he'd learned to walk. And it wasn't a skill one typically forgot.
"Well, Mr. Hadley, I am waiting," his infernal tutor urged.
"Oh, yes," his brother Archer, Viscount Radbourne, chortled from the threshold of the breakfast room. "Do show us how gracefully you can sip your tea, Gray."
"If you don't shut up, you'll see how good my aim is, Arch, and you'll be wearing my bloody tea."
"Language, Mr. Hadley." A beleaguered sigh escaped Lady Sophia and she rose from her spot at the table. "And please don't think yourself superior to your brother, my lord. I have a cup of tea waiting for you as well."
Archer snorted. "Hell will freeze over first, my lady."
"Language, Lord Radbourne," she admonished. "I'm certain you don't want me to inform Lord Eynsford that you are being difficult again, do you?"
Gray picked up his cup and very slowly brought it to his lips. He took a small sip and then returned the cup to its saucer. He dabbed his lips with a napkin and said as smoothly as possible, "Might I be excused, Lady Sophia?"
This earned him a scowl from his brother and a winning smile from their tutor. "Yes, you may," the lady agreed with a nod.
"Doing it up a bit brown, aren't you?" Archer grumbled as Gray rose from his seat.
Making certain Lady Sophia's attention was on Archer, Gray winked at his older brother. "Do enjoy your tea, Archer. It's delicious." Then he brushed past his sibling and strode into the corridor.
Freedom at last. Or at least until Lady Sophia thought up some new inane task for him to participate in. But with Archer's flippant attitude, Gray was certain their tutor would be busy most of the day trying to break his brother's spirit. She'd never accomplish that goal, which would allow Gray a little time to himself. And he needed time to himself to look over the financial papers the Hadleys' solicitor had sent over in regards to their gambling endeavor. In fact, he needed to make a trip to London to see the man in person, but his training had kept him in Derbyshire the last month. Training and his oldest half brother's edict that they learn to comport themselves in public or else. Nonsense, all of it.
"Grayson!" his mother squealed as he nearly knocked her to the ground.
"Oh!" Gray caught his mother's arm and steadied her. "I am sorry. I didn't see you there."
Lady Radbourne shooed his hand away. "I am fine. Just watch where you're going."
"I'd better," he agreed conspiratorially, "or Lady Sophia will have me walking corridors back and forth to prove I can do so without tripping or causing others to scramble from my path in fear."
His mother giggled. "She's only trying to help you."
Gray's brow rose indignantly. "By proving that I can sit through a concert without ripping someone's head off or that I can drink tea without splashing it all down my cravat?"
"The three of you could use a little culture. It's good Lord Eynsford has your best interests at heart."
Gray scowled at his mother. His half brother could go hang for putting him through this ordeal in the first place. "The three of us? Somehow Wes has escaped this nonsense entirely."
Lady Radbourne shrugged. "Well, Weston has a wife to manage him. You don't." She patted his shoulder as though in consolation. He shivered at the very thought of being saddled with a wife.
His twin had a wife he'd abducted and then eloped with. If any of the three of them needed gentleman training it was Weston Hadley, but Gray held his tongue as it was pointless to voice his thoughts on the matter. What's done was done.
"Are you finished for the day?" his mother asked.
"As far as I know. Why?"
She grinned at him. "Lord Holmesfield asked me to call on him today. Would you like to accompany me?"
Holmesfield was an ancient prig and not a particularly healthy one at that. Gray could go the rest of his days without seeing their closest neighbor, but who knew what inanity Lady Sophia would come up with if he stayed. Gray inclined his head. "It would be my honor to escort you, Mother."
She tucked her hand in the crook of his arm. "You can say Lady Sophia makes you do foolish things, Grayson, but I have seen you blossom under her tutelage."
Gray somehow kept from growling. "I am going to pretend you didn't say that."
A prisoner, that's what Livi was. Oh, the prison was an opulent one, to be sure, covered in silks and damask and adorned in gold trim. But a prison was still a prison. It would have been nice to have at least one ally in this foreign land, but Marie had assimilated into the British household much faster than Livi could have ever imagined. One would think her maid had completely forgotten the attempted English invasion only six years ago in New Orleans. Which was mildly infuriating. It wasn't really that long ago, after all. Livi hadn't forgotten those days, and she never would.
Men ranging from the notorious privateer Jean Lafitte to the courageous and ruthless General Andrew Jackson had sat in her father's study back in those days, and Livi along with her brothers had waited in the corridor, their ears pressed against the door to listen to the plots and plans. Having heard all of Papa's impassioned speeches against the British, she felt his turnabout in sending her to England like a dagger to her heart. Blasted traitor! She would never have thought him capable of such a betrayal to either his country or his daughter.
She'd dearly love to get her hands around Father Antonio's collared neck for putting the idea in Papa's mind to begin with. Blasted priest should mind his own business and keep his interfering nose out of...
A scratch came at her door.
Livi frowned. What was it with all the scratching? Sounded like a battalion of mice had taken up residence in Holmesfield Court. "Yes?" she grumbled.
Her door opened quickly and Marie stepped over the threshold. "His lordship would like you to join him in the blue parlor, Miss Livi."
So he could tell her again that she would never amount to anything? Livi was perfectly happy sitting in her prison of a bedchamber. Well, not perfectly happy. She'd much rather be home. But she was happier in her bedchamber than she would be in her grandfather's presence. When she arrived, the earl had taken one look at her and declared she didn't resemble her mother in the least, and he hadn't smiled at her since. Well, she was half French. What did he expect?
"I'm not feeling at all well. I believe I'll just stay here, Marie."
Her maid heaved a sigh. "Don't make this more difficult than it has to be, miss. Lord Holmesfield is expecting Lady Radbourne any minute, and he would like for you to be there when the lady calls."
Livi scoffed. "What do I care about some lady I've never met?" She shook her head. "Non. I'll just stay here, Marie. And stop scratching at my door, will you? All my life you've knocked, and I don't see why that should change now."
Marie narrowed her dark eyes at Livi. "Because things have changed, miss. And once you accept that, you'll be much happier."
Livi suppressed a snort. "Happier? Hardly. If you'd like to help me secure passage to New Orleans, I'll be as happy as you've ever known me."
"Blue parlor." Somehow, Marie had acquired an edge to her voice, like the strictest of taskmasters. "Now." Where had Marie found that tone? She'd never used anything slightly like it in the past.
Livi started for the corridor. "I do like the old Marie much better, in case you were wondering."
Her maid muttered, "I wasn't."
Well, Marie could stay in this wretched place forever if she liked it so much. But Livi needed an escape. And the faster, the better. Livi kept her head held high and navigated Holmesfield Court's corridor and cantilevered staircase. Then she meandered around the first floor, in no hurry to see her grandfather until the inevitable couldn't be put off any further. Livi took a steadying breath and then stepped into the earl's blue parlor.
At once, her grandfather looked up from the ornate high-backed chair he was sitting in and let his dismissive eye sweep across her form. "I suppose that will do."
What would do? Livi or her choice of day dress? Not that she cared one whit about her grandfather's opinion on either matter. She curtsied and forced a smile to her face. "Good afternoon, my lord."
"Sit." He gestured to the sapphire damask settee not far from him and returned his eyes to the papers in his lap.
Her grandfather spoke to her as though she were a dog. That particular thought did bring a genuine smile to her lips. If he only knew how close to the truth that was. "I understand you wished for my company." She strode across the room and slid onto the settee he'd pointed out.
Lord Holmesfield grumbled something that didn't quite meet her ears, even with her excellent hearing. "I've asked Viscountess Radbourne to call on me today."
"It's not nice at all," the old man replied. "It was necessity. She's our closest neighbor, and though she raised sons, she might have a better idea about what to do with you than I do."
"You do me such an honor." Livi frowned at her grandfather. Why did he have to make it seem as though she was a hopeless case? Not that she wanted his help in being turned into a proper lady, but did he have to be so insulting with his tone or choice of words every time he opened his mouth?
"Violet Radbourne was a friend of Grace's, and she might be willing to help smooth your way into society. She married poorly and her sons aren't well thought of, but we don't have a plethora of choices where you're concerned."
The air in Livi's lungs rushed out all at once. "She knew Maman?" Her question came out as little more than a whisper.
But her words were loud enough that her grandfather heard her and he scowled. "How many times have I asked you to speak English?"
She ignored his censure, choosing to focus on the information he'd given her instead. Lady Radbourne had been a friend of her mother's? Livi barely remembered Maman. She'd been such a small child when consumption had taken her mother from her, from all of them. What Livi did remember was a delicate woman who was beautiful, kind, and generous. She remembered the fairy tales Maman would tell her at night, the kisses she'd dropped on Livi's brow, the way she smelled of magnolia flowers and summer rolled into one.
"I'll never forgive Radbourne for introducing Grace to Philippe Mayeux, but if Violet can be persuaded into helping you, it would be a start to paying off that debt."
Radbourne. Livi did know that name. Papa had mentioned it once or twice. Why hadn't she recognized it when Marie muttered the name in her bedchamber? Probably because Livi wasn't thinking about her mother at that time; escape had been the only thought on her mind. But now...
From the doorway, Holmesfield's stoic butler cleared his throat. "Lady Radbourne and Mr. Hadley, my lord."
The earl's frown deepened. "I didn't invite any of her disreputable sons," he grumbled. Then he heaved a sigh and sent Livi a look that made her feel like the worst sort of burden. "Do show them in, Browne."
What People are Saying About This
"An enchanting read. Funny and romantic. " - Anna's Book Blog
"Dare delivers a sparkling second entry in her Hadley Brothers trilogy... an adventurous romp. " - BooklistOnline.com
"Dare does it again. She knows her Lycans... " - Book Girl of Mur Y Castell
"What an enjoyable story. I love the little twists in the story line and the characters were just delightful." - Paulette's Papers
"Sweet and fulfilling. There is very cute humor throughout the whole book." - Paranormal Haven
"Wolfishly Yours is wonderful romance peppered with moments of pure fun, daring do and grand gestures that will engage and satisfy readers that require solid happily ever afters. This book delivers. " - Long and Short Reviews
"Funny and moving with lots of ups and downs..." - Star-Crossed Romance
"A witty, sensual historical paranormal romance that will keep you eagerly turning the pages to see what happens next." - Romance Junkies
"A fun read that will draw you in and hold you spellbound till the end. " - Thoughts in Progress
"Bottom Line: I love this series, and this is one of the best books yet!" - In the Hammock Book Reviews