An exclusive excerpt of a selected scene from Lauren Smith's Wicked Designs (January 7, 2014) is available on Heroes and Heartbreakers to members. Please log in or register at right to read the full excerpt.
For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.
It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.
Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.
Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.
Warning: This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.
Godric looked away from her. “My mother died in childbirth when I was a boy. The babe died with her.”
There were no words that could ease the hurt of losing a loved one, especially a parent. One felt lost, with no chance of salvation. Nothing could replace the sheltering warmth and security of a parent. To be robbed of that was akin to losing one’s innocence.
Godric spoke again. “You have not really grieved, have you?”
It was less a question and more an observation. How odd that talking to Godric about her tragedy should be so easy. He was a stranger, yet already few barriers stood between them.
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