Mon
Aug 24 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Meredith Duran’s Luck Be a Lady (August 25, 2015)

Meredith Duran
Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless #4)
Pocket / August 25, 2015 / $6.99 print

They call her the “Ice Queen.”

Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.

Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not...

Catherine Everleigh’s raison d’etre is her family’s auction house. She learned the trade at her father’s side, but now her brother Peter is embezzling the funds to promote his political career. She cannot allow the house to fail, for her entire identity is bound up in it.

But for her, Everleigh’s was everything. Their father’s legacy. Her sacred birthright. Everleigh’s made her who she was – which was not merely a spinster, the “Ice Queen” that rude wits had dubbed her. She was a person of business. An expert in the field of fine arts. A learned professional, regardless of her sex.

But she needs help controlling Peter. She will not be a full partner in the firm until she is married, and so she enlists the help of the most dangerous mans she knows – Nick O’Shea, the shady unofficial lord of Whitechapel, who is not adverse to using Peter for his own agenda. While Catherine sees the marriage as strictly a business venture, Nick is fascinated by her.

He studied the part in her hair, painfully straight and neat. The precision of it, the tightness with which she’d braided back her hair, seemed suggestive somehow. Here was a woman who liked to imagine herself a tightly buttoned, disciplined creature. But he’d seen another side to her in that bed. It still haunted his dreams. She’d fought against it, but he’d pulled it out of her regardless.

It had frightened her.

The glimpses he sees of the woman beneath her hard exterior draw him in and has him longing to be the focus of her pent up passion.

He liked their dinners together. He liked her company, for all that he didn’t understand half of her interests. Surprising deal of pleasure in listening to her speechify about furniture. The enthusiasm that animated her face, the fervent appreciation in her voice, put him in mind of a girl discussing her lover. No ice queen, here. Aye, he was learning a good deal about the lies she told – to herself, as well as others. Business, ha. Wasn’t business that made her spring out of bed each morning, and kept her vibrating well through supper. What she called business, he called passion – and she had it in spades, albeit for dusty relics of the past.

Watching Catherine find that she is more than the auction house, that she has the capacity to give her heart to something other than business, is one of the joys of Luck Be a Lady.

***

Learn more about or order a copy of Luck Be a Lady by Meredith Duran, out now: 

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Cheryl Sneed reviews for Rakehell.com

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