Published by New Independence Books on March 14th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Note: it’s best to read them in order.
When the quest for power threatens to put an end to adventuring, only belief in each other can save them.
Two weeks after nearly losing her scandalous earl to a fire, Lady Emmaline Darling is finally marrying him. Almost six months pregnant, all she wants is to enjoy London with her soon-to-be husband and their growing family. Yet this morning isn’t just the dawn of a new adventure in wedded bliss, Miles has pledged to be a second in a duel, which might compromise the new union.
Bad timing, perhaps, but the fifth Earl of Archewyne, Miles Lawrence Hawkins has always been an honorable man, so when his best friend, Viscount Trewellain asked him to stand up as his second after the powerful Duke of Litton challenged him to a duel, how could he refuse? Threats made in the Hyde Park fog chills his blood, especially since an old foe deliberately names his soon-to-be-wife as a target.
Emmaline and Miles are able to say their vows, but dire events overshadow their joy. A woman with ties to Litton comes to them with a clever plan to finally close the murder of Lord Leventhorpe and enact revenge on those previously untouchable. When secrets threaten to destroy the earl and his new countess, the little band of thieves must put aside their differences and fight to survive the vile plot at play within the ton… but death might be the only option.
Miles glanced at the shadowy figures, of which there were two. Damn it all to hell and back, one of them wore skirts. He groaned. “She wouldn’t.”
“Lady Emmaline would dare practically anything. She’ll keep you sharp, that’s for certain.” Beside him, Jonathan snorted. “Who is with her?”
“Unfortunately, you are correct.” But he couldn’t stop his grin. Her indomitable spirit was one of the things he loved about her. He sobered by the time the pair reached them. “Lady Emmaline, I thought I asked that you not involve yourself in this issue.”
She came so close to him that her violet scent wafted to his nose. Her ivory cloak, lined in brown rabbit fur, fell open as she lifted a gloved hand and patted his cheek. A magnificent gown of emerald silk waited beneath that covering and he couldn’t wait to see it in all its glory. It was the perfect frock for a wedding. “You suggested, my love.”
Would he ever tired of hearing that? “For your safety.”
“Since I was opposed to the suggestion, as well as this whole proceeding the more I thought about it,” she continued over him as if he’d never spoken, “I decided I should come and lend my assistance in perhaps dissuading the viscount.” Emmaline focused her attention on the man beside him. “I’ve become fond of you, Jonathan. I’d hate for a moment of foolishness to take you from our lives.”
Two weeks ago, once she’d started a rescue attempt, Jonathan had stormed Miles’ burning townhouse with Rathesborne and ended up saving not only his life but hers. As a result, Emmaline had made it a point that Miles have the man over for tea every few days. She claimed even King’s men needed to have sort of domestication about them and tea was always a civilized answer.
A trace of a flush raced up the viscount’s neck above his lazily tied cravat. “Put the unease from your mind, fair lady,” Jonathan murmured as he took possession of her hand and, lifting it, placed a kiss on her gloved fingers. “This will be over in a twinkling with nary a wrinkle to your special day.”
Miles appropriated her hand from Jonathan’s grip. When he met her gaze, he smiled, regardless of the man standing nearby, his expression embarrassed. “Truly, this is no place for a woman, and on this morning especially.”
“By that logic, this is no place for a man. A person’s gender has no bearing on the stupidity about to play out on this clearing. Dueling is an absurd practice.” She arched an eyebrow.
Lord help me survive a lifetime with her. “Perhaps, but you should be readying yourself for our ceremony.”
“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.” She snorted. “All the more reason for a woman to be here. After all, someone must provide common sense.”
You can follow the Thieves of the Ton series on Goodreads.
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