on April 11th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Thousands of readers have already fallen in love with the Briarleys — a scandalous family whose final descendants must do whatever it takes to secure their legacy. In the explosive conclusion to the Heiress Games series, Lucretia Briarley is on the verge of inheriting Maidenstone Abbey — but an unexpected arrival threatens everything she’s worked so hard to protect.
A thief on his final mission…
Maximus Vale is one of London’s top jewel thieves, and he’s protected his orphaned siblings by breaking every rule in the book. But his youngest brother is in mortal danger, and Max needs one final job — one lucrative enough to help his family leave England forever. He boldly claims to be the lost heir to the Briarley fortune, planning to steal everything he can carry and escape before anyone proves that he’s lying. Love is a distraction he can’t afford….
A debutante with a devastating secret…
Lucretia Briarley is prim, proper, perfect — everything everyone expects her to be. But her flawless reputation hides a sin she committed years ago — one that will destroy her and everyone she loves if it ever comes to light. Lucy will do anything to inherit Maidenstone Abbey and keep her secret safe — even making a risky offer to help Max claim the earldom in exchange for marrying her.
An arrangement that can destroy them in a heartbeat…
An attraction that starts as a game becomes something too powerful to ignore. But falling in love is a mistake neither can make. Their secrets and schemes set them on a collision course — one that their families may not survive. Is the growing love between a daring, clever thief and a prim, determined debutante enough to conquer everything and win the Heiress Games?
A little bit of setup: Lucretia Briarley (known as Lucy) is doing everything in her power to inherit Maidenstone Abbey. When Maximus Vale arrives claiming to be the lost heir, she offers him a marriage of convenience so that they can both keep the estate. What she doesn’t know is that he’s secretly a thief, and his real goal is to steal Maidenstone’s jewels. This excerpt comes early in the book, after she’s given him a tour of the estate. Enjoy!
He should do the honorable thing and let her walk away. A woman who was capable of hope was the most dangerous kind of all. That smolder could turn into something stronger — something that could only lead to heartbreak.
But, coward that he was, he couldn’t accept the thought of pushing her aside now — not when she had just given him one of the best afternoons of his life. Sad, that a tour of a house could be such an event for him. But for a few hours, he hadn’t thought of responsibilities, or feeding himself, or whether his siblings were safe. He’d merely enjoyed the melodious flow of her stories and the way she treated him as an equal.
And even if he could harden his heart against her, the fact remained that he still didn’t know where the jewels were. The key to those vaults was likely chained to her waist. He couldn’t steal those keys unless she was willing to let him get close to her.
So he reminded himself that he was a thief and a criminal, and that he was born under an unlucky star. He would have a lifetime to repent for this. But he would do what he needed to do.
“I can see the path you’ve offered, Lucy,” he said.
He took her hand. She flinched when he touched her, but she didn’t pull back. He wove his fingers through hers, then kissed her ring finger, right over the knuckle where, in another life, he might have put a wedding ring.
“Does that mean you’ll…?”
She couldn’t seem to bring herself to finish the sentence. He was leading them into dangerous currents; if Lucy was speechless, it couldn’t be a good thing.
But he belonged in dangerous currents. He kissed her hand again, then pulled her into his arms. He dropped his other hand to her waist, caressing — playing with the delicate chain that held her chatelaine.
She looked up at him, her lips parting of their own accord.
He took the invitation. And, God help him, she met him halfway.
She didn’t hesitate today as she had the night before — even though it was broad daylight, and they were in a sacred space. She brushed her hand along his jaw, giving him an unmistakable invitation. And when he deepened the kiss, all thoughts of chatelaines temporarily forgotten, she was ready for him — slow and sultry, and entirely willing.
He could see the path ahead of them. And he was going to be damned for it.
© Sara Ramsey 2017. All rights reserved.
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I wrote most of this book while I was traveling, so discussing travel destinations is one of my favorite topics 🙂
I would love to hear from readers where they’d like to take their next vacation,
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