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By Julie Anne Long

More than one attractive woman's hopeshave been dashed at the rocky shoals ofJonathan Redmond's center. together with his rivetinggood seems and Redmond wealth and power,the international is his oyster—until an ultimatumfrom his father and a chilling gypsy prophecysend him hurtling headlong towards a fatehe'll do whatever to prevent: matrimony.

Intoxicating, elusive Thomasina de Ballesteroshas the bloods of London at her toes. yet noneof them understands the true Tommy—the one witha surprising pedigree, a number of too many secrets,and a fit scorn for rakes like Jonathan.

She's every thing Jonathan by no means wanted.But on one fateful middle of the night, he is drawn intoTommy's international of threat, chance . . . and a desirehe'd by no means dreamed attainable. And suddenlyhe's re-thinking every thing . . . includingthe hazard that succumbing to prophecymight simply suggest surrendering to love.

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You’ve a legion of them. ” “This one: I simply are looking to . . . decide on my lifestyles. I don’t unavoidably are looking to marry someone. ” “The heresy! Ah, you spot? we've a dream in universal. I don’t are looking to need to marry someone, both. ” She laughed. “Why did your father factor that exact edict, Jonathan? ” He grew to become clear of her then. “My father,” he acknowledged dryly, “doesn’t imagine greatly of me. He thinks I’m at the street to perdition and a wedding should positioned me correct. ” “Surely that’s no longer precise! ” she stated with flattering surprise. “I didn’t positioned it rather the best manner. not anything has been anticipated of me. He doesn’t count on whatever of me, except what I’ve regularly performed. I’m to be disbursed with sooner than i will do anything to embarrass him. ” She mulled this somberly. “It’s tough to visualize he wouldn’t be pleased with you. ” She intended it. He knew it. He stared down at her and stated not anything. And within the silence her strange attractiveness lulled him, sunk into his bones, a lot the best way the sunlight had, in a fashion he’d by no means earlier than dared let it to do. The moderate cant of these sorceress eyes, that light gold slope of her cheeks, the traces of her stylish slender limbs have been why his breath was once all of sudden shallow. He without warning felt her in his physique as anything primal, the best way he felt the necessity for air or water, and he shifted restlessly. They have been too lengthy the following, too little dressed, too by myself. “Tommy . . . ” he started, his voice smooth now. “. . . simply because you survived being shot, and you’ve lived this lengthy . . . doesn’t suggest you’re . . . ” He was once approximately to assert “invincible. ” And he discovered it most likely wouldn’t subject. And it used to be anything he didn’t are looking to take from her: her trust in herself. in addition to, how did he comprehend she wasn’t invincible, finally? He could simply need to desire he was once there the subsequent time she made up our minds to place herself in harm’s manner. even if it was once a hour of darkness foray to scouse borrow a baby, or an come across with a duke. all at once her mouth began to waver and switch up on the corners. She was once stifling fun. “What? ” he acknowledged irritably. “It’s simply . . . Jonathan you glance so . . . you might want to see your expression. You’re staring down at me as if you worry I’m flammable. Or coated all over the place in quills. ” His eyes have been darker, unblinking as a rifleman’s. It wasn’t rather the glance he wore whilst he threw these scissors on the wall. however it used to be shut. nonetheless, he didn’t say a notice. She discovered then that the ambience among them had shifted subtly. A faint caution knell sounded someplace in her, a caution approximately their stillness and closeness. His eyes are blue. She was once without notice alarmed by way of understanding this so definitively. Jonathan’s eyes are blue. unlike cornflowers, or the ocean, or something so secure and usual. They have been extra like . . . the sky simply after sundown. That blue-purple of day eventually surrendering to nighttime. A refined colour. humorous, yet refined was once certainly now not a notice she’d ever linked to Jonathan Redmond. He nonetheless didn’t converse. “I’m neither as harmful or as fragile as all that, Jonathan. ” For a few cause she whispered the phrases, as though they have been in a church. Such was once the gravity of his gaze.

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