Table of Contents
More Praise for the Novels of Emma Wildes
“A luxurious and sensual read. Both deliciously wicked and tenderly romantic. . . . I didn’t want it to end!”
New York Times
bestselling author Celeste Bradley
“This wickedly exciting romance will draw you in and take hold of your heart.”
bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle
“Regency fans will thrill to this superbly sensual tale of an icy widow and two decadent rakes. . . . Balancing deli ciously erotic encounters with compelling romantic ten sion and populating a convincing historical setting with a strong cast of well developed characters, prolific romance author Wildes provides a spectacular and skillfully han dled story that stands head and shoulders above the aver age historical romance.”
“Wickedly delicious and daring, Wildes’s tale tantalizes with an erotic fantasy that is also a well crafted Regency romance. She delivers a page turner that captures the era, the mores, and the scandalous behavior that lurks beneath the surface.”
(4½ stars, top pick)
“Emma Wildes has thoroughly enchanted e book read ers with her emotionally charged story lines. . . . [A] gem of an author . . . Ms. Wildes tells this story with plenty of compassion, humor, and even a bit of suspense to keep readers riveted to each scandalous scene—and every thing in between.”
“Of all the authors I’ve read, I believe Emma Wildes to be my hands down favorite. . . . Ms. Wildes has once again shown her ability to present new variations of romance in all of its infinite forms. Be prepared to feel your passions grow as you read the beautifully written love scenes.”
—Just Erotic Romance Reviews (5 stars)
“Emma Wildes has an amazing flair for taking what could be considered controversial subject matter and turning it into a beautiful love story that has the reader cheering for the characters. . . . It is a truly rare and re markable talent.”
“Chock full of mysteries, torrid romances, unforgettable characters . . . delightfully fun and wicked.”
“Emma Wildes is a rising star who writes incredible his torical romance.”
—Fallen Angel Reviews
Also by Emma Wildes
My Lord Scandal
Seducing the Highlander
Lessons from a Scarlet Lady
An Indecent Proposition
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First published by Signet Eclipse, an imprint of New American Library,
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First Printing, October 2010
Copyright © Katherine Smith, 2010
My Lord Scandal
copyright © Katherine Smith, 2010 All rights reserved
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To Jon and Jody McMahel, who have been wickedly wonderful friends for years and traveled with me on my author journey.
Many thanks to Barbara Poelle and Laura Cifelli, as always. Your professional guidance aside, you both make me laugh. What a wonderful gift.
he matter had come down to an old fashioned duel, no pistols or swords in sight.
It’s my own damned fault
, Luke Daudet, Viscount Altea, acknowledged to himself, because he’d been more reckless and restless than ever lately, with both women and cards. His reputation, it seemed, had preceded him.
And now he was going to pay for his wicked ways.
“Seven thousand is a sum for boys, not men.”
As a challenge, it was made quietly enough, but everyone present seemed to have heard it.
The man across from him smiled. “Let’s make this more interesting, my lord. Shall we? Two cards to go in this hand . . . why not up the stakes a bit? If you’ve the stomach, that is. We play the house, but what about a side bet, you and I, Altea?”
The fire blazing in the opulent marble fireplace was unnecessary, considering the closeness of the shrouded room. Thick velvet draperies contained the smell of cologne, tobacco, and spilled brandy. Silence spread like a graveyard mist, the only sound the crackle of the lively logs spitting in the background. Even the liveried footmen stopped with their ceaseless rounds of drink trays, arrested figures standing almost absurdly still in the shadows as the scene unfolded.
Damnation. I’ve gotten myself into this.
Was there a politic way out of this untenable situation? He doubted it since, when he thought about it, the whole event was the inevitable product of his recent slide into concentrated debauchery.
Willing himself to not show even the slightest hint of emotion, Luke simply smiled in negligent acknowledgment. His voice pleasant, he asked politely, “How much more interesting?”
more interesting. What say you, my lord?”
Estefan, the croupier, waited, long hands unmoving. The cards were suspended above the tattered baize of the table. Dressed all in black, he was usually nothing but a silent observer, as expressionless as a corpse and about as animated, but suddenly there seemed to be a gleam of interest in those flat black eyes. His thin, dark brows elevated in question.
There was, of course, no limit at Satan’s. It was infamous for stakes that would make even rich men take pause. In this place, aristocracy mingled with the merchant class with dissolute ease. All it took to get in was money. Luke
a rich man, but then again, he was not alone in that status in this smoky room.