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The Undercover Scoundrel
Jessica Peterson

Praise for the Hope Diamond trilogy“Overflows with adventure, suspense, and fast-paced action…A fresh new voice in hi... Weiterlesen
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Beschreibung

Praise for the Hope Diamond trilogy

“Overflows with adventure, suspense, and fast-paced action…A fresh new voice in historical romance.”—Shana Galen, author of The Spy Wore Blue

“Deliciously fun! What a lovely, witty book—I can’t wait to see what Jessica Peterson does next!”—Kate Noble, author of If I Fall

“Romance and intrigue make an irresistible combination in Peterson’s latest, in which an intrepid woman and an enigmatic man find true love, despite the dictates of society.”—Booklist

“The quest to find the elusive French Blue Diamond in Regency England is fraught with danger in the clever second installment of Peterson’s Hope Diamond Trilogy…The romance is enticing, with a strong mystery propelling the story forward, and the characters are witty and real.”—Publisher’s Weekly 
“The fabled Hope Diamond is the centerpiece of Peterson’s charming trilogy, where she mixes one very bad-boy gentleman with a headstrong heroine, a stolen gem, a duel, a band of acrobats, and an exiled French king. If that isn’t enough, she peppers the Hope Diamond series starter with steamy love scenes, wild escapades, and a laugh or two. Peterson keeps the pace flying and readers hanging on to their utter joy.”—RT Book Reviews

Autorentext

Jessica Peterson began reading romance to escape the decidedly unromantic awkwardness of her teenage years. Having found solace in the likes of Rhett Butler and Mr. Darcy, it wasn’t long before she began creating tall, dark, and handsome heroes of her own.

A graduate of Duke University, Jessica worked in an investment bank before leaving to pursue her writerly dreams. She lives with her husband, the tall, dark, and handsome Mr. Peterson, in Charlotte, North Carolina.




Zusammenfassung
The author of The Millionaire Rogue returns to her dazzling series about a bygone era filled with romance, espionage, and one dangerously seductive diamond…

Mr. Henry Lake spent the past twelve years uncovering the most scandalous secrets of Europe’s wealthy and powerful, serving as one of His Majesty’s most decorated spies. But when a mission to find the legendary French Blue diamond brings him back to London, and face to face with a beautiful noblewoman he once loved, it’s his own hidden passions that are uncovered…

Lady Caroline, Countess of Berry, knows better than to lose her head over a man. After an embarrassing romantic entanglement forced her into a loveless marriage and early widowhood, she learned to never trust in desire, especially when it comes to the man who once broke her heart. Only, despite her good sense, she finds Henry impossible to resist—even when he once again places her in deathly danger…

Leseprobe

Prologue

Oxfordshire

Summer 1800

Their vows echoed off the chapel’s mottled ceiling, rising and swooping like birds to surround the couple in soft whispers of faith and hope and love.

“Rings?” the vicar said, arching a brow.

For a moment the groom’s eyes went wide, and then, plucking the pale green ribbon from his queue, he released a curtain of red hair about his shoulders. He used his teeth to cut the ribbon in two. Tying one length into a small circlet, he slid it onto the bride’s fourth finger.

A sea of flickering candles held the darkness at bay as Lady Caroline Townshend was kissed for the first time by her husband. Joy welled up inside her and she smiled against the warm press of Henry Beaton Lake’s lips.

He kissed her far less chastely than was proper at a wedding, even a secret one. He kissed her as if every stroke, every pull, every move of their lips roused, rather than satiated, a growing need inside him.

Henry held her face in his hands, guiding her toward him as he pressed a kiss to one corner of her mouth, then the other. Breathless, Caroline stood on the tips of her toes to meet his caresses, streaks of light and bursts of color illuminating the backs of her closed eyelids.

The vicar, a rather less romantic fellow than Romeo and Juliet’s priest, shut his ancient Bible with a censorial thwunk.

Blushing, Caroline fell back from Henry, their hands entwining between them.

Lips pursed, eyes wide, the vicar glared at them. “God. Sees. Everything.”

In a whirl of black he turned and stalked down the aisle, shaking his head at young people these days and their carnal proclivities. Caroline’s lady’s maid, Nicks—the one and only witness—hurried after him.

Beside Caroline, Henry shook with repressed laughter.

“How much did you pay him?” she whispered.

“Clearly not enough.”

“Will he tell our parents?”

Henry ran his thumb across the back of her hand. “I should hope not. Though he doesn’t seem to like us very much.”

“Then we haven’t much time.”

“Do you mean to ravish me, Mrs. Lake?”

“I do indeed.”

“Let’s get on with it, then,” he said, and swung her into his arms.

*   *   *

Caroline grasped the windowsill and, as Henry gave her a boost from below, somersaulted into his bedchamber. Inside the room it was quiet and dark, save for a single lit taper on the bedside table.

“Really,” she panted, wiping her hands on her skirts. “Why not use the kitchen door? Your parents are still at my house for the ball.”

Henry landed noiselessly on his feet, closing the window behind him. “Where’s the challenge in that? Besides, I like all this sneaking about. Suits the secret marriage bit, don’t you think?”

He took her outstretched hands and pulled her a smidge too enthusiastically to her feet. Her nose bumped against the hardened center of his chest.

“Oh,” he said, thumbing her chin. “Oh, Caroline, I’m terribly sorry. Are you all right? I only meant to, um . . . I forget sometimes that you’re so little, you see; I’m used to my brothers, as you know they’re rather large . . .”

Caroline looked up at Henry. Large was an understatement; like his older brothers, Henry was a broad-shouldered, ginger-haired giant with the wickedest cheekbones she had ever seen. His green eyes were even wickeder (if that was a word)—so brightly suggestive, so darkly penetrating, Caroline feared she might burst into flames every time he looked at her.

“I’ll have a devil of a time explaining that to my mother.”

Henry angled his neck and brushed his lips to her injured nose. “Bloody business, marriage.”

“Mm-hm,” she said, burrowing farther into the circle of his arms. Her ring of ribbon slipped from her finger—it was a tad too large—and she coaxed it back into place.

His hand slid from her cheek to cup the back of her neck. With his thumb he tilted her head and caught her mouth with his. He kissed her deeply, passionately, as if he were out to steal not only her heart but her soul, her body, her being.

Henry took her bottom lip between his teeth. She saw stars.

His hands were on her face now; Caroline clung to his wrists, fearful the rush in her knees might cause them to give out. She felt the scattershot beat of his pulse beneath her fingers, the jutting architecture of his bones. Strength rippled beneath the surface of his skin, strength she felt him struggling to restrain.

And yet he touched her with great care, gently, as awed by her shape as she was of his. His fingers tangled in the hair at her temples as his mouth moved to her neck, working the tender skin there with his lips.

Caroline let out a breath, desperate, suddenly, to be free of her stays and ridiculously ruffled muslin gown. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think; she was lost in the longing she’d felt for Henry from the moment they met eyes across the garden, three weeks before.

She was hardly seventeen, set to make her debut at St. James’s the following spring. Even so, Caroline knew the intensity of her feelings for Henry was a rare thing, rare and fragile. The world seemed fanatically intent on nipping such reckless affection in the bud before it ever had a chance to bloom.

But Caroline was intent on blooming. Beneath Henry’s careful, confident touch, his insistent caresses, she felt herself unravel and open, giving as Henry took, and took, and kept taking.

She slipped her hands beneath the lapels of his jacket. Henry rolled back his shoulders and shrugged free of the garment, tossing it aside. He began to move forward, pressing his body into hers as he guided her farther into the room. His fingers found purchase in a row of buttons between the blades of her shoulders, working them free one at a time.

“Hold up your arms, darling,” he murmured against her mouth, and gently coaxed the gown over her head.

It fell with a rustling sigh to the floor. The night air felt coolly potent against the bare skin of her arms. She shivered.

Henry gathered her in his arms, surrounding her body with the heat of his own. She could smell his skin, the clean, citrusy spice of his soap. Her desire soared.

In a hushed frenzy of movement, they unclothed one another: his waistcoat, her stays, his neckcloth. His head caught in his shirt, and after several futile attempts to remove it, Henry ripped it open. Buttons ricocheted about the room, landing with small pings as they rolled across the floor.

Caroline stared at his bare chest. She swallowed.

Henry took her hands and placed them on the center of his breastbone. She inhaled at the shock of warmth that met with her palms, the spring of wiry hair. She could feel his heart beating proudly within the cage of his ribs. Proudly, wildly, an echo of her own.

In the darkness she bent her neck, and pressed her lips to his chest. He inhaled sharply, his chest rising and falling beneath the working of her lips across his collarbone, up the corded slope of his neck.

Heavens, but she hoped his parents would not return for some hours yet; Caroline couldn’t have kept quiet if she’d wanted.

His fingers tugged at the neckline of her chemise as he took her bare shoulder in his mouth. The heat between her legs burned hotter. Henry coaxed the garment down the length of her body, releasing one breast, then the other. Quickly his mouth moved to take her nipple between his teeth, rolling it in the velvet touch of his tongue. The sensation was so poignant it hurt.

“Henry,” she breathed, tangling her fingers in his hair. “Please. Show me.”

He raised his head, eyes luminescent, translucent; they were warm and soft and they were on her, gleaming with desire.

“I was hoping you’d show me,” he replied.

“You’ve never? Never . . . you’re almost twenty, I thought . . .”

“This is to be the first time for both of us, I’m afraid.”

“Then I really am to ravage you.”

He grinned. “If you don’t mind terribly.”

His mouth came down on hers, and he was digging at the pins in her hair with impatient fingers. She heard them fall, one by one, until at last her hair tumbled in soft waves about her shoulder blades. Henry drew his hands through its tangled mass to rest on the naked small of her back. He pulled her to him, skin to skin; the hardened knots of her nipples brushed against his chest and she nearly cried out in agony, in desire.

The backs of Caroline’s thighs met with the bed. Henry grasped her hips, and her breath caught in her throat as he tossed her lightly onto the mattress. The coverlet felt cool and deliciously soft against her bare skin.

Henry looked down upon her with narrowed eyes, his face suddenly tight.

“Caroline,” he said roughly, slowly. “You are so . . . so very lovely. Beautiful.”

He ran a hand up the side of her rib cage, cupping her breast; he thumbed her nipple and she arched into his touch.

And then both his hands moved to her legs, sliding off her stockings; his fingers were in the waistband of her pantalets, tugging them over the smooth expanse of her belly, her knees.

Caroline was naked. She winced at the sudden rush of cool air against the beating throb of her sex. Please, she prayed. Please let it be soon.

Henry unbuttoned his breeches and swept them down to his ankles. He rose; Caroline stared at his cock, heavy with need, as unrepentantly enormous and thickly veined as the rest of his body. It jutted out from the sharp angle of his hips, unembarrassed, and she was at once hesitant and terribly curious.

“Caroline,” he said.

She swallowed. “I’m all right.”

“Caroline,” he said again. “We don’t have to do this. I couldn’t bear it if I hurt you, if you weren’t ready.”

For a beat he did not move, as if waiting for her to change her mind, waiting for her to roll over and demand he escort her home, take back all they’d said and done this night.

“I want to,” she said. “We’re married now, remember? We get to do this at last.”

Caroline sat up and reached for him. He drew a breath as her hand followed the narrowing trail of hair down his hardened belly; his whole body tensed when she wrapped her hand around his cock. He felt hard and soft all at once, the skin impatiently hot and silken. She put her mouth on his belly. One of his hands went to her hair while the other moved down to cover her own around his manhood.

“How?” she whispered.

“Like this,” he said, and together their hands moved up and down the length of his cock, once, twice, until he groaned and pulled away, suddenly, as if she’d hurt him.

“Caroline,” he said, his face in her hair. “I love you.”

“I love you,” she whispered.

“I can’t wait much longer. I want—I need you. Badly. Here.” He reached behind him, producing his rumpled shirt. “Lie down on this, love. I’m afraid you might bleed.”

Bleed?

She swallowed for what felt the hundredth time that night. He wasn’t kidding about marriage being a bloody business.

Wedging the shirt beneath Caroline’s bottom, Henry coaxed her back onto the bed. He took her knees in his hands and moved them apart, stepping forward so that he was wedged between her legs. She was wide open to him. She was afraid; she was overwhelmingly aroused.

Henry reached down and they both drew a breath when his first two fingers slipped between her slick curls, revealing a warmth, a wetness, that neither of them expected. Her desire soared; she ached for him to be inside her.

“You’re”—he swallowed—“ready?”

“Yes,” she panted. “Please, Henry.”

“Once we . . . I can’t stop then.”

“I don’t want you to stop.”

He stepped forward. The bed was set high, so high that, even while standing, Henry’s hips were level with hers. He put his hands on the inside of her thighs, pushing her legs even wider.

“Bend your knees about me,” he said.

Caroline did as she was told. He wrapped her bent legs about his hips, hooking her feet at his buttocks. She felt his fingers on her sex, holding her open as, with his other hand, he guided his cock into her folds. He nudged against her, wincing.

“Is it . . . Are we going to work?” she asked.

“Yes,” he breathed. “It’s very small in there.”

“Is it, um, as it should be?”

He closed his eyes, lips curling into a pained half grin. “You’re perfect.”

She tried not to recoil as pressure mounted between her legs. She felt herself stretching. Her pleasure was edged with pain.

“Caroline,” he said. He was looking at her now, eyes wide with concern. “Tell me how you’re feeling, all right?”

“I’m all right.”

He guided himself farther against her, using his fingers to keep her open to him. He moved his hips, pressing into her. He pressed harder, sucking in a breath as the first bit of him entered her.

The pleasant throb between her legs heightened to burning discomfort. Her eyes smarted. Henry was saying her name but she told him to keep going, and he did. Slowly he slid into her wet warmth; they both paused when he met the barrier inside her. He looked at her. She nodded, overwhelmed by the sting, by the sense of fullness he brought her.

I’m all right, Henry. Keep going.

He inhaled through his nose, and then he bucked his hips. In a single heartbeat, he sank to the hilt. A sound escaped Caroline’s lips, something between a cry and a whimper.

He was bent over her then, taking her cry into his mouth as he set his forearms on either side of her head, surrounding her. His body was wound tightly; she could tell he wanted to move between her legs, but he waited.

He gritted his teeth.

The sting began to subside, her pleasure—her heart—rising in its place. Oh, this felt lovely. A little full. But lovely.

Her hips began to circle against him, asking for more. Henry let out the breath he’d been holding and gently rocked his hips, withdrawing, entering again. Their skin, damp with sweat, slid and stuck.

She surrendered.

She surrendered to the pounding beat of her passion. To the heavy weight of her love for him.

She surrendered to Henry.

They moved against each other ardently, lost in a whirl of pain and limbs and pleasure. Her hands moved over his shoulders, marveling at the roping and bunching of his back muscles as he worked between her legs. His lips trailed over her jaw and throat.

He slowed, suddenly, and then his eyes fluttered shut; he stilled and she could feel his cock pulse inside her.

“Christ,” he said when the pulsing subsided. His lips fluttered over her eyelashes. “I’m sorry, Caroline, I didn’t mean . . . I meant to be more careful, but you felt so good, I couldn’t stop. I wanted to stop.”

“I didn’t want you to stop,” she whispered. “I don’t want you to ever stop.”

Slowly he withdrew from inside her; she felt his seed seeping warmly from between her legs.

He cursed again when he looked down at the shirt beneath her.

“What is it?” she said.

“Blood,” he replied, mouth drawn into a line as he used the shirt to clean her. “A lot of it. Are you sure you’re all right?”

Caroline flexed her stiff legs. She felt very sore between them. “All right. Sore. A little sore.”

He crumpled the shirt between his hands and tossed it to the ground. He tugged the coverlet aside, holding it open for her. “Here, lie down. I’ll get a towel.”

She crawled between the bedclothes, smiling as she drew them up to her nose. They smelled like him. Like her husband.

He returned from the washstand with a damp towel, climbing into bed beside her. Thankfully he was still naked as the day he was born; he pressed his body against hers as he coaxed her legs apart, pressing the towel between them. It felt blessedly cool.

“I love you, Caroline,” he murmured in her ear, nicking the lobe with his teeth. She felt him smiling against her skin. “Wife.”

She smiled, too, a wide, irrepressible thing she felt in every corner of her being. Despite everything—despite how it appeared, her ten-thousand-pound dowry and his lack of position—despite their youth, their parents’ disapproval . . . despite all that, she knew this was where she was meant to be.

Caroline loved him. She felt loved by him. And wasn’t that the end of everything?

Henry spun her around and tugged her against the hardened mass of his body, her back to his front. He pulled the sheets over their heads and she, giggling, yielded to his hands as he took her body again and again and again, until the sun burned away the darkness.

*   *   *

It happened the next afternoon. As she was wont to do when in need of solitude and space, Caroline disappeared into the garden. Henry—her husband!—had a habit of sneaking from his father’s house to meet her there besides; she had half a mind to toss him beneath a bush and ravage him soundly, as she promised she would last night.

She was on her knees, digging at a half-dead holly, when she heard the telltale rustle in a nearby boxwood. Her chest lit up with excitement; she was smiling, hard, when she brushed back her hair and turned toward the noise.

Only it wasn’t Henry. George Osbourne, Viscount Umberton, heir to the wildly wealthy Earl of Berry, and Henry’s very best friend, emerged from the hedgerow. Caroline’s joy hardened in her throat at the sight of Osbourne’s well-formed, if slight, figure. His face was hard, his dark eyes soft.

A tendril of panic unfurled inside her belly. She didn’t like that look; something was amiss.

“My lord,” she said hopefully, as if she might will good news with the tone of her voice. “What an unexpected surprise. Have you . . . er . . . come for tea?”

Osbourne bowed. “My lady, I am sorry to meet you like this, but I came straightaway.”

“What?” So much for the soothing tone of voice. “What is it?”

He wiped the sweat from his thick eyebrow with a trembling thumb. When he spoke his voice was low, hoarse.

“He’s gone. Henry—Lake—he’s gone. I—” Here Osbourne looked away. “I thought you should know. I understand the two of you have . . . become quite close this summer, and I—”

The brass-handled garden trowel fell from her gloved hand to the earth with a muted thud of protest. “Gone? Where? But how . . . I don’t understand!”

Osbourne’s face was tensed with pain as he looked down at her. He swallowed. “Emptied his drawers into a valise—there’s nothing left, and he took the five pounds his older brother was hiding in his pillow. He left a note for his parents, something about duty, and not coming to look for him. He said he wouldn’t come back. Lady Caroline, Henry is gone.”

Caroline’s vision blurred; tears burned her eyes, and she fell back on her haunches. “Perhaps it’s a mistake,” she said. “A misunderstanding with his father, or maybe it’s a joke, or—or—”

“I know Henry,” Osbourne said. “He’s gone, Caroline. I don’t know where, and I don’t know why. But he’s gone.”

She was sobbing then, and George Osbourne fell to his knees beside her and held her to his chest. They sat like that, damp with the heat of one another’s tears, until the garden was tawny with twilight.

That was the last Caroline heard of Henry Beaton Lake, her husband, before he disappeared from Oxfordshire, from England, from her life.

Before he disappeared forever.

One

Brunswick Castle, Occupied Kingdom of Westphalia

Winter 1812

Passing under the grand iron arch of Brunswick Palace’s gates, Henry Lake ducked into the shadows and, with a wince, peeled off his beard and moustache.

Bloody things itched like the devil; during his audience at the palace he (rather stoically, it must be said) fended off a fit of sneezing when the waxed ends of his moustache lodged themselves in his nostrils. A self-indulgent addition to his disguise, that moustache, but well worth the trouble.

Henry had got what he came to this godforsaken country in a most godforsaken winter for.

He’d found the French Blue at last.

Burrowing into an alcove between two buildings, Henry leaned against a wall and closed his eyes. His ragged breath shot from his lips in an opaque cloud as he struggled to catch his breath.

It was just as he suspected.

Just as he feared.

The diamond he’d hunted for ten years was in London.

Had it already been ten years? Dear God, he was getting old.

London. He hadn’t set foot in England for more than a decade, and for good reason. She was there. Which meant he couldn’t be.

He winced at the twist of pain in his chest, that familiar sensation, that old friend who’d accompanied him across the Continent these past years.

He had no choice; the French Blue was in London, and so to London Henry Lake would go. The diamond was far too precious a bargaining chip to let slip through his fingers. He had to obtain it lest it vanish again, the way it vanished from Paris some twenty years ago at the start of the Revolution.

He didn’t have much time. No matter the danger his presence in England posed to her, to his family. He’d go, do his duty, and with any luck be back in the thick of things here on the Continent without anyone the wiser.

Besides, London was an enormous city. She was but one of thousands, hundreds of thousands of bodies occupying that soggy spot beside the Thames. No, he wouldn’t see her. Definitely not. He was an agent of His Majesty’s most esteemed Alien Office for God’s sake; disguise, disappearance, and dashing were his trade. If he wanted to avoid detection, he could.

Only when it came to her, he didn’t trust himself.

Tucking the remains of his disguise into his pocket, he limped through the blustery twilight. He drew a sharp breath; lately the bone-deep ache in his leg had heightened to a white-hot, searing sting. Even as he welcomed the pain, on cold nights like this he had a mind to swallow a pint of bourbon and cut the damned thing off. Weren’t peg-legged pirates all the rage in novels these days?

Over the years, Lake found work to be the only antidote to his rising pain, and so as he limped, he let loose his thoughts. He’d suspected the Princess of Wales was in possession of the diamond from the moment his hunt for the missing crown jewels of France began. His suspicion proved correct, as his suspicions were often wont to do.

Her Majesty’s father, that wily bastard Karl Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick, was dead, but his jeweler was not. In fact he was making quite a heap off his lusty French occupiers here in Germany, who admired jewels almost as much as they admired themselves.

A heap he would indubitably forfeit, should his French clients learn he played them for fools as an agent of his former master’s son, the exiled Black Duke.

It didn’t take much: a bottle of wine, a threat of blackmail, and an hour later Henry squeezed the information from Karl Wilhelm’s jeweler like juice from a lemon.

And he was one goddamned juicy lemon.

The jeweler didn’t know how, exactly, Karl Wilhelm came to own a fifty-carat blue diamond. A diamond that once graced the royal breasts of French kings. But he did know Karl passed it to his daughter, the Princess of Wales, after he’d had the jeweler reshape the French Blue to fool Napoleon’s agents.

All that was left to do was ply the French Blue from the princess’s grasp. Doubtless she was holding the gem hostage from her buffoon of a husband. But perhaps with the right words, a bit of flattery, the jewel might be coaxed from her treasure chest.

Henry shrugged his chin into the collar of his coat, ears ringing with cold, and turned down an alley. Usually a smelly cesspit, tonight it appeared clean, quaint even, thanks to a downy blanket of snow that glittered in the light streaming from the tavern window.

Henry paused, checking the leather strap of his eye patch. Not for the first time he was glad he had only one eye. It eased the pain, the velvety blackness that enveloped what had been his right eye; the blind spot that hid from him half the world, and half his body. The half that hurt.

He didn’t deserve to be whole. Not after what he’d done to her.

Patrons near the front of the tavern glanced up at the bitter gust that accompanied Lake into the tavern. They all looked familiar, and quite drunk. Good, very good; he and Moon might have a conversation without fear of it leaving this room.

Making his way to a table near the fire, Lake winked at the tall, reedy woman wiping a mug behind the counter.

“Ah, Brunhilde! You are looking well today.”

Brunhilde harrumphed, a loud, throaty sound. “Wink at me again and I’ll break your balls.”

“Such an elegant flower you are! How I do love the women in this country. Might I request a mug of your best beer, and a crust of bread?”

“Out of bread, and the beer is piss.”

“Well, then. I shall take some of the piss if you please, Brunhilde.”

Brunhilde harrumphed again. Henry took a seat across from a conspicuously square-jawed woman and took off his hat with a sigh.

“Too much?” the woman asked in French.

“Tell me, Mr. Moon, are you trying to look like a man dressed as a woman on purpose?”

Moon blinked. “No.”

“Then yes, I’m afraid it is too much.”

“Blast! The wig alone took me two weeks to make.”

“I shall not inquire as to where you obtained so much hair.”

“Better if you don’t.”

“Excellent.” Lake leaned back as Brunhilde dropped a mug on the table before him, beer slopping onto his lap. “Now that that’s settled, we might get down to business.”

Lake sipped thoughtfully at his beer. Not bad, that; Germans were such snobs about their brews. “The Blue’s just where I thought it’d be. We leave in the morning; the sooner the gem is in our possession, the sooner we can begin to negotiate with our toad-faced friend the emperor.”

He smiled at the familiar tingle of excitement burning to life at the base of his skull. “Think of it, Moon. You and I could very well save the lives of hundreds, thousands of good British soldiers, soldiers like you and me. Who knows what Old Boney might trade for the diamond? I daresay even his tiny little manhood is on the table.”

Mr. Moon scratched at his wig. “You haven’t been back home in some time, have you, sir?”

Lake scoffed. “I hardly remember what England looks like.”

But he did remember, in startling, painful detail, what she looked like. Dark hair, dark eyes, pale skin like alabaster, the warmth of her body curled into his . . .

Henry finished his mug in three long, hard pulls, head pulsing at the sudden rush of cold.

“I say, sir, are you all right?”

Henry tried not to wince. “Quite.”

“So, the plan,” Moon said. “We can’t possibly afford to buy the diamond off the princess. Are you going to steal it?”

“Bah, theft is for amateurs. Besides, she’ll assume her husband did it. I daresay she’d try to stab him.”

“Surely you’re joking.”

“Sadly, I am not.” Lake smacked his lips. “No, we won’t thieve the jewel. And we won’t buy it, either.”

Moon furrowed his brow. &...

Produktinformationen

Titel: The Undercover Scoundrel
Autor: Jessica Peterson
EAN: 9780425272091
ISBN: 978-0-425-27209-1
Format: Kartonierter Einband (Kt)
Herausgeber: Random House N.Y.
Genre: Romane & Erzählungen
Anzahl Seiten: 336
Gewicht: 136g
Größe: H173mm x B107mm x T23mm
Jahr: 2015

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