The hero, Lord Benedict, is being chased by a pair of young women, the Regency version of devoted fangirls. He's hoping Sophia, a lovely young widow, can help him avoid the determined misses while they're all attending a Valentine party.
Sophia had barely glanced down at her book when she was startled by another sound. Only this one was right in front of her—holding a finger to his smiling lips. Rather seductive lips too. She could not tear her gaze away.
Nor could she resist the opportunity to admire the man's dark hair, and twinkling blue eyes. She had found him impossibly handsome from across a ballroom in London, but now, this close…
"I hope I can enlist your help," he said, keeping his voice low.
She nodded, not knowing, or caring, what he might ask. Realizing that might not be a wise course of action—it was the infamous Lord Benedict, after all—she whispered back, "What is it you need me to do?"
He tilted his head slightly in the direction of where Henrietta and Amelia were hiding. "They have somehow developed a tendre for me—"
Sophia raised her eyebrows.
"Undeservedly so," he hastened to add, his mouth quirking up in another grin that Sophia found even more intriguing than the first one. "And I am unsure how to dissuade them without causing undue embarrassment. Have you any ideas?"
"You could succumb to their charms," she suggested, doing her best to keep a smile at bay.
He frowned. "But then I would be forced to break their hearts, when I inform them at a later date that I had fallen out of love."
"That would be devastating." Sophia pondered for a moment, trying to devise another solution. "What if you fix your attentions elsewhere?"
"What an excellent notion!" He moved her bonnet aside so he could sit next to her on the bench. "I don't suppose you would permit me to fix my attentions on you?"
She nearly laughed at how hopefully he regarded her. "It was not what I had in mind when I put forth the idea."
"But surely you can see how perfectly it would suit my purposes. I could dance attendance on you until the chits have lost interest…"
His words flustered her a bit, apparently because she was giving them serious consideration. She nearly shook her head at such foolishness. She should pick up her book and give him a disdainful look before heading back to the house.
That is certainly what she should do. It was the wisest, most sensible course of action. Every practical person ever born would agree on that.
Yet it had been too long since she had been the focus of a handsome man's attentions. Even longer since she had enjoyed the diversion of flirtatious banter and witty conversation. Lord Benedict was famous for both—as well as other pleasures she had missed out on the past two years. Her face grew warm.
What harm could there be in letting him pretend he was interested in her? It would only be for a few days, perhaps even less. They would both benefit from such an arrangement.
Sophia leaned forward and smiled in a conspiratorial fashion. "How shall we commence this plan of yours?"
Wicked Rogues. Handsome Aristocrats. Destined for love, one and all! Beverley Oakley, Donna Cummings, and Heather Boyd have teamed up to bring you three utterly romantic love stories to warm your heart!
In His Valentine’s Secret, by Beverley Oakley, Lady Athelton’s St Valentine’s Ball should have been a time for love, not vengeance, as the once carefree Lisette plots the demise of the man she once loved. Will she learn the truth in time?
In Truly, My Love, by Donna Cummings, Lord Benedict and Lady Sommerwood stage a faux romance in order to help him evade two besotted young misses at a Valentine party. But can an affair built on falsehoods possibly turn into true love?
In A Husband for Mary, by Heather Boyd, Miss Mary Vine kissed a handsome stranger at the Fenwick Masquerade, never imagining the extraordinary attraction could be for the most disgraceful rake in London. A man she knew far too well…
This is an all-new collection of stand-alone complete works.