Angelica Douglas has no idea that she’s the Countess of Melrose. What she does know is that she needs to support her family as a card shark, while finding a way to seek revenge on the men who ruined her father and sent her family spiralling down into poverty.
Robert Campbell, Marquess of Argyll, heir to the Duke of Inverary, has no idea who Angelica truly is. He just wants to watch over her and make her his mistress.
Angelica thinks Robert is simply a dashing rogue who is far too dangerous for her peace of mind. Robert thinks Angelica is an angel except when she’s being a pain in the behind.
When Robert finds out that his own father may have been one of the men who ruined Angelica’s family, he vows to keep a careful eye on her. When Angelica finds out that Robert’s father may have been one of the men responsible, she vows to stay as far away from Robert as possible. But when danger threatens, both Robert and Angelica must face the truth and let fate take the upper hand.
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He knew she was cheating.
Angelica read the suspicion in the man's alcohol-glazed eyes. She was confident of her talent, so being caught didn't worry her, but drunks almost always proved dangerous. With the exception of her own father, of course.
Eighteen-year-old Angelica Douglas wet her lips, gone dry from nervousness, and felt a droplet of perspiration roll slowly down the valley between her breasts. Reaching up, she brushed a wisp of golden hair away from her face and adjusted the wreath of fresh-cut flowers she wore like a crown on her head.
Angelica gave her intended victim a sunny smile and flicked a glance at the group of fairgoers gathered in front of her table. Seated on a stool, she began moving the thimbles around and around on the makeshift table that consisted of a board resting on top of a trestle.
“Stop,” the man growled.
Angelica looked at him expectantly.
He pointed at the middle thimble. Angelica lifted it to reveal nothing and laughed with delight.
“Yer cheatin',” he accused her, his foul breath making her stomach queasy.
Seemingly unruffled, Angelica looked him straight in the eye. “Sir, you are a poor loser,” she told him in an affronted tone. “Would you care to throw dice instead?”
“I ain’t throwin’ dice with no girl,” the man snapped, and turned to go.
“Afraid?” Angelica challenged him, making her audience laugh with approval. When the man kept walking, she shifted her blue-eyed gaze to those watching and asked, “Would anyone care to throw dice with me?”
“I would love to throw with you,” answered a voice in a tone suggesting intimacy.
The crowd parted for the handsomest man Angelica had ever seen. Older than she by ten years at least, the black-haired and dark-eyed English Adonis carried his tall, well-built frame with athletic grace. Though commonly dressed in black breeches and white shirt, the man had the bearing of an aristocrat.
Sacred sevens, Angelica thought, his devilishly good looks startling her. She felt as if Old Clootie, in all his sinful perfection, had stepped out of the crowd to lead her astray.
Patricia will be awarding a free eBook from Lachesis Publishing to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I'm a dog person. Who lives with 10 cats. Get the picture?
My first brush with the romance genre happened in my high school junior year. I discovered Gone With the Wind and hid it behind my American history book to read during class. (The Civil War is American history.) The ambiguous ending left me dissatisfied, though. Rhett and Scarlet needed a happily-ever-after. Believing in happily-ever-afters positively screams romantic-at-heart.
On the other hand, I love murder and mayhem as much as happily-ever-after. My usual television fare is fiction and nonfiction crime shows, not love stories. Which accounts for the mysteries I sneaked into my historical romances. Now I'm trying my hand at writing a humorous mystery, sans historical and sans emphasis on the love interest. I even prepared for my mystery-in-progress by attending the local NRA's Pistol School. Shooting pistols is great fun. I adore the .22 semiautomatics.
After graduating from high school without distinction, I earned both Bachelor and Master degrees at a state college. Again, without distinction. I held several part-time jobs during my college days: file clerk in an insurance company, long-distance telephone operator, kimono-wearing waitress in a Japanese restaurant.
And then I began my teaching career, eighteen years in the eighth grade and thirteen years at the high school. Weary with the same old routine, I decided I needed a creative outlet. So I decided to write a romance novel but only managed to talk about writing one. After five years of listening to me, a friend said to stop talking and start writing.
So I did.
I made every mistake known to man. Blunder would be a more appropriate word, but I did learn using the trial and error method. As well as studying the works of authors I admired.
After five years of writing for nothing but love, I sold my first novel. Since then, I've sold eighteen novels and won several awards--- National Readers' Choice Award New England Readers' Choice Award, Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice and KISS Awards, B. Dalton and Bookrak Awards for best-selling author. My novels have been translated into fifteen languages and sold in twenty countries.
If I had my life over, would I become a writer? Nope. I would enjoy being a Victoria Secret model. Perhaps in my next incarnation I won't be too old, too short, or too unphotogenic.