Lords and ladies, fortune hunters and physicians, entrepreneurs and rogues; from the Nile Valley to the streets of London to the hills of Ireland, this selection of finalists provides stories of romance in the the most unexpected circumstances.
In the shadow of the Great Exhibition, poverty and crime stalk the meaner backstreets of the city. But sin is not confined to the underworld. One couple passes seamlessly between the neighboring worlds of privilege and privation, solving crimes and enabling love to bloom.
An unforgettable night at the opera…
When she accompanies her family to Covent Garden, Lady Grizelda Niven does not expect to be discovered in a nearby back street, clutching a dagger over the dead body of her maid. However, she is even more surprised when the police arrest, not her, but, the devastatingly handsome young man who found her. Clearly, it behooves her to have him released and to enlist his alliance in discovering who truly killed Nancy.
Dragan Tizsa, a Hungarian refugee doctor, revolutionary, and soldier, lives constantly with the anguish of loss. The death of one more acquaintance makes little difference to him, except that it brings the vital and eccentric Griz into his life. He is a man who likes puzzles, and the mystery that is Griz soon assumes as much importance as that of the murder.
As they work together to unravel the layers of Nancy’s life and discover why she died, friendship and attraction blossom, much to her family’s unease. From the danger of London’s underworld, to the glittering salons of her married sister, Griz and Dragan look out for each other. But is she right to believe in her new friend when the evidence begins to tell against him?
And as she comes face to face with the killer at last, is love and happiness forever beyond her reach?
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Lady Shannon O’Shea has seen all of her sisters married off by their brother, Fergus, in order to keep them out of trouble, and she is determined not to encounter the same fate. She has far too many other things on her hands, including her secretive, scandalous, and growing beer brewing business. She is convinced that the end of the century will be the beginning of a new world for women, and the last thing she has time for is a man.
Enter Lord Colin Crenshaw, Earl of Stamford.
Lord Colin is in Ireland to serve as best man for his cousin, Lord Blackburn, but it is the bride’s sister, Shannon, who catches his attention. Shannon is older than him, wiser than him, and prettier than him (although just barely, in his opinion). She owns a small brewery, he loves beer. He thinks they’re a match made in heaven.
Now all he has to do is convince her…
A friends to lovers and marriage of convenience romance that will make you laugh and fan yourself and head to the fridge for a cold one.
PLEASE BE ADVISED: Steam level – very spicy!
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Sometimes love is hiding in the unlikeliest of earls…
Evelyn Thorncroft wants to marry a duke, but she’ll settle for an earl. The Earl of Hawkridge, to be precise. The only problem? Weston cannot stand the sight of her. At least, that’s what he says. Their passionate kisses, however, tell a very different story…
From the first moment he sees Evie across a crowded ballroom, Weston desires her. The dark-haired American is beautiful, intelligent, and charming. The only problem? She’s a money-grubbing hoyden after his family’s fortune. At least, that’s what Weston tells himself. His heart, however, tells a very different story…
Trapped under the same roof during a house party, Evie and Weston struggle to control their blistering chemistry. Neither are looking for love, and past hurts have made them far too cynical to believe in happily-ever-after.
But when two wounded hearts (and an orphaned lamb) are involved, anything is possible…including true love.
KU/$2.99 Purchase Links
Richard Mallet comes to Egypt with dreams of academic glory. He will be the one to unravel the secrets of the ancient Kushite language. Armed with license to dig, he sets out for Meroë, where the Blue Nile meets the White. He has no room in his life for dalliance or entanglements, and he certainly doesn’t expect to face insurrection and unrest.
Analiese Cloutier seeks no glory—only the eradication of disease among the Egyptian women and children of Khartoum. She has no interest whatsoever in romantic nonsense and will not allow notions about a lady’s proper role to interfere with her work. She doesn’t expect to have that work manipulated for political purposes.
Neither expects to be enchanted by the amorous power of moonlight in the ruins of Karnak, or to be forced to marry before they can escape revolution. Will their flight north take them safely to Cairo? If it does, can they build something real out of their shattered dreams?
KU/US$3.99 Purchase Links
As the successful owner of multiple railroad lines, Diana Barton is all too accustomed to fending off suitors seeking to stake their claim on her wealth. In order to keep the wolves at bay, Diana has contrived the perfect plan: appeal to the most notorious rake in London, the Baron Lord Bryant, to ruin her reputation and scare off the worst of the time wasters. The ruse will be no hardship—she’s secretly been fascinated by the man for years.
Lord Bryant is well aware of his questionable reputation. Indeed, he has cultivated the image carefully, and the last thing he wants is a wife. But when he’s approached by the younger sister of a business associate, he tells her in no uncertain terms that he cannot help. However, when he sees for himself what she is up against, Bryant grudgingly offers his assistance. Faced with his most complicated entanglement yet, Bryant is firm in his conditions—and Diana knows that to get romantically involved with Bryant would spell certain heartbreak. But as the counterfeit couple grow ever closer, the line between truth and lies becomes blurred, threatening both Lord Bryant’s well-laid plans and the future of Diana’s railroad business.
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