She really should’ve known better than to wager with her brother. His ability to assume a completely expressionless face when playing cards or placing bets had become extremely annoying. “No one could lose with good grace if they had to put up with Lord Haversham for even five minutes during a waltz. It is quite impossible to fathom. Even you, dear brother, would not take it well.”
“How fortunate then that I shall never be required to stand up with Haversham.” Nathan laughed, and Kate clenched her hands. Just because her brother fancied himself a great wit did not make it true.
“Well, mark my words, I will never undertake a wager with you or anyone else again with a forfeit involving Lord Haversham.” Just saying the name was like biting into an unripe persimmon. It turned her mouth inside out.
Nathan watched her, rubbing his fingers over his watch fob. “You are in your third Season, Kate. You could do worse than Haversham, you know.”
“Worse than…” She stared at her brother, expecting devil’s horns to sprout from his dark curly head. “How could anyone be worse than Marcus, Earl of Haversham?”
“You sound as though the man’s a scoundrel or a cad. He’s a good man, Kate. He may have fallen on hard times at the present. His father’s death affected him very deeply.” Nathan stared at her, frowning.
“I am sorry for his loss, but that doesn’t excuse—”
“He hadn’t expected to take on the mantle of responsibility for some years to come.” Her brother jumped to his friend’s defense. “By the time he got himself in hand, the estates had begun a downward slide. His uncle’s helping him take the reins of the family investments, so that should be all right. But Haversham himself is a good man. He’d make a good husband.”
Kate’s jaw dropped. “Do you seriously want me to marry him?” She grimaced and swallowed convulsively. “My mouth doesn’t even want to say the words.” That lemonade would’ve been welcome right about now. “I wouldn’t marry him if he were…were… There is no instance where I would consent to marry him.”
HEART OF DESIRE
Follow your heart to find your desire
Miss Katherine Locke is irked to start her third season dancing with the disagreeable Lord Haversham, her brother’s friend and her own arch enemy. After three years out, however, she’s finally interested in the dashing Lord Finley—only to find out her cousin has set her cap for him too. To make the man jealous, Kate feigns interest in Lord Haversham, only to be shocked to find the handsome lord apparently falling for her. With time running out, should she accept his suit and risk falling in love despite herself?
Marcus, Lord Haversham, is in a tight pinch. His estates are failing and worse, he’s just lost three thousand pounds to his best friend, Lord Ainsley. Ainsley’s solution: have Marcus marry his shrewish sister and he’ll cancel his gambling debt plus give him ten thousand more pounds for her dowry. With nowhere to turn, Marcus agrees, praying he can keep word of the wager from Miss Locke long enough to charm her into marrying him. But can he avoid falling in love himself?
About Jenna Jaxon
Only Marriage Will Do, second book in her Georgian House of Pleasure series is with the editor. Her medieval trilogy, Time Enough to Love, is being published by Rising Phoenix Publications. Book 1, Betrothal is currently available. Book 2, Betrayal, will be available later this fall.
Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.