Unraveling the Earl, Book 3 in the Idyllwild series:
The Earl of Hastings’s reputation as London’s greatest gift to the ladies has taken on a life of its own, one he is only too happy to live up to in one Mayfair bedchamber after another. Until he encounters a lady more interested in poking around his country estate than sampling his lauded charms.
Georgiana Buchanan is possessed of murky morals, skewed notions of right and wrong, a talent for dancing around the truth, and a penchant for crashing weddings, funerals and charity balls.
When Georgie catches Henry’s roving eye, she turns the tables on the arrogant scoundrel, introducing him to a world of sensual delights and unraveling his vaunted control before fleeing into the night.
Henry is determined to make the elusive Georgiana his mistress while the lady wants only to use his desire to further her own schemes. When they find themselves marooned at Idyllwild during a summer storm, they will both discover they’ve gotten more than they bargained for.
Georgie drew in a ragged breath and lifted her head from his shoulder, peeking up at him from beneath her lashes, her feather waving in the air.
Henry angled his head to look into her face, expecting to find trembling lips, blotchy skin and eyes swollen nearly shut.
Georgie’s skin was a touch pink on the crests of her sharp cheekbones but her eyes were bright and quite large. Her lips trembled for a moment before lifting in a smile that began at one corner and slowly worked its way to the other.
“Gracious me, but your uncle is a fearsome man,” she said, her voice laced with laughter as she smacked him lightly on the shoulder. “But I could have handled him. There was no need for you to play the gallant and whisk me up in your arms.”
“You were crying.” Except her eyes were bright and clear. And dry.
“I thought to faint but I never did master the art of the elegant swoon.”
Henry only stared at her, certain he must have misunderstood her words and the smile that had reached her eyes, setting them to twinkling.
“With my luck, no one would have caught me,” she continued, scrambling from his lap and plopping down on the seat across from him. “To be sure, I’d have gone tumbling to the marble floor, likely cracking my chin and biting clear through my tongue.”
“You were faking,” he accused.
“Were you fooled?”
“Damn it, Georgie.”
“Huh, I thought for certain you knew what I was about when you caught me up in your arms, all bellowing, masculine temper.” She reached up and pulled the feather from her hair, tossing it to the seat beside her. “You ought to have carried me back to the parlor so everyone could fuss over me while Lord Somerton stewed in his guilt.”
“It was all part of a strategy?” Henry asked, trying to keep up with her agile, and alarmingly cunning, mind.
“Somerton would have been begging my pardon within three minutes, and offering up all of his considerable resources to find the elusive Connie.”
“You lied to my family.”
“Faking a crying fit is lying?”
“They must think I’ve lost my mind,” Henry muttered, an image of the stares from the dining room and Olivia’s fluttering hands filling his mind.
“They’ll still love you,” she replied cheerfully.
“Of course they will but that is not the point.”
“Will they seek guardianship over your estate?” she asked, kicking off her slippers and wiggling her toes. “Marry you off to some bossy miss in hopes she might control your erratic behavior? Lop off your bollocks to prevent you from breeding, thereby putting an end to the madness that courses through your blood?”
“Madness does not course through my blood.”
“Then what has caused your sudden madness?”
“You have caused my sudden madness,” he answered, unable to hold back a smile as he watched her tug at the buttons of one lace glove.
Where to find Lynne: