– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –
Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘Never Rescue a Rogue’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information
About the Author :
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty-five books and three Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.
About the Book :
Why on earth would she want to kiss him when he vexed her so?
Diana Merriwell and Giles Sinclair only tolerate one another for the sake of their nearest and dearest. Everyone believes that they are meant to be together, but Diana and Giles know that it is animosity, not attraction, that fuels their barbed exchanges. Anyway, Diana loves her freedom too much to give it up for marriage, and Giles is happily wedded to his bachelor lifestyle.
After Giles’ curmudgeonly father, the Duke of Harpenden, unexpectedly turns up his toes, it’s only a matter of time before the circumstances of his only son’s birth are revealed. With the threat of blackmail hanging over him, Giles must uncover the truth, or he and all those who depend on him will be ruined.
As Giles and Diana dive into his family’s past, the attraction that they insisted wasn’t there proves impossible to ignore. It seems that the future of the Sinclair estate isn’t the only thing on the line…
And now it’s finally time for the
As a bevy of liveried footmen distributed freshly filled glasses amongst his guests, Giles sensed her before she spoke, or rather sniffed her. The heady scent of fat Summer roses tinged with peach and the merest smidgen of vanilla was as unique a perfume as the unconventional and vexing woman who wore it.
“You will be delighted to learn that Lady Sewell and that awful Russian count you insist on inviting to everything are in the midst of a tryst in your music room.”
She had a penchant for bold, fashionable gowns despite her desire to blend into the wall and tonight’s was particularly lovely. The ivory silk skimmed her curves in all the right places while the saucy flashes of red at the hem and the big ribbon which highlighted her trim waist complimented her dark hair to perfection. As was her way, that hair was arranged in an artful but asymmetrical style which went completely against the current fashion for symmetry but suited her regardless, for she wasn’t so much a woman who marched to the beat of her own drum but one who made everyone else seem as if it were they who were out of step. She was, as always, stunning—not that he would ever tell her, of course. “I suppose that shocking incident is bound to feature in your newspaper tomorrow harridan?”
“As usual, I have no earthly idea what you are talking about.” Miss Diana Merriwell sipped her champagne with artful nonchalance as she gazed at the sea of twirling silk on the dance floor rather than at him. “But that is hardly a surprise.” She always delivered her insults deadpan for maximum effect and that never failed to make her feline green eyes sparkle. “You rarely make any sense at the best of times, my dear Lord Bellingham, and I confess, I have long given up any hope of you ever doing so. If you weren’t so inextricably linked to my brother-in-law, I would have washed my hands of the chore of you last winter—but alas…” She sighed as if merely knowing him was a huge inconvenience. “You continue to linger on the periphery of my life like a bad smell.”
Giles took no offence at her words. In the last twelve months she had said far worse and so had he, because sparring was what they did.
“Then you flatly deny all of your insightful contributions to the London Tribune’s gossip column of late?”
“As if the establishment would ever trust a mere woman to write the news.”
“But you are Diana—Goddess of the Hunt and Hunter of the Truth.”
She stifled a yawn. “I simply edit some of the stories for spelling and grammar as a way to pass the time. How do you aristocrats stand the monotonous boredom of an inane life of leisure?” Another well placed barb which made him smile. She loved to put him in his place. Nothing here impressed her.
“And there I was, quietly impressed with your journalistic aplomb, but alas…” He stared at the dance floor too as if he was bored stiff with it all. “Had I known you had no real press credentials whatsoever and are merely a nit-picking grammarian, I never would have invited you here tonight. And now I am peeved, for if you do not smear all of this evening’s shocking scandals over your tawdry paper tomorrow, then who will?”
“A mystery to be sure—but I am certain you will not have to worry. When one courts scandal like you do Giles, word inevitably gets around.” She slanted him a knowing glance. “And fast too… so your father is bound to be spouting steam from his ears in time for your audience with him tomorrow exactly as you intended.”
Her canny intelligence always grated. “As usual, I have no earthly idea what you are talking about either Diana.” The more he got to know her, the more he became convinced she read him like a book and that really galled. Because Giles liked to think he was always the canniest person in any room and several paces ahead of the crowd—but she was always hot on his heels. Or more often, he trailed on hers. “Hardly a surprise when you rarely make any sense at the best of times either. You do know I only tolerate you on sufferance because my best friend married your sister don’t you? Although it is still a mystery to me why he aligned himself with such a bunch of lowly commoners.” He pulled a face as he sipped his drink, even though his lips were twitching because he loved to put her in her place too. She wore her common roots like a badge of honour and sometimes wielded them like a shield to ward off unwelcome attention. “We blue bloods must ensure the purity of our species or civilization as we know it will end and chaos will ensue.”
Like him, she wasn’t the least bit offended by the insult. “Then you flatly deny going out of your way to annoy your father purely for sport?”
It wasn’t for sport. It was necessity. The only avenue available to punish the duplicitous scoundrel for all his many unconscionable sins.
“It is hardly my fault if he finds me disappointing, any more than it is my fault I was born that way.” An outright lie and he suspected she knew it, but he would rather die than let her glimpse any of the sorry truth.
Whilst it was true the insufferable Duke of Harpenden had always considered his only son unworthy in every possible sense, Giles had used outright rebellion as a defence mechanism long before he had discovered the Dirty Secret and that he really was unworthy in every possible sense. By then, it had been too late to rejoice in that enlightening fact. The dreadful die had been cast, the hand of fate had been dealt and there really wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it apart from the one thing which blew his entire world to smithereens. A prospect which he wouldn’t have minded in the slightest if it were just himself it affected. Unfortunately, the awful, unpalatable, and toxic truth had dire consequences for a great many innocent people and, more unfortunately, he had failed to inherit his father’s unfeeling, granite heart. If he had, he would have lit the fuse himself then cheerfully pulled up a chair and enjoyed an entire plate of biscuits while he watched the illustrious name of Harpenden implode spectacularly in the full glare of the public gaze.
“I hear rumour that you are about to do something your father wholeheartedly approves of… and that finally, congratulations are in order.” Her sip of champagne was much too nonchalant this time, as if she were fishing though for the life of him he couldn’t think what for.
“Does the name Miss Dahlia Regis ring any bells?”
“Doe-eyed Dahlia the dumpy draper’s daughter?”
“Surely you mean desirable Dahlia with the newly doubled dowry?” She stared him dead in the eye. “Or perhaps Determined-to-be-a-Duchess Dahlia would be a better description if the rumours I hear about the pair of you are true?”
He couldn’t help but laugh at the preposterousness of her suggestion. “Surely you do not think I am romantically linked to Miss Regis? For she is far too proper for my dissolute tastes.” And far too vapid. Daft Dahlia was her nickname in the gentleman’s clubs because she could not converse without prompts from her pushy father but he was too much of a gentleman to repeat that moniker outside of one.
“Not linked, Giles. Engaged.”
Win 2 x e-copies of Never Rescue A Rogue (Open INT)
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