Margaret McPhee

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Mistaken Mistress

Re-released more recently together with The Captain's Lady in Regency Debutantes


Abruptly he pulled her across the room to stand before the glass doors. Moonlight captured his stunned features, proclaiming the perfection of each contour, every plane. Dark eyes glittered incredulously, raking every fibre of her being until she thought she could stand his silent scrutiny no more. She stood stiff and erect, her pride holding all else in check.

‘I am Miss Kathryn Marchant, the cousin of Miss Lottie Marchant.’

No reply, just the soft sound of his breathing, and the continued pressure of his hands around her upper arms.

A tremble set up in her legs. ‘I only sought some...somewhere where I could be alone.’ The words were stilted, awkward. ‘I did not know that...that the room was to be used by another...others,’ she corrected.

Still he did not speak.

‘What has occurred here has been a mistake. I beg that you’ll speak of it to no-one. If my aunt was to hear...’ She could not finish what she had started.

His voice rumbled low, little more than a whisper. ‘Why did you not speak earlier? Inform me of my...error?’

A hot blush flooded her cheeks. ‘I tried-’

He raised an eyebrow. ‘Not very convincingly.’

‘I could not, my lord.’

‘Could not, or would not, Miss Marchant?’

She quailed beneath the intensity of his stare.


Regency Debutantes

‘You play a very foolish game...a downright dangerous game.’ The touch of his fingers burned where they contacted the bare skin of her arms. ‘Don’t tell me you have not heard of my reputation?’ he mocked, then glanced away as if there was something that he could not quite fathom. When his gaze slid back to hers there was something in it that caused her heart to race even faster.

She did not answer. Aridity threatened to close her throat. When finally her words came they were nothing but a hoarse whisper. ‘Please excuse me, my lord, I must return to my cousin.’

‘Really?’ There was a lazy drawl in Ravensmede’s voice that did not match the glint in his eye.

‘Indeed, my lord.’

His lordship showed not the slightest inclination to withdraw his hands.

Beneath the magical glow of the moonlight her skin was pale and smooth as alabaster. Her hair was still pinned back but some of the curls had escaped to dangle enticingly against her cheek and throat. One finger lifted a curl from her cheek, then slid down to trace the delicate line of her jaw. His gaze followed where his finger led, then meandered back to her eyes that appeared opalescent in the moonlight. Fringed with long dark lashes, glittering with unshed moisture, her eyes were quite simply beautiful. And contained in the stare that she returned him Ravensmede could see shock and guilt...and passion. She was playing with fire. Already the heat within him kindled.

‘Miss Marchant, someone should teach you...’ deliberately he leaned down and allowed his breath to caress her ear ‘...the perils...’ his lips hovered by the side of her face, so close yet not touching ‘...of allowing yourself...’ he closed the last small space that divided them until he felt his thighs brush against her skirts ‘ be kissed by a rake...’ ”

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