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The Wicked Earl

To be released together with Untouched Mistress in Wicked in the Regency Ballroom

Excerpt


She smiled then and it was a smile that lit up her face. Lucien wondered how he could ever have thought her plain.

She smiled again and he barely heard the notes of the band, concentrating as he was on the girl before him. The prim plain clothing could not completely disguise what lay beneath. The narrowness of her waist beneath his palm, the subtle rise of her breasts, those slender arms.

‘Who are you?’ she said, looking up at him. ‘I don’t even know your name.’

Of course she didn’t know. She wouldn’t be looking up at him so trustingly if she had known who he was. Some women attempted to court him for his reputation. Madeline Langley would not. He knew that instinctively. She would shun the wicked man Earl Tregellas was reputed to be.

A shy amusement lit the amber eyes. ‘Will you not tell me, sir?’

He hesitated a moment longer, enjoying the innocent radiance in her face. No woman looked at him like that any more. Artful coquetry, pouting petulance, flagrant fear, and, of course, downright disapproval – he had known them all. Miss Langley’s expression fell into none of those categories.

She smiled.

Lucien traced the outline of it with his eyes. He doubted he would see her smile again once he told her his name.

The band played on. Their feet moved in time across the floor. Silence stretched between them.

‘I am Tregellas.’ There was nothing else he could say.

‘Tregellas?’ she said softly.

He watched while she tried to place the name, the slight puzzlement creasing a tiny line between her brows.

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Wicked in the Regency Ballroom

Perhaps she did not know of him. And then he saw that she did after all. Shock widened the tawny glow of her eyes. The smile fled her sweet pink lips. Uncertainty stood in its stead.

‘Earl Tregellas? The Wick-’ She stopped herself just in time.

‘At your service, Miss Langley,’ he said smoothly, as if he were just any other polite gentleman of the
ton.

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