He owns three shipping companies, a diamond mine, and his own castle.
He knows Portuguese, Hindi, Mandarin and Morse code.
His assets net thirteen million.
Everyone thinks Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, the financial prodigy dubbed “The King of Threadneedle Street,” has it all, but he wants the one prize money can’t buy: his childhood sweetheart.
Alysia Villier can’t say if it’s worse having Andrew’s father in control of her inheritance or Andrew in control of her heart. He’s ruined her for any other man, but she simply can’t give in to him. She knows he’s destined for great things — marrying a courtesan’s daughter would jeopardize everything he stands for.
Keeping Alysia out of trouble and away from eager suitors becomes a cross-continental quest for Andrew, and he won’t be stopped by his old-fashioned family or the disapproval of the ton. After all, he’s a man with the power to play newspapers and investors like pawns, tumble world markets and incite riots… but can he win the biggest gamble of his life?
After being threatened with ruin by Andrew Tilmore Lord Preston’s parents, Alysia Villier runs away to Paris. With the help of people she thinks are her friends, she makes a living as a painter and an artist’s model. The same night she learns she’s in danger, her knight in shining armor comes to the rescue…
Perhaps the people around her were speaking; she couldn’t say, for she was momentarily stunned and not sure why. Then she heard the voice again. A British, bass voice. “Excuse me, pardon.”
Was it her imagination? She shook her head.
Evigny and Ramsgate were pushed aside, and there stood Andrew, a head taller than the others and gloriously angry. Her heart stalled then kicked. She couldn’t breathe.
He gave her a low, formal bow, pressed a slow kiss on the back of her gloved hand before turning it to press the palm to his face. He closed his eyes, inhaled deeply at her wrist, and grazed his nose along the inside of her forearm, as though hundreds of eyes were not observing.
One of the men nearby, probably Ramsgate, scoffed, “And without an introduction! Such presumption! Come now, who is—”
“We have met,” Andrew took her glass, and for the second time that evening, Leduc found himself holding it while another man cut in.
“Andrew.” Her voice caught, and her throat felt swollen. A dozen gasps sounded around her, seeming to echo.
She became aware of a chorus of lowered voices. “That is Lord Preston!” or jealously, “How does he know Miss Villier?” said as though her name meant horse manure.
“Lord Preston, The King of Threadneedle Street.”
“Lord Preston, youngest peer to sit in the House of Lords.”
All hail Lord Preston, the demi-god. Who should not be here.
Ignoring the protests, he led her to the dance floor just in time for the next waltz, oblivious to her wooden movements. He pulled their dance position completely closed. Pressed against him from shoulder to knee — oh, the shock! His thighs rubbed hers, leading the steps as he had over a year before at his sister’s wedding. It seemed ages ago.
Constrained in the corset, she couldn’t draw a clear breath. If the dizziness grew worse, she would faint in his arms. At least his shoulder blocked her view of the room. Alysia had no desire to survey all the curious and accusing glares she knew were aimed at her.
Oh, why did Andrew have to appear this evening? She felt like an opium addict locked in a closet saturated with the scent, smoke, and juice. Tentatively his fingers moved over the exposed skin of her back, across her shoulders, blazing a sensation strangely like fire and ice together.
His head turned a little and rested against hers. He hummed softly in her ear as though it was perfectly ordinary that they should be waltzing at a ball in Paris on a random autumn evening.
Bestselling author Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband, four children, and two possibly brain-damaged cats.
Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award winner, and ’12 NRCA “Best First Book” finalist. She’s the author of the bestselling “Rougemont” Historical Romance series from Eskape Press, and the “Network-One” Paranormal Romance series coming 2014 from Entangled Publishing.
Moriah is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates.
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