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A seductive Welsh earl on the brink of ruin. A wealthy cit in search of a hero.
Miss Evelina Franklin reads too many romance novels. She’s certain a handsome duke—or dashing highwayman—is in her future. In the meantime, Evie entertains herself with the admirers vying for her fortune.
The Earl of Brecken needs cash. His late father left their Welsh estate in ruin, and his mother will not let him rest until it is restored to its former glory. Notorious for his seductive charm, he searches the ballrooms for a wealthy heiress. His choices are dismal until he meets Miss Franklin. Guileless and gorgeous with an enormous dowry, she seems the answer to his prayers. Until his conscience makes an unexpected appearance.
Read an Excerpt
Brecken Castle, 1815
“My final year of university is finished. Are you sure you want me to leave again so soon?” Madoc leaned against the mantel, the smoldering peat in the grate hot against his trousers. The September sun poured through the floor-to-ceiling windows and mocked the thin, dour man wrapped in heavy wool blankets.
The silence stretched. Perhaps the earl had fallen asleep. His gaze fell on his father’s bony fingers, clutching a shawl around his rounded shoulders as if it were his last defense. Madoc swallowed as his father’s gaze narrowed. The hazel eyes, passed down to his only son, sparked with anger.
“Do you think I cannot manage my own affairs because I cannot walk?” rasped the earl, batting at a limp strand of gray on his forehead. “Do you think the inability to use these feckless limbs affects my brain?”
“No, Father, but I believe it has affected your spirit.” He went down on one knee and took a cold, papery hand in his warm clasp. “Please, let me take you for a ride in the carriage, get out and see some of your tenants. Your soul is in this land.”
“I don’t need you to take me anywhere. If I wanted to leave my home, I’d do it.” The old man bellowed with surprising volume. Then his shoulders slumped, as if the admonishment had depleted what little energy he’d possessed. “Go! Enjoy your youth while you have it. Lady Fortune is a fickle, evil woman. You never know how long happiness will stay perched on your shoulder.”
Madoc was finished. What had he been thinking? His father had no idea how hard it had been to get leave right after Waterloo. Then again, his family didn’t know he was working for the Home Office. He hadn’t been at university for the last year. He’d been in Belgium. His Grand Tour would provide the perfect ruse for a spy to be abroad. He stopped at the front door, his palm on the cold handle of the door, a final glance at his home. It may be years before he was able to return. If he returned.
About the Author:
Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule, and barn cats. Obsessions include wine, history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas. Her Chicago Christmas series has received the Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and twice nominated as a Rone finalist by InD’tale Magazine.
Aubrey’s first love is medieval romance but after dipping her toe in the Regency period in 2018 with the Wicked Earls’ Club, she was smitten. This inspired her spin-off series Once Upon a Widow and the Scottish Regency series A MacNaughton Castle Romance with Dragonblade Novels.
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