The night Victoria Conrad runs away doesn’t turn out at all like she planned. After being accosted by two ruffians, she is rescued by the Earl of Carlisle’s coachmen and taken to his country house—only to discover she is his prisoner! The doors aren’t locked but the winter is severe, and she is prevented from walking to freedom by the snow.

Horribly scarred from painful injuries, Alastair Saville returned from the war a broken and lonely man, the last heir to an earldom he doesn’t want. The previous earl and his son, Alastair’s uncle and cousin, perished aboard a ship lost in the channel, but it is the wrongful death of Alastair’s beloved sister that sets his misery afire and makes him seethe for revenge.

Alastair kidnaps Victoria to prevent her marriage to Ellison Montgomery, heir to the Montgomery barony, whom he blames for his sister’s death. Alastair intends to bring the man to ruin through poverty and scandal, but once he has Victoria as his unwilling guest she ceases to serve as an anonymous tool in his quest for vengeance. She is vivacious, outspoken and alluring, and she brings light into Alastair’s shattered existence.

But Alastair is a dying man, and has only these last few days to enjoy her company as he dreams about life as a man whole, and what might have been.

" A light enjoyable read that will make you forget what’s ailing you..."
Lori, Romancing the Book

 

from Chapter One
Prologue

Albert’s Royal Hall, London

“You must bring her to me.”

She was an angelic vision in white silk and floating organza. Victoria Conrad held him spellbound, despite his vow to bring ruin to all those closest to her.

She stood from the piano bench and bowed to the audience, this performance no less breathtaking than the last. A rush of applause filled the concert hall. It crashed over his hypersensitive head like thunder. London’s newest sensation bowed daintily, accepting their admiration with modesty. So small and delicate, just looking at her one would never expect she could bring forth such intensity from a piano.

Alastair Saville, Seventh Earl of Carlisle, finally dragged his gaze away. He expected no less than the uneasiness he found in his man’s eyes.

“If you want me to have any peace before I expire, you will do this.”

Alastair stood from the velvet seat and swept his cloak over his shoulder, pausing only to make certain the leather mask completely concealed his scars. Without a backward glance he strode from his private box.

 

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