ЛитМир - Электронная Библиотека

Anne grabbed the hilt of the sword. It came free of the scabbard with a satisfying hiss of metal.

She spun around. Simon had started to move toward her, but he was too late. As he took the final step she brought the tip of the blade up to rest against his throat like a lover’s caress. Simon stopped abruptly. The smile in his eyes deepened to something like admiration.

“I cannot believe,” he said, “that I was so careless.”

Lord Greville’s Captive

Harlequin® Historical

Praise for international bestselling author and RITA®Award finalist Nicola Cornick

The Rake’s Bride

“Vivid detail…rollicking tug-of-war…subtle humor…”

—Publishers Weekly

Bluestocking Brides

The Notorious Lord, One Night of Scandal and The Rake’s Mistress

“Intense sexual tension between best friends who are discovering they’re actually in love…very entertaining…a highly readable series.”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“The Notorious Lord…magically weaves dialogue between a spunky heroine and an irresistible rake that had me hooked through the entire book.”

—Romance Junkies

“Vivid evocations of the Regency…richly drawn and believable characters which you will hate to say goodbye to when you reach the final page.”

—CataRomance

Deceived

“Masterfully blends misconceptions, vengeance, powerful emotions and the realization of great love into a touching story.”

—4½ stars from Romantic Times BOOKreviews

Nicola Cornick

L ORDGREVILLE’S CAPTIVE

Lord Greville's Captive - fb3_img_img_af9a76f6-281f-5c5a-877a-1f7c604a6ebc.jpg

Available from Harlequin®Historical and NICOLA CORNICK

The Virtuous Cyprian #566

Lady Polly #574

The Love Match #599

“The Rake’s Bride”

Miss Verey’s Proposal #604

The Blanchland Secret #630

Lady Allerton’s Wager #651

The Notorious Marriage #659

The Earl’s Prize #684

The Chaperon Bride #692

Wayward Widow #700

The Penniless Bride #725

*The Notorious Lord #759

*One Night of Scandal #763

*The Rake’s Mistress #767

A Regency Invitation #775

“The Fortune Hunter”

Also available from

HQN™ Books

Christmas Keepsakes

“The Season for Suitors”

Deceived

Look for

Lord of Scandal

Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Prologue

Grafton, Oxfordshire, England

Summer 1641

It was high summer and the village of Grafton was garlanded for a feast to celebrate the betrothal of the Earl of Grafton’s only daughter to the eldest son of Fulwar Greville, the Earl of Harington. This dynastic match was no surprise, for the two Earls were old friends, one-time comrades in arms and godfather to each other’s children. It was a day of great rejoicing.

In her chamber in the west wing of the old manor house, Lady Anne Grafton’s women were helping her dress for the banquet.

‘Do you like Lord Greville, Nan?’ Anne’s young cousin Muna asked, as she slid the petticoats over Anne’s head in a ruffle of white. ‘He seems to me quite stern and cold.’

‘Like his sire,’ commented Edwina, Anne’s former nurse, with a shiver. She pulled Anne’s laces tight. ‘They do not call him the Iron Earl for naught.’

Anne laughed, stopping abruptly as the pull of the laces stole her breath. ‘Oof! Edwina, you are smothering me!’ She slipped obediently into the red velvet gown that her nurse was holding for her. ‘Uncle Fulwar is the kindest man in the world,’ she said, muffled. ‘As for Lord Greville—’ She stopped. The truth was that she did not know Simon Greville well, for all that their fathers had served together in the wars on the continent. Simon was eight years older than she and already a battle-hardened commander who had been commended for his bravery. Muna was right—there was something distant and a little stern in his demeanour, as though all that he had seen and done in his life had already made him older than she by far more than years.

In the week that the Earl of Harington and his son had been at Grafton, Anne had not spent any time alone with Simon. It was not expected. It might be her hand in marriage that he had come to sue for, but it was her father’s permission he needed, not hers.

And yet, there had been a moment that had taken Anne quite by surprise. Simon had ridden in late one evening when the full moon was rising high over the tall crops in the fields. Anne had, naturally, been curious to see him; although she understood that it was her duty to marry this man, there was a part of her that hoped that she might find him personable as well. Thus it was that she had been leaning out of the mullioned window, in a most hoydenish fashion, when the horses had clattered over the drawbridge and into the courtyard.

She had known that she should draw back in all modesty, but something had held her still, watching. The air had been warm from the heat of the day and full of the scent of honeysuckle. There had been no sound except the flutter of the doves settling in the cote.

Simon Greville had swung down from the saddle and then he had looked up, directly at Anne’s window. Instinct had prompted her to draw back. Curiosity had held her still. He had a hard, handsome face tanned deep by the sun, and he had raised his plumed hat and brought it sweeping down in a low bow. His hair was thick and dark, and a wicked smile had lit his eyes as he looked upon her. To her astonishment Anne had felt a shiver run all the way down her spine. All thoughts of duty flew straight out of the window. She had a suspicion that it might be an absolute pleasure to marry Simon Greville.

‘Look at my lady’s face!’ Edwina said now, her own beaming. ‘You like him well enough, do you not, my pet, and quite right too! I’ll wager Lord Greville is a lusty man who will make you happy.’

One of the maids giggled.

‘Edwina!’ Anne pressed her hands to her hot cheeks. She was seventeen, old to be unwed and painfully aware that her father’s protectiveness and his negligence in arranging her marriage meant that she knew little of these mysterious matters. There were girls far younger than she who were already mothers.

‘Peace, I beg you,’ she said. ‘I marry Lord Greville because it is Papa’s will.’

Edwina smiled. ‘That is all very well and good, pet, and indeed as it should be.’ She bustled around Anne’s head, fixing a circlet of silver in place. ‘But I have been thinking about the wedding night.’

Anne looked up. She remembered Simon Greville’s dark gaze upon her and gave a little shiver.

‘I have been thinking,’ Edwina continued, ‘that as you have no mama to speak to you, I should take that role.’ She gestured to Muna. ‘Come closer, pet. You must listen too, for no doubt you will soon be wed as well.’

Anne sighed. ‘Must we endure this, Edwina? I have a feeling that Muna and I shall be monstrously embarrassed at what you have to tell.’

Muna giggled. ‘Madam Elizabeth from the village told me that, as long as I kept quite still and closed my eyes and did not move, no matter what my husband did to me, I should prove a very satisfactory wife.’

вернуться

Конец ознакомительного фрагмента.

Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес».

Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию на ЛитРес.

Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.

вернуться

Конец ознакомительного фрагмента.

Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес».

Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию на ЛитРес.

Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.

вернуться

Конец ознакомительного фрагмента.

Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес».

Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию на ЛитРес.

Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.

1
{"b":"640605","o":1}