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Married to the Viscount : The Swanlea Spinster Series : Book 5 - Sabrina Jeffries

Married to the Viscount

The Swanlea Spinster Series : Book 5

Paperback Published: 28th October 2014
ISBN: 9780060092146
Number Of Pages: 384

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Abigail Mercer was breathless with anticipation at being reunited with Spencer Law, whom she met once and later married by proxy. But now the dashing Viscount Ravenswood denies all knowledge of their union! Far too many witnesses have made it impossible for the secretive Spencer to reject his "bride" without causing a scandal. So he has proposed a marriage in-name-only until they can locate his mysteriously absent younger brother—who is responsible for everything!—and untangle this messy affair.

Abigail is incensed, irate . . . and irresistibly attracted to this handsome, infuriating man who hides his smoldering passion behind a proper exterior. So the lady will agree to his terms on one condition: Spencer must seal their bargain with a kiss. But he finds that one deep, lingering, unforgettable kiss isn't nearly enough. And keeping his hands off his pretty wife is going to be much harder than he thought.

About the Author

By the time Sabrina Jeffries was eighteen, she'd eaten chicken heads and jellyfish, been chased by a baby elephant, seen countless cobras and pythons, had the entire series of rabies shots, and visited rain forests and rubber plantations. But that wasn't enough excitement for her; to escape her mundane life as a missionary's daughter, she read romance novels.

Industry Reviews

"Sabrina Jeffries is a treasure!" -- Rexanne Becnel "Powerful Romance." -- Rexanne Becnel "One luscious romance filled with sensuous moments that will make your heart beat a little faster." -- The Oakland Press, MI "Another winner from Sabrina Jeffries - it sizzles with passion, humor, and adventure. You won't want it to end!" -- Christina Dodd "An intriguing premise...and well-drawn characters...add interest to this lively...occasionally bawdy romp." -- Library Journal "Dance of Seduction is a treasure of a book, written with wit, charm and burning sensuality. This skillfully written novel is an absolute pleasure to read. Anyone who loves romance must read Sabrina Jeffries!" -- Lisa Kleypas, author of Lady Sophia's Lover

Chapter One

Even the finest butler may blunder when announcing a surprise guest, but he should use the occasion to learn the correct styling. One never knows when a surprise guest may become important in his employer's household.

Suggestions for the Stoic Servant,

by the Butler to a Very Important Gentleman

London April 15, 1822

The bride-to-be was here. The groom-to-be was two hours late. As betrothal dinners went, this one qualified for fiasco of the season. Spencer, reluctant host of the fiasco, surveyed the immaculately appointed dining table in his London town house and sighed. How soon could he call an end to this painful ordeal and retreat to his study and his cognac? Probably not for at least another hour. Anything less would rouse suspicion among his twenty-six guests.

Thanks to his quick thinking and talent for lying, they didn't even know the dinner was a fiasco. And until he found out why Nat had disappeared, he had no intention of letting them in on the secret.

He glanced over at Lady Evelina, the bride-to-be. Thank God she'd apparently accepted his far-fetched tale. Like a china doll, she perched on her chair in cultivated perfection, blond ringlets framing her flawless brow, her cheeks pink but not rouged, and her gown the ideal hue for her porcelain skin. Only her sparkling eyes hinted at the sweet-natured girl Nat and Spencer had teased while she was growing up.

Catching his eye, Evelina dabbed daintily at her cupid-bow lips with a damask napkin. "I do hope they don't detain poor Nathaniel at the police offices all night. Did his note say how long it might be?"

That damned fictitious note. "No, but they'll probably keep him awhile," Spencer lied with all the practiced ease of a former spymaster. "He'll have to give testimony against the ruffian he caught snatching that woman's reticule."

"It was so brave of him to run off after the villain all alone," she said. "And then to insist on carrying that man to the police himself -- how noble of him!"

"Yes, Nat is nothing if not noble." That lie came harder in the face of young Evelina's starry-eyed loyalty.

Not that Spencer had any other choice. Engaging in a manly pursuit of justice was an acceptable excuse for not attending one's betrothal dinner; abandoning one's bride-to-be was not. Until Spencer knew the reason for Nat's apparent defection, he had to keep lying. Otherwise, Evelina and her widowed mother, Lady Tyndale, would suffer public humiliation. Which Spencer refused to allow.

Where the hell was he? When Spencer had last seen Nat an hour before dinner, his brother hadn't mentioned any plans to dash out. And although Spencer's butler McFee had seen Nat receive a message shortly after that, no one had seen the man leave. But no one could find him, either, not in the house or at any of his favorite London haunts.

Nat had simply vanished, and it looked deliberate. After all, how much trouble could one man get into in only a few hours?

Spencer sighed. Nat had acted strangely ever since his return from America a month ago -- he was inordinately interested in the mail, came and went at all hours, had mysterious meetings, and in general acted like a man still sowing wild oats instead of preparing to marry.

Now this. For God's sake, where was he?

"Well, I for one am surprised Nathaniel even had the presence of mind to send a note at all," Evelina's mother commented. "But the man is always so considerate."

"And noble, too," the woman sitting next to her added with a hint of sarcasm. "Let's not forget 'noble.'"

Wonderful. Now Lady Brumley was putting her nose in it. Why in hell had Evelina's mother invited a woman popularly known as the Galleon of Gossip? He should have paid closer attention to the guest list.

But with England's chaotic political situation occupying him, he'd had no time to plan the betrothal dinner Lady Tyndale had expected him to host. So he'd unwisely given that to her, his designated hostess for the evening. Somehow the intimate little affair he'd suggested had exploded into this assembly of London society's most prestigious -- and chatty—members. That's what he got for trusting a woman with the intelligence of a pea.

And there was still a betrothal ball to get through two nights from now. Fortunately, Lady Tyndale was hosting that at her home. Spencer shuddered to think what sort of production it would be. She'd probably invited half the ton to her ball.

If there was a ball. Given Nat's disappearance tonight, that was no longer certain.

He scowled. He wanted to see Nat settled, damn it. Twenty-nine was a good age for marrying, and twenty-year-old Evelina was perfect for him. Insane as it seemed, she'd apparently been in love with the idiot from girlhood, which was all a man could ask for.

"That note from your brother," Lady Brumley commented. "Might we see it for ourselves, Ravenswood? I shall have to write about the event for the paper, and I want all the details of Mr. Law's noble act."

What the nosy woman wanted was to uncover scandal. Clearly she hadn't believed his tale. Just what he needed -- the shrewd Lady Brumley voicing her suspicions in that infamous column of hers.

"I thought you had your own sources." Spencer sipped his claret with a carefully cultivated air of boredom. "Or have you grown tired of checking your facts?"

The woman answered his sarcasm in kind. "I suspect that if I wait until tomorrow for that, I'll hear only the official story. Since the London magistrates report directly to you at the Home Office ...

Married to the Viscount. Copyright © by Sabrina Jeffries. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

ISBN: 9780060092146
ISBN-10: 0060092149
Series: Swanlea Spinsters
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 28th October 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 18.2 x 15.2  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.19

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Sabrina Jeffries

About the Author

Raised amidst the rubber plantations in Thailand with missionary parents, Sabrina Jeffries likes to say she rode to her bestselling success on the back of an elephant. In truth, Jeffries has earned numerous placements on the New York Times and USA Today lists with Regency historicals that readers savor for her trademark sexy blend of witty dialogue and enterprising characters. It’s no accident she has been dubbed “The Queen of the Sexy Regency Romance.”

About that plantation business—living in the boonies of Thailand afforded Sabrina endless hours to read Jane Austen novels and other classics voraciously. Not surprisingly, back in the States, she went on to earn a doctorate in English literature from Tulane University—and a craving for Cajun food.

While Sabrina is at ease with refined academia types, she enjoys using her literary skills to pen novels of romantic fiction. She sold her first book in 1991 and has 35 published novels to her credit. Whenever she struggles with a plot point, she shuts off the computer and tackles a jigsaw puzzle, and before long, bingo! Problem solved. Another stress-reliever for the inventive author: creating her popular Will and Jane’s Excellent Adventure comics. Displaying Sabrina’s fine-tuned sense of humor, the comics feature a William Shakespeare caricature figure and a Jane Austen action figure.

Caffeine addict, Third Culture Kid, chocoholic, and popular novelist with more than six million books in print, Jeffries defies labels. Her biting humor and simultaneous warmth endear her to her 10,000 Facebook fans, Pinterest followers and loyal Goddess blog readers. At home in front of a crowd—any crowd (no really, just hand over the microphone and get ready for some fun)—Jeffries is a sought-after speaker, as evidenced by her 2010 gig as emcee for the National Romance Writers of America’s 30th Anniversary Awards Ceremony.

While Sabrina treks through remote locales in the name of research and rubs elbows in the big cities with other industry professionals, she says her favorite destination is home. She lives in Cary, North Carolina, with her two best guys—husband, Rene, and adult son, Nick, who has inspired her to actively champion the cause of autistic children.

Visit Sabrina Jeffries's Booktopia Author Page

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