Nationally bestselling author Elizabeth Thornton returns with a wickedly tempting new tale of scandal, intrigue, and daring proposals. . . .
From dueling at dawn to fighting at Waterloo, Jack Rigg, Earl of Raleigh, has seen his share of danger. But now he faces his greatest fear: wedlock by ambush. It began in Paris, when he rescued an alluring cardsharp named Aurora from a tavern brawl. In the safety of Jack’s rooms they shared a passionate embrace. He never suspected their compromising encounter would change his life completely. . . .
The idea that a poor vicar’s daughter should marry Jack Rigg might be amusing–if it weren’t so imperative. When she last saw Jack, Ellie Hill was disguised as “Aurora,” indulging her gift for gaming. Now she’s in trouble with the law–and Jack is her alibi. She must hope he’ll be more of a gentleman than he was to Aurora. But as they forge an unlikely and increasingly amorous alliance, someone with a deadly agenda wants to end their union before it begins.
As multilayered as a wedding cake and just as delectable, this first installment in Thornton's new Regency-era trilogy focusing on Lord Jack Rigg and his friends, Ash and Brand, finds Jack fleeing London (and a gaggle of marriage-minded mamas) for Paris. There he meets impoverished Ellie Hill, who serves as companion to a domineering woman, but at night exercises her card-sharking skills under the guise of the glamorous Madame Aurora. Ellie remembers Jack as the youth who boarded with her eccentric family and who was the object of her first crush. He, however, doesn't recognize her until circumstances, involving a theft and murder, whisk them on the path to matrimony. Thornton (Shady Lady) effectively works in the suspense subplot, which is intriguingly elaborate but not brooding, with the froth and fun of the romance story line, and she excels at creating likable characters who play well off of each other. A memorable start to a new trilogy and a fine introduction to Thornton's work, this book may very well win the author another RITA nomination (her books have received five thus far).