Fans of Eloisa James & Julia Quinn discussion

Monday Puzzler > Monday Puzzler 25 July 2016

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message 1: by Rachel (last edited Jul 25, 2016 04:28PM) (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments I guess I have a thing for smart asses....or asses in general. I fell in love with my husband because he was ass hat (we were in the air force as aircraft maintainers so it was appropriate), so no surprises that I love a hero that is equally a dick. I love this scene because the Hero just simply could care less what the Heroine is going through and I love his sarcasm!!! I feel like this could be my husband. And it makes it so much sweeter when the hero is nice because it's genuine. Sorry for the late post I had to work today because apparently retiring at 31 isn't a thing ;P

“Let’s get on with it, shall we? I’ve a business to get back to.”

Hero voice was rough, as though he spent a good deal of his time screaming until his throat was raw. Yet, it also reverberated with a pleasing quality Heroine couldn’t quite explain. She could imagine him whispering near a lady’s ear, tempting her toward disgraceful behavior.

“Yes, of course,” Mr. Solicitor said. He picked up a long sheaf of parchment. “The will contains quite a bit of legal terminology which, with your permission, I shall not bother to
“Just tell me why the bloody hell I’m here, so I can go.”
Heroine gasped.
Hero gave her a disdainful look, the first time he’d bothered to give her any attention at all since they’d been introduced and taken their seats.
“Good God, don’t look so appalled.”
Considering the manner in which he was suddenly studying her, Heroine had a strange desire to check her buttons and make certain they were all properly done up.
“I must insist vulgar language not be used in my home. I can’t remain if you’re going to be blasphemous.”
“I don’t give a damn if you remain or not.”
“Mr. Hero,” Mr. Solicitor interrupted emphatically, an edge to his voice indicating he, too, might have reservations about the present company, “the duke insisted you both be in attendance. I shall get to the matter at hand, posthaste, before your patience deteriorates any further.”
He cleared his throat and began to read: “I, , being of sound mind and body, do bequeath to my legitimate son and heir to my titles, SON, all my entailed properties, as well as the assets and income derived from them.”
Heroine nodded with satisfaction. She’d expected as much. It was only a bit of formality to state so in the will.
“To my devoted wife, , mother of my heir—”
Blinking back the tears stinging her eyes, she wished Hero wasn’t present to witness this portion of the reading. Her husband’s last words regarding her were private and personal.
“— I bequeath a trust that if properly managed should provide her with two thousand pounds per annum as long as she lives. To Mr. Hero—”
Heroine barely had time to acknowledge the disappointment he’d not left her the residence, before her attention was snagged by the fact that at long last, the reason for the ridiculous summons of Hero would come to light.
“— I bequeath the remainder of my worldly assets, save one item, on the condition he
serve as guardian and protector of my heir until the child reaches his majority or my widow marries and her husband assumes the role. When either of the stated conditions are met, Mr. Hero will receive the final item— its value immeasurable.”
From a seemingly great distance, Heroine became aware of a rushing sound between her ears, like the beating wings of a thousand ravens fleeing the tower of London and signaling Great Britain’s downfall. She was vaguely aware of paper crackling, as Mr. Solicitor laid down the will.
She couldn’t have possibly heard correctly. Her temples had begun to throb the moment her husband had tumbled down the stairs and taken a mortal blow to the head. The grief she was experiencing at the unexpected loss was playing havoc with her mind, causing words to jumble and lose their true meaning. As she tried to comprehend how that could be, how she could force them back into signifying what they were supposed to, Mr. Solicitor picked up a black leather-bound book and extended it toward Hero.

“This ledger contains a listing of all the non-entailed assets which will become—”
While Heroine watched in stunned horror, Hero snatched the book from Mr. Solicitor’s grasp before he’d finished speaking, opened it, and began quickly scouring the pages, each turn of the page a rasp against her brittle nerves.
Mr. Solicitor lifted another ledger and extended it toward Heroine. “For your review, a listing of the entailed assets which go to your son.”

Heroine shook her head.
“I must beg your forgiveness, but I don’t quite understand the meaning of all this.”
“From the moment the titles passed to him, your husband kept precise records indicating which properties and assets were part of the entailments—”
“No, no. I’m referring to the will; you misread it. You indicated that Mr. Hero is to serve as guardian.”
“Yes, that was the duke’s wish.”
“No, Squishy Fishy is my son. I am his guardian.”
“The law recognizes only the father as guardian. Upon the father’s death, if the child has not yet obtained the age of one and twenty, the father must appoint the guardian in his will.”
With no emotion whatsoever expressed, Mr. Solicitor sounded as though he were reading from a parliamentary document.
“I’m sorry, Your Grace, but your husband’s decision cannot be challenged.”

“Not be challenged?”
Heroine came to her feet in such a rush that she almost lost her balance. Mr. Solicitor also rose, while Hero remained seated, hungrily devouring the contents of the ledger. Obviously the man hadn’t a clue regarding proper behavior when in the presence of a lady, but then she suspected the women who normally provided him with company would hardly be considered ladies.
“Have you lost your mind? Somehow you managed to misunderstand my husband’s intent. He can’t possibly have meant to let this scoundrel—”
“It says here this residence and everything within it is mine,” Hero suddenly announced, and Heroine’s composure came almost completely unhinged.
Not this residence, not the one place she had worked so hard to make a home. Hero unfolded his long, lean body, dropped the ledger on the desk with a loud thump, and leaned ominously toward Mr. Solicitor.
“Is this some sort of prank?”
Mr. Solicitor, to his credit, stood valiant against the devil’s advance. “I assure you, Mr. Hero, this is no prank.”
“You’re telling me a man I barely knew is leaving me”— he jabbed the ledger with a blunt-tipped finger—“ all of this?”
“You knew my husband?” Heroine asked, stunned by the revelation.

He had the audacity to wave his hand at her as though she were insignificant, to be dismissed with no more thought than one might give a beggar pleading for coins.
“Yes, Mr. Hero, it appears that is in fact the case,” Mr. Solicitor said.
“And what of his debts?” he asked caustically. “I suppose I inherit them as well.”
“There are no debts. The duke didn’t believe in credit. He paid as he went.”
That seemed to give Mr. Hero pause, before he splayed his long, slender fingers over the ledger. “And the final item is more valuable than all of this?”
“As indicated in the will, its value cannot be measured.”
“Do you know what it is?”
“I do. It’s to remain in my possession until such time as it’s to be handed over.”
“He trusted you with something of immeasurable worth?”
“He trusted me with everything, Mr. Hero.”

Mr. Hero seemed to consider that.
“An item the value of which cannot be measured could be worth nothing.”
“If I had to measure its worth, I would declare it the most valuable item the duke ever had the pleasure to possess.”
“Bloody hell,” Mr. Hero said quietly in that raspy voice he possessed. “I need a drink.”
In spite of the ludicrousness of the entire situation, Heroine felt all her appropriate upbringing and her need to be the perfect hostess shoot to the fore.
“Shall I have a servant bring you a cup of tea? Or some lemonade perhaps?”
Mr. Hero glared at her with eyes as black as his unredeemed soul. “I was thinking whiskey, gin, rum. All three if you have them.”
“We don’t keep spirits in the residence,” Heroine said sharply, her indignation suddenly very much alive.
“Of course you don’t.”

“I don’t appreciate your tone, sir.”
“As though I give a damn what you appreciate.”

Oh, the man was infuriating. Then he did the strangest thing. He slowly prowled the room, hungrily glancing around as if about to pluck and tuck everything into his pockets. Although now he no longer had a need to pilfer anything. It had all been handed to him on a silver platter. After several long moments, he returned to the desk and stared intently at Mr. Solicitor.
“Everything within this residence is mine?”
“Everything,” Mr. Solicitor said somberly, as though he felt the weight of that single word on Heroine’s heart. “On the condition that you—”
“Yes, yes, serve as the heir’s guardian. Unlike the duchess, I have no difficulty comprehending the simplest of terms when they’re laid out for me.”

message 2: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2101 comments Mod
I definitely haven't read this. (You might want to edit out the heroine's name--it's in one place)

message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments Crap! I will when I get home; thanks for the heads up!They need to add editing to the app!

message 4: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 896 comments I know it! Got it as soon as hero was named guardian! One of my favorites from this series!

(The hero's name is in there too, Rachel - toward the end)

message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments Ok all fixed! Sorry for the errors!

message 6: by Priya (new)

Priya (priyachennareddy) Sounds familiar, but I am not sure!

message 7: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1206 comments OMG WHAT IS IT????
I haven't read it but I need to read it NOW lol
Rach you always have the best recommendations for books!
Squishy fishy...I literally snorted in the office reading that! hahahahaha

message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments Hahaha that's my youngest sons nickname (bc he is Squishy and likes to make fishy faces)....the older one is Boney Roni (bc he is Boney but likes Macaroni)?

message 9: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1206 comments Rachel wrote: "Hahaha that's my youngest sons nickname (bc he is Squishy and likes to make fishy faces)....the older one is Boney Roni (bc he is Boney but likes Macaroni)?"


message 10: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (cvenable16) | 136 comments Can't wait to hear what this one is.

message 11: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1281 comments Don't know it but definitely want to. :-) ♥

message 12: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1923 comments Mod
I have no idea. *weeps*

message 13: by Janice (new)

Janice | 30 comments I finally know one of these! I love this author and this series. Great choice, Rachel! I think you all will be surprised....

message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1036 comments Yes! This was a good one, and the start of an excellent series.

message 15: by Phoenix77 (new)

Phoenix77 | 346 comments It sounds interesting. Looking forward to the reveal.

message 16: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1206 comments Omg Rach!!!!! What is it??????????? I finished Bet Me last night and I'm dying to read this one !!
PS i know you're probably working

message 17: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments Ok the book is by Lorraine Heath, it's the 2nd book in Scoundrels of St James Series BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND DESIRE - I love this series!

message 18: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1206 comments oooh! i haven't read it! not sure why as i really enjoyed book 1! which I read back in 2015! lol
Thanks Rachel!

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