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Monday Puzzler > July 9: Setting him free

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message 1: by Dls (last edited Jul 11, 2018 04:23AM) (new)

Dls | 2102 comments Mod
When I was picking a puzzler, I went back and checked. This author has only been posted once before, which is surprising.... I nearly chose another bit, but I think its really so memorable it wouldn't be a good puzzler. I'll post that when I do the reveal on Tuesday.


In moments she was downstairs trying to remember her earlier explorations and choose a likely room. She made her decision and walked boldly into his study.
Hero lay in bed, reading by candlelight.
He started and half-rose, but then relaxed back on his pillows. “Trying to terrify me to death? I thought you were [heroine’s brother].”
Heroine’s heart beat so fast she feared she’d turn dizzy. “You don’t seem surprised to see me.”
He closed his book and put it aside. “I’m surprised. But with you I’ve come to expect the unexpected. To what do I owe the honor of this visit?” He was decorously clothed in a white nightshirt, and neatly tucked into the narrow bed. But his brown hair hung loose and the reflective candleholder close to his head gave it a golden aura. A wave of love and lust engulfed Heroine, threatening her mission.
Then she noticed the frame holding the bedclothes off his leg and she just wanted to take care of him. “Does your leg still pain you?”
“Frequently. I thought [heroine’s sister] took back regular reports.”
“Regular, but not detailed. I’m sorry you were shot.”
“I don’t think you were responsible. Were you?”
“Of course not!”
“With a [Heroine’s last name] all things are possible.” He threw the family saying at her like a knife. Just like old times. Squabbling again.
Heroine carefully extracted his pistol and put it on the table. “I wanted to return this.”
“Thank you. You could have sent it as you sent other items, however.”
“I wanted to speak to you.”
“We spoke today.”
“In private.”
With a sigh, he spread his hands. “I am here, and you would have to sting me viciously to persuade me to move. By all means, say your piece.”
Heroine sat in a chair, forcing herself not to show how much his words hurt. She’d expected this, hadn’t she? Clearly he didn’t feel the same powerful attraction he did. To him, she was merely importunate. Doubtless he planned to marry Lady Lydia, and thought the fact that she was a sweet innocent a bonus rather than a handicap.
So be it.
“First,” she said. “I want to apologize for anything I might have done to hurt you.”
“Accepted.”
“Second”—and she looked at the scrolls, the fan, and the toy on a table by the bed—“I will bother you with no more gifts.”
He too glanced at her offerings. “Ah. They have enlivened the tedium of convalescence. Why stop now?”
“So you won’t offer for Lydia North in retaliation.:
He looked back at her then. “You do think me a shallow fellow, don’t you?”
“No!”
“No? You think I would spoil the life of a charming girl merely to hit back at you?”
Heroine shook her head, trying desperately to understand. “You wouldn’t spoil her life. You’d make her a wonderful husband.”
“Are you carrying my child?”
The question caught her her unawares, though she’d planned to tell him. She knew she was flushing as she said, “No.”
He leaned back, watching her from beneath lids so low they effectively blocked interpretation. “We were lucky, then.”
“Yes, very.”
If he wanted it this way, she could play the game. She crossed her legs as her brother would do. “So, you have no intention of marrying Lady Lydia?”
“Not in the near future.” He shrugged. “Next year, or the year after, who knows? She is a delightful young lady.”
“But young.”
“Desist!” In a completely different term he added, “I kissed her today.”
Heroine caught a breath. “And escaped uncommitted? A miracle!”
“I’m sure you have been kissed many times and yet escaped bondage.”
“But then, despite the clothes, I’m not a man.”
“And such matters are much more hazardous for us. Unfair, really, wouldn’t you say?”
____
He held out a hand."Kiss me heroine. The earl of [his family name] has never been kissed by lady heroine [her last name]. "
She sat on the edge of his narrow bed. "He won't be now. I'm still in disguise of sorts."
"What is real, what is disguise?"
Heroine looked at him, lying back on his snowy pillows in a pristine white night gown, his wavy hair loose on his shoulders.
She chuckled.
"What now?" he asked resignedly but with humor in his eyes.
"Its just that with me here in men's clothing, I'm sure this looks like one of those scandalous pictures of the amorous suitor about to ravish the trembling maiden."
He fluttered his lashes. ""I'm prepared to scream, sir. But I might permit a kiss."


message 2: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1281 comments Nope, I don't think I know this one.


message 3: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1207 comments No idea!!!


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1045 comments About 40 percent in, we have a "tos how how" which is difficult to interpret. Could a spelling error have crept in?

The gender-bent element at the end made me chuckle. How will his maidenly vapors survive?


message 5: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2102 comments Mod
Sorry it’s a spacing error and I will fix when I’m on my computer. It should be “to show how”


message 6: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1925 comments Mod
That family motto is soooooo familiar. This is going to niggle at me all day!


message 7: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 896 comments Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking, Manda. So, I know I've read it but I just can't place the book.


message 8: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2102 comments Mod
Heh heh. My work here is done.


message 9: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2102 comments Mod
It’s Something Wicked by Jo Beverley. And here’s the part I think anyone would remember. Lisette is the name Elf used during their escapade—he just learned that she is Elfled Malloren, from a family he then considers his enemies.

Rothgar turned to her, brows raised. “He is bound. I wouldn’t dream of it. But I could bear to know your feelings toward him.”

She found it surprisingly difficult to give an honest response. “I …I do care for him. He didn’t force me or seduce me—“

“Lisette!” exclaimed Fort maliciously. “Are you forgetting when I took you prisoner and tied you to my bed?”

“Oh be quiet! I remember perfectly well that you didn’t offend against me at all when you had me bound. And last night I had the very deuce of a time to get you to agree to…to what we did.”

“Sex on the floor,” recalled Fort. “Sex in the bed. Sex on a coffin…”

Face flaming, Elf clenched her fists and let out a cry of pure exasperation.

“…sex, now that I think of it, in the coffin.” He turned to her with a deceptively bland expression. “I’m quite surprised, actually, that you can walk.


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1045 comments (Fanning myself)... this is just too Hot for a hot day here in Arizona. I'll have to get this one.


message 11: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1207 comments whoa!!!
OOh! I am intrigued. I have never read this and I just checked and I have only read one (YES ONE) Jo Beverley book! This seems to be a rather large gap in my HR reading! Off to Amazon i go!


message 12: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1925 comments Mod
I'm ashamed I missed it. I need to do a Malloren reread. Great pick, Deb!


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