An Heiress in Disguise

 

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Hell will freeze over before Miss Philomena Aubrey willingly marries the insufferable Honorable Luther Whyte. Her mother had angled Mina’s quite hefty dowry in front of the vicar and secured him, but Mina still resisted. When Mrs. Aubrey threatens to force her into the marriage, Mina’s father hides his daughter with a friend of his as he leaves for an extended business trip.
A wounded war hero, burdened by guilt after inadvertently sending his French fiancée to death, Lord James Darling keeps his family as far away from his tormented heart as possible. But as he keeps bumping into his mother’s new lady’s maid, he grows suspicious—is she a spy?—and sets out to expose her, only to find himself mesmerized by her feistiness and her warm heart.

 

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“We both know you are anything but a maid, so please stop the knee bending.”
“Yes, my lord.”
“And stop calling me that.”
“Yes, my lord.”
“I said stop it.”
She kept quiet for a second more before lowering her gaze so he couldn’t see the twinkle in her eyes. “Of course, my lord.”
He surprised her by being quite resourceful, grabbing her chin with his strong fingers and forcing her to look him in the eye. “I said stop it.”
“Yes, my lord.”
“I mean it.”
“Of course, my lord.”
“Stop it before I do something we both will regret,” he said, lowering his head until their noses almost met.
Feeling his breath against her lips stirred something inside her, and she couldn’t hold back a shiver of delight. Mesmerized, she stared into his eyes, watching them as they turned warmer, burning into her. “Whatever you say, my lord.”
His gaze turned darker, hotter, and before she could think one straight thought he lowered his head until their lips almost touched. “What would you say if I do the unthinkable and kiss you?”
“Thank you?”
He stared at her for a second, as if in shock over her honest and direct approach. His normal coldness disappeared as he reluctantly smiled down at her. Slowly, he lifted one hand and put it around her neck, stroking the sensitive skin of her neck with his thumb.
“Remember that you asked for it,” he whispered.