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By Anne Stuart

Longing for the downfall of Nicholas Blackthorne, the infamous rake whom she holds answerable for the lack of her advantage and her kinfolk fortune, Ghislaine de Lorgny is without warning kidnapped via her so much hated enemy.

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Never mind that she was on far too friendly terms with her unconventional employer and yet kept a careful distance from everyone who dwelled be-lowstairs. The staff at Ainsley Hall understood rank better than they understood their Scripture, and Ghislaine was ruler absolute. It didn't matter that she didn't seem to possess a last name. The staff called her Mamzelle and kept their opinions of her antecedents to themselves. It didn't matter that she was probably no more than thirty years old, and looked a great deal younger, with her reed-slim, boyish frame, her huge, shadowed eyes, and the features that in some other woman would be called elfin beneath the tied-back mop of chestnut hair.

The bleak expression left his face, and he suddenly looked years younger, and alarmingly attractive. "And don't think you can save me from my demons," he said casually. "Other women have made that mistake, only to be brought down with me. Run away, Ellen. Tell your cook to keep safe in her kitchen, tell your chambermaids to hide in their attics, tell the fathers to lock up their daughters. " Ellen's voice was gentle. He looked at her then, and she realized the bleakness hadn't left after all. It had simply settled in his dark, unfathomable eyes.

Not that she didn't try to treat Ghislaine the same way. But Gilly kept erecting walls as fast as Ellen tried to tear them down. " she demanded irritably. "He means I deloped, more fool me," Nicholas murmured. "Every now and then I have a noble moment. Jason Hargrove didn't choose to be amenable and accept the token apology. " "You needn't sound so surprised. " "Not necessarily. In Hargrove's case I assumed he'd be satisfied with my apology, or failing that, first blood. " she echoed, confused.

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