Legend says that whomever possesses the St. John talisman ring will find their one true love. Now that the ring rests in the pocket of renowned scoundrel Brandon St. John, the dashing rake must decide whether it is a blessing...or a curse.
Never has the irresistible rogue, Brandon St. John, pursued a woman with more fervor--but his ardent suit of Lady Verena Westforth has a different purpose. The delectable blond lovely is indeed enticing, but Brandon suspects her of hiding a valuable missive that he has sworn to recover. With a sensuous kiss and a passionate caress he intends to lower Verena's guard...
and then discover where she's hidden "the goods."
Without the missive, Verena stands to lose the one thing dearest to her heart. And now an extraordinary man has entered her life...at the worst possible time! Vulnerable though she may be, Verena vows she will not be just another of Brandon's "conquests," even as she aches to melt in his arms. But is he a needed friend or a foe in alluring disguise...and will she be able to prove to him that love is their true destiny?
Brandon St. John is a very sensual man. Whenever
he looks at me, I get the most delicious shivers
right down to my toes, just as if -- Oh! Sorry. forgot I was talking to you.
Miss Liza Pritchard to her fiancé, Sir Royce Pemberly, on Bond Street, while shopping for a present for Sir Royce's sister
From the depths of a brandy-fumed slumber, Brandon St. John heard every word, recognizing his younger brother's voice instantly.
Damn it, what is Devon doing in my dreams? Devon was an annoyance when Brandon was awake. During sleep, he was a positive menace.
"He cannot be dead," someone else answered. "He's too stubborn to die in such a neat fashion, stretched out in his own bed."
Brandon groaned at the new voice -- it belonged to his half-brother, Anthony Elliot, the Earl of Greyley.
Just to make Brandon's dream a true nightmare, Marcus, his oldest brother, added in a deep voice, "Brandon is not dead; he was snoring when we came in."
"A pity we can't set him afire," Devon said cheerfully. "That would wake him."
Someone grabbed Brand's foot, jerking him the rest of the way into wakefulness. "Go away," he ordered, his voice muffled by his pillow.
Devon shook him again. "Rise, Brand! You've work to do."
"I've sleep to sleep, first," he muttered.
But there was no swaying Devon. "Get up!" he demanded.
Brandon started to lift his head, but the pounding behind his temples made him think better of it. "Poole!" he called in a rusty voice. Poole served as Brand's valet, butler, and general manservant. "Where is that man? I need my pistol."
"Pistol?" Anthony's voice deepened with amusement. "Are you going hunting?"
"Yes," Brand answered. "I'm going hunting for the damned rodents who've infested my chambers."
"Poole cannot fetch your weapon now," Devon said, always eager to spread bad news. "We told him we were famished and he's gone to find us some breakfast."
Bloody hell, what a horrid way to start the day. Brandon hated mornings. They were filled with annoyingly cheerful people who liked to aggravate other, more important individuals who needed extra sleep to make up for the fact that they had not slept the night before.
"Perhaps we should call for a nice cool pitcher of water," Anthony said, his deep lazy voice filtering through the air. "That should get this slugabed on his feet."
Brand pulled the pillow over his head. His throat felt like the bottom of a salt barrel -- scratchy and dry. And that was just the beginning of his complaints; his head ached, his stomach roiled, and the inside of his mouth tasted like chalk.
He had a vague memory of the night before. Of a beautiful woman with reddish gold hair and a card game where the stakes had gone from guineas to articles of clothing to other, far more stimulating wagers. Celeste was perfect for him in every way -- beautiful, intelligent, talented in bed, and married to someone else. No man could ask for more. Except Brandon.
Marcus's dry voice came from the foot of the bed. "It appears our brother has had yet another difficult night."
Brandon would have shrugged if it hadn't meant he'd have to move. Marcus was wrong -- it hadn't been a difficult night at all. And that was the problem. No matter how much Brandon enjoyed a dalliance, within two weeks he inevitably found himself looking for a new challenge.
The sad truth was that every amusement of late had seemed flat. Brandon was living beneath a horrible pall -- a feeling that somehow, some way, he was missing out on something important.
What maudlin nonsense. Brandy apparently had the unfortunate side effect of making one mawkish. From now on, he'd stick...