I ADORED A LORD
A Prince Catchers Novele
By Katharine Ashe
“Readers are in for a riotous good time in this Regency-set game of Clue…Ravenna and Vitor’s banter sparkles with wit and flirtation… A strong plot and exceptional dialogue will appeal to mystery fans as well as romance readers.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Sparkling and witty, with tender romance and sizzling sensuality.”
— Kirkus Reviews
She’s intended for his brother. He’s destined for adventure. Then an astonishing mystery throws them together, and all they want is each other.
Once upon a time a soothsayer foretold a glorious future for three orphaned sisters: one of them would marry a prince! On that day, the mystery of their past would be revealed. Award-winning author Katharine Ashe returns with a sensational second installment in the delectable Prince Catchers series in I ADORED A LORD (Avon; 7/29/2014; Paperback ISBN: 9780062229830; $5.99). Who is the mystery Prince Charming, and which sister will be his bride? Only time will tell…
When a wealthy young prince is looking for a bride, it’s only expected that the ladies from the finest families in England gather at his castle to choose who will be his princess. Dragged along to the event by her persistent sisters, hoydenish wallflower Ravenna Caulfield is much more interested in animal doctoring than prince catching.
When a handsome stranger kisses her senseless in the stable, the party suddenly gets interesting. Ravenna can’t possibly ignore their chemistry, or high society’s scheming maidens
competing for the prince’s hand in marriage. Snowbound in a luxurious castle with a delectable lord? Lord Vitor Courtenay is far too distracting, making it impossible for her to think of anything—including her future—but him.
Adventurer, warrior, master of disguises, and former monk, Vitor has a single purpose at the castle: to protect his princely half-brother from an assassin, all while playing babysitter to the potential brides. After a man is murdered, a dog worth thousands in gold goes missing, and Ravenna and Vitor find themselves wrapped in a mystery they’re perfectly paired to solve. But the closer they get to the murderer, and the more perilous their mission, the more Ravenna seems to end up in Vitor’s arms. As for the mystery of love, he’s not about to let her escape until he’s gotten what exactly he desires…
He was nearly a head taller than she and certainly the most handsome man she had ever stood so close to, with his shirt of close-woven linen and waistcoat of brocaded silk. The whisker shadow of the night before that had scratched her chin had gone; his cheeks were smooth and high-boned, his jaw firm. “You seem remarkably comfortable with all of this.”
“I was at war, Miss Caulfield. There is little that can discomfit me now.”
But that was not the entire truth. He was not at ease as he seemed to study her features now.
“As you can see, I have knowledge that can help you find the murderer,” she said.
“What suggested to you that I have any intention of pursuing such a course?”
“Of course you have, or you would not have brought the body here and bribed the servants to keep it a secret from everybody else.”
“I did not bribe them.”
“You must have. I would have. After you tell the prince, I suppose he will summon the local law to investigate. When it arrives, let me help.”
“I cannot in good conscience allow that.”
“Then allow it in bad conscience.”
“You must allow me to help.”
“And yet I will not, despite my wish to please you.”
“You don’t wish to please me. You wish to thwart me.”
“You are correct. In this at least.” His gaze slipped to her shoulder, then her arms she was hugging to her waist, passing over her breasts as though they were not there. “Your lips are blue. You must retire to the warmth of your bedchamber. I will instruct Monsieur Brazil to send up a maid to build your fire again.”
“Aren’t you concerned that the murderer might realize we have discovered the body and will know that I know about it, and will come after me?”
That muscle twitched in his jaw again, but she did not know if humor or pique inspired it. “Yes.”
“If you keep me close, he won’t be able to get to me easily.”
“Interesting choice of words from the woman who vowed not two hours ago that she would not in this life come close to me again.”
“To solve the mystery of the murderer,” she said, her tongue abruptly dry, “of course.”
“Ah.” A smile caught at the corner of his mouth, the dent peeking out. “Of course.”
“I have plenty to recommend me to this investigation that the local police will appreciate.”
“An expertise in deaths involving medieval armor, perhaps?”
“A female body.”
That stalled him. Again his gaze dropped but this time it more than grazed over her breasts; it lingered. “I will admit I am not seeing how that makes you an expert investigator to murder.” He lifted his eyes to hers. They were decidedly dark and not entirely focused. The night before, his eyes had looked like this when his body atop hers had become aroused.
“I can speak to the women at this party in a manner in which I suspect you cannot. In regular conversation that seems like gossip I can encourage them to reveal information that could be valuable to discovering why this man was murdered and stuffed into a suit of armor. I will investigate this murder whether you or the local police wish me to or not.”
There was a stillness about his contemplation of her that at once made her breathe more deeply and unnerved her.
“You have me against the wall, it seems,” he finally said.
“The moment I have cause for concern over your safety, I will remove you to the village.”
“You will do no such thing. You haven’t the right. I may not actually be a lady, but I am a guest of the prince—”
“Who will do as I advise.” He seemed entirely confident of this.
Suspicion prickled at Ravenna. “Who is to say you are not the murderer, and now that you know I have useful information you won’t dispatch me too?”
“None but me.”
She glanced into the darkness where the butler had disappeared, then back at the tall, dark man who had subdued her quite effectively in a stable the previous night. “This is the part where you pull out the bloodstained dagger, isn’t it?”
“Why wouldn’t I have done it earlier, before Monsieur Brazil knew of your involvement?”
“No doubt you only thought of it at this moment.”
“It seems I am carelessly shortsighted.”
“You are not the murderer?”
“Go to bed.” He grasped her fingers and tucked them around the lamp handle. For a moment his large, strong hand encompassed hers, and she thought that no man who murdered another could possibly have such a marvelously warm, gentle touch. Then he released her. “The prince will call the party together after breakfast. If you truly intend to assist in this—”
“You must have your wits about you.”
“I always have my wits about me.”
“I think I am coming to see that.”
“You haven’t dispatched me because you know you need my help.”
“Do I?” He took a half step closer. “Or perhaps I have not yet dispatched you because, as depraved as I am, when I look at your lips I can feel your body beneath mine in the straw. If I were to do away with you now, that scenario could never be repeated.” …
Ravenna Caulfield beats to her own drummer, as free spirit of sorts she has made her way in life doing what is not expected by a young lady in society. Finding a home with two elderly men and tending to their animals has given Ravenna a cause, until she loses a beloved pet and finds herself again unsettled.
When Ravenna is swept away to a bride hunt for a Prince, she can think of a hundred other things she would rather do. With an incident with a mysterious man and a dead body discovered, things are beginning to look up again for Ravenna who plans to be part of the investigation.
Lord Vitor Courtenay doesn’t know why Ravenna has caused his dormant body to come alive but he wants her. Now that she is not backing down and wants to uncover who the killer is, Vitor is struggling between protecting her and keeping himself on his toes when she is around. With a mystery to solve and a growing affection blossoming, I Adored A Lord is a charming story you wont be able to put down.
Delightful read, Ravenna is tenacious and you simply adore her from the first chapter. Vitor is a bit more stoic but something about Ravenna has him breaking out of his shell. This was humorous, romantic and bewitching. New to me author, definitely checking out more of this talented authors books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Award-winning, best-selling author KATHARINE ASHE writes intensely lush historical romance, including How To Be a Proper Lady, among Amazon’s 10 Best Books of 2012 in Romance, and eight other acclaimed novels set in the era of the British Empire. With the publication of her debut novel in 2010, she earned a spot among the American Library Association’s “New Stars of Historical Romance.” She was a nominee for the 2013 Library of Virginia Literary Award in Fiction, and in 2011 she won the coveted Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Romantic Adventure. Katharine is also a finalist for the 2014 RITA® Award, the highest honor in the romance fiction industry, for How To Marry A Highlander. She lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European History at Duke University, Katharine writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve high adventure and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about her books, please visit her at www.KatharineAshe.com.
I ADORED A LORD • By Katharine Ashe • On Sale: 7/29/2014
ISBN: 9780062229830 • E-book ISBN: 9780062229847
Avon Books • Mass Market Paperback • $5.99