The Great Pick Up Line featuring
Wicked Wager by Beverley Eikli
Set in 1780, the following scene takes place by a rose bush in the gardens of a country estate where Celeste unexpectedly meets Sir Peregrine and realises he’s the handsome stranger she kissed, then fled from, during a masquerade at Vauxhall Gardens two nights prior. Sir Peregrine uses the analogy of a rose to assure her that he *will* win her over, despite her reluctance…
“Lowering his head, as if to elicit some opinion on a deep red, velvet rose, he murmured, ‘Ah, the Apothecary’s Rose.’ He raised an eyebrow. ‘Now I have you all to myself.’
She wasn’t sure what to make of his words. Should she start with an abject apology for her behaviour? A declaration she was not in the habit of consorting with strange men? Neither seemed appropriate when his eyes were twinkling with suppressed humour. Bending to smell the rose, she managed, ‘I prefer to call it by its less pedestrian name, the Red Rose of Lancaster.’ Self-consciously, she brushed an escaped strand of hair from her cheek. Then, summoning up all her courage, she whispered as she cast him an appealing look, ‘Should I be afraid?’
The look he levelled upon her was one of singular calculation. He chuckled. ‘Woe betide The House of Lancaster, for they did not prevail, did they?”
by Beverley Eikli
*1780 – When a good deed thrusts virtuous Celeste Rosington into the path of a notorious libertine, she has no idea she has just become the terms of a very wicked wager!*
A dissolute rake, a virtuous lady, a ruthless society beauty and a missing plantation owner with secrets — just another day in Georgian England…
Wealthy Jamaican plantation owner Harry Carstairs has disappeared — and everyone wants to know where he is…
Celeste Rosington knows her place in society, and while she may not be overjoyed at her upcoming wedding to her detached cousin Raphael, she nonetheless hopes the marriage will be successful. When Raphael asks her for her help to save Harry, she agrees. But her decision costs her more than she knows…
Celeste’s clandestine visit to Harry’s home is witnessed, and her connection to Harry misconstrued. Harry’s secrets put Celeste into more danger than even Raphael understands, and throws her into the path of the ruthless, cunning, beautiful Lady Busselton and the dissolute, dangerous Lord Peregrine.
Raphael is invested in keeping Harry alive. Lady Busselton is invested in keeping him quiet. Lord Peregrine is invested in anything that staves off boredom. And Celeste is becoming increasingly invested in Lord Peregrine. After all, what resistance does an innocent young woman have against something so deliciously wicked?
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