The Great Pick Up Line featuring
Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen
Most of us met our significant other through friends or online or at work or school. I met my husband through author Sophie Jordan. My husband is a good friend of her husband, and the rest is history.
In my newest book, Earls Just Want to Have Fun, Marlowe and Dane would never meet under normal circumstances. Marlowe is a thief living in the slums of Covent Garden in London. Dane is an earl who lives in posh Mayfair. He has no use for the poor, and the only use Marlowe would have for him is to rob him.
But these two do meet when Dane’s brother, an investigator who thinks Marlowe might actually be the lost daughter of a marquess, kidnaps her (while she’s breaking into a house), stuffs her into the earl’s coach, and talks Dane into taking her home. Marlowe is none too happy about being kidnapped, and Dane is none too happy about having a hellion in his coach. Rarely have two people not wanted to meet more.
Dane shot up and opened the curtains just as his brother’s voice called out, “Open the door. Open the bloody door!”
Dane threw open the carriage door, even though the conveyance was still moving. It slowed briefly and Brook threw a wild animal inside the carriage. Dane jumped back, out of range of the creature’s claws, just as Brook dove inside and slammed the carriage door. “Drive!” he yelled.
The carriage lurched forward, racing at a speed that could not be safe, even had they not been on the crowded streets of London. But he had no time to worry about the jehu’s dangerous driving. The creature lunged at him, scratching at his leg and managing to get a pretty good bite of his calf.
“Ow!” he yelled, shaking it off.
It fell back, and Brook threw a hood over its head. That confused it, and his brother took advantage of its disorientation and bound its hands.
Hands? It was human?
“What the devil is that?” Dane asked.
“It’s a who, and her name is Elizabeth,” Brook told him, teeth clenched with the effort it took to secure the knot in the rope binding its—her—arms.
“That is a woman?” A woman had just bitten him? Damnation but his leg hurt like hell. He peered closer and noted the dirty dress she wore. His gaze traveled upward…yes, she was definitely a woman.
“That,” Brook said, falling back into the squabs in exhaustion, “is Lady Elizabeth Grafton.”
Dane glanced at the woman again. He didn’t know who she was, but she was not the daughter of the Marquess of Lyndon. She was some sort of street rat. The smell of her alone was enough to prove bathing was not a luxury she frequently, if ever, enjoyed. And her language. No lady knew words like those she’d spewed at Brook. Dane didn’t even know some of the curses. And the dirt. He’d have his valet clean these breeches immediately.
“Are you feeling well?” Dane asked. “Have you hit your head recently?”
Brook glared at him. “It’s her.”
But before Dane could dispute him, the creature—female, if Brook insisted—must have caught her breath because she began thrashing around again. She couldn’t see with the hood over her eyes, and her claws were restrained, but she could still kick. Dane moved from one side of the seat to the other to avoid her quick feet. She would make a fearsome pugilist if her fists were as fast as her feet.
“I can’t take her to Lord Lyndon like this,” Brook said.
Dane frowned. He didn’t like the implications of that statement. When Brook didn’t go on, he suggested, “You could toss her back out on the street.” He looked out the window and saw they were in Mayfair now. Perhaps they should not unleash such a creature on Mayfair. They might keep driving and leave her somewhere safer. Somewhere like Scotland. Or the Americas.
“I’m not tossing her back on the street.”
The woman quieted, as though listening for her fate.
“We could put her on a ship. Australia might be far enough away.”
“No!” the wench cried and began thrashing again. Dane held out a hand to protect himself.
Brook rolled his eyes. “Dane.”
Dane spread his hands. “You said yourself she was a thief. That’s the least of the punishments she might receive.”
“True, but I was thinking we might reform her.”
Dane narrowed his eyes, and the girl spoke up for the first time. “I don’t want no reforming.” Her voice was muffled beneath the hood.
Dane pointed an accusatory finger at the woman. “You heard her. She doesn’t want no reforming.”
What’s your favorite romantic meet from a book or movie?
Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen
His heart may be the last thing she ever steals…
Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker-and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London’s Seven Dials. It’s a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she’s alone, she allows herself to think of a time before-a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.
Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.
Get it now!