Tycoon. Robber baron. Builder of ships, empires…and a fortune.
Few women can resist him.
But who wins when their choices are revenge—or love?
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About the Series
Those Notorious Americans, a family headed by a scandalous robber baron, ready to charm all of Europe with their wit, their good looks…and their fortune.
Money can buy anything. Can’t it? When American robber baron Killian Hanniford decides to expand his business empire, he sails to Europe in 1877 and takes his family with him.
His two daughters—Lily and Ada—are beauties, accomplished and educated. They want for nothing, except a chance to find husbands who love them for themselves, not their dowries.
His niece, Marianne, is a charming widow who wants for nothing…except perhaps an amusing and temporary lover.
Killian’s son, Pierce, is young, impetuous and too ruthless for any young woman to take on as a husband.
Even Killian himself—without a wife for many years but increasingly bored by his mistress—is shocked to learn he can fall in love.
Tragic, isn’t it, to learn that money can buy anything… but love?
Read an Excerpt
He swept her up into his arms and strode with her to the landing and down the hall to her door.
“Open it,” he said and carried her inside. At the side of her bed, he set her down.
She turned in his arms, her hands cupping his neck. “Thank you.”
What could he allow himself and still be a gentleman? Nothing but words. “You’re welcome.”
“You could let me go.” She shook back her long red hair, her voice was half teasing, half warning him.
“Good business ethics,” he joked.
She stroked the hair at his nape.
But he didn’t release her and she didn’t move. He grew hard, his blood racing with her soft touches.
“It’s not fair to take advantage of a tired woman.” Her eyes twinkled.
“I know.” He grinned.
“You are a rogue.”
“And you, Lady Savage, are a mad temptation.”
“I should insist.”
“Hmmm. I suppose so.” He considered the ceiling for a moment. “But this proper business behavior was all your idea.”
“Woe unto me.”
She gave him a saucy once-over and turned her back to him. “Do me the favor to unlace me?”
She’d brought no lady’s maid. Lily had not assigned her one. And given the nearness of her sweet body, he didn’t wish to summon one. “At your service, my lady.”
As she clamped two hands to the bedpost, his own hands shook. Desire rolled through him like thunder. He wanted her as he had not wanted any woman in more than a decade. He clenched his fingers and splayed them wide.
Turning, she caught his gaze. “Undo me,” she said and turned back again toward the post to whisper, “You already have, you know.”
“Minx,” he murmured in protest and praise. He made nimble work of her buttons and pushed her gown from her delicate shoulders and down her graceful arms. Her back was lean, muscular. Her skin was flawless, pink, perfect. She was too ripe a temptation and he was too prudent to seduce the exhausted woman who has just helped his daughter bring her first child into the world.
“Step out of it,” he ordered her and when she did, he picked up the gown to place upon the nearby chair. He untaped her petticoat and let it whoosh to the carpet. Then he set to untying her laces, listening to her tiny sighs of pleasure and controlling his desire to strip away the damn corset and replace it with his hands, his lips, his tongue.
He swallowed loudly.
She shrugged and the corset dropped down, down, down, over her petticoat, hooking on the cursed bustle and dropping to the floor. He untaped the bustle and her crinoline so that she stood only in her shift.
He itched to take that off, too. He breathed her in, her jasmine fragrance and hot little breaths of desire. With every inch of his rigid body, he willed her to be naked and natural in his arms. But not now, man. Not now.
He cleared his throat. “I’ll leave you.”
She didn’t turn, didn’t agree, but cupped her shoulders and nodded. Then she whirled to face him, her dark brown eyes hungry. “You won’t kiss me again?”
He pinched her nose. “You need your sleep. I need to go.”
She looked forlorn, confused. “You do. But oh…”
“Liv, if I stay, I may take you to that bed and not leave.”
She blinked, then laughed, coming back to her wits. “You’d get no joy of it. I can’t lift a finger let alone make proper love to that blackguard Killian Hanniford.”
She would welcome the passion that sparked between them? How could he be so fortunate? What had happened to her earlier denial of her interest in him? He’d have to ask, insist she tell him. But not now. He smiled at her, willing himself not to grab her and put her to the bed. “You’re tired. I am too. We’ll discuss this later.”
She caught him by the ends of his cravat and it unraveled in her hand. “Oh dear, I cannot even detain you properly.”
He chuckled. This ploy of hers was so sweet. But the time, the place was not right to claim all of her. “You could.”
She tipped her head, a teasing smile upon her luscious lips. “How?”
“Call me darling again.”
“Did I do that?” Her voice held uncertainty.
He said not a word, but arched one brow high.
She blushed, her cheeks fiery pink. “I must’ve been dreaming.”
“Do dream again.”
And then she shocked him to his core.
She flowed against him, the suppleness of her breasts and belly the spontaneous invitation to passion he’d craved from her. Her hands flowed up his chest to frame his jaw, then to sink into his hair. Rising on her toes, against his lips she whispered, “I prefer the reality.”
She skimmed her mouth along his, the brush of her flesh molten and angelic. She put the full of her lips to his and he was lost, gone to a bliss he’d forgotten existed, filled with the new rapture that was kissing Liv Bereston.
He set her from him.
She looked bereft, her mouth turned down.
He slanted two fingers across her swollen lips. “There will be more. Not here. Not now.”
She was so tired, she wavered.
He caught her up in his arms and seizing the will power that had forged him into a wealthy man, he set her to the bed. He yanked the coverlet over her. “Go to sleep. Rest.”
She cupped his cheek.
Unable to deny her, he bent low, caught her hand and pressed it to his heart. With a tenderness he summoned from the fathomless well she’d shown him existed in her own soul, he kissed her magnificent mouth. “We need you. All of us.”