Masquerade with a Marquess
She searches for priceless treasures stolen from her. He agrees to help her. Together, they discover the most precious prize of all.
Sophia di Contini risks her life to sail to England alone and slip into the homes of those she suspects stole priceless treasures from her family during the wars. Discovered by Victor Cameron, she agrees to search for her art his way even though she’ll live in his house, yearn for his touch, pine for his kisses….
Five years ago, Victor had to give up Sophia. Now he vows to keep her near him and to protect her from men who would destroy her. He’ll help her find her precious art even if he risks the chance she’ll steal his heart away…again.
Read an Excerpt
December 23, 1819
“Do not wait for me, Lawton,” Victor Cameron told his elderly coachman as he took the last step down from his carriage.
“You’ll freeze to death out here. Return in two hours.”
“Right you are, milord.” The servant bowed, hurried up to his perch to grab the reins to the horses and ordered them off.
Victor flipped up the collar of his greatcoat against the snow flurries, bounded up the stairs to his friend’s front door and dropped the knocker.
“Good evening, my lord. Do come in.” Viscount Whiting’s butler took Victor’s hat, coat and gloves, ever efficient, eyes cast down in deference. “Lord Whiting receives in the front drawing room. The guests assemble there. Supper will be served soon.”
“Thank you. Carson, isn’t it?” he asked of the butler whom he had met only last week. The man was new in the employ of his friend Whiting.
“Yes, indeed, sir. Carson I am.” The man offered a broad smile at the honor of having a lord recall his name.
“Good. No need to take me up. Informal tonight, aren’t we?”
“Very much so, my lord. Up the stairs and second door on the right.”
“Has Lord Lansdowne arrived yet?” Victor wanted to catch a moment with his step-brother Dray to discuss the impending restrictions on public assembly. The two of them loathed the movement by many in Parliament to clamp down on public demonstrations and make assemblies illegal. The meetings among members of the House and Lords the past few days had been raucous and disturbing to Victor.
“Yes, my lord. About an hour ago. He is with the others.”
“Thank you, Carson.” Victor turned toward the stairs, eager to see both his step-brother Dray and his host.
Whiting was an old chum of Victor’s from years they’d spent tracking spies during the wars. They shared much, including views on politics, laborers’ wages and rights of men to assemble freely. Because peers were sitting in the special session of Parliament due to the recent bread riots, many of them had remained in London for the Christmas season. Whiting was given to hosting elaborate parties during the Christmas season and he saw no reason to break tradition because they worked long hours in Parliament. Tonight’s event featured supper after the opera. Victor hadn’t attended the performance, loathing the exaggerations of the actors, but with all the work he’d done on his own estate to talk with his tenants to ensure their health and welfare, he did welcome the diversion of a party. No more jovial place than at Whiting’s.
He climbed the stairs, the voices of the guests floating out to him and making quite a din. Good heavens. Exactly how many people had Whiting invited?