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Authors: The Honor-Bound Gambler

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‘I have spent the time of this carriage ride in your company, my lord.’ She eyed him haughtily.

‘And?’

She shrugged. ‘And that has been quite long enough to assure me that the differences in our natures would not suit.’

Benedict’s frustration with this conversation, with this woman, grew by the minute. ‘Will you be attending Lady Hammond’s ball this evening?’

She gave an elegant shrug. ‘I am undecided as yet between attending the ball or enjoying a private supper with the Earl of Sandhurst.’

‘You are thinking of supping with Charlie Brooks?’ Benedict sat forwards on his seat.

Those blue eyes widened defensively at his obvious disdain. ‘The earl is not only charming and affable, but also as handsome as a Greek god.’

The Earl of Sandhurst was all of those things. He was also known to be one of the biggest lechers in London. Which no doubt perfectly suited Genevieve’s immediate plans for indulging in ‘adventure and fun’, following marriage to a man so obviously lacking in those attributes, a man she had bluntly stated she despised.

Could it be that Benedict’s own chagrin towards Sandhurst was irritation at being told he ‘did not suit’? Maybe a little, he conceded irritably. But really, to be passed over for that lightweight Charlie Brooks, of all men!

‘I have an engagement earlier in the evening, but the two of us could have a private supper together later tonight if that is what you believe you would find adventurous and fun?’ he heard himself offering.

‘I think not, but thank you for asking,’ Genevieve refused coolly.

‘Why the hell not?’ Benedict snapped.

‘Well, for one thing, I do not appreciate being informed I would have to take second place to your other engagement earlier in the evening.’

‘It is a business appointment!’

She shrugged those delicate shoulders. ‘Then I wish you more success with it than you have had with me.’

Lucifer glared. ‘You are being unreasonable!’

Genevieve gave him a pitying glance. ‘I am sure that there are many women who would appreciate your interest, my lord, but following so soon after my unhappy marriage, I believe I require something a little more...romantic than you appear to be currently offering.’

‘Romantic!’ He stared at her as if she had completely lost her senses.

Genevieve glanced out of the window. ‘It would seem we are arrived at my home, Lucas.’ She gave him a vacuous smile as she collected up her reticule in preparation for leaving the carriage. ‘Thank you for the carriage ride, my lord, it has been most...enlightening.’

He scowled darkly. ‘There are many ways in which to have fun, Genevieve,’ he drawled softly. ‘And I believe, if you were to reflect, that you would realise that I have a much better...understanding of them than Sandhurst.’

She raised her brows. ‘Perhaps one day I might consider comparing that...understanding, and so decide for myself if that is so, but not today.’

Lucifer frowned darkly. ‘You are being extremely naïve in believing you will only be asked to enjoy “adventure and fun” with one such as Charlie Brooks.’

Genevieve was having fun right now, if truth be told. She had been very young when she married Josiah, with little opportunity to flirt with other men before that marriage; but even so, she had absolutely no doubts that she had now piqued Benedict Lucas’s interest by refusing to be in the least attracted to his dark and brooding good looks.

She might indeed be as naïve as Benedict Lucas had just accused her of being in regard to the behaviour of the gentlemen of the
ton,
but she was not stupid, and a man such as he would obviously see no challenge whatsoever in the easy conquest he had so obviously believed Genevieve might be to his lazily arrogant charms. It was, she acknowledged with wonder, quite deliciously enticing to know that she had aroused the interest of such a dangerous and elusive gentleman...

She gave a shrug. ‘As I said, I wish to be wooed a little before I would ever consider taking any gentleman as my lover.’

‘Sandhurst—’

‘—sent me flowers and chocolates earlier today. Accompanied by a beautifully worded card.’ She smiled at the memory.

‘Only because he is hoping to entice you into sharing his bed later this evening!’

‘I am aware of that, of course,’ Genevieve acknowledged with a cool inclination of her head. ‘But Sandhurst hoping for such an outcome to the evening will not make it so.’

Had Benedict ever felt such frustration and anger with a woman before? He could not remember doing so. Indeed, he rarely if ever allowed himself to express strong emotions of any kind. Which was not to say he did not feel them, only that he chose not to reveal those emotions to others. ‘I fail to see anything in the least romantic in Sandhurst plying you with flowers and chocolates, and prettily worded cards...’ his top lip curled up with distaste ‘...for the sole purpose of expecting you to go to bed with him immediately after the two of you have dined privately together.’

Genevieve eyed him mockingly. ‘And would you not have expected the same from me, without benefit of flowers and chocolates and prettily worded cards, if I had agreed to meet you at Lady Hammond’s ball later this evening?’

He snorted his impatience. ‘If that is so, then at least I have been honest in my intentions.’

She gave him a pitying glance. ‘Perhaps too much so...?’

His nostrils flared. ‘You are an extremely aggravating woman, Genevieve!’

She gave a surprised laugh. ‘Now that truly is honest, Benedict.’

Those black eyes glowered across the carriage at her. He gave an impatient shake of his head. ‘You will find me at Lady Hammond’s ball later this evening if that should be your choice.’

She gave another cool inclination of her head. ‘I will keep your gracious offer in mind. Now, if you would not mind...?’ She glanced pointedly towards the carriage door, leaving Benedict with no other choice but to alight from the carriage before turning to offer Genevieve his hand as she stepped down beside him. She gave him another cool nod before turning to gracefully climb the steps to the front door of her home, which opened immediately for her entrance before closing firmly behind her.

All, Benedict noted broodingly, without so much as a backwards glance in his direction...

The Honor-Bound Gambler

ISBN: 9781460313688

Copyright © 2013 by Lisa Plumley

All rights reserved. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical,
now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of publisher, Harlequin Enterprises Limited, 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B 3K9.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

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BOOK: Lisa Plumley
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