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Authors: Katherine Bone

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The Rogue’s Prize

BOOK: The Rogue’s Prize
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Duke by Day, Rogue by Night

Katherine Bone

Avon, Massachusetts

This edition published by

Crimson Romance

an imprint of F+W Media, Inc.

10151 Carver Road, Suite 200

Blue Ash, Ohio 45242

www.crimsonromance.com

Copyright © 2012 by Katherine L. Bone

ISBN 10: 1-4405-5743-8

ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-5743-9

eISBN 10: 1-4405-5744-6

eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-5744-6

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters,

corporations, institutions, organizations, events, or

locales in this novel are either the product of the

author’s imagination or, if real, used fictitiously. The

resemblance of any character to actual persons (living

or dead) is entirely coincidental.

Cover art © istockphoto.com / ©talymel

This book is dedicated to my Rogue,

Rebel & Rake, my husband and beloved

friend.

Contents

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALSO AVAILABLE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Duke by Day, Rogue by Night
, or

Master and Commander
meets the

Scarlet Pimpernel
, is the book of my

heart, dear reader. The idea for this

book developed after learning a

fascinating detail about Admiral Nelson.

He was never without his tea. As a

result, Nelson’s Tea, first sons from

every tier of life, men above reproach,

alpha males willing to do anything to get

what they want, using wit and verve to

win the day, was born.

I look back on the wonderful

people who’ve influenced my writing

with great appreciation and thanks. This

book was a collective effort of family,

friends,

critique

partners

and

professionals in the publishing industry.

No contribution was too small. No

amount

of

encouragement

underappreciated.

There are those who will never see

this book: my grandparents, who

instilled in me a love of education, the

arts, and history. My great uncle and my

father, my two greatest champions

whose unfailing support, and willingness

to read my very first book, fed my spirit

and pushed me to keep writing when

doubts crept in. And to Beverly Barton,

mentor and friend, who taught me to

value the choices I’d made and

continued to assure me one day my ship

would come in. Thank you! I will never,

ever forget you and will carry your

memory with me always.

I cannot go without thanking my

mother, my great aunt, and my brother

for their sustained faith in me. Nor my

husband’s family who always believed

that I would succeed no matter how long

it took. For this and so much more, thank

you. And most of all, I offer special

thanks to my wonderful children and

grandchildren. I hope you now know that

no dream is ever too far out of your

reach.

To the Romance Writers of

America, Heart of Dixie and Southern

Magic Romance Writers RWA, the Beau

Monde and the Hearts through History

Online Chapters, I thank you for your

immeasurable guidance. To Andrea

Laurence, Betty Bolte, Bonnie Gardner,

Cathy

Stewart,

Christine

Glover,

Danniele Worsham, Debby Giusti,

Debra Webb, Heather Leonard, Jade

Lee, Kate Lyon, Kimberly Lang, Linda

Howard, Linda Winstead Jones, Lynn

Raye Harris, Marilyn Puett, Melanie

Dickerson,

Patricia

Preston,

Pat

Trainum, Renee Andrews, Rhonda

Nelson, Rita Heron, and Sherry Werth,

thank you for your generosity and

kindness. To my critique partners, Okay,

Listen Here blog buddies, and dearest

friends, Cheryl Crisona, Crystal Lee,

Jean Hovey, Lesia Flynn, M.V. Freeman,

and Stephanie Jones, I owe a multitude

of thanks that can never be repaid. Thank

you!

Three fabulous authors took time

away from their writing to read and

provide a blurb for my book. Katharine

Ashe, Shana Galen, and Michelle

Beattie, I appreciate you more than you

know. Thank you, Chelsea Gilmore, for

helping make
Duke by Day, Rogue by

Night
what it is today. Your input was

priceless! Special thanks to Cheryl

Ferguson for calling me when I was at

the lowest of lows and lifting my spirits.

I’ll never forget the difference you made

in my life.

And last but not least, I wouldn’t be

where I am today without Jennifer

Lawler, Jessica Verdi, and Crimson

Romance. Crimson’s professionalism

and kindness will never be far from my

heart. Thank you for believing in me and

my stories!

CHAPTER ONE

English Coast, 1804

Gently bred women do not disobey their

fathers, but the ship beneath Constance

Danbury’s feet accused her of not being

gently born.

Constance understood what her

mission entailed. Sail to Spain and plead

for her aunt’s support, contrary to her

father’s

wishes.

Aunt

Lydia’s

temperament had been equal to that of

her father’s years ago and, as a result, no

interaction had been allowed between

them since her mother’s death. She had

no idea if the woman was even still

alive, as no communiqués had arrived to

announce her death or verify her health.

That she ventured out onto the sea,

risking life and limb, to find her aunt

was due to her uncle’s insistence. Aunt

Lydia was their only hope. Halfway to

Spain, Constance lay in her cabin with

one goal in mind, winning her aunt’s

favor so the Danbury name would not

come to ruin.

The reality of how far her family

had fallen in so short a time hit

Constance full force when a shrill

whistle barreled over the merchantman

Octavia
’s deck. All at once, the ship

recoiled and one thunderous volley after

another exploded, vibrating the vessel

from bow to stern. She stared wide-eyed

at the ceiling above her head, willing it

to hold firm, fearing its collapse.

Fighting back ghastly images of her

mother’s death at sea proved almost too

difficult a task. She knew well enough

what awaited if the ship sank — a

watery grave. She had borne that

experience ten years earlier, survived,

and found herself a motherless child as a

result.

The handle on the cabin door

jostled,

heightening

her

anxiety.

Hampered by the bolt she’d put in place

before retiring for the night, her would-

be intruder jerked the knob and thumped

upon the sturdy wood with vengeance.

“Lady Constance!”

Lieutenant Guffald’s voice set her

into action. Constance darted to the

door. The gallant officer calling her

name had nearly lost favor with his

captain for promising her uncle to give

her safe passage to San Sebastian.

Constance suppressed a shiver. Matters

were most grave, if Guffald attempted to

enter her cabin without waiting for her

admittance. He was a gentleman, one

unlike the man she was trying to escape.

Passing a terrified glance at her

governess, Mrs. Mortimer, Constance

opened the door. The lieutenant brushed

past her, pushing his way into the cabin.

He turned and hurriedly grabbed her by

the shoulders, casting aside propriety.

“Pirates have drawn alongside us

and have every intention to board.”

“Pirates?” The barely audible word

rushed out of her mouth and the irony of

the situation hit her with inescapable

force.

“I’ve come to warn you,” the

lieutenant continued. “Stay inside your

cabin. Bolt the door. Admit no one

inside until I return.”

Pirates.
Heaven help her, not

again! What was to become of her? Of

dearest Mrs. Mortimer?

The lieutenant spoke, his voice

barely audible to her ears. “Mrs.

Mortimer, I entrust Lady Constance into

your care. I beg you — after I leave,

make sure no one enters this room but

me.”

“I shall do as you say, sir,” the

older woman said, taking charge.

Another explosion pounded the

ship.

The
Oct avi a
listed. Constance

screamed. Lieutenant Guffald wrapped

his arms about her to keep her from

slipping to the floor. Thankful for

assistance,

Constance

ignored

his

possessive stare, and endured his

overprotective embrace until the vessel

righted and she could safely dislodge

their sinfully entwined limbs. The man

was not Lord Montgomery Burton, she

told herself. She had no reason to fear

him. With Grecian bone structure and

thick

disheveled

blond

hair,

the

lieutenant was a man prepared to

BOOK: The Rogue’s Prize
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ads

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