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Here's a taster... It's from Chapter Five and now that I'm into the story I cannot decide whether to remove it or not. I suppose if you trust the credibility of my writing and story enough, skip to Chapter One... if not, have a peek and then decide! ;)


London 1822

Her brother was an utter twit.

Emily Weatherly tapped her foot impatiently as she watched him leave the ballroom in Lady Whitfield’s wake, quite obviously following a secret assignation with the  beautiful widow in some other part of the mansion.  Just what did he think to accomplish following that woman? Would all his other hopefuls leave him be because he was a cad, a rogue, a scoundrel?

Girlish giggles came from beside her and Emily remembered her present company.  “Oh, for goodness sake, Georgina,” she snapped peevishly. “He’s run off with Lady Whitfield again. Surely you can’t still hold out hopes?”

The pretty blonde smiled broadly. “Mama always says that reformed rakes-”

“Oh, Good Lord,” Emily muttered under her breath, giving the glistening ceiling a good glare. “I have it on good authority that Sebastian has no intention on marrying.”

The blonde’s friend- Miss Sabrina Walcott- shrugged and tinkled merrily, “Oh, but all it will take is one girl to whip him into shape.”

“My brother-”

“He’s not your brother, Emily,” Georgina pointed out slyly, giving her a raised brow for effect. It made Emily quite uncomfortable, that. Lord, the man practically was her brother. They had grown up together, hadn’t they? He was a brooding, insufferable scoundrel with savage good looks and arrogance in abundance. In Emily’s opinion, he did not need his ego inflated any more than it was by the thousands of naïve chits that flocked to him whenever he ventured out into society.

“He might as well be,” Emily stated emphatically. “I’m naught but a sister to him.”

“Then why do you always require a chaperone when you stay with him?” Sabrina Walcott pointed out.

Emily made a vague, irritable gesture with her hand that nearly toppled a tray of champagne flutes a harassed-looking footman was carrying as he scuttled past them. “ I don’t want to end up married to the fool,” she explained. “Like you said, George. I’m not really his sister at all. But I did grow up with him and let me assure you that Sebastian Weatherly is the most incorrigible rake in England.”

Which was true. Emily was constantly privy to her adopted Great Grandmother’s woeful pontificating about her great grandson’s misdemeanours, whoring, and downright aloofness. Indeed, he appeared intent on dragging the revelled Weatherly name through the mud. What was even more shocking was that he had been bestowed all the God-given qualities with which to do it and successfully.  Sebastian was sinfully attractive with thick unkempt hair the colour of coal that he hardly ever bothered to comb. Its casualness and cut often left hunks to fall over his eyes and teasingly curl around his swarthy neck. His eyes were startlingly blue, vividly intent and strikingly unnerving. He could pin you to the floor with a mere look that chilled you to the bone or alternatively veil a mask of indifference that left you wondering what on earth he was thinking- which would  explain his unequivocal success in the gaming hells. But most startling of all was the suavity of his grin, the cheerful tilt of his full, wide lips that bespoke volumes of good mirth. Indeed, Sebastian gave the outward appearance that he was harbouring a secret joke, laughing silently at the world and all those that passed him by. He was tall and broad-shouldered and always immaculately dressed in his attire although rarely immaculately shaven.  But the most startling feature on him had to be his mouth. Perfectly sculpted wide, wicked lips that could send most women into a swooning fit swooped into a devastatingly roguish grin. They were not the lips of a cool, sophisticated gentleman. They were lips that belonged on the mouth of a practised courtesan, scultped ultimately to incite sin and wickedness and lustful thoughts in the minds of innocent debutantes. They were firm, yet meltingly soft, wryly twisted with secret promises of carnal pleasure. Admittedly, even Emily had felt her heart increase tempo when he had thrown her a smile and that was only because she had usually managed to make an utter fool of herself, once by falling down the steps of their London townhouse in front of several servants and, of course, Sebastian himself.