Authors: Lydia Dare
Tags: #Romance, #Regency, #General, #Fiction
|In the Heat of the Bite|
|Sourcebooks Inc (2011)|
|Tags:||Romance, Regency, General, Fiction|
An amusing, romantic adventure with quirky, likable characters. A remarkably delightful read that will hook you from the first page. 4 1/2 Star Review, Top Pick of the Month (_RT Book Reviews_ )
Praise for Lydia Dare:
"Heartwarming romance, engaging characters, and engrossing plot twists...fast becoming 'must buy' books. I recommend them all."
Chivalry is far from undead...
Matthew Halkett, Earl of Blodswell, is one of the few men in the ton who can claim to be a knight in shining armor- because that's precisely what he was before being turned into a vampyre. When he spies a damsel in distress in the midst of a storm in Hyde Park, his natural instinct is to rush to her aid...
But not every woman needs to be rescued...
Weather-controlling witch Rhiannon Sinclair isn't caught in a storm-she's the cause of it. She's mortified to have been caught making trouble by the imposing earl, but she doesn't need any man-never has, and is sure she never will...
But when Rhiannon encounters Matthew again, her powers go awry and his supernatural abilities run amok. Between the two of them, the ton is thrown into an uproar. There's never been a more tempestuous scandal...
Praise for The Taming of the Wolf:
"A truly satisfying read...Ms. Dare, I'm ready for the next book please."
-Once Upon a Romance
"A compelling read that left me turning pages."
"This series keeps getting better and better...flawless."
-The Book Girl 5/5
Copyright © 2011 by Lydia Dare
Cover and internal design © 2011 by Sourcebooks, Inc.
Cover illustration by Patricia Schmitt (Pickyme)
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The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.
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To Sabrina Jeffries, Deb Marlowe, Claudia Dain, and all of the other ladies and gentlemen of Heart of Carolina Romance Writers ~ Thank you so much for your support and your belief in us, and for answering all of our questions over the years.
Cooper House, London—April 1817
Sisters were a blasted nuisance. And it made no matter whether the sisterhood came by blood or by coven. Rhiannon Sinclair had often wanted to dispense with them all and be afforded a chance to live a normal life. Yet she found herself chasing her younger sister from Edinburgh to London just so she could ensure her safety.
Rhiannon paced the entryway of her aunt’s home on Hertford Street, smarting more than a bit at not having been invited to wait inside in a parlor. Instead, the Coopers’ butler had looked down his craggy, beaklike nose as she explained who she was and why she’d come. Then he’d left her standing in the entryway while he walked much too slowly down the corridor. If the disdainful servant wasn’t careful, she’d hit him with a bolt of lightning and show him the error of his ways. Perhaps he’d move a bit faster if she did. Before she could summon even one thought of a storm, he vanished around a corner.
After what felt like a lifetime, the butler returned and nodded briefly at her. “You may follow me, Miss Sinclair.” What had taken the man so long? Had he gone to hide the silver before showing her in? That was as likely as not. There was no wonder what her aunt had said about her.
With a beleaguered sigh, the servant led her to a tidy blue parlor where her aunt and new uncle waited. The pair had been married less than a year, so Rhi didn’t know Mr. Cooper well at all. But her Aunt Greer was another matter entirely. In fact, the aunt in question was her mother’s younger sister, and unfortunately Rhiannon knew
“My dear!” Aunt Greer gushed. “It’s so nice to see you.” As fraudulent as ever. The woman even tried to hide the brogue she’d been born with. And her tone was so sickly sweet that it made Rhiannon want to cast up her accounts. Because, truth be told, her aunt resented her more than a little. She’d resented Rhiannon enough to take her younger sister to London in the dead of night, and she had left Rhi at home with nothing more than an absentminded father and a house full of servants for company. “What brings you to Town, dear?”
As though she didn’t know. What brought Rhiannon to Town? How could the woman even say that with a straight face? Rhi took a deep breath as thunder rolled outdoors. “I came ta check on Ginny. Could ye send someone ta fetch my sister? I’d like ta speak with her.”
Aunt Greer sucked her teeth lightly, a habit that had always annoyed Rhi to no end. “Unfortunately, she has already retired for the evening.” She raised her eyebrows at Rhiannon. “Perhaps another time?”
It was rather late. But Rhi didn’t mind waking Ginny, if need be. “Certainly, she’s still awake. If I could just see her for a moment.” She pointed down the corridor. “Which way ta her chambers?”
“Not now, Rhiannon.”
Thunder rumbled outdoors again.
“As I said, Ginessa is already abed. So, let me walk you out, dear,” her aunt said as she grabbed Rhiannon’s elbow in her gnarly little grasp and shoved her toward the doorway. Of course, Rhiannon could make the woman release her. She could do it in a way her aunt would never forget with a nicely aimed bolt of lightning. But it would probably be best not to burn those bridges in case she had to cross them later.
Her aunt’s voice dropped to frantic whisper. “My husband is not aware of your particular affliction, Rhiannon. And I’d prefer to keep it that way. Keep your powers in check when he—or anyone else, for that matter—is present. Your mother never managed it. But you are still young enough to learn.”
Rhi tried to keep the scorn from her voice when she replied, “I’m sorry ye were no’ born magical, Aunt Greer. There’s no’ much I can do about that. But, really, ye should have accepted the situation by now.”
“I will never, ever accept that my sister was born an anomaly. And you and your little coven of witches will never have my approval. In fact, from this point forward, I plan to limit your access to Ginessa so you don’t inhibit your sister’s chances of a successful launch into society. Her name will not be associated with scandal.
Do you hear me?
” She hissed the last.
“A successful launch into society?” Rhi’s mouth fell open. Truly it was the last thing she expected her aunt to say. Ginny was barely seventeen and a rather naïve seventeen at that.
“Don’t look at me like that, Rhiannon Sinclair.”
“But Ginny’s so young.” And London would swallow her whole.
“Well, you’re not her guardian, are you? Besides, your father welcomed my invitation.”
Papa probably hadn’t lifted his head long enough from whatever tome consumed him to even hear a word Aunt Greer had said. He couldn’t possibly think
was a good idea, not if he’d actually thought about it. Her aunt had never offered a thing where either she or Ginny was concerned. Not until now. Rhi must be missing something, but whatever it was escaped her completely.
“How did you come to be here?” Aunt Greer’s frown deepened. “You didn’t travel south with that coven in tow, did you? I won’t have you hurt Ginessa’s chance at finding a
“Proper husband? What is that supposed ta mean? Are ye plannin’ ta marry her off ta some blasted Sassenach?” Rhiannon hissed.
“Better than what she’d find in Scotland.”
Rhi sucked in a lungful of air. “Why can she no’ marry a man from Scotland? Ginny
Scottish, after all.”
“Because in Scotland,
cannot escape the taint of your creation, Rhiannon.” Her aunt sighed deeply as though dealing with her was the worst sort of trial. “And I’ll expect you and whoever you brought with you to return to Edinburgh as soon as possible. I’m certain your fondest wish is for your sister to find happiness.”
Of course, she wanted Ginny to find happiness. But there had been no reason to remove her to London in order to do so. Rhiannon was the older of the two. And
had never been launched into society. Her aunt would never do such a thing. Not with all the resentment she held in her heart for the members of the
, members of the coven of witches she’d so badly wanted to belong to when she was younger. Unfortunately, only the oldest daughter in each family was born magical. Her aunt had never recovered from the slight of being second born.
“The taint of my creation is the least of yer worries,” Rhiannon warned.
Her aunt’s shoulders went back, and she lifted her nose a little higher in the air.
“Know this, Aunt,” Rhiannon said, as she pointed a finger in the woman’s face. “I willna allow ye ta run roughshod over her life just ta spite me. Or ta spite the fact that ye were born average.”
Rhiannon could almost see the storm cloud forming in the air. Her aunt could as well, if her smirk was any indication. Unfortunately, Rhi’s powers were often ruled by her emotions, and while most people could blink back the tears that welled behind their lashes, the telltale patter of raindrops in a room full of people could give her aunt much more insight into Rhiannon’s feelings than she wanted her to have.
Rhiannon turned on her heel and fled. The butler looked supremely satisfied as he quickly opened the door. Rhi was surprised not to feel the press of his boot against her backside as she neared the threshold. He yelped lightly as she passed him. Teach the English dog to mess with Rhiannon Sinclair. She’d hit him with the force of power that one might feel after dragging one’s feet on the carpet, for which he should be immeasurably thankful as she could have done much worse.