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Flirting With Fortune
AN HONEST DECEPTION
Sir Colin Tate has never imagined marrying for money. But debts left by his artist father have put his siblings’ futures in danger. To wed an eligible heiress, this independent-minded Scot must play by restrictive rules—until an irresistible lady dares to pursue her passion for art…and him.
AN UNEXPECTED DESIRE
Lady Beatrice Moore can spy a fortune hunter as expertly as she captures subjects on canvas. But when she meets the striking son of Britain’s most celebrated painter, the attraction is instantaneous—blinding her to the possibility that he could ever be one of those schemers.…
AN UNTHINKABLE DILEMMA
Then the truth comes out, shattering Lady Beatrice’s faith in the mischievous yet kind man who has captured her heart. With reputations and fortunes hanging in the balance, Colin and she must find a way to trust in a love that cannot be proven—or face an unfathomable loss.
“Well, we never did have that dance. You need to make good on your promise, like a proper gentleman.”
“Who said I was a proper gentleman?” Colin leaned a shoulder against the wall beside the painting, his body as lithe and lean as one of the great cats she’d seen in the Tower Menagerie. Beatrice had a sudden image of painting his portrait in just that position but stripped bare to the waist.
Heat swamped her cheeks, and she hastily dropped her gaze to the floor. Lord have mercy, where had that thought come from? She drew a deep breath, trying to get herself under control. She wasn’t a blusher, and she certainly wasn’t shy. Gathering her scattered wits, she put a hand to her hip and met his gaze head-on. “You did—when you decided to attend that first ball.”
“Ah, is that how it works? I’d argue the point,” he said, a bit of mischief lifting a single dark brow, “but it wouldn’a be very gentlemanly of me. Now, as for the dance, it was your decision to take a stroll outside over my offer to dance. You canna expect me to leave the door open indefinitely for that particular delight.”
“Of course I can. It’s one of the few perks of being a female. We may make unreasonable demands upon men until our hearts are content. Of course, it’s up to them as to whether or not they choose to indulge us.”
“And that, I suppose, separates the men from the gentlemen?”
“No, that separates the gentlemen from the rakes.”
“So my choice is to honor a lady’s wishes, or be labeled a rake?”
“More or less. And truly, you are entirely too generous to be a rake—otherwise I would never have had the chance to be here. Therefore,” she said, grinning as she presented her victorious argument, “your offer to dance still stands. And I accept.”
“Do you now?” He pushed away from the wall and took a slow, languid step toward her. “Well, far be it from me to keep a lady waiting.”