“The Edwards twins come together. Accept Lord Standish when he asks for your hand and all will be well.”
Lady Katherine Wilcox has an unfortunate problem. She’s desperate to avoid marriage to an aging earl who may very well squash her on her wedding night. Her only hope it seems is to snare the wicked Lord Standish and ignore her troubling attraction to his identical twin brother. Both gentlemen set her pulse racing and fill her sleepless nights with wild imaginings. If Lady Katherine is very good, she may well pull off capturing one brother. But the trouble is catching just one alone.
Heat Rating: Scorching Menage
Desperation had done funny things to Kate’s insides. A month ago she would never have considered defying her father’s will. She would have docilely accepted her lot in life, smiled and done her duty to her family to improve their standing in good society. But she would not be marrying Lord Ames if she could possibly help it. She would rather give herself to a man who deserves her, even if he be a chimneysweep, rather than face a future with an over weight spouse.
Kate, or Lady Katherine Wilcox, as she was properly known, was desperate enough to follow the promptings of the anonymous note that had been slipped into her hand as she forced her way through the crowd at tonight’s ball. Now, as she lingered in the Freznick’s retiring room, her heart beat a rapid staccato. She had no idea who had placed the note in her hand with such urgency, and disappeared immediately after. No one around her had met her gaze with any form of recognition.
Kate squinted at the bold writing again. The Sheldon twins come together. Accept Lord Standish when he asks for your hand and all will be well.
Kate pressed her lips together. That could be a problem. Half the time she could not tell the difference between Lord Standish and his twin brother, Lord Archibald Edwards just by looking at them, so how was she to know which one she was accepting, should either choose to ask.
Both men had been exceptional dance partners. They had twirled her about the floor with effortless ease. Both men had sought her out for conversation at other events too and made her laugh and feel at ease.
Yet they were not exactly perfect gentlemen. They had skimmed their hands lower than they were supposed to. Her breath had seized in both instances as they had brushed across her bottom with the lightest of touches. No one had detected their actions but that fever-bright light in their eyes had haunted her evening rest more times than she could count in the last month.
They were exactly the type of gentlemen that set her heart to racing and that her father equally despised. Both—and she was certain she had reacted to both men on the same night because they had dressed differently—stirred her senses.
Unlike her most ardent suitor, Lord Ames. She groaned. Perhaps her difficulty stemmed from the fact that the man her father favored for her to marry was almost three times her age. She shuddered. She could not marry a man as old as her parent. It was utterly unthinkable.
She stared down at the paper again, noting that the penmanship was undoubtedly male. But could her instructions be a trap set by another debutant, or their brother, to see Kate thrown out of favor? The marriage mart was murder on friendships, especially when there were so few nice looking lords to impress this season. Kate had witnessed some shocking behavior inflicted by seemingly nice girls and had distanced herself from their antics with haste.
Panic ripped through her. Was she fated to marry Lord Ames and spend her nights entertaining a withered old man in her bed? She’d rather take the risk of making a fool out of herself with the eldest scandalous twin, or anyone else, than suffer that kind of fate.
Kate read the note again, committed the words to her memory, and then ripped the damning instructions into tiny pieces. She spun about, scattering some of the fragments about the room, dropped more out the window, and shoved the rest inside her reticule.
The door creaked open. Her mother cried out, “Thank heavens I found you. I’d begun to think you’d run away.” Lady Aberdeen hugged her close and peered into her face. “What was that note about?”
“Lord Standish,” she replied simply.
Her mother gasped. “But he is the worst sort of fellow, not even accepted into Almack’s, and that brother of his creates scandal wherever he goes. You should not be communicating with him. You’ve heard your father’s views on Lord Standish.”
“The note wasn’t from him, Mama.” Kate took a deep breath. “The note suggested I should marry him.”
Her mother blinked rapidly. “Your father would never consent to the match.”
“Perhaps it is time that papa was disobeyed.”