Wagers Gone Awry
by Collette Cameron
Series: Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper, Book 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: April 7, 2015
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Brooke Culpepper resigned herself to spinsterhood when she turned down the only marriage proposal she’d likely ever receive to care for her family. After her father dies, a distant cousin inherits the estate and becomes their guardian but permits Brooke to act in his stead.
Heath, Earl of Ravensdale is none-too-pleased to discover five young women call the dairy farm he won and intends to sell, their home. Desperate, pauper poor, and with nowhere to go, Brooke proposes a wager. His stakes? The farm. Hers? Her virtue. The land holds no interest for Heath, but Brooke does and he accepts her challenge.
Brooke loses, and her devastation is compounded when the cousin arrives, intending to haul the Culpepper misses off to London. Heath astounds himself and proposes in order to apply for guardianship of the other girls. Does Brooke dare marry the handsome stranger who’d been bent on compromising her? Will Heath regret his impulsive gesture, or will unexpected love flourish?
“Is someone at the door, Duffen? In this weather?”
The door swung open and revealed a striking blonde, wearing a dress as ugly and drab as the dismal day.
Heath’s jaw sagged.
Despite the atrocious grayish gown, the woman’s figure stole the air from him. Full breasts strained against the too small dress, tapering to a waist his hands could span. And from her height, he’d lay odds she possessed long, graceful legs. Legs that could wrap around his waist and…
Though cold to his marrow, his manhood surged with sensual awareness. He shifted his stance, grateful his long overcoat covered him to his ankles. He snapped his mouth shut. Evict this shapely beauty? Surely a monumental mistake had been made. Gainsborough couldn't be so cold-hearted would he?
The woman regarded him much like a curious kitten; interest piqued, yet unsure of what to make of him. Her dark blue, almost violet, eyes glowed with humor, and a smile hovered on her plump lips. The wind teased the flaxen curls framing her oval face.
A dog poked its snout from beneath her skirt and issued a muffled warning.
“Hush, Freddy. Go inside. Shoo.”
She neatly stepped over the portly corgi. The bodice of her gown pulled taught exposing hardened nipples.
Another surge of desire jolted Heath.
Disturbing. Uncharacteristic this instant lust.