April 20th, 2024
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
ONLY HARD PROBLEMSONLY HARD PROBLEMS
Fresh Pick
THE WILD SIDE
THE WILD SIDE

New Books This Week

Fresh Fiction Box

Video Book Club

April Showers Giveaways


April's Affections and Intrigues: Love and Mystery Bloom

Slideshow image


Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
Investigating a conspiracy really wasn't on Nikki's very long to-do list.


slideshow image
Escape to the Scottish Highlands in this enemies to lovers romance!


slideshow image
It�s not the heat�it�s the pixie dust.


slideshow image
They have a perfect partnership�
But an attempt on her life changes everything.


slideshow image
Jealousy, Love, and Murder: The Ancient Games Turn Deadly


slideshow image
Secret Identity, Small Town Romance
Available 4.15.24


Excerpt of Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith

Purchase


The League of Rogues Book 1
Samhain Publishing
January 2014
On Sale: January 17, 2014
Featuring: Godric St. Laurent the Duke of Essex; Emily Parr
324 pages
ISBN: 1619217457
EAN: 9781619217454
Kindle: B00H54X8EY
e-Book
Add to Wish List

Romance Historical

Also by Lauren Smith:

The Scoundrel of Drury Lane, October 2023
e-Book
Never Kiss a Scot, March 2019
Paperback / e-Book
The Last Wicked Rogue, November 2018
e-Book
The Darkest Hour, October 2018
e-Book
A Scottish Lord for Christmas, December 2017
e-Book
A Gentleman Never Surrenders, September 2017
e-Book
An Earl by Any Other Name, August 2017
e-Book
Climax, May 2016
e-Book
Seduction, March 2016
e-Book
Forbidden, January 2016
e-Book
Her Wicked Proposal, January 2016
e-Book
Once Upon a True Love's Kiss, January 2016
e-Book
The Bite of Winter, December 2015
e-Book
The Gilded Chain, November 2015
e-Book
The Gilded Cage, June 2015
e-Book
The Gilded Cuff, February 2015
Paperback / e-Book
Captivated by His Kiss, January 2015
e-Book
His Wicked Seduction, November 2014
e-Book
The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall, October 2014
e-Book
The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall, October 2014
e-Book
Wicked Designs, January 2014
e-Book
Blood Moon on the Rise, June 2013
e-Book

Excerpt of Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith

Godric St. Laurent, the twelfth Duke of Essex, leaned back in his saddle watching the abduction he’d orchestrated unfold. Covering his mouth with a gloved hand, he stifled a yawn. Things were going smoothly. In fact, this entire kidnapping bordered on the point of tedious. They’d intercepted the coach ten minutes before it reached Chessley House. No one witnessed the escort of riders or the driver changing his route. Oddly enough, the young woman hadn’t shown any signs of resistance or concern from inside the coach. Wouldn’t she have made some protestations when she realized what was happening? A thought stopped him dead. Had she somehow slipped out of the coach when they’d slowed on a corner before they’d left town? Surely not, they would have seen her. Most likely she was too terrified to do anything, hence the silence from inside. Not that she had anything to fear, she would not be harmed.

He nodded to his friend Charles who was perched next to the driver. A bag of coins jingled as Charles dropped it into the jarvey’s waiting hands.

They had reached halfway point between London and Godric’s ancestral estate. They would go the rest of the way on horseback, with the girl sharing a horse with either him or one of his friends. The driver would return to London with a message for Albert Parr and a wild story that exonerated himself from blame.

“Ashton, stay here with me.” Godric waved his friend over while the others rode the horses a good distance away to wait for his signal. Abductions were tricky things, and having only himself and one other man take hold of the girl would be better. She might have a fit of hysterics if she saw the other three men too close.

He rode up to the coach, curious to see whether the woman inside matched his memory. He’d seen her once before from a window overlooking the gardens when he’d visited her uncle. She’d been kneeling in the flowerbeds, her dress soiled as she weeded. A job more suited to a servant than a lady of quality. He’d been ready to dismiss her from his mind when she’d turned and glanced about the garden, a smudge of dirt on the tip of her upturned nose. A butterfly from a nearby flower had fluttered above her head. She hadn’t noticed it, even as it settled on her long, coiling auburn hair. Something in his chest gave a funny little flip, and his body had stirred with desire. Any other woman so innocent would not have caught his interest, but he’d glimpsed a keenness in her eyes, a hidden intelligence as she dug into the soil. Miss Emily Parr was different. And different was intriguing.

Ashton handed the driver the ransom letter for Parr and took up a position near the front of the coach. Taking hold of the door, Godric opened it up, waiting for the screaming to start.

None came.

“My deepest apologies, Miss Parr—” Still no screaming. “Miss Parr?” Godric thrust his head into the coach. It was empty. Not even a fire-breathing dragon of a chaperone, not that he’d expected one. His sources had assured him she would be alone tonight.

Godric looked over his shoulder. “Ash? You’re sure this is Parr’s coach?”

“Of course. Why?” Ashton jumped off his horse, marched over and thrust his head into the empty coach. He was silent a long moment before he withdrew. Ashton put his finger against his lips and motioned to the inside. A tuft of pink muslin peeped out from the wooden seat. He gestured for Godric to step away from the coach.

Ashton lowered his voice. “It seems that our little rabbit chase has turned into a fox hunt. She’s hidden in the hollow space of the seat, clever girl.”

“Hiding under the seat?” Godric shook his head, bewildered. He didn’t know one woman of his acquaintance who would do something so clever. Perhaps Evangeline, but then if anything could be said of that woman, it was that she was far from ordinary. A prickling of excitement coursed through his veins, into his chest. He loved a challenge.

“Let’s wait a few minutes and see if she emerges.” Godric looked back at the coach, impatience prickling inside him. “I don’t want to wait here all night.”

Excerpt from Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith
All rights reserved by publisher and author

© 2003-2024 off-the-edge.net  all rights reserved Privacy Policy