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Because You're Mine (Avon Historical Romance)by Lisa Kleypas
Synopses & Reviews
Gripping the leather handle of her valise, Madeline paused at the back entrance of the Capital Theatre. It had been frightening and yet exhilarating to make her way through London alone. Her ears were assaulted with the noise of carriages, horses, and street sellers, while her nostrils were filled with a confusing mixture of the aromas of manure, animals, and garbage; the yeasty scent of a nearby bakery, and the hot waxen odor of a candle-maker's shop.
Earlier in the day Madeline had pawned the ring Lord Clifton had given her, and the pocket of her dress was filled with the satisfying weight of coins. Wary of pickpockets, she had kept her plain gray cloak wrapped tightly around herself, but no one had seemed inclined to approach her. Now she had arrived at the Capital, and her adventure was about to begin.
The theater appeared to comprise four or five buildings that must house workshops and storage facilities. Entering the main building, where the stage was located, Madeline walked through a maze of hallways and rehearsal rooms. She could hear people talking, singing, playing instruments, and arguing, and the temptation to peek through the half-open doors was nearly overwhelming.
She reached a large room filled with worn furniture, including a table of drying sandwiches and wilted cheese and fruit. Actors and actresses of varying ages lounged in the room, talking and drinking cups of tea. Apparently accustomed to frequent comings and goings, they took little notice of Madeline. However, a shopboy paused and stared at her inquiringly, his eyes friendly in a foxlike face. "Is there something you want, miss?" he asked.
She smiled, trying to cover her nervousness."I'm looking for Mr. Scott."
"Oh." He looked at her speculatively and jerked his head toward the far door. "He's rehearsing now. The stage is that way."
"He doesn't like to be interrupted," the boy advised as Madeline walked toward the stage door.
"Oh, I won't bother him," she replied cheerfully, gripping her valise handle with one hand as she opened the door with the other. She pushed her way past set pieces and flats, and found herself standing in the right wing of the stage. Setting her valise on the floor, she drew close to the edge of a green velvet curtain and looked across the stage.
With its seating capacity of fifteen hundred, the Capital Theatre was a grand and spacious building. Massive gold columns inlaid with emerald glass lined the walls. Tiers of boxes and seats filled the auditorium in velvet splendor. Crystal chandeliers shed brilliant light on delicately painted scenes that adorned the ceiling.
The floor of the stage was built at a slant, so that actors downstage could be seen as well as those in the front, The heavy boards were scarred from thousands of performances, boots and shoes and scenery leaving indelible marks. There was a rehearsal in progress; two men were walking around the stage with foils in hand, discussing the choreography of a fight scene. One of them was fair and blond, with the slender, springy build of a cat. ." . . not certain what you want . . ." he was saying earnestly, tapping the rubber-tipped foil against the side of his shoe.
The other man replied in the most distinctive voice Madeline had ever heard-dark, deep, worldly ... the voice of a fallen angel. "What I want, Stephen, is for you to put some fire into yourperformance. Your intention, if I'm not mistaken, is to kill the man who nearly seduced your fiancee Instead you're handling that foil like an old woman with a knitting needle."
Madeline stared at him, riveted. Logan Scott was taller than she had expected, more charismatic, more ... everything. His rangy, muscular body was clad in a simple white shirt that was open at the throat and a pair of dark trousers that closely followed his lean hips and long legs. The print Madeline had seen hadn't begun to do justice to him ... the color of his hair, dark brown touched with fire; the sardonic curve of his wide mouth; the rosewood hue of his skin.
Somehow his polished appearance was tempered by a hint of brutality ... the sense that the princely facade could disappear at any moment and reveal a man who was capable of almost anything. Madeline blinked uneasily. She had expected Scott to be something of a rakish dandy, a charming skirt-chaser, but there was nothing lighthearted or dandified about him.
The blond actor protested. "Mr. Scott, I'm afraid that if I don't hold back during that last bit of choreography, you won't have time to parry — "
"You won't get through my guard," Scott said with stunning self-assurance. "Give it everything you've got, Stephen — or I'll cast someone who will."
Stephen's mouth tightened. It was clear that Scott's barb had found its mark. "All right, then." He raised his foil and lunged, evidently hoping to catch Scott off-guard.
Responding with a short laugh, Scott parried expertly, and the foils scissored and clashed as the two men moved in a lightning-swift exchange. "More, Stephen," Scott said, his breath quickening from exertion. "Haven't you everlost a woman before? Wanted to kill someone for it?"
The other actor's temper seemed to flare, as Scott, clearly intended. "Yes, damn you!"
"Then show me."
Stephen exploded in a flurry of movement, his face intent beneath a veil of sweat. Scott praised his efforts with a few terse words, retreating and moving forward with his own volley of feints and thrusts. Madeline wouldn't have expected a large man to move with such grace. The sight of Scott literally took her breath away. He was powerful, commanding, and chillingly self-controlled. Fascinated by the intense battle, Madeline drew closer for a better view.
With a shock of dismay, she felt her foot catch on the valise she had set on the floor, and she fell against a small table piled with props. A candelabra, a few pieces of china, and an extra foil dropped to the floor, shattering and clanging noisily. The actors' concentration splintered, and Logan Scott's head whipped around toward the right wing. At the same time, Steven lunged forward with his foil, unable to halt his momentum.
A classic historical romance novel from New York Times bestseller Lisa Kleypas (“One of todays leading lights in romantic fiction” —Seattle Times), Because Youre Mine is a breathtaking tale of romantic intrigues and uncontained passions that showcases this acclaimed author at her very best. Returning to Regency Era London, Kleypas weaves a sensuous tale of a lovely intriguers attempts to seduce a notorious seducer in order to save herself from an unwanted prearranged marriage—only to have true love complicate the affair. This is emotional, sensual, absolutely superb storytelling from a multiple RITA Award-winning historical romance superstar that any serious fan of top-quality love stories must not miss.
“I dont care about your conscience. All I want is for you to kiss me again.”
Lady Madeline Matthews would rather shame herself than sacrifice her freedom. To avoid marrying an aging, lecherous lord, she seeks out the company of Logan Scott,for a torrid affair with the notorious womanizerwould surely condemn her in the eyes of good society.
In truth, Logan is an intensely private man tormentedby past betrayals. Now a forward little minx, completelyat sea in Londons sophisticated whirl, is disruptinghis life with her vibrant charm and unspoiled beauty.But when what begins with a kiss threatens to blossominto something more rapturous and real, will Loganand Madeline have the courage to drop the masksthey hide behind in the name of love?
About the Author
Lisa Kleypas is the author of sixteen historical romance novels that have been published in twelve languages. After graduating from Wellesley College with a political science degree, she published her first novel at the age twenty-one. Her books have appeared on many bestseller lists, including the New York Times and Publishers Weekly. Lisa lives in Texas with her husband, Gregory, and their two children, Griffin and Lindsay.
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