In the Heat of the Bite

In the Heat of the Bite by Lydia Dare

Book: In the Heat of the Bite by Lydia Dare Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lydia Dare
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Regency
would I get another chance like that? Can ye see Papa leavin’ his library long enough ta bring me ta London and take me shoppin’ and ta attend balls and soirees and luncheons? I’m sorry she dinna do the same for ye.”
    All the air in Rhiannon’s lungs escaped. She’d come to London, followed Ginny for no reason at all. Her sister was happy with her circumstances and even with their wicked aunt, it seemed. But that still didn’t mean Aunt Greer didn’t have some ulterior motive. “I willna see ye married off ta some old goat our aunt picks for ye. I want ta see ye happy.”
    Ginny’s face fell. “Ye doona think she would try such a thing, do ye?”
    Rhiannon wouldn’t have put it past their aunt, but she decided not to say such things to Ginny. Her sister seemed to be enjoying all this, and Rhi didn’t want to shatter Ginny’s dreams. “I willna allow it,” she vowed. “I’ll never be far away, Gin. If there’s a fellow ye fancy, let me meet him before ye agree ta anythin’. And doona do everythin’ Aunt Greer says. Doona let her make decisions for ye.”
    Ginny’s hazel eyes lit up. “Ye’ll be stayin’ the whole season?”
    Rhiannon smiled back at her. “Cait and Eynsford have invited me ta stay.”
    Ginny leapt from her seat and wrapped her arms around Rhi’s neck. “I promise I willna accept any offers unless ye approve.”

     
    Matthew turned on his heel, ready to depart the madness of this ball. Why had he even agreed to attend the deuced affair? But someone clutched his arm, and Matthew looked down into Sir Ralph’s old eyes. He smiled tightly to the baronet. “I was just on my way home.”
    “Are you going to let the chit run you off like that?”
    “I…” Matthew didn’t even know where to begin after that statement. Rhiannon Sinclair was not running him off. He just had no desire to rub elbows with these people. There was no point to it.
    “You were right in what you said earlier. It’s been far too long since you spent time in polite society. You obviously don’t know how to talk to a lady.” Sir Ralph directed him to a far corner. “Which is why your father should have sent you to Eton, but that’s neither here nor there anymore. I can’t even imagine what you said to the chit. No, don’t tell me.” He raised his hands in mock protest. “I don’t want to know. But it’s very obvious you need my tutelage. You must be thoroughly enchanted by the lady to have suggested whatever it was that you suggested.”
    Matthew nearly groaned aloud. But what good would that do? “Honestly, sir, I don’t think this is the place for me.”
    “Nonsense!” the old man barked. “You’re the Earl of bloody Blodswell, and you are in the market for a wife. This is the perfect place for you.”
    “Sir, I’m not in the market for a wife.”
    One of Sir Ralph’s bushy gray eyebrows shot upwards. “If you go around saying whatever it was to that chit, you’ll find yourself leg-shackled to one anyway. Now there’s the right way to go about all this business and the wrong way.”
    Matthew braced himself to hear Sir Ralph’s version of the
right
way, God save him.
    “Ah!” The baronet grinned as he looked toward the entrance. “There’s the lady in question now.”
    Matthew turned to find Rhiannon Sinclair crossing the floor toward him. She was lovely from the top of her head to the bottoms of her feet. Her gown showed a scandalous amount of skin, which only made her seem even more beautiful to him than she had the first time he’d laid eyes on her. He feared she would look beautiful even if she was covered from head to foot in scratchy wool. Unfortunately, she drew more than one eye toward her as she crossed the room.
    Matthew felt a small pain within his chest and reached up to rub it. What the devil was that? He hadn’t felt anything like that in more than 625 years. But he didn’t have time to pay it a second thought because Sir Ralph spoke in a low voice. “She’s a

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