The first kiss occurred in a dimly lit hallway on the upper floor of Elwin Hastings’s grand house. Louisa never saw it coming. . . . Of course, Anthony Stalbridge couldn’t possibly have had romantic intentions. The kiss was an act of desperation, meant to distract the armed guard who was about to catch the pair in a place they most definitely did not belong. After all, in her dull maroon gown and gold-rimmed spectacles, Louisa Bryce was no man’s idea of an alluring female. Clearly, the only thing a catch like Anthony Stalbridge had in common with a wallflower like Louisa was a passionate interest in the private affairs of Mr. Hastings - a prominent member of Society whom they both suspect of hiding terrible secrets. Now, thrown into each other’s arms by their ruse, Anthony and Louisa are united in their efforts to find the truth. Each has a personal reason for the quest. Months earlier, Anthony’s fiancée threw herself into the Thames - or at least, that is the version whispered in London’s social circles. Anthony believes someone else may have had a hand in her death - and a murderous one at that. Louisa, whose own identity is shrouded in layers of mystery, is convinced that Hastings has a connection to a notorious brothel. When Anthony successfully cracks Hastings’s hidden safe and discovers highly incriminating evidence, it appears that both their instincts were correct. But Hastings is hiding far more than jewels and ledger books. Bringing him to justice will be more perilous than Louisa and Anthony anticipate - and their partnership will be more heated than either expects. For the two share a thrilling attraction to danger, and it is not only Anthony’s curiosity that Louisa arouses.
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