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A Lady's Prerogative

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: STEAMY
Word Count: 87,222
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It’s not fair. Titled rakes can practically get away with murder, but one tiny little misstep and a debutante is sent away to the country. Which is where Lady Natalie Spencer is stuck after jilting her betrothed. Frustrated with her banishment, she’s finished being a good girl and ready to be a little naughty. Luckily she has brothers, one of whom has brought home his delightfully gorgeous friend.
After recently inheriting an earldom, Garrett Castleton is determined to turn over a new leaf and shed the roguish lifestyle he adopted years ago. His friend’s sister, no matter how enticing, is out-of-bounds. He has a run-down estate to manage and tenants to save from destitution.
Can love find a compromise between the two, or will their stubbornness get them into even more trouble?

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The windows glowed, and piano music drifted out into the night. Natalie stopped and let out a wistful sigh.
“You are very lucky, you know.” She sounded serious again.
Garrett thought he’d misheard her for a moment. “What?”
“I said that you are really quite lucky.”
He had not misheard. “How is that?”
“If you were a woman and you acted with such utter disregard toward society”—she slanted him a sideways and disapproving glance—“as you have, there would be no second chances for you. A lady could never act as a rake and be forgiven.” She slipped his jacket off and handed it back to him. He looked down at the jacket as though not quite sure what she expected him to do with it.
“Take it. I am fine now. I will enter through the back, and you may use the front door. It is best that nobody know we spent so much time together, alone.”
He took the jacket, not bothering to slip it back on. He just stood there dumbfounded, watching her. “Why would a lady wish to play the part of a rake?” he couldn’t help asking. Was she referring to herself?
The girlish sparkle disappeared from her eyes, and a bleak longing replaced it.