Baron James Kilnworthy escaped to America in hopes of avoiding the fate that waited for him at home. But there are some things you can’t outrun – like guilt. Even though he knows he wasn’t responsible for what happened to his precious Belle, it doesn’t ease his grief or heartache. The last thing he wanted or needed was a woman under his roof, but when he finds the beautiful Lilian Broussard fleeing into the night, he knows he has to help her.
Lilian may have been born poor, and sold to the infamous madam of New Orleans, Madame Giselle, but she knows she’d rather die than live that type of life. When the handsome Baron Kilknworthy swoops in to save her, she knows she’ll do anything he asks, but falling in love with him hadn’t been part of her plan. Can the wounded, broken man ever love her back? Or will Lilian be forced to leave the only man she’s ever loved?
**NOTE: This novella has been recovered, expanded, and re-edited. It was originally released in 2014 under the same title. This title was originally book one in the Ladies of the Night series, but has been shifted to book two, and includes new scenes.
“I imagine we’ll hear from your benefactor before long. She’ll come here, or send someone, when she realizes there’s money to be made.”
“She’s going to overcharge you.”
He grinned. “I’d pay any price to free you from her.”
Lilian felt her cheeks flush and looked down at the floor. “I promise I’ll be a good mistress.”
He froze. “What?”
She looked up at him. Had she read the situation wrong? Wasn’t that why he wanted to buy her? It didn’t make sense he’d spend his money like that if he didn’t get something in return, and what little she knew of men told her that most wanted a woman in their bed.
“Isn’t that what you’re doing? Buying me?” she asked.
“Well, yes, but… I only sought to free you from her, not claim you for myself.”
Lilian felt her face flame even more. She was so stupid. Of course he wouldn’t want someone like her. He’d probably had his share of beautiful women, and could likely marry anyone of his choosing. Why would he ever want someone like her in his bed?
“I’m sorry. Of course. I never should have assumed…” She bit her lip to halt the words. Bad enough she felt like an idiot for thinking he’d want her. She didn’t need to lay herself bare at his feet.
“Assumed what?” he asked.
“That you’d want me.” She glanced around. “I’m obviously not the type of woman you’re used to bringing home.”