There is nothing Matthias Deverell, illegitimate son of a marquis, wants more than to remove the murmurs of treason that haunt his father’s name. He is determined to do just that, even if it means completing the nearly impossible task of reassembling the globe his father used as a safe. With pieces spread all over London, it will take all of Matthias’ considerable skill at intimidation to retrieve them.
Nicholas Rexford, young Viscount Leighton, wants only to be able to provide a comfortable life for himself and his three sisters. After being left in near-poverty thanks to their father’s spending and gambling, Nick is desperate to find a business venture he can invest in to turn their fortunes around. Sadly, he has no head for business, preferring to spend his time engrossed in horrid novels.
When Matthias finds Nick in possession of a piece of the globe, he believes the handsome young man to be in on the scheme, and decides to keep a closer eye on him. But when Nick meets Matthias, he is enthralled by the “dark and dangerous bastard” who could have stepped out of one of his novels.
Despite his suspicions, Matthias is drawn to Nick, but will his suspicions destroy what is developing between them and cost Matthias a chance at happiness?
“My coach is this way. If you’d care to join me?”
Nick wondered if Deverell was pitching his voice to that low near-purr purposely, if he knew of the combination of excitement and weakness it caused in him. “Yes, of course,” he replied faintly, then cleared his throat and repeated, “Yes, thank you.”
Although Drury Lane was fairly well lit, there were still too many shadows for Nick to discern what expression the flinty eyes held. “This way,” Deverell said, guiding Nick further up the street.
Deverell’s hand at the small of his back seemed to burn through Nick’s greatcoat, coat, waistcoat and shirt all the way to his skin. They reached a coach of stark lines and no decoration, but obviously of the highest quality. A footman immediately descended from the back and opened the door.
“Find Lord Leighton’s coach,” Deverell said to the footman. “Inform his driver that his services will no longer be required this evening.”
Nick was still wondering whether sending his coach home was a sound idea when Deverell ushered him into the coach. Deverell climbed in across from him and the soft thump of the door closing seemed to echo in Nick’s head.
“I believe there is some understanding between us,” Deverell’s voice rumbled through the dark interior of the coach.
“Yes,” Nick could barely manage more than a whisper. Not only had his natural -- or unnatural -- urges remained unsatisfied since he’d left Cambridge, but now he found himself in close quarters with a man who could have stepped from the pages of the most thrilling horrid novel.
Let the heroines of those novels wait for the bright, shining nobles to rescue them. Nick always suspected it would be much more exciting to be carried off and ravished by the mysterious character in the shadows. Now he finally had the chance to find out.