The glitter and glamour of London Society holds little appeal for the reclusive Viscount Davenport. But when he receives an urgent call to the family estate, little does he know he is about to be drawn into a deadly mystery that will force him to confront demons from the past. The theft of an ancient family heirloom -- rumored to carry a strange curse -- and the disappearance of his younger brother raise frightening questions. His hunt for answers takes him back to Town -- and a fiery encounter with an old acquaintance who may be his only hope for discovering the truth. Lady Olivia Marquand, the sultry, savvy owner of a spice trading company, knows her way around the shadowy world of clandestine commerce, so Davenport has no choice but to ask for her help, no matter that sparks fly between them. As the clues lead them from the sparkling ballrooms of Mayfair to the smoky gaming hells of St. Giles, they find themselves fighting the deadly wiles of a cunning adversary -- and their own simmering attraction, which threatens to consume them in a flare of flames....
Andrea DaRif started creating books at the age of five, or so she is told. Her mother has the proof -- a neatly penciled story, the pages lavishly illustrated with crayon-drawings of horses and bound with staples -- to back up the claim. She has since moved on from Westerns to writing about Regency England, a time and place that has captured her imagination ever since opening the covers of Pride and Prejudice. In addition to the drawing rooms and countryside depicted by Jane Austen, she has drawn inspiration from the work of other classic authors of the period, including Ann Radcliffe and, of course, the Brontës. Writing as Andrea Pickens, she has received a Career Achievement Award from the Romantic Times in Regency Romance, and was a RITA finalist in 2003. The author of The Tiger's Mistress, available from Pocket Books, she is a graduate of Yale University, with a B.A. in art and an M.F.A. in graphic design. She and her husband live in Connecticut, where she is working on getting her golf handicap down to a respectable number when she is not riveted to her keyboard. Please visit her website at www.andreadarif.com.
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