I Loved a Rogue: The Prince Catchers
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In the third in Katharine Ashe's Prince Catchers series, the eldest of three very different sisters must fulfill a prophecy to discover their birthright. But if Eleanor is destined to marry a prince, why can't she resist the scoundrel who seduced her?
She can pour tea, manage a household, and sew a modest gown. In short, Eleanor Caulfield is the perfect vicar's daughter. Yet there was a time when she'd risked everything for a black-eyed gypsy who left her brokenhearted. Now he stands before her—dark, virile, and ready to escort her on a journey to find the truth about her heritage.
Leaving eleven years ago should have given Taliesin freedom. Instead he's returned to Eleanor, determined to have her all to himself, tempting her with kisses and promising her a passion she's so long denied herself. But if he was infatuated before, he's utterly unprepared for what will happen when Eleanor decides to abandon convention—and truly live . . .
I was afraid you wouldn’t like it,” he said. “I do not dislike that you wished to learn Latin. Indeed, I am pleased. But I do not like it that you withheld your possession of the primer from me. ” “He stole it. ” “Daughter, if you cannot contain your lack of charity I will ask you to remove to a private chamber where you can bring your conscience into a more regulated state. ” She bit her lips together. But she saw the gleam in the black eyes of her challenger, and she was ready to surpass anything he flung her way.
Snapping her face away, she swept from the room. The air went with her. Now he understood himself. Since the first time he’d visited Kitharan he had imagined her in this room. Not empty like this. Instead, lined with books, and she disposed in a chair by the window with a volume between her hands. Her spirit in this room. Her presence. In his imagination, of course, sparks had not flown from her furious eyes. He moved onto the landing and words drifted up to him from the foyer below, fully audible in the semi-dome of the ceiling.
It’s tearing me up. ” The pain in her head was like a smith’s press, crushing. “Mustn’t go . . . ” Her breaths were so shallow she couldn’t force words. “I’m not going, miss. They’re keeping me here. Her ladyship’s maid will be caring for you—” “No. ” Had she spoken aloud? How could this be real? Perhaps she was ill. She recognized this weakness. This hopelessness. So long ago. But then she’d been a girl. Had she been sick again for months? No. He had saved her then. Thoughts alighted. Swiftly flew away. Confused.
It seemed he had not shaved this morning. His jaw was more shadowed than last night when the scrape of his whiskers on her breasts and neck had made her weak with pleasure. “We were all in the tent when she said it,” she managed to say. “But Arabella had asked for it because of— When Ravenna told you about the prophecy, did she tell you about the . . . about our heirloom? ” “No. ” “Our mother sent us to England with a small, valuable object that she said we must keep safe. It was so precious that rather than give it into our nurse’s keeping, she tied it on a thick string around my neck.
He needn’t kiss her if he couldn’t. She could be content with speaking with him, feeling his ebony eyes upon her. That would be enough. It had to be enough. “He is unlikely to return until the spring,” her papa said. “His uncle has interests that he needs Taliesin to see to in . . . where was that? Bristol, perhaps. Fetch my spectacles, child. I can never make out Professor Hinkle’s writing without them. ” The spring? An eon away. A lifetime. Yet he had said nothing of it. Instead, without a word he had abandoned her in a strange confusion of yearning.