Book online «For Your Arms Only Linden, Caroline (top romance novels TXT) 📖». Author Linden, Caroline
To my dad, whose military history library would
have come in handy during the writing of this book;
and to my mom, who taught me to love the local
public library (which DID come in handy during
the writing of this, and every, book)
It was said that every sort of vice could be…
Penford didn’t appear to have changed much. Three stories of…
Alec strode toward the breakfast room early the next morning,…
Cressida Turner watched until the stranger rode away, down the…
Cressida’s plans had progressed no further than that when they…
The moment Alec had been dreading arrived all too soon.
Alec’s next encounter with Miss Turner happened purely by chance.
Cressida!” She jumped, startled out of her thoughts, and looked…
The man he had come to meet was late.
The invitation to Penford arrived the next morning. Cressida held…
Cressida found herself having a lovely time as the evening…
He took her at her word, and arrived early the…
It was, as Alec had expected, a tedious job. For…
Her curse amused him. She could see the curve of…
After the trip into London, there seemed to be little…
Visiting Penford and living at Penford were very different.
That Sunday Alec agreed to accompany the family to church…
Do you hear me?” The voice sounded strange, guttural and…
At the end of the week John Hayes’s mother and…
Cressida took her time returning to the house. She couldn’t…
Callie found her an hour after luncheon the next day,…
It took Alec a few days to recover from the…
If Alec had feared his confession would cause even more…
Cressida almost missed dinner. She had spent the afternoon poring…
Later, Cressida would be very thankful it had been so…
That day was one of upheaval, as John and his…
He was halfway down the stairs by the time they…
Those who had fought with the Duke of Wellington in…
But I can’t help,” Cressida said for the fourth time.
Alec found Angus Lacey in his study, dozing off over…
Lacey’s incredulity turned to disgust as he turned on Alec.
They rode home slowly, she before him on the horse.
To Alec’s great surprise, John Stafford himself arrived the next…
It was a tidy lane, dotted with a few small…
About the Author
Other Books by Caroline Linden
About the Publisher
It was said that every sort of vice could be found in London, if one knew where to look. In the filthy rookery of St. Giles, one didn’t have to look very hard.
The fight had already started, a bare-knuckle match between two street fighters in a grimy pub cellar. The favorite, an Irishman native to St. Giles, was short and stocky and known for fighting dirty; in St. Giles, fighting dirty was applauded. The challenger was an African, dark and formidable, and jeered by the crowd. The cellar was packed with men who had paid their farthing at the door and were intent on recouping their money by placing bets with any and all takers. A musty odor of old smoke, spilled beer, and dried sweat clung to the walls; before the night was over, there would probably be a sharp scent of freshly spilled blood as well.
One spectator, pasty pale and a little too short to see over the rest of the crowd, wormed his way through the room. From time to time he bobbed on his toes for a glimpse of the fighters before resuming his search for a better vantage point. At last he seemed to find one that suited him, settling into a place against the wall opposite the stairs.
“Five quid on the Moor,” he said to the man beside him, a tall fellow in the hard-worn clothes of a drayman.
The taller man removed the cigar from between his teeth and blew out a puff of smoke. “The Irishman’s favored.”
The newcomer, Mr. Phipps, scoffed. “Bloody idiots, the Irish. Look at the Moor—solid muscle, a long reach, and such ferocity! He could beat a dozen Irishmen.” In timely demonstration, the African fighter struck, pounding several quick hits to his opponent’s belly. The Irishman staggered and looked for a moment as if he would fall to his knees. Phipps raised a fist in triumph.
His companion shrugged. “Perhaps. But the crowd wants the Irishman to win, Mr. Phipps. If the African wins, the losses will be heavy.”
“You’ve got no appreciation at all for the sport, have you, Brandon?” Mr. Phipps said crossly.
“No.” In the ring, the Irishman landed a punishing blow to his opponent’s chin, and the African fell back to his seconds, reeling in pain. The frenzied crowd roared, and even the colorless Phipps let out a shout. Brandon didn’t move, his eyes still restlessly roaming over the spectators.
“You’re the only man I know who wouldn’t relish this assignment,” Phipps told him in a low voice. “There’s men out doing a lot worse than watching a good mill.” Brandon just gave a quiet snort. Phipps shook his head and sighed, reluctantly turning from the fight. “Well, where is Pearce?”
“There.” Brandon tilted his head, indicating a balding man in a green coat across the room. “He met them just a bit ago and took a packet from them. Paid in coin.”
“And the Blackwoods?”
“By the ring, near the corner.” Brandon dropped his cigar and ground it under his heel. “They bet very heavily on the Irishman.”
Phipps nodded. “Good work.” He pushed up the brim of his cap and wiped his forehead, and his other men, scattered around the room, took note. With practiced ease they maneuvered toward the three men just identified. The two Mr. Blackwoods and Mr. Pearce would spend the night in Newgate Prison, although none knew it yet. Like many others before them, the Blackwood brothers