Sabrina Fairleigh arrives at an exclusive country soiree with marriage in mind. How shocking-and intriguing-to discover her host is an infamous ladies' man known for his indecent (and, ah, inspiring) poetry! They call him The Libertine, and his poetry is just as scandalous-and irresistible-as he is. But after one duel too many forces Rhys Gillray, Earl of Rawden, from lively London to his country estate, he's in desperate need of a cure for boredom. And the proper but beautiful vicar's daughter seems like the perfect test of his sensual skills. With wit and wiliness, Rhys strips away Sabrina's defenses. But as he teaches her pleasure, the emotional stakes of their sensual duel go beyond anything Rhys has ever known. For deep in his past lies the missing clue to the crime that destroyed Sabrina's family. And all The Libertine's seductive secrets may not be enough to save their future and their hearts.
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Sabrina Fairleigh, adopted daughter of the vicar of Tinbury, "counts herself fortunate to be possessed of an even temperament" and imagines it must be a terrible inconvenience, and quite uncomfortable, to be at the mercy of one's passions. Not surprisingly, these views change when she meets the Libertine, otherwise known as Rhys Gillray, earl of Rawden, in this amusing Regency romance. Rhys, author of a seductive poetry volume that has both scandalized and enthralled the women of the ton, has grown bored of debauchery and decides that de-thawing the chilly Sabrina is the perfect project to keep his mind occupied and his skills sharp. As he gradually breaks down Sabrina's composure with seductive innuendo and impassioned bickering, drama unfolds elsewhere: a prisoner finally faces trial for the 17-year-old murder of a revered politician. Unbeknownst to Sabrina, the murdered man holds the key to reuniting her long-lost family. Though a bit wordy, Long's sharp leads keep this witty tale of love, passion, family and betrayal moving nicely. (May)
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