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By Tasha Alexander

London's social season is in complete swing, and Victorian aristocracy cannot cease whispering a few definite gentleman who claims to be the direct descendant of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. yet he is not the one subject of wagging tongues. Drawing rooms, boudoirs, and ballrooms are abuzz with the most recent information of an audacious cat burglar who has been systematically stealing useful goods that when belonged to the ill-fated queen. mild gossip turns critical whilst the landlord of 1 of the pilfered treasures is located murdered, and the mysterious thief develops a twisted obsession with girl Emily Ashton. it's going to take all of Emily's wit and perseverance to unmask her stalker and ferret out the assassin, whereas confronted with a brewing scandal that threatens either her popularity and her romance together with her overdue husband's ally, the rushing Colin Hargreaves.

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Luncheon was typically a ladies’ meal; gentlemen preferred their clubs. My mother would certainly pay me a visit the moment she heard of this. I turned to Margaret as the duke and ladies left us. ” “Oh, he’s perfectly agreeable. You didn’t have to work on him at all. ” “How, precisely, do you plan to manage that? ” “I was hoping you could broker it for me, Emily. ” M argaret excused herself soon after we had retired to the sitting room following the luncheon. Jeremy squirmed uncomfortably, s 24 T A S H A A L E X A N D E R clearly surprised at having been left alone with me.

This time, the only thing taken was her husband’s silver snuffbox. The newspapers had been filled with stories about Mr. Francis’s death from the moment they learned of it, and each of them had mentioned that he died clutching the object. They attributed his death to Marie Antoinette’s curse and warned the citizens of London to take heed, suggesting that those whose property was stolen were lucky to have escaped with their lives. 4 A fter penning a hasty reply to Mrs. Francis, I changed into a well-cut riding habit and made my way to Rotten Row, need- ing desperately to clear my head.

But I think, s 30 T A S H A A L E X A N D E R Mrs. ” I recounted for her our conversation about the thefts and the pink diamond, leaving out the bits in which he had described his wife. Any lady capable of confronting her husband’s suspected paramour so soon after his death had far too much spirit to be painfully shy. “Now it is I who am confused. ” “The one that was stolen from your home. Your husband saw no point in upsetting you with the news of the theft, although I suppose once it was in the papers he had to come clean.

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