In a little more than a month, the Brava anthology Improper Gentlemen will hit the shelves! I just got copies of the finished product, and I giggled when I e-mailed friends and said I got a box of Improper Gentlemen. Who would not love some bad boys deliverd by FedEx?
For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting snippets of my novella “To Match a Thief” right here. Let the impropriety begin!
Jane Street, London, October 1820
Lucy Dellamar looked down with dismay at the diamond brooch in her hand.
It had happened again.
She hadn’t meant to steal it, though it was clear she had, for why else would it be cutting into her palm? But there it had been, carelessly twinkling on the bedside table of her neighbor Victorina Castellano, where anyone might come upon it and pocket it. At least Lucy had not taken Victorina’s matching earrings that were right beside it, although she probably should have. Sets were more valuable when kept together.
Botheration. No time for regrets for her light fingers and inadequate forethought. Lord Ferguson would be happy, and that’s all that counted. It meant a roof over her head for another month at least, and perhaps a choicer cut of meat even if the cook had already quit. She would buy it and cook it herself.
Lucy was hungry right now. Thieving was hard work, though whoring was worse. It hadn’t come to that—yet.
Even if she did live on Jane Street, ‘Courtesan Court’, the most wicked street in Mayfair.
Lucy lived a total lie. Oh, too many ‘ls’ upon the tongue, but there it was. Six years ago, she had been plucked out of obscure quasi-poverty by Lord Percival Ferguson and offered a job she could not refuse.
There was no reason to say no. She had been a twenty-four year old spinster, deserted by her fiancé, a thief far more cunning than she ever aspired to be. For all she knew he was dead—there had not been a word from him in over seven years.
Lucy’s new job was remarkably easy. Lord Ferguson had asked her to pretend to be his mistress…