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In the eyes of society, ladies are born, not made…
Eloise Hamilton, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy banker, knows society’s hallowed doors are closed to the likes of her. She attends her first country ball with no expectations, not even when Lord Richard Craven, heir to a dukedom, singles her out.
Harry Benson-Smythe is shocked to return from a long absence to find that the sight of Craven sniffing around an all-grown-up Eloise incites a disconcerting level of jealousy. All for a girl he once thought of as a little sister—now a woman his father will never allow him to take to wife.
But there are other ways to be together, as in joining forces to investigate the disappearance of several local girls. Yet when Harry catches Craven kissing Eloise, he decides he will damn well be the one to show her how it’s done—properly.
Craven will not let Eloise’s rejections and Harry’s insults go lightly by. He had plans for Eloise’s virginal body—even if life as they all know it ends in a hellfire of bullets.
Struggling to escape her past and make ends meet as a modiste, Katrina Sinclair hopes the daring new wardrobe she's designed for her childhood friend Julia—now a marchioness—will attract the business she desperately needs. But Julia's help comes at a price: Katrina must take her place at a house party. They look enough alike for the ruse to work...until Julia's handsome former fiancé arrives.
Leo Kincade has been tasked with catching a traitor who steals from house parties to fund Napoleon's armies. Three women are suspected—including Julia. But when Leo intercepts her at the party, he finds an impostor who stirs an attraction stronger than anything he felt for Julia.
The mysterious woman shares Leo's interest, even if she won't trust him with her true identity. He should expose her at once, but he's too tempted to play along and see where her deception—and their passion—will lead...