M is for Marquess

Book 2: Heart of Enquiry

$5.99$25.99

Widower Gabriel Ridgley, the Marquess of Tremont, has an immaculate reputation — but mystery lies beneath the surface. When his son is placed in the care of sweet-tempered Thea Kent, he finds himself risking more than his secrets. As the desperate hunt for the villain killing Gabriel’s former colleagues begins, he and Thea get entangled in intrigue, betrayal, and desire too powerful to resist. Will trust help them to survive… and true love set them free?

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Description

About the Book

#1 Bestselling Regency Romance on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

A former spy with dangerous secrets fears nothing…except his dark desire for the delicate virgin he cannot have. 

A Prisoner of His Past
Gabriel Ridgley, the Marquess of Tremont, is dubbed The Angel for his pristine reputation. Yet he harbors a dark secret: a spy during the Napoleonic Wars, he bears deep and dangerous scars. When he meets Miss Dorothea Kent, a delicate virgin, he is torn between carnal desire—and the need to protect her from his inner demons.  

A Captive of Her Passions
Despite a frail constitution, Thea Kent has strength of spirit and heart. A wild attraction blooms between her and Gabriel, a widowed aristocrat with tortured eyes, yet he resists the pull between them. When fate places his disabled son in her care, she’s determined to guard the boy—and unravel the mystery of Gabriel’s past.

Freed by Love and Passion
Someone is killing Gabriel’s former colleagues, and he may be next on the list. As the desperate hunt for the villain begins, he and Thea get entangled in intrigue, betrayal, and desire too powerful to resist. Will trust help them to survive… and true love set them free?

The Details Published: August 2, 2015 Publisher: Grace Callaway Books Pages: Paperback - 334pgs, Hardback - 332pgs Formats: Ebook, Audiobook, Signed Paperback, Signed Hardback, IBSN: 1939537169 IBSN-13: 978-1939537164, 978-1939537621

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Her head jerked up. Heart thudding, she found herself staring up at Tremont’s austere face. He’d emerged noiselessly from the shelves.

“Goodness,” she said, “you startled me. You move like a ghost.”

“An unfortunate habit.” His mouth lifted at the corners—to some inner source of amusement? “I apologize for treading too lightly.”

“Fools rush in where The Angel fears to tread?”

His smile deepened at her quip, transforming him from his celestial namesake to a flesh and blood man. Indeed, in his shirtsleeves and sans cravat, he was even more disturbingly masculine than usual. His lean cheeks bore the shadow of bronze scruff, which accented the sensual line of his lips. Against the snowy linen of his shirt, his throat was strong and bronzed, the open collar offering a tantalizing glimpse of his muscled, hair-dusted chest…

“What are you doing up at this hour, Miss Kent?” he asked.

Hastily, she pulled her gaze up. “I couldn’t sleep.”

“Neither could I. All the excitement, I suppose.”

She did not reply. Not because she couldn’t think of anything to say but because of the abundance of words suddenly cluttering her brain. Did I imagine the attraction between us? Why did you leave without a word? Was my kiss that repugnant? Yet she’d never been one to confront, and so she sat there, steeped in silent tension.

Logs crackled in the fireplace. Tremont ran a hand through his hair, a sign of his own unease perhaps. It was an improper situation; when he opened his mouth, she fully expected him to take his leave.

Instead, he gestured to the adjacent wingchair. “May I?”

She blinked. “If you like. It seems you were here first.”

He settled his long, lean frame against the leather. With the ankle of one boot propped against the opposite knee, he regarded her. Master of the house, even if he was only a guest. Power, understated yet palpable, emanated from him. She wished she didn’t find his natural air of command and self-assurance so very attractive.

“I am in your debt,” he said, “for rescuing Frederick today.”

“I did as anyone would have done in those circumstances.”

“I disagree. Your actions showed uncommon courage, particularly given your constitution.”

The qualification burst the bubble of pleasure that his praise had given rise to. An edge crept into her tone. “I’m not as delicate as I appear.”

“I know few ladies, delicate or otherwise, who would have dared to intervene with a kidnapping.”

Obviously, he was not well acquainted with the females of her family.

“How is Lord Frederick faring?” she said politely.

“He was sound asleep when I checked in on him. The doctor’s potion seems to be working.” Lines deepened around his mouth. “I can only hope today’s trauma has no lasting effects.”

“How often does Lord Frederick have falling spells?”

She asked without thinking: it was a natural question, after all. Yet Tremont’s eyes turned steely, as hard as a blade. It was an impenetrable barrier, the kind only a foolish miss would try to overcome. She’d deluded herself once; she didn’t fancy repeating the experience.

“I didn’t mean to pry.” She rose. “If you’ll excuse me—”

He was on his feet in an instant, his hand circling her wrist. “No, please. Don’t go.”

The heat of his touch jolted her. His fingers were strong, callused against the sensitive underside of her wrist. Awareness spread from the point of contact, goose pimples tingling over her skin, the tips of her breasts stiffening, rising beneath her nightclothes. Warmth liquefied and pooled in her belly. Her heart thumping, she forced herself to meet his gaze.

“I don’t enjoy games, my lord,” she said.

“Games?”

“Mixed messages. Uncertainty.” Her voice trembled. “Hot and cold leaves me lukewarm.”

His hold on her tightened subtly. “I find you anything but lukewarm, Miss Kent.”

“I’m not the problem.” Frustration strung her nerves as tautly as piano strings. “You are.”

Something dangerous flashed in his eyes. “Meaning?”

Like a catapult cut loose, suppressed emotions surged from her. “You toyed with my affections for months, and I never knew if you were courting me or merely passing the time. You were never clear with your intentions. If you didn’t want me to kiss you, then you should have just said so instead of leaving without a word.” Her breath surged in agitated waves. “And now you are back and your behavior is more confusing than ever. I don’t know why you left. I have no idea what you want now—”

“I know what I want, Thea,” he rasped. “What I have always wanted from you.”

He yanked her against him. A shocking collision of softness against hardness. Before she could gather her wits, his mouth sealed over hers, his kiss stealing her breath.

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What people are saying...

“I discovered a new auto-buy author…I’ve now read each of Grace Callaway’s books and loved them – which is exceptional. Gabriel and Thea from this book were two of the best characters I read this year. Both had their difficulties and it was charming to see how they overcame them together, even though it wasn’t always easy for them. This is my favourite book of 2015.”

– Romantic Historical Reviews

“The romance between Gabriel and Thea is really hot. The two of them have a great chemistry and the scenes between them burn up the pages.”

– Sheila, Goodreads

“Another sensual, suspenseful, delightful, seriously HOT read by Grace Callaway. Dear Lord, lady, I did a lot of fanning, sighing, and smiling while reading this book…I can’t wait for the next one. GIMME!”

– Jackson, Goodreads

“Thea was everything you hope for in a heroine. Her delicate constitution does not hold her back from being a strong, spirited and intelligent woman. Gabriel, despite being widowed and having his own demons to tame, is her perfect mate and their chemistry is explosive.”

– Lily, Goodreads

“Another awesome installment in the series. This book is filled with all the makings of the kind of romance I enjoy- intrigue, charm, strength, sex, and romance. The main characters are well-matched, having their own demons to counter and I love seeing the rest of the characters from the previous books all come together.”

– Lori, Goodreads

“What I can tell you about is her ability to flawlessly flow the plot….a novel in her hand is like a AMG GT in the hand of a good driver….no bumps, or swerves, or jerky breaking…just one smooth ride lol. The intimate scenes in the hand of any other author would come off vulgar and cheap…but Callaway immerses it in so much love, and passion, and longing, and angst that you can’t help but respond. I still skim read them (with a flushed face lol).”

– Gilgamesha, Goodreads

“Lard Tunderin Jaysus is this book ever brilliant, and it most definitely is one of the best books I’ve read this year so far….The suspense, the intrigue, the whodunit to the most sensual decadent intimacy between Gabriel and Thea (absolutely smoking hot)…will keep you riveted to this book.”

– Patricia, Goodreads

“I can’t say enough great things about this book!! The second book in the series was just as great as the first. I have very few authors that I read that I can say I enjoyed every single book they wrote. Ms Callaway is one of them if not the best of them. I can not wait for the next book in the series. I have also read all of the books in the series mayhem in Mayfair. All were 5 stars as well.

– Mary, Goodreads

“Grace’s books are truly among the best historical romance books around and she certainly didn’t disappoint with this one either. It had me captivated from the beginning with a hot alpha and dark sensual promises; all mixed in with romance and a gripping mystery.”

– Nicola, Goodreads