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About Scoundrel for Hire: Book 1, Velvet Lies Series
Raphael Jones is a Kentucky-born scoundrel, who has never played by the rules. When Colorado mining heiress, Silver Nichols, hires him to stop her precious daddy from marrying a golddigger, Rafe sets out to seduce Silver and win her fortune.
Now the wily scoundrel must choose: walk away or wager the one thing he can’t afford to lose—his heart.
Rafe Makes Mischief at the Party
Oblivious to the knife that was twisting in Silver’s chest, Papa blew his fiancée a kiss. Celestia pinkened like a bonbon. Clasping her well-corseted bosom, she made a great show of blowing back her answer, and Papa chortled, reaching up to catch it.
It was more than Silver could bear.
“Papa,” she said tersely, “perhaps it’s time you introduced Lord Chumley to your fiancée. I’m sure Celestia might be persuaded to tear herself away from her palm-reading long enough to… uh…” She tossed a withering glance at Rafe’s preposterous, chartreuse waistcoat and outlandish muttonchop whiskers. ” … Meet such a distinguished member of the British House of Lords.”
“Odds fish,” Rafe drawled, squinting through his quizzing glass at Celestia’s equally outlandish costume. “A palm reader, is she?”
“She sure is,” Papa said proudly. “She talks to spirits, too. Why, we’re planning on having a séance to talk to that pesky ghost,” he continued over Silver’s sputtered objections. “You know, the one that’s been haunting our mine and driving all the shovel stiffs away.”
“A ghost, you say?” Rafe looked like he might burst out laughing. “Lud, what rotten luck. Can’t be good for business, what? My great grandmummy’s castle was haunted once,” he improvised brightly. “The bugger kept driving her sheep away. It was deuced inconvenient; they kept drowning in the moat. Turns out, Sir Harry—that was our ghost—had it in for the critters. Choked to death on a leg o’ lamb, you see. So he’d ring a cowbell to lure them over the drawbridge.”
Silver narrowed her eyes at her playactor’s ad-lib. “Fortunately, there are no sheep in Silver’s Mine.”
“But there is a bell,” Papa added thoughtfully. “‘Course, it’s supposed to be a warning bell, but it’s got all the men spooked ’cause it rings for no danged reason. Or at least, that’s what we used to think. But maybe Nahele’s been trying to warn us away. Do you suppose that’s why he’s resorting to more drastic measures, like snuffing out lanterns and dumping lunch pails into the abyss?”
“Papa,” Silver ground out, ever-conscious of the newsman who was trailing after them, “Nahele is not roaming our tunnels, upsetting lunch buckets. The very idea is ludicrous.”
“Now, daughter, you can’t be so sure. No one knows for certain what happens to the spirit after it leaves its fleshy abode. Celestia says we can ask Nahele anything we like during the séance, and I mean to ask him to stop harassing our shovel stiffs. Besides,” Papa added more ominously, “who knows what Nahele might do next if we keep ignoring him?”
“A séance is a rather novel approach to avoiding a miners’ strike,” Buckholtz interjected snidely.
Silver scowled. So much for trying to keep that headline out of the newspaper.
“Our miners are reasonable men,” she told the newsman with long-suffering dignity. “I’m sure their peculiar set of grievances can be logically explained. With safety being our primary concern, of course, I shall direct our mining engineers to re-inspect the timbering for buckling and cracking. I’m sure this will allay the Union’s fears.”
“Dash it all.” Rafe donned a hangdog expression. “Does that mean there won’t be a séance? I was so looking forward to chatting with a real, live ghostie—”
Silver furtively stomped his foot.
About the Author
Adrienne deWolfe is a #1 Bestselling Author and a recipient of 48 writing awards, including the Best Historical Romance of the Year. She consistently delights readers with sexy, action-packed, western-style romances, including her Wild Texas Nights series and her Velvet Lies series. In addition, she is the author of the bestselling non-fiction ebook series, The Secrets to Getting Your Romance Novel Published.
Fascinated by all things mystical, Adrienne writes a weekly blog about dragons, magic, and the paranormal at http://MagicMayhemBlog.com to help her research her upcoming YA Epic Fantasy series. She also writes a weekly blog with fiction writing tips and advice about the business of writing at http://WritingNovelsThatSell.com. She enjoys mentoring aspiring authors and offers professional story critiques and book coaching services.
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Other Books in the Velvet Lies series
Book 1: SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE
Book 2: HIS WICKED DREAM
Book 3: SEDUCED BY AN ANGEL
Book 4: DEVIL IN TEXAS (Available 2014)