Before she could ask him why being finely dressed for a ball should have discouraged him, he silenced her by touching her cheek. Sunlight dappled his face, causing the minuscule beads of sweat on his jaw to glisten like frozen snowflakes on a glass pane. Good grief! The man felled her sound rules in one blow.

 

Her aunt and friends were almost upon them.

 

“Promise to receive me, Wynne!”

 

Her slender brow lifted. “And if I refuse?”

 

He fingered the hair framing the left side of her face. A strand or two came free in the tender combing. Instead of shaking them off to catch the breeze, Keanan tucked them into his waistcoat pocket. He gave the approaching women a distracted wave.

 

“Would you refuse the man who rescued you from a villain? I am certain if I discussed this situation with Lothbury and his cronies, he would be shocked by your lack of appreciation.”

 

Lord Nevin had been correct. There was nothing this rogue would not do to gain his desires. “Are you blackmailing me, Mr. Milroy?”

 

His heavy-lidded gaze dropped to her lips as if he was recalling how much he enjoyed kissing her. Her lips tingled. God save her, she could not prevent herself from remembering their kiss, too.

 

“We both know what happens when you challenge me, Wynne.” Fathomless indigo eyes clashed with her passionate green. “For some reason,” he murmured for her ears alone, “I predict neither one of us can do much to thwart it.”

 

Copyright © November 2013. Excerpt from THE SCANDALOUSLY BAD MR. MILROY by Alexandra Hawkins. Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks. All rights reserved.

 

 

Excerpt!

Charm. Once, she thought he did not possess the skill. This afternoon, he gushed to the point of swamping her very senses. It would be so easy to believe him.

 

However, Wynne was old enough to be considered quite on the shelf, despite her pleasing countenance. Her papa called it pickiness on her part. She believed she had learned a thing or two about a courting male. The first rule was to look beyond the obvious. If the man was handsome and satisfied a lady’s requisites in a husband, then he probably mistreated animals or had an abundance of children from his various mistresses. The second rule: never believe a man’s flattery. No gentleman she ever encountered wasted time with flowery speech unless he was after something from the intended lady.

 

The sound of female voices had her checking the house again. Aunt Moll had decided it was time to view the results of her matchmaking. Mr. Milroy lifted his head at the sound, understanding his time alone with her had ended.

 

He captured her hand before she could turn away. “I want to see you again,” he said, no playful cajoling lessening the command.

 

“Why?”

 

He snorted, using the edge of his shoe to kick at the gravel. “Why else? I have not stopped thinking about you from the moment I saw you on your back, fighting for your life. Even seeing you cleaned up, head high, appearing every inch a queen, has not deterred me.”