A Marquis For All Seasons by Renee Reynolds
Lady Miranda Leighton and the Marquis of Stafford, Roman de Courtenay, have a similar problem: their families want them to find a spouse. Together they hatch the perfect scheme: they will pretend an attachment and trick their families in their pursuit of one last season of unencumbered entertainment. Yet, in each other's constant company, they find their ruse giving rise to some surprisingly very real feelings. What happens when you set out to fool society, but only end up fooling yourselves?
Opening the door, she squinted at the brightness of the landing awash with the moonlight that streamed through the windows at the end of the hall. After her eyes adjusted, she cast a furtive glance in both directions before hugging the wall, boots in hand, as she slipped quietly to her chamber. Once inside, she was again surrounded by blackness, but this time, it comforted.
She was safe. She was home.
She was exceedingly glad, loathe to admit to herself how poorly the night's adventures had actually been. She would never admit aloud how queasy the entire spectacle had made her, nor would she admit she had no idea the crowd would be so loud and bloodthirsty over the fighting. She shivered slightly when a scratch sounded from the darkness. A light flickered, growing in brightness as a candle flame flared to life. She was discovered.
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