Much Ado About Rogues (Mills & Boon M&B) (Mills & Boon Special Releases)

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Money, power, influence--Leo von Hessler had inherited it all from his manipulative, empire-building father. But just how much of his business had been built at the expense of others' shattered hopes and dreams? Only a visit to a once phenomenally su His game, her rules Tasha couldn't refuse to help--not when her favorite cousin's happiness was at stake!

But pretending to be someone she wasn't was risky business Especially when it involved trying to fool Luke Templecombe. And Luke was f There was nothing else she could do Stranded in a border-hills snowstorm, Emily Blacklaw had to accept the handsome stranger's offer of help--even though it meant sharing the warmth of Matt Slater's sleeping bag. It was a turning point for Emil Charlotte was afraid to follow her instincts At least as far as Oliver Tennant was concerned.

After all, how could she respond to a man who was also a business rival? One who just might be playing a deceptive game?

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How many times had Charlo Would he always hold the past against her? Their first meeting was disastrous Harriet Smith had accused the disreputable-looking, near-naked man of being a rapist. She'd refused his plea for help. So it was highly embarrassing when Harriet discovered that the man was Rigg Matthews, her emin It happened all the time Jenneth told herself she wasn't the only woman in the world to have been let down by the man she loved and expected to marry.

She knew people went on to rebuild their lives and find lasting relationships. So why couldn' Rue didn't need a man in her life She didn't want one, either. The past had taught her only too well the chaos that love could bring. She was happy enough, building her small dried-flower business and learning to enjoy life on her own. Neil Sax Jessica launched herself on a new career She firmly believed that she had put the traumas of the past successfully behind her. Yet some shadows still lingered and she feared that even now her parents would somehow try to manipulate her and forc The wedding brought them together again For Kate it was a shock to meet the man she'd loved and believed had betrayed and abandoned her.

What was he doing at her daughter's wedding? Joss Bennett was an unexpected guest. And Kate's world shatter Heather dreaded seeing Kyle Bennett again Six years ago, her stupid, childish jealousy had driven him away from the only home he had ever known. But for her father's sake, now she must ask for his help. Real power, true power came from Rothwell. And Charles vowed to have it, the earldom and all that went with it.

Silver vowed to destroy Charles, just as surely and uncaringly as he had destroyed her father; just as he had intended to destroy her. Hannah Maitland congratulated herself "There's no man in my life Not now, not in the past and not in the future. She thought she It was a mistake. It just had to be Surely Howard would come to his senses and realize Holly was the one for him.

When he did, she'd be waiting. Meanwhile, though, Holly Witchell was determined to make Howard Neston appreciate what he had lost He came with the best possible recommendations Even so, if Kate Oakley hadn't desperately needed a nanny, she'd never have employed a man to look after a nine-month-old baby. Rick Evans, however, gave her the opportunity to make a stable home l It was too late to correct their mistake Sorrel Llewellyn didn't particularly want to meet her long-lost cousin Val from Australia.

However, since the girl had come all this way just to make contact, it seemed a little churlish not to welcome her Lady Eleanor de Tressail was simply mortified Bad enough that before his death, her old-fashioned grandfather had ensured that their impoverished estate wouldn't have to be sold--by arranging her marriage. But to Joss Wycliffe of all people--the s She had been hurt too many times Accused by a malicious cousin of committing a scandalous crime, Lark Cummings was devastated.

And, in the British courts, the prosecutor, ruthless James Wolfe, showed her no mercy. Then, incredibly, the case was There never would be another man for Kate London schoolteacher Kate Seton, returning on vacation with her daughter, Cherry, to her parents' Yorkshire farm, was shocked to see Silas Edwards again. Now he was a biologist running a government project She'd unleashed his fury with her jealous lies Ten years ago teenage Maggie had fled her beloved Deveril House--driven off by Marcus Landersby's savage outrage.

Her falsehoods, an attempt to hang on to Marcus, her attractive older stepcousin, had A searing passion left her scarred And since that devastating experience, when Campion had been like a newly opened flower crushed by a cruel hand, she had closed out that side of her nature. Now she was being forced to reopen it. Her literary He'd taught her how to kiss. But did he know about love? All her life, Gemma's parents had stressed the "right sort" of people.

Only once, at fifteen, had Gemma slipped past their biased protection and chosen a secret friend for herself--itinerant They were strangers, but each had a need The loss of her dearest friend left Diana with a profound need to be close to someone. One night of passion in a stranger's arms, unplanned and unexpected, answered that need and more--she became pregnant! He'd always made light of her feelings When she was young, Jenna had been infatuated with Simon Townsend, her best friend's teasing brother. Then infatuation changed to a curious uneasiness, one that made her feel edgy and restless in his company He needed a make-believe lover It was such a strange request--Gray Chalmers asking Stephanie to pose as his lover to help him resist the attractions of a beautiful but married woman.

Gray knew Stephanie, knew she didn't even like being touched She had come to take his inheritance Natasha Ames wasn't surprised that Jay Travers resented her presence on his family's Texas ranch. Not after she learned that his grandfather, who had met Natasha on a trip to England, had left her half of his p The same dark hair, the same mocking eyes; it was as if the Regency rake of the portrait, the seducer of Jenna's dream, had come to life.

Jenna, believing the last of the Deverils dead, was determined to buy the grea He offered her marriage--but only in name Inheriting a small cottage near London had allowed Claire Richards to achieve independence for herself and her young daughter, Lucy. So when Jay Fraser accused her of encouraging Lucy's friendship with his Confusion and desire.

Susannah was a successful writer for Tomorrow magazine, but the new managing director - the dynamic Hazard Maine - made it clear that he thought she was cheating her way to the top. It didn't help their working relationship, Dominic acted as if nothing had happened As though Christy's adolescent advances had not aroused his anger and contempt. The humiliation of his words had haunted her since and stood between her and all other men.

Her career in London had come t Ten years ago, Rachel Lee was a poor gypsy girl, who with great effort managed to go to the University. There she met an attractive and privileged young boy, but he and three friends raped her, destroying her illusions. Now, she is Pepper Minesse, It's been six years since Jamie walked in on her lover, Jake Brierton, in bed with another woman--and walked right back out that door and out of his life.

But even though Jamie has spent years working on her successful decorating business, she's neve Why was this arrogant new neighbor so determined to intrude on Sara's emotions--and arouse her passion? After her fiance's sudden de Pride and passion drew her to Portugal "It had been your father's dearest wish that his lost daughter be found. For her father had remarried, and Sh She never thought love would spoil her marriage Harassed by her brother-in-law's loathsome advances, Jessica decided that the only solution was marriage.

And the easiest way to find a husband was to advertize in the newspaper! Besides, she reasoned Sarah believed in love at first sight One enchanted evening at a masquerade ball Sarah French fell in love with a sapphire-eyed stranger. As if in a dream Sarah answered, "I want it, too Eight years ago, in the midst of a bleak marriage, Kate had offered herself to Dominic only to be humiliatingly rejected.

The pain had lingered, Marry Chase Lorimer--impossible! Since Somer MacDonald's humiliating encounter with Chase Lorimer on the isle of Jersey, she had kept men at a distance. Five years ago she had foolishly tried to prove her sexual desirability by seducing the gor Jon Phillips, her kind and understanding boss, was offering Sophy a marriage of convenience. He needed someone to help c It occurred to him that he could use her Emma had always played the role of dependable older sister, so it was not surprising that after smashing up Drake Harwood's brand-new Ferrari, Camilla, unable to pay, expected Emma to bail her out.

But t Saul Bradford believed that Lucy Martin bore him a grudge for turning her out of her father's house -- she was well aware of that. Yet how could she resent him when she had helped to make him so unhappy in the past? She only wanted to atone for her b Jay was a threat to her way of life! Vicky had worked for ten years to support her ten-year-old twins and a stepson, to hold onto the old home--her own needs unfulfilled in the struggle. When she thought of the past it was with regret and a fee The choice is yours," Joel was saying Joel's biting contempt of her over a teenage episode that he had wrongly interpreted had permanently scarred Lissa--left her unable to respond to any man.

Now, years later, they were at loggerheads over the True love needs no approval Lucas had always urged Lindsay to take charge of her own life, even though it meant defying her father's wishes. All that changed, however, the day Lucas was left in charge of Lindsay's inheritance--and her fate. Could she exorcise her dreams of love? Looking back, Christy realized that Simon hadn't wanted to fall in love with her six years ago -- while she'd had no other choice. Still, she shouldn't have assumed he'd want to marry her. She'd naively pl Seeing Slater again would cause Chris pain Natalie had always known how desperately in love with Slater Chris had been, and she'd arranged things so that Chris would have to return to England and face the man who'd rejected her.

For as a final mal The situation was explosive Selina Thorn arranged work with a prominent London QC not to break up his marriage--the way her mother had once tried--but to get to know her father secretly so that she could put her past behind her. She hadn't anti Marriage for a merger Joel Howard--arrogant, self-assured and all too aware of his sexual magnetism--reminded Cassie of the unlikelihood of anyone ever loving her. She would rather have sold her soul to the devil than ally herself with him. A six-month marriage; a quick annulment Blake Sefton had married Sapphire to acquire her father's Cotswolds farm.

And at first she'd been too besotted with him to realize that his passion burned for his mistress, Miranda, not for his virgin bride Could they ever be more than friends? Jake was Stephanie's employer Now there was an invisible barrier between th Love has no price Brooke Beauclere was under no illusions. To Adam Henderson she was an object of fleeting desire--upper class, stunningly beautiful, elusively tantalizing--a suitable conquest for an over-confident male with a fortune at his dispo She hadn't seen him in almost eleven years They'd been very much in love.

But if Philippa had married Scott, he would have lost his birthright. So Philippa had told him she was in love with someone else. Seeing her again unleashed Scott's bitte She desperately wanted to believe in his love Secretly Jaime still regretted having walked out on Blake. But his four-year silence had confirmed her fears--that Blake didn't love her or their child So naturally Jaime was suspicious when Blake t Yet when he mistook He neither loved nor respected her A link had been forged the day Claire saved the heir to the desert kingdom of Omarah from assassins.

Otherwise, she wouldn't have agreed to masquerade as the infant's mother--and Raoul D'Albro's unwanted wife. This man was more than a match for her As a model, Heather was accustomed to berg regarded as a sex object, but she made certain no one in her private life treated her that way She kept men at a distance, using her body as a lure and a torment, His honor left him no choice Sienna had been swept off her feet by the handsome, powerful Greek, Alexis Stefanides.

She'd been Their marriage had gone up in flames Jake Harvey was every woman's secret type.

During their brief and volatile union, Kate had been wildly jealous, dangerously insecure, and he'd never reassured her with words of love--only of desire. Kate wen Without trust, love cannot survive Sarah learned the bitter truth of those words when she discovered her brand-new marriage to Benedict de l'Isle was a joke, the result of a foolish masculine bet between Ben and his friend Dale. In anger, Sa At the hands of Alexei Serivace, Hope Stanford had discovered that the world could be hers--for a price.

Revenge had been Alexei's burning desire and Hope his means of attaining it. Her sheltered upbringing had only made the challenge more sweet. His pride made him believe the worst! Five years ago, Lisa Hayward had fled her exotic island home of St. Martin's, leaving her just begun marriage in ruins.

Back in London, she concentrated on raising her son, Robbie--Rorke's son The child was She was an ice maiden with a heart of glass Kelly Langdon's short, disastrous marriage had left her deeply suspicious of men.

Unconventional Courtship Generator

She knew all too well that her looks--along with a sizable inheritance--made her an attractive target for fortune hunt She wanted to punish him--not love him! When she was fifteen Laurel had been the victim of an attempted rape, and Oliver Savage was the reporter who had twisted her story, tearing her reputation to shreds and leaving her fearful of every man who c Foolishly she'd never stopped loving him Leon had swept the young and innocent Chloe into marriage, but there was no happy ending for them, for there would always be Marisa.

Marisa, obsessive and possessive about her stepbrother, implied a rela Her love would never be returned In Spain on business, Jessica had agreed to do her cousin a favor, but she never imagined it would result in her working with the aristocratic Sebastian Calvadores. From the moment they met he was callous and ar Had he been cruel only to be kind? Kirsty's promising stage career had nearly been destroyed by a scathing review written by Britain's foremost drama critic, Drew Chalmers. So when Kirsty saw a chance to avenge herself, she took it, unmindful of t Her worst fears had come true Being kidnapped by political terrorists was the realization of Saffron Wykeham's worst nightmares.

And to be taken to an isolated primitive farmhouse and subjected to the volatile dangerous temperaments of her captors w History was repeating itself! Chelsea had been innocent, naive enough to believe her love was so pure it would last forever. But Darren Slade had lied to her, and when she found out he already had a wife, Chelsea turned her back on romance. She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James.

She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had br Some scars wound too deeply to heal Amber's once lithe body had been crippled and disfigured by a horrible accident. The prospect of never walking again disheartened her, but much worse was the pain she felt when her fiance suddenly abandoned her On a guided tour of a rain forest she had been captured by guerrillas!

Only through the strength and comfort of fellow hostage Zach F She knew from experience the hurt a man could carelessly inflict on an Their antagonism was instant and mutual Simon Herries was dominating and arrogant, and he had readily jumped to the wrong conclusions about India. She would not be told to marry anyone! Much as she loved and respected her Arab stepfather and wanted to please him, Danielle was horrified to learn he was arranging a marriage for her, Arab fashion, to his nephew, Jourdan.

Danielle refused out Davina's love had long since died It had been killed the night she'd given birth to their son while Ruy, her husband, had been dallying with another woman. Only for her child's sake was Davina now returning to Spain, to the aristocratic de Silv His only desire was to use her That horrible damning letter! That Gilles could disrupt her life so carelessly, so callously just to be rid of a too pos She couldn't deny him this one chance Catriona found life on the remote Shetland island hard enough without Brett Simon's maddening demands.

If only her brother, Magnus, hadn't agreed to allow Brett's oil company to research a new terminal here--a Freedom was all she wanted from him Autumn was desperately struggling to put behind her the bittersweet memories of her marriage to Yorke Laing. He'd nearly destroyed her once with his cold brand of loving, but time and a demanding job had give They had shared a beautiful affair Then Briony had learned the shattering truth. Although she had been deeply in love with Kieron, a reporter then, he had wanted her only for a newspaper scoop. It was painfully ironic to Briony that his calculated It wasn't her job that he was after Radio Wyechester was failing, and no one could hide the fact much longer.

As advertising controller, Storm Templeton stood to lose a lot. She had worked long and hard to garner clients for the station. Could East and west love side by side? They were in love--why shouldn't they be married? But both Felicia and Faisal knew there would be problems.

Ordinary English girls just didn't marry wealthy Arabs. On a cloud of love and optimism, Felicia We use cookies to ensure the best user experience at FictionDB. By continuing to browse our site you are agreeing to our use of cookies per our User Agreement. Book List: titles. A Secret Disgrace. The Price of Royal Duty. Passion and the Prince. The Power of Vasilii. The Most Coveted Prize. A Stormy Spanish Summer. Giselle's Choice. The Reluctant Surrender.

Marriage: To Claim His Twins. The Italian Duke's Virgin Mistress. The Wealthy Greek's Contract Wife. A Bride for His Majesty's Pleasure. The Sicilian's Baby Bargain. The Sicilian Boss's Mistress. Captive at the Sicilian Billionaire's Command. Virgin For The Billionaire's Taking. The Sheikh's Blackmailed Mistress. A Royal Bride at the Sheikh's Command. Bride At Bellfield Mill. The Future King's Pregnant Mistress. Taken by the Sheikh.

The Christmas Bride. Master of Pleasure. Prince of The Desert. The Italian Duke's Wife. Blackmailing the Society Bride. Expecting The Playboy's Heir. Bedding His Virgin Mistress. Possessed by the Sheikh. Harlequin Presents - Mistress To Her Husband. Five years ago she had foolishly tried to prove her sexual desirability by seducing the gor Jon Phillips, her kind and understanding boss, was offering Sophy a marriage of convenience.

He needed someone to help c It occurred to him that he could use her Emma had always played the role of dependable older sister, so it was not surprising that after smashing up Drake Harwood's brand-new Ferrari, Camilla, unable to pay, expected Emma to bail her out. But t Saul Bradford believed that Lucy Martin bore him a grudge for turning her out of her father's house -- she was well aware of that. Yet how could she resent him when she had helped to make him so unhappy in the past?

She only wanted to atone for her b Jay was a threat to her way of life! Vicky had worked for ten years to support her ten-year-old twins and a stepson, to hold onto the old home--her own needs unfulfilled in the struggle. When she thought of the past it was with regret and a fee The choice is yours," Joel was saying Joel's biting contempt of her over a teenage episode that he had wrongly interpreted had permanently scarred Lissa--left her unable to respond to any man.

Now, years later, they were at loggerheads over the True love needs no approval Lucas had always urged Lindsay to take charge of her own life, even though it meant defying her father's wishes. All that changed, however, the day Lucas was left in charge of Lindsay's inheritance--and her fate. Could she exorcise her dreams of love? Looking back, Christy realized that Simon hadn't wanted to fall in love with her six years ago -- while she'd had no other choice.

Still, she shouldn't have assumed he'd want to marry her. She'd naively pl Seeing Slater again would cause Chris pain Natalie had always known how desperately in love with Slater Chris had been, and she'd arranged things so that Chris would have to return to England and face the man who'd rejected her. For as a final mal The situation was explosive Selina Thorn arranged work with a prominent London QC not to break up his marriage--the way her mother had once tried--but to get to know her father secretly so that she could put her past behind her. She hadn't anti Marriage for a merger Joel Howard--arrogant, self-assured and all too aware of his sexual magnetism--reminded Cassie of the unlikelihood of anyone ever loving her.

She would rather have sold her soul to the devil than ally herself with him. A six-month marriage; a quick annulment Blake Sefton had married Sapphire to acquire her father's Cotswolds farm. And at first she'd been too besotted with him to realize that his passion burned for his mistress, Miranda, not for his virgin bride Could they ever be more than friends? Jake was Stephanie's employer Now there was an invisible barrier between th Love has no price Brooke Beauclere was under no illusions. To Adam Henderson she was an object of fleeting desire--upper class, stunningly beautiful, elusively tantalizing--a suitable conquest for an over-confident male with a fortune at his dispo She hadn't seen him in almost eleven years They'd been very much in love.

But if Philippa had married Scott, he would have lost his birthright. So Philippa had told him she was in love with someone else. Seeing her again unleashed Scott's bitte She desperately wanted to believe in his love Secretly Jaime still regretted having walked out on Blake.

But his four-year silence had confirmed her fears--that Blake didn't love her or their child So naturally Jaime was suspicious when Blake t Yet when he mistook He neither loved nor respected her A link had been forged the day Claire saved the heir to the desert kingdom of Omarah from assassins. Otherwise, she wouldn't have agreed to masquerade as the infant's mother--and Raoul D'Albro's unwanted wife. This man was more than a match for her As a model, Heather was accustomed to berg regarded as a sex object, but she made certain no one in her private life treated her that way She kept men at a distance, using her body as a lure and a torment, His honor left him no choice Sienna had been swept off her feet by the handsome, powerful Greek, Alexis Stefanides.

She'd been Their marriage had gone up in flames Jake Harvey was every woman's secret type. During their brief and volatile union, Kate had been wildly jealous, dangerously insecure, and he'd never reassured her with words of love--only of desire. Kate wen Without trust, love cannot survive Sarah learned the bitter truth of those words when she discovered her brand-new marriage to Benedict de l'Isle was a joke, the result of a foolish masculine bet between Ben and his friend Dale.

In anger, Sa At the hands of Alexei Serivace, Hope Stanford had discovered that the world could be hers--for a price. Revenge had been Alexei's burning desire and Hope his means of attaining it. Her sheltered upbringing had only made the challenge more sweet. His pride made him believe the worst! Five years ago, Lisa Hayward had fled her exotic island home of St. Martin's, leaving her just begun marriage in ruins. Back in London, she concentrated on raising her son, Robbie--Rorke's son The child was She was an ice maiden with a heart of glass Kelly Langdon's short, disastrous marriage had left her deeply suspicious of men.

She knew all too well that her looks--along with a sizable inheritance--made her an attractive target for fortune hunt She wanted to punish him--not love him! When she was fifteen Laurel had been the victim of an attempted rape, and Oliver Savage was the reporter who had twisted her story, tearing her reputation to shreds and leaving her fearful of every man who c Foolishly she'd never stopped loving him Leon had swept the young and innocent Chloe into marriage, but there was no happy ending for them, for there would always be Marisa.

Marisa, obsessive and possessive about her stepbrother, implied a rela Her love would never be returned In Spain on business, Jessica had agreed to do her cousin a favor, but she never imagined it would result in her working with the aristocratic Sebastian Calvadores. From the moment they met he was callous and ar Had he been cruel only to be kind? Kirsty's promising stage career had nearly been destroyed by a scathing review written by Britain's foremost drama critic, Drew Chalmers.

So when Kirsty saw a chance to avenge herself, she took it, unmindful of t Her worst fears had come true Being kidnapped by political terrorists was the realization of Saffron Wykeham's worst nightmares. And to be taken to an isolated primitive farmhouse and subjected to the volatile dangerous temperaments of her captors w History was repeating itself! Chelsea had been innocent, naive enough to believe her love was so pure it would last forever. But Darren Slade had lied to her, and when she found out he already had a wife, Chelsea turned her back on romance.

She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had br Some scars wound too deeply to heal Amber's once lithe body had been crippled and disfigured by a horrible accident. The prospect of never walking again disheartened her, but much worse was the pain she felt when her fiance suddenly abandoned her On a guided tour of a rain forest she had been captured by guerrillas!

Only through the strength and comfort of fellow hostage Zach F She knew from experience the hurt a man could carelessly inflict on an Their antagonism was instant and mutual Simon Herries was dominating and arrogant, and he had readily jumped to the wrong conclusions about India. She would not be told to marry anyone! Much as she loved and respected her Arab stepfather and wanted to please him, Danielle was horrified to learn he was arranging a marriage for her, Arab fashion, to his nephew, Jourdan.

Danielle refused out Davina's love had long since died It had been killed the night she'd given birth to their son while Ruy, her husband, had been dallying with another woman. Only for her child's sake was Davina now returning to Spain, to the aristocratic de Silv His only desire was to use her That horrible damning letter!

That Gilles could disrupt her life so carelessly, so callously just to be rid of a too pos She couldn't deny him this one chance Catriona found life on the remote Shetland island hard enough without Brett Simon's maddening demands. If only her brother, Magnus, hadn't agreed to allow Brett's oil company to research a new terminal here--a Freedom was all she wanted from him Autumn was desperately struggling to put behind her the bittersweet memories of her marriage to Yorke Laing.

He'd nearly destroyed her once with his cold brand of loving, but time and a demanding job had give They had shared a beautiful affair Then Briony had learned the shattering truth. Although she had been deeply in love with Kieron, a reporter then, he had wanted her only for a newspaper scoop. It was painfully ironic to Briony that his calculated It wasn't her job that he was after Radio Wyechester was failing, and no one could hide the fact much longer.

As advertising controller, Storm Templeton stood to lose a lot. She had worked long and hard to garner clients for the station. Could East and west love side by side? They were in love--why shouldn't they be married? But both Felicia and Faisal knew there would be problems. Ordinary English girls just didn't marry wealthy Arabs. On a cloud of love and optimism, Felicia We use cookies to ensure the best user experience at FictionDB. By continuing to browse our site you are agreeing to our use of cookies per our User Agreement.

Book List: titles. A Secret Disgrace. The Price of Royal Duty. Passion and the Prince. The Power of Vasilii. The Most Coveted Prize. A Stormy Spanish Summer. Giselle's Choice. The Reluctant Surrender. Marriage: To Claim His Twins. The Italian Duke's Virgin Mistress. The Wealthy Greek's Contract Wife. A Bride for His Majesty's Pleasure. The Sicilian's Baby Bargain. The Sicilian Boss's Mistress.

Captive at the Sicilian Billionaire's Command. Virgin For The Billionaire's Taking. The Sheikh's Blackmailed Mistress. A Royal Bride at the Sheikh's Command. Bride At Bellfield Mill. The Future King's Pregnant Mistress. Taken by the Sheikh. The Christmas Bride. Master of Pleasure.

Prince of The Desert. The Italian Duke's Wife. Blackmailing the Society Bride. Expecting The Playboy's Heir. Bedding His Virgin Mistress. Possessed by the Sheikh. Harlequin Presents - Mistress To Her Husband. Mistress of Convenience. The Mistress Purchase. The Blackmail Marriage. Now or Never. One Night With The Sheikh. The Sheikh's Virgin Bride. Marco's Convenient Wife. Christmas Eve Wedding. A Spanish Christmas. The Tycoon's Virgin. Do Not Disturb! The Blackmail Baby. The City-Girl Bride. The Marriage Demand. Starting Over.

Perfect Crightons - The Ultimate Surrender. The Demetrios Virgin. Mission: Makeover. One Intimate Night. Coming Home. Back in the Marriage Bed. A Perfect Night. The Perfect Father. A Treacherous Seduction. The Marriage Resolution. Lover by Deception. The Mistress Assignment. The Perfect Sinner. Perfect Crightons - 6. Wedded Bliss: They're Wed Again! The Perfect Lover. One Night in His Arms. Figgy Pudding. Marriage Make Up. To Love, Honor and Betray. Fantasy for Two. The Perfect Match? Perfect Marriage Material.

The Perfect Seduction. A Perfect Family. Perfect Crightons - 1. Too Wise to Wed? Best Man to Wed? Woman to Wed? Her Christmas Fantasy. Harlequin Presents - Harlequin Showcase - The Trusting Game. Unwanted Wedding. An Unforgettable Man. Cruel Legacy. Yesterday's Echoes. Past Loving. Passionate Possession. Tug of Love. A Matter of Trust. Power Games. For Better for Worse.

Law of Attraction. Lesson to Learn. Past Passion. Mistaken Adversary. Stranger from the Past. A Cure for Love. Second-Best Husband. A Time to Dream. A Forbidden Loving. Payment Due. Second Time Loving. A Kind of Madness. Game of Love. Out of the Night. Rival Attractions. Unspoken Desire. Breaking Away. Bitter Betrayal. So Close and No Closer. A Rekindled Passion. Payment in Love. Beyond Compare. Valentine's Night. The Hidden Years. Lovers Touch. A Reason for Being. For One Night. Levelling the Score. Power Play. A Reason for Marriage. Desire for Revenge.

Injured Innocent. Permission to Love. Time Fuse. Taken Over. The Six-Month Marriage. The Friendship Barrier. The Only One. Campaign for Loving. Rules of the Game. He had got among a bad set, and in order to keep pace with its members he had used every device to raise money. His mother's resources were, as he knew, ex- hausted ; his own were unsubstantial as thin air, for the small sum he received for his work at the mills would have scarcely sufficed to pay his tailor's bill.

That business at Brocklesby Ferry was a bad day's work for Balph Hollis. He was thankfol, however, that it was no worse. Had he been beside Bachel at the critical moment, he might have been unable to restrain her from going on board the boat. Of course, he would have gone with her ; then, in sporting phraseology, the odds were ten to one that he would have been drowned with the rest. On the other hand, had he come up with Jack, both would have certainly jumped into the river together in the endeavour to save her; and perhaps while the rivals were struggling for the honour of rescuing her, they would all three have perished.

Of course, it was not Balph's fault that his mare shied at Thorby Beck, but it was his misfortune. It left him out of the hunt, and gave Jack a chance which might never occur again in his lifetime. Then there was that confounded brandy, of which he had taken enough, and to spare. Yes, he reflected ; it was a bad day's work for him. However that might be, that Black Monday could never be blotted out; and no one knew it better than Balph himself — that is, when he was himself.

So long as he was under the influence of his mother he was right enough ; but he could not always be tied to her apron- stringSy and when once he got among his military and racing friends, good-bye to prudence and common sense. His extravagance had involved Mrs. Hollis in continual difficulties. If the lad would only keep steady, and if that match could be brought about with Bachel But, then, if it could not? He had set his heart upon her, and the thought of losing her seemed beyond the bare pale of possibility.

Still, he could not help fancying that she had never been the same to him since the day at the ferry. He noted, too, with growing im- patience and irritation, that Jack was a frequent guest at the Oaks, that he had taken to dressing in a more civilized manner, that he had even taken to lawn-tennis, and thai he was a deft and dangerous opponent in that, or any other game 78 RACHEL DENE.

Now Balph had so long taught himself to believe that Bachel was to be his wife, that the bare idea of any other man coming between them appeared an outrage. That a mere ordinary operative — a vulgar mechanic — should dare to aspire to Bachel — his bright and beautiful Eachel — was not to be thought of. But Jack was not an " ordinary " operative — on the contrary, he was a very extraordinary one; and, though a mechanic, he was by no means a vulgarian.

Moreover, he was now in a fair way to become a rich man. They met daily at the mills, and though not particularly cordial, were always civil to each other. The proverb is as true as it is trite, that " lookers on see most of the game ; " and Jabez saw with increasing anxiety, that distrust was ripening into dislike between these two young men.

As for the innocent cause of this contention, she scarcely knew her own heart, or, if she did, she did not care to scrutinize it too closely. On the other hand, she was grateful to Jack Heywood for having saved her life — and perhaps a little more than pleased to see evidences of some attempt at refinement in his manners and demeanour.

This increased prosperity made no difference in his domestic habits. He continued to live at the cottage with the old people. One thing, how- ever, marred the completeness of his self-satisfac- tion. His new pride and happiness seemed to make no favourable impression on Jabez Pryke. One day, therefore, he spoke out to Jabez. It was just after the dinner hour, and they were walkhig back to the mills together — he with a rose in the button-hole of his office-suit, Jabez in all the picturesque shabbiness of his working clothes.

Sometimes I fancy you're sorry to know of my good luck. Then he laid his hand upon the young man's shoulder. T' luck, maybe, has come too quick to last. You're nobbut a boy, and you're reckoning the race o'er far ahead. I do my work and bide my time, and Master Dene has promised to help me along. T' master's proud, and he has the right to be proud ; but he's a great man, lad, and try thy best, you're nobbut one of the people. Blood's thicker nor water, as t' saying is. You're gotten beyond us hardworking folk, and hankering after fine company.

Up at Barford, holiday times, you spend your brass wi' swells. Last Leger, you went into t' ring, and lost money on t' favourite. Why, man, you love a horse as much as I do, and have staked thy brass many a time! Last week a lad I know drove home fro' Barford i' Captain Fitzherbert's dog-cart, and when he got home he could scarce stand straight upon his legs.

I'd only a glass or two with the Captain. You can't say that I ever neglect my work, or forget my duty. Now, can you? Ealph, and see what the liquor is doing for him. He's going downhill fast, and my heart turns cold when I think that a lad I love better may follow i' his footsteps. Come, Jabez, be fair — do me justice, old man! You used to trust me and believe in me. I'd cut ofif my reet hand, lad, to keep you reet and square.

Jack was angry in his heart, and felt very much aggrieved. He felt that he had scarcely laid himself open to such a warning, for, beyond the taste for horseflesh of which we have spoken, he had few weaknesses and no vices. What irritated him most of all, however, was his old friend's insinuation, rather conveyed than spoken, that he was becoming too ambitious, and that his ambition was hopeless as well as dangerous.

He had made up his mind to be a gentleman ; and sometimes, if the truth must be spoken, he felt a little ashamed of his friends and belongings. Why were his birth and his position to be for ever used as silent arguments against him? His thoughts reverted, as of old, to Arkwright and to Stephenson, and to other men who had risen from the ranks to wealth and honour, and he felt indignant at his foster-father's want of faith.

Jabez was right, however. Guided by the instinct of unselfish affection, he perceived whither the lad was drifting. Success had intoxicated Jack Hejrwood. Though hardworking and stead- fast-hearted as ever, he thought more of pleasure and less of honest work. Saint Leger was holding sovereign sway and masterdom on the Moor at Doncaster. The mill hands had knocked off, and gone in thousands by a special train. Though Jacob Dene was a Quaker, a Quaker is still a man — especially a Yorkshire Quaker, when there is a horse in the way — and he accompanied his wife and granddaughter to Doncaster.

Lyster, too, escorted Mrs. Jabez was for staying at home, but, seeing that Jack was bent on going, he determined to accompany him. What a scene it was, to be sure, when they got to Doncaster I Train after train disgorged its thousands. The High Street was crowded — almost impassable. But the scene at the moor itself baffles description. Life, colour, gaiety, animation were everywhere ; and as for the crowd. A dozen different dialects of Yorkshire, con- tended for mastery with our own beloved Cockney — with Scotch, with Irish, with French, with German, and with shrill American.

The Denes, Eachel, Mr. Lyster, and Mrs. HoUis were in the front of the Grand Stand, which was thickly packed with human beings. Save for the fact that a Yorkshire horse was the first favourite, our friends had no interest beyond seeing the glorious strife for victory, and certainly they had nothing in common with the gentry below, amongst whom Balph HoUis and his friends were busy backing the favourite against the field.

Hitherto, upon all former occasions. Jack and Jabez had been content to gaze upon the race from the outer fringe ; to-day they had sprung a point, and paid their guinea apiece to enter the charmed circle, where they encountered Ealph, Pitzherbert, and his friends. Jabez felt ill-at-ease in such fashionable society ; so he made his way alone to the Stand.

The plungers were civil to Jack, and Ealph gladly took him under his wing, simply to keep him away from Eachel. It was a delightful day, and Jack enjoyed the races. By-and-by there was a hastily improvised luncheon, washed down by champagne ; and after that, a rough-and-ready race inaugurated the day's camivaL Jack didn't think much of that; but after it came more champagne with cigars, and soda and brandies to follow.

Then another descent into the ring ; then another raid upon the refresh- ment-room, more stimulants, and more cigars — a great deal more of them all than was good for Jack Heywood. Balph and his friends were seasoned vessels. Jack was unused to the process, and it began to take effect.

Back once more into the ring — back amongst a mob of howling ruffians, with books and pencils in their hands, and blasphemy in their mouths. To hear these fellows roar at each other, one would think Bedlam had broken loose amid a menagerie of wild beasts. Bright and handsome, full of life and excitement. Jack pushed his way through the ring. Looking up towards the Grand Stand, he saw the eyes of Eachel fixed upon him, and smiling merrily, he lifted his hat. At that moment he felt a hand upon his shoulder, and turning quickly, saw his foster-father.

Nay, not I! Gome along to the bar, and have a drink. Remem- ber vrhat I told you, and tak' no more. If you won't gang home, at least, come and speak to Miss Bachol. See, lad, she's beckoning fro' t' Grand Stand. Bachel was indeed beckoning, and, it seemed, to him. He took his friend's arm and pushed his way out of the ring ; made the best of his way until he came close to the group from Deepdale.

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They say the Yorkshire favourite is to win. Warmed with a glass or two of wine, he felt quite at his ease and familiar. As he laughed and chatted, the girl looked at him in some surprise. Glancing from his flushed, excited face, she met the sad, wistful eyes of Jabez Pryke. While this scene was taking place, two men stood watching it from the ring. One was Balph HoUis ; the other was his friend and boon companion. He was dressed in the height of fashion, sported a white hat, and was literally covered with jewellery.

They're whispering under the old Quaker's very nose. Ever since the fellow saved her life she has treated him as if he were a gentleman and an equal, though, at the best, he's only a confounded mechanic, working with his hands. Saved her life, did he? Ah, yes ; I remember. You missed your best chance there, Balph, my boy.

Women like fellows of that sort, you know. Saved a woman's life myself out in iidia — widow woman— and, by George I she proposed to me on the spot. But Fitz didn't see it — oh, dear, no! Jack and Bachel continued to converse in whispers. Never had the maiden seemed so gracious, never had the young inventor looked so happy. Pitz, the old man hates me, and encourages this fellow! Only yesterday he took me aside and asked me to take example by young Heywood. Fancy that I Take example by a common mechanic!

I rather like the lad. Listen to me, Fitz! It's a matter of life or death to me now to put things right with Bachel, and this clod is the only human being in my way. Meantime, Jack Heywood, hurrying from Eachel's side, drifted away with the crowd. His excitement had increased tenfold by the reception he had met with from the Denes. His face was radiant ; he could have leapt in the air. Laughing gaily, he pushed his way through the throng, again entered the ring, and at last came face to face with Balph HoUis and Fitzherbert.

Come and liquor up. As they did so, they exchanged a significant glance. His pride was flattered ; he felt himself a gentleman among gentlemen ; and, to speak the truth, he was pleased to be in such fine company. Fitzherbert called for champagne. When the bottle was opened, he and Balph took care to let Jack have the lion's share. Then, the lad, not to be outdone, insisted on ordering and paying for another bottle. Had he been a little sharper- sighted and more suspicious, he might have observed that his companions, always exchanging looks of meaning, spilt the greater part of their wine upon the grass.

Jack was no tippler ; a little wine affected him ; and by this time he had drunk a large quantity. He began to talk loudly, and to clap Fitzherbert on the shoulder as he sallied back into the ring. Above the Babel of sounds could be heard, " Two to one, bar one! He yielded to the temptation, and, despite Mr. Dene's warning, began to bet. Unluckily, he had five and twenty pounds about him. But, in the midst of all his excitement, he still kept his eyes fixed on Jack Heywood.

His plan had suc- ceeded to admiration. The drink, and the excite- ment, and the loss had been too much for the young workman. By this time he was quite drunk, and very quarrelsome. He had parted with his five and twenty pounds like a man, but the bookmaker insisted that he owed five and twenty pounds more, which, indeed, he did, through some bungling in his betting.

At this moment Jabez came up. When he saw the state of affairs he was ashamed, and, indeed, a little angered, to see his boy in so shameful a condition. I havena got it. Pretty chap thou art to stand by a friend in a hoyle! Hang such friends I Get out for an owd humbug! The plungers quite enjoyed the scenOjt and added fuel to the fire by some not par- ticularly elegant chaff. No sooner was it out of his lips than the bookmaker was on his back, while Jack strode over him, and requested him to get up to be knocked down again.

The betting-man responded like a gamecock. He was up in an instant, and going for Jack. They rushed at each other like a pair of tigers, amidst yells of encouragement from the by- standers. At the height of this scandalous scene, the Denes, and Bachel, Mr. HoUis, appeared, passing from the Grand Stand above. She scarcely paused a moment in passing ; the next, she was gone ; but she had seen it all. There's my watch ; it's worth nearly all thy brass. I'll send t' rest to-morrow. Had Jabez only lent him that twenty-five pounds, this calamity would not have occurred.

As he reeled along, elbowing his way through the crowd to the railway-station, his demeanour was so strange and wild as to attract universal attention. He was so aggressive and pugnacious, that had it not been for Jabez he would have reached the police-station instead of the railway- station. When at last, however, he got there, he dragged Jabez into the refreshment-room, made a grab at a bottle of champagne, dropped it, and smashed it to pieces. Then he snatched another, and knocked the neck off it, cutting his hand in the operation.

Sup, lads, sup. That's your sort! While bent on this errand, he came in contact with Jacob Dene, the vicar, and the ladies. He's ne'er bin so afore, and please Godll ne'er be so agin. He's not only drunk, but mad — does na know what he's sayin' or doin'.

Unless I can get him home, there'll be some mischief done. Please, Mr. Dene, gie us a good word wi' station-master to get t' lad in by hissen somewhere, if it be only in fi horse-box. Bamolby Junction. Jack quarrelled with every- body in general, but with Jabez in particular. Once, indeed, he threatened to throw him out of the window. Drink had changed this genial, gentle, lovable creature from a man into a wild beast. At last, his drunken fury wore itself out for the time, and he fell into a stertorous sleep, which for- tunately lasted until they got to Bamolby Junction.

Then Jabez drove him down to the mills, for he could not bear that Joan should see the lad in so sorry a condition. Meantime, young Hollis was being driven home from Barford by Fitzherbert in a high dog-cart belonging to the Captain. Both were well warmed with wine, and not a little excited, for Balph had lost large sums that day, and Fitzherbert was clamorous for his money. After all, this is a good day's work for we.

Rachel and the old man saw it all. I don't think that young cub will be backed for a place again. It was now quite dark, and not a sound broke the stillness of the night. I'll come over to-morrow. Balph Hollis walked on through the darkness in thp direction of the mill. Fob some years past Jahez had resided per- manently at the mills. He had a small living- room in the front or main huilding, and imme- diately above the cashier's office. Here every night he slept solitary and alone, ready for any emergency which might occur. From his high window could be seen, across a huge quadrangle, the factories, the engine-rooms, and the great warehouses in the rear.

It was a lonely place by night, and the overseer's life was lonely; but Jabez Pryke, though he cared nothing for books, had constant company in his own gentle thoughts. His was an existence occupied with only two ideas — devotion to his duty as his master's servant, and love for the child of the woman sleeping in the neighbouring churchyard. Among the treasures in his barely furnished room was a picture of Jael, a rude photograph taken one day at Barford. It hung over his head, and night after night he raised his eyes to it as to some pictured saint.

On that eventful night of the St. He rang the gate-bell, and the doll clanging echoed dismally through the night, till at last a light appeared, and Joe Styles, the watchman, came, lantern in hand, to answer the summons. Behind him fol- lowed the great watch-dog Leo, a formidable mastiff-bitch. Ower much lemonade, I doubt? I canna tak un home i' this state. He's got to sleep here i' t' mills. It was no easy task to get Jack along. He was comatose, and though he moved his legs mechanically, his head and arms swung forward, and without powerful assistance he would have fallen.

But the two strong men lifted him bodily, and carried rather than led him up the steep stone stairs tUl they reached the topmost landing, and drew him into the overseer's little room. Then, while Joe lit a candle, Jabez placed the boy in a chair. He sat there with ruffled hair, pallid face. The old wateh- dogy who knew him well, kept close, and licked the hanging hand.

The watchman, a grim, grizzled veteran, stood looking on, and, holding up the lantern, flashed the light into his face. Will ye come and take a sup? Curse them that make it, and them that sell it! See what it's done this neet! Look up, lad, look up! He fell there likea log, with a low, suffocating moan. Jabez bent oyer him, and looked into his face.

Poor lad! Jabez moistened his parched lips, and laid his head gently back upon the pillow. As he did so, he saw the picture of Jael hanging oyer the head of the bed. Oh, my lass — my lass! Prayer more unselfish, more solemn and touching, neyer rose from the lips of man. In his own name, in the name of his own love and sorrow, he asked God to pardon the lad for his folly thai day ; to watch over and preserve him from future temptation ; to keep from his lips the poison of drink; to strengthen him against all evil ; to make him a happy man, and to crown him with honour and prosperous days.

Lastly, with an infinite tenderness, he interceded for a happy sequel to the lad's love for Bachel Dene. Keep him fro' lonesomeness like mine, and answer his prayer wi' life and love! Then rising to his feet, he looked down on Jack with unutterable affection, for all the time it was still Jael's face that he saw before him now, as he had seen it the night she came home to die. It was now getting late, and Jabez had still to get down to the cottage, and break the news to the old people.

So, with one last look at the heavily- sleeping lad, he left the room, closing the door stifiSy behind him. He was soon out in the open street, facing wind and rain, for it was a stormy night. Looking np at the mill building as he passed, he saw the windows all dark and desolate, and wafted another blessing to the lad lying asleep within.

His way lay through the town, and close past the churchyard. As he passed the shadow of the church, he ran up against a man. Master Balph? Where are you bound? Have you taken him home? I'm going to tell the gaffer where he is, and then come back and look after un till morning. Never saw a man so gone in my life! How did it happen? However, if I can put in a good word for him, I will! Once or twice he paused and listened, but everything was still, and not a soul was in the street. In a few minutes he reached the street where the mill buildings were situated, and stood looking up, as Jabez had done, to the dark, dismal windows.

The light of the lamp suspended over the gate fell upon his face, which was wild and pale as death. He was still excited with the drink he had taken during the day, and he shook like a leaf. Drawing a flask from the breast-pocket of his great-coat, he took a long draught.

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Then, approaching the gate, and touching it with his outstretched hands, he peered in. All was dark and silent. Suddenly, as he leaned against the gate, it opened. If the thing is to be done, there is not a moment to lose! Another draught at the flask steadied him a little.

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For a minute yet he stood hesitating. GurBO the money! By God, TU do it! He paused and listened again ; there was not a sound, save the moaning of the wind, and the pattering of the rain. Groping his way up the stairs, he reached the first floor. As he paused there, a low moaning sound broke upon the ear, coming from the rooms above. He knocked softly; there was no answer. Then he quietly opened the door, and peeped in. Jack lay tossing on the bed with his eyes closed, muttering incoherently, seeing and hearing nothing. Balph drew the door to, and slipt again down the stairs. It was getting late when Jabez Fryke reached the cottage, but there was a light in the window, and, entering without ceremony, he found the old couple sitting up by the parlour fire.

Jasper lay back in his armchair, nursing his gouty knee, while Joan, spectacles on nose, sat at the table leaning on her elbows, and reading out of a news- paper some days old. She looked up as Jabez entered, and greeted him by name. Welcome back, lad. But Where's Jack? Then, startled by the strange expression on Jabez's face, she added, " Summat's wrong. Speak out, Jabez Pryke! But I want to hear about Jack. Summat's wrong, I say. Look me in t' face, Jabez. What's come to our lad? Where hast left him? His heart felt cold and dead within him, and he was miserable and ashamed.

The old woman, watching him keenly, saw that the affair was serious. Tell it out like a man! The moment he mentioned Balph's name, Joan interrupted him with a cry. Then 'tis young maister's doing! I was sure there was foul play in't. And Miss Bachel? Did she see him when the poor lad was o'erta'en like that? Miss Bachel seed him, and so did all our folk. I tried my best to quiet un, but 'twas a useless job. He'd gie his reet hand to shame Jack in Miss Bachel's een. Ay, he's a bad un, is Balph Hollis, and comes o' a bad stock.

My poor lad! Tet what could he do? He was incapable of a lie, and he knew, moreover, that Jack was sure of gentle judgment, of tender sympathy in that house. And after all, as he had said, it was but a single slip.

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One rainy day does not make a flood; and one escapade, however wild, would not convert the boy into a drunkard. The fault could not be hidden now from any one ; it would be redeemed by the future, and perhaps be a fruitful warning. Yet there was a load upon his heart which he could not shake away. The shock had shaken him more strangely than he could have thought pos- sible; the boy's downfall seemed his own death- blow.

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Work was over for the day, and the folk were swarming like bees out of a hive. Books by Anne Stuart. Typically I like Anne Stuart's work but despite all the gender bending I couldn't really find enough interest to finish it. Game of Love. The Christmas Bride.

Leger, but in the presence of his wife he didn't dare to speak. Fond of a glass himself, he thought that a precious bit of trouble was being made out of a very small affair. With Joan it was altogether different. Through a grave woman's intuitive per- ception she knew that Jack's conduct was at once alarming and mysterious. He was not like other lads ; his whole life had been one steady progress upwards, and though on one or two occasions of late he had been a little merry, he had never made his folly a public exhibition, or quite taken leave of his sober senses.

She saw, too, that Jabez Pryke was deeply agitated and concerned, and she suspected, as was the case, that he made the best of a picture necessity compelled him to draw of the lad's escapade. The worst of the whole business was that the Denes were aware of what had taken place. Eager to see the fulfilment of her prophesies concerning her grandson and Bachel Dene, poor Joan had began to dread a castle in the air.

It was a bad day's business. Jabez rose to go. Besides, it was an ugly night, and it was a goodish stretch to the mill. He shook hands with Jasper, and then, bending over Joan, kissed her on the forehead. Was it, she thought, a castle in the air, after all? Was Jack no hero, and she no prophetess, and would there never be the wedding of which she had long dreamed?

Hopeful by nature, and full of faith in human nature, she soon began to brighten. Jasper was right. Jasper had been no saint, and yet he had been the best of husbands. By- and-by, encouraged by her change of manner, Jasper put in another word, and this time his wife thought he spoke hke a sensible man.

When they rose to go to bed, they were both of a mind. Jack was a hero still, and that little affair of the wedding was bound to come right. Meantime Jabez Pryke walked back to the town through the darkness and the rain. He did not hasten, though it was getting very late, and, full of his own disappointment, he was indifferent to the weather.

Argue with himself as he might, he could not shake away the gloom which oppressed him. He had felt more passionately stirred on more than one occasion, but never so cheerless and depressed. His heart was like lead. Gould it be that the shadow of some dreadful calamity was already upon him? If psychology be true, that was possible.

He passed the churchyard, and, instead of turn- ing into the town, walked on towards The Oaks, and, full of some irresistible impulse, looked up at the house of the Denes. The house was dark, but a light burned in one of the upper windows. A shadow crossed the blind, and he recognized it was the shadow of Bachel Dene. His instinct told him that she would be a partial listener. He had more dread of the stem old Quaker, Jacob Dene.

Proud to the backbone, and severe on human error, Jacob would be certain to take the worst view of the case. Sighing heavily, he turned back into the dark- ness, and walked slowly to the mill. Her hair flowed down in a shower of gold over her loose dressing- gown, and her bare feet were thrust into satin slippers. She had dismissed her maid for the night, and was quite alone. All the evening she had been distraught and sad, for her thoughts had been constantly with the lad who had once saved her life. Up till that day she had thought of him with kindness, had been tender and grateful to him, eager for his success, hopeful of his future, but she had been unconscious of any stronger feeling towards him than one of womanly sympathy.

Now it was quite different. The very shock she had received on witnessing his degradation had opened her eyes, and she knew, for the first time, how deep a place he had in her young heart. She could not shut away the sight she had seen — the wild, flushed face, the struggling form, the laughing crowd, the whole horrible scene in the ring at Doncaster. Even in his madness, however. Jack Heywood had looked a splendid fellow, and he had never seemed so handsome in her eyes. Hitherto he had appeared a little commonplace, somewhat too uniformly good and virtuous, with all the rough worth and steadiness of the dull mechanic; and Bachel, Quakeress as she was, and innocent to the flnger-tips, had been inclined to patronize him.

The best of women love a man who can be reckless upon occasion, and Bachel was no exception to the rule. She was shocked, she was offended, she was amazed, she was intensely indignant.