Cynical and broken-hearted, Leticia banishes dreams of marriage. When her childhood friend, Tristan, wagers he can find her the perfect husband, she hopes the challenge will coax him to forgo his devil-may-care lifestyle. Meanwhile, Leticia throws herself into forming her charity school but meets opposition—even from the people she’s helping.
Guilt-ridden that his past mistakes robbed Leticia of true love, Tristan vows to set it right, but match-making has its pitfalls for a repentant scoundrel. When he finds two ‘perfect’ gentlemen to court her, he discovers his own deep feelings for the lady.
Though Tristan seems to reform, Leticia doesn’t dare risk heartbreak with a notorious rake. When opposition for the school takes a deadly turn, can Tristan protect her from a madman bent on destroying their dreams and their lives?
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Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.
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Leticia Wentworth was twenty times a fool. Richard Barrett never cared for her beyond a childhood friendship, and Leticia had been naive to believe he would love her as she loved him. With savage ferocity, Leticia squelched the cry of pain her heart made every time Richard turned a gaze of adoration upon his wife—the kind of look he never gave Leticia, not even when she’d been certain he’d approach her father to ask for her hand in marriage. She’d pinned all her hopes and dreams of love and family on a man she would never have.
Stupid, stupid girl.
Leticia enfolded his hand in both of hers. He hung on to her as if she alone protected him from his demons. While she remained near, those demons stayed in the farthest shadows instead of surrounding and overwhelming him. He must do what he could to keep her untainted by his darkness.
Holding the umbrella over them both, Tristan trotted up the stairs next to Leticia. Inside, they stopped in the foyer. Leticia’s bonnet drooped, water dripping off the brim, and her clothes stuck to her body in a way that should not have been so provocative. She gave Tristan a sideways glance, her mouth quivering and her eyes crinkling. He probably looked as drowned as she.
Her mouth compressed and then a bark of laughter erupted. He stared. Tears a moment ago, and now laughter? When did Leticia become so driven by her sensibilities?
“Oh, Tristan, you should see yourself. You look like a drowned cat.”
He affected a lordly air. “Madam, I believe the words you seek are devilishly handsome.”
“Oh, right. A devilishly handsome drowned cat.” Her peals of laughter undid him, and he joined in.
“You, my dear, look like a…” He couldn’t think of an appropriate insult with her wet clothes clinging to her delicious curves.
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