Passionate about historical romance?
Like your heroes dark and brooding?
Then meet Lord Ranulf Charing....
Taken from 'A Dead Man's Debt' by Grace Elliot, join Lord Ranulf as he broods in his lair.
With his hawkish features set in a scowl, Lord Ranulf Charing settled deeper into the embrace of leather armchair. In no mood for company he’d retreated to his London club, secure in the knowledge that there at least he was safe from female pursuit. He stretched out his long legs, his attention fixed on a glass of fine brandy. With a square jaw, shadowed cheekbones and unreadable dark eyes, Charing exuded the air of a man not wishing to be disturbed.
A valet peered nervously into the Reading Room then withdrew, electing instead to throw the unsuspecting messenger into the lion’s den. With the innocence of youth the lad entered, gawping at the yellowing, tobacco stained oil paintings on oak panelled walls and with trepidation approached the reclining figure. For his part Lord Charing was well aware of the antics of the footman and was secretly pleased by his efforts to discourage interruption. As the gawky youth cleared his throat, a muscle twitched on Ranulf’s cheek as he fought the urge to grin.
“A message for Lord Charing, Sir.”
Lazily Ranulf extended a hand. “I am he.”
The boy passed over the sealed letter as if it were a hot coal. In return Ranulf pressed a silver coin into his palm and winked. Startled, the lad’s eyes grew even rounder.
“T’ank you very much Sir. T’ank you indeed.”
But the moment had passed and Lord Charing’s face was once again all hard plains and sharp angles.
“Be gone.” With a flick of the wrist the boy was dismissed.
Recognising the Cadnum crest, Charing took a slug of brandy and broke the seal. His eyes skipped over the text; the writing hurried and uneven, the parchment bordered with black.
“Make all haste…gravest concern…deteriorating health…”
As Charing lowered the missive, the lamplight caught a moment of fleeting vulnerability, but then his wide sensuous lips set into a hard line as habitual coldness reasserted itself.
“Bolton,” he barked. In an instant the valet’s head appeared round the door. “Bolton with all haste send word to saddle my horse.”
“Very good Lordship.” Bolton bowed obsequiously. “Will there be anything else Sir?”
“Pen and paper…I must get word to my valet that I leave London immediately.”
“Consider it done, sir.” Bolton backed hastily from the room, avoiding his lordship’s eye.
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