Masquerading the Marquess

Masquerading the Marquess Cover

A caricaturist targeting her favorite foe…A marquess determined to catch her…

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Quickie Book Info

Masquerading the Marquess
Anne Mallory
October 2004
ISBN: 0-06-058787-3

Back cover blurb

Calliope Minton is never far from scandal. And her greatest pleasure is capturing the nobility at their worst. Donning a daring disguise, she poses as a society courtesan to get closer to London’s leading bachelor. However, her ruse might have brought Calliope too close to her favorite target: James Trenton, Marquess of Angelford, a man who appears less foolish and more dashing with every meeting…

James is certain the enchantress is hiding something–and she is driving him mad… with desire and curiosity. Already occupied with trying to expose the “artist” who has been humiliating him in the papers, James does not need another mystery! But all the lady’s secrets will be revealed when they are forced to join together to find their vanished mutual acquaintance–and perilous circumstance tosses the Marquess’ bewitching, despised, irresistible adversary into his arms.

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Reviews

Lively, exciting, cleverly plotted and with a pair of detectives to rival Nick and Nora, this is an impressive debut. Mallory’s independent, intelligent heroine and equally smart hero are part of a tale that touches both mind and body. As in Amanda Quick’s novels, the mystery and romance blend perfectly with the nuances of the Regency era. Here’s a fresh, vibrant talent who cannot be ignored.
-Kathe Robin at Romantic Times (Four Star Review)

…delightful historical treat.
-Harriet Klausner at The Best Reviews

Masquerading the Marquess is a worthy contender for best historical debut of the year.
-Naomi at Fallen Angel Reviews

With a well-written cast of characters and many facets that would bring on a second book in a series, this is a sure-fire bestseller in the making.
-Debbie at A Romance Review

…a charming and enjoyable debut for author Anne Mallory.
-Lori Sowell at All About Romance

Mystery, adventure and witty repartee will keep readers turning pages to the surprising final twist of the tale.
-Suan Wilson at The Best Reviews

Masquerading the Marquess is a complex and captivating book that is impossible to put down.
-Nicole at Romance Junkies

Toss a terrific romantic couple together with a mystery ripe with intrigue, spies, subterfuge and murder and you have a nifty Anne Mallory debut.
-Debbie at Romance Reader at Heart

Debut author Anne Mallory does a splendid job of Masquerading the Marquess, a story that holds considerable charm as well as suspense.
-Rashmi Srinivas at BookLoons

This is an excellent debut for Anne Mallory!
-Robert H. Goss at Roundtable Reviews

Debut Author Anne Mallory spins us a wonderful, hilarious tale of love and suspense in London Town. With wonderful characters and a magnificent plot, Masquerading the Marquess is one book you will not want to miss.
-Tangela Williams at MyShelf.com

Masquerading the Marquess is such a fun book! Mallory does an excellent job with the constant humor, never missing a beat.
-Marie Hashima Lofton at curledup.com

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Excerpt

Calliope walked to her wardrobe, intent on packing her overnight things and heading to the Daly’s. She sensed something was wrong, could almost taste it in the air. She had a number of things out and ready to pack when she heard another squeak. The creak in the front door hadn’t been fixed yet, and she was suddenly glad. Her glance flew around the room and settled on the beautiful gold and mahogany cane she always kept nearby. She grasped it and padded softly to the bedroom door, her stomach clenched tightly. She heard footsteps ascending the stairs. She wiped her cold brow.

A door opened down the hallway and closed half a minute later. Another door was opened and closed. Her door was next.

Calliope raised the heavy rod above her head as the door to her room slowly opened. A man’s boot was thrust into the doorway, and the rest of his body followed.

She pulled the cane down with all the strength she could muster, but the rod was easily caught in his hand. She pulled the cane back to jab the intruder in the side, but he yanked her forward.

Calliope found herself hauled unceremoniously against the hard chest of the Marquess of Angelford. He looked down at her, expressionless. Her mouth hung open, she panted slightly. His eyes turned molten and suddenly she was brilliantly aware of every piece of his body pressed against her. He continued to melt her with his eyes and for a wild moment she thought he might kiss her. Instead he roughly picked her up and dumped her on the bed.

Her voice came out a little more shrill than usual. “What do you think you’re doing? Are you trying to frighten me to death?”

“The next time you want to do harm, might I suggest you employ the second technique first? Sidestepping an unseen jab is more difficult than catching a falling object.”

Her heart started to beat at regular intervals again and her initial relief gave way to anger. “And might I suggest that simply calling out a greeting or knocking at the door, which is the proper way to enter one’s house, might save us both the trouble?” She caught her breath and puckered her brow. “Why are you here in the first place?”

He ignored her question and looked around her room. “Going somewhere?”

She resisted the urge to bean him with the cane, not that she would succeed in inflicting any damage to his stone head. “That is none of your business. I repeat, why are you here?”

“Where is Stephen?”

She threw out her hands. “I don’t know. He’s not here.”

Angelford remained silent, but his narrowed eyes continued to scan the room. Her emotions were so riled she couldn’t quite separate all the feelings, but she recognized irritation. She jerked the coverlet on the bed. “Not here.” She stomped over to the closet and yanked it open. Sarcasm dripped from her voice. “Not here either.”

He walked over to her sitting chair and sat. She couldn’t credit his gall but decided humoring him a bit might speed up his late, uninvited visit.

“Would you like some tea, my lord? Crumpets, cakes, sandwiches?”

She thought she might have seen the beginnings of a smile, but it was a fleeting impression.

“I need to find Stephen as quickly as possible. Your help would be greatly appreciated.” His voice was soft but direct, a voice used to being obeyed.

Calliope was suddenly weary. “My lord, Stephen was supposed to arrive here at nine but hasn’t shown. I don’t know where he is, and quite frankly I’m worried.”

James surveyed the room. “Why are you packing?”

Calliope couldn’t explain the irrational drive to leave the house as soon as possible. “It seemed a good idea.”

James strode to the window and looked out at the street. “Have you had any other visitors tonight?”

“No, you are the only unwanted guest this evening.”

This time she was sure she caught a brief glimpse of a smile.

“Where is your staff?”

“I gave them the night off.”

He frowned. “Then I will leave my man with you. Don’t be so foolish again.”

She leaped up and ran after him as he headed out. “Excuse me? I didn’t ask for your assistance or advice. So you can take ‘your man’ with you.”

He ignored her, and she felt like a small dog nipping at the heels of a mastiff. They reached the front hall. A giant of a man with a scar running down the left side of his face stood at the entrance.

“Finn, stay with – ” he looked back at her. “Miss Esmerelda tonight.”

She sputtered as he walked out the door.

Calliope looked at the burly man who strongly resembled a tree trunk. “I don’t suppose I can convince you to leave?”

Finn’s only response was a raised brow.

The weight she had carried since nine o’clock lifted from her shoulders. Damn Angelford.

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