Liz Carlyle, bestselling author of The Devil You Know and A Deal With the Devil, continues her devilish streak with this sensual regency romance.
By day, Sidonie Saint-Godard is a quietly elegant young widow who teaches deportment to the unpolished daughters of London's nouveau riche. By night, she is someone altogether different....
The notorious Black Angel -- so called for her lusciously located angel tattoo -- ruthlessly takes from powerful men who exploit, and gives to those who suffer at their hands. Always in disguise, she has eluded capture and her identity remains a mystery....
The Marquess of Devellyn, one of the least noble noblemen in town, uses and discards women as he pleases. But when the Black Angel entices him into her bed, ties him up, and pilfers his most valued possession, she may have gone too far. This time, Devellyn tells her, she'll have the devil to pay. And he definitely means to collect.
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December 28, 2004
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Excerpt from The Devil to Pay by Liz Carlyle
The strange Goings On in Bedford Place
He was not the sort of man she usually chose. Across the roulette table she studied him. He was young; yes, younger than she preferred. One wondered if he yet shaved. The pink blush of innocence still tinged the pretty Englishman's cheeks, and his bones were as delicately carved as her own.
But he was not innocent. And if he were delicate, well, tant pis.
The croupier leaned over the table. "Mesdames and messieurs," he said in his bad French accent, "faites vos jeux, s'il vous plait!"
She waved away the smoke from a nearby cheroot and placed a corner bet, pushing three chips across the baize with a perfectly manicured fingertip. Just then, the gentleman between them rose, scraping up his winnings as he went. An exchange of backslapping and bonhomie followed. Bien. The young man was alone now. In the dim light, she partially lifted the black veil which obscured her eyes, and shot him a look of frank interest. He shoved a stack of chips onto black twenty-two, and returned the stare, one brow lightly lifting.
"No more bets," the croupier intoned. "Les jeux sont faits!" In one elegant motion, he spun the tray and flicked the ball. It leapt and clattered merrily, punctuating the drone of conversation. Then it went crack! clickity-clack! and bounced into black twenty-two.
The croupier pushed out his winnings before the wheel stopped. The Englishman collected them and moved to her end of the table.
"Bonsoir," she murmured throatily. "Black has been very good to you this night, monsieur."
His pale blue eyes ran down her black dress. "Dare I hope it is the beginning of a trend "
She looked at him through the fine mesh and lowered her lashes. "One can always hope, sir."
The Englishman laughed, showing his tiny white teeth. "I don't think I know you, mademoiselle," he said. "You are new to Lufton's "
She lifted one shoulder. "One gaming salon is much like another, n'est-ce pas "
His gaze heated. The fool thought she was a Cyprian. Understandable, since she sat alone and unescorted in a den of iniquity.
"Lord Francis Tenby," he said, extending his hand. "And you are ' "
"Madame Noire," she answered, bending far forward to place her gloved fingers in his. "It must be fate, must it not "
"Ha ha!" His gaze took in her daring d ' colletage. "Madame Black, indeed! Tell me, my dear, have you a given name "
"Those with whom I'm intimate call me Cerise," she said, the word husky and suggestive.
"Cerise," echoed the Englishman. "How exotic. What brings you to London, my dear "