When Caroline Trent is kidnapped by Blake Ravenscroft, she doesn't even try to elude this dangerously handsome agent of the crown. After all, she's been running from unwanted marriage proposals. Yes, Blake believes she's a notorious spy named Carlotta De Leon, but for six weeks until her twenty-first birthday, when she'll gain control of her fortune, hiding out in the titillating company of a mysterious captor is awfully convenient -- and maybe just a little romantic, too. Blake Ravenscroft's mission is to bring "Carlotta" to justice, not to fall in love. His heart has been hardened by years of intrigue, but this little temptress proves oddly disarming and thoroughly kissable. And suddenly the unthinkable becomes possible -- that this mismatched Couple might be destined for love.
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July 30, 2002
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Excerpt from To Catch an Heiress by Julia Quinn
con-tu-ber-nal (noun). One who occupies the same tent, a tent-fellow, comrade.
The thougbt of Percy Prewitt as my contubernal causes me to break out in hives.
-- From the personal dictionary of
July 3, 1814
Caroline Trent hadn't meant to shoot Percival Prewitt, but she had, and now he was dead.
Or at least she thought he was dead. There was certainly enough blood. It was dripping from the walls, it was splattered on the floor, and the bedclothes were stained quite beyond redemption. Caroline didn't know very much about medicine, but she was fairly certain a body couldn't lose that much blood and still live.
She was in big trouble now.
"Damn," she muttered. Although she was a gentlewoman, she hadn't always been raised in particularly gentle circumstances, and her language occasionally left a bit to be desired.
"You stupid man," she said to the body on the floor. "Why did you have to lunge at me like that? Why couldn't you have left well enough alone? I told your father I wasn't going to marry you. I told him I wouldn't marry you if you were the last idiot in Britain."
She nearly stamped her foot in frustration. Why was it her words never came out quite the way she intended them to? "What I meant to say was that you are an idiot," she said to Perry, who, not surprisingdidn't respond, "and that I wouldn't marry you if you were the last man in Britain, and Oh, blast. What am I doing talking to you, anyway? You're quite dead."
Caroline groaned. What the devil was she supposed to do now? Percy's father was due to return in just two short hours, and it didn't require an Oxford degree to deduce that Oliver Prewitt would not be Pleased to find his son dead on the floor.
"Bother your father," she ground out. "This is all his fault, anyway. If he hadn't been so obsessed with catching you an heiress..."