New York City’s Gilded Age shines as bright as the power-wielding men of the Knickerbocker Club. And one pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune . . .
Born into one of New York’s most respected families, William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city’s highest echelons of society, he’s now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract him from his next pursuit—except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never saw coming . . .
Ava Jones has eked out a living the only way she knows how. As “Madame Zolikoff,” she hoodwinks gullible audiences into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life—and lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce the handsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his campaign—unless he’s the one who’s already put a spell on her . . .
He shifted toward her, his gray eyes shining. Strong jaw and sensual mouth, he was a striking man. Even when she was annoyed with him, which was often, she could not help but notice him. “What would you like to know, Ava? Merely ask it already.”
Why was my brother smiling? What did the two of you talk about? Was he mistreated in there? Why do I want to both kiss and strangle you at the same time?
The questions raced through her mind, the last one in particular causing her to jerk slightly. Where had that come from? She didn’t want to kiss Will Sloane. Everything about him was too controlled, too proper. He’d probably never experienced true passion of any kind. She couldn’t picture his hair messed up from a woman’s fingers, or his clothes rumpled from a partner’s impatience.
Dirty and sweaty were two words she’d never associate with Will Sloane, even in the bedroom.
“Why are you staring at my mouth?”
He’d whispered the question in a deep rasp that suggested he knew the answer. Embarrassed, Ava tore her gaze away—only to discover him watching her own mouth with the rapt attention of a predator waiting to pounce. Her heart pounded furiously in her corset, the steady beat far too loud in her ears. Unconsciously she licked her lips to moisten them. “Why are you staring at my mouth?”
“Because it’s the most fascinating thing I’ve ever seen.”
She focused on breathing, desperate to ignore whatever regrettable feelings she’d developed for this man. No good could come of the sudden fullness of her breasts or the rhythmic pulse between her thighs. But there was no escape from it, not respite from the charge building between them. Even if she dashed from the carriage, this thing, this dratted attraction, would follow her.
Award-winning author Joanna Shupe has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.