The Wallflower’s Wicked Wager
A Waltz with a Rogue Novella, #5
He loved her beyond anything and everything—precisely why he couldn’t ever marry her.
A wounded hero. Love—sentimental drivel for insipid, weak, feckless fools.
Since an explosion ravaged Captain Morgan Le Draco’s face and cost him his commission in the Royal Dragoons, he’s fortified himself behind an impenetrable rampart of cynicism and distrust. Now destitute and shunned by the very society that once lauded his heroics, he’s put aside all thoughts of marrying and having a family. Until he risks his life to save a drowning woman.
At once, Morgan knows Shona’s the balm for his tortured soul, but as a wealthy, titled noblewoman, she’s too far above his humble station and can never be his.
An intrepid wallflower.
Love—a treasured gift reserved for those beautiful of form and face.
Scorned and ridiculed most of her adult life, Shona, Lady Atterberry believes she’s utterly undesirable and is reconciled to spinsterhood. She hides her spirited temperament beneath a veneer of gauche shyness, until a strapping, scarred stranger saves her life, and she can’t deny her immediate, powerful, and sensual attraction to him. Despite how ill-suited they are and innuendos that Captain Le Draco is a fortune-hunter, she cannot escape her growing fascination.
Two damaged souls searching for love.
Others are determined to keep them apart, and Shona is goaded into placing a wicked wager. One that sets her upon a ruinous path and alienates the only man who might have ever loved her. Is true love enough to put their pasts behind them, to learn to trust, and heal their wounded hearts?
Caution: This book contains one devilish, seemingly irredeemable rogue, an on-the-shelf wallflower who dabbles in wicked wagers, an unexpected and most enticing swim in a lake, a villainess you’ll want to shove into said lake, and a cast of captivating secondary characters with their own tantalizing romantic tales.
For a heartwarming, inspiring story about the power of love, purchase your copy today of THE WALLFLOWER’S WICKED WAGER, the fifth installment in Collette Cameron’s romantic historical Regencies A Waltz with a Rogue Novella series.
See what readers are saying!
“I read this book in one sitting. I could not put it down…one of my favorite things about this author is she never let me down…story has charmed me.” ~Uncaged Reviews
“She writes with such enthusiasm, understanding of human emotions, and adds a touch of humor, that leaves the reader breathless. A not to miss read!” ~My Reading Addiction
“When Shona and Morgan first meet, I had tears in my eyes; both see the good person behind the unfashionable facade, it is such a touching moment…” ~Mo
“Sometimes a book comes along and quite simply takes your breath away. This is one of those books. “ ~Teri
“I don’t give a lot of novellas 5 stars but this one deserves it. The hero and heroine will tear your heart out.” ~Donna
In one swift, smooth movement, Morgan dove into the water. If he hadn’t been holding his breath, he would’ve gasped. To his overheated body, the freezing cold came as a shock and a blessing.
Surfacing, he treaded water, trying to locate her.
As yet unaware of his presence, she bobbed several yards away, barely keeping her head above the water. Her expression determined, her movements labored, she started for shore.
As Morgan suspected, her skirts hampered her, weighing her down like great sodden sails.
What if he hadn’t been here?
She would’ve drowned for certain. Still might.
The black thought burrowed deep in his chest, causing a queer tightness where it anchored.
After dragging in a lungful of air, Morgan hollered. “Turn onto your back and float until I get there.”
Eyes round with shock, she jerked her dark head his way.
Profound relief flooded her pretty features. Obediently, she rotated onto her back, her breasts—the bodice stuck to the full orbs like a second skin—jutted above the water line, the ends pebbled from cold.
He swept a fleeting, appreciative gaze over the mounds.
Voluptuous figures had always attracted him.
Tend to the task at hand, Le Draco. The gel needn’t drown while you ogle her marvelous charms.
With swift, strong strokes, he swam to her. He’d regained most of his strength after the explosion–something that had seemed impossible in the early days of his convalescence. Other than several hideous scars, reduced hearing in his left ear, and the loss of an eye, he was restored.
His highly-coveted position in the 1st Royal Regiment of Dragoons, on the other hand…
Fortune hadn’t smiled on him in that regard.
While he’d been unconscious and no one had known whether he’d live or die, his sire had taken it upon himself to retire Morgan’s commission.
Now at eight-and-twenty, he had nothing to go back to.
Nothing to look forward to.
No purpose. No direction. No rudder to steer his life and guide him.
Unless—until—he found employment. He’d become a societal parasite, dependent on the goodwill and generosity of his friends and sister, for he refused to accept a guinea from his father, Ruben Le Draco.
Damned lucky to have survived.
So Morgan had been told over and over.
The blast had killed five, maiming and wounding dozens more, but he—
As he approached, the girl turned her head. The gratitude in her expression transformed to incredulity when she spied his eyepatch and the vicious scar’s jagged path to his mouth, pulling one corner up at a grotesque angle.
After a year, he ought to have been accustomed to the stunned reactions. Yet, he still cringed inwardly when people—women, especially—flinched and gasped or hastily averted their gazes.
And when children’s faces crumpled in terror—
But this profoundly unique creature didn’t look away. Instead, her attention shifted to his remaining eye, and such sympathy blossomed on her porcelain face that his thrumming heart battered against its bruised walls.
Struggling to stay afloat, she managed a timorous smile, full of kindness and empathy.
In that instant, through some sort of preternatural instinct, Morgan knew she’d suffered too. Here she was, her pulse raging at the base of her delicate throat, in very real danger of drowning, and instead of turning away in disgust or revulsion, she’d shown him compassion.