The Sins of Lord Easterbrook

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2009-01-27
  • Publisher: Dell
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Journey back to a time of scandal, intrigue, and reckless desire in Madeline Hunter's sensuous new novel, the tale of a man who will give up everything for the woman he's determined to possess-even reveal his most sinful secret. Only a desperate mission could bring Leona Montgomery face-to-face with the scoundrel whose dangerous sensuality once sent her fleeing from his arms. But she has under-estimated Christian, Marquess of Easterbrook. As irresistible as ever, his past swathed in mystery, Christian has his own plans for the woman he has waited seven years to claim. Yet once desire reignites, bringing a dangerous secret into the open, Leona will find herself bound to the seductive nobleman in ways she could never have imagined. Seven years have changed nothing: this man can tempt her to ruin with just one touch. With Leona's reputation and hopes for her family's salvation in tatters, she must follow the only course left to her.even as each step brings her closer to a shattering truth and a passion she can no longer live without..

Author Biography

Madeline Hunter is a nationally bestselling author of historical romances who lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. In a parallel existence to the one she enjoys as a novelist, she has a Ph.D. in art history and teaches at an East Coast university.


Chapter One

Silence. A dark, calm center absorbing chaos into its stillness.

 The peaceful rhythm of inhales and exhales. 

A pulse. The fundamental beat of nature extending into infinity. Awareness of everything and nothing. No thoughts. No dreams. No hungers. Pure existence. Primeval knowing. 

Floating in the center now. Finally. Singular but also transcendent. Only the pulse in the darkness. Alone, but unified with a larger rhythm, the– 

A disturbance. A small, silent shout of caution and worry intruding into the perfect void. 

“Why are you creeping around, Phippen?” 

“My apologies, my lord. I thought–you appeared to be sleeping and I just thought to come in and remove the tray–” 

A louder shout. Fear now. Always fear. The world roared with it. 

“I will go at once, sir.”
“Take the tray, Phippen. Let us make the disturbance worthwhile, at least.” 

Chaos. Dismay. Thumps and bumps and the brittle cacophony of metal and crockery crashing. 

“My abject apologies, sir. The footstool–I will have this cleaned off the carpet in a thrice. I will be gone faster than you can say Phippen is a fool.” 

“Phippen is a fool. I’ll be damned, you are still here.” 

Noise. Sounds both audible and spiritual. Despera - tion amid clinks and sighs. The dark center shrinking, shrinking . . . 

Christian, Marquess of Easterbrook, opened his eyes to view the servant whose intrusion had destroyed his meditation. Phippen, his new valet, tried to pick up the tray’s contents without making any noise. Im - possible, of course. A person’s mere existence made noise. 

Flushed and on his hands and knees, Phippen gingerly placed the cup on the tray, cringing at its tiny sound. He took out his handkerchief to mop up the puddle of coffee threatening to stain the carpet. 

Fear. Worry. Anger too. Pique at himself as well as the new master whose habits made his job too hard. 

Phippen would not be staying long. Valets never did. Christian rose from his chair and walked over to Phippen. “Give me the tray. I will hold it while you gather the pieces.” 

“Very good, sir. Thank you, sir. That is too kind of you, my lord.” 

You are an ass, sir. An eccentric, erratic, incomprehensible– 

Another disturbance. An odd shaking within the
 remnants of the fading center. Christian closed his eyes and focused on that tremble. Distant but distinct, it had interfered with his meditations too often of late. Today it had taken forever to overcome its effects. 

He walked to the north windows. No one was in the garden. He paced down the length of his bedchamber to look out the south windows. The kneeling Phippen waved a saucer as he neared. Christian took it, put it on the tray, shoved the tray into Phippen’s empty hand, and strode on. The sound of china tumbling again reached him just as he neared the window. 

In the street below a carriage waited outside the door of his house. A figure swept toward it, dodging the drizzle that so often accompanied spring weather in London. A woman of middling height and quick step, wearing a deep green dress, hopped into the carriage’s twilight. 

A delicate nose. An elegant jaw. 

A melodic sigh from the past. He was sure that he heard it despite the distance and the closed window. 

His mind shed the last mists of his

Excerpted from The Sins of Lord Easterbrook by Madeline Hunter
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