Let Sleeping Rogues Lie (School for Heiresses Series)

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9781501294228: Let Sleeping Rogues Lie (School for Heiresses Series)
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“Don’t let yourself be fooled, Madeline: once a rake, always a rake.” —Mrs. Charlotte Harris, headmistress When Madeline Prescott took a teaching position at Mrs. Harris’s School for Young Ladies, it was to help restore her father’s reputation. Instead, she’s in danger of ruining her own. The devilishly handsome Anthony Dalton, Viscount Norcourt, has agreed to provide “rake lessons” to Mrs. Harris’s pupils so they can learn how to avoid unscrupulous gentlemen, and Madeline is to oversee his classes. She has always believed that attraction is a scientific matter, easily classified and controlled — until she’s swept into the passionate desire that fiercely burns between her and Anthony. Nothing could be more illogical than risking everything for a dalliance with a rake — even one who’s trying to behave himself. Yet nothing could be more tempting. . . . “Exceptionally entertaining and splendidly sexy.” —Booklist on Beware a Scot’s Revenge

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About the Author:

By the time SABRINA JEFFRIES was eighteen, she’d eaten chicken heads and jellyfish, been chased by a baby elephant, seen countless cobras and pythons, had the entire series of rabies shots, and visited rain forests and rubber plantations. But that wasn’t enough excitement for her; to escape her mundane life as a missionary’s daughter, she read romance novels. Now she writes romance novels, and her bestselling, award-winning tales of strong women and sexy, dangerous men have been translated all over the world. Although she now lives a quiet life in North Carolina with her husband and son, her colorful past has given her plenty of inspiration for more novels.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

Dear Charlotte,

I'm glad you are finally giving greater responsibility to your teachers, instead of taking everything upon yourself. Miss Prescott in particular sounds like an asset, given her penchant for bookkeeping. I know how much you despise numbers -- this way you can keep your hand in without having to submit to the tortures of doing sums.

Your friend and cousin,
Michael

Miss Madeline Prescott stared at the sealed envelope for the fifth time that day. Refused was written across it in a bold hand.

She couldn't believe it. Though she'd received no answer to her previous correspondence, she'd still hoped that Sir Humphry Davy might one day read one of her letters. If they were being refused entirely, she hadn't the smallest hope of making her case in person to the famous chemist.

Tears stung her eyes. Now what? She didn't know where to turn, and Papa got worse by the day. If she didn't find a solution soon --

"Ah, there you are," said Mrs. Charlotte Harris, owner and headmistress of Mrs. Harris's School for Young Ladies, as she entered the school's office. "I thought I might find you here."

Shoving the letter into her apron pocket, Madeline forced a smile. "I'm still balancing the accounts."

Mrs. Harris took a seat on the other side of the partner's desk, her red curls jiggling. "I don't envy you. I am so grateful you took those duties over."

Her employer wouldn't be nearly so grateful if she knew about the scandal clinging to the Prescott name in Shropshire. Mrs. Harris expected her teachers to be above reproach.

A footman appeared in the doorway to the office and said to Mrs. Harris, "A Lord Norcourt has come to call on you, ma'am."

Madeline's throat went dry. Sir Randolph Bickham's nephew, here? Could the Viscount Norcourt be seeking her out because of his uncle's wicked plot against Papa? Had Sir Randolph actually hunted them down here in Richmond?

That made no sense. Not only had the viscount never met her, but he and Sir Randolph were rumored to be estranged. Would Lord Norcourt even realize her family's connection to his?

Even if he did, he couldn't know she taught here. She hadn't told anyone at home in Telford. And she'd certainly kept her former life secret from Mrs. Harris.

Mrs. Harris looked perplexed. "But I don't know Lord Norcourt."

"He's here about a prospective pupil, I believe," the footman said.

Madeline slumped in relief. So this was a chance occurrence. Thank heaven.

"I have no openings for this term," Mrs. Harris said.

"I told him, ma'am. But he still wishes to speak with you."

Mrs. Harris turned to Madeline. "Do you know anything about Lord Norcourt?"

"A little," she said evasively. "He only inherited the title from his elder brother last month. Before then, you would have known him as the Honorable Anthony Dalton."

Mrs. Harris blinked. "The rakehell with a fondness for widows?"

"So they say."

"I wonder why he's here. He has no children to enroll." With a glance at the waiting footman, Mrs. Harris rose and touched one slender hand to her temple. "The gossips say he has seduced half the widows in London."

"That's impossible." Madeline did a swift calculation in her head. "Given a population of over one million, if even one-twentieth are widows, he'd have had to bed a woman every four hours over the past ten years to achieve such a feat. That would scarcely leave him time for gaming hells and wild parties."

Mrs. Harris's arch glance showed that she didn't particularly appreciate Madeline's practical perspective. But then, few people did. "I've heard about those parties," Mrs. Harris said tartly. "Cousin Michael even described one."

"Cousin Michael" was the school's original benefactor, a reclusive fellow who wrote Mrs. Harris of any intelligence he thought would aid the heiresses who attended. Privately, Madeline wondered if Cousin Michael was as removed from social affairs as he implied. But she wasn't likely to find out, since the man's identity had never been revealed to anyone, even Mrs. Harris.

"You don't think Lord Norcourt has come because I am a widow, do you?" the headmistress asked as she paced before the window that overlooked the school's extensive gardens.

"I hardly think it likely."

"Nonetheless, I want nothing to do with the man." Mrs. Harris whirled on Madeline. "Perhaps you should speak to him. It's time you learned to deal with this sort of thing, and you're more likely to be tactful than I, given his reputation."

"But -- "

"Why should you be limited to teaching classes and doing the school's accounts? You've amply proved you can handle weightier responsibilities. So go explain to Lord Norcourt that we have no openings."

Madeline hesitated. What if the man recognized her surname as Papa's?

No, that was silly. Prescott was a common enough name. And he'd hardly be familiar with the physicians in his uncle's town.

Rising from her seat, Madeline nodded. "I'll take care of it at once."

The more she ingratiated herself with Mrs. Harris, the more solid her standing at the school and the less likely she'd be to lose her position if the scandal surrounding Papa ever caught up with her here.

As she followed the footman into the hall, something else occurred to her. Though she'd heard much about his rakish reputation, the viscount had connections among men of science and learning. According to reports, he knew Sir Humphry Davy himself! She had to use this opportunity to her advantage to save Papa and get her former life back.

But how, if she had to turn his lordship away?

As she and the footman neared the foyer, she halted him in the shadow of the stairs, wanting first to study the man who paced the marble floor with spare, quick strides, his hands clasped behind his back.

Lord Norcourt was considerably taller and more handsome than his loathsome uncle. In his coat, waistcoat, and trousers of black superfine, with his equally black hair tumbling fashionably about his white collar, he was as glorious a creature as any wild fallow buck she'd described in her work of natural history.

She assessed his features in the mirror beyond him -- the noble brow, the aquiline nose jutting above a full, sensual mouth, the square-cut jaw. But nothing compared to his well-knit figure, which bespoke many hours engaged in fencing or boxing or some other gentlemanly sport.

Yes, a splendid beast indeed.

Then he halted before the mirror with his head cocked, like a stag scenting danger, and she had only a second to prepare herself before he pivoted to fix her with amazing blue eyes, the exact hue of the azurite crystals she kept in a jar on her desk. And twice as sharp, not to mention unnerving. It seemed quite at odds with the outrageous fellow described by the gossips.

"Mrs. Harris, I presume?" he said, his brief bow every bit as haughty as one his uncle might have managed.

Heart thundering, she stepped forward. "No, my lord. I'm Miss Prescott." As she curtsied, she held her breath, waiting to see if he recognized her surname.

He merely shot her the same dismissive glance he would give any underling. "I wish to speak to the headmistress."

"She's busy, so she sent me." When Lord Norcourt frowned his annoyance, she dismissed the footman with what she hoped sounded like authority. Then she smiled coolly. "I handle the school's finances. I also teach mathematics. And natural history, when I can fit it in."

The viscount's chiseled features softened. "A naturalist? That is excellent. There should be more of that in schools for young ladies."

The casual compliment struck Madeline dumb. No one but Mrs. Harris viewed her interest in maths and natural history as an advantage. Certainly no man other than Papa ever had. How extraordinary.

But when he followed the compliment with a measured assessment of her, one that ended in a breathtaking smile, all white teeth and ingratiating appeal, she regarded him more cynically. He was very good at charming women, wasn't he? No wonder they fell into his bed so eagerly.

"I suppose you're wondering why I'm here," he went on. Abruptly, his smile vanished. "You see, my elder brother and his wife died in an inn fire last month."

"I'm very sorry for your loss," she murmured.

His nod of acknowledgment dropped a wave of silky raven hair over his brow. He shoved it back with a swiftness that hinted it was an oft-repeated gesture. "They were survived by a twelve-year-old daughter, the Honorable Miss Teresa Ann Dalton. That's why I've come. To enroll my niece in your academy."

"Surely the footman told you we have no openings at present."

He arched one brow. "Such matters can generally be got round for a price."

Thank heaven Mrs. Harris hadn't handled this -- the implication that her goodwill could be bought would have ended this discussion. But Madeline refused to banish the viscount until she figured out if he could help Papa.

"As it happens," she said, softening her words with an amiable tone, "my employer need not take whoever offers her the most money. She will require some weightier reason before considering your request."

"Your employer's discriminating taste does her credit, as does her unusual curriculum. But surely neither of you would let some arbitrary limit on the number of pupils persuade you to turn away a girl of superior intelligence who might bring credit to your institution."

"There are other schools -- "

"I wouldn't enroll my horse in them, much less an impressionable young woman. They're badly run, providing an indifferent and frivolous education."

Well, well, he'd certainly investigated the matter thoroughly. And surely Mrs. Harris could make room for another girl, with some adjustments. Besides, if Madeline could do this favor for Lord Norcourt...

But first she'd have to convince Mrs. Harris to allow it, and for that she must learn more. "Why have you been given charge of your niece? Isn't it unusual to name a bachelor as a guardian?"

"The married man that my brother named died a few years ago, and Wallace never took the trouble to change his will." ...

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781439140192: Let Sleeping Rogues Lie (The School for Heiresses)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1439140197 ISBN 13:  9781439140192
Publisher: Pocket Books, 2009
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9781416551515: Let Sleeping Rogues Lie (The School for Heiresses)

Pocket..., 2008
Softcover

9781439187166: Let Sleeping Rogues Lie (The School for Heiresses)

Pocket, 2010
Softcover

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Book Description BRILLIANCE AUDIO, 2015. CD-Audio. Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. Don t let yourself be fooled, Madeline: once a rake, always a rake. --Mrs. Charlotte Harris, headmistress When Madeline Prescott took a teaching position at Mrs. Harris s School for Young Ladies, it was to help restore her father s reputation. Instead, she s in danger of ruining her own. The devilishly handsome Anthony Dalton, Viscount Norcourt, has agreed to provide rake lessons to Mrs. Harris s pupils so they can learn how to avoid unscrupulous gentlemen, and Madeline is to oversee his classes. She has always believed that attraction is a scientific matter, easily classified and controlled -- until she s swept into the passionate desire that fiercely burns between her and Anthony. Nothing could be more illogical than risking everything for a dalliance with a rake -- even one who s trying to behave himself. Yet nothing could be more tempting. . . . Exceptionally entertaining and splendidly sexy. --Booklist on Beware a Scot s Revenge. Seller Inventory # BRI9781501294228

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Book Description BRILLIANCE AUDIO, 2015. CD-Audio. Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. Don t let yourself be fooled, Madeline: once a rake, always a rake. --Mrs. Charlotte Harris, headmistress When Madeline Prescott took a teaching position at Mrs. Harris s School for Young Ladies, it was to help restore her father s reputation. Instead, she s in danger of ruining her own. The devilishly handsome Anthony Dalton, Viscount Norcourt, has agreed to provide rake lessons to Mrs. Harris s pupils so they can learn how to avoid unscrupulous gentlemen, and Madeline is to oversee his classes. She has always believed that attraction is a scientific matter, easily classified and controlled -- until she s swept into the passionate desire that fiercely burns between her and Anthony. Nothing could be more illogical than risking everything for a dalliance with a rake -- even one who s trying to behave himself. Yet nothing could be more tempting. . . . Exceptionally entertaining and splendidly sexy. --Booklist on Beware a Scot s Revenge. Seller Inventory # BRI9781501294228

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