To Tame a Scoundrel's Heart (A Waltz with a Rogue Novella Book 4)

To Tame a Scoundrel's Heart (A Waltz with a Rogue Novella Book 4) by Collette Cameron

Book: To Tame a Scoundrel's Heart (A Waltz with a Rogue Novella Book 4) by Collette Cameron Read Free Book Online
Authors: Collette Cameron
Tags: A Waltz with a Rogue Novella Book 4
ridiculous.” After tossing the pillow onto the sofa, she stepped to a shelf near the door. “They’re located over here.” She bent and ran her fingers along a row of books before selecting two thin, blue-green tomes. “ The Lady’s Guide to Proper Comportment ,” she raised the first book, “and The Genteel Lady’s Guide to Practical Living . Both guaranteed to bore your sisters and you to death.”
    She made a dramatic pose, eyes closed and the back of her hand pressed to her forehead.
    Was there a gentleman’s comportment equivalent? For him? One step at a time.
    “Excellent.” Deftly descending the ladder, he indicated the books with a nod. “Have you read either?”
    “Both, multiple times. Usually for penance after flouting a social rule.” After laying the books on the smallish desk, she leaned against it and chuckled, a light, joyful burble. “I fear they failed to transform me into a wholly proper miss. I tend to disregard the parts I think drivel, which, honestly, are most, yet I get along manageably well.” She wrinkled her nose adorably. “Mama and society might not agree, but I’ve become quite accomplished at acting the part.”
    His lips twitched. Good for her.
    “May I offer a word of advice, Nic?” She brushed her fingers along a quill’s feather lying in its feminine porcelain holder.
    “By all means.” A scribbled, crossed-off paper lay upon the desktop. Was that his bride list?
    “I’d give your sisters a bit of time before trying to transform them. I’m certain, as a duke’s daughters, they’ve already had comportment drilled into them until they want to scream. Let them breathe a little, come out of the shells they’ve retreated into.”
    “Sound advice, and a recommendation I’ll gratefully heed.” He had no more desire to read tedious decorum instructions than his sisters likely had to hear them. Once he’d reached the floor, Nick straightened his coat. “What do you suggest then? For my reading enjoyment?”
    “I rather like Chaucer’s works.” Speaking over her shoulder, Katrina glided to a shorter shelf adjacent to the desk. “We have them all, and The Canterbury Tales might be shared with your sisters too.”
    In the distance, carriage wheels crunched upon gravel.
    A visitor?
    Major Domont or one of the Needhams returning home?
    Katrina didn’t even glance toward the window.
    She’s given up on Domont.
    “Have you heard from your major?” Nic touched her shoulder. Far too bold and forward, but though she valiantly hid her doldrums behind bright smiles, ennui lingered in her troubled gaze.
    Absorbed in the lace edging her gown’s sleeve, Katrina gave one short shake of her head, the curls framing her face bobbing merrily. The sole part of her remotely cheery. Even her gown, a demure fawn edged in Spanish brown braiding and creamy lace, bespoke her low spirits.
    “No, but Papa’s sent a man to Stratford-Upon-Avon.” Her lower lip clenched between her teeth, her sable lashes swept downward, concealing her desolate blue eyes and fanning her porcelain cheeks. She released an unsteady sigh. “We’ve no word from Peters, Papa’s man, yet.”
    So vulnerable, yet so brave. So in need of comforting.
    True, there were worse things than being thrown over, but a woman in love couldn’t see beyond the pain rending her cracked heart and the mortification slashing her wounded soul.
    “My sympathies.” Condolences? What did one say in a situation like this?
    Certainly not what he truly thought. “You’re well rid of the inconsiderate bilge rat.” Or “Don’t waste your tears on the unmitigated arse.” Or even, “Allow me the pleasure of cobbing the blackguard for his villainy.”
    “Thank you, I think.” Katrina shrugged. “It is what it is.”
    Why didn’t she rail or cry? Protest the injustice? Damn Domont’s soul to Davy Jones’s locker? Because she wasn’t vindictive or vengeful. Emotion burgeoned behind his ribs, and in that instant, Nic would

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