Read Don't Bargain with the Devil Online

Authors: Sabrina Jeffries

Don't Bargain with the Devil

 

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Dear Reader,

 

Things at the school have been quite hectic lately, with my young ladies marrying at a dizzying pace. Poor Lucy Seton, however, one of my favorite graduates, has had a most difficult year ever since that scoundrel Peter Burnes broke her heart by choosing a rich heiress for his betrothed. To keep her mind off the matter, I asked her to step in when one of my less reliable teachers quit without notice. So Lucy will be teaching drawing at the school for now.

 

I can only hope that keeping her busy will distract her from her troubles. At least now she fully understands what I have been drilling into my students from the beginning: Any man who puts his purse above his heart is not worth the having. It is very important for these young ladies to separate the fawning fortune-hunters from the genuine gentlemen. Young women are so easily swayed by flattery that they can overlook the glint of avarice in a young man’s eye.

 

I do wish Lucy hadn’t had to learn this lesson the hard way, however. She is such a passionate young woman—I would hate to think that dreadful Burnes has broken her spirit. If anyone deserves to find love, it is young Lucy. Her loyalty to her friends—and to my school—speaks to her fine character. I only wish I could find a man good enough for her.

 

Perhaps I should ask Cousin Michael, my anonymous benefactor, for help in that regard…or perhaps not. His letters have been rather sharp of late. I don’t know quite what to make of him.

 

But one way or the other, I intend to see Lucy Seton happily settled. What sort of friend and instructor would I be if I did not?

 

 

Most sincerely yours,

 

Charlotte Harris

 

Owner and headmistress

 

Mrs. Harris’s School for Young Ladies

 

 

 

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“Anyone who loves romance must read Sabrina Jeffries!”

 

—
New York Times
bestselling author Lisa Kleypas

Praise for
New York Times
and
USA Today
bestselling author SABRINA JEFFRIES and her delightfully enticing series THE SCHOOL FOR HEIRESSES

LET SLEEPING ROGUES LIE

 

“Consummate storyteller Jeffries pens another title in the School for Heiresses series that is destined to captivate readers with its sensuality and wonderfully enchanting plot.”

 

—
Romantic Times
(4˝ stars)

 

“Scandal, gossip, greed, and old enmities spice up the pot in this fast-paced sexy romp that bubbles over with Jeffries’s trademark humor and spirit…. Sparkling dialogue, stirring sexual chemistry, and an engrossing story.”

 

—
Library Journal

BEWARE A SCOT’S REVENGE

 

“Irresistible…. Larger-than-life characters, sprightly dialogue, and a steamy romance will draw you into this delicious captive/captor tale.”

 

—
Romantic Times
(Top Pick)

 

“Expertly entertaining and splendidly sexy.”

 

—
Booklist

ONLY A DUKE WILL DO

 

“Bringing together a bold heroine and a scarred hero while incorporating political scandal into a tightly woven romance, Jeffries once again proves her mettle as a first-rate Regency author.”

 

—
Publishers Weekly

 

“Marvelous, powerful, and sensual…. Jeffries fans will devour this treat.”

 

—
Romantic Times

 

“Politics and passion prove to be a particularly potent combination…. Expertly crafted and delectably sexy.”

 

—
Booklist

NEVER SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL

 

“Jeffries delivers lively lovers in an entertaining, sensual historical romance.”

 

—
Booklist

 

“Jeffries carries off this cat-and-mouse game of mutual seduction so cleverly that you’ll be turning the pages at lightning speed…. Warm, wickedly witty, and brilliantly plotted, this is a must for anyone who just wants a fast, intelligent read.”

 

—
Romantic Times

 

 

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Also by Sabrina Jeffries

THE SCHOOL FOR HEIRESSES SERIES

Snowy Night with a Stranger
(with Jane Feather and Julia London)

Let Sleeping Rogues Lie

Beware a Scot’s Revenge

The School for Heiresses
(with Julia London, Liz Carlyle & Renee Bernard)

Only a Duke Will Do

Never Seduce a Scoundrel

THE ROYAL BROTHERHOOD SERIES

One Night with a Prince

To Pleasure a Prince

In the Prince’s Bed

 

 

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Pocket Books

 

A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

 

1230 Avenue of the Americas

 

New York, NY 10020

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Copyright Š 2009 by Deborah Gonzales

 

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

 

POCKET and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

 

ISBN-13: 978-1-4391-6341-2

 

ISBN-10: 1-4391-6341-3

 

Visit us on the World Wide Web:

 

http://www.SimonandSchuster.com [http://www.SimonandSchuster.com]
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To my wonderful Puerto Rican sister-in-law,
Erika Martin, who helped me with the Spanish in this book.

Thanks for being such a doll!

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

Chapter One

 

Chapter Two

 

Chapter Three

 

Chapter Four

 

Chapter Five

 

Chapter Six

 

Chapter Seven

 

Chapter Eight

 

Chapter Nine

 

Chapter Ten

 

Chapter Eleven

 

Chapter Twelve

 

Chapter Thirteen

 

Chapter Fourteen

 

Chapter Fifteen

 

Chapter Sixteen

 

Chapter Seventeen

 

Chapter Eighteen

 

Chapter Nineteen

 

Chapter Twenty

 

Chapter Twenty-one

 

Chapter Twenty-two

 

Chapter Twenty-three

 

Chapter Twenty-four

 

Chapter Twenty-five

 

Chapter Twenty-six

 

Chapter Twenty-seven

 

Epilogue

 

Author’s Note

 

 

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Chapter One

Richmond, Surrey
Late April 1824

 

 

 

 

Dear Charlotte,

 

How thoughtless of your drawing instructor to quit just before the Easter term begins! At least you have Miss Seton to help you until you can replace the irresponsible woman. Though I do hope she has grown out of what you called “her inability to think before speaking.”

 

Your friend and cousin,

 

Michael

 

 

L
ucinda Seton needed an impressive suitor, and she needed one
now.

 

A prince would be her first choice, but she’d settle for a duke or even a marquess, preferably one who was filthy rich.

 

Not that she cared about riches, oh no. Expensive phaetons tearing neck-or-nothing through town made her retch, and hothouse roses made her sneeze. Jewels were rather nice, but a lot of trouble to watch out for when strolling with one’s maid in the parks.

 

No, she wanted an impressive suitor for one reason only: to make Peter Burnes eat his words.

 

Tears stinging her eyes, she paced the bedroom at Mrs. Harris’s School for Young Ladies that would be hers for the next few weeks. Fie on that wretch! She jerked a shawl from her half-unpacked trunk. How could she still be crying over him? And how could that heartless blackguard choose some milk-and-water miss over
her?

 

The memory of their humiliating exchange at last Saturday’s ball made her cringe as she tucked her shawl into the chest of drawers. Bad enough that she’d foolishly asked him how they stood. But his answer…

 

Given my new position in society, Lucy, I require a more suitable wife. Someone of a settled and responsible disposition, not a hot-blooded hoyden who says the first thing that pops into her head.

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