If He’s Daring
Wherlocke # 6
By: Hannah Howell
Releasing October 7th, 2014
Zebra / Kensington
In a dazzling new novel in the Wherlocke family saga, New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell creates an unforgettable story of intrigue, jeopardy, and desire…
Stealing a stranger’s carriage is the second most reckless thing Lady Catryn Gryffin de Warrenne has ever done. The first is succumbing to her powerful attraction to the carriage’s owner. Catryn has heard the rumors about Sir Orion Wherlocke’s family and their otherworldly gifts. He’s the one person who can keep her son and his inheritance safe from her late husband’s ruthless brother. As for how to protect herself…it may be too late for that.
Orion is facing the worst danger a man of his ilk can find: a woman he can’t walk away from. Catryn is an intoxicating blend of innocence and sensuality, and for the first time, seduction is far more than a game. But her beauty and fortune have made her a target—one that will dare him to risk everything he’s known—in pursuit of everything he’s ever longed for…
Catryn checked her saddle and saddle pack to make certain both were secure before swinging up onto the back of her mare. She had packed enough to sustain her if she had to chase Morris down to the de Warrenne country house, but sincerely hoped she did not have to. Although she was a good rider, she had not ridden any great distances for a long time.
Fury warmed her blood as she rode through the cool, misty streets of London towards Morris’s town house. The man had been a thorn in her side from the moment her useless husband had breathed his last, but this act went far beyond being a nuisance. For a moment she considered setting the authorities on his trail, but she was not sure who to go to or if she could even afford such help. Legal help of any kind did not come cheaply and, after so many court battles with her brother-in-law, both her and her father’s purses were painfully light.
Just as she rode within sight of Morris’s town house she saw him shoving a thrashing, screaming Alwyn into his carriage. Shouting at him to halt gained her only a hard glare before he joined her son in the carriage, which began to move. The heavy traffic upon the road made a swift escape impossible, but it also slowed down all her attempts to catch up with him.
Cursing softly, she did her best to gain enough speed to overtake Morris’s carriage, but the only thing she was able to do was keep him in sight. Catryn knew he would soon reach a road that lead out of the city. If she could not catch him before then she would quickly lose sight of him. Her mare was a fast, sturdy creature, but the animal could not outrun a carriage pulled by four strong horses.
“Never expected him to actually leave the city, Sorley,” she muttered to her horse. “Am certainly readied for a journey but truly did not expect, or wish, to make one.”
Ignoring the curse shouted at her by the man she splattered with much as she wove her way though the crowded streets, she struggled not to lose sight of Morris’s carriage. It troubled her when she realized they would soon leave the part of the city she knew well, might even pass through the more dangerous streets. Even as a child she had been sternly warned about the dark, filthy, and dangerous streets where the desperate poor and the criminals lived. Catryn prayed that Morris’s carriage would soon turn away from that rapidly approaching peril.
A moment later Morris’s carriage took a left turn and she breathed a sigh of relief. She quickly moved to follow him, only to see several small boys rush into the street to pick up the coins Morris had tossed out of the carriage. In her frantic attempts to avoid trampling the children, Sorley reared and then stumbled as its hooves hit the cobblestones again. Once she was safely through the crowd, Catryn realized that the hasty prayer she had uttered that they would all survive the brief confrontation unharmed had not been answered. Sorely’s gait was no longer smooth.
Moving to the far edge of the street, Catryn dismounted and began to walk her horse, closely studying the way the animal moved. The injury was not a bad one, just soreness in the muscle or hoof but there would be no more chasing Morris on horseback now. Not only would continuing to ride Sorely worsen the mare’s injury, but she would have no chance of catching the man while riding an injured horse. She would have to come up with another way to chase after the man. Fighting the strong urge to weep or scream, Catryn walked along trying to think of what she could do.
Then she saw it. It was like a miraculous answer to her prayers. The carriage stood in front of a pleasant town house, ready to be driven away. It was being idly polished by a liveried servant as the man waited for the passenger to arrive. Catryn’s heart pounded with excitement and terror as a desperate plan formed in her mind. Stealing a carriage was a hanging offense, she reminded herself as she approached the vehicle and the servant, but she might find some mercy for her actions since she was attempting to rescue her kidnapped son.
“Can I be of some help, ma’am?” asked the servant when she halted in front of him, dismounted and yanked her saddlebags off her horse.
“Why, yes, I believe you can.” She pulled her pistol from a hidden pocket in her skirts and aimed it at the man. “I have need of this carriage.”
Hannah Howell is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 30 Zebra historical romances. Howell, twice awarded the Golden Leaf Award, has been a Romance Writers of America RITA Finalist and received RT Book Reviews’ Career Achievement Award for Historical Storyteller of the Year. She lives West Newbury, Massachusetts with her family. Visit her website at hannahhowell.com.
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