Black Silk by Judith Ivory

By Judith Ivory

A Dutiful HeartAs befitting her identify, wonderful publish Channing-Downes used to be the correct, obedient spouse of an getting older marquess -- till her husband's demise left her penniless and alone...with one final marital legal responsibility to meet. Entrusted with offering a small black field to its rightful proprietor, she calls upon Graham Wessit, the infamous Earl of Netham, existence has been ceaselessly marred by means of rumor and scandal. yet Graham wishes not anything to do with a bequest from the fellow he holds accountable for his smash -- or with thebewitching emissary who brings it. within the face of breathtaking erotic secret -- within the throes of an infected ardour unbeckoned yet very unlikely to disclaim -- a rogue's hardened center might be undone through love...and a staidbeauty in straits may perhaps research the beautiful, sensuous freedom of hand over.

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With two hands, he thrust open the terrace doors. The ballroom was brighter than the dining room, a blur of colors and lights that swayed in three-quarter time. Music. Laughter. Masses of people. The room swirled with waltzing prosperity, with champagned well-being and conspicuous success. It announced in every swoop of the music the certainty of—everyone would say tomorrow—a brilliant party. So brilliant, in fact, that after the dark terrace, Graham was left squinting and blinking. As he stepped forward, the crowd opened up for him.

What on God’s earth had Henry had in mind? And who, pray tell, was this nasty cousin? Submit reached and turned out the lamp. The room fell back into darkness, though it wasn’t the same. Rain pelted the window, matching the rhythm of her heart. The mullioned pattern of the outside light wavered over chair and desk and carpet, casting itself like a net over Submit herself. She wished she could throw away the wretched art case, pretend it didn’t exist, but she couldn’t. Even if she took it back to Arnold, let him take over, she couldn’t ask him to take over all the questions this impossible little box had opened up.

He lost track of his own question as he slipped his arms into the armholes of a favorite vest. His valet came up behind him to tie the waist ribbons in back so the garment would fit snugly. Then Graham slid into the offered arms of a tailcoat of evening black, fine French worsted wool with a silk collar and revers. The coat matched his pants, which bore silk braid up the outside of each leg. His white shirt, white tie, and black evening suit were elegant but standard fare. They might add up simply to a Frenchified Englishman, and, if they did, that would put him in good but unremarkable company with a number of men who would be carousing in London that night.

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