Read an excerpt from The Undercover Scoundrel by Jessica Peterson

The Undercover Scoundrel Synopsis

The author of The Millionaire Rogue returns to her dazzling series about a bygone era filled with romance, espionage, and one dangerously seductive diamond…

Mr. Henry Lake spent the past twelve years uncovering the most scandalous secrets of Europe’s wealthy and powerful, serving as one of His Majesty’s most decorated spies. But when a mission to find the legendary French Blue diamond brings him back to London, and face to face with a beautiful noblewoman he once loved, it’s his own hidden passions that are uncovered…

Lady Caroline, dowager Duchess of Berry, knows better than to lose her head over a man. After an embarrassing romantic entanglement forced her into a loveless marriage and early widowhood, she learned to never trust in desire, especially when it comes to the man who once broke her heart. Only, despite her good sense, she finds Henry impossible to resist—even when he once again places her in deathly danger…

Excerpt

Caroline turned, stray wisps of hair brushing against the skin of her nape as she looked over her shoulder.

She looked right at Henry.

His heart tripped inside his chest. The pressure in the ballroom changed, suddenly, and Henry could feel his pulse moving inside his head.

Her eyes were heavy and full. Oh, but she was lovely.

Caroline looked away, color rising to her cheeks. He watched the rise and fall of her chest. He wondered who she was looking for, what she meant to do with him.

She moved through the crush, and he moved with her, always maintaining a safe distance even as he drew closer, bit by bit. He had no idea what he was doing. What would he say, if he drew close enough? Would she even speak to him?

But he couldn’t help but follow her. He trampled toes, mauled debutantes, overturned a footman’s tray; Henry hardly noticed the wreckage he left in his wake as he trailed Caroline across the ballroom.

Every now and again she would turn and look at him, knowing he’d be there, staring at her like a man possessed. She would meet his gaze, and then, her blush deepening, she’d look away.

He watched her sidle up to the refreshment tables and accept a coupe of punch. He grinned when, after taking her first sip, her eyes watered and she let out a little sputter of surprise. Hope’s punch was a criminally potent brew.

Her eyes flicked up to meet Henry’s over the rim of her crystal coupe. Her eyelashes were long, and darker than he remembered. Girlish, and pretty.

Her costume was neither fashionable nor daring, but it was her: slightly careless and entirely unique; she looked elegant, a creature from another place and time. Her dark hair was pulled back, revealing the profile of her face. Strong jaw, soft chin, raspberry red lips.

So distracted was he by those lips that Henry was caught up in the swell of the crush. The press of bodies urged him to the edge of the ballroom, toward the tables where Caroline now stood. He panicked, and then he gave in.

Her eyes went wide as he approached. She tipped back the coupe, finishing her punch in a single gulp. She watched, regretfully, as a footman took away her empty cup.

Henry was so close he could smell her perfume; his entire being ached at the strange familiarity of her scent. It was shocking, to be so close to her. He’d never expected to see her; he’d never allowed himself to imagine it happening. It was too dangerous.

What he felt for Caroline was too dangerous.

Jessica Peterson Bio

Jessica Peterson began reading romance to escape the decidedly unromantic awkwardness of her teenage years. Having found solace in the likes of Rhett Butler and Mr. Darcy, it wasn’t long before she began creating tall, dark, and handsome heroes of her own.

A graduate of Duke University, Jessica worked at an investment bank before leaving to pursue her writerly dreams. She lives with her husband, the tall, dark, and handsome Mr. Peterson, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

You can connect with Jessica via: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Author Goodreads