Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers #2)

Also-and this is critical-you are not ugly."
She blinked.
Nick's eyes danced with amusement.
"Remember, Isabel. It was your brother who said it. I would not dare to take credit for such pretty words. I would have said something more pedestrian. It takes a great orator to come up with -"
"Not ugly." She gave a little shake of her head.
"What a lovely compliment.

And... as long as they need me, it's easier to forget that I am alone.

As it began, rain ended quickly in Yorkshire. There was no gradual waning of water, no silent mist to ease the way from heavy drops to dry skies. Instead, there was a simple change, like the snuffing of a candle. One moment, there was pounding rain, and the next...silence.

But it did not stop her from wishing that it had all been different.
Wishing that she had had the chance to be everything daughters of earls were born to be. Wishing that she'd been raised without a care in the world. Without a doubt in her head that it would someday be her day to sparkle; that she would one day be courted properly - by a man who wanted her for her, not as a spoil from a game of chance.
Wishing that she were not so very alone.
Not that wishing had ever helped.

But somewhere, deep within her, she knew that if she opened up to this man, it would be the most dangerous thing she ever did. He made her want to believe that she could share her burdens. When the truth was that she was alone. And she always would be.

Do you love him?'
Isabel paused at the question ... She caught a glimpse of herself in a long looking glass, noting her shape silhouetted beneath the silk negligee she had selected for him.
To make him happy.
To make him want her.
To make him love her more.
The truth was, she did love him.

He raked his fingers through his hair. "She doesn't need me."
Ralston smirked. "You are laboring under that mistaken impression that it is their job to need us. In my experience it is almost always the other way around.

I never meant to hurt you, Isabel. Had I known what I would find when I came north, I would never have agreed to Leighton's request... That is a lie. Had I known that I would find you when I came north, I would have come years ago.

Isabel!'
The second time James called her name, realization came crashing down around her. She became acutely aware of their location, their situation, their *actions*, and she was overcome with an intense desire to escape back out the window to the roof. And to live there. For some time.

It appears we have found a woman who does not consider you so irresistible.” Nick

Lord Nicholas St. John was their only hope, and she had been on the roof when he arrived, for heaven's sake. Ladies did not go traipsing about on rooftops.
And certainly gentlemen did not frequent the homes of those ladies who did traipse about on roortops.
It did not matter if the rooftop in question was in dire need of repair.
Or that the lady in question had no choice.

My lord?”
Nick turned at the tentative, feminine voice, to find two young women standing nearby, watching him eagerly. Nick spoke, wary.
“Yes? ”
“We—” one of them began to speak, then stopped, uncertain. The other nudged her toward him.
“Yes?”
“We are fans.”
Nick blinked. “Of?”
“Of yours.”
“Of mine.”
“Indeed!” The second girl smiled broadly and stepped closer, holding out what looked suspiciously like—
Nick swore under his breath.
“Would you be willing to autograph our magazine? ”
Nick held up a hand. “I would, girls, but you’ve got the wrong brother.” He pointed to Gabriel. “That is Lord Nicholas.”
Rock snorted as the two shifted their attention to the Marquess of Ralston, a dazzlingly handsome copy of their prey, and tittered their excitement.
Gabriel instantly eased into his role, turning a brilliant smile on the girls. “I would be happy to autograph your magazine.” He took the journal and the pen they proffered and said, “You know, I must confess, this is the first time I’ve ever drawn the attention of ladies when in the company of my brother. Ralston has always been considered the more handsome of us.”
“No!” the girls protested.
Nick rolled his eyes.
“Indeed. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you it’s the marquess who is the best specimen. Surely you’ve heard that.” He looked up at them with a winning smile. "You can admit it, girls. My feelings shan’t be hurt."
Gabriel held up the magazine, displaying the cover, which boasted: Inside! London’s Lords to Land! “Yes … there’s no question that this is going to do wonders for my reputation. I’m so happy to see that it’s getting around that I’m on the hunt for a wife!”
The girls nearly expired from delight.

She tilted her head, considering the sensation. "It is strange."

He gave a hiss of laughter at the words. "It only gets stranger, darling. But we shall try for something more.

She took a deep breath, looking up at the ceiling for a long moment. A raindrop moved slowly down her neck; he watched as it turned down the slope of
her breast to disappear inside the collar of her shirt.
He was seriously contemplating becoming jealous of a droplet of water. Yorkshire was obviously damaging to his sanity.

Si algo le había enseñado la vida sobre hombres y mujeres, era que las relaciones entre ellos no podrían considerarse un juego porque se podía salir malparado. Había visto a suficientes mujeres con el cuerpo y el corazón destrozados -incluida su propia madre- caer rendidas ante unas pocas y hechizantes sonrisas o caricias. Y se había prometido a si misma que eso jamás le ocurriría.

the smattering of candles about the dark room gave the illusion of dancing in starlight. The moment made her believe that if she spoke her desires aloud, they might actually come true.

You do well to remember that battles are won and lost in their final stages. This time requires constancy, determination, and endurance! Pearls and Pelisses June 1823 I

You must be mistaken," Isabel said, unconcerned by the insult that the words carried.
"I assure you i am not. Voluptas is nearly always portrayed wrapped in roses. If that were not enough, her faces confirms her identity."
"You cannot tell a goddess from a face carved in marble," she scoffed.
"You can tell Voluptas by her face."
"I've never even heard of this goddess, and you know what she looks like?"
"She is the goddess of sensual pleasure."
Isabel's mouth fell open at the words. She could not think of a single thing to say in response. "Oh