The Gardner Girls & Must Love Scandal Box Set Bundle: Nine Steamy Regency Romances in a Complete Two Series Collection by Fenna Edgewood

The Gardner Girls & Must Love Scandal Box Set Bundle: Nine Steamy Regency Romances in a Complete Two Series Collection by Fenna Edgewood

Author:Fenna Edgewood [Edgewood, Fenna]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Starwater Press
Published: 2023-02-06T00:00:00+00:00

Henry Gardner was not expecting to be rescued.

He lay with his face pressed against the cobblestones. They were cold and slick from the falling rain and his own blood.

One eye was bruised, nearly closed. The other was flickering. In the dim he could see the two toughs who had thrown him there muttering together in low tones.

It had not been a fair fight.

Not that Henry was much of a fighter. He was shorter and smaller than both of the men. Slim to their brute strength. But that was not the point.

He had not even had a chance. One had held him while the other hit.

Decidedly ungentlemanly.

Well, the night had not been a total waste. At least he had spent time in heaven before winding up here in hell.

He wondered what they would tell Caroline. That he had fallen down the front steps and broken his neck, perhaps?

He closed his eyes and tried to will himself back up and onto his feet.

As if from a distance, he heard a commotion. He supposed the men were trying to decide who would get to pound him next.

Henry, don’t be a pathetic sot, he scolded. Get up.

He managed to get one arm beneath him and pushed himself half way to a sitting position.

Squinting through the rain, he was surprised to see the brutes had disappeared.

He tried to push himself all the way up, but the hand he had braced beneath him slipped on the wet cobblestones and he fell back with a groan.

“Let me help you, young man,” a crisp voice said, out of the darkness. “Here. Take my hand, sir.”

He blinked upwards. It was the Gardners’ butler, Hughes. He was an older man of perhaps sixty, portly and dignified, with hair gone mostly grey. Hughes had not changed much from the time Caroline and Henry were children. Still the same stern expression, the same pince-nez spectacles, the same penetrating gaze.

“Hughes?” Henry shook his head. “What are you doing here? Thought you detested me. Intent on keeping me out.”

In the shadows, he saw Hughes give a small smile. “In fact, I do not detest you, sir. I was simply doing my job.”

“Ah, yes, following orders,” Henry said. “And are you working with that lot?” He nodded his head towards where the brutes had been standing. “They seem to have disappeared for a spell. On their supper break perhaps. In need of something fortifying before they come back to finish the job.”

“Yes, I told them they should go into the kitchens to get something warm to drink,” Hughes confessed. The old butler had a clipped, polished voice. He sounded more well-bred than Henry—which said a great deal about the affectations of the upper class. “They will be disappointed when they get downstairs, however.”

“And why is that?” Henry asked.

“I’ve had one of the footmen lock them in a pantry,” Hughes explained. “They are sure to be hopping mad when I come across them and explain the terrible mistake.”

Henry stared up at the grey-haired man. “Hughes, you old devil,” he said, admiringly.


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