In the latest Pink Carnation novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig, rumors spreading among the ton turn deadly as a young couple unites to solve a mystery . . . In October of 1806, the Little Season is in full swing, and Sally Fitzhugh has had enough of the endless parties and balls. With a rampant vampire craze sparked by the novel The Convent of Orsino, it seems no one can speak of anything else. But when Sally hears a rumor that the reclusive Duke of Belliston is an actual vampire, she cannot resist the challenge of proving such nonsense false. At a ball in Belliston Square, she ventures across the gardens and encounters the mysterious Duke. Lucien, Duke of Belliston, is well versed in the trouble gossip can bring. He's returned home to dispel the rumors of scandal surrounding his parents' deaths, which hint at everything from treason to dark sorcery. While he searches for the truth, he welcomes his fearsome reputation - until a woman is found dead in Richmond. Her blood drained from her throat. Lucien and Sally join forces to stop the so-called vampire from killing again. Someone managed to get away with killing the last Duke of Belliston. But they won't kill this duke - not if Sally has anything to say about it. Praise for the Novels of Lauren Willig ' This sparkling series continues to elevate the Regency romance genre.' Kirkus Reviews 'Full of history...... plenty of romance.' New York Daily News 'Jane Austen for the modern girl.' New York Times Bestselling Author Christina Dodd Readers guide included
Author of three previous Pink Carnation novels, Lauren Willig holds graduate degrees in both law and history from Harvard and is a second-year litigation associate at a New York law firm.
Praise for the Novels of Lauren Willig "[This] sparkling series continues to elevate the Regency romance genre."--Kirkus Reviews
"Full of history...plenty of romance."--New York Daily News
"Jane Austen for the modern girl."--New York Times Bestselling Author Christina Dodd
Praise for the Novels of Lauren Willig "[This] sparkling series continues to elevate the Regency romance genre."-- Kirkus Reviews "Full of history...plenty of romance."-- New York Daily News "Jane Austen for the modern girl."-- New York Times Bestselling Author Christina Dodd
In the latest Pink Carnation novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig, rumors spreading among the ton turn deadly as a young couple unites to solve a mystery . . .
Chapter One London, 1806 "They say he''s a vampire." Sally Fitzhugh''s friend Agnes trotted after her as Sally made a beeline for the French doors to the garden, driven by a restlessness she couldn''t entirely explain. Behind her, she could hear the scraping of the musicians, the swish of fashionable fans. She just wanted out. Away from the heat, away from the smells, away from the petty gossip and murmurings. It was October, and cold, but the ballroom was humid with the press of too many bodies in too small a place. The very mirrors seemed fogged with it, blurred and distorted. Even with her arms and neck bare, Sally felt uncomfortably warm in her silk and gauze gown. The crisp October air hit Sally like a tonic, and, with it, Agnes''s words. Had Agnes really said-- "A what?" Agnes ducked the rapidly swinging door. "A bloodsucking creature of the night," she said helpfully as she followed Sally out towards the balustrade, away from the crush in Lord Vaughn''s ballroom. "I know what a vampire is. Everyone knows what they are." Ever since The Convent of Orsino (by a Lady) had taken the town by storm the previous spring, the ladies of the ton had become intimate experts on the topic. The men, just as sickeningly, had taken to powdering their faces pale and affecting red lip rouge. Sally found it distinctly ridiculous. But, then, she was finding it all a little ridiculous just now: the too strong perfumes, the smug smiles, the whispering voices behind fans, the incredible arrogance of those powdered fops and perspiring ladies. It would serve them right if there were vampires in their midst. Not that such things existed, of course. Any bloodsucking that went on in the ton was purely of the metaphorical variety, although none the less draining for that. Sally gripped the cool stone of the balustrade with both hands, breathing in deeply through her nose. She wasn''t sure what ailed her. Back in the cloistered confines of Miss Climpson''s Select Seminary, she had been itching to try her wings on the world, to flirt and laugh and bend beaux to her will. She knew exactly what it would be like: a cross between a Samuel Richardson novel and those notices one read in the paper, the ones that began with "Lady A-- wore a gown of watered green silk." She would be the toast of London, taking the town by storm. And why shouldn''t she? She was, she knew, without false modesty, more than passably attractive. Quite a bit more, really. It didn''t do to be disingenuous about such things. So what if Martin Frobisher called her a gilded beanpole? He was just sore because she made him look like the sniveling little thing he was--and jealous because his family hadn''t two guineas to rub together. Proud, he called her. Well, yes, she was proud. She knew her own worth, both in character and in coin. What did it matter that her family had never thrown down a cloak for Elizabeth I or provided a mistress for Charles II? Just because they had never toadied for a title didn''t mean that they weren''t as good as anyone. They were certainly a sure sight better-looking, and her dowry was as big as anyone''s. Both of those, Sally knew, guaranteed her entr
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