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Seduced by the Scoundrel (Danger & Desire) [Kindle Edition]

Louise Allen
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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The Scoundrel and the Debutante by Julia London
The Scoundrel and the Debutante by Julia London
The third in the Cabot Sisters series: Once Roan has a taste of the sizzling passion that can lead to forever, he must choose between his heart's obligations and its forbidden desires. Learn more | See similar books

Book Description

Shipwrecked and washed up on an island, Averil Heydon is terrified—and being rescued by mysterious roguish naval captain Luc d'Aunay doesn't calm her fears! Virginal Averil knows that falling for Luc is dangerous, but the pull of their sexual attraction is deliciously irresistible….

After her first taste of wild desire in Luc's arms, Averil must return to society and convention. Except Luc has a shockingly tempting proposition for her—to flaunt duty, and give in to her newly awakened sensuality…

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Louise Allen has been immersing herself in history for as long as she can remember. She finds landscapes and places evoke powerful images of the past - Venice, Burgundy and the Greek islands are favourite destinations. Louise lives on the Norfolk coast. She spends her spare time gardening, researching family history or travelling in search of inspiration. Please visit Louise's website –, or find her on Twitter @LouiseRegency and on Facebook.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

It was a dream, the kind you have when you are almost awake. She was cold, wet… The cabin window must have opened in the night…she was so uncomfortable…

'Look 'ere, Jack, it's a mermaid.'

'Nah. Got legs, ain't she? No tail. Never got that. How do you swive a mermaid if she ain't got legs?'

Not a dream…nightmare. Wake up. Eyes won't open. So cold. Hurt. Afraid, so afraid.

'Is she dead, do yer reckon?'

Uncomprehending terror ran through her veins in the dream. Am I dead? Is this hell? They sound like demons. Lie still.

'Looks fresh enough. She'll do, even if she ain't too lively. I 'aven't had a woman in five weeks.'

'None of us 'ave, stupid.' The coarse voice came closer.

No! Had she screamed it aloud? Averil became fully conscious and with consciousness came memory and realisation and true terror: shipwreck and a great wave and then cold and churning water and the knowledge that she was going to die.

But she wasn't dead. Under her was sand, cold, wet sand, and the wind blew across her skin and wavelets lapped at her ankles and her eyes were mercifully gummed shut with salt against this nightmare and everything hurt as though she'd been rolled in a barrel. Wind…skin. She was naked and those voices belonged to real men and they were coming closer and they wanted to. Lie still.

Something nudged her hard in the ribs and she flinched away, convulsed with fear, her body reacting while her mind screamed at it to be still.

'She's alive! Well, there's a bit of luck.' It was the first speaker, his voice gloating. She curled into a shivering ball, like a hedgehog stripped of its prickles. 'You reckon we can get 'er up behind those rocks before the others see 'er? Don't want to share, not 'til we've had our fill.'

'No!' She jerked herself upright so she was sitting on the sand, her arms wrapped around her nakedness. It was worse now, not to be able to see. She dragged her eyes open against the sticky sting of the salt.

Her tormentors stood about two yards away, regarding her with identical expressions of lustful greed. Averil's stomach churned as her instincts recognised the look. One man was big, with a gut that spoke of too much beer and muscles that bulged on his bare arms and calves like tree trunks. The one who had kicked her must be the skinny runt closer to her.

'You come along with us, darlin',' the smaller one said and the wheedling tone had the sodden hairs on her neck rising. 'We'll get you nice and warm, won't we, 'Arry?'

'I'd rather die,' she managed to say. She dug her fingers into the wet sand and raked up two handfuls, but it flowed out of her grasp. There was nothing to use as a weapon, not even a pebble, and her hands were numb with cold.

'Yer, well, what you want don't come into it, darlin'.' That must be Jack. Would it help if she used their names, tried to get them to see her as a human being and not just a thing for their use? She struggled to get her terrified brain to work. Could she run? No, her legs were numb, too, she would never be able to stand up.

'Listen—my name is Averil. Jack, Harry—don't you have sisters—?'

The big one swore foully and she heard the voices at the same time. 'The others. Damn it, now we'll 'ave to share the bloss.'

Averil focused her stinging eyes along the beach. She sat on the rim of sand that fringed the sea. Above her a pebble beach merged into low rock outcrops and beyond that short turf sloped up to a hill. The voices belonged to a group of half-a-dozen men, sailors by the look of them, all in similar dark working clothes to the two who had found her.

At the sight of her they broke into a run and she found herself facing a semicircle of grinning, leering figures. Their laughter, their voices as they called coarse comments she could barely understand, their questions to Jack and Harry, beat on her ears and the scene began to blur as she closed her eyes. She was going to faint and when she fainted they would—

'What the hell have you got there?' The voice was educated, authoritative and rock hard. Averil sensed the men's attention turn from her like iron filings attracted to a magnet and hope made her gasp with relief.

'Mermaid, Cap'n.' Harry sniggered. 'Lost 'er tail.'

'Very nice, too,' the voice said, very close now. 'And you were about to bring her to me, I suppose?' 'Why'd we do that, Cap'n?'

'Captain's prize.' There was no pity in the dispassionate tone, only the clinical assessment of a piece of flotsam. The warm flood of hope receded like a retreating wave.

'That's not fair!'

'Tough. This is not a democracy, Tubbs. She's mine and that's an order.' Boots crunched over pebbles as the sound of furious muttering rose.

None of this was going to go away. Averil opened her eyes again and looked up. And up. He was big: rangy, with dark hair, a dominant nose. The uncompromising grey eyes, like the sea in winter, looked at her as a man studies a woman, not as a rescuer looks at a victim. There was straightforward masculine desire there, and, strangely, anger. 'No,' she whispered.

'No, leave you to freeze to death, or, no, don't take you away from your new friends?' he asked. He was like a dark reflection of the men she had come to know over the past three months on the ship. Tough, intelligent men who had no need to swagger because they radiated confidence and authority. Alistair Lyndon, the twins Callum and Daniel Chatterton. Were they all dead now?

His voice was hard, his face showed no sympathy, but for all that he was better than the rabble on the beach. The big man had his hand on the hilt of a knife and her rescuer had his back to him. 'Behind you,' she said, ignoring the mockery.

'Dawkins, leave that alone unless you want to end up like Nye.' The dark man spoke without turning and she saw his hand rested on the butt of a pistol thrust in his belt. 'There's no money if you're dead of a bullet in your fat gut. More for the others, though.' He raised an eyebrow at Averil and she nodded, lured into complicity. No one else was touching a weapon. He shrugged out of his coat and dropped it over her shoulders. 'Can you stand?'

'No. T-t-t-too cold.' Her teeth chattered and she tightened her jaw against the weakness.

He leaned down, caught her wrists and hauled her to her feet as she groped with clumsy fingers for the edges of the coat. It reached the curve of her buttocks, she could feel it chafing the skin there. 'I'll carry you,' he said as he turned from raking a stare over the watching men.

'No!' She stumbled, grabbed at his arm. If he lifted her the coat would ride up, she'd be exposed.

'They've seen everything there is to see already,' he said. 'Tubbs, give me your coat.'

'It'll get all wet,' the man grumbled as he pulled it off and shambled down the beach to hand it over. His eyes were avid on her bare legs.

'And you'll get it back smelling of wet woman. Won't that be nice?' Her rescuer took it, wrapped it round her waist and then slung her over his shoulder. Averil gave a gasp of outrage, then realised: like this he had one hand free for his pistol.

Head down, she stared at the shifting ground. The coats did nothing against the cold, only emphasised her essential nakedness and shame. Averil fought against the faintness that threatened to sweep over her: she had to stay conscious. The man she had hoped would be her rescuer was nothing of the sort. At best he was going to rape her, at worst that gang of ruffians would attack him and they would all have her.

Last night—it must have been last night, or she'd be dead of the cold by now—she had known she was about to die. Now she wished she had.

The sound of crunching stones stopped, the angle at which she was hanging levelled off and she saw grass below. Then her captor stopped, ducked, and they were inside some kind of building. 'Here.' He dropped her like a sack of potatoes on to a lumpy surface. 'Don't go to sleep yet, you're too cold.'

The door banged closed behind him and Averil hauled herself up. She was on a bed in a large stone-built hut with five other empty bed frames ranged along the walls. The rough straw in the mattress-bag crackled under her as she shifted to look round. There was a hearth with the ashes of a dead fire at one end, a wooden chair, a table with some crockery on it, a trunk. The hut had a window with threadbare sacking hanging over it, a few shelves, the plank door and a rough stone slab floor without so much as a rag rug.

Rather be dead… The self-pity brought tears to her eyes. The room steadied and her head stopped swimming. No, I wouldn't. Averil knuckled the moisture out of her eyes and winced at the sting of the salt. The pain steadied her. She was not a coward and life—until a few hours ago—had been sweet and worth fighting for.

An upbringing as the pampered daughter of a wealthy family was no preparation for this, but she had fought off all the illnesses life in India could throw at her for twenty of her twenty-two years, she had coped with three months at sea in an East Indiaman and she'd survived a shipwreck. I am not going to die now, not like this, not without a struggle.

She must get up, now, and find a way out, a weapon before he came back. Averil dragged herself off the bed. There was a strange roaring in her ears and the room seemed to be moving. The floor was shifting, surely? Or was it her? Everything was growing very dark.

Product Details

  • File Size: 576 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Historical; Reprint edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006QADO74
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #509,046 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SEDUCED BY THE SCOUNDREL October 10, 2011
By Reader
Format:Kindle Edition
Averil Heydon Is on her way from India to England, but there was a storm and she has been shipwrecked. She suddenly finds herself on the beach of an island naked and surrounded by some rough looking men, there is no doubt in Averil's mind as to their intentions. But they are interrupted by another man who is clearly their leader, he removes her to a cabin and provides her with his shirt to wear. The men here are under his command but they are prisoners who have been promised a full pardon if they complete a secret mission with him. So Averil must sleep in the cabin with him in his bed. If the men believe that she is his woman they will think twice before challenging him. Averil is horrified, but the man who introduces himself as Captain Luc D'aunay of the British navy is determined to make Averil do his bidding. Although they are on one of the isles of Scilly he will not let Averil go until his mission is complete. To convince the men that they are together he insists on kissing and touching Averil and to her eternal shame she cannot seem to resist him.
A lot more happens in this story that I will not go into here, except to say that this is a wonderful book, the writing is excellent. The characters are well drawn and you are very quickly involved into the story, a real page turner. The relationship between Averil and Luc is really hot and passionate. Highly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great April 15, 2012
By Harley
Format:Kindle Edition
Ms Allen is one of my favourite authors of this genre and this is a good entry but not her best. I enjoyed it, finished it and it is well written. However, I do not really like the shipwrecked theme, which struck me as quite an artificial method of meeting and keeping the heroine naked in hero's bed for a while. This is a follow on to a novel about the heroine's friend Dita which I read after this. That one was much better. Obviously I thought it well worth reading having given it a 4, so do not be put off by my negativity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this series. February 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Her heroines are so life like. The heroes e not perfect but love able. I enjoy her stories very much.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's an all right read January 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
We continue the saga of the Danger and Desire series. We start the book with Miss Averil Heydon wash ashore found by a motley crew of men. However, was reacued by Captin Luc d'Aunany. Luc is torn with the duty to find out who is the traitor and nursing the girl back to health.

The mission a success, yet somewhere along the road he loses his heart, but doesn't recognize that it's gone. Isn't that always the case. Growing up with a lost identity he was sure who he really is, half French and half British. Deciding that he wants to regain his French roots decides torrey a French girl. However, he can't let go of Averil. Should he sacrifice his dream for love? During all this we meet Averil cold-hearted betrothed Lord Brandon. Will our to find love with each other or continue with the path that have been living with for ages?

Seduce by the Scoundrel was a pretty good read. At times it kind of drag. It could have been me. However, I must finish the series, because I'm committed. So, I hope that the last book will give me a satisfying ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read December 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Really enjoyed this book. Good story line and great characters; couldn't put the book down. Will read this author again.
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More About the Author

Louise Allen is the author of over forty historicalromances, published by Harlequin and Mills & Boon.

The Regency is her passion, an endlessly fascinating era full of contrast and change, danger and elegance, luxury and squalor. Women had freedoms that would shock their Victorian granddaughters, yet lived within social codes that both intrigue and appal us now. Men in Society could win fortunes at the turn of a card and lose their lives in the hazard of a duel all in the space of twenty four hours. It is all so different, with the glamour of the past gilding it - and yet the characters seem to reach out and touch us now.

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