By Charles, K J

Between his eccentric although strictly principled staff of acquaintances, Lord Richard Vane is the confidant on whom each person relies for recommendation, ethical rectitude, and discreet counsel. but whilst Richard has an issue, he turns to his valet, a fixer of extraordinary genius—and the article of Richard’s private wants. If there's one rule a gentleman needs to persist with, it truly is by no means to dally with servants. but if David is shut sufficient to the touch, the foundations of sophistication collide with the basest type of animal intuition: overpowering lust.

For David Cyprian, housebreaking and blackmail are as a lot in a day’s paintings as bootblacking—anything for the guy he’s dedicated to. however the something he desires for himself is the single factor Richard refuses to offer: his center. With the stress among them becoming insufferable, David’s doubtless incorruptible grasp has left him no selection. placing his finely honed talents of seduction and manipulation to stable use, he'll persuade Richard to fail to remember all approximately his well-meaning objections and provides in to candy, sinful temptation.

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He’d already ordered that Cyprian should come to him as soon as the valet returned to the house; repeating himself would be as fruitless as making querulous demands as to where the man had gone. Cyprian would be about his work. Buying whatever he required for his secret recipe for blacking, or arranging matters with his cronies in gambling hells and assignation houses to ensure that Richard’s friends could find comfort in safety, or exchanging news with fellow servants in a coffee house to ensure he knew more about Richard’s world than Richard did himself.

One did not earn the reputation of being the best valet in London by thinking of one’s own comfort. The best valet in London, occupying one of the best positions. When Lord Richard’s previous valet had left his service to marry, the vacant post had been fought over with startling viciousness by men who were prepared to abandon their masters and sabotage their friends to secure it. David had made damned sure he won that silently waged war. He had wanted Lord Richard, and—professionally—he’d got him.

I’ll do the rest myself. ” David’s mouth opened. Lord Richard stepped back, not quite meeting his eyes. “It’s late. ” It was just one in the morning. David had the rest of the evening’s duties to perform. He didn’t want to go, not now with his master’s touch hot on his hand. ” It was a flat dismissal, not to be argued with. “Yes, my lord,” David said in his usual neutral tone, and turned away. He had reached the door when Lord Richard spoke again. “You are—invaluable to me, Cyprian. ” “Thank you, my lord,” David managed, wondering how his own voice was so level.

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