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Claire Mayhew wants her hard won independence…a mid-town shop of her own. She resists the scorching attraction with Mr. Ryland — her new landlord, but Cyrus isn’t a man who gives up easily.
Enjoy an excerpt:
“Mr. Ryland, on your first visit to my shop, you questioned my accounts. Now do you plan to inspect how I manage the messengers?” She was being a little tetchy, but that assessment of his touched a sore spot. “As long as I pay my rent come Friday, whatever else happens is no concern of yours.”
He cracked a smile. “Not afraid to put me in my place, are you?”
“As in reminding you that you’re my landlord and you’ve no business giving me such commentary? I’m happy to. I doubt you share your opinions with the male proprietors who rent from you.”
Frayed nerves and a morning fraught with mishaps put her on edge. To admit this to him would be akin to acknowledging a chink in her shopkeeper’s armor. She wasn’t choosing her words with care but let them flow nonetheless.
“Duly noted, Miss Mayhew. I admit I haven’t changed my mind on this venture of yours,” he asserted.
“At the table, even you acknowledged the dangers preying on women in London. At least my sister’s business proposition must prove some goodwill during this trial period.”
She heard him, but her vision caught on the curious red ribbon. Ryland glanced at the box under his arm, his stance relaxing.
“This is the other reason for my visit today,” he said quietly, holding out the wooden box. “It’s for you.”
Her gaze snapped up to his. “For me?”
Claire reached out, accepting the gift with cautious hands. She hefted the box gingerly up and down, checking the sides.
He chuckled. “I promise there’s no viper inside.”
“You bought me a ledger, didn’t you?” Her tone lacked all enthusiasm. A rectangular account book could fit inside the box. So would a shoe.
“If I did, you must agree a ledger would do you good.” His brows slammed together, a small vertical line forming above his nose. “But you won’t know until you open it.”
Buy The Lady Meets Her Match at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or GooglePlay.
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