Once Upon a Wager


Once Upon a Wager cover image

For Lord Finley, the London season is supposed to be about pleasure, but every season his pleasure is disturbed without fail by the harpy, Miss Theodora Sheffield. For nine years, the woman with moss-green eyes has turned every season into a battle of wits. This year, Finley is determined to avoid the woman, except he can't seem to evict her from his thoughts, which makes him loathe her even more. He's not tempted by perfect breasts or magical reddish-brown hair. He has no desire to wed a pleasant chit, let alone one that makes his blood boil. Finley has no fear of the future until Theodora's rat-faced cousin Lord Mulgrave wagers Finley one thousand pounds that he, Finley, will wed Theodora before the end of the season. Accepting the wager in contempt, Finley underestimates Mulgrave's desperation to win the wager. Lord Cupid doesn't need a quiver of arrows – he has schemes aplenty.


What could be worse than being Christened Jackandthebeanstalk, raised by sadistic servants and mocked by your parents? Jack Vaughn, Viscount Finley, wouldn't have to think about the answer. Being legally tied to the harpy, Miss Theodora Sheffield, would be even worse than his childhood. Curse her moss-green eyes, perfect breasts, and sharp silver-plated tongue; if only he could evict the woman from his thoughts. Even if she wasn't a harpy, the fact she grew up with the Earl of Mulgrave makes her untouchable. No one sane would choose to be related to Mulgrave.


What could be worse than being raised by sadistic servants, your only companion a know-it-all female cousin too stupid to realise how intelligent and amazing you are? Tommy Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave, wouldn't have to think about the answer. Being legally chained to his wealthy cousin, Theodora, would make roasting in the fires of hell a pleasurable option. The fact she insists on remaining a part of his mother's household is hell enough. Mulgrave would escape, but his mother inherited all his money. He has to wait for his mother to die or chain himself to an heiress. Forced to improvise, when he sees Finley watching Theodora at a ball, he comes up with a brilliant plan that will fill his pockets with gold and rid his life of his annoying cousin. It's time for Lord Cupid to string his bow.


What could be worse than being orphaned and forced to share a nursery with a male cousin who matured into a heartless lecher? Theodora Sheffield knows it could have been a lot worse; she might have been left penniless. Having inherited a fortune, she's chosen to remain a member of her aunt's household. At twenty-nine, she wants an intelligent husband who won't bore her to death. If she can't find love she'll settle for being amused. Jack Vaughn, Lord Finley, is the most amusing man she's ever met, but he's made it clear he'd rather die than marry her. She's forced herself to continue searching, but it's difficult when perfection is within view, smiling at some other woman.