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Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas Read Online (FREE)

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas read online

Read Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1) by Lisa Kleypas full novel online for free here.

Synopsis:

Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.

Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle’s most intriguing — and persistent — admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition… but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.

Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon — and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon’s passionate embrace and tempting kisses… and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.

 

Prologue

London, 1841

Although Annabelle Peyton had been warned all her life never to take money from strangers, she made an exception one day… and quickly discovered why she should have heeded her mother’s advice.

It was one of her brother Jeremy’s rare holidays from school, and as was their habit, he and Annabelle had gone to see the latest panorama show in Leicester Square. It had taken two weeks of household economy to save the money necessary to pay for the tickets. As the only surviving offspring of the Peyton family, Annabelle and her younger brother had always been unusually close despite the ten-year difference in their ages. Childhood illnesses had taken the two infants who had been born after Annabelle, neither of them having lived to see their first birthday.

“Annabelle,” Jeremy said as he returned from the panorama ticket stand, “do you have any more money?”

She shook her head and gave him a quizzical glance. “I’m afraid not. Why?”

Sighing shortly, Jeremy pushed back a swath of honey-colored hair that had fallen over his forehead. “They’ve doubled the price for this show — apparently it’s far more expensive than their usual production.”

“The advertisement in the paper said nothing about higher prices,” Annabelle said indignantly. Lowering her voice, she muttered, “Hell’s bells,” as she opened her drawstring purse in the hopes of finding an overlooked coin.

The twelve-year-old Jeremy cast a grim glance at the huge banner that had been hung over the columned entrance of the panorama theater…. THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE: A SHOW OF MAXIMUM ILLUSION WITH DIORAMIC VIEWS. Since its opening a fortnight earlier, the show had been crammed with visitors who had been impatient to experience the wonders of the Roman Empire and its tragic fall — “like going back in time” — people raved afterward. The usual sort of panorama consisted of a canvas hung in a circular room, surrounding viewers with an intricately painted scene. Sometimes music and special lighting were used to make the view even more entertaining, while a lecturer moved around the circle to describe faraway places or famous battles.