Title: Only a Hero Will Do
Author: Alanna Lucas
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
WHAT IF YOUR favorite superheroes had Regency-era doppelgangers? And what if a group of them were recruited to gather intelligence during the Napoleonic Wars while they protected their own parts of the realm?
You'd get A Heart of a Hero series.
Defender of the realm…and his wary heart…
Captain Grant Alexander is an enigma in London society. Dashing and handsome, he coldly eschews marriage. But the ton knows nothing of his role in the Legion: to bring Typhon, the traitor who seeks to destroy the British monarchy, to justice.
When Grant is thrown together with fellow Legion member Elizabeth Atwell, he’s instantly beguiled yet exasperated by this beautiful viscount’s daughter. She has little interest in combing the marriage mart for a well-bred, well-heeled husband, but is adept at code-breaking and handling a bow and arrow. She also refuses to do as she is told, insisting she accompany Grant on his mission.
As Typhon continues to evade capture and dark forces are at work, Grant realizes he must act, not only to protect the realm but Elizabeth too…not to mention his heart, which is in danger of thawing every time she comes close…
“Grant, what are you doing here?” she whispered.
How was he supposed to respond when he didn’t know the answer himself?
Elizabeth kept hidden behind the adjoining door. Alarm bells rang through his head. He stepped closer, eyeing her face. Her normal impeccably-coiffed hair was in disarray.
Before she could retreat, he closed the distance, grabbed her arm and pulled her into the room. Guilt streaked across her face as he eyed her up and down.
He knew he didn’t want to know the answer, but asked the question regardless. “Why in bloody hell are you wearing breeches?”
She pulled her arm from his grip. “It is rather difficult and impractical to sneak about in a dress.”
“Where have you been?” The words came out harsher than intended. Did she have no concept of danger?
“I believe you know the answer to that question, Captain Alexander, and you’re welcome.”
“That was you at Hell’s? You fired the pistol?” His temper flared. “What were you thinking? You could’ve been hurt.”
Elizabeth replied sharply, “I fared better than you.” Ignoring his question, she stated, “You’re bleeding.”
“It’s not nothing? Come here.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the window.
The warmth of her hand sent a bolt of desire through him. Pale moonlight caressed her upturned face and full pink lips. He wondered if her lips tasted as sweet as they looked. What in God’s name was he thinking? Control yourself. You’re here to protect her, nothing more.
Pulling his hand away, he sucked in his breath as desire and anger collided. “I cannot believe you were traipsing all over London at this time of night as if you were taking a stroll in the park.”
“It wasn’t all over London, and I know how to fend for myself.”
“That’s beside the point.” He softened his tone. Every word he spoke was laced with concern. “Elizabeth, what were you doing at Hell’s Gaming House?”
“One of the letters I decoded mentioned the gaming house. I decided Fulcher might have some answers. Clearly I was not off the mark since you believed so as well.”
Rubbing the back of his neck, Grant tried to reason with her. “You can not go gallivanting all over the place. You’re the daughter of a viscount.”
“I know very well whose daughter I am. I don’t need you to remind me of it.” She took a step closer. The pleading tone in her voice went straight to his core. “Don’t you see? I don’t want to be just the daughter of a viscount. I want a life of my own choosing. I’m not some simpering miss.”
“No, you’re definitely not.” His gaze traveled over her face, settling on her brown eyes filled with intelligence and independence of spirit. A rapid thumping pounded against his chest. Time seemed to stand still, wrapping them in a blanket of moonlight.
“Grant,” she whispered his name as she brushed her fingers across his sore cheek.
The door handle began to turn. Elizabeth eyed the space behind the sofa before pulling Grant down behind the barrier. A moment later, the door opened and closed with a gentle click. Soft footsteps crept across the room. There was a moment of silence until the sliding of books broke it.
Elizabeth stretched up, but Grant pulled her down. “Stay down,” he mouthed, pointing his finger downward to emphasize the command.
A different sort of pounding than he’d experienced a few moments ago coursed through his body. He took in a deep breath and jumped up and over the sofa. A fierce growl rumbled from the intruder as Grant tackled him to the floor.
Punching the man hard in the jaw, Grant demanded, “Who are you?”
The intruder did not answer, but let out a cynical laugh before he whipped out a flask and swallowed the contents in one gulp.
Involuntary shudders rippled across the man’s limbs as he struggled through large gasps of air before going completely lifeless.
“What happened?” Elizabeth said as she pulled the curtains wide, allowing more moonlight to infiltrate the space.
Grant stood and looked down at the corpse. “Laurel water.” He turned to face her, expecting aversion, but she was calm, almost unfazed by what had just happened.
She stepped closer and studied the man’s features. Her eyes widened. “I know him. He worked as a stableman, but Father dismissed him last year.”
“He was caught rummaging through my father’s study. Mother believed him to be a common thief, but my father suspected otherwise. Before Father had a chance to question him, he disappeared.”
“Do you have any idea what he was after?”
Elizabeth stood to her full height and slid her hand into her shirt. Grant was mesmerized by the action, finding it difficult to focus on the situation at hand.
“This.” She pulled out a necklace with a medallion dangling from the chain. Two snake tails shimmered against the pale moonlight.
“How in bloody hell did you get your hands on that?”
“We can discuss that later. First we have to get the body out of here before my cousin returns home.”
Grant stepped forward. “I will take care of him. You will stay here.”
Elizabeth crossed her arms with defiance. “You don’t know the way. And besides, I believe my assistance at Hell’s proved that I’m perfectly capable of handling myself.”
After this evening’s events, Grant knew the statement was true. He’d seen her handle a bow and arrow, and only a short time ago, she’d shot a man with the precision of an expert. Even so, she was still his responsibility. The only way to protect her was to keep her close. Her stubbornness would be the death of him.
There would be no reasoning with her. “We can argue about this later.”
“I’ll add it to the list,” she responded with sarcasm.
Grant hoisted the corpse over his shoulder. “Lead the way.”
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If you enjoy adventure, romance, intrigue, happily ever afters, and Superheroes in the Regency, then this book is for you!