Title Only a Hero Will Do
Author Alanna Lucas
Genre Historical Romance- Regency
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…
Note from author: Captain America was the inspiration for Captain Grant Alexander.
Early evening shadows danced across the white walls and cold white marble floors. Soon the austere ballroom would come to life with hundreds of guests, fresh flowers, and music.
Servants scurried around completing various tasks. Most were too busy to even take notice of Elizabeth’s presence. Tonight’s gathering of some of the finest and most well connected families in England would certainly bring out some of Typhon’s agents. Sooner or later, one was bound to make a mistake, bringing the Legion one step closer to discovering Typhon’s true identity and extinguishing the threat once and for all.
Elizabeth needed to be on guard tonight and was not going to leave anything to chance. Surveying the ballroom once more, she took her time covering every inch, contemplating every angle an attack might come from. She could not fail in this assignment. She would prove she was as capable as any man, and also prove to Grant that she belonged in his world.
With the layout of the room fully ingrained in her mind, she strolled to the pair of doors leading out onto the terrace. Pushing them wide open, she was rewarded with the sounds of chirping birds and leaves rustling in the gentle breeze. It all seemed so peaceful, but the gnawing in her stomach indicated it was anything but serene.
She dreaded her role tonight—to distract Mr. Ward with light flirtation in the hope that his tongue would loosen. Although a little sketchy, the rhyme he’d sung and recited during their ride in the park was a goldmine of information. Elizabeth suspected he was key to their investigation. Even still, the flirtation would be no more than that. There would be no moonlight stroll or stolen kisses under the wisteria. Absolutely not. A shudder rippled through her. There were certain things she was definitely not willing to do, not even for the greater good of her country.
She rested her hands on the cool balustrade, gazing across the lush green landscape. From this vantage point, in the twilight, one could still see across the vast sloping landscape. Once the sun set, therein lay the danger. The trees in the distance were a nest for Typhon’s men. One of them could be lurking in them there right now, watching her every move.
“Surveying the landscape?” Grant’s deep voice drifted onto the terrace and straight into her body, warming her insides.
She turned to greet him but was tongue-tied the moment she laid eyes on him. He cut an impressive figure in his blue coat and buff pantaloons. Swallowing hard, she stuttered, “Uh…y—yes.” Her response made her sound like a simpleton, not the able-bodied agent she wanted to be viewed as. She took in a deep breath, but soon realized that whenever Grant was near no amount of deep breathing could possible steady her nerves and racing heart. “You’re early.”
“It’s best I get the lay of the land before the light goes. Simon is stationed at the south end of the property, and Philson to the east.”
“And will you be stationed inside the ballroom this evening?” Her heart leaped at the possibility of spending more time with him.
“I’ll be near, just in case, but I won’t be partaking in any of the merriment tonight.” His words were formal, final.
“I’m sure you can spare one dance.” She thought to change his mind, but as soon as the words came out, she regretted them. His stern look cooled whatever warmth had entered her body.
He sucked in his breath and shifted his gaze, looking in the direction of the large pond. “I don’t dance.”
“You don’t dance? Why ever not?”
“It is not something I wish to discuss.”
The warning in his voice only made her want to challenge him more. “That’s not an acceptable excuse. Why won’t you open up to me? And don’t you dare say it’s because I’m the daughter of a viscount.”
“Damn it Elizabeth, that’s exactly why. Why must you push?”
“Because I care.”
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Alanna Lucas grew up in Southern California, but always dreamed of distant lands and bygone eras. From an early age she took interest in art, history, and travel, and enjoys incorporating those diversions into her writing. Alanna makes her home in California where she spends her time writing historical romances, dreaming of her next travel destination, and spending time with family.
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