A native Northwesterner with the pale skin to prove it, Stefanie credits her parents’ eclectic reading habits—not to mention their decision to live in the middle of nowhere—for her love of books. A childhood spent lost in the pages of countless novels led Stefanie to college where she majored in English. No one was more surprised than Stefanie when she actually put her degree to use and landed a job in Amazon.com’s Books editorial department. She spent over five years reading for a living before retiring to concentrate on her own stories. Stefanie currently resides with her family in Seattle.
Possessed of a brilliant mind and a love for puzzles, Dashiell Matthews, Viscount Carrington, is a crucial member of the elite Young Corinthians spy league. Assuming the façade of an addle-brained Adonis, he hunts for a notorious London murderer known as the Bishop. When fate causes him to cross paths with Miss Elena Barnes, Dash discovers an enigma that will prove delightfully intoxicating to unravel: a voluptuous beauty as intelligent as she is fearless.
Only the lure of a collection of rare books bequeathed to her family by Dash’s late father could tempt Elena from her cozy rural life to the crush and vanity of London. But if Elena finds his lordship to be the most impossibly beautiful man she’s ever seen, he also seems to be the stupidest. Which made her body’s shameless response to his masterful seduction all the more unfathomable. Yet when she discovers Dash’s mission to track the dangerous Bishop, she willingly risks everything—her trust, her heart, her very life—to join him.
“Oh!” Miss Barnes exclaimed in a hushed tone, her excited intake of breath pulling Dash from his thoughts.
She rushed toward the end of the aisle, skidding to a halt in front of a glass case situated against the wall.
Dash couldn’t help himself. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and he followed.
“Giacomo Paolini’s Abecedary,” Miss Barnes whispered, as though speaking a sacred prayer within the walls of a grand cathedral.
Dash moved closer to the case, studying the book. Its presence was wholly surprising. His father must have acquired the volume shortly before his death.
“Have you read it, Miss Barnes?” he asked, breathing in her delicate floral scent as he did so. He couldn’t readily identify the flower.
“Hardly,” she replied, leaning closer to the case, her brow nearly skimming the glass. “This volume— the only one still in existence, mind you— was lost for years.
Your father was incredibly fortunate to find it, my lord.”
“Mmh,” he replied, distracted. Rose? No, the scent was more complex than that. Lavender? He discreetly breathed deeper, dragging in more of her elusive scent, suddenly desperate to know.
“Ha,” he declared.
Miss Barnes jumped. “I beg your pardon, my lord?” she asked, looking at him as though he were mad.
Really. I’m not the one gushing over an old book.
Dash fought the urge to say the sentence out loud and instead, straightened his crisp cravat. “Funny that, wouldn’t you agree? My father found a book that so many could not,” he replied, looking at the volume with what he hoped was childlike glee. “Were there many people looking for it?”
“Oh, yes,” her voice brimmed with enthusiasm. “The late Lord Carrington was not the man who actually found the volume, of course. But we can all be thankful he had the foresight to provide such an admirable and efficient home for it. Look here,” she gestured at the case. “See how it is perfectly situated away from the sunlight . . .”
Dash hardly heard a word she said. He couldn’t pull his gaze away from the fascinating quality of her skin and the flush of color from her cheeks, down the curve of her throat, to the neckline of her dress.
“And the case? Why isn’t it stacked with the rest of the books?” he wondered aloud.
He knew exactly why, of course. Direct sunlight would compromise the already fragile pages. But he wanted to watch her hands as she talked, gesturing and pointing this way and that, as expressive as the excited cadence of her speech and tone.
Dash wondered why he was noticing her hands. They were, after all, only hands. She possessed a pair just as nearly every other human being on the planet did.
What was he doing? He wasn’t supposed to be interested in Miss Barnes. He just needed her to pack up the books and go back to Dorset, as soon as possible.
“Fascinating stuff,” he interrupted her careful explanation, needing to be anywhere but next to Miss Barnes. “But I’m afraid I must be off. I’ll leave you to your books.”
She smiled at him shyly. “Of course, my lord. This must all be terribly boring to you,” she replied, curtsying.
Dash bowed and turned to go.
“Thank you, my lord,” she added. “You’ve no idea what these books mean to me— and my father, of course.”
Dash paused, but did not turn around, fearful that she’d draw him back. “Oh, don’t thank me, Miss Barnes. It’s all my father’s doing.”
It was the truth, after all. Though Dash was having a hard time being thankful to his father for anything at the moment.
“I look forward to seeing you at dinner, my lord.”
The woman could not bear to relinquish the last word.“Yes, Miss,” he replied.
Everyone who asks Stefanie a question will automatically be entered to win all four of her Regency Rogues books. The giveaway is open to anyone (aka we will mail internationally).