Taking the Spinster - Samantha Holt Page 0,1

have children before long and the line of succession would be safe.

Guy took a few more steps. The streets were quiet, a few pedestrians moving at pace before night swallowed London. A carriage rolled by and a cart soon followed. He darted between the two vehicles, pausing briefly so that he was hidden behind. Then he looped swiftly around.

Miss Haversham moved out of her hiding place and paused, glancing around with her hands to her hips. “Where on earth—” she muttered to herself.

“Looking for me?” Guy came up behind her.

She whirled, her eyes wide, her pale hair warmed a little by the streetlight. “Bugger.”

He’d be amused by her bad language if he didn’t loathe reporters like her so much. He kept his expression firm, allowing his jaw to harden. He’d intimidated many a man with such an expression.

She lifted her pointed chin, fixed him with her pale blue gaze, and folded her arms.

“Actually, yes, I am.”

IF THE EARL wished her to be scared, he’d have to try harder. She hadn’t survived a year in what was still a man’s job only to be cowed by intense eyes, a hard jawline, and furrowed brows.

Her heart did pick up a little, though.


No doubt many a man and woman, perhaps even animal, had cowed at such a look. But not her. He might have about the strongest jaw Freya had ever seen, finished off with a dip in the middle of his chin, or the darkest, thickest brows, complete with permanent furrows between them that made her feel as though she were mightily disapproved of. He might be tall too, with wide shoulders. And of course, all his clothes fit him perfectly, made of the finest fabrics.

But none of that mattered. Not his acceptable looks—because they were merely that—not his coat that would likely cost her a lifetime of earnings, not his dark scowl, not his rather thick lips.

She scowled to herself. Thick lips? Who cared if he had thick lips? Why was that even worthy of note? She shook her head and peered up at him from beneath the brim of her hat.

He glared down at her, the shadows of his own hat making him appear more dark and intimidating than ever.

It wouldn’t deter her, though.

She had a story to chase down and she’d be damned if she would let him scare her away from it. This could be her chance to move away from those wretched, insipid gossip columns that she so loathed. Gosh, she could just imagine it. Writing a story about the missing noblewomen and finally getting the respect she craved for her writing. Finally being something in the man’s world that was newspapers.

Oh yes, and finally earning enough money to actually keep her parents comfortable in their old age.

So, there it was. A dark look from a titled gentleman was not going to veer her off this path, no matter how much he made her heart race.

“You really should cease following me about, Miss Haversham. It is hardly appropriate behavior.”

She resisted the desire to roll her eyes. Appropriate behavior was for ladies of genteel breeding and not working women like her. For as long as she could remember, she had roamed the streets of London, finding vaguely respectable work where she could until she had finally persuaded the editor of the Chronicle to take her on. She had learned to look after herself and she hardly had the time for appropriate behavior.

“Lord Huntingdon, all I need is a moment of your time.”

He shook his head. “I do not have a moment.”

“You’ve refused all of my audiences.”

“Well, yes. When one is an earl, one does tend to be quite busy.”

“I just have a few questions—”

He pivoted away. “You should return home, Miss Haversham. It’s growing dark.”

She moved hastily in front of him, blocking his path. It was a little laughable to think that she, with her average stature and her average looks, average hair, average, well, everything apart from her mind, could hold the rich, entitled, slightly more than acceptable-looking man at bay, but she had never given up easily on anything and she would not start now. Goodness, it had taken months of thrusting her work at her editor and standing outside his office for him to finally look at her writing.

“Miss Haversham, is stalking my footsteps every day really the right way about this?”

She pursed her lips at his condescending tone. “You have refused all of my requests for an audience, my lord, and I really only