Ava Archer Payne

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  • The Wedding Bed by Ava Archer Payne

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    Miss Calla Lily Staunton. Her given name had meant nothing to him, but he remembered her.he wild one. The troublemaker. The one who’d attacked a cobra with a stick, smoked a hornet’s nest, and challenged him to a horse race across along the muddy banks of the Hooghly River. The one who’d attempted to adopt a tiger cub after local hunters had shot and killed its mother. The scar along her jaw was a reminder of the folly of that act—a lifelong reminder, evidently—proof that the cub, though young, was not nearly as docile as she’d assumed. The Hindu woman kept speaking, and the word nayan caught his ear. Matchmaker. He forced his attention back to her agitated monologue in time to hear, “…has come to England to marry.” His gaze returned to Miss Staunton. “My congratulations. And who is the lucky groom?”

    The lamp beside her sputtered and flared, enabling him a better view of her face. Her eyes, he noted, were not brown at all, but blue. Deep blue. Eyes that suddenly twinkled with devilish glee. Her remarkable lips quirked upward as she replied with a single word that made his blood run cold.

    “You.”