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Beloved Deceiver
Margaret Blake
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For Flora a marriage to Mars would save her from her father’s machinations – for Mars it would be sweet revenge on the man who had ruined his family. However, even the best laid plans can go wrong!

“I have something to ask you and I’m being perfectly serious,” Flora said, then, after taking a deep breath, plunged on, the words colliding. “I would like you to marry me!”

Marsden Collingwood had guessed at a variety of requests, but not this one. This one momentarily knocked the breath from his body. It was a good job he was sitting or he thought he might have fallen backwards. It was just as if she had struck him in the solar plexus. It was incredible!

He looked up the length of the girl standing before him and practically burst out laughing. The gall of it, the sheer damned cheek! She was a chit of a thing, a girl who barely reached his chest; her russet-coloured hair was a riot of tipsy curls and had not pretence of style about it. She was wearing scruffy jeans and a baggy t-shirt that bore the name of some American university, and she asked him to marry her!

“I know what you’re thinking,” she said brightly, smiling up at him.

“That you’re insane?” he murmured, in a more mellow tone than he believed she deserved. “Well, that has been said to me before, but I thought you might have been polite and said that the idea is insane. I am quite sane, as you’ll discover if you listen to me.” His intense scrutiny caused her to blush, but she made herself hold his gaze.

Of course he was surprised. He had to be really. He was considered quite a catch. Tall, well built…thick tobacco-coloured hair that curled at his neck and, in spite of his attempt to tame it, fell across his brow. His eyes were almost the same colour of gold with green speckles on the iris, unusual eyes that at that moment were sparkling with amusement. At least he wasn’t angry.

“I don’t mean a marriage proper,” she went on. “I mean a pretend marriage.”

“I see,” he said, mockingly. “I just let people think I’ve lost my mind and married you.”

“You could do worse!” she said, not offended. She could understand his feelings. After all she was no catch, and she knew that. He went out with really stunning women. She had seen his photo in the society magazines many times, squiring some goddess or other.

“We’d have to do it properly to have it legal, but it would be a marriage on paper and not one that’s in the…in the…”

“In the bedroom? How disappointing, and here I was thinking you were after my body.” His voice dripped sarcasm.

“I don’t want your body. I just want to be married...to someone.”

“Flora, I’m sure there are plenty of young men who’d be delighted to marry you.”

“But I want you…you wouldn’t be intimidated by my father…and that is why it’s so perfect for you, Mars. You’d be able to get one over on him…and you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Her smile was crafty.

“I must confess the idea of, as you so sweetly put it, getting one over on your father would be a real pleasure, but I’m not so desperate I’d marry his daughter!”

She sighed loudly, then sank into the folds of the sofa opposite the white armchair where he lounged.

Her legs stretched out; her grubby trainers attracted his eye. She had very small feet, but the trainers made them seem enormous. She was an urchin and a rather scruffy one at that. Her most redeeming feature was her lapis lazuli-coloured eyes; they were large, round and full of a charming innocence. However, any appeal they may have for him was soon obliterated by her snub nose that was smattered with freckles, her slightly protruding teeth, and her shapeless body.

“I look better when I try,” she said, as if reading his mind.

“I’m sure you do,” he said, “but now, Flora, if you’ll excuse me, I’m rather busy.” He checked his watch meaningfully. It was a ruse, of course, because he had nothing to do but laze around the villa until evening.

“Aren’t you curious why I am asking you?” she persisted.

“Not really. I think perhaps the sun has caused something to happen to your brain. When you get back to England, it’ll sort itself out. You’ll see how ridiculous you’ve been.”

“Margaret Blake has written a fascinating contemporary romance about a young woman, that while trying to avoid a loveless marriage stumbles right into love. Two compelling characters try to fight their attraction and deny what they feel only to discover some things are out of their control. Their's is a relationship built on ups and downs. When Marsden agrees to go along with the plan to marry Flora for revenge, Flora knows she risks having her heart broken…It is only because deep down it is obvious that there is love that the story gives the illusion that they may have a chance at a happy ending. BELOVED DECEIVER is a fascinating romance because it shows the progress that two people make in their relationship from being strangers to falling in love. Through ups and downs, mistakes and misunderstandings, their only hope is love.” -- Anita, Romance Junkies


“Beloved Deceiver by Margaret Blake is a sweet and sensual read! With Mars’ mysterious qualities and Flora’s openness the couple is an awkward match perfect for romance. What makes Beloved Deceiver a winner is the character growth that Blake shows to readers. We see both Mars and Flora change as they learn more about themselves and each other. Readers will fall in love with both characters and really want the best for them by mid-story. The story that unfolds between Flora and Mars and Flora and her father Ari is one sure to warm the hearts of many. This is definitely a book I would recommend to readers!” – Chantay, Euro-Reviews


"Beloved Deceiver is a tale of circumstances, deceit and plans gone awry. This is an engaging story with some clever plot turns that kept this reader interested right from the start. Flora knows marrying Mars would keep her from her father’s scheming. Mars sees not a bride when he looks at Flora, but a way to gain retribution for a past wrong. Each has an agenda, but love doesn’t always follow a set format, as these two learn...The plot is interesting, but the repartee and growing mutual affection between Flora and Mars is what kept me glued to the pages. I enjoyed Beloved Deceiver. It is the first of Ms.
Blake’s novels I have read but it certainly won’t be the last!" 5 Angels! - Reviewed by: Marlene


"Mrs Blake writes an attractive story as Beloved Deceiver, a Whiskey Creek Press publication, comes to life through its believable characters and ingriguing romantic plot." - A Dedicated Reader - Pamela Jenewein - Romance at Heart Magazine


“With matchmaking from unexpected characters which carry the plot along, Margaret Blake’s latest has all the ingredients for a perfect romance. With a perfect daily dose of romance for romance addicts, Flora and Mars' tale is both sweet and spicy. So romance fans pick up your copy soon.” - Reviewed by Raakhee Suryaprakash for The Road to Romance


“Ms Blake has done an amazing job creating characters that are believable and honest in their imperfections. Her characters have big hearts that show the power, strength and depth of love and sacrifices its willing to make.
I’m giving this book a four book rating. It held me captive form the first chapter to the last. Margaret Blake is one author to keep your eye on and Beloved Deceiver is one book that is sure to win hearts.” – The Long & Short Of It Reviews


Fiction Books :: Romance Books :: General Books

ISBN: 1593745079
ISBN(13-digit): 9781593745073
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: whiskey Creek Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 200
Paper Weight (lb): 8.6

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