Cover image for An affair most wicked
An affair most wicked
MacLean, Julianne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
374 pages ; 18 cm.
Format :


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X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Library

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Clara Wilson has come all the way to London to clear her name (after her wilfulness has left her quite unweddable across the ocean). But before she even has a chance to practise her curtsey, she stumbles into the arms of Seger Wolfe, Marquess of Rawdon. Clara has never felt love before, but she has no doubt when she meets the Marquess that this is what it feels like. Too bad love is the last thing on her mind--she's here to find a husband, not a rake.

Every good gossip knows that the notoriously wealthy Marquess loved and lost years ago, and few have missed the way his broken heart drove him from society ballrooms into society ladies' bedrooms. But when he meets the misplaced Clara Wilson at one of the town's ever-so-scandalous secret balls, the desire he feels for her is too strong, and it pulls him back into the swirl of aristocratic London. Now he finds himself competing for the heart of the inappropriate beauty, and risking his own heart in the game.

Author Notes

Julianne MacLean is a bestselling author of historical romances. She obtained a degree in English Literature from University of King's College and a degree in Business Administration from Acadia University.

Julianne is the author of a number of stand-alone novels as well as The American Heiress, Pembroke Palace, and The Highlanders Series.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Clara thought there was something improper going on at the ball, but it took a sinful kiss from a stranger to convince her that something was wrong. A mix-up in invitations on the part of Clara's companion sent the two Americans to a notorious Cakras ball instead of the polite society event they meant to attend, but fortunately for Clara, the seductive stranger only steals a dance and a kiss before convincing her to leave quietly before anyone recognizes her. Once Clara discovers her mystery man is none other than Seger Wolfe, the marquess of Rawdon, she realizes he is exactly the kind of sexy rogue she came to London to avoid. Even worse, Clara isn't sure if Seger is asking her to indulge in a wicked affair or a proper courtship! MacLean continues her captivating historical series featuring American heiresses who marry into British nobility with this deliciously sexy tale of two people who marry for desire only to discover how important trust is to true romance. --John Charles Copyright 2004 Booklist



Affair Most Wicked, An Chapter One The London Season May 1883 Dearest Adele, It is finally upon me -- my first London ball. You cannot imagine how my hands are trembling, for I fear that I will not fit in, that everyone will see through me and know that I am not one of them. I hope that will not be the case, of course, for I do long to be a part of the Society here -- the daily rides in Rotten Row, the receptions, luncheons, and evenings at the theater. It has been an exhausting but glorious experience so far, Adele, though I admit most of my acquaintances have been frustratingly superficial. I realize, of course, that that is to be expected. I am in England after all, and people are extremely reserved. I suppose my frustration comes from what occurred with Gordon two years ago. I must be an oddity. I crave adventure and my heart wants it, yet I know how dangerous it can be. Good gracious, listen to me. I must strive to move beyond that mistake if I wish to live a proper and virtuous life. I only hope that my heart has not become too complicated for this distinguished place. Sometimes I find it difficult to just smile and be pretty, which is what is expected of me. I want something deeper than that. Something more honest. Indeed, what a challenge this is going to be.... Your loving sister, Clara Already late for her first ball in London -- quite notably the most important ball of her life -- Clara Wilson stood in the doorway of her sister's boudoir, watching her chaper-one, Mrs. Gunther, flip through a huge stack of invitations. "I'm sure it's one of these," Mrs. Gunther said, spilling a few of them over the edge of the silver salver onto the mahogany desk. "It has to be." Mrs. Gunther was a staunch woman -- the only person her mother trusted to act as Clara's chaperone in London. She was a great social matriarch in America and came from a very prestigious family with very old money, but unfortunately for Clara, her memory was not as sharp as it once was. "It was at -- or somewhere near -- Belgrave Square. I at least know that. I remember Sophia describing it." Clara's tiny heels clicked over the marble floor as she crossed the room to peer over her chaperone's shoulder. There were certain to be a number of balls 'at or somewhere near' Belgrave Square this evening. "Is there any way I can help you remember, Mrs. Gunther?" They had to find it soon, for they were already late. Mrs. Gunther flipped through invitation after invitation. They all looked the same-square, ivory cards with fancy titles in lavish print, and they all belonged to Clara's older sister, Sophia. Three years ago, Sophia had become the first American heiress to marry a duke. She and her husband, James, were immensely popular among the Marlborough House set, and there were never any shortages of social engagements to attend at any given moment. Which made the task of finding the correct invitation all the more difficult now. "The Wilkshire Ball, the Devonshire, the Berkley ..." Mrs. Gunther said. "No, no, no. The Allison Ball. Could that be ...? Wait, Lord and Lady Griffith ... was that it?" Mrs. Gunther continued to guess haphazardly at the names, and Clara's hopes for the evening took a deep, sickening dip and settled uncomfortably in her belly. Everything depended on this one night, and if Clara did not reach that ball tonight, there might not be a second chance. For Clara -- the latest American heiress to invade aristocratic London -- had to pass the test. In order to be accepted and welcomed into British society like her sister had been, Clara had to glide into a London ballroom and win the approval of the Prince of Wales. Or end up returning to New York, where her position in society was fragile, to say the least. She shook away the shiver, for she could not afford to have her mind congested with misgivings tonight. The past was in the past. It was time to move forward. "Ah." Mrs. Gunther turned to face Clara and handed her the invitation. "Here it is. The Livingstons on Upper Belgrave Street. I'm certain this is it. We can go now, my dear." Releasing a deep breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding, Clara smoothed a gloved hand over the antique lace on her French silk gown, and touched the glittering diamond-and-pearl choker at her neck. She led the way out of her sister's boudoir, the precious ivory invitation safe in her hand. A moment later, they were stepping out of the brilliantly lit manor and into the dark, still night. Mantles buttoned at their bare necks, ivory fans dangling from their wrists, they walked down the stone steps to the coach. As soon as Clara stepped onto the sidewalk, however, her heel imposed upon a crack and she stumbled. The invitation went sailing out of her gloved hand, and she toppled sideways into a tall, extravagantly liveried footman who caught her and righted her before she even had a chance to notice him there. Clara collected herself. "My word. Thank you! What a decidedly convenient place for you to be standing just then!" Without a hint of a smile, the young man nodded. Clara gazed at him for a moment, but he stood like a palace guard, his face made of stone. Clara sighed hopelessly. The English . Pray, the people she would meet tonight would have a little more personality. A sense of humor at least. Clara picked up the invitation. She looked at it more closely, and pointed a finger. "What's that symbol in the corner?" Mrs. Gunther squinted at the small triangular medallion printed on the card ... Affair Most Wicked, An . Copyright © by Julianne MacLean. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from An Affair Most Wicked by Julianne MacLean All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.