Miss Catherine Everleigh has spent most of her life at her father’s side, learning to appraise antiques and become the natural successor to his auction house. Her brother got to go away to school, Catherine was tutored at home by a governess. Her father’s will stated that she would have equal controlling share in the Everleigh Auction Rooms with her brother, but only once she’s married. Now she knows her brother is embezzling funds to support his political ambitions. He keeps introducing her to what he considers suitable marriage candidates, but Catherine knows that they would all play directly into his hands.
Most of society calls her “the Ice Queen”, a moniker she’s not particularly bothered by. She’s fully aware that most men do not want an educated wife whose chief concern is antiquities and running a business. However, she will not get her full inheritance without a husband. As it becomes clear her brother may actually sell the Auction Rooms, she needs to find someone who will help her seize control from her brother. The only man who comes to mind as a suitable ally is Nicholas O’Shea, the charming uncle of Catherine’s former assistant, Lilah. Catherine’s plan is a marriage of convenience, which she can use to gain control of her share of the business. That a family connection to an East End mob boss may severely hamper her brother’s political ambitions is also something she can use as leverage.
Nick O’Shea has kept an eye on Catherine Everleigh ever since his niece went to work for her company. She’s always been the perfect embodiment of all the things that he can’t have. In control of a large area of the East End, without even having to break the law to do it, Nick is looking for new challenges. Marriage to the lovely Miss Everleigh would lend him added respectability and help him move his power base further into the fully law-abiding realm. A marriage of convenience, with no talk of love is fine by him. After consummating the marriage, however, he’s no longer so sure about living and sleeping apart, as he wants Catherine in his bed every night, and he’s willing to use every dirty trick he knows to seduce her.
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