The Reluctant Rogue
Elizabeth Powell


A Garden Spy

The branch bent and swayed beneath Jane’s weight; she lay there a moment, breathless, the rough bark digging into her hands. Twigs poked sharp fingers through the fabric of her dress. She peered through a concealing veil of leaves to catch a glimpse of the mysterious stranger. Movement caught her eye. Her breath quickened.

Jane could see only one man in the overgrown garden on her neighbor’s side of the wall. From what she could see, he was tall, but not overly so, with wavy, golden- brown hair. Biscuit-colored inexpressibles outlined his muscular legs. Well-dressed, and probably well-heeled to boot. Who was he? If she could only see his face.

As she edged herself a little further out onto the bough, the branch began to tremble. A colossal CRACK! split the air, followed closely by Jane’s shriek. The tree limb, with Jane aboard, crashed into the rhododendrons on the other side of the wall.

Her shriek nearly sent the viscount out of his skin. He spun around to see what sort of catastrophe had landed.

No, not a catastrophe. A woman.